A monthly blog with fresh ideas for the Learning and Development industry
“What a fun ride DevLearn 2017 was for the Reflection Software team! Check out what our thoughts were on the top 3 L&D topics that had everyone at DevLearn talking.”
DevLearn 2017: Bright Lights and Big Ideas
What a fun ride DevLearn 2017 was for the Reflection Software team! This was our first year attending DevLearn since 2013, and after that long hiatus we finally made our way back to the bright lights of Las Vegas. The eLearning Guild did a fantastic job of putting on some truly enlightening sessions, and making us exhibitors feel right at home on the show floor. I always like to reflect on the conversations I had with my fellow colleagues after a conference, it helps me choose my L&D reading for the coming year and also keeps me looking ahead to the future for new and exciting content creation ideas! Here are a few of the main highlights I took away from DevLearn 2017:
Storytelling – Not just for novels
I found myself talking quite a bit about the importance of storytelling with the attendees that dropped by the booth. More and more, learners are asking the questions, “WHY does this matter to me? How does it relate to my job? WHAT CAN POSSIBLY BE THE POINT??” Storytelling is a great avenue for the learners to take more of a stake in what they’re learning. Instead of just talking at the learner, give them a reason to care. We’ve done this in the past by creating characters and putting them in situations that relate to those who are viewing it, as well as creating ‘choose your own adventure’ trainings that put the learner in the story. Create the impact you want by helping the learner imagine themselves in the same situation. Tell the story!!
Mobile First and Microlearning – Snack-size learning at your fingertips
Microlearning has been quite the buzzword in the industry for a few years now. It’s the learning strategy that takes an overall content goal and divides it into short nuggets of information for the learner – what we at RS like to call ‘snack-size’ learning. That way it’s easier to digest (no pun intended…) and you reduce the risk of learner overload or as I like to call it, “the deer in the headlights” look. What I found interesting is the use of microlearning now being combined with mobile first designs. Mobile first means that you are developing with the mobile user in mind first, and you are anticipating your learning will primarily be viewed on mobile devices such as smartphones. Developing for mobile first requires you to think about how your content presentation and content will change. The interface, the screen landscape, size of buttons/clickspots, all of that needs to be taken into consideration! The idea that microlearning can be presented in a mobile first environment is a very exciting prospect that I think will become even more prevalent going into the coming years. It’s all about giving the learner access to content quickly no matter where they are!
Virtual and Augmented Reality – Finding new worlds right from your chair
One discussion I had with an attendee was regarding an entire virtual reality (VR) world built to teach learners how to fix a submarine. How cool is that?! As I continued the discussions with other attendees, I found there are several factors to keep in mind when considering VR and augmented reality (AR) as options for eLearning. For instance, you have to think realistically about the equipment the learners will need in order to take the training. Do you have the budget to provide VR/AR equipment? You also have to think about your content in general, does it lend itself to this immersive creative treatment? Topics relating to product knowledge or practical application can really be enhanced through this type of treatment. One of my eLearning goals for 2018 is to create an AR prototype just to see how the process would go and determine if it’s a viable option for any of my projects!
There were so many interesting and thought-provoking conversations from DevLearn that I couldn’t possibly list them all out here, but rest assured we had an awesome time and we will be returning soon for more conversation and learning.
I'd love to continue this discussion. Please share your comments below! Happy learning!
Author: Alicia Raff, Account Manager