3.6. Learning Technologies

Technologies to Learn: What technologies will you leverage to deliver digital learning and facilitate the development of skills and knowledge online? What are the current and emerging learning technologies to provide value-driven training solutions? (AOE 3. Training Delivery; 3.6. Learning Technologies)

3.6. Learning Technologies
Learning Objective: Explain why it is important for talent development professionals to know the current and emerging learning technologies

Importance of Being Aware of New Learning Technologies & Leveraging Technologies to Train:
  • Instructional design techniques and training delivery options are evolving
  • Advances in digital learning/training offer talent development professionals more ways to offer learning solutions
  • It is critical to pair the appropriate instructional methods with the right training delivery method
  • Technologies leverage new ways to offer learning when, where, and how you prefer to train
Virtual Training Basic, 2nd Edition “Rules” by Cindy Huggett:
  • The term virtual training has many meanings; when discussing virtual training with someone, make sure you are on the same page and using the same terminology: online learning, digital learning, e-learning, webcast, webinar, blended learning, social learning (web 2.0), informal learning, virtual instructor-led training (vILT), synchronous virtual classroom, asynchronous training
  • Virtual training can be an effective learning solution; but it might not be the right training option for every learning initiative in every organization
  • Trainers should ask very specific questions during virtual delivery
  • Mobile devices, smart phones, tablets, etc.can offer some training classes; however the screen size and features might have limitations in a classroom app, as it does not always lend to facilitation.
  • Be sure to test your classroom software program prior to launching any virtual training program. You want to know about the set up features, access, and how participants will engage, interact, and use this digital platform.
  • Familiarize and play around with the tools and settings in your virtual class to identify the features you want to use for discussions, questions, interactions, and synchronous/asynchronous activities. 
  • Have at least one backup plan or way to troubleshoot for any technology issues with software, hardware equipment, or the internet connection. Plan for multiple modes for learning. E.g. check your Internet connect; secure a phone line option; downloadable presentation slides, handouts, etc.
  • Engage participants: make it matter; keep it relevant; capture their attention from the start; say participants’ names frequently; create interactivity using technology; encourage networking; bring the training class to life; focus on the learners -- e.g. in a synchronous session (webinar/lecture) be sure to ask polling questions, encourage chat comments, pause for checks, breakout groups/room options; whiteboard drawing/contributions; see if hands are raised in webinars (every 4 minutes)
  • Practice with these technologies -- it gets complicated in multitasking

Modified questions for training delivery:
  1. Who are the professional learners and employees your training?
  2. What are the desired learning outcomes from the training?
  3. What instructional strategies will be employed to facilitate the training/learning outcomes?
  4. What are the unique characteristics of each medium/technology, and how well do these match the learning and training requirements?
  5. What resources are available?
Be sure to check out AOE 6. Managing Learning Programs; 6.2. Learning Technologies and Support Systems to learn more about other options. 

Books mentioned in this episode:
  • Virtual Training Basics, 2nd Edition by Cindy Huggett
  • Teaching in a Digital Age, 2nd Ed. by Tony Bates 
  • Technology for Trainers by Thomas Toth
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