Paul Rudd Information Professional

expertise gained through experience

Learning Technologies Summer Forum 2016

Learning Technologies Summer Forum is an event that continues with the themes of Learning Technologies 2016 that took place earlier in the year. It is therefore a great event to attend to discover more about current trends and topics in the world of learning technologies.

Beyond the LMS…What’s Next?

Richard West Director of Innovation, Dreamtek

Dreamtek offer a range of services and solutions for organisations and businesses and they began as a video production company, which is still a primary aspect of their business today. However, they also offer innovative solutions for organisations, such as Broadcastpod, which is a stand-alone fully integrated studio solution for broadcasting, holding webinars, and creating on demand video content.

Amongst the many services Dreamtek now offer, they also can design and provide assistance with the creation of apps for their clients, and a key aspect of Richard West’s seminar was about creating Apps. He explained how this could be done in a relatively easy way using an existing PDF, and then adding enhancements to the content using Adobe’s InDesign and Aquafadas’s cloud authoring tool.

To achieve this you first have to import your content into InDesign where it can then be enhanced using the authoring tool’s AVE Interactivity panel. Numerous enhancements can be added using Aquafadas, such as the ability to add slideshows. It is also possible to add navigation arrows to guide readers in a specific way through the content. Enabling the creator to highlight specific pieces of text and information they want learners to read or view in any order they prescribe.

Once content has been created and enhanced it can then be packaged into an App (or made into an ePub publication) and added to Cloud Connect. Numerous types of content can be created using this method, such as magazines, newspapers, training manuals and guides. Exercises and assessments can also be added to the content which can consist of any or all of the following:

  • Multiple Choice Assessments
  • Drag and Drop Assessments
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Free Text/Write Essays
  • Audio recorded Answers
  • True/False (alternative responses)
  • Sequences

It is also possible to add analytics to the App using services such as Yahoo’s Flurry.This method of creating Apps does not appear to be too technically challenging, with the added advantage that no coding is required.

Love Learning, Love Sharing 

Jeremy Nabarro, Principal Solutions Consultant, Cornerstone OnDemand

Jeremy’s seminar was all about the following aspects:

  • Facilitating L&D’s new role as curator and content facilitator
  • Mining Knowledge across the entire organisation to drive smarter decision
  • Embedding learning into work, so learning becomes meaningful

He began his seminar by outlining the positive aspects of learning and sharing stating:

‘Those activities that are integrated into manager and employee workflow have the largest impact on employee performance’

He also referenced Bersin research, which states the following:

‘Organisations with strong informal learning capabilities, including social learning, are 300% more likely to excel at global talent development than organisations without those competencies’

Learning and sharing in the workplace is important and I for one can definitely see how this can be positive and productive. An aspect that would be useful in relation to this is having the ability to list details of employee’s specialisms, so that work colleagues can easily discover and consult internal specialists for help and assistance when required.

The company Jeremy works for is Cornerstone and they provide a range of products for organisations and businesses, which include tools for performance measuring. Cornerstone also offer the following products that help organisations perform learning and sharing activities:

These two Cornerstone products offer many benefits, which include the following:

  • Encourages social collaboration
  • Teams can work better sharing updates, videos and best practices
  • Cornerstone Connect can be combined with Cornerstone Learning
  • Feedback tools can identify top performers
  • Learning initiatives
  • Learning management
  • Tracking
  • Compliance management

Cornerstone Connect also offers a feature called Live Feed, which allows individuals to get real time information on their work. Many of Cornerstone’s products and services can be accessed through one platform called Unified Talent Management. This would be useful for organisations that require a more comprehensive and integrated solution.

Client Spotlight: How to Crack L&D Challenges from Engagement to Evaluation, and Retain Employees.

Paul Westlake, Kineo

Caleb Foster, Compass Group

Chris Robinson, Boost Evaluation

Compass Group: Contract catering and facilities management company

This seminar was all about Compass Group having a desire to try and retain all the staff they recruit. And, to provide their employee’s with the opportunity to learn about Compass Group and their roles within the company.

