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Learning Trends: Highlights from the Masie 2011 Conference – Pt. 2

Learning Affordances
When technology provides additional capabilities for employees to do their work more efficiently, it allows us to think about the emerging technologies from the affordance perspective—rather than just the features or hype. For example, when designing for mobile devices, we want to think about a thin layer of programming, content, and productivity, on top of sophisticated technology. In other words, mobile learning becomes a layer of affordances at work. Let’s think about the possibilities for designing engaging learning experiences using haptic technology (which simulates the sense of touch) and ambient intelligence (electronic environments that are responsive to the presence of people). Here are the 4 Cs for adding affordance for learners:

1.     Content (look up, compare)
2.     Compute (calculate, estimate, input/output interactivity)
3.     Capture (photos, video)
4.     Connect (share, collaborate, troubleshoot)

Most of us like games. The reason? We like to compete and have fun. How can we integrate these two principles into our design? How do we create the thrill, engagement, and motivation involved in gaming? Think about “Gamification” as adding a design layer with game elements that allows learners to engage, interact, and share opportunities.

Example: The screen capture below is a sales simulation designed at Allen. “Gamification” elements include: video that tells the story and shows the consequences of learners’ decisions; the timeline with decisions points, and the four metrics that indicate the learner progress. This simulation was presented at a sales summit where the group was divided into smaller teams to complete the simulation and share the results.