Based upon recent information found at the Center for Learning and Performance Technologies website, there are currently over 2100 technology tools, programs and applications that can be used for corporate talent development, training, and learning. Most of them are proven performers, relatively easy to use and free or low cost. As an instructional designer or manager, combining these to develop various online learning lessons and activities or mobile learning chunks can make your program more exciting and engaging. Most of these tools can be included in the following categories:
Documents – these provide for offline creation and presentation of information such as documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
Web Browsers and Related Tools – allow for accessing, subscribing to, searching, aggregating, and reading web content.
Personal Productivity – includes calendars, concept mapping applications, computer utilities, organizers, and accessibility tools.
Bringing ideas together with a concept map.
Web Information – offer the ability to create, post, and read information using websites, wikis, and blogs.
Audio, Video, Images, and Graphics – allow for the creation, review, editing, and presentation of a variety of multi-sensory presentation
Collaboration and Sharing – provide for common digital work spaces for groups or teams to collectively create, share, and modify content.
Instructional Design and Development – support course content authoring and learning assessment
You need the proper tools to complete an outstanding instructional design project.
Communication Tools – permit both synchronous and asynchronous options such as email, instant messaging, texting, and discussion forums.
Public Information – present many forms of information access including but not limited to frequently asked questions (FAQs), tutorials, podcasts, and open courseware.
Course Management Systems – enable the creation and delivery of course content as well as interactive participation, social exchange, collaboration, tracking, communication, and grading.
Web Conferencing and Web Meetings – allow individuals to meet synchronously using voice, voice and video, whiteboards, and screen sharing.
Social Networks – permit the creation of various online communities, and allow for the formation of personal and professional networks.
Using these when and where there is a need can result in positive learning experiences and good evaluations.
“In chess, knowledge is a very transient thing. It changes so fast that even a single mouse-slip sometimes changes the evaluation.” ~ Viswanathan Anand
Online strategies are not intended or expected to be the magic solution to current talent development challenges. Combining visionary planning, human performance technology, and instructional design, learning design teams can put together content that can help resolve or reduce talent development issues, and it does address modern learner expectations to use digital technologies. To help you determine the extent to which you use online learning strategies, below are lists of benefits and challenges.
Fit into personal schedules more easily than traditional learning.
Be self-directed and self-paced, thus allowing learners the opportunity to speed up, slow down, and review content at an individual pace.
Lead to greater self-confidence, thus empowering the learner to take more responsibility for their learning.
Be personalized, using a variety of delivery and presentation methods, thus accommodating multiple learning styles and personal preferences.
Lead to the improvement of learner attitudes, self-esteem, and self-efficacy, which can result in better outcomes and learner retention.
Allow for greater personal mobility, reduced travel time and expenses, and the ability to overcome geographic barriers.
Compensate for personal restrictions, challenges, or limitations.
Facilitate increased student interactivity, student collaboration, team work, and one-on-one contact with the instructor.
Permit learners to experiment, explore, create, fail, retry, and learn without the fear of others being aware.
Be used to create peer community and support which enhance learning.
Allow for broader learning opportunities and course options at a lower cost to the learner.
Lower the cost and ease the scheduling for instructor professional development, training, follow-up contact, and ongoing support.
Enhance the learner’s awareness and skills in the use of technologies such as computers, applications, and the Internet.
Deliver standard content and consistent messages, ensuring that learners have access to the same resources and opportunities.
Provide cost savings to institutions in terms of reducing the need for buildings.