Meet your new co-worker: a ‘cobot’

By Adriana Hamacher

Screeching, scary headlines along the lines of “Robots are taking our jobs!” mask a real trend that is emerging: collaborative robots, AKA cobots, which augment, rather than remove, human labour. Compact and highly-flexible, cobots are designed to work safely alongside humans, as opposed to behind a barrier or inside a cage. They are among the fastest growing segments in the robotics market and global sales are expected to reach $3.3 billion in just five years, according to one estimate. So we’ll be seeing a lot more of them very soon.

So what are the implications for the humans who have to learn how to work with these cobots? Continue reading


How L&D can help line managers to support learning

By Duncan Barrett

website_blog_300x170While many organisations are looking at how best to support a culture of learning and meet the needs of self-directed learners, many are still dealing with the challenge of engaging employees around content that needs to be delivered and understood by its workforce, whether for compliance or operational reasons.

For L&D teams facing this challenge, the most important ally must surely be the line manager.

We explore these themes in our webinar: Learning in the Line: L&D, line managers & the self-directed learner 

Line managers form a silent (or not so silent) army of support that is ready, willing and able to guide their teams in meeting the challenges of uncertainty and complexity that are sweeping through the world of work as we know it … Well – something along those lines!

In truth, line managers are pulled in multiple directions to meet the needs of the organisation as well as their team.

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11 ways to empower the self-directed learner

By John Helmer

Graphic ident for research report Me Time: Empowering the Self-Directed Learner Recently our Head of Transformation, Rachel Cook, contributed a piece to this blog about how changes in the pattern of employment are shaking up the employer/employee relationship. One of the most interesting aspects of Rachel’s work for us was how these changes ­– momentous enough to get analysts talking in terms of a ‘fourth industrial revolution’ – are highlighting the phenomenon of the self-directed learner.

Aware that this is a source of much debate for the learning and development clients we work with, and in many cases a pain point, we wanted to know more.

We reached out to our research partners, Towards Maturity, for help in investigating this phenomenon, and commissioned a report written by Peter Williams, editor of e.learning age entitled Me Time: Empowering the Self-Directed Learner that you can download for free. The findings were fascinating. Continue reading


L&D skills gaps the chief barrier to progress in learning analytics

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Learning Analytics theme with graphs, etc. in a thought bubbleCapability gaps, and a historical culture of not evaluating training, are seen as major barriers to success in learning analytics for L&D. Learning analytics offers L&D a wealth of new opportunities it was found, but our Think Tank delegates identified nine key challenge areas.

Lumesse Think Tank events are held with an invited group of L&D leaders, who discuss issues in learning under Chatham House rules. Contributing to this debate were delegates from the worlds of finance, logistics, FMCG, mining, pharmaceuticals, professional services and commodities trading.

Download a highlights report of the whole discussion.

And for a deep dive into the section on challenges, read on as we address the following question:

Where are the biggest challenges/barriers for L&D in learning analytics?

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Learning analytics: 8 opportunities for L&D

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Learning Analytics theme with graphs, etc. in a thought bubbleLearning analytics offers L&D a wealth of new opportunities to increase the effectiveness of training and to be better aligned with organisational goals in today’s data-driven business environment. Our Think Tank delegates identified eight key opportunity areas.

Lumesse Think Tank events are held with an invited group of L&D leaders, who discuss issues in learning under Chatham House rules. Contributing to this debate were delegates from the worlds of finance, logistics, FMCG, mining, pharmaceuticals, professional services and commodities trading.

Download a highlights report of the whole discussion.

And for a deep dive into the section on opportunities, read on as we address the following question:

Where are the biggest opportunities for L&D in learning analytics?

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Is L&D ready for learning analytics?

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Learning Analytics theme with graphs, etc. in a thought bubbleLearning professionals are reaching out beyond their traditional data sources and methodologies to embrace a new world of learning analytics. However, innovation is sporadic and held back in many organisations by a historical culture of not evaluating effectively (if at all).

This was just one of a number of fascinating insights that arose from our latest Think Tank dinner.

We assembled an invited group of L&D leaders to discuss these issues in a three-part discussion held under Chatham House rules. Contributing to the debate were delegates from the worlds of finance, logistics, FMCG, mining, pharmaceuticals, professional services and commodities trading.

Download a highlights report of the discussion.

But for those who want a deep dive into the first part of this fascinating discussion, read on, as we address the following question:

Part 1: What examples can we see of organisations using learning analytics and insights in new ways?

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Three mobile trends that are changing learner expectations

By Duncan Barrett

LG8_ident_300pxLast year we passed an important milestone. In 2015, more people accessed the internet through mobile devices than through desktop, laptop and other connected services combined. These are US figures for mobile trends, but the global picture is not much different – and what this tells us is that we are now beyond asking whether mobile is important. We know it’s important.

The more critical question for organisations is how to deal with this new situation – how they optimise the products and services they offer to meet the new expectations this rapid and enthusiastic adoption of mobile technology has produced among consumers.

