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Why “70:20:10” Is Not Enough

70-20-10-banner


In a recent article, Bill Brandon speculates that we’ve hit a tipping point in the workplace. Learning demands placed on workers have exceed workers’ capacity to meet them. In other words, we are inundating today’s workers with training and asking them to complete all of it while still maintaining high levels of productivity. This really struck a chord with me… because I see it happening again and again in our clients’ organizations.

I liked Brandon’s article and tweeted it out, saying it was a nice piece… and it was. However, I found myself going back to it and feeling like Brandon neglected a very important point. He advocated for us to think about three elements that all contribute to our accomplishments and performance in the workplace:

  • Our skills and knowledge
  • Our shared experience (things gleaned from others, informal learning we do via social networks, interactions with peers, etc.)
  • Our individual experience (things we learn by doing)

Brandon felt that if L&D professionals thought less in terms of “courses” and used the 70-20-10 “rule of thumb” to consider how to help someone build competence, then we’d be better off. (Caution flag here: 70-20-10 is NOT a proven model; it is described by the person who originally coined it as “folklore.” See page 5 of this journal article written by the originator of 70-20-10, Morgan McCall.) Brandon advocated that we embrace social learning and learning pathways as the means of reducing the stress and burnout so many are experiencing.

The Elephant in the Room

While I do not disagree that avenues other than courses can be hugely valuable in helping build people’s proficiencies, I realized that the article failed to mention the elephant in the stress/burnout room. The elephant is time, or rather lack thereof. Learning takes time, whether we do it informally or formally. In today’s workplaces, we’re pushing people to do more and more. We are failing to acknowledge what this “more and more” often means: we are asking people to go way beyond 40 hours in their work week to do the learning required to build and maintain proficiency and to do the work that contributes to company profits.

Harold Jarche had it right when he said that in today’s economy, work is learning and learning is the work. THAT is the model employers and employees have to get into our heads…that learning on the job is simply part of doing our jobs.

To manage stress and minimize burnout, we have to incorporate “learning curve” into the work people do. We have to factor this learning curve into the time things will take to complete and the amount someone will accomplish in a day or a week. And because people are constantly figuring out how to do something while they are working on their projects, we have to build in this constant “learning curve” into our expectations of what people will accomplish and how fast they will accomplish it.

In My Experience

I run a business and our formula for billable time is not 40 hours a week. Depending on the team member’s role, we estimate that 80% of their time can be devoted to billable tasks. The remainder is allocated to learning and administrative tasks. Giving people time to learn on the job is essential in an industry where we need to stay on the leading edge of what’s possible re: learning solutions. We have communities of practice that people are part of, we have weekly link-sharing and discussions, we have periodic all-company “demo-fests” where we share out projects with each other. On top of all that, we have periodic formal courses that people will attend to build skills in niche areas. All these things take time…in addition to the constant learning someone does in the course of executing projects.

So Bill Brandon, I most definitely agree that we can and should think beyond formal courses in helping people build proficiency. But we cannot do so – even via informal means – if we fail to acknowledge that we have to build the time in for people to learn. Even looking something up requires time.

Top 7 Custom eLearning Articles on our Blog in 2013

Best eLearning Blogs of 2013

Why do we all love ‘best of’ posts so much at the end of the year? Love is a strong word here, but I find them helpful as a quick reference to useful content shared during the past twelve months.

Regular readers know we strive to make this blog a hub for corporate learning professionals. Our goal is to educate and inform, and to that end we invest considerable time creating and researching content that the learning and development community will find useful.

To me, the seven top articles from the past year are really a checklist of what’s important and pressing to learning professionals. Agile learning design, Experience (Tin Can API), social learning, and increasing the interactivity of eLearning were all hot topics at the major eLearning conferences this year. Sharon Boller’s white paper, which summarized seven of the emerging L&D trends for the year, was downloaded thousands of times because we increasingly need information that helps us sort through the trends and determine what’s really pressing for our organizations.

The same goes for our Training Needs Analysis worksheet; with so much growing and changing in the L&D industry, it becomes harder each year to evaluate the technologies and tools available while designing curricula that are instructionally sound… and tied to business objectives.

