Training Technology: Power & Potential
FROM THE PRESIDENT – David Fortanbary
We can plan a learning experience that, like the rising tide, lifts all boats.
Those of us who have been in training for a while have seen firsthand the growth of learning technology. We’ve seen it appear on the scene as a new tool, watched it become a must-have way to augment the classroom and we have witnessed it grow into the preferred training tool both in and out of classrooms. Even previous training devices – blackboards, notepads, projectors – have been tech-enabled.
Think about it. Today we have platforms that enhance learning experiences and programs. We have tools that enable delivery of microlearning lessons to whole libraries of resources. Learning technology helps us deliver, assess and develop training. And technology helps us track learning engagement, involvement and applications of training. The entire gamut of the learning experience is fueled by technology.
That’s a good thing, of course. The cost savings of technology allows us greater reach, greater involvement, greater abilities to connect, share and grow. Today’s trainers are tech savvy professionals who can move seamlessly from a classroom full of new hires to one-on-one coaching with an executive on the other side of the world. The opportunities are truly endless.
It’s true that technology meets us where we live, and in a business setting it helps us more personally serve our learners, more effectively meet their specific needs and more efficiently make them partners in their own development. Together we plan learning experiences that, like the rising tide, lifts all boats.
For a recent project here at UCB, I helped put together a series of questions to consider when assessing training technology to enhance the learning experience:
- Does the solution present a personalized experience for workers (e.g., an activity feed, tiles, paths)?
- Does the solution help to aggregate and curate content from multiple sources?
- Does the solution track and store multiple types of learning and/or work activities and experiences involving both internal and external content and websites?
- Can the solution give users more control over their own individual development?
- Does the solution support nontraditional career and learning paths?
- Does the system support social interaction, collaboration and sharing?
- Does the solution integrate well with multiple platforms, content sources, resources and business applications?
- Does the system support content search?
- Can the solution present content on mobile devices (e.g., via responsive websites, apps, hybrid solutions)?
- Does the solution provide badges or gamebased elements such as leaderboards?
- Can the solution make recommendations or feedback via an artificial intelligence engine, crowdsourcing or other functionality?
- How is integration handled with other systems and with other applications via API?
As training tools go, there’s no denying the potential power of technology. While the classroom – in whatever form – will always have a place, learning technology offers opportunities that we simply must embrace.
David Fortanbary is president of LTEN and head of U.S. performance training for UCB. Email David at David.Fortanbary@ucb.com.