Compass Group is a large facilities management company with a significant number of employees dispersed in different locations. Creating a solution that provides each and every one of their employees with an opportunity to learn helps to make them more connected with the company and this can only be beneficial.

To discover and create a solution Compass Group consulted and worked with Kineo and Chris Robinson from Boost Evaluation.  The solution that they created is innovative, creative and seems to be based on Caleb Foster’s view that it should all be based on what staff need to know for the real world and day-to-day of their roles.

A key aspect of the user experience is the simplicity of the system that Kineo created. The initial screen provides an option to choose a type of buddy, which will appear when the user begins any training. After this initial buddy selection screen you are then led past various employee types being filmed as they work. This provides you with the opportunity to click on the one that matches your own role to discover more information. Many of the videos screened at the seminar were byte sized videos that had been created by employees.

Evaluation expertise was provided by Boost Evaluation, who used their knowledge and experience to work out exactly what was necessary and useful to evaluate. The following provides a selection of details on the work conducted by Boost Evaluation.

Cost Benefit Analysis

  • 211 learners surveyed
  • 53 managers surveyed (39% response rate)
  • Objective data gathered and analysed
  • Calculated the ROI

Using Mobile Learning for Induction, Compliance and Performance Support

Alex Mackman, Technical Director, Agylia

Alex covered the following topics in his seminar

  • Why Mobile?
  • Scenarios
  • Performance Support
  • Compliance
  • Induction
  • Mobile Learning Checklist
  • Q&A

Alex began his seminar by drawing attention to the last UK Ofcom research that shows how mobiles are now being used more commonly than desktop computers to access content. As a result of this increase in mobile device usage it obviously makes sense to create content specifically for mobile devices. However, a key aspect of Alex’s seminar was to try and ascertain just what content is best suited to mobile devices.

The most appropriate type of content Alex believed would work best for mobile devices was discussed and these are listed below:

  • Augmenting formal learning
  • Performance Support
  • Compliance
  • Induction

In relation to augmenting formal learning, Alex highlighted that after any learning had taken place there would be a point where learners would begin to start forgetting what they had learnt. This is often classed as the forgetting curve and it is precisely at this point on the curve where Alex believes bite sizes nuggets of learning would be best delivered via a mobile device (as part of a blended learning programme).

Performance support was another aspect identified by Alex as a key use of mobile content and the following aspects were identified as being part of this:

  • Improving skills and learning while doing real tasks on the job by providing the following type of content:
  • How to videos
  • Reference manuals and materials
  • Procedures and checklists
  • Infographics
  • Mini apps (small performance support tools distributed to targeted user groups)

Alex also highlighted the following important points to consider when creating mobile content:

  • Help users find what they want, when they need it
  • At home people are used to almost instant access to information and problem solving through social networks
  • The expectations for the same experience in the workplace is growing
  • Must be kept up-to-date (sending push notifications is a useful feature)
  • Contextual relevance and discoverability – more important than pixel perfect content

This seminar also provided details of the following projects where Agylia had successfully delivered mobile learning to the following clients

O2 Telefonica

  • iOS, Android and Windows Phone Apps

Foreign and Commonwealth Office 

  • Mandatory compliance training and just in time reference resources
  • A combined system for both desktop and mobile

Managing at Microsoft

  • Mobile induction programme for new people managers worldwide
  • Apps on Windows 10 devices
  • Videos, resources articles and quizzes
  • Push notifications for new content updates

Alex highlighted gamification in his seminar and made reference to the Gartner research on gamification. Gartner research had predicted that 70% of the top 2,000 global organisations would have at least one gamified application by 2014. This may or may not have happened yet but it certainly shows how gamification is considered to be an important learning content type.

Alex rounded up the seminar with a mobile learning checklist that included the following points to consider, and aspects to potentially include when creating mobile content:

  • BYOD support with native Apps for iOS, Android and Windows
  • User Experience
  • Offline Content consumption
  • Multiple asset types (e.g. Videos, eLearning, PDFs and custom HTML5 Assets)
  • Multiple content sources
  • Dynamic content with push notifications
  • Experience API (tracking with backwards compatibility with SCORM)
  • A range of security options