The field of training is rapidly evolving, and the development of new emerging technologies for learning is the driving force behind many of these transformations. By incorporating fresh approaches to instruction and by utilizing novel educational technologies, forward-thinking trainers are helping to reshape the classroom. While some of these new ed tech developments remain unproven and out of reach for most, there are several that have a proven track record of success and are widely accessible.
While most instructional designers are enthusiastic about using innovative technologies in new and existing courses, convincing the stakeholders who pay the bills to sign off, can be a real struggle. This article looks at several of these ed tech tools and the strategy you can use to help convince your organization to adopt them as part of your training program.
Three Essential Technologies You Need to Start Incorporating Into Your Training Today
Bleeding-edge wearable devices enabling learners to use augmented or virtual reality may be the sci-fi-inspired technology that draws the most 'oohs' and 'ahhs' at conferences. However, adopting these training methods is far from practical. On the other hand, adaptive learning, data analytics, and microlearning are currently accessible and have a track record of success.
- Adaptive learning recognizes the fact learners come to a training session with different levels of pre-existing knowledge, and addresses this by providing a custom instructional track. This approach allows trainers to avoid spending limited time reviewing previously mastered material or attempting to present unfamiliar concepts to a learner without the proper scaffolding. learning management systems with built-in adaptive learning enables learner readiness assessments, as well as branching courses. The result is better engagement and retention.
- Data analytics assists trainers to develop training that meets pre-defined KPIs and better align with the goals of the company. Data analytics benefit both instructional designers as well as the stakeholders by providing hard numbers to evaluate the effectiveness of training and provide data-driven insights. Typically, data analytics focuses on predictive (what is likely to happen), prescriptive (what should happen), descriptive (what has already happened), and diagnostic (why did that happen) data. Many modern LMS and LCMS software packages come with data analytics tools built-in.
- Microlearning is more of a framework for presenting training material than one specific technology. The explosion of microlearning is due to the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and the availability of easy-to-use rapid authoring software focusing on helping instructional designers create microlearning modules. The benefit of microlearning is the ability to present information in small, easily digestible, and self-contained chunks that help learners solve problems now. Microlearning is ideal for non-learning.
Breaking Down Your Stakeholders' Resistance to Implementing New Technologies for Training
Most people don't rush to embrace changes, especially when those changes come at a cost. Therefore, winning over the stakeholders at your organization when it comes to purchasing new ed tech can be a real struggle. You can increase your chances by answering several important questions before making your pitch:
- What will happen if you don't make any changes to your training program? Few stakeholders are willing to sign off on a purchase that doesn't address an urgent need. Think about the challenges that your company is facing now, and how will new technology allow training to alleviate these challenges?
- What specific emerging technologies for learning do you require, and why? Avoid pitching a broad category of ed tech such as microlearning or data analytics. Instead, do your homework by selecting specific software or hardware and know why you are making the choice. Communicate with the key stakeholders why the features of the product are necessary to meet corporate objectives.
- What is the potential risk of implementing new ed tech? All decisions come with risk. Acknowledge and evaluate the potential risks associated with using new ed tech before speaking pitching to stakeholders. Common risks you may want to think about include lower productivity while learning the new technology and lack of added value. Be sure to include plans for mitigating these issues if they do pop up.
- How much is this going to cost? It often comes down to dollars. What is the total cost associated with the change, including any additional costs for training how to use the new technology? Show why the costs are worthwhile.
- How do you know the ed tech is going to work for your needs? Provide any relevant case studies or reviews of the products you want to buy. If possible, schedule a demo with a salesperson and invite your stakeholders to join in to allow them to have hands-on experience.
As long as your stakeholders are not dead set against it, you will find most companies are willing to adopt emerging technologies for learning when you provide a strong enough case to support it.
Learn more about emerging technology and other tricky topics by downloading our new e-book, The 7 Most Common Training Challenges (And How To Conquer Them). Or, contact us today to schedule your complimentary consultation.