Thursday, December 31, 2015

Vision 2016 - An Interview with Monique Head

Today's interview in the Vision 2016 series is with Monique Head, Senior Manager - Information Security Training and Awareness, PayPal. Monique has been in the learning technology field for over 20 years. Her most recent experience includes the roles of instructional designer and eLearning developer for companies in the cybersecurity and digital payments industries. A major focus throughout her career has been the use of multimedia in producing compelling, dynamic and engaging training tools. Her interests include the use of xAPI to integrate learning events into everyday life and integrate the learning process into “The Internet of Things”.

Below are excerpts from the interview:

What are some of the key eLearning trends that you think would surface, or pick up, in 2016?
First, Augmented Learning will become more possible as technology progresses, to learn in alternative environments, adapting to a user’s environment and situation will become increasing important and relevant. Second, Just-in-Time Learning and the ability to get the knowledge you need when you need it will continue to be a demand in the world of training. This has been a trend for some years but it is not just about ‘Just-in-Time’, but rather allowing the learner to acquire that knowledge as quickly as possible thus limiting time off task.  Lastly these and other eLearning trends will collide with the “Internet of Things’. As using the internet in more provocative ways such as controlling home devices from anywhere or using the internet to connect one’s self with actions and tasks in other locations, the use of augmented reality in learning and just-in-time learning  will give learning within the realm of the ‘internet of things new meaning.

Out of the above trends, anything that you see being particularly beneficial for your domain? How would it impact?
The use of Just-in-Time learning within Information Security Training will become increasingly relevant.  To create awareness based on imminent or real/current attacks and adapt communications based on user behaviors in a real-time situation will give users the specific information they need as they need it to keep data safe.  This will also combine the concept of Just-in-Time learning with analytics to correlate system activity with user knowledge.

What are some positive changes that you would like to see in the eLearning industry as a whole?
It would be very useful to have better adaptation of eLearning to the various environments of the learner.  If we can adapt learning in ways that vary, just as our need to learn varies then learning will be on a parallel course with advances in technology, and be a viable complement as we move toward the ‘internet of things’.

Micro-learning is being talked about everywhere. How important or unimportant is it going to be in 2016?
Micro-Learning will grow in interest in 2016 and increase on an ever increasing trajectory.  To fit the necessary information needed in digestible and retainable chunks, to support productivity in the workplace, continuous access to knowledge is needed.  With the increase in activities in our busy lives, micro-learning is that quick fix of knowledge that will give us that boost we need, when we need it.

Learning analytics: how would that evolve in the next year?  
It can be argued that Learner Analytics and Big Data go hand in hand.  Some exciting tools that will evolve this effort include xAPI. Not only will xAPI make it possible to take learning out of the classroom, and away from the computer, but it will allow for the use of data analytics and learner behavior to make the learning experience an adaptive process.
What are some challenges that your domain anticipates in the context of eLearning development and delivery?
Challenges in workplace training and eLearning development/application are the same as they have been for quite some time – the devaluation for on-the-job training and the learning experience.  The use of technology, for example, should mirror that of training on the use of that technology. Knowledge acquisition while on the job has long been taken for granted in industry and considered as secondary.  An equal emphasis and allocation of resources should be placed on training as an integral part of business culture and infrastructure, as demonstrated in planning and funding. 

Stay tuned for the next interview!