Five (5) trending technology tips to empower training and development practitioners
Our country is catching up in global trends when it comes to Training and Development (T&D) practices. This was captured in the recent survey conducted by the Philippine Society of Training and Development (PSTD) Foundation, Inc. where companies from different industries said they treat T&D as one of the business priorities by making it a distinct organization thus the focus and specialization and by allocating budget for T&D initiatives. But we need to up the game further. In this era where information is readily available learning could happen almost anytime, anywhere, and as the demand for engaging learning solutions grow, we have to maximize technology in favor of us. This will help us shift our approach to learning and create new vehicles for enabling individual and business success.
Let’s look at these trends in technology that you can incorporate in your strategy:
1. MOOC- Take full advantage of free learning on basic courses
MOOC or Massive Open Online Course is now a popular venue for people to learn. These are online courses that allow open access via web. Top universities in the world offer courses through MOOC providers. Some popular courses like Project Management, Conflict Management, Problem Solving, etc. are offered to anyone with minimal fee if not free. You can enrol employees and have them take it individually or schedule a group session and you can be there as the facilitator.
Just take note, use MOOC only to supplement your local learning programs or while you are developing your own. While the courses are delivered by experts, you’d still want to put a Filipino touch when you process learning. Some courses are also discussed in a very simplified manner. You might still need to follow it up with additional training especially if the learner needs to learn technical skills.
2. LMS- Eliminate manual tasks and maximise online learning
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a platform/ software where administrators can upload content for WBTs/ Online Training, conduct online assessment, and generate training reports, basically anything that we need to manage learning activities. A lot of organizations in the Philippines are still doing these tasks manually because of either budget constraint or lack of appreciation in using a system. But now that we need to consistently monitor, measure, and evaluate the effectiveness of our programs/ initiatives, it would help if we find and use the right LMS. There is a lot of existing LMS that you can choose from. The capabilities, strengths, and prices for each provider vary, some are even free. It’s critical that you know what your organization needs to be able to select the right platform2.
3. Social Learning- Leverage on learning through Social Media
The new age social media can also be utilized by T&D practitioners as a learning tool! Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, media sharing sites like Youtube, and social messaging sites like Twitter, can create an environment of collaborative learning and interactive sharing of knowledge. Posting videos on Youtube, Infographics on Facebook, and even sharing hyperlinks of relevant articles or materials available on the web where employees can comment on is one way we can explore social learning. And we can’t stop this, it’s been happening even without our knowledge. Find a way to put a structure in social learning within your organization and be surprised how it can contribute to a culture of learning.
4. Gamification- Deliver engaging training through the elements of game playing
Gamification is the use of gaming elements (thinking and mechanics) in a non-game context to engage employees in the learning process. It makes learning effective because of the learner’s level of activity, motivation, interactivity, and engagement.
With Gamification, there can be points and incentives and a dashboard where learners can see their status and reward. In short, it only aims to make training more appealing, engaging and fun. Some organizations even invest in creating computer games as a training tool. The term may be new but the concept isn’t entirely. Most trainers incorporate games in their programs to make training enjoyable. Do more of this, and even find out more ways to do it effectively so the next time you’d deliver training, learners would look forward to an exciting learning session with you.
5. Audio/ Video/ Web Conferencing Tools- Learning doesn’t always have to happen in a training room
Classroom training is still the most utilized training delivery method (21%) here in the Philippines4. One of the reasons, probably, is that the Filipinos, culturally, prefer interaction and can learn best when in groups. But this is not always cost effective. We can consider using other tools to deliver learning or even make it accessible and available anytime. The technical aspect of designing and delivering effective learning via audio, video, or web conferencing is entirely a different topic. Once you’ve assessed your capability and you’re ready to use other tools, there are many materials on the web that can guide you in doing such.
As corporate trainers/ training consultants, we must adapt our strategies to meet the demands of today’s workforce. We can effectively do that by keeping ourselves abreast of the latest trends in T&D by continuously seeking avenues for learning not only through traditional classroom and online courses but more through interaction and networking with like-minded people in the seminars and conventions available in the industry, We shouldn’t fear technology but rather treat it as our partner in exploring more efficient and effective ways to facilitate learning. Selecting the best option depends on many factors. It’s critical to find out the best option for you based on the needs of your target learners to prevent irrelevance of selected technology.
Gain more tips and trends in Training and Development during the 41st PSTD National Convention “The Unconvention: Collaboration, Inclusion and Innovation” on 2-3 June 2016 at the Henann Regency Convention Center, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan This event will be the unconventional platform for exchanging ideas, new practices and innovative set of tools and solutions on the design, delivery, implementation and evaluation of L&D programs.
For more details, swing by our official event website at www.pstduncon2016.com or call the PSTD Secretariat at (02) 812-9931 / (02) 814-0372.
Marby Bustalinio-Tabungar—Training Manager, HR Outsourcing Solutions, GENPACT Philippines & April Marie Salonga Freelance Training Consultant