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Interesting virtual Learning seminar June 6-7

Posted by Anders Northeved on May 24, 2012

If you are interested in Learning and Learning Management Systems I would encourage you to take a look at IHR’s virtual seminar “Technology Enabled Learning” taking place June 6-7.

Participation is free and you can see more and register for the event here:

I am proud to say that for the second year running I have been asked to present at this seminar.
My presentation is on June 7, 11:00am EST and the title is:
“The Future of Learning Management Systems in a World Where Social and Mobile Learning Rules”.

Let me whet your appetite with some of the predictions for learning and Learning Management Systems in 2022 I’m going to make in my presentation:

  1. Standardized personal learning history will be a part of the SCORM standard
  2. The notion of “Social” and “Mobile” Learning has disappeared – it is taken for granted
  3. Social Learning communities will thrive
  4. Learning will take place across organizations and social sites will be the collaboration platform for organizational LMS
  5. More types of learning will be formalized and registered by back-office LMS functionality
  6. Active learner involvement will be the norm

Join if you want to hear why and how!

Hope to see you there.
Anders Northeved

Posted in learning | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Christmas is about sharing – and so is Learning

Posted by Anders Northeved on December 23, 2011

At this time of year we tell each other Christmas is about sharing.
In the rest of the year we should be aware the same applies to Learning.

In many organizations we are good at updating our Learning History whenever we take some form of training, whether it’s formal or informal. One of my friends even described how she received an application for a job where the recurring mandatory ethics training was listed….

So we are good at keeping our Learning History updated, but what about all the times when we learn something by teaching others?

I’m not talking about telling your colleague that the help button is on the top right of the screen. I’m talking about those situations where we are responsible for teaching others – and often finding we learn a lot ourselves during this process.

  • Have you been responsible for teaching your group how to create a new set of web pages?
  • Have you been responsible for helping a new employee get up and running?
  • Have you delivered an outstanding presentation and was asked to tell your group how you organized it?

…then hopefully you helped someone else, but I’m sure that YOU also learned a lot during the process.

So why not start adding this to your Learning History?

If your Learning History includes topics like “Was responsible for getting a new hire up and running in the HR department” or “Trained 12 colleagues how to create user friendly web sites”, then this says much more about your competences than a one-day course in “How to inspire your sales force” you slept through 3 years ago.

So  start telling your group – and yourself – to add relevant instances, where you were the teacher, to your personal Learning History.

This will raise the value of yourself and the people around you!

Merry Christmas
Anders Northeved

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Believing is NOT everything

Posted by Anders Northeved on September 25, 2011

Logic and hard facts are not always valued as much as they should be.

Oftentimes people believe that if they just “feel” or “think” something then reality shouldn’t really be taken into account…
I’m sure you all know examples where beliefs and feelings have substituted hard facts whether we are talking economy, environmental issues or politics.

– well, I can’t do much about that, but I can promote research and facts within my area of expertise: e-learning and content creation.

In e-learning and content creation a lot of people have a lot of (different) ideas on how to do certain things.

Therefore it was really refreshing to witness Saul Carliner from Concordia University in Canada talking about his findings about what is scientifically proven to work and what are just beliefs when it comes to Learning.
So here are some common beliefs in e-learning and content creation and whether there is scientific proof underneath or they are just that – beliefs.

If an instructor narrates an asynchronous learning program, you should not display the text of the narration at the same time. “  –  TRUTH!
This is supported by two empirical studies. Called modality effect, the duplicate message causes confusion in the system.  Instead, just use bullet points (like a Powerpoint slide).
My comment: I was surprised by this and will take notice of this in my future work.

Providing learners with control of the e-learning experience increases learning.”  –  MYTH!
No empirical evidence supports this point and 2 empirical studies support the opposite. As the extent of learner control increases, learning decreases except for a very small number of the most advanced expert learners.
My comment: This is what I have always said (without knowing if it was true…). We, as content producers, know how to structure the content in the best possible way and we should use this to help the learners learn in the most efficient way.