You’ll notice that games and gamification are mysteriously not on this list of articles. That’s because we started a second blog in 2013 on TheKnowledgeGuru.com, solely dedicated to using games for learning. We simply had too much content for one blog! Look for a “best of” post on the Knowledge Guru blog very soon.

I hope you find one or more of these articles helpful. They were the most visited articles on our site for the year, based on total web traffic.

1. What is Agile Learning Design? – This article is a great first stop if you are looking for a broad overview of agile design principles, and their use for learning design. We explain what Agile is, how it can be better than ADDIE, and (most importantly) how we have been using Agile design principles with our clients to improve the learning solutions we offer. The article includes a graphic that shows what the agile learning design process looks like.

2. Agile vs ADDIE: Which is Better for Learning Design? – Just because agile design principles work in a learning and development setting does NOT mean we must throw the baby out with the bathwater and ditch ADDIE. In fact, ADDIE is still our approach of choice for many projects. The real secret, we’ve found, is to modify ADDIE with some agile development stages and provide clients with working prototypes sooner.

3. Learning Trends and Technologies: New White Paper by Sharon Boller – This white paper was our single most downloaded piece of content in the calendar year. Sharon starts the white paper by identifying six truths about our industry today; things we might not even want to admit about what corporate learning really looks like. Then, Sharon lays out her vision for the year with seven of the fastest growing trends in the field.

4. How We Use Social Media for Informal Learning – We used ourselves as a “learning lab” to learn how social learning with social media really looks like in an organization. We wanted to better advise our clients, but we also wanted an easier way to curate content and stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies. This article has been widely shared as a case study for using social learning in an organization.

5. Experience (Tin Can) API: What to Expect from Your LMS Provider – With all of the excitement surrounding the Experience API standard, we decided to write an article that explains, in clear terms, what the organizations we serve really need to know about the new standard. This article shows what’s possible with the Experience API… while also explaining the real roadblocks to adoption.

6. How to Structure an eLearning Interaction – I interviewed Manager of Instructional Design Jennifer Bertram to learn about what goes in to creating learning interactions within an eLearning course. Jennifer had some in-depth tips for writing scenarios in eLearning, and also suggested several alternatives to scenarios in an eLearning course.

7. Training Needs Analysis Worksheet (Free Download) – We shared a five-step process for conducting a basic training needs analysis. This article also includes a ten question worksheet for completing the needs analysis, available as a free download.

How We Use Social Media for Informal Learning

Vendors talk about social learning like its something revolutionary, but I’m here to tell you its not. Informal learning is an everyday thing. Social media tools are just another platform we use to learn from each-other and find information serendipitously.

For every sales pitch you hear about social learning, for every shiny social network logo you see out there on the web, you should be looking for real use cases and stories of social media being used in a real world setting… with tangible benefit to an organization.

How to use social media for learning

We’ve found our own niche in the social media solar system… and it takes our team 30ish minutes a week to fully participate. It’s become part of everyone’s work flow, widely accepted in our company culture, and a launchpad for each individual in our organization to find their own social media and informal learning sweet spot.

We call it #TalkTech. It’s a 30 minute chat we hold once a week on Twitter.

Swaying the Skeptics

Many organizations hit a roadblock when a group of people, or one high-ranking person, resists using new social media tools. They either can’t see the value or simply don’t want to have to learn a new “thing.” Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand why people are resisting social media tools in your organization. The possible reasons are many:

  • It seems like more work: We spend enough time sending emails, meeting, IM’ing and (imagine this) actually working as it is. Who wants to add a new mode of communication to our work day?
  • It’s hard to remember to participate: When companies encourage participation on an internal or external social network, they sometimes forget to provide a regular reminder to participate. Other times, they neglect to post mission critical information in the new location. Without incentive to participate, people will soon forget the new activity.
  • They don’t feel comfortable participating: Some people just don’t like sharing their thoughts unsolicited on social media. Whether in our working lives or personal lives, opening up on social media is not everyone’s idea of a good time.
  • There’s no structure: How do I complete the required training when what’s “required” is to continuously participate in something ongoing? There’s no box to check when learning socially with peers. There’s no course to complete. Without that sense of structure, people will be even less motivated to complete something they may not want to do anyway.

