Our Thinking

Advance Your Learning Program with Technology

Luke Kempski

Recently, I spoke to a group of training professionals who are members of the local chapter of ASTD (American Society of Training and Development) about current use of learning technologies. As part of the program, we used an interactive response system to engage the attendees and gauge their experiences and attitudes on the subject.

While 85% of the participants said they were currently using learning technologies, only 10% said they were using them consistently to reach more learners and make the content more memorable.

So, what’s getting in their way? The attendees sighted the following as barriers to the adoption of learning technologies: “vision of leaders in the training/learning area, technology infrastructure, lack of success and too many other priorities.” Here, I was surprised to see that no one selected organization management. At least with this group, they felt that their management understood the potential value of e-learning in their organization and were more supportive than in the past.

The group also sighted issues that prevent learners from embracing technology, including “comfort with technology, infrastructure limitations, resistance to change and administrative policy.” Believe it or not, several participants said that their targeted learners have PCs without audio capabilities. Some things have not changed.

Another discussion focused on expanding their organization’s use of learning technologies. Over 60% saw opportunities in providing programs to external audiences such as customers, distributors and others in the value chain. Another large number saw opportunities in using learning technologies to add value to their organization’s brand and to differentiate it from competitors.

As part of the program, Steve Hulse, JPL’s e-Learning Manager, talked about some innovative ways that JPL clients were using learning technologies to train members, customers, patients and the regulated community. These clients are extending their brand, generating revenue, improving compliance and streamlining processes through innovative approaches to e-Learning.

In summary, more Central Pa ASTD members are using learning technologies everyday and they are looking to improve their learning programs by employing more multimedia and interactivity. They also see opportunities for their organizations to be innovative and leverage their learning technology investments to generate revenue, enhance their brand and differentiate from competitors.

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