2014: Business Strategy, Predictive Analysis, Game Changers
Where are you headed in 2014? Where will new thinking about learning lead you? What new pathways and resources will the latest research about learning open for you? Will you stay completely with the traditional didactic teaching models, or will you leverage the new mathetics: informal, social, game-based, and self-directed learning?
In this article, I suggest some ideas about the ways you might consider responding to these questions. The suggestions also contain links to past articles in Learning Solutions that offer specifics. You can be sure that we will continue to publish content here that will bring you both meat-and-potatoes basics and leading edge ideas from research and from your fellow eLearning practitioners.
Do you have to make a choice?
You might think there are two ways to proceed and succeed with eLearning execution in 2014.
- You can keep doing things the way you have been doing them—whatever that way is: ADDIE, SAM, or Agile for development, structured delivery with practice, testing, and feedback—but looking to improve your process and your results by doing a better analysis of the performance problem and the business results, and by incorporating what research is telling us about the way people learn, change behavior, and grow.
- You can move forward by leveraging the game changers that are coming to us daily, and integrating them into your business and training strategies so that you connect to and improve the performance of your organization’s human-capital management efforts.
I called them “two ways,” but both are really parts of one systematic process. The best path is to do both. The only way to go wrong, in my opinion, is to simply keep going with your default recipe, never looking at your options. Consider that there may well be a better way to determine and respond to the needs of the business, the needs of the learner, and the needs of the development team with regard to effectively supporting both the business and the learner.
Keeping up with the pace of change
Keeping up isn’t only about tools, although tools are surely important. We have an enormous variety of authoring tools, graphics tools, video tools, social-media tools, and more. Joe Ganci’s retrospective review of tools will appear on Monday, December 30 to help you review much of the inventory. You can also look at all the individual tool reviews and press releases we have published in the past year.
In some ways, picking the best tool for the job you have to do will be the easiest part of succeeding in 2014. Before you start tool selection, though, here are some bigger challenges to think about:
- Modifying your approach to include a front-end analysis (FEA), so that you identify the job correctly. Remember that the purpose of an FEA isn’t to determine what kind of training is needed. An FEA helps you determine the problem(s), whether they are training, incentive, or organizational problems, and points the way to an optimum solution.
- Training is not necessarily the solution. Sometimes it’s job design, performance support, documentation, supervision, or even hiring decisions. Most often, it’s a combination.
- Learning the language of business, especially that of human capital management and the disciplines within it, particularly talent management.
- Learning how to accurately predict the likely outcomes of training and other performance improvement initiatives; ROI is still important to understand, but predictive analytics is even more important to senior managers and CEOs these days, especially when you are making your case.
- Changing or improving your design process to better identify what it will take to produce the desired business outcomes.
- Better understanding how learning happens.
- Integrating social learning and performance support into the architecture of your design strategies and delivery.
- Understanding the character of mobile learners and how they are using mobile devices, including gestures and the way learners hold devices.
Remember to look particularly into ways to leverage these four game changers (yes, they are included in the list above, but they are important enough to bear repeating):
- Mobile learning/BYOD
- Predictive analytics
- Performance support
Have a Happy New Year!
Success in 2014 won’t be about tools or technology or infrastructure, although all of those are important and we must master them. Success in the coming year will arrive as it always has, with a foundation in good design that supports the organization’s business strategy and leverages the available game changers. Above all, your success will depend on a well-executed analysis of business outcomes and the obstacles that prevent your organization from reaching them.
For more information contact: www.eFOURlearning.com
Article originally published in Learning Solutions Magazine