Last year, gamification was a crazy buzzword indicating a trend that many predicted would be either the savior or the destroyer of education and training. (Playing games at work? But work isn’t supposed to be fun!) Now, it seems like we hear less about gamification just in general, but that isn’t because the idea of using game elements in non-game situations has gone away. On the contrary, gamification has made it into so many aspects of our daily lives that we hardly notice it anymore—if you’ve saved on groceries using a store loyalty card, booked a hotel online, or worn a Fitbit, you’ve been gamified.
Gamification is also working its way into more and more training and development departments. I’m not just talking
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 16, 2014 NO COMMENTS
In the previous article, we explored how corporate training is moving away from seat-time and toward competencies. This larger picture here is not just a shift in how learning is measured, but an entire re-visioning of what effective training looks like.
Standard models of training, whether they are instructor-led or computer-based, look like very much like college classes—employees are taken out of their normal work environments to spend four or eight or forty hours “learning” things they may or may not encounter in their day-to-day jobs, and likely won’t remember if they do. But standard models are quickly being swept out the door by training methods that take place not outside of the normal work environment, but right smack in the middle of it. This has resulted in a new interest in microlearning, which is essentially any type of learning done in very short bursts. Digital learning environments, like MOOCs, can provide frameworks for a wide variety of microlearning activities.
What is microlearning and why should we use it
Microlearning has become a bit of a buzzword lately in the training and development world, but it is one that is not well defined. The main reason for this is that microlearning is not one single thing. In the context of training,
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 4, 2014 NO COMMENTS
The Internet has had profound impacts on education and training—not just on the practical aspects of how it is done, but on something much more fundamental: it has changed our core conceptions of what it means to teach and to learn.
By far, one of the largest disruptive effects of MOOCs and other digital learning environments has been to move education out of classrooms and into the real world. When you can learn anytime, not just from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for example, learning becomes an integrated part of your life. Not something you do at a special time and in a special place, but something you can engage in wherever you are and, most importantly, whenever you need to. This new model of learning is turning out to have huge positive implications for organizations that are willing to embrace it.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 31, 2014 NO COMMENTS
In this series, we’ll explore some major Megatrends in how and why MOOCs are being used in corporate training and development programs. The goal is to establish an overall picture of the current place of corporate MOOCs, where they are likely headed, and the challenges they may face on the way. In this first article, we’ll examine MOOCs within the context of the recent rise in corporate universities, which has been driven in part by some of the same forces behind the development of MOOCs.
What is a corporate university and why have they become popular?
Pepperdine University professor Mark Allen has defined a corporate university as “an educational entity that is a strategic tool designed to assist its parent organization in achieving its mission by conducting activities that cultivate individual and organizational learning, knowledge, and wisdom.” Corporate universities are distinct from training departments and traditional universities in that they focus more on helping an organization achieve its mission rather than specifically on helping individual employees do their jobs better.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 27, 2014 NO COMMENTS
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) like the ones offered by Coursera, edX, and Udacity have been around for about two years now, and over the past year or so, I have written about how they have evolved and the impact they have had on corporate training. Now, after several ups and downs, MOOCs are starting to find their place, and it turns out that place is much larger than could have been anticipated: MOOCs aren’t just disrupting how training is delivered; they are changing how companies interact with their employees and others on a much grander scale.
As organizations continue to expand their use of new digital learning environments, we can identify some MOOC megatrends that are starting to shape up. I’ve touched on many of these trends before, but over the course of the next several weeks, we’ll look at each of these trends in turn, defining them, describing where we are in the process, and identifying challenges in their adoption. The goal for this series is to provide a complete picture of the place of MOOCs in training departments and in organizations as a whole.