Because digital natives tend to multitask, we should incorporate multitasking into our designs for learning. “  –  MYTH!
No empirical evidence supports this and several empirical studies support the opposite.
Multitasking may not be as beneficial as it appears, and can result in a loss of concentration and cognitive ‘overload’ as the brain shifts between competing stimuli .
My comment: This is no surprise to me. I have never seen multitasking implemented in a meaningful way in e-learning.

“Young people of the digital native generation possess sophisticated knowledge of and skills with information technologies”  –  MYTH!
No empirical evidence supports this and several empirical studies support the opposite.
My comment: This is probably the most surprising fact for most people and could be used by older people to not give up on all the new gadgets and trends.

“Completion rates are highest for e-learning programs that have associated tangible impacts, such as certifications or compliance. “  –  TRUTH!
This is supported by research.
My comments: This is probably the least surprising fact and something many of our customers have been doing for years.

“As a business strategy, Training groups should transition from training dominated by formal programs to training dominated by informal learning efforts” – MYTH!
This is not supported by any research.
On the other hand research indicates that informal and formal learning interacts in important ways.
My comment: This underlines that both way of learning has its place and should be part of any learning strategy.

“Line drawings are more effective than photographs for teaching technical procedures.”  –  TRUTH!
This is supported by research.
People learn better from multimedia messages when extraneous words, pictures, and sounds are excluded rather than included.
My comment: Maybe only a small subject, but good to know if you are creating content yourself.

You can read more about this and Saul Carliner on http://education.concordia.ca/~scarliner/

Posted in learning, Uncategorized, web2.0 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Get tough on training!

Posted by Anders Northeved on April 18, 2011

Let me say “Sorry” in advance to all of you working with sales.
The following is not relevant to you, and the situation I describe here would of course never happen in your organization… 🙂

As a professional working with training there are two things you hear over and over again:
“You cannot measure the direct effect of training”
 “You cannot get sales people to spend time on training”

On a webinar the other day I heard a wonderful example that put these “truths” to rest:
A company had several different sales organizations.
The management and the training department had organized a number of different courses that would help the sales people perform on a higher level; better understand their customer’s needs and therefore help them to get happier customers – and reach their individual sales quota.

The issue was that only a few of these people actually took the training, and even though their feedback was very positive, the training didn’t really catch on.
The training department also found out that a lot of the sales managers didn’t want their people to “waist time on this training nonsense” and instead spend more time chasing new customers.

Even if this situation probably (hopefully…) is a little extreme compared to most organization, I guess it is something most training departments have encountered.
But if the situation was common, I think the training department’s solution was not only unusual but also “quietly brilliant” (to quote a well known mobile device company).

Just after the end of the company’s business year the training department ran a report on the number of hours each sales person had spend on training in the last year.
Then they got a report showing how each sales person had performed compared to their sales quota and then they put all of these numbers in one table – clearly showing the direct correlation between sales people not reaching their quota and not having spend time on training.

This table was sent to all sales managers and the COO.

Do I need to tell anybody that the following year the training department saw a big increase in attendance for their sales training…

What can we learn from this?
We can learn that it ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS pays to measure the outcome of the investment in training.
And we can learn that you often have to go outside the training department itself to find the results of your training. The last bit seems obvious, but is often forgotten.

Posted in learning | 1 Comment »

Now we can – but are we ready?

Posted by Anders Northeved on February 19, 2011

I will admit it – I’m a gadget and “new thing freak”.

If anything new is better, cooler … or just nearly as good compared to what I have, I have no problem convincing myself, my wallet and my surroundings that I simply MUST have it.

But not everyone is like this (probably a good thing) – and all of us working with developing new things; making existing products better; changing organizations or managing a group of people should be very aware of this!

Often when a new product or a new way of doing things becomes a success, we think it is because we are now able to do it from a technical or theoretical perspective.

