DeLuca Training

Is it the content or how it’s presented?

…that seems like the obvious answer. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t seem like that’s always the case.

We participated in a meeting a few days ago on mobile learning. The people around our ‘virtual table’ were shocked that they could only have 160 – 200 ppi for resolution on mobile devices. “What about movies?” they cried! “What about FLASH®?” They shouted! “We can’t deliver engaging or interesting training without graphics! Who will watch it?” “What do you mean that FLASH® doesn’t work on the Mac?”

Mute can be a really good thing sometimes…

These people demonstrated an interface that looked like a web page from 1985 and took way too long to load. They discussed how clever they had been in designing an icon, a title and a series of links to movie…

View original post 361 more words

Advertisements

What’s critical in planning for mobile or e Learning?

Is it the content or how it’s presented?

…that seems like the obvious answer. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be. It doesn’t seem like that’s always the case.

We participated in a meeting a few days ago on mobile learning. The people around our ‘virtual table’ were shocked that they could only have 160 – 200 ppi for resolution on mobile devices. “What about movies?” they cried! “What about FLASH®?” They shouted! “We can’t deliver engaging or interesting training without graphics! Who will watch it?” “What do you mean that FLASH® doesn’t work on the Mac?”

Mute can be a really good thing sometimes…

These people demonstrated an interface that looked like a web page from 1985 and took way too long to load. They discussed how clever they had been in designing an icon, a title and a series of links to movie and image files – all of it a “small” version of what they’d developed on high resolution, high powered gaming computers.  To test it, they had to send the materials to someone with a Blackberry to see what it “looked like”.

I think somewhere along the line our instructional expertise has been hijacked by the desire to entertain and compete with what we could do, if we wanted to and had the budget.

Here’s my question. If we’re focused on the content, is it just corporate America that’s missed the opportunity to design learning that’s based on the learning objectives and appropriate for a small device? Isn’t that why Apple is making so much progress in the market? iPhone, iPod and iPad apps are designed specifically for the size and scope of that device. Apps for the blackberry and other smart phones are the same. Neat little tools that give us immediate access to what we want. That’s the paradigm that needs to be encouraged in learning development at the corporate level. It is possible to capture the imagination of the learner, teach the right skills – based on a well defined instructional design.

You wouldn’t design written or reference materials the same as you would for web based program delivery – would you? These are two different learning experiences. As an instructional designer you’d want to leverage the unique qualities of each and make decisions about what’s included based on the efficacy of the material and the delivery method. That doesn’t mean it isn’t compelling or engaging but it doesn’t always have to sing or dance.

Mobile learning is a great idea. It takes  advantage of available technology and puts it directly in the hands of the people who need and want it. It’s the audiotape learning from days gone by so that sales people could learn while they spent what they still call ‘windshield time’. Ever listen to an audio book to kill time while you drive? It makes sense and fits into how people live and work now.

So what can we do differently at 160 ppi that makes use of the format on behalf of the learner?

What’s critical in planning for mobile or e Learning?

Technology and learning – it’s why you use it and how

 

As trainers and teachers we have access to a diverse and fascinating set of emerging training tools. In fact, technology has raised the bar and asks us to take another look at how we design and develop courseware. In a whirl of advances, new ways to deliver training have unfortunately diverted our attention from the knowledge and skills we have to share. It’s dizzying – or it can be. We need to look at how to leverage technology so that it makes sense, so that it enhances the experience and does not become an obstacle for the instructor or for the learner. Virtual classrooms are a good example. Virtual Classrooms can maintain the instructor/learner relationship more closely to traditional classroom learning but to be effective the trainer and learner must use a number of web based tools.

Different from “webinars” or “talking head” lunchtime programs popular in the business world in which the learner listens passively to a subject matter expert virtual classrooms are interactive.

Virtual classrooms allow for active participation, can focus on more complex skills, and offer the opportunity to discuss and practice within a managed environment. This format also enables an interactive “hands on” for both instructor and learner. An obvious benefit is that a global organization can bring together learners from different divisions and locations without the added expense of travel. Less obvious is that by using virtual classroom technology, a company of any size can better position their employees to learn from and use technology to communicate in a more fluid and productive way.

Virtual classroom training not only crosses cultures and time lines, but also reinforces the ability to dialogue with one another and with the trainer in real time. As in face-to-face learning this increases the awareness of content and encourages immediate processing, questions and answers. This approach helps to empower the learners through enabling more and varied types of testing, both formal and informal to replace the standard multiple choice test. Virtual classrooms can include lecture, discussion, demonstrations, hands on practice and independent study labs.

So, what does it take? It takes a shared web portal or secured environment such as Live Meeting, WebEx or Adobe Connect. The trainer needs high speed internet, a separate phone line, webcams and then all of the same tools we use in the classroom. Engaging visuals, learning journals, handouts, games and activities that reinforce learning and make it stick. Next time, I’ll outline what content makes sense such as technical and soft skills training along with some tips and tricks to managing in this space.

There are endless possibilities for both the trainer and the student. Active participation is crucial. We have the technology; let’s use it to ensure a solid return on our investment in training dollars. Virtual classroom technology is not something to fear, like the old teachers ruler – but it’s not going to make bad training great!

Technology and learning – it’s why you use it and how

Hello world!

My very first blog. Edit or delete it? I guess I’ll edit it. And keep it simple. For everyone who already blogs, you’ll maybe appreciate the doorway I’m stepping through. Here’s hoping it’s everything it can be and that I share things of value. Tonight I’m intriqued by Obama’s talk with Iran. It’s an interesting approach. A level of propaganda we’ve not seen in this country in a very long time. Speaking to the heart and hope of a people angry and weary of war. I haven’t read the reactions to it yet, but I plan on doing so. It’s long past time in my opinion to take these people on in a variety of ways. To let them know that we think they exist and have opinions. I wonder about the debate (among men) in the cafe’s of Tehran and behind closed doors (among women) tonight.

Hello world!