And for ‘consumers’, read ‘learners’. Remember, learners are consumers too (they don’t automatically morph into some different type of lifeform when they slip on a corporate lanyard). Learners whose expectations are changing.

The expectation is they will be able to do everything they want to do online irrespective of their location, or the device they are using. And when it comes to content engagement, the giants of technology such as Facebook and Google have shaped expectations that make them more intolerant than ever of a poor user experience.

The result is, we are seeing behavioural and technological shifts that will have an increasing impact, going forward, on how and when an employee’s learning and development takes place.

So, to get more specific, what are the three key mobile trends that are shaping the way learners expect to interact with content?

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Adaptive learning is not a blue-sky technology

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate adaptive learning course authoringGiven some of the hype-driven media coverage, you might be forgiven for thinking that adaptive learning is one of those blue-sky, might-come-soon technologies you need a masters in machine learning to understand.

But you’d be wrong. Adaptive learning is a right-here, right-now technology. True, at the very high end, there are some heavyweight AI-driven systems (with correspondingly heavyweight price-tags) in the space. But the ability to create content that adapts to the learner’s needs is becoming increasingly mainstream. In fact, you can do it yourself.

That’s right: you don’t even need to get your development partner to build it for you. With an authoring tool like CourseBuilder 8, in-house development teams can create learner-adaptive content of considerable sophistication right now.

The benefits of adaptive learning are easy to understand. Sven Ove Sjølyst , our very own CourseBuilder guru, lists them in this slideshare, and shows how you can use CourseBuilder’s powerful ‘branching’ capability to personalise learning to the individual learner.

Based on a pre-test, several different types of adaptivity can be built into a course:

  1. Role-specific – learners get only the learning appropriate to their role or level
  2. Scaffolding based on level – learners are presented with a selection of learning from different levels, based on their role
  3. Scaffolding based on results – a bad fail on a quiz within the learning that might indicate significant knowledge gaps, will cause different screens to be presented of lower level knowledge
  4. Free play – the learner decide the order, accessing content in their own time and in the order they prefer to do it
  5. JIT – content can be presented ‘just-in-time’ according to need at that specific moment, and fully searchable

This last type of adaptability is especially appropriate for learning accessed on a mobile device. CourseBuilder 8 supports mobile learning, but also learning across all devices, including desktop and tablet as well, for a true omnichannel experience.

To find out more about how you can create adaptive learning with CourseBuilder – or to book a free demo – drop us a line on learning@lumesse.com.

 


What motivates self-directed learners?

By Richenda Sabine

Graphic of carrot on a stick to illustrate motivating self-directed learnersWhat motivates you? Is it money, purpose, or something else? According to Maslow (Hierarchy of Needs) our basic needs of security, identity and stimulation have to be met before we progress to self-actualisation (growing and developing to reach our individual potential).

Consider this in the context of learning. Without motivation, learning is rarely effective, so how do you motivate learners in the first place?

The answer, it turns out, is that they can largely do it for themselves.

Daniel Pink, in his book ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us‘, dismisses the carrot-and-stick approach and tells us to forget everything we think about motivating people. He believes that the secret to high performance and satisfaction in today’s world is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and the world.

This view is borne out In the organisational context of today by the phenomenon of the self-directed learner, which has been well documented in research from learning benchmarking experts Towards Maturity, telling us that:

  • 88% learn more by finding things out for themselves, rather than through F2F training
  • 87% know what they need to learn in order to do their job
  • 74% know how to access what they need for learning

The research also shows a worrying disconnect with what some learning managers think about their learners, indicating that it is more than ever important to understand what motivates the self-directed learner.

There are two types of motivation:

  • Intrinsic – internally generated and comes from personal enjoyment or from a sense of obligation
  • Extrinsic – generated externally from objects, other people and the environment

The burning question in the world of workplace learning is how to keep these two types of motivation aligned, and not in contradiction with each other, so that self-directed learners stay engaged and motivated.

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5 reasons why learning needs to get the omnichannel

By John Helmer

Graphic to illustrate Retail in LearningOops, here comes a buzzword. And surely we need another one of those like we need a hole in the head. But there’s a serious idea behind this one – the omnichannel – an idea that was born in the world of retail, but which has important implications for learning and communications across all business sectors.

Omnichannel has become a thing in retail because major shopping brands have seen changes in customer behaviour – around the huge proliferation of smartphone use and the convergence of physical and virtual spaces – that are seriously disrupting their markets.

According to Google, 82% of smartphone users turn to their phones inside a store when making purchase decisions. And that process of decision making is highly likely to blend visits to a store with visits to a website. A process of research that starts on smartphone might end up with purchase in a shop around the corner – or vice versa. And it might also involve use of a tablet and a desktop PC along the way.

Infographic giving statistics for consumer use of the omnichannel in purchase decisions

This is where shoppers live now, in the omnichannel, moving seamlessly between physical spaces in the real world and spaces accessed virtually, through a screen. It’s where we all live.

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