Learning Technologies Exhibition – 29th Jan 2014

Stalls

As predicted, there was much interest in multi-device learning and this seemed to have replaced previous conversations, such as Apps versus HTML5 browser, etc. as mobile learning evolves.  The challenge now seems to be to decide if you want a SaaS authoring tool (such as GoMo), a local desktop application or a hybrid model.  The functionality gap between the SaaS and desktop is decreasing so the issue then becomes more about your workflows (for example if you want collaborative authoring etc).  Cm-Group’s Luminosity is an interesting middle ground with the Studio tool offering rapid authoring and a cloud file storage allowing for collaborative authoring but with appropriate locking of files, etc.

There was not too much in the way of new stalls, with the usual split between big systems doing multiple things (such as Cornerstone), smaller specific systems (such as SpiderGap in the 360 feedback space), eLearning providers and classroom/skills training providers.  One new stall was KPMG Learning Academy’s showing the ability of big organizations to try and leverage their existing expertise into providing services in the space.  Another area where there seemed to be an increase in stalls was with iTunes-esque aggregators for people to sell eLearning and other materials via single sources, such as opensesame.com.  In a related space, I was slightly surprised to not see more of re-emergence for IT Training considering the implications of Windows 8, new versions of Office, etc.

Similarly the talks I attended were largely updates on the on-going evolution of tools and ideas, rough notes below:

Cultures of contribution: How to motivate engagement with online learning communities –Brightwave/LearnerLab/KPMG

LearnerLab talked about engagement:

  • Asked what can learn from the consumer space.
  • Social networks still growing and driving Internet use. Mobile access is the key tool that is facilitating this.
  • Shows people want short, snappy, enagaging experiences [presenters at BETT having pointed out this is not necessarily a good thing for Brain training].
  • User generated content part of people’s persona and online personality whereas people are turned off by business systems as they don’t appear as relevant, easy-to-use, etc.
  • Budgets help but big IT can go wrong – especially if designed around tech not user.  Need to be more Netflix and less Healthcare.gov.
  • Get better by developing a deep understanding of your audience.
  • Should communicate purpose at every point, for example, Facebook does not offer you a blank space, it asks ‘whats on your mind’.
  • Make users understand benefits, seek to innovate experiences around familiar conventions, spot engagement trends and always follow policy of continuous testing using real user input.
  • Push your communication to users, do this by use of notifications, etc. with a call to act.  It should not be about revisiting a website constantly, you don’t want to be ‘another place people have to visit.
  • Take inspiration from emerging trends, for example, MindMeld helps engagement through suggested content.
  • Can we learn from curation techniques of social media? They are designed around the moment, different to how it is used in workplace.  Need clear objective, what should go in and out? What trying to achieve?

Brightwave took this on to think about user experience:

  • Learning tech has been developing rapidly, for example Tin Can.
  • People don’t tend to want to go to LMS, TC offer new approach via capturing informal – Tesselo built around this concept.
  • Capture TC learning experiences via apps (for example scan book or QR code to record) and bookmarklet. Don’t have to be on website to capture learning.
  • Then drive social through sharing and communication.
  • Curator role is SME to pick best resources from social feeds to turn learning experience into resource.
  • But what about motivation? Working in Open Badges (‘allow you to show off outside’) and reputation points for internal recognition.
  • Encourage a circle of activity: collaborate, share, currate and motivation.
  • How can social learning work with LMS? Pick out best of LMS content into social (Tesselo does inc Scorm but is a SSO back to LMS too). (beyond any use of badges – interesting badges mentioned before this?)

KPMG on deploying successful social media:

  • Talking about PEN – partner development program. PEN online launched as social media via Tessello.
  • Change management has recently become much bigger part of business.  Interest in change management really came from VC project, treated as IT project but didn’t really work out. So wanted to improve this project – business requirements, vision, support, behaviours and success criteria.
  • Key to success was clear business requirements before going out to vendor.
  • Vision very succient and clear to what wanted to do.
  • To overcome faculty resistance – gatecrashed faculty day, keep them in the platform, support the supporters step-by-step.
  • Also need to train IT helpdesks, especially to avoid signin problems.
  • Behaviours – know what you want them to do, role model behaviours for sharing, etc.
  • In the end, users were ‘overengaged’! Actually succeeded criteria.
  • Group of seniors so were allowed to go off and use it, good level of engagement but ultimately a small group and had support of faculty. Also did ensure people had agreed to social media guidelines before hand.
  • eLearning authoring tool that has come out of Epic, spin out company but still default tool Epic use when building content for customers.  Looks to have evolved nicely and worked smoother than when I have seen demos previously.
  • Based around responsive content: auto scaling, auto ammend menus to page, etc.  Need to think about layout design differently for multidevice. There approach is to think about column layouts.
  • Cloud based SaS – no software for collaborative authoring, includes locking of content and content reviews for team-based authoring.  Includes standard eLearning functionality like drag and drop activities.
  • Can create corporate theme for colour schemes and branding, etc.  However, showed how easy it can be to tweak fonts, colorpickers, etc. as needed.
  • Multiview previews built in. Don’t have to deploy to devices for testing.  All HTML5 but can also be packaged as native apps.
  • Can choose between vertical and horizontal sliders/scroll for paging. If in phone can have horizontal scroll combine with down (“sensible scrolling” – set restriction on how long scroll will last to avoid ‘scroll of death’).