Social Media Chats Jumpstart the Conversation

We decided we wanted to start encouraging our team to use social media tools for personal and social learning late in 2011. We had just given everyone an iPad, and wanted to encourage lots of new learning and exploratory activities people could do on their new devices. We also wanted to learn how to advise our clients on how to best use social media for their own learning initiatives… so we used ourselves as a pilot program.

We started a weekly chat on Twitter focused on emerging learning trends and technologies. It’s called #TalkTech, and it happens once a week.

We take turns finding interesting articles and curating them on the BLP blog. We identify three key topics that relate to the articles and pose them in the form of a question during the chat.

Our team gathers on Twitter whenever they are available and discusses the topics, 10 minutes each, for 30 minutes. We log on, we converse and learn something new, and then we’re done.

#TalkTech exposes people who often work virtually on their own separate teams to new ideas that expand their awareness of the industry as a whole and emerging trends that are often later integrated into client work. The chat gives everyone at BLP an easy channel for informal and social learning that they can tap into on a regular basis.

Why Social media chats work for learning

We’ve found social media chats to be the perfect way to get even the most skeptical participant at least a small amount of exposure to social media as a learning tool. I identified some of the common objections people have to social media for learning above, and now I will show how social media chats meet each one of those challenges:

  • It takes very little work to participate: People are able to take a 30 minute break from whatever task they were completing on a Thursday afternoon and spend time chatting with co-workers about topics of general interest. Since the articles are curated for them, it is easy to participate, learn something new, and be done in 30 minutes. Participation is optional, so no one feels forced to participate if they don’t have time.
  • The weekly chat is a regular reminder to participate: #TalkTech is a recurring weekly event on everyone’s Outlook calendar. Everyone in the company knows it’s happening and the chat serves as a constant reminder to take advantage of social media tools for personal learning, even if that just means logging in for 30 minutes a week.
  • It’s easy to chat, or just read: People start to feel more comfortable participating in the chat when they see co-workers doing it. Since the topics are posted in our blog and we create a transcript of the chat afterwards, even people who prefer to absorb the content at a slower pace can access the information and benefit from the learning.
  • The chat provides structure: It’s easier to know “what to say” on social media when everyone is discussing the same topic for a set period of time. Instead of trying to figure out what to post about, the chat provides direction… and a clear start and stop time.

Results of #TalkTEch

The longer we have kept up #TalkTech, the more positive benefits we’ve found. Ideas discussed in the chat make their way into client projects. Information shared by the Learning Services team gets passed over to Multimedia, and vice versa. Virtual team members get a chance to connect with a group they may only see once a week or less. Best of all, we have all gathered firsthand experience participating in “social learning” activities and can share that knowledge and experience with our clients.

eLearning Guild Online Forum

I’ll be co-presenting a case study on our use of #TalkTech and social learning for the eLearning Guild’s Online Forum in August. We’ll share testimonials from team members, describe how to set up a social media chat, and give you our top lessons learned. Learn more here.

This Week on #TalkTech: Replacing the Next Button, Gamification for Sales Reps and 4 Pillars of Gamification

#TalkTech is the “flipped” approach to Twitter chats. We publish all the topics a few hours before the chat so you can show up at 3 pm EST / 12 pm PST on Thursdays ready to discuss. We discuss three topics a week and the chat lasts around 30 minutes.

We’re shaking things up in 2013 here at #TalkTech! Every couple of weeks, a guest curator will be picking our topics and leading the discussion. Not much will change format-wise… we’ll still publish the weekly post here and the topics will still be tweeted by @BLPIndy, but a guest curator (besides yours truly) will pick the topics and be ready to lead the conversation during the chat. If you are interested in being a guest curator for TalkTech, let me know!

Topic #1: Can Built in Knowledge Checks Replace Next Buttons in eLearning?

Example of NEXTCHA from the Multimedia Learning Site

April Fools joke or genius idea? You decide. Image courtesy of MultimediaLearning.com

The jury is still out on whether this was an April Fools joke or not, but I came across a fascinating post on the Multimedia Learning blog this week. They were discussing a technology called “Nextcha,” which is an alternative to CAPTCHA. We are all familiar with filling in random letters and symbols in order to submit a form. What if a similar approach was applied to eLearning? Instead of hitting “next” to advance to the next screen, learners would have to answer a short question on the content they just saw. How can building in repetition like this improve eLearning?

