Technology, for better or worse, is steadily settling into every facet of our personal lives. professionally technology is having and will continue to have an impact employee training and development. Trainers can utilize different methods to efficiently incorporate technology to make an impact on learning. Podcasts and applications are affecting the mobility of training and where or when learners access content. Learning Management Systems speak to the need to balance training and job performance letting learners access needed content on demand. Virtual Worlds is the next level of practice a learner can participate in before implementing knowledge or skills in the real world.
Podcasts are “audio or video content program distributed in episodes using software such as RSS” (Noe, p345). These episodes are best for sharing a subject matter expert’s knowledge via interviews, stories, or other narrative based content for learners to review. Podcasts allow learners to listen at his or her own leisure and digest the content at his or her own pace. In reviewing a 2007 case study from the Association for Talent Development the use of podcasts by the salesforce was implemented to replace conference call attendance. Nguyen and Giordano found that this specific company was able to “deliver information to a mobile sales force, reach a broader audience, reduce operating costs” (p 3). In this instance utilizing this technology the company efficiently offered content and the learners were able to efficiently retain the content.
Apps are another facet of how to make training mobile for learner access. Apps are “designed specifically for smart phones or tablets” utilized to “supplement training, manage training paths, and keep training records” (Noe, p 345). The use of mobile technology and specifically applications is slowly becoming the main source of training. Geoff Stead of the Association for Talent Development writes that employees “selfserve to find answers at work” and this “guerilla learning” means they “grab what they need when they need it without the organization even knowing” (p 2) In this respect organizations can organize how learners access content on the go via an app store that includes public or private applications available for free or with a small charge. An organization is able to “gain insight into employee needs and increase employee engagement” by maintaining a specific app store (Stead, p1).
Learning Management Systems are increasingly becoming a normal use of technology for a training department. LMS is “a technology platform to automate the administration, development, and delivery of all of a company’s training programs” and is most beneficial to an organization to “track all learning activities” (Noe, p 352) As more companies adopt LMSs, the systems themselves are becoming more advanced in how learner attention is caught and retains. In an article for the society of Human Resource Management, Jeremy Ames explains why LMSs will be an important technology to adopt for 2015. Companies not only need to house the training data and track employee progress, but also be able to “present learning in a vivid and distinctive manner” (Ames, para 3) Ames goes on to explore and review a few effective platforms and discuss how quickly these platforms will come to grow as more organizations adopt this effective technology to manage their human capital.
Virtual Worlds are “computer based simulated online 3D representations of the real world where learning programs or experiences can be hosted” (Noe, p 343). Studies have shown that those learners who participate in training that uses virtual worlds “learn more and faster than in traditional courses” (Noe, p343). Siemens is a company that creates different simulation software that organizations can implement for employee training. ITS and COMOS Wakinside are two available programs that can “teach typical work steps and the right way to operate … familiarize themselves with their future working environment” (Schroder, para 3). Learners are able to enter this simulated environment to learn and then implement those new skills without any danger or harm to real people or product but still reviewing what the consequences could be based on the learner’s action.
The examples are only a sample of how training is evolving to implement new technology to help learners in and out of the classroom. As learners become accustomed to mobile access, on demand content, and real world simulations in games via personal use it is not far fetched to see the application of podcasts, apps, and virtual worlds in a training environment.
Ames, Jeremy (2015). Learning Management Systems and Why They Top My 2015 Predictions. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from www.shrm.org/india/hr-buzz/blogs/shrm-india/pages/learning-management-systems-and-why-they-top-my-2015-predictions.aspx
Nguyen, F., Giordano, M. (2007) Case Study: Podcasting In Corporate Training. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from https://www.td.org/Publications/Newsletters/Learning-Circuits/Learning-Circuits-Archives/2007/10/Case-Study-Podcasting-in-Corporate-Training
Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Schroder, Stefan (2014). Training in the Virtual World. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from www.siemens.com/innovation/en/home/pictures-of-the-future/digitalization-and-sfotware/simulation-and-virtual-reality-immersive-training-in-virtual-worlds.html
Stead, Geoff (2014). Mobilize your Learning With Employee App Stores. Retrieved April 10, 2015, from www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2014/08/Mobilize-Your-Learning-with-Employee-App-Stores