But things only become a success when we are ready for it in our heads!
Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • Facebook became an overnight success because this kind of social software became available – WRONG (social software sites have been here for several years – anybody remembers MySpace?)
  • The Internet became a success because we made huge progress in network technology – WRONG (the Internet existed for several decades before anyone noticed)
  • e-learning became a success because we developed fantastic pedagogical principles and got the bandwidth to publish it – WRONG (e-learning lived for 20 years before becoming a widespread phenomenon)

These examples show us that until we are ready it doesn’t matter if we can.
Unfortunately I don’t have the recipe for deciding when someone is ready for something (would be worth a dollar or two…) but I still think this is important to think about when we are contemplating launching a new product or a new way of doing things.

So how can we use this realization in our daily lives?
Before launching something new try to put yourself in the place of whoever you are targeting.
How would you feel? Would you really like to buy it? Would you really like to upgrade to the new version? Would you really like to do things this new way?
If your gut feeling says “no”, then you might reconsider what you are doing, there might not be anything wrong with it – people might just not be ready!

PS: I’m happy to say that my gut feeling still tells me that our next new software release will be a huge success 😉

PPS: Don’t let this stop you from doing something new – good progress has made us what we are and we  need more of it – and for the more questionable items there are always us “new thing freaks”…

Posted in hr transformation, Innovation | 1 Comment »

Feb 21, 2012 – Are you ready?

Posted by Anders Northeved on January 26, 2011

According to phonecount.com on Feb 21, 2012 (give or take a couple of days I guess…) the number of connected phones will surpass the number of people living on Earth. For everyone that doesn’t have a phone, someone will have two.
Just think about what people would have said if you predicted this 10 or 20 years ago!
I’m sure this already has a profound impact on most people’s life in many ways, but let me just focus on the possibilities for corporate HR programs.

Self Service
Lots of organizations have ripped the benefits of Self Service in their HCM program.
The administrative work has gone down; the HR data are more accurate; it’s easier for the users to get access to information; the user acceptance has gone up and the cost has come down – all well and good if the employees have access to a computer…
But with more and more people having a mobile, we will see the benefits of Self Service come to a lot of areas where people do not have access to computers like retail, production and transport.

With the widespread availability of phones the management has got a new direct communication line to all of their employees.
Want your employees to know about a new product; a new initiative; reward someone; tell everyone how it’s going… a message on the mobile is the answer. 

It’s now possible to get feedback from your entire workforce whether they have access to a computer or not.

Using mobiles for education for people who would otherwise not have access to education has enormous potential.
I would even go so far as to say that the right use of mobiles for education for organizations with employees without access to a computer could be THE competitive advantage that would define whether an organization would be successful or not!

Even if I find these possibilities very exciting, I’m sure there are other areas that could be added to this list.
I would love to see your comments on what other topics within HCM that could be helped or advanced using mobile devices!

 (Photo by Brandon Hall)

Posted in communication, global, hr, HR Technology, learning, predictions | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Mobile Learning

Posted by Anders Northeved on November 18, 2010

(photo by Gary Woodill)

Some time ago I participated in a webinar by Dr. Gary Woodill from Brandon Hall on the topic Mobile Learning.

Mobile Learning is something we have all been talking about for a long time, but now it seems something is really happening in this field.

He defined a set of categories that will be important to the future of Mobile Learning.

Here is a list of the ones I find most interesting and relevant:

  1. User controlled learning apps – think Apple or Android Apps
  2. Micro-blogging and text messaging – Facebook, Twitter etc.
  3. Mobile research tools and data collection – geotag a picture of a rare flower taken with your mobile
  4. Trend tracking and analysis – HealthMap, Google etc.
  5. Just-in-time Information – your baker twitting when the bread is ready or the manual for your car build into the infotainment system
  6. Augmented reality – Learn about the architect when you point your GPS enabled and direction sensitive phone at an old building
  7. Contextual learning – personalized and location sensitive. Point your phone at a subway station and see when your train leaves
  8. User controlled media production – most phones and even an iPod have a build-in camera these days
  9. Performance support – a doctor operating a patient in a remote area guided by text messages from a colleague
  10. Social networking and communities – Facebook, Wikipedia
  11. Collaboration – made possible by the easy availability of communication devices
  12. Haptic feedback – think Nintendo Wii
  13. Self-organized collective behavior – think smart mobs e.g. recent demonstrations in Iran

To me they paint a very exciting new way of learning in the future – and they point to some interesting trends and truths in learning.

