It’s a fascinating technology. There’s so much potential for what it can do. In the main? It’ll remain quite niche, and only the cash rich organisations will be able to afford the investment of making it work.
The hook for L&D – providing actual real life scenarios where people can practise their newly learned skills and receive immediate feedback about actual performance. Not an awkward role play, but a fully interactive scenario.
Pay attention to it for sure.
It won’t be robots or automatons. Not yet. We’re just about producing the tech to meet the sci-fi dream.
It’s mostly going to be code based in some mainframe somewhere. Or rather, mainframes in somewheres. Will it take away jobs? Probably. Will other jobs be created because of it? Probably.
With AI in L&D you can:
- get rid of all admin processes – hugely inefficient part of the L&D process
- create a programme to do needs analysis for you, and recommend solutions based on the results
- take care of all programme and event management
- pull together business information, financial reports, performance reports, do some magic, and more accurately identify business blockers and barriers than any kind of human intuition
The thing of concern for L&D should be this. If you can create a programme that curates digital learning targeted at specific performance needs, what does that mean for the role of L&D? It’s a way off yet, and it’s not too much of a stretch to believe this could be the case.
It’s on the horizon, folks. It’s not going to make L&D redundant any more so than any other business function – which is to say every business function will fundamentally look different in the next 10 years as this tech becomes more accepted in business operations.
Social media is still in its infancy as a technology. In it’s current form (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), we’re only just seeing how these are maturing and what they actually do for human communication. The ubiquity of this technology in daily life is causing much angst and much opportunity. Most organisations are still reluctant to introduce a social network into their organisations to enable open sharing and communication.
We can’t be blind to using social networks in L&D programmes. It’s less about which platforms are the right ones to go with, and more about having a better understanding of what social networks enable as a learning tool. That’s the question to be answered. Once you can answer that, you’ll understand how to design a learning solution where the social network element of it adds value to the learning experience in abundance.
For my money, mixed reality has more to offer than virtual reality. Mixed reality is overlaying digital assets on top of actual reality. What does that mean? Imagine wearing a headset as you navigate your way round an actual room / environment of work. The tech then overlays the actual objects with digital assets you can interact with. On the blank wall, you suddenly have a canvas for holding a creativity session with multiple other users. You screenshot as you go along, saving iterations as you go along. The escalator service is broken down and an engineer calls a colleague to help troubleshoot the problem. The colleague accesses the blueprints of the build and digitally enhances the problem at hand via the headset. Together they resolve the issue.
This is going to be seriously fascinating as it develops further, and presents a huge crisis of identity for L&D. If people learn on the job, with no involvement of a learning professional, then what exactly are L&D meant to be supporting that individual with?
Micro–learning isn‘t a thing
I don’t even know what micro-learning is meant to be. Is it meant to describe videos? Is it meant to be a business-friendly term so that people feel they’re making better use of their time and being more productive? Is it meant to be about a quick insight into performance improvement?
Here’s the thing. As an element of a learning solution I get the idea. Give people a tool or a resource or a something to help them do their job better. It doesn’t need a fancy name. It’s not the next silver bullet of learning solution design. If it makes sense to do something responsive with technology then do it. All power to you.
E–learning isn‘t done with yet
Last week the good people at GoodPractice held an event to share their research that 500 managers believe e-learning has value for performance and learning at work. It’s a surprising insight. Mostly because so many of us are aware of how poorly most e-learning is designed. Actually if you take a company like GoodPractice they produce highly engaging and relevant e-learning content that’s miles better than old click forward approaches.
But it means L&D need to better understand many principles of good e-learning design including: UX, instructional design, action mapping and length of time needed for content consumption.
Data and Analytics
This is going to be huge. Imagine this. You have a workforce of 10,000 people. From your HR system and LMS you can pull off data that tells you things like:
- Length of service before someone leaves broken down by job level
- What factors encourage them to stay
- Optimum time to full productivity
- The impact of sickness/absence on team performance
- At what point does a new manager actually benefit from training?
- What mix of learning solutions actually improve performance for different roles?
- What mix of learning solutions actually improve knowledge and performance for business needs?
- What is the right length of a learning solution based on each kind of solution?
That data is presently available. In most cases we don’t yet know how to mine that data, how to collect it, how to analyse it, and make smart business decisions based on it. Those sets of skills aren’t massively present in the development of an L&D professional. Genuinely I wouldn’t know where to begin myself.
All social networks have video tech available. It’s become easier to produce videos than ever before. LinkedIn Learning (via Lynda.com technology) have changed the way we think about accessing learning. It’s there, present, accessible and easy to use. Mostly the content is pretty good too. Video Arts have nailed providing highly valuable and humorous learning insights through digital technology.
It’s not just about providing pre-existing content through a platform. It’s about understanding ways in which video can be used to deliver learning solunions in ways you can’t through other means.
Oh, and don’t listen to people who evangelise that video content for learning has to be a certain length. Valuable content will keep people engaged regardless of length. Produce the right content, not the right length of video.
That’s it for now. As ever I’m keen for a debate and discussion to be had about the above.