Ask Learners to Prove They’re Learning With NEXTCHA

Topic #2: Why does gamification motivate sales reps to learn?

Most sales reps are competitive and driven individuals. They like to chase the next big prize and know how they are stacking up against co-workers. Gamification makes a ton of sense for motivating people like sales reps. The external rewards, quick feedback and ability to rack up points can turn an otherwise routine activity into a fun exercise. What do you think makes gamification an appealing learning tool for sales reps, and what other groups does it make sense to use gamification with?

Motivating Your Sales Reps to Learn

Topic #3: How do you apply aesthetics, story, mechanics and technology to gamification?

There are theories abound for how to apply gamification principles correctly. This resource was found by our own Laura Schroeder while taking Kevin Werbach’s Gamification MOOC on Coursera. It provides a simple four part framework for understanding gamification. Take a look at the four pillars and discuss how you think they can be used to create compelling gamification experiences.

The 4 Pillars of Gamification

If you’re new to Twitter chats, don’t forget about awesome tools such as Tweetchat.com that automatically save the hashtag and help you focus on the conversation!

This Week on #TalkTech: Technology in Instructor Led Training, Corporate Cyber Security and Design for Many Devices

#TalkTech is the “flipped” approach to Twitter chats. We publish all the topics a few hours before the chat so you can show up at 3 pm EST / 12 pm PST on Thursdays ready to discuss. We discuss three topics a week and the chat lasts around 30 minutes.

We’re shaking things up in 2013 here at #TalkTech! Every couple of weeks, a guest curator will be picking our topics and leading the discussion. Not much will change format-wise… we’ll still publish the weekly post here and the topics will still be tweeted by @BLPIndy, but a guest curator (besides yours truly) will pick the topics and be ready to lead the conversation during the chat. If you are interested in being a guest curator for TalkTech, let me know!

This week’s guest curator is Leanne Batchelder, VP of Client Relations at BLP. You should probably follow her on Twitter, because she’s really awesome.

Topic #1: How can technology make classroom learning more engaging?

Triptico app

We’ve all sat through “Death by Powerpoint” instructor-led workshops where sharing of content trumps providing learners opportunities to interact with the content. Most facilitators I’ve worked with aren’t opposed to making their workshops more interactive; they’ve just run out of ideas beyond a Jeopardy game. Triptico is a web tool that helps teachers create and use lots of different classroom activities, tools and quizzes in their classrooms. This online toolkit is full of free apps for teachers. How could this type of app-based toolkit help corporate subject matter experts and facilitators?

Triptico: A Powerful and Free Instructional App

Topic #2: How can information accessibility needs and cyber-security policies work together?

The U.S Defense Department recently announced they are opening their communication networks to iOS and Android devices, beginning February 2014. They have created a “commercial mobile device implementation plan” that is NOT a BYOD policy. Essentially, Defense personnel who’ve purchased their own iPhones and iPads will be allowed to use them to collaborate and share information rapidly to support “mission success.” Will the Pentagon’s device-agnostic approach lead other global organizations to do the same? If so, what are the pros and cons to any organizations’ “missions”?

Pentagon Opens Network to Apple, Google

Topic #3: What can we do to create mlearning solutions that “fit” the variety of phone screen sizes on the market today?

Mid Sized Phone Screen

About a year ago, The Samsung Galaxy introduced a phone with a 5.3 in screen, and we thought that was big! Turns out, that was just the beginning. Get ready for more plus-sized screen options in devices that most people are no longer using for “voice calling.” How should mlearning solutions adapt to this “big” new world?

Plus-sized Phones Dominate Wireless Trade Show

 

If you’re new to Twitter chats, don’t forget about awesome tools such as Tweetchat.com that automatically save the hashtag and help you focus on the conversation!

Less Trainers; More Community Managers and Curators

This is an excerpt from Sharon Boller’s newest white paper, Learning Trends, Technologies and Opportunities. The white paper describes today’s learning landscape… then predicts 7 trends for the next 12 – 18 months. Here is Trend 7:

Less Trainers; More Community Managers and Curators

Lots of us are already curating content for others. At BLP, we’re doing it with learning technologies, processes and tools. We “follow” several others in the learning and development community who curate content – via blogs, online newspapers, orby sharing links to resources via Twitter.

