For much of the past century, most formal learning has been based on the Victorian classroom model of compulsory attendance and autocratic one-way information transfer.
Under the old model, instructors had little reason to ponder engaging practices. Not in class? Serious consequences will follow. Don’t test well? Too bad; you must not be very smart.
Today, that stern, one-size-fits all approach has proved less and less compelling. Learners simply aren’t buying it.
As a result, the world of employee training is undergoing a tectonic shift. Developments in Bring-Your-Own- Device (BYOD) approaches, mobile, cloud deployment and gamification create the possibility of creating learning that actually works and, in the process, enable dramatically improved company performance.
Fortunately, the cable industry can take a page from its own core competency when it comes to using this new approach to employee training.
Entertainment companies have a fundamental model: Invitation > Engagement > Analysis > Iteration.
We market entertainment options, competing for mindshare and getting folks to tune in. Then, we engage them with compelling content and carefully measure their response to inform the next big hit.
New technological advances allow us to adopt a similar approach in learning. First, we need to seek out our audience and attract them — offer an “invitation in” rather than rely on a compulsory mandate. Next, we must engage learners to get their attention — create an experience they will enjoy and remember. Finally, we have to employ robust analytics that allow us to measure and iterate.
We can use our industry’s core methodology as an innovative and effective model for educating employees, improving overall company performance and increasing job satisfaction.
Of course, none of this works unless we incorporate sound pedagogy and proven learning methodologies. We must fund and empower our experienced, forward-looking learning professionals to engage their audience with game mechanics, social learning, 3D simulations, and other new forms of media to create more compelling and effective learning experiences. As the renowned futurist and learning advocate Elliot Masie has stated, “We are, as a species, blended learners.”
One of the most promising new methodologies for enterprise training incorporates the use of games. Research clearly indicates that game-based training is the most effective way to get your entire team understanding and using critical knowledge and skills. A recent Indiana University study found that game-based methods can achieve learning retention rates of 45% after six weeks compared with just 4% for traditional training methods.
Cloud-based platforms, mobility and other changes in the marketplace are impacting the world of employee learning, creating quick and cost-effective ways to build and maintain a well-trained and highly motivated workforce. Luckily, those of us in cable can look to our traditional entertainment models to develop programs that will keep our workforce among the most highly trained and satisfied in the world.
Formerly a longtime cable executive, Gregg Hill is CEO of e-learning company Wavicle Inc., New York.
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