With the incredible technology increases over the past few decades, it is no wonder that technology has had a huge impact on how training is delivered. “New technologies have made it possible to reduce the costs associated with delivering training to employees, to increase the effectiveness of the learning environment, and to help training contribute to business goals” (Noe, 2013). This blog post will identify five training technologies that have had a significant impact and will continue to have in training and development environments.
Wikis are websites that “allow many users to create, edit, and update content and share knowledge” (Noe, 2013). The great benefit to using wikis is the simplicity for a learner to gather information and knowledge in a personal, informal setting, but can also be used in conjunction with a formal learning environment. Collaboration between learners is another benefit to using wikis because learners can share and respond to posts “on an as-needed basis and as part of formal training courses” (Noe, 2013). Learners have the ability to contribute to wikis in asynchronously as learners can post, update, or edit wiki posts in almost (you may need passwords) every environment with internet capability.
Smartphones, tablets, and IPads provide mobile training environments for the learner in any place, at any time. Learning no longer needs to be in a classroom or on a computer; instead many organizations and universities offer mobile learning through downloaded apps. “The advantages of mobile learning include that it is an easy way to get up-to-date information to employees; it can be useful for enhancing transfer of training through providing follow-up; it bring training to employees who constantly travel, out of the office visiting customers or clients, or don’t have the time to attend a face-to-face course or program; and learners can complete training on their own time and place” (Noe, 2013).
Blended learning combines both face-to-face and online learning or any other technology based training method. Blended learning has multiple advantages over solely traditional face-to-face or online learning: 1) blended learning maximizes on the positives of each learning method and minimizes negative features of each, 2) blended learning provides increased learner control, allows for self-directedness, and requires learners to take more responsibility for their learning, and 3) blended learning environments can present material in a dedicated learning environment (Noe, 2013). On the other side, instructors must be more hands on and realize time and organizational management will be at the forefront because of managing both learning environments.
Virtual Reality is a technology that uses three-dimensional learning experiences by enhancing simulation to provide life like video movements through specialized equipment. Virtual reality is very costly as the specialized equipment connects multiple senses through wires and devices to provide communication back and forth between the trainee and the computer. “These devices allow the trainee to experience presence – the perception of actually being in a particular environment” (Noe, 2013). The biggest advantage to virtual reality training is it allows the learner to conduct training without the dangers of actual training. For example, the U.S. Army uses virtual simulators to provide training environments that are found on the front lines in the Middle East (Army Virtual Training).
Flipped classrooms is the process of taking the “instruction” out of the teacher hands and focuses more on the students working as a group in order to move away from being the receiver of information to being the provider of information through self and group learning. Before class, students conduct self-learning by reading articles, watch discussion videos and then in the classroom, the group’s direct learning through discussions, debates, and presentations. Morgan & Milsom (2015) state, “Students spend time before class not only reading the material but also engaging with it, allowing them to become more actively involved in their own learning both before and during class”. The key to flipping classrooms is when students take ownership of their learning and teachers truly assess learning amongst the groups by properly designing an evaluation system through curriculum standards. “Devoting class time to application of concepts might give instructors a better opportunity to detect errors in thinking, particularly those that are widespread in a class. At the same time, collaborative projects can encourage social interaction among students, making it easier for them to learn from one another and for those of varying skill levels to support their peers” (EDUCAUSE, 2012).
n.a. (2012). EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. 7 Things You should know about flipped classrooms. EDUCAUSE Creative Commons.
Morgan, K., & Misom, A. (2015). The flipped classroom in counselor education. Counselor Education & Supervision, 54(1), 32-48.
Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.