Epic introduces gomo: beautiful multi-device learning. Simplified – GoMo

  • eLearning authoring tool that has come out of Epic, spin out company but still default tool Epic use when building content for customers.  Looks to have evolved nicely and worked smoother than when I have seen demos previously.
  • Based around responsive content: auto scaling, auto ammend menus to page, etc.  Need to think about layout design differently for multidevice. There approach is to think about column layouts.
  • Cloud based SaS – no software for collaborative authoring, includes locking of content and content reviews for team-based authoring.  Includes standard eLearning functionality like drag and drop activities.
  • Can create corporate theme for colour schemes and branding, etc.  However, showed how easy it can be to tweak fonts, colorpickers, etc. as needed.
  • Multiview previews built in. Don’t have to deploy to devices for testing.  All HTML5 but can also be packaged as native apps.
  • Can choose between vertical and horizontal sliders/scroll for paging. If in phone can have horizontal scroll combine with down (“sensible scrolling” – set restriction on how long scroll will last to avoid ‘scroll of death’).

Make your LMS mission-critical to your organisation – SumTotal

Argued through a number of points to consider:

  • Is your learning strategy aligned to your business needs? How learning impacts all your business? Learning worked throughout workflows?
  • Business environment more complex than ever: Increased regulation, more global, doing more with less, war for talent so retention is key.
  • What business critical issues related to learning?  Need to identify, pull out and highlight.  If fail can lead to business failures, bad PR, etc.
  • Learning tech must do more than automate.  Need just-in-time, real time collab with experts, targeted for career development, etc.
  • Context key, like how Facebook (one of their clients) targets adverts and other material to you.  Mobile isn’t future, its context. For example, pervasive learning including SumTotal learning embedded through Salesforce and retail platform.
  • Key argument: context and pervasive.  BYOD helps with pervasive, access learning from top of telegraph poll to a meeting room. Snippets of content, rather than length courses, help ‘integrated learning’ this is critical if it drives performance.
  • Examples where this can work – quicker onboarding, link learning to development, learning to career plans, improve social/informal learning, succession based planning (identify risks of person losing and where training need would come), drive compensation incentives for learning (completed courses drive compensation), single record for all learners (one place for complete view, HR, payrol, learning, etc).

Mobile learning content strategies for success – Kallidus

Followed on from a session last year, how mobile has moved on as it is no longer hype:

  • Only about 30% of audience doing mobile learning when asked, presenter was surprised not more (Towards Maturity suggests has been bigger adoption in general).

Two examples shown:

  • O2, had lot of old eLearning, looked to migrate. But BYOD so not onesize fits all.  Flash to html5 wasn’t good enough as still inconsistent outputs. Instead building much more detailed specification to try and ensure consistency. Motivation to do it was that staff expected to be access things on mobile and expect it to work.
  • Kaplan Financial Mobile app. Support 30,000 students – 67% said wanted material to be available, downloaded, on device. Students are presented with material related to course they’ve paid for.  Included flash cards for learning reinforcement, key topic video clips and quiz practice. Have had 6500 downloads from 50 countries.

Best practice tips:

  • Delivering eLearning via mobile or developing mobile learning (impact on content design)?
  • Keep it simple (ensure cross device usability – inc swipe functionality over use of buttons).
  • Design for multiple device (responsive).
  • Mobile friendly media (video increasingly so but remember formats and file sizes).

Repurposing existing eLearning:

  • Think about what actually works for mobile.
  • Aspects like shelf life and business case matter: don’t just shrink rethink; interactions need redesign? Do you need to rewrite the text?

The future:

  • More and more tablets
  • Video (inc 4G)
  • Mobile features (enhanced devices to take advantage of)
  • Content creation tools on mobile.
  • Argued that generational changes are impacting how we need to use learning to retain younger staff (especially as LinkedIn has made it very easy to jump ship).

From LMS to LES – CrossKnowledge

  • An LMS used to work, but they do not work for our organizations or us now. We are all generation C(onnected).
  • How move from top-down to Just-In-Time, but global, where everyone is different?  Can we make sure there is no ‘skills gap’ anywhere, no matter what people doing or where on earth they are doing it?  Yes, technology can help by coming in as social tool for a global audience.
  • Move from being about learning management system to technology being the backbone of a learning organization.
  • Argued most of us are generalists – less SMEs as can find what we need rather than being font of all knowledge on specific things.
  • Prescribed/push content is valid but in learner-centric, learning organization, want them to absorb learning, i.e. be free to pull learning that is available.
  • Forgetting curve shows classroom doesn’t work. Need to think longer term, learning as just part of work processes, seamless to working life.
  • BUT admit this idea of learning organization is not easy to create.
  • Argued against Tin Can as it is not important to track informal – allow people to be free and play. Focus should be on sewing together learning activities and work to form true blended learning.
  • L&D cant try and do everything, has to be shared ownership amongst everyone (especially managers and experts)
  • LMS has never been a place people live, they use different systems. So you need ‘invisible jacket’ of learning across workplace.
  • Move from managing learning to delivering experience: learning experience system, a new approach they have built out in last year.

One thought on “Learning Technologies Exhibition – 29th Jan 2014

  1. Pingback: Avoiding cynicism during tradeshow season | Whose Education Is It Anyway?

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