​Most asked questions at Learning Technologies 2017

Posted on Feb 09, 2017

360, VR & AR

Platforms

We’re looking at the questions we were posed at Learning Technologies 2017 and giving L&D professionals another chance for an answer.

Every year, Europe’s biggest L&D show attracts more attendees and exhibitors than before. It’s easy to come away with more questions than answers, so we’ve collected the most common queries we dealt with over the two days.

Here are the most asked questions we heard from people like you at the show:

  • What’s the next big thing for workplace learning?
  • How can I use 360° video for learning?
  • What is microlearning?
  • How can I take advantage of these innovations?
  • We’re ready to dip our toes into gamification, what can you tell me about it?
  • How can I get a cupcake?

What's the next big thing for workplace learning?

This is a question we ask ourselves year round, but with the industry's biggest exhibition coming early in the year, it always seems like a good time for everyone to take stock of the emerging themes.

We asked Donald H. Taylor, chairman of the Learning Technologies Conference what he thought would be the biggest thing in 2017 for L&D during our Workplace learning in 2017 hangout:

“What I hope will be big this year is microlearning… I hope it will be big in the sense that it’s correctly understood and applied, which is to say, small bits of content applied in a structured way that enable people to learn in a well-spaced out way.”
Quotee Donald Htaylor
Don Taylor Chairman Learning Technologies Conference

In the same hangout, Laura Overton, CEO of Towards Maturity, picked up on the buzz around the latest technologies but stressed the importance of a focus on results.

Through demonstrations and seminars, we let attendees know how two of the next big technologies can be applied to real life situations to improve the outcomes for your business.

How can I use 360° video for learning?

Take a look at the show programme, or have a quick glance around the exhibition halls, and you’ll see virtual reality and 360° video content well represented this year.

Many of the questions we had on the subject were around how it could be used effectively for workplace learning. Beyond the ins and outs of the hardware and software, there were lots of people looking for real applications of the technology.

The first place to read up on the subject is the latest Inside Learning Technologies & Skills magazine. The article is written by Kate Nicholls, Sponge's Head of Innovation, gives you the basics of interactive 360° video technology as well as when it’s useful and how to overcome some of the barriers to implementing it in a workplace.

Sponge Uk 360 Talk Jason Headset

With frequent demos and a popular seminar session, we had lots of opportunities to showcase our interactive 360° video project. It was focused on a real training challenge that we’ve tackled in the past.

The PFRA wanted to make a more engaging way of showing new charity donation collectors who they were allowed to approach in the street. It’s a subject we tackled with a more traditional 2D learning game in the past, but it really lent itself to the new interactive 360° video format.

New applications are popping up all the time and we’re keen to talk to anyone who has a learning challenge that could be met with interactive 360° video.

What is microlearning?

As predicted by Don, microlearning was one of the hot topics at LT17, but we were still fielding a lot of questions from people with different ideas of what it means to them.

For a lot of people, the microlearning they're familiar with involves simply breaking down content into small pieces, but this isn’t the whole story. Using microlearning in a modern learning tool means using the small pieces of content in a new way.

Backed up by learning theories like confidence-rated assessments, spaced repetition and gamification, microlearning can give your employees a huge boost on top of their more traditional training.

Our seminar session, co-hosted by Stephen Miller, Head of Platforms at Sponge UK and Christine Tutssel, Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Axonify, set the record straight for many visitors and helped more people than ever understand the way modern microlearning systems can benefit their business.

Learn more about the subject in an extended ebook version of the microlearning booklet handed out at the talk.

How can I take advantage of these new innovations?

Like many other visitors to the show, if you're looking for something new or inspiring, there’s no shortage of shiny new technologies to catch your eye. The question from many people we spoke to was: How can I put this into action?

When you’re introducing anything new to your learning strategy it’s a good idea to run a pilot programme. Running your new solution through a test group of your learners will help measure its effectiveness and highlight areas for improvement.

If you’re planning on trying out a new company-wide platform a pilot scheme gives you the opportunity to see how it performs in the real world before committing to a big investment.

New technologies like virtual reality can pose a different problem, with the hardware required being prohibitively expensive for a large scale programme, even if it works well on the small scale. Try looking for an approach that has been developed with flexibility in mind from the start.

Having a desktop-friendly alternative to an immersive experience is a good way to ensure your learners can access the content, and allowing you to build the programme out as the technology becomes more widespread.

Get in touch if you'd like to implement innovative technology into your learning strategy but don't know where to start.

We’re ready to dip our toes into gamification, what can you tell me about it?

Even visitors who came to the show not knowing anything about gamification would have seen lots of stands, seminars and conference talks explaining how it's being used by companies to help engage staff. If you're looking for a breakdown of the potential benefits to your business, our business case for games PowerPoint template is a good starting point.

One of the most frequent questions we heard was about starting out with gamification in a business that hadn’t used it before. Gamification can be powerful way to drive engagement with learners, but it’s most effective as part of a larger campaign.

Integrating aspects of gamification to your existing training helps introduce the concept to your employees. If you're interested in the benefits of building gamification into your elearning, you can read more in our blog on leaderboards.

How can I get a cupcake?

Unsurprisingly, we got a lot of questions about our digital mix cupcakes.  Visitors were invited to decorate their cake with a choice of sprinkles, each representing a different element of a successful online learning programme. 

Thanks to everyone who picked their favourite mix and struck a pose in front of our stand. Enjoy your moment of fame on Twitter

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