Last year I shared some advice; don't make resolutions, make goals. Based on some of the trends in learning technology, here are some of my goals for 2017.
- MICROLEARNING. This can be short videos, anywhere from 90 seconds to three minutes, that are spaced out to reinforce previous learning and pushed to users. While I don't have a plan yet, I'm really thinking about this one and how I can apply it. I think back to the 2-2-2 rule. Contact learners 2 days, then 2 weeks and finally 2 months later to reach out to them and remind them of what they learned. Using short video would be a great idea for this.
- ONLINE VIDEO. Millennials consume information online more than any other medium. This puts the learning where they are. One part of video is to tell a story, but you also need to continue the story from one video to the next so they learner has a frame of reference and can see how each is related to the other. One of my goals is to do more in this area this year.
- CONSUMERIZATION OF LEARNING. Because our learners are already used to certain applications, such as YouTube, they like to learn there. For me, we have a Learning Management System (LMS) that many of our employees use and are comfortable in it. We've put a lot of our information there since it's a familiar environment. Our goal is to make the learner feel at home and we avoid the "tourist syndrome" where they are just trying to remember where the restroom is when they are standing under the 10' sign. I'm constantly trying to find where our learners are at and model my learning after that design. This way, they can learn the material and not the interface.
- GAMIFICATION. This is not an online quiz. You need to build levels and achievements. It needs to be modeled after real life simulations and have a strong story line. I'll admit, I do not have the time and skills needed to do this one, but I could start a badging system where the learner can earn badges. We've only been discussing this and how it can be implemented. There are still a lot of questions to be answered before any of this can happen, so I know this is not on my 2017 list, but I'm not letting it go. I'll just park it for later. Perhaps you can find a way to make it work for you.
- EVERYTHING ON DEMAND. Don't confuse this with JIT (Just In Time) training. This can be anything from a quick answer to a question or a full course. It's different for every person. Thanks to Netflix and TV's On Demand stations, we don't want to schedule our life around what time a show is on. We want a show when we have the time. Same for learning. Aside from online video that is available 24/7, I have begun to offer more custom instructor-led training at the time that is convenient for my clients. I still offer regularly scheduled workshops, but I'm finding more people like the option to have me come during a staff meeting or other time that works better for their schedule. You have to be flexible. I also have online presence through our organization's instant message system which allows people to know when I'm available to answer questions via phone or chat.
- VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) or AUGMENTED REALITY (AR). This is getting to be a more viable option with the decrease in cost of equipment. It's a great option as it does help reduce stress and anxiety for people in certain situations since they have already "lived" it. I know this can be an expensive option, too, not to mention time-consuming. In my area, it's not going to be an option, but I did want to mention it for those who want to explore it more. Make it goal to check it out this year.
- HAVE FUN. If you read my goals last year, you already know this is always a goal of mine. Have fun in your training, have fun in your job, and have fun in your life!
Even if your goal is just to learn more about a new technology, that's a start. Next you can take a stop to implement one thing. Don't be afraid to make mistakes and make changes. Not all technologies are designed for everyone and every situation. Most important, don't be afraid to fail. Good luck with your new year's goals!