The Gulf of Learnology


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This paper is being republished in 2012. It was originally released in 2001. The content is surprisingly relevant to today. This paper provides 5 characteristics of the emerging learning environment from a functional perspective versus a technological diatribe. The reader might want to plan for some quiet time and have a sketch or notepad at the ready along with a spot of tea.

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The Gulf of Learnology

  1. 1. The “Gulf of Learnology” A White Paper Reader ROI Learn about the 5 characteristics of the emerging eLearning October 17, 2001 environment Copyright Nov. 1, 2001 Updates 2002, 2003 Prepared By: David M. Quinn Jr. PO Box 1802 Buford, GA 30519 TEL: 877-901-6947 (MYIP) This document is the copyrighted work and intellectual property of David M. Quinn Jr. Rights to use, distribute, and copy any of the information contained herein by individuals not employed by or approved in writing by the author or it’s duly approved entities is expressly forbidden.©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 1 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  2. 2. Learning Technologies Convergence A White Paper – David M. Quinn Jr.IntroductionIs technology for learning complicated or is it the scope of a learning automation effort thatcauses pain? Each reader will approach this paper from a different perspective and gain anopportunity to explore the “Gulf of Learnology”. Some readers will be from an educationalbackground, congratulations, this paper is for you. Other readers will have spent several yearsworking with technology, congratulations, this paper is also for you.Understanding the “Gulf of Learnology” and perhaps more importantly what can be done about it,represents an opportunity for the business reader to preserve capital budgets and provide higherrates of return on workforce development and the use of appropriate technologies. For theeducator, you have an opportunity to take advantage of the aspects of learning and humandevelopment convergence that are presented in this paper and use the concepts to develop afunctional environment that will benefit your students and the industries that are served.This paper bridges the “Gulf of Learnology” and helps each reader to gain potential competitiveand budgetary advantage as a result of the convergence of technology solutions that can beapplied to the learning or workforce development environment.The defining term – “Learnology “– is a play on the words learning and technology and is anattempt to describe the major changes taking place in the learning and technology marketplaces.For many companies, the bottom-line results of point solution oriented learning strategies canspell disaster. Disaster occurs from poorly planned or executed workforce development efforts.These failures damage the sustained profitability of the organization and harm employees in theprocess. Learning therefore must come to center stage as a corporate vehicle to stimulateproductivity, growth, and market oriented customer and channel retention. Companies must beginto view organizational learning and individual development as a comprehensive system. Thesystem must complement the business functions and technologies and encourage employeeparticipation and growth.The learning “system” provides an opportunity for the development oriented organization toconsistently link Organizational Culture to unrealized Organizational Knowledge. OrganizationalKnowledge is the sum of the documented material created and owned by the organization in it’sday to day efforts to serve employees, customers and global marketplaces. If the culture of theorganization is heavily dependent upon the creation of written material then the demands uponstorage systems will be greater. If the culture is dependent upon individual contribution, then thedemands upon networks and mobile client architectures will be greater. It is critical therefore toview information architecture and knowledge creation from a systemic standpoint and to beprepared to boldly discover new opportunities to improve the operational efficiency of theorganization.Because the learning marketplace is evolving so rapidly and incorporating technology in manyways, it no longer has a neat and tidy definition. Sure, the segments and classification still existfor statistical purposes and for the most part the roles of the Instructional Systems Designers,Developers, instructors, and others have not changed significantly. What is being added is awhole new layer of complexity; graphic artists, web designers, programmers, and others. Yet,these roles have existed previously in the production of video and other recorded non-humandistributed learning technologies. What has not really existed until now are the mature andcombined elements of Hardware, Software, and Networks that enable rapid distribution of voice,video, and data elements. And as a result of the evolution of technology we have a sudden ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 2 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  3. 3. proliferation of eLearning companies that promise business results as a result of learningefficiencies gained through the use of technology. Careful competitive evaluation of thecompanies engaged in content provisioning via the web will reflect either technology or contentleadership. In fact, “the industry-wide re-purposing of content and existing information to webbased marketing environments is accomplishing little more than automating static catalog datawith the hope of reaching a broader audience” (David M. Quinn Jr., Sept. 1999).The vendor market is clearly producing and applying technology based tools faster than thecustomer base can absorb and make full use of them. In the eLearning space, we are confrontedwith rapidly converging Computer Based Training (CBT) and Instructor Led Training (ILT). And towhat end? Of late, many companies and people are trying to gauge the sustainable value of anon-line learning environment. This is where the automation of static catalog data is occurring. Wecan’t call CBT or ILT yesterday’s training at this point and most likely never will. The value ofCBT is created by the simple fact that the network connection can be eliminated. All that isrequired is a computer or a device with a CD-ROM, monitor and enough memory and CPU powerto drive the multimedia rich graphics. This is a far cry from previous generations of video andmail-order learning. The value of ILT is rooted in human existence. For eons, people havelearned from other people. Even in tribal societies, leadership, age, and knowledge combine toaid the younger generation in the quest for survival. From independent sojourns in which the boybecomes a man, through apprenticeships, and right into the heart of the degree grantinginstitution, the characteristics of teacher, student stay the same. What value then is on-linelearning? How can the effectiveness of the learning intervention be captured, measured, andanalyzed for the success of businesses?The on-line learning community is clamoring for content. Alliances, product resale agreements,one-offs, and supply arrangements are being driven within the content provider community. Inmany cases, CBT product offered by one company may now be available through several “portal”or catalog companies. These portal companies are focused on attracting and retaining customereyeballs. And, it is no secret that content is “king”. That means a more competitive customerprice for products and more opportunities for resellers. As the tools of development get faster,more capable, and more widely applied by new start-ups the pace of innovation quickens. Thelegacy documentation and knowledge stored in traditional ILT course guides and databases alsooffers an attractive alternative to development. Many eLearning companies are now offeringservices that migrate or re-purpose content (ILT and CBT) to web delivery capability. In somecases Subject Matter Experts are transforming their closely held knowledge from traditional ILTenvironments into CBT and/or Web Based Learning environments. Tools such as Shockwave,Authorware, Flash, Eloquent Presenter, and others are used to facilitate the individual skillsmigration to web based distribution of knowledge. The “equal and opposite” reaction in themarketplace is a sudden proliferation of content at a wide variety of price points.CBT and ILT are converging into Web or Technology Based (WBT or TBT) learning. The fastestway for CBT producers to reach a larger percentage of the available audience is to offer theircontent via intra- and internets. The same can be said for ILT producers. The recent explosion ofdevelopment and presentation tools is creating new opportunities to migrate the classroomlearning experience to distributed learning platforms. The combined forces of technology andcontent are creating opportunities for learners to gain at an individual level. For companiesconcerned with long-term employee retention, this marketplace can mean pay or lose. Peopletoday do look at the learning opportunities presented by corporations and make choices to join,stay, or leave based on those observations. Well-known brands are gaining reputations as peoplemills. With almost 1 million high paying technology related openings and well over 90 companiesoffering certification in the high tech industry is it any wonder that people and companies are eachlooking to gain from the current proliferation of on-line content?Does this evolution spell the end of the traditional classroom? No, the traditional classroom willremain. Human interaction and it’s value will remain as long as one or more humans are incommunicative proximity. Computer technology in the classroom is added value to the studentexperience. Instructors will continue to learn from the cyclical experiences of repeatededucational efforts. Students will continue to learn from hand’s on experiences and gain more ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 3 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  4. 4. from an instructor whose top attribute is empathy. As the dual forces of technology improvementand human adaptation mature, the learning environment will shift into the forefront of strategicplanning at a corporate and societal level. This shift will concur with a broadening series of highbandwidth personal access devices that truly immerse the learner in a full sensory experience.This full immersion learning experience engages the senses of; sight, hearing and touch. Asnervous system research continues to improve it may be possible to trick the other senses oftaste and smell into simulations that are disturbingly real. The next generation learningexperience may someday be added to form an entirely new neurological learning experience.This type of learning experience will go far beyond the current forms of multimedia basedlearning. This type of learning will have the capability to invoke differing human reactions such asanger, fear, excitement and others.What then of the emerging learning environment? Humans are emerging from the long shadowof the Industrial Era and creating new era value through Knowledge. The Knowledge orInformation Era argument is not unlike a “what came first, the chicken or the egg?” discussion.Information deals with communication while Knowledge deals with experience. Did the cavemansay AARGH to the cavewoman before or after the experience of being burned? Or, did thecaveman learn that fire does hurt and find a way to communicate that message back home?Human experience in the Agrarian Era improved farming and mass production of food for themasses while Industrial Era innovation improved the yield from roughly the same amount ofarable land. And, improvements through applied technologies such as gene research areimproving the yields, disease, and drought resistance of those crops even further.In the Knowledge Era, the tools of technology are creating new opportunities for individuals.People are demanding more from the workplace and are more likely to learn and leave than theyare to learn and stay. Opportunities for individual wealth creation are just too strong a pull.Companies that are stuck in Industrial Era politics, in-fighting, and non-change orientedbureaucracies are being run over in the marketplace. Companies that are rapidly adoptingimprovement processes coupled with employee satisfaction programs are developing sustainablevalue in the new era marketplace. In many of these companies anytime, anywhere learning is atthe heart of these strategies. This is evidenced by the fact that many companies are nowundergoing dramatic revisions of their training departments. In some cases, the trainingdepartment is sold off as the company reviews business performance. This occurs when theexecutive committee fails to realize the competitive value of an in-sourced training capability andreviews functionality from a cost perspective. In other cases, the training departments are beingestablished as profit centers. The problem here is that the training centers must now begin to findways to add profit value internally and in many cases externally while relying upon othercorporate departments for support.The “Gulf of Learnology” establishes a methodology that is rooted in systemics and designed todevelop strategic plans that can result in increased workforce productivity while reducing longterm costs. This systemic view maps 5 distinct characteristics of the emerging multimedia andmulti-modal based web-enabled learning environment and applies them to present day humanperformance systems. Each of the characteristics augments the financial planning strategies ofBusiness Analysis as they are applied to the corporate strategic planning and evaluationprocesses. The danger in today’s business analysis processes are that they conform totraditional accounting practices and are designed to conform to more traditional balance sheetanalysis. Thus, the corporate decisions to spin-off or establish the corporate training centers asprofit centers. As these newly formed “profit centers” begin to grow or shrink the corporation hasan opportunity to make an informed and realistic decision to maintain or sell and thereby mitigatesome financial exposure.Consider, if you will, that systemics deals with the body and the body is made up of a series ofcomplex and non-complex but inter-related systems. The analogy of body can be applied toorganizational structure while learning creates linkages that tie the inter-related systems together.The myriad problems with the current ILT and CBT environments include and are not limited tolearning that is measured at the door, learner value that is measured at the end, learningintervention value that is perceived value, and organizational value that is measured in terms ofbottom line contribution. Even the most progressive organizational training initiatives end up ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 4 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  5. 5. doing little more than creating a game of “chasing the dogs tail”. This sets the stage for theemerging knowledge based environment. It is perceived that an evolution to on-line learningprovides opportunities for cost containment, cost reduction, broader access to content and wholenew ways to measure learner and delivery system effectiveness. And the same technologyadoption issues that reduce widespread use now compound effectiveness. In the case ofelearning, the human issues are organizational, individual, and developmental. If any one ofthese components performs weakly or worse fails to perform, the entire effort will go rapidly andforcefully into a death spiral. The non-human issues are linked to Hardware, Software, andNetwork technologies, delivery technologies including multimedia mix, and the chosen mediaplatform. The same measures of component integrity and inter-dependency apply and actuallyform a basis for the human perception of value.The following model illustrates the 5 key characteristics of the emerging learning environment andadds business value definition: Financial Processes (Elements of Cost) Development Delivery Measurement Management Collaboration Human Processes (Elements of Productivity) Figure 1.1 : Linear Systemic ModelFigure 1.1 is a linear representation of a systemic process and is designed to illustrate the 5critical characteristics of the emerging learning systems environment. The selection of a linearmodel allows a two dimensional representation of the traditionally diametrically opposed values ofproductivity and cost. To a certain extent these values have evolved from the assets andliabilities format for balance sheets. What the model is designed to do is create a systemic modelthat an organization can apply to its’ strategic planning and quality improvement processes.Since cost analysis of business performance will not go away, this model intentionally sets thestage for correlating the elements of productivity and cost while presenting an identifiable seriesof process enablers.In a perfect world productivity is increasing while costs decrease. If technology capability doublesevery 18 months, an organization must employ a workforce who will continuously learn orcontinue to migrate to new workers in order to obtain human proficiencies that provide theexpected level of return on investment. From a learning perspective the organization must beginto view learning from a strategic value standpoint. This model attempts to illustrate how each ofthe 5 characteristics depends upon the other and creates an opportunity for continuousimprovement. This cycle of continuous improvement is an opportunity to create sustainedorganizational growth and new competitive position for the future. Let’s explore the 5characteristics in more detail. ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 5 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  6. 6. DEVELOPMENTThe learning environment of the last several decades has evolved from a pure text-basedinstructor led model to a very complex selection of learning environments. The text-based modelspread knowledge consistently through written communication. It essentially provided astandardized learning platform. Because it was written rather than communicated verbally thefacts and content could be recorded and distributed with little variation in the text. Teachers wereemployed to ensure that the written word could be read and spoken by most if not all of thestudent population. Teachers also provided a senior human resource that could gaugeunderstanding and measure results through testing while maintaining a disciplined learningenvironment. In the early years of the Industrial Era technology and the tools of mass productionhave been applied in the classroom. Consider the tools of teaching today; the whiteboard, themultimedia projector, the smartboard, the copier, the DVD…etc. all tools that help the teacher toprovide content to the masses. Except for the whiteboard, these electrical and electronic enablersof the Industrial Era have combined with mass marketing concepts to enhance and create tools ofmass knowledge provisioning. These mass provisioning tools have been applied to the classroomenvironment in the last 60 years or so. The multimedia projector, copier, and VCR are additionaltechnology tools that have caused communication and learning to springboard technology stdevelopment into the 21 century. The DVD has replaced the VCR which replaced the precedingreel-to-reel movie projector. Innovative companies have created Video Based Training (VBT)environments that are somewhat complimentary to the CBT environment. VBT however iscoupled with broadband capabilities versus CBT which requires more complex processingenvironments. In the emerging learning environment the computer and it’s inclusion into everyaspect of learning is one of the hottest markets around. It is also one of the most likely to changedramatically in terms of cost and capability over the very near future. That cost and capabilitymodel is heralded by the converging worlds of CBT and ILT into a web-enabled ubiquitousenvironment. This convergence is driven in lock step with a rapidly evolving technologicalenvironment. A major issue with this convergence is that the CBT format which requires computeroriented technology is uniquely suited to information presentation at an individual level. Goodinstructional design processes allow CBT to compete with textbooks especially when combinedwith voice and engaging multimedia elements. It’s counterpart, ILT is uniquely suited toinformation presentation at a mass level and because human intervention is allowed, theinformation being purveyed can be clarified at an individual level. Add to this improvedtechnology infrastructure, faster speeds and a higher level of multimedia capability and suddenlyeLearning jumps to the forefront. And there are many marketing terms that can apply to thisconverged model. For the purposes of this document, we will use Web Based Training (WBT).WBT represents a networked media format that is capable of being distributed via the internet,the intranet or via personal workgroups. In many cases the industry has adapted existing CBTmedia and through specialized software code migrated the content to be distributed to individualsusing the internet as a medium. Existing ILT content can also be re-purposed for the WBTenvironment using a similar process. It is new development that is at issue and forms the basisfor the first characteristic.With the perceived added value of a web enabled environment companies have yet another levelof complexity to add to a buy or build decision-making process. In today’s learning environmentwhere re-purposing is occurring, the critical path to learner satisfaction is based on theanticipated technology environment, the length of the curriculum, the learner demographics, thevalue of hand’s-on –vs- simulated learning, and a host of additional questions. The answers tothese questions then determine the selected medium for the learning intervention. The next stepis to determine whether the development effort can be supported internally or supplied from theexternal market. ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 6 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  7. 7. CBT Individual media, Computer dependency VBT WBT Distributed media, Network dependency ILT Mass Media, Time and Space dependency Figure 1.2 Current development environmentFrom a development perspective companies must begin to view content creation from acentralized perspective. This can also be an insource or outsource type of decision for thecompany. The issue with insourcing is that the typical IT department is understaffed, overworked,and handling day to day issues that support a communicative environment that even todaysupports email and attachment based communication. This type of communication evolved in thedays of centralized computing. With the advent of the client/server or decentralized computingmodel and the use of a Graphical User Interface, user acceptance grew. The added graphics, richfonts, and new page styles actually enhanced and simplified user communications.Communication today has been enriched by technologies that provide improved capabilities toincorporate voice, video clips, and high resolution graphics into the communicative environment.Software packages have been developed that allow widespread adoption by corporations and byindividuals. This is an enabling environment that has driven proliferation of content and thecreation of entirely new business structures. This proliferation and the complex array ofcurriculum environments also has an impact on cost containment. Companies that continue toutilize the preceding model are soon going to realize the impact of runaway costs. Runawaycosts will spell disaster to every training function.A new model must be implemented in order to contain future costs and assure the success of theorganization. The alternative is for the company to rely upon the market to develop content thatcan be used in support of corporate learning. The new model is based on a centralizedknowledge repository that enables the use of reusable voice, video, and data objects. This newdevelopment paradigm aligns user based needs with technology. It creates a content library thatcan be combined with future development efforts in order to reduce future development cost. Theknowledge repository provides the capability to develop voice, video, and data objects in thesmallest format and then re-use those objects in support of future learning environments. It alsoprovides the company with a cost effective methodology to ensure that dollars invested todayreturn cost reduced profit opportunities in the future. The application of this model ensures thatpast investments in learning creation become successfully coupled with a wide variety of futuretechnology capability. Re-purposed content CBT Learner Choice based on CBT time, space, preferred learning methodology and VBT WBT access device. Corporate capability to ILT respond to learner choice ILT in real time. Knowledge Repository ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 7 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  8. 8. Figure 1.3 Knowledge Era Development modelDELIVERYAll societies, products, and industries evolve in accordance with a lifecycle that can be illustratedusing an empirical curve. In Marketing this is known as the “product life cycle”. As we endeavorto explore the characteristic of delivery, we will need to explore some of the rudimentary aspectsof technology.At it’s core, applied technology architecture is based on three definable technologies. Thetechnologies are hardware, software, and networks. Since the 1950s with the advent of the first thcomputers of the 20 century, technology has been on a rapid growth path. The first generationof computing architecture was a centralized hardware model. The development focus was onprocessing and memory capabilities. Human access was a manual process that relied upon anindividuals understanding of Boolean expressions and fairly simple code strings. As thehardware evolved and computer manufacturing migrated from board level to system levelindividuals began to discover ways to automate the manual process of programming creation.That exploration spawned advances in what we now know as software. As hardware andsoftware improved the basis of centralized computing architecture was formed. For the first timeman could interact with a machine but was limited to a local console. As systems architecturegained speed, the need to connect more than one user became apparent. Thus, networkcapabilities evolved. As the combined power of Hardware, Software, and Network architecturesbecame more widely adopted the industry began to look at ways to expand into a larger customerenvironment. The birth of the Personal Computer and the use of the Graphical User Interfacecreated an environment where a What you see is What you Get (WYSIWIG) environment openedcomputing to the masses.Technology in the twenty-first century is still evolving. Network technologies and the emergenceof the Internet have created many new opportunities for companies and individuals to innovate.Yet, we are still relegated to a computing environment that relies upon Hardware, Software andNetwork (or I/O) technologies. A companies’ delivery strategy must keep the technology productlifecycle in mind and individuals must also realize that the technology industry is undergoing rapidinnovation. By relating this innovation to the product lifecycle we can begin to see that theinnovations of today are really incremental improvements or new combinations of existingtechnological infrastructures. The following model represents 8 sub-segments of computingarchitecture to watch and plan for; Services 64-bit systems Monitoring Solutions, Clustered and standalone servers, Custom Solutions EPIC, RISC, CISC / Memory Networks 32-bit systems Switches, Hubs, Routers, CTI Servers, Desktops, Mobile Bluetooth (wireless) Palmtops Storage Products Internet technologies Disk, Tape, and Solid State device, Firewall, Search, Tunneling, IPV6 SANS, NAS Internet 2 ( ) Software Workstations Operating Systems, Application 32 and/or 64 bit systems Environments, ERP/MRP, CRM ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 8 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  9. 9. Figure 1.4 8 Segments of Technology ModelTechnology is a leapfrog game in the learning environment. As technologies mature andinnovation continues, companies will begin to view learning from a strategic perspective. As thisstrategic view grows there will be renewed emphasis on delivery technologies. In the WBTdelivery environment of today the company has a choice of outright content purchase, hosting thecontent internally, or contracting with a solution provider to create links to the content.Technology improvements are creating new opportunities to add voice, video and datacomponents that can take the non-ILT learner into an immersive experience. Internet technologycreates an opportunity to take formerly packaged and individually delivered CBT technology tothe web. As this content migrates to the web environment suppliers and innovators are creatingnew methods to add eye-appealing graphics, voice enabled text, interactive learning elementsand more. In its delivery considerations, companies must plan for digitized content of voice,video,and data elements with active monitoring and real-time response capabilities. The days ofinstructional development planning for pure CBT or a specific media type are ending. The days ofplanning for the web with instant media output capabilities are just beginning. The complexity ofweb-enabled curriculum where voice, video, data, animation, and human interaction are the normis driving the need for object-oriented relational development processes. Companies that viewdevelopment from a tools perspective and create curriculum based on a point solutionrequirement are risking the future of their business. Companies that apply object orientedtechnologies through the development process can begin to build re-usable repositories ofcontent that can then be accessed by anyone engaged in the learning development process.This method simplifies delivery and over time lowers the cost of development. The real-timeenvironment of the web also creates broad opportunities to more effectively distribute accurateinformation the first time. In todays’ fast-paced information intensive world, hardcopy media ofany type becomes outdated the moment it is printed. The following model illustrates theimportance of a concentrated development paradigm and identifies the complexity of theKnowledge Era learning environment; Learner Choice based on time, space, preferred learning External Supply Community methodology and access device Developer CBT Independent Learning Reusable Objects: Voice, Video Static / Recorded Learning Data WBT Animation Live, Virtual Learning Graphics… ILT Live, Physical Instruction Knowledge Repository Guided Self-Learning External Supply Community Organizational opportunity to choose the most cost effective route to learner value. Depends upon technology capability, development architecture, and learner desire. Figure 1.5 Delivery Environment ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 9 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  10. 10. As Delivery processes move to the web new considerations regarding classroom environmentsare being identified. Yet the learning environment of the classroom does not really change. Thevalue and the need for instructors and hand’s on experience has not diminished. Many questionsregarding technology migration need to be addressed and reviewed now. Questions such as;Should a school or a corporation implement a wired and networked approach to classroomlearning? Or, should the school or corporation wait for wireless technologies to improve to thepoint where wires are not necessary. The answer to this question relies more upon the technicalreadiness of the student, the instructor, the instructional designer, and the information technologysupport professionals. In considering this, technology organizations of any size must begin toanalyze how prepared they are for this environment. Content analysis and learning environmentmigration planning must begin today. Spending money purely for the advancement of technologyis a way to find the bottom of the bottom line very quickly. Therefore, it is incumbent uponindividuals to explore delivery technologies, content capabilities, and the readiness of the studentpopulation to adapt to a technically oriented environment.The ILT environment has not changed dramatically in the last several years. We are still dealingwith one to many live personal delivery tactics. In past generations through movie camera andvideo technologies the instructors presentation could be taped and then re-played. Videostreaming software allows that content to be distributed via the web and can be included invirtually any on-line effort. Enabling tools such as Eloquent Presenter allow the incorporation ofdigitized video and voice with associated data presentation. The migration of video to the web isopening new doors in real-time technologies. Today, classrooms can be constructed via the webwith live instructors. Other enabling technologies, such as Placeware assist in the creation of alive, virtual classroom that can be distributed via the web to students anytime, anywhere. Thiscan be a live event or a re-broadcast of a previous learning event. These technologies and manyothers are enabling technologies that are drivers of a web enabled learning environment. The realtrick will be in the capability of the organization to develop a technology strategy that balancescurrent limitations with human factors that have an end result of increasing workforce productivitywhile reducing cost for the future. ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 10 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  11. 11. MEASUREMENTTechnology enabled learning offers the learning developer, administrator, and student with trueand accurate real-time representations of delivered learning capability. This section deals with theneed for an applied Learning Management System (LMS) capability. The LMS is performs animportant role in the overall systemic architecture of the emerging learning environment. Theemerging learning environment calls for separation of measurement and management.Measurement deals with the data collection, storing, and physical attributes of real-time learnerperformance – necessary functions of an LMS. Management deals with the specific attributes ofthe learning analysis environment including time-to-market, time-to-delivery, and collective resultsanalysis. Emerging management analysis tools will provide an opportunity to more closelycorrelate productivity and cost thereby proving the impact of a particular learning effort. Thealternative is interpretive analysis. Interpretive analysis depends upon human data collection andanalysis and is the most widespread form of results analysis. The problem with interpretiveanalysis is that it typically focuses on the element of cost or productivity then requires humanrelational input. Interpretive analysis is a human perception and has little or no statisticalrelevance as to how a change in either cost or productivity can be detrimental or beneficial to theother. In short, it is an educated guess and measurement and proof occurs with the nextintervention opportunity. An LMS solution is employed to capture a broad variety of real-timeperformance indicators. The eloquence of this solution creates a multi-faceted capability to gatherimportant real-time data with limited human intervention. This data is then archived for instantbusiness analysis or is linked to other databases to provide batch or real-time updates.A Learning Management System can be procured from a variety of sources or it can be designedas a software solution by the organization with the right talent, resources, and time. Theorganization that determines the need to implement an LMS solution usually must gain externalassistance from consultants that specialize in this space. This is an emerging field for consultantsand the industry. Since many of the existing LMS solutions have been designed in support ofcontent provisioning an organization must use great care in the selection and application of apackaged solution. The content producing industry has automated the traditional aspects of ILTgrade records and plan books. Innovators have added significant functionality to thismeasurement process. This automation has employed software-enabled solutions to manyaspects of the learning environment. Where an LMS is applied and implemented properly, thecurriculum developer, administrator, student, and organization gain. It is especially useful inproviding a very high level of database accuracy as a result of learner performance before,during, and after a learning intervention. These aspects are explained in more detail further in thischapter. We’ll first contrast the more traditional method of testing as a measure of studentperformance.Testing in the traditional ILT environment is subject to human intervention. Human interventionespecially on a broad scale will have a margin of error. The margin of error comes from data entrymistakes, inconsistent data entry, post-test scaling, system issues, etc. Scaling is the worstexample of quality performance, yet it has been accepted practice in the classroom for manyyears. With on-line learning and data capture the test questions are either right or wrong. In theclassroom it is a one-shot deal, pass or fail and this is where the teacher has an opportunity tointervene based on the average performance. In the technology based learning environment theinability of some students to grasp critical concepts can actually identify curriculum or testquestion weaknesses. To a certain extent, the teacher who chooses to scale a particular gradecan make adjustments to either curriculum or test questions and then apply those changes to thenext delivery effort. This is an unacceptably long process and at the classroom level createsquality improvement in a vacuum. Curriculum developed for the technology deliveredenvironment using an object-oriented strategy can return the student to a specific module in orderto increase the understanding of critical concepts immediately. As a matter of course, during aparticular learning intervention a student will have many opportunities to clarify their knowledge.From a statistical perspective average module timing can be used to create “pop-up” quizzes. ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 11 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  12. 12. These pop-ups can actually derive questions from the test module and be pre-set to allow thestudent to accept or decline the quiz opportunity. This capability helps learners that deviate fromlearner population norms during a particular module. In a facilitated environment the instructor ormentor can be flagged to intervene. The student may also access a quiz module in their owntime. The dependency here is on the curriculum designer and the student willingness to accessthis portion of the event capability. The use of object-oriented development strategies allow thetest module to selectively utilize the appropriate voice, video, or graphics “chunk” and thenincorporate that chunk into a newly formatted question. Where the student fails to provide acorrect answer, the student can be returned to a particular module for increased understanding.The application of this type of technology increases the burden on the developer. As processmethodologies and repeat successes increase confidence the systemic satisfaction of learner,administrator, and developer will create entirely new opportunities to innovate the learningprocess.Traditional ILT development consists of a proven process of design, development, delivery, andresults (testing). The objective of a learning intervention is on the federal, state, community,organization, or corporation need to increase human capabilities. The emerging learningenvironment as discussed in the delivery chapter of this paper is really focused on learner choice.As technology capability improves it increases the complexity of development and measurement.There is no need to change the governing objectives. The need is to augment the learningprocess with technology delivered learning and real-time data capture. An applied LMS providesreal-time data capture from multiple inputs and is a critical element of the emerging learningenvironment. The LMS then has the capability to link into a multitude of other organizationspecific databases. Databases such as the Human Relations Information system (HRIS), thefinancial database, the electronic performance support system (EPSS), development planningsoftware, the reservation system and many others. The LMS then is truly a major component ofthe emerging learning environment. Using the concepts and figures introduced in Figure 1.3 and1.5 of this white paper we can then develop the following model; Elements of Learning Environment Business Analysis On-Going Quality Improvement External Supplier Community Finance database Development HRIS LMS Analysis tools Delivery Other outputs Organizational / Individual Development Planning Developer Administrator Learner Facilitator Manager Elements of Learning environment data capture impact ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 12 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  13. 13. Figure 1.6 Measurement environmentThe application of this model to the learning environment intentionally designs in a level ofpredictive capability. As the Delivery environment continues to evolve organizations must beginto implement very high-level integrated data capture environments. The Learning ManagementSystem is the solution and ranges from immature to mature in terms of capability. But why spendmoney on capturing data that has no relevance? The LMS data capture environment has avirtually unlimited series of connections so flexibility and customization is critical. The purchase ofa packaged solution can limit the ability to customize the environment and places dependencyupon the provider to create and support customized code. ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 13 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  14. 14. MANAGEMENTIndustrial Era learning is a continuous series of start and stop learning processes. At thebeginning of the Industrial Era teachers provided instruction in a classroom environment and self-paced learning was delivered via mail order. Technology innovations throughout the latter half ofthe 1900s have driven the application of a variety of media formats to the learning environment.Just one glimpse at Figure 1.5, (preceding section) and you have a new found understanding ofjust how complex the emerging learning environment is. Try to imagine correlating a simple CBTdevelopment effort and it’s associated cost with departmental activities that are designed tosupport the learning process. It’s no wonder that training departments in many companies arebeing measured as cost centers. Technology today enables companies and the learning functionto come to center stage. Training and the training function must become part of the corporatestrategic planning function. The Learning environment is no longer an environment in whichprocrastination can be afforded. Companies that continue to make decisions to develop contentfrom an Industrial Era perspective are going to suffer from too much demand as the complexity ofthe existing learning environment continues to converge. The training and developmentdepartment that fails to adapt to this change will soon become the focal point for a companiesfailure to attract and retain employees for periods greater than two years. The companies thatbegin to view ways to offer content to it’s employees, channel partners, and customers andmeasure the actual (not derived) impact while applying the principles of continuous qualityimprovement will reap competitive benefits for years to come. thThe process of developing learning curriculum has not changed dramatically throughout the 20 stcentury. In the 21 century as we enter the Knowledge Era it is a management problem. Theneed to develop a particular curriculum is established by the need to correct or enable humanbehavior through a learning intervention. These interventions are driven at all levels throughout ththe entire supply chain. In the In the 20 century the media formats that enabled independent ordistributed learning resulted in business process analysis that had a loose correlation of cost to stproductivity. Business modeling in the 21 century need to be based upon new development andon-going sampling via a centralized administration and management system. This is theLearning Management System. The LMS is simply a taskmaster that replaces existing hardcopyand softcopy decentralized systems. It is designed to provide data to management reportingengines and is far more functional and valuable to an organization when applied with a properlyarchitected Knowledge Management architecture. The analysis tools and software capabilities ofthe year 2000 and beyond will enable actual correlation of cost to productivity. A centralizedLearning Management system capability is critical to this measurement capability.As technology driven innovation occurred whole new media formats have been developed andapplied to create new learning environments. The latest of the usable media formats is the CD-ROM (CBT). CD’s have enabled independent learning as long as the user has access to acomputer. In some cases independent learning is incorporated into the physical classroomenvironment. The internet and distributed learning technologies are now becoming a preferredmedium for computer applied learning. Individual Measurement (productivity) Learner Course Objective Job Performance Job Evaluation Aggregate Data HRIS Finance Database Financial Reports Business Measurement (cost) ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 14 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  15. 15. Figure 1.7 – Industrial Era ManagementThe preceding model is by no means inclusive of all of the systems that are included in afunctioning business. The model is designed to illustrate the correlation of learner measurementsystems to business measurement systems that are applied in a typical corporate environment.These systems are disparate and set the stage for learning applied at the cost center level. Thereason for this becomes much clearer when we create a cash flow model by through thecorrelation of a simplified Income Statement to a Balance Sheet as in Figure 1.8. By simplifyingthe view of the balance sheet and the income statement it becomes much easier to understandwhy corporations today view learning and the learning function as a cost center. Using this model(adapted from Kiyosaki and Lechter, c1997) simplifies the financial viewpoint from a contributionto an income perspective and sets the stage for companies to begin to justify the move to aKnowledge Era learning function that actually produces extraordinary financial profit for thecompany. In the Knowledge Era, the environments of development, delivery, and measurementall contribute to a systemic management model that actually has the capability to drive profit. Theability to eliminate waste while improving profitability has long been the dream of manufacturingcompanies. Why do the same rules not apply to learning? Why do we view learning from a startand stop mentality? Why do we not view learning as a continuous process of individual recyclingand continuous development of expertise? The Learner is employed by Income the company to produce or contribute to profitability Transportation Expense Room and Board Time away from field Research Instructors time Floor Space (rented) Assets Liabilities Hardcopy media Floor Space (owned) Non-mfg plant/property Disparate data systems Replicate Data IT Infrastructure at rest Figure 1.8 – Industrial Era Cash Flow Diagram ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 15 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  16. 16. Figure 1.8 is a financial concept model and is simplified specifically to reflect the cash flowproblems that companies face when sending personnel to a learning engagement in IndustrialEra learning. The model indicates the liabilities inherent in any learning environment. To a certainextent the model will also apply to the Knowledge Era Learning environment with the exception ofthe application of applied Knowledge Management. With properly applied KnowledgeManagement content is reusable and can be applied to the channels and customer base withouthaving to totally re-invent. Knowledge is extensible and is a part of the recorded culture of anycompany. The ability to view content in a reusable sense makes it possible to serve it up for otherreasons that transcend the learning environment. This makes information on demand extremelyuseful in the Knowledge Era. Anything that simplifies complex data retrieval is necessary in thefuture. The channels and customers can now be included in the data model along with theemployees. This capability represents a step in the right direction for the application of learningmaterial to applied profit. Since the company can now offer learning in an on-demand format, tothe broad scope of likely users in the company community innovation will result and new ways tore-use, re-package, and offer the learning content in exchange for goods and services will result.This is a product managers dream world. The ability to track, analyze, and create customerscenarios from applied learning provides more data than ever before on customer preference.Lets look at a Knowledge Era measurement model (Figure 1.7): Internal Impact Employee Knowledge Requirement Continuous Performance Career Evaluation Career / Development Plan LMS Repository HRIS Knowledge Base Finance Database Individual Measurement (productivity) Business Measurement (cost) Channel Knowledge Requirement Continuous Performance Line Evaluation Customer Knowledge Requirement Continuous Performance Competitive Evaluation External Impact Figure 1.7 – Knowledge Era MeasurementNotice that this model incorporates the Channel and Customer environment. This is meant toreflect the value of a centralized Knowledge Base in which a customer can search for or engagein “demand” learning. At either the channel or customer level any of the measuring entities hasthe opportunity to sample, review, and quickly adjust the topic material or capture real timefeedback that results in opportunities to improve products and services.Since we have constructed a cash flow model for the Industrial Era model, let’s see whathappens when we apply the principles of Knowledge Manufacturing and applied KnowledgeManagement to the Knowledge Era (Figure 1.8). This model relies upon the implementation of a ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 16 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  17. 17. Knowledge system that support the use of objects. The use of objects creates a centralized poolthat is reusable in virtually any environment. Technology in the third generation (server based) isimproving at the hardware, software, and network levels. This is driving convergence ofbroadband (television) and narrowband (computer transmission). The minute content wentbeyond data into voice and video human innovation prevailed. We are just learning how to movebeyond the automation of static catalog data and into an environment of exciting interactivity. Tomake it simple, today voice, video, and data packets are transmitted serially. One packet followsthe other. In the generation that is going live in the next year, those packets will begin totransmitted in parallel. This will create broadcast capability to the desktop, the set-top, andthrough the application of wireless technologies and “smart” software whole new accessenvironments. Let’s look at the financial impact of applied Knowledge Management andcentralized data capture. Information is now reusable and has the added advantage of linking cost to Income productivity The Learner and channel is employed by the company to Transportation produce or Expense Room and Board contribute to Time away from field profitability. Research The customer buys on value Instructors time perception and Floor Space (rented) need Contracted Content Assets Liabilities Just-in-Time media Linked Help systems Active Learning objects Hardcopy media Real Time Support Floor Space (owned) Real-Time Data Capture Non-mfg plant/property Centralized Data Disparate data systems IT Infrastructure in continuous demand Replicate Data Profit from channel, customer, and IT Infrastructure at rest competitor resale Figure 1.8 – Knowledge Era Measurement ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 17 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  18. 18. COLLABORATIONBy definition humans are social creatures. We learn from our environment, from each other, andare smart enough to create solutions to many of the problems that we face. In the workenvironment of the Industrial Era, work teams were formed to solve shop floor problems. In theKnowledge Era, connectivity technologies allow dispersed collaborators to interact completelyindependent of time and space. These virtual work teams can come together on a planned basisor in an ad-hoc fashion. While far from an Orwellian world the emerging communicativeenvironment is becoming very robust. Today, with rudimentary dial-up and the right software,anyone can work together in support of common goals. The days of interacting with others via e-mail alone are fast coming to an end.As the technology migrates, we are going to experience whole new technology vistas. Wirelesscommunication enabled by global standards such as Bluetooth, emerging standards such as VF-45 and others are now actively supported in the US. New technologies such as the emergingferro-electric (non-volatile memory), in memory databases, and other emerging standards willpush broadband technologies into the communications arena. And it gets less expensive withevery product lifecycle meaning that more people can actively access a technology enabledcommunicative environment. At the set-top level, companies such as Motorola are making greatstrides in providing internet access “beyond the desktop”. The technology environment is movingfaster than it ever has before. What this means to the individual is that technology is improvingcommunications and allowing for real-time non-physical human contact. This goes far beyond thelimitations of today’s technology in that people are relegated to web conferencing and flat, noninteractive types of written communication. This is also creating a global communicationsenvironment in which borders are transcended by interest and the quest for knowledge.Collaboration in the Knowledge Era deals with various levels dispersed collaborators that engagein Human to Human communications as well as Human to Machine communications. A modelthat crosses the bridge from human contact to contact enabled by machine must be developed asbelow; Delivery Environment Learning Support Collaborative Environment Environment Individual Effort Independent Learning Pre-work Team – 2 or more people Static / Recorded Learning Class-Work Live, Virtual Learning Workgroup – 5 to 25 people Post-Work Live, Physical Instruction Coalition – 25 or more people Guided Self-Learning Verbal Communications Written Communications Management Chat Functions Measurement Intellectual Property Captured Knowledge ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 18 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  19. 19. Figure 1.9 Collaborative EnvironmentDuring the Industrial Era, Eric Berne developed Transactional Analysis (TA) which dealt withunderstanding behavior in interpersonal dynamics. As a reminder, TA aligns humancommunication with three ego states; Parent, Adult and Child. Berne and others have theorizedthat human interaction is fraught with this mix of ego states and that when humans interact theyare typically in any one of them. When an individual interacts with another and the sender of amessage gets an intended response from a receiver a complimentary transaction has occurred.In a general sense, complimentary transactions must occur in projects if they are to succeed. Theother types of communication response are Crossed Transactions and Ulterior Transactions.The integration of machine to the communicative process creates capability beyond that of puresocial communications although social communications will still exist. While there are still manycomplementary transactions the potential for crossed transactions and ulterior transactions goesup significantly. I state this based on the fact that an individual may receive a work order and failto act immediately or act at all. The individual may never bring the information to the attention ofthe sender and may in fact undermine team leadership, goals, and innovation.Overall, collaboration ensures that the process of learning is a continuous process. A process inwhich learners gain knowledge from the systems and independent media while they gain supportfrom peers. ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 19 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012
  20. 20. FUTURE VIEWPOINTCompanies can choose to purchase innovative technologies in support of each of the fivecharacteristics. To be sure there are many to choose from and modern corporate decision makingwill support this philosophy. Educated buyers who possess a more comprehensive knowledge oftechnology and learning systems – learning technologists – will seek fully integrated technologiesthat can deliver a learning environment that promotes ease of use while ensuring competitiveworkforce development capability. Delivery Environment Learning Support Collaborative Environment Environment Individual Effort Independent Learning Pre-work Team – 2 or more people Static / Recorded Learning Class-Work Live, Virtual Learning Workgroup – 5 to 25 people Post-Work Live, Physical Instruction Coalition – 25 or more people Guided Self-Learning Verbal Communications Written Communications Management Chat/Collaborative Ftn. Measurement Intellectual Property Captured Knowledge Global Environment Mgr. Succession Planning Career Planning Skills Manager Activity Analysis Content Creator HC Metric Manager Polling and Profiling Staffing Legacy Data Integrator Learning effectiveness Workforce Development Lifelong Learning ecosystemAs the model above illustrates, the addition of Human Capital Management systems representsnew capabilities to merge workforce planning and career development with the learning systemsthat support them. ©2011 All Rights Reserved Page 20 of 20 1/1/2012 RCV1 2012