Often it is not technology that is limiting our possibilities but our minds
– only #6, #7 and #12 have been held back by technology – the rest is our minds catching up 

Learning gets embedded in our everyday life
– #2, #3, #5, #6, #7 and #10 are good examples 

The teacher is no longer always the focal point in future learning
– look at #1, #2, #8 and #12 

The old line between gathering information and learning becomes even more blurred in the future
– #2, #5, #6; #10 and #13 are examples of this 

Welcome to the new world of learning!

Posted in communication, learning, web2.0 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Keep blogging!

Posted by Anders Northeved on October 27, 2010

There are many good reasons why people blog.

If it is an internal blog it will promote knowledge sharing within your organization and help your organization perform better.

If it is an external blog you will promote your own organization and help other people understand and appreciate what you do.

It is one of the pieces in the puzzle of building your own brand as described in Ravi’s posting.

You get feedback from people on a topic you find interesting. So you are not only giving information but also receiving new perspectives on a topic that interest you.

It gives you a good feeling in your stomach and a boost for your self confidence knowing that you write something others are interested in reading.

And in general: If you have some piece of information you think others could benefit from – why not share it?

All these reasons – and probably a couple I’ve forgot – was what got me starting posting to different blogs in the first place.
Having done this for some time now I have found all of the above to be true, but I have also found that blogging brings one benefit I didn’t expect…

I have experienced that blogging makes you think longer – and harder – about the topics you blog on.
Whenever you think about something new or see things in a new light you might say to yourself: “This might be a topic for a posting” and then something interesting happens:
You start organizing things in your head, you start thinking about headlines and keywords and all of a sudden you have organized and articulated the topic in a much better way than if you had not wanted to create a blog on the topic.
Knowing other people are going to read, think and respond to what you write makes you think longer, harder – and better – and that can never be a bad thing!

So don’t despair if you only have one reader for your posting – you will still benefit from creating it.

Just realized that if I had not been posting on this blog the brainwave I got the other day while I was out running: “why do people blog?” would have stayed just that  – a brainwave.

Posted in collaboration, communication, community, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Real successes are invisible

Posted by Anders Northeved on October 15, 2010

Does your TV have colors? Of course.
But is it a “color TV”? – No, it’s just a TV. Today it is not even a flat panel TV, it’s just a TV.

What does this tells us?
If a product or feature becomes really successful it is taken for granted. No one talks about it, and if you didn’t know better you would think it had disappeared.
But our TV is flat and colorful, our toaster has a timer and the temperature in the living room is constant – without anybody mentioning it.

Some of us have been working with e-learning for a long time.
We always knew it worked, but it was still encouraging back then to hear the CEO of Cisco say that “e-learning would become more important than the Internet”.
Today no one talks about e-learning anymore. Does this means that e-learning has failed?
No, it means that e-learning has become so common that we don’t mention it anymore – we take it for granted.

 In her blog Karen O’Leonard (Bersin) gives some figures on the use of e-learning.
In 2009 33% of all training was taken on-line.
Let me just repeat this: 1 in 3 hours of corporate training was e-learning in 2009!

 Is this then as big as the Internet? – no, but if you had told people 10 years ago that 33% of corporate training hours would be e-learning in 2009, they would have thought you were crazy – or working in the industry 🙂

 So where is e-learning headed now?
Due to the cost effective nature and flexibility of the concept I’m sure we are heading towards at least 50% of all corporate training being done online.

 Everybody is talking about how social media can enhance training and learning.
I will explore this – and why gaming will never be a major factor in learning – in a couple of upcoming postings.

Posted in learning | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »