Archive | Technology RSS for this section

Game on? The use of gamification in e-learning.

by Sarah Sweeney, Marketing Assistant at Aurion Learning.

SQUARE imageMany HR and L&D professionals face the problem of ensuring that their training and learning programmes maintain learner engagement and motivation. Gamification has been regularly recognised as an opportunity to help solve this problem.

In this post, we consider whether gamification can enhance the learning experience. Before we consider if it is game on for gamification in learning, it is necessary to look at what gamification essentially is.

What is Gamification?

Games and game like components have been invading the learning realm for quite some time now. Although its definition differs, for the most part, gamification in learning is the use of game mechanics to ‘gamify’ content to engage and entice users by encouraging and rewarding use.

Although Nick Pelling first coined the term “gamification” in 2002, it has actually been around for some time – 40 years in fact, with many organisations already using features in their work from video games.

Indeed, it can be said that loyalty programs, target-based bonuses and employee-of-the-month schemes are all examples of how gamification as an incentive to growth has been around for a long time too.

Examples of gamification in learning include:

  • Training: technology giants, Microsoft use gamification to train users of Microsoft Office on how to use the new ribbon interface effectively.
  • Education: New York based school – Quest to Learn, advocates game-based learning to make education more engaging and relevant to children.
  • Employee productivity: Management tool Arcaris uses gamification to improve productivity in call centres.

Now that we know what gamification is and where it is being used in learning, it is necessary to see whether it actually works.

Does Gamification in learning work?

The gamification of e-learning unquestionably presents unique possibilities for learning technologists as they explore additional ways to educate and importantly engage learners.

It is widely recognised that adding interactive activities in e-learning are no longer optional extras, but essential to effective learning. However, it is important that the addition of game like elements into the e-learning programme are only applied in the context of the programme that allow the learner the opportunity to apply their retained knowledge to live situations, rather than distract and dazzle learners with wizardry from the overall learning goal.

Frequently, my social media feeds are inundated with social games, although irritating at times, there is no escaping the surge in popularity of online gaming and social media. The site, DevHub, reported an eightfold increase in the number of users completing their sites after adding gamification elements to the process. If there was any indication that the gamification was a fad, according to research from M2 it’s here not only stay, but increase in its use.

The global market for gamification apps and services will grow to $2.8 billion by 2016.”

The enthusiasm for gamification has however met with some criticism. Game designers Radoff and Robertson have criticised gamification for excluding aspects like storytelling, an important element of learning. Whilst university researcher Deterding, has argued that current approaches to gamification create an artificial sense of achievement.

What does the successful application of gamification in e-learning look like?

  1. Gamification isn’t about games, but the learners.
  2. It isn’t about knowledge but behaviour.
  3. It extracts the motivational techniques out of games and uses them for life-applicable learning.
  4. It allows quick feedback of progress and communications of goals that need to be accomplished.

Gamification is made appealing for e-learning because of our human tendencies.  On the whole, we generally enjoy actively participating engaging and competing with others. Gamification allows learners to connect and learn together with playful applications and incentives, particularly when there are engaging game design elements used.

Today’s learners are however no longer placated with trivial reward systems but rather sophisticated experiences that hold real value. Organisations embracing the gamification in learning can stand to see learners more engaged and retain more information, but only if it is applied aptly to the e-learning programme, achieving the overall core learning objectives.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Training for Success: Learning and Technology Trends

e-Learning Concept. Computer KeyboardSix out of ten learning and development managers say their training budget is one of the first to be cut when times are hard, according to a report published in Personnel Today. Now more than ever it’s vital that training is closely aligned with key business goals, that the effectiveness of training is properly evaluated and that return on investment is accurately measured.

But no one can deny that workplace training has changed. Where once the role of the training manager focused on developing classroom based programmes, scheduling events, measuring effectiveness, and reporting on attendance and performance after events, it’s now much more about harnessing the best learning technologies to provide access to information and learning content.

Training managers need to be solutions architects – capable of designing innovative ways for employees to access relevant knowledge, on-demand, no matter where they are. And they need to keep up-to-date with the latest learning developments, to guarantee success.

Here we examine some of the top trends in learning and technology that influence modern workplace training, and that we utilise to support our clients.

1. 70/20/10 Model of learning

The most effective way to facilitate workplace learning is by giving workers opportunities to develop, apply and practice new skills and behaviours on the job and in real-life situations. Many organisations have adopted the 70/20/10 learning philosophy, whereby:

  • 70% of learning & development takes place on the job, through tasks, experiences and problem-solving;
  • 20% of learning & development comes through feedback, learning and sharing with others (formal and informal); and
  • 10% of learning takes place via formal training, study and reading.

Recognition of the 70/20/10 approach means that the entire learning environment is changing from:

  • knowledge delivery to knowledge sharing and problem-solving;
  • formal and structured training to free flow of knowledge;
  • individuals to learning communities; and
  • training courses to learning environments (offline and online).

* 70/20/10 concept developed by McCall, Eichinger and Lombardo
2. Convergence of learning, performance and talent management

Businesses are beginning to seek enterprise wide solutions where they can unite the functionality of a learning management system (LMS) (e-learning, classroom training, reporting & tracking, certification & assessment) with a performance management system (performance appraisals, performance management, career & success planning, competency management) and talent management system (on-boarding, talent acquisition, compensation management, workforce planning).
3. Learning technologies are becoming social, collaborative, and virtual

Google, LinkedIn, twitter, YouTube, wikis, blogs all contribute to modern workplace learning. Live training is often virtual and facilitated via tools such as Skype, GotoTraining and WebEx.

4. The rise of mobile learning

It’s been mentioned before, but has been slow to be adapted in many organisations. Mobile or mlearning is about delivering learning content and experiences to learners when and where they need it. Typically mlearning is accessed via a mobile device such a smart phone or tablet – it’s particularly useful for performance support – checklists, quick guides, short ‘how-to’ videos.

5. The rise of DIY rapid elearning

More and more organisations want to be able to create their own e-learning to build in-house capabilities, save money and time. Demand for Aurion’s rapid eLearning training course has tripled over the last two years. Training staff want to know how to use the best rapid authoring tools to create their own e-learning and gain an understanding of e-learning theories and strategies.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates. 

7 Questions You Must Ask Before Purchasing an LMS

by Gavin Woods, Client Account & Sales Manager 

The right learning management system (LMS) can be a powerful tool that empowers your learners and your learning team, and brings real tangible benefits to your organisation. But it’s essential you buy the right solution for your organisation.

In this presentation, Gavin Woods outlines 7 key questions you must ask before purchasing a learning management system (LMS).


GRAPHENE vs Microchips – Your Days are Numbered

by Glynn Jung 

Grapene carbon monolayer.

Grapene carbon monolayer. The discovery of graphene results in a Nobel prize for Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov in 20

Now here’s an admission: when I joined IBM’s Research Labs back in the autumn of 1969 we were designing the next generation of computers on valve computers the size of a Town Hall. Some of the machines I worked on had 10 printers, each the size of a Ford Ka. At an astonishing pace we exploited each latest machine to design the next technology, ever smaller ever faster and typically designed to do things that people didn’t know they wanted to do.

Smaller, lighter, faster … at the heart of this was chip technology, firstly silicon chips, then by 2005 carbon nanotube technology (silicon proving too expensive and generating dangerous levels of heat.

We regularly see startling results of chip technology on News programmes, not just computers, cameras, iPhones and iPads, car computers, airplane systems etc., etc…..  implants to help people operate prosthetic limbs, to help the blind see (currently blurry) images, to operate in hospitals with micro-surgery and non-invasive techniques.

So it’s pretty startling to find that in 10 years’ time the use of chips may start to decline, along with the technology currently used in touch-screen devices – INDIUM.

Here’s the story … Indium stocks will run out within 10 years and there’s manufacturing limits for chip technology. Imagine if you can, a material, 2 molecules thick, which can conduct thermal energy, contain the same logic and electronic functions as chips, is very strong, lets light through it (so can be used in windows, spectacles – whatever. Picture if you can this material being so versatile it can be embedded into both the finest and the most rugged of clothing.

This stuff (that’s the technical word) exists and it is called GRAPHENE.

In a special research facility, with the catchy name of “Centre for Graphene Science”, the combined knowledge of the Universities of Exeter and Bath have stirred up the scientific community with the release of their technology “GraphExeter”. Maybe they could use some help with branding?

Here’s what people have been saying:

http://www.globalscientia.com/article/united-kingdom/nano-materials-technology/new-graphene-based-material-could-revolutionize

http://www.gizmag.com/graphexeter-ito-alternative/22344/

http://www.ecouterre.com/graphene-based-conductive-material-could-revolutionize-wearable-tech/

http://www.computescotland.com/silicene-and-graphexeter-5243.php

Now, despite all the hyperbole about interactive books, mobile learning, ePub, Augmented Reality, Virtual worlds the way people learn hasn’t changed a great deal over the past 50 years.

Some of the techniques used in digital classrooms – High Definition IWBs with student polling, with visualisers and 3D modelling (e.g.  Virtalis and AutoDesk) – are gradually being looked at by corporate trainers (adopted is too strong a statement) but there are infrastructure issues, portability and cost concerns. If we can imagine a fully interactive version of an IWB that you could roll up or fold, which could be made from multi-layer Graphene (essentially reconstructed graphite …. the stuff in pencils) it could change the scene of learning. Having just seen how Google hope to use Augmented Reality in their “Project Glass”, I wonder about the ability to provide Graphene- coated glasses (or clip-on lenses) for training or enhanced safety in dangerous environments… using Augmented Reality and QR codes.

What about diagnostic manuals and study guides made of paper with Graphene sheets, so you could have interactive tutorials, links to resources like the ones you’ll find in the Khan Academy, tutor hotlines etc…..

So I’ll leave you with one final news item:

http://www.psfk.com/2012/05/wearable-electronics.html

%d bloggers like this: