Implementing technology into a training program is about choosing the right tools to engage the learners in your specific field. You have to consider the experiences that those learners have already had, and what they have learned from those experiences. Only then can you clearly define what they will need to know at the end of each respective training module. But what happens when you have learners from multiple generations on the same team? Life experiences for a Millennial are vastly different than those of a Baby Boomer. How do you address the generational difference between a tech-savvy employee and a veteran who is hesitant to embrace new learning technologies? Luckily, there are several options to appease learners regardless of their generation.
The following five instructional technologies are both intuitive for first-time users and engaging enough for the tech-savvy individual
Video has been with us since the advent of the television, and video streaming is particularly popular with Millennials. Sites like YouTube, Lynda.com, and Discovering Education are all popular streaming sites. People of all ages and backgrounds are familiar with watching videos (whether that’s streaming or live TV). So, using the video-based training method is sure to work with different ages of trainees. Video-based training can be accessed on demand as well, so if you have trainees that would like to go over the material again, it’s readily available and easy to access. It also saves on time and resources, because once you have the video completed, it can be viewed multiple times at your trainees’ leisure.
Mobile learning is any learning done on a mobile device. It can be in the form of an app, a video stream, or even an article or Power Point. In fact, mobile learning can even extend to wearable technology (things like Smartwatches or head-mounted displays). Once you pick your mobile learning platform(s), then you’re on to designing an effective strategy of content implementation and delivery.
According to Statista, worldwide smart phone use will steadily increase in the years to come. So, it makes sense to integrate some mobile learning into the equation. The nice thing about mobile learning is it can be accessed by your trainees at any time through the use of their mobile devices. Like video-based training, the advantage of mobile learning comes from easy accessibility. Regardless of where learners fit on the generational spectrum, everyone can get behind learning technology that is flexible and easy to access, and mobile learning excels on both fronts
Lots of training is done on a mandatory basis, which can be met with some resistance. This is where gamification can help. What if the training module were actually enjoyable or fun for the trainee? Everyone enjoys a good game, whether it’s a card game, board game, or video game. But gamification isn’t just about having fun, it’s about using the part of your learners’ brains that enjoys problem solving and presenting games and simulations to help make content more interactive and rewarding.
This blood-type game is a perfect example of gamification in action. The learner goes through and identifies the patient’s blood type. From their answers, the patient gives them feedback. This is an example of taking a concept and getting your learners to engage in an interactive way where they get real-time feedback from their answers.
For example, say you have a lecture set up on a specific topic dealing with pulling in new clients for a sales team. Instead of just having them read up on information and answer a series of multiple-choice questions with a specific percentage for passing, get them to participate as a class and answer the questions using an online polling technology.
Microlearning is more than just bite-sized training – it’s focused training. It’s not just blocks of content, either. Microlearning takes different elements and combines them into one, easy-to-understand chunk of engaging learning content that uses rich media to make that content easier to retain. The nice thing about microlearning is that you can combine different elements (like gamification) into the digestible piece of content.
Think of reading a book without the chapters or subheadings of any kind. It would be overwhelming blocks of text on each page, with only paragraphs of separation throughout the entire thing. Microlearning works like short chapters and subheadings in a textbook. Microlearning takes a large amount of content and breaks it down into bite-sized pieces that make it easier for learners to consume.
Learning Management System (LMS)
An LMS is a technology platform where the user can take content in various forms (text, video, audio, etc.) and place it into one sole location that the learner can access. It can also be used to track data, give grades, and run quizzes. Using an LMS takes a lot of the painstaking steps out of the equation. Implementing a tool like our Learning Portal, for example, can make things a lot easier because it’s automated. The framework is all there for you. All you need to do is drag, drop, and manipulate the items you want into your specific training. An LMS is user-friendly, while being design-friendly. The nice thing about using an LMS is you can build out your training all in one easy-to-use-and-implement piece. For example, you can integrate your videos, mobile learning, gamification, and microlearning all into one training module that is clean and intuitive to pick up. It’s also advantageous because it will appeal to the tech-savvy individual, and it will be clean and easy-to-use for learners who are technological novices. And it can all be accessed in one location, leading to less confusion with sign-in and sign-up for those uneasy with technology.
These are just a few of the technology choices available to appease the varying ages of your trainees. It’s best to think of your particular choice as a tool. In other words, what specific tool will get the job done? Because in the end, you want to implement a technology that helps your trainees demonstrate a new skill, or reinforce another one.
In the coming weeks, we will discuss more technology to help with your training integrations. We’ll be covering innovative things like AR/VR and AI along with some of what’s already been introduced, like gamification and mobile apps.