Here’s a few:

RJ Jacquez consistently “curates” content about mLearning. He writes a blog called The mLearning Revolution Blog and he publishes a weekly online “paper” (using theservice Paper.li) that aggregates blog articles on mLearning from others who have expertise in the topic. He shares content with people who follow him on Twitter.

At BLP, we curate content on learning, categorizing it for easy viewing on our blog called Lessons on Learning. (yes, you’re already here!) We share out content via our Twitter account: @BLPIndy.

BLP Lessons on Learning Blog

Lots of other folks have started online newspapers to share content on a specific theme or topic. Web tools such as Paper.li and Scoop.it let anyone start an online newspaper. They identify thought leaders whose blogs and tweets provide the content for their online papers. Chris Saeger, the executive director of the National Association of Simulations and Games, publishes a weekly online paper about learning games and other related educational topics.

Formal training can’t (and never did) meet the needs of a workforce. Information changes quickly – and often we need information, not training. Numerous tools now exist for rapidly creating and sharing content with other like-minded people.

Instead of remaining afraid of social learning tools, organizations – fed by a younger workforce that is already well versed with many of the tools – can begin to use these tools to make it easier for employees to find, locate, and share content and ideas with each other. When privacy IS a concern, there are tools for that as well – enabling companies to keep content behind their own walls. The eMagazine shared as part of Trend #3 is a good example of a tool that curates content and makes it
easy to share out on a specific topic… without sharing it to the entire online universe.

The skills of today’s trainers need to morph to include skills at content curation and distribution. Rather than training people formally, the curator will gather useful resources and content, organize it well, and distribute it out. They will oversee an ever-changing landscape as opposed to trying to define and formalize everything people need to know and do.

Click the image to download the white paper.
Learning Trends, Technologies and Opportunities White Paper

That’s a wrap on our white paper excerpts. Feel free to download the entire white paper now.

Less Formal Training; More Informal Social Learning

This is an excerpt from Sharon Boller’s newest white paper, Learning Trends, Technologies and Opportunities. The white paper describes today’s learning landscape… then predicts 7 trends for the next 12 – 18 months. Here is Trend 6:

Less Formal Training; More Informal, Social learningTwitter chats, Twitter lists, massive open online courses (MOOCs), YouTube channels and blogs devoted to highly specific topics, resources such as Lynda.com, CodeAcademy, etc. are all examples of resources that enable people to build highly customized “personal learning networks” for themselves. Given that the average employee only spends 31 hours PER YEAR in formal training, staying current requires employees to develop skills in social learning tools and strategies.

Social learning has been touted by a brave few for a long time – Jane Bozarth and Jay Cross are two big names who’ve been beating the social learning and informal learning drum for the past few years. The official recognition of the power of social learning – and the adoption of social learning initiatives inside organizations — has been even more glacier-like than mobile uptake. As more people who were born after 1980 get into the work world, though, social learning initiatives will become more and more commonplace – because this generation lives and breathes social.

What it might look like:

At BLP, we are our own “Learning Lab.” This means we test out new tools and techniques on ourselves before advocating their use by clients. Twitter chats have been around almost as long as Twitter – and they are now occurring with greater frequency. We started a chat in January 2012 called #TalkTech. The goal was to promote conversation and increase understanding and awareness of learning technologies that we – and our clients – might find useful. We host the talk on Twitter to encourage participation from non-BLPers. That’s right – we WANT the perspective of outsiders, who can share technologies and ideas with us… and we want the ability to share our perspectives, too.

The premise is pretty simple. We have a “content curator” who monitors a “hashtag” we titled #TalkTech. Anyone – BLPer or larger world community member – can submit links to articles about learning technologies, tools, or ideas using this hashtag. The curator selects the best three each week, publishes them to a blog, and we meet every Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. EST to discuss the three articles.

We’ve discovered a ton of new tools via these talks and we’ve also picked up new ideas for methods we could employ. (See a recent blog on how Jerry Seinfeld writes a joke and the correlation to interaction design.)

Participating in the weekly chats is easy using a web tool called TweetChat.

 

If you miss the live chat – no problem. You can get a transcript of the conversation via another great web tool called Storify, which lets you create an online transcript of your chat. Storify lets you create stories from a variety of social media resources.

Storify - transcript of social learning chats

Learning Trends, Technologies and Opportunities White Paper
Click the image to download the white paper.

Check back next week for Trend 7, or download the entire white paper now.

This Week on #TalkTech: Games for Customer Education, Learn to Code and Samsung Partners With Visa

#TalkTech is the “flipped” approach to Twitter chats. We publish all the topics a few hours before the chat so you can show up at 3 pm EST / 12 pm PST on Thursdays ready to discuss. We discuss three topics a week and the chat lasts around 30 minutes.

We’re shaking things up in 2013 here at #TalkTech! Every couple of weeks, a guest curator will be picking our topics and leading the discussion. Not much will change format-wise… we’ll still publish the weekly post here and the topics will still be tweeted by @BLPIndy, but a guest curator (besides yours truly) will pick the topics and be ready to lead the conversation during the chat. If you are interested in being a guest curator for TalkTech, let me know!

Topic 1: How can mobile apps and games be used to educate customers about a company?

AXA pass it on game

For a game about life insurance, the Pass It On game manages to be pretty darn fun!

If you want to educate customers, you have to do it in a medium they enjoy. Emailing out a Powerpoint presentation probably is not the best way. If you are selling a product that is often thought of as boring or undesirable, you’ll need to work extra hard to make your customer education meaningful. That’s why AXA Insurance took a game based approach to show their customers the value of life insurance. They created an app for iPad and iPhone where players must navigate the uncertainties and challenges of life to get their families across the country safely. Do you think a game based approach like this is a smart way to engage and educate customers?

New York Times: AXA Pitches in an Online Game

Topic 2: Why is it important for more people to learn how to code?

People who can code things seem like magicians compared to the rest of us. They can make websites, apps and games appear out of thin air, and their skills are extremely valuable. The demand for great programmers is exploding, but few schools even offer computer sciences classes before college. Students are not being made aware of the value of coding and it is not a standardized field in our curriculums. The truth is, most professionals can benefit from some basic coding knowledge. Why do YOU think learning to code is important?

Watch the Video Pitching Coding Classes in Schools

Topic 3: How Will NFC (near field communication) affect mLearning?

Mobile learning benefits greatly from the “sensor superpowers” our mobile devices have. Voice recorders, compasses, cameras, maps and more are in the palm of our hands waiting to be integrated into learning. Near Field Communication (NFC) opens the can of worms even further, allowing smart phones and other similar devices to communicate with eachother via radio when they are in close proximity. Such conveniences as tapping our phones to a scanner to pay a bill should soon be a widespread reality: Samsung has struck a deal with Visa, meaning Visa will be tightly integrated into the NFC technology for the Galaxy S4. Having a major player like Visa adopt the technology should really accelerate the takeoff of NFC in the marketplace. How do you see this technology affecting mLearning?

Samsung Strikes NFC Deal With Visa, Will Be Integrated Into Galaxy S4

If you’re new to Twitter chats, don’t forget about awesome tools such as Tweetchat.com that automatically save the hashtag and help you focus on the conversation!

Less Tell; More Games and Gamification


Want a really cool way to get the facts on Game Based Learning? Check out our new Game Based Learning Infographic! We lay out some great examples of the efficacy of game based learning and gamification, all backed by solid research and great case studies. Click Here to view.


This is an excerpt from Sharon Boller’s newest white paper, Learning Trends, Technologies and Opportunities. The white paper describes today’s learning landscape… then predicts 7 trends for the next 12 – 18 months. Here is Trend 4:

Less Tell; More Games and Gamification

Today’s learners have decreasing tolerance for a lecture-based approach to learning. (We consider Text and Next eLearning to be the electronic equivalent of lecture-based approach.) Games and gamification are finally getting the recognition they deserve as powerful learning tools. Our own game engine, Knowledge Guru, has a back-end that enables us to literally see what learners accomplish in terms of learning objectives from playing a game created with the engine – something that can’t
happen in a traditional approach.

Objective Overview Report - Knowledge Guru

The Objectives Overview Report: This is a report generated by the back-end of the Knowledge Guru game engine. It shows how well players are achieving objectives. Other reports let administrators view performance at the question level or for an individual player. The data supplied make it easy to see what people are and aren’t learning – and to supplement when
needed.

