On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your organization’s learning strategy in terms of innovation? Is your group regularly searching for new ways to extend the ability to train employees to be smarter? Do you seek new technologies and new approaches?
Here are examples from five learning leaders who are embracing innovative technologies.
1. Orkin: Authoring Tools. We know great online learning content is created using sound educational principles coupled with robust content-authoring tools. But robust tools do not have to be expensive and time-consuming to use. Pest control company Orkin is using a rapid development tool for e-learning called Flashform. R. David Hipsley of Orkin University made the decision to invest “a few hundred dollars rather than thousands for a learning content management system (LCMS) to expand the online curriculum dramatically and rapidly.”
2. Army Defense Ammunition Center: LMS/LCMS. The learning management system (LMS) and LCMS have been around for 10 years, but many have integrated more-innovative technologies. The Army Defense Ammunition Center (DAC) evolved from providing CD-ROM-based learning for dispersed personnel to a hosted enterprise-level learning suite that enables images, video, research studies and checklists to be handled as knowledge objects incorporated within the LMS/LCMS system from SumTotal. With the LMS in place, DAC significantly reduced the time and cost of readiness by rapidly developing, delivering, tracking and adapting critical learning and information. Once it creates instructional materials, the only recurring cost is the hosting and licensing fees. This means access to all of DAC’s learning modules can be delivered at an annual cost of less than $20 per learner.
3. Valence Health: Collaboration Tools. The big news for emerging e-learning is the shift to collaboration tools and social software. Chicago-based Valence Health has implemented a collaborative Web-based environment for learning that involves team evaluation of risk. Using a tool from Facilitate.com, data collected from a survey are loaded into a conference and used as “seed material” in the workshop. During the workshop, the organization’s objectives are discussed, combining verbal communication with the software’s features. After discussion, participants use the software to rate the most important objectives for their organization to provide the focus of discussion for the rest of the facilitated workshop. Brainstorming functionality allows participants to add risks or comments. Using dual-criteria voting (significance and likelihood), as well as a quadrant-mapping feature, a graphical representation of the most critical risks is created for discussion.
4. University of Central Florida: Video. Video is regaining its popularity in today’s learning world, and new methods of creating video are more flexible and less expensive than traditional broadcasting. At the University of Central Florida (UCF), advanced video is being used for online learning using Adobe Visual Communicator.
“The video software is very straightforward and simple for faculty members who don’t have a lot of technical background,” said Michael Sheehe, a member of the UCF course development and Web services department. “Faculty without any prior knowledge can learn how to use it in less than 15 minutes.”
5. CityJet: 3-D Tools. When 3-D is used for learning, it can enhance simulations, emulations, gaming, animation, avatars and graphics. All allow learners opportunities to immerse themselves in a high-fidelity learning experience. CityJet, based in Dublin, Ireland, uses intelligent data capture (IDC) to produce sophisticated emulations to replicate cockpit events with 3-D modeling.
You might be asking yourself, “Now what?” CLOs seeking ways to incorporate innovative learning technologies can start by looking at the innovative features being incorporated into their current learning modalities.
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