I’ll bet that when you encounter the phrase ‘augmented learning’ you get a mental picture of a person, wearing a high tech set of goggles or a helmet, with an expression of opened-mouthed, rapt wonder on his/her face. Right? That’s augmented learning. Right? Well, I’m not sure that’s what augmented learning looks like today, and that’s what we’re exploring in this three part series.
A while ago I wrote an article on the importance of elearning to employee happiness. In that article I showed that learning is the second most important reason for people to enjoy their work. Learning and growth gives people the feeling of doing something worthwhile. It makes them feel like they are moving ahead personally and professionally. I pointed out how eLearning can be a great tool to fulfill this need.
A large American Telecom company learned this the hard way. They deployed an eLearning tutorial to train their employees on the use of a new internal collaboration application. This new tool is a file management and sharing system with a virtual social space intended for communication. The intention was to encourage employees to use it, and to maximize its effectiveness. It was a noble eLearning attempt: 64 vignettes with video clips featuring live amateur actors engaging in dialog. Each vignette began with exactly the same introduction (conceivably for the sake of continuity), and scenes were devised to train employees on the various aspects of usage. Well, the audience hated it. Scenes were poorly executed, and the dialog was forced and artificial. Employees were bored, and the attempt at encouraging and training employees to use the tool fell flat.
For those of us who already know about Gartner and the unbiased research they perform, this article is not surprising. They have an uncanny ability to find the newest and yes coolest trends in technology. For those unfamiliar with Gartner, they are the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company always looking for the best and brightest ideas to help businesses. They recently featured KMI Learning as one of their “Cool Vendors” and explained how KMI’s unique training approach sets them apart from other e-learning companies.