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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

5 Learning Tech Trends to Watch in the Next 5 Years by Karl M. Kapp

Photo: Karl M. Kapp
Karl Kapp, professor of instructional technology at Bloomsburg University writes, "Here is a list of five trends learning professionals should consider when mapping out strategies for the next five of years. It is important to note that trends are not isolated developments within the L&D community." 

Photo: Learning Technologies (blog)

Often they are the culmination, confluence, and convergence of technological innovation, discoveries or rediscoveries of learning science and a reaction to changes within the larger culture in which society operates.

For example, gamification has been made possible through a combination of mobile technologies, the application of the science of distributed practice and retrieval practice and the widespread adoption of mobile devices, as well as the result of a generation who has grown up playing video games entering the workforce and achieving positions of influence who want a little more excitement in their instructional content than merely a series of bulleted lists followed by a multiple choice quiz. When mapping out learning strategies for your organization, you need to carefully consider the elements of technology, learning science, and societal influences to ensure that you have a strategy that is on target, scalable, and meets the needs of your learners to help them achieve organizational goals and objectives. Let’s look at some of the trends that should be on your radar.

#1: Microlearning 
Microlearning is the concept of delivering content to learners in small, specific bursts over time or just when needed. This has led to short how-to-videos that last less than five minutes and to small text message-based instruction. This trend of providing “chunks” of content, instead of an hour-long course, is a result of several underlying factors.

The most critical of these factors is the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices and Internet access. Without these two elements, microlearning would not be possible. Then, add on the ability to stream video easily and quickly, the proliferation of text messaging services, and the neuroscience research supporting the concept of providing small bits of content over time to enhance learning, and you have a full-blown trend.

Microlearning is being used in almost all industries, including pharmaceutical, retail, and insurance, and it’s gaining momentum internationally. In fact, in a trip to China, I was told: “E-learning is dead in China, everything is mobile, instructor-led, or a combination but not delivered on a desktop or laptop.” Check out Google’s Primer as a great example. 

#2: Gamification  
Gamification is a large trend that appears to be growing in both use and acceptance. Using a combination of the science of motivation, distributed learning, and other neuroscience foundations, gamification takes advantage of game elements to engage learners. It is important to realize that this trend should focus on the engagement elements of games—and not necessarily just trying to make things “fun.”

The goal is actually engagement of learners, using the same engagement techniques that game designers use, such as story, immediate feedback, and the freedom to fail. Here is a blog post titled, Eight Game Elements to Make Learning More Intriguing, that explains how game elements can make learning more engaging.

Gamification, in spite of many critics, is not going away. I recently traveled to a large medical school that is aggressively in the process of implementing gamification throughout critical elements of its curriculum. Indeed, progressive companies are now integrating gamification into critical learning paths. 
Read more... 

Source: Learning Technologies (blog)

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