Monday, September 24, 2012

Gaming as a Training methodology. (Contd)


I am going to continue from where I left - my last post on Gaming as a Training methodology.

This methodology is based on these basic tenets of learning and development

a. Ease of use and usability
No tutorial or instruction manual must be required for users to engage with the content and its flow. When was the last time your 4 year old read a manual to play a game on your smart phone?

b. Different techniques can be tried by audience and there is no ONE right technique
Trial and error is a great way to learn. The structure of gamification is based on the fundamental of experimentation. You amass knowledge on a strategy that worked well and use that to move up the level of challenge

c. Incentivization to practice and move up the complexity chain
You can in most games clear a level with a certain star rating or just clear the level. The real goal is to pass with a high star rating and the fact that audience may go back and practice again is incentivized.

d. Accessibility and mobility,
The audience profile demands mobile application based learning in modular chunks of data.

e. Paced Learning that builds upon itself
For training in any advaned concept, the game must start with basic concepts and build upon the success of understanding of each level. In such a case, the learning psychology is a function of the fact that taking up challenges by moving up the levels becomes a huge incentive in itself. New scenarios and multiple variables are added at each stage which consistently challenges and engages the audience like they are used to in their games.

f. Better performance is better incentivized.
A well structured incentive and motivation program which takes the audience from a certain level to voluntarily accept more challenges is primary to gamification of the learning process.

Fun is just another word for learning” – Raph Koster (Game theorist) 

Maybe that is the way to go ahead?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Just in Time: Training Needs Analysis


We chatted with some training professionals and I also came across an article on changing trend in TNA, which I wanted to share.

The article discussed abt how the old methods of doing TNA, where we developed and implemented a survey, put the questions in a computer program, and ran analyses on demographic information we collected,  is changing. These TNA’s are ineffective. The new trend is to do Just in Time TNA. The article suggests that TNA should be live, for example, call the employees and ask them, Over the next week what would you like to learn ? or where do you get stuck at your job?

This training needs assessment works best in small to mid-sized organizations. It gives a quick assessment of the training needs of an employee group. This training needs assessment helps find common training programs for a group of employees.
Time Required: Approximately 1-2 hours
Here's How:
1.     The facilitator gathers all employees who have the same job in a conference room with a white board or flip charts and markers.
2.     Ask each employee to write down their ten most important training needs. Emphasize that the employees should write specific needs. Communication or team building are such broad training needs, as an example, that you would need to do a second training needs assessment on each of these topics. How to give feedback to colleagues or how to resolve a conflict with a coworker are more specific training needs.
3.     Then, ask each person to list their ten training needs. As they list the training needs, the facilitator captures the training needs on the white board or flip chart. Don't write down duplicates but do confirm by questioning that the training need that on the surface appears to be a duplicate, really is an exact duplicate.
4.     When all training needs have been listed, use a weighted voting process to prioritize the training needs across the group. In a weighted voting process, you use sticky dots or numbers written in magic marker (not as much fun) to vote on and prioritize the list of training needs. Assign a large dot 25 points and smaller dots five points each. Distribute as many dots as you like. Tell needs assessment participants to place their dots on the chart to vote on their priorities.
5.     List the training needs in order of importance, with the number of points assigned as votes determining priority, as determined by the sticky dot voting process. Make sure you have notes (best taken by someone on their laptop while the process is underway) or the flip chart pages to maintain a record of the training needs assessment session.
6.     Take time, or schedule another session, to brainstorm the needed outcomes or goals from the first 3-5 training sessions identified in the needs assessment process. This will help as you seek and schedule training to meet the employees' needs. You can schedule more brainstorming later, but I generally find that you need to redo the needs assessment process after the first few training sessions.
7.     Note the number one or two needs of each employee, that may not have become the priorities for the group. Try to build that training opportunity into employee dev plan
1.     Training Needs Assessment can be, and often needs to be, much more complicated than this. But, this is a terrific process for a simple training needs assessment.
2.     Make sure you keep the commitments generated by the training needs assessment process. Employees will expect to receive their key identified training sessions with the brainstormed objectives met.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gaming as a Training Methodology


As a part of my Leadership Project I need to come up with a new methodology which could serve as our USP. I have been researching and honestly haven't come up with something that is "Different" - Different packaging perhaps. This research led me to few articles on Gaming - Something that piqued my interest levels.

Biggest and boldest assumption I would like to make at this point is the fact that the corporate training audience profile has changed. Kids who grew up on playing video games and using cognitive skills while interacting with computers are far more advanced and not easily engaged with basic interactivity trainings and need to experience more than just a traditional method of training to appreciate and assimilate the content. 

The second assumption of this proposal is that corporations require to induct concepts of
a. Mobility
b. accessibility
c. technological innovations like BYOD ( bring your own device) into their online training progammes.

This is not a choice anymore; given the expectations of the audience we are trying to reach.

We can use the pedagogy of the success of Angry birds as an application which has engaged and kept 500 million users coming back for more. Globally everyday, Angry Birds is played for 200 million minutes and 80% of users who downloaded the game, keep it installed.

Given that the framework has been set with mobility, accessibility and portability being the basic components; any new training strategy must evolve around these parameters. 

This methodology is based on these basic tenets of learning and development which I will write about in my next post.

Modern Media Training


We are living in a new environment, where technology is part of our
everyday lives ‐ and is a cost effective method of communication. I read an article on using Modern Media for Training. I found some suggestions given in the article very good. They are also cost effective ways for training. Sharing some of these methods:

1. Consider creating a blog that discusses the curriculum and solicits feedback about it. You can also think about creating a Facebook page for the training, especially if it is a general
course without proprietary information. Use the page to market and gain followers, even
before the course rolls out. You can also use Twitter to put out short informational pieces
regarding the curriculum.

2. Twitter is a very popular method of communication, so why not have participants "tweet" from class? This is a great way to gather momentum and gain followers, especially if your audience is spread out over a large geographic spectrum.

3. The Facebook page is also a good place to make assignments, assign reading, and
other class related activities.

Friday, July 1, 2011

New URL for ECube


I am not planning to renew the URL for ECube This blog will continue to be available at


Suggested Reading


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