Path Selection Screen - Knowledge Guru
Path Selection Screen: Game screen within College Hoops Guru, a casual learning game designed to help people understand the game of basketball better so they can enjoy NCAA tournament time more.

A Paycheck Away learning gameA recent game we developed for the Spirit and Place Festival in Indianapolis called A Paycheck Away lets people literally experience a three-month period of homelessness in the span of 90 minutes. Learners described the experience as “mind-blowing” – something we’ve never heard attached to a lecture or a Text and Next course.

Skepticism, however, remains at the C-level (“If it’s fun, can they really be learning?”), but data about the efficacy of games are extremely compelling. The corporate world needs to pay attention to the data on efficacy because the appeal of games and gamification is high to the learner.

Not convinced? Check out these resources:

• Dr. Richard Blunt, working on behalf of the U.S.Department of Defense, did a rigorous study at
a national university comparing game-basedlearning to traditional approaches. He found “classes using the game had significantly higher means than those classes that did not use the game… both genders scored significantly higher with game play than without… The DoD now has studies proving the efficacy of digital game-based learning and how it can improve learning.”
• Karl Kapp, in his most recent book on games and gamification, has an entire chapter devoted toa list of studies done on game efficacy. He says this research is shared to “show that games andgame elements can be effective in promoting learning and achieving desired outcomes.Games and gamification are tools that, when applied correctly, result in the desired learning
outcomes.”

This trend has the potential to be wrecked in two ways:

1. Over-exploitation of gamification by marketers who try to gamify
EVERYTHING we do, and…

2. Misuse by learning designers who mistake slapping points and badges on things for creating an effective, engaging learning experience.Like the creation of good eLearning, the effective design of a game and the appropriate application of gamification techniques both take skill.

Learning Trends, Technologies and Opportunities White Paper
Click the image to download the white paper.

Check back next week for Trend 5, or download the entire white paper now.

This Week on #TalkTech: Lectora 11 and Tin Can, Mobile Apps for Surgeons and the Future of Wearables

#TalkTech is the “flipped” approach to Twitter chats. We publish all the topics a few hours before the chat so you can show up at 3 pm EST / 12 pm PST on Thursdays ready to discuss. We discuss three topics a week and the chat lasts around 30 minutes.

We’re shaking things up in 2013 here at #TalkTech! Every couple of weeks, a guest curator will be picking our topics and leading the discussion. Not much will change format-wise… we’ll still publish the weekly post here and the topics will still be tweeted by @BLPIndy, but a guest curator (besides yours truly) will pick the topics and be ready to lead the conversation during the chat. If you are interested in being a guest curator for TalkTech, let me know!

Topic 1: Will the new features of Lectora 11, particularly Tin Can compatibility, help L&D produce better learning?

Lectora and Tin Can API

We’ve used Lectora as a starting point authoring tool to create custom learning solutions for many years. Naturally, the release of Lectora 11 piques our interest. We’ve gotten excited about Tin Can API along with the rest of the L&D community, but the hype can’t become reality until authoring tools and LMSs both make their products compatible. We made our Knowledge Guru game engine compliant back in September 2012, and its exciting to see more and more other products follow suit. What do you think of the new features in Lectora 11, Tin Can and otherwise?

Lectora 11: Announcement and Features

Topic 2: How can mobile apps improve the learning process for surgeons?

Surgery has to be one of the hardest things a human being can learn how to do. It’s also a field that technology can have a big impact in making practice and simulations more accessible for surgeons to be. A UK Startup called Touch Surgery has released a series of mobile apps that connect future surgeons to the knowledge of senior professionals in the field. Read more about the apps and discuss ways you can see mobile making learning to be a surgeon easier.

Surgery simulation goes mobile with apps to teach trainees to think like seasoned surgeons

Topic 3: Are wearables like the Nike+ fuel band the next big tech disruptor?

Nike+ Fuel Band

 Smart phones used to be cool, but now they are a given for lots of people. Now that we all have a computer in their pockets, what’s next? A new breed of products called Wearables, such as the Nike+ Fuel Band, promises to monitor our bodies and give us meaningful data to help us improve our performance and change behavior. Do you see this becoming mainstream? How can the technology be used?

7 Reasons Why Wearables Are Poised to Disrupt Our Lives 

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