Training has been adopting a number of emerging technologies in the last two or three years. These trends are expected to intensify in 2017:
As video technology continues to improve, the capability of companies to produce professional and watchable video training materials has increased. In 2017, micro learning using brief video clips to train on specific skills has become main stream. Videos of 90 to 120 seconds being used in courses and stand alone as personal training materials.
Consumer-priced, high-definition cameras and easy access to video-sharing sites like Vimeo and You Tube, which can organize private company-centered video channels, makes inclusion of self-produced educational and training videos in employee orientation and skill training easy. Short videos are great for demonstrating things that are not easily explained in words or modelled in live demonstrations: how to perform a physical task or demonstrating a soft skill like a selling technique or expected office behavior.
- Short videos can be uploaded and streamed with less bandwidth. They can be more easily accommodated in business websites and can be made available for quick reference on employee pages.
- Managers have noticed that short videos engage brief attention spans more than longer training videos. Therefore, short videos are more engaging and can be repeated frequently to help master skills.
- A study conducted last year comparing 30 second videos with 90 second videos found that double the attention drop-off for the longer video after the first few seconds. Videos longer the 90 seconds were less tolerated. Ten minute videos were only 15 percent viewed through. Attention spans for watching videos range may be limited to under 2 minutes.
Gamification as a training and motivational method has come to full development and is expected to be seen more and more in 2017. Creating learning exercises in the form of games adds an important reward element to training and makes training more engaging. The advantage of gaming may come from a competitive motivational element as well as a hands-on realistic simulation element that challenges the learner. There is a reward simulator in the game which provides an incentive based on performance. The incentive bears a relationship to actual performance rewards.
Increasingly, companies are hiring or engaging gamification designers who can take the substance of a real skill training and fit that substance into a game design. More than 70 percent of global organizations use at least one gamified application in their training programs to aid in the mastery of specific skills. Gaming is also growing as a testing medium to identify talent.
Companies are finding that they have mixed results with gamification. The gaming applications will fail if they are not correctly designed. Gamified modules work best for roles that are relatively repetitive in nature and have clearly measureable outcomes, like sales.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality:
Virtual reality (VR) will become more common as a training tool in 2017 as new simplified and less expensive virtual reality tools become available. WebVR applications will allow virtual reality experience to be broadcast to a wide audience through the World Wide Web and experienced using Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear and Google Daydream VR viewers. Inexpensive cardboard viewers and personal VR viewers, that utilize smart phones are quickly coming on the market.
Some scenarios are impossible to realistically simulate using 2D images. Trainee surgeons can read as many books on surgery as they like, but nothing prepares them like observing surgical procedures in realistic 3D using virtual reality. Hazardous settings are hard to duplicate with flat images. Virtual reality simulators can produce very impactful experiences, through which trainees can move.
VR has already proven itself in healthcare and the mining industry. Oil companies have been using the technology to train oil rig workers since 2014. Trainees will be using VR to practice essential skills with virtual hands in a realistic, yet safe environment.
Augmented Reality (AR) systems add information to the view of real experience using heads-up displays. This technology is beginning to prove very useful to train using web-based computer systems to appropriately label and explain what the trainee sees.
Incorporating VR and AR in training has been found to dramatically increase knowledge retention.
Training applications applied through mobile media for field workers and others who train off site. Most eLearning tools can be applied to mobile devices to provide training and education over a wide-spread field environment. This trend will be expanded in 2017, giving trainees a richer field training environment.
HIRENAMI powers training solutions with applications that train on any mobile device, allow you to quickly create, assign and track courses, scalable training management software solutions with quick setup. Please contact us to learn more.