Technological Advancements Used in Training
Technological advancements have had a great impact on the learning and training of individuals. Time efficiency and cost savings have been among the most commonly cited advantages. Business organizations and learning institutions alike are constantly exploring and seeking the technological tools that will best fit their needs. Some may seek tools to assist with individual performance or learning goals, while others seek collaborative tools in order to brainstorm solutions. Advancements in technology have provided such tools to meet these needs.
As an educator, I am interested in tools can improve the learning and performance of individuals, while keeping them engaged in content. Intelligent Tutoring Systems were developed specifically to fit the need of the individual learner. It provides learning systems for tutoring, coaching and personal empowerment (Noe, 2010). As an added resource in the classroom, ITS can be advantageous as a teaching tool by allowing instructors to focus on other aspects of the learning content. ITS can be accessed 24 hours a day and assist a multitude of learners. The most challenging aspect of the intelligent tutoring system is finding a balance between giving and withholding assistance (Johnson, Phillips & Chase, 2009). This is a trait found in human tutors, which prompts the learners to become more effective in solving problems on their own. Despite this lacking feature, I suspect ITS to expand in popularity. As current trends in education lean towards more individualized instruction, ITS may provide extended support for virtual, home and campus based classrooms.
Limited resources or geographical constraints may prevent access to many technological tools. Interactive Distance Learning Systems use satellite technology to broadcast programs to different locations, learning environments will have the ability to reach remote locations where internet and other technology tools may be limited (Noe, 2012). All that will be required is a television screen were learners or trainees can simply view a live or taped program. IDL systems may have more of an impact on the global expansion of learning than any other format.
Virtual Reality and Virtual Worlds may have a greater impact on learner engagement. Virtual reality adds depth to simulation by creating a three dimensional environment while providing technology devises that allows the learner to input sensory information (Noe, 2010). Virtual worlds are a great way to immerse learners into a type of reality, by mimicking real world experiences and outcomes. “Several researchers have reported improved learning gains related to the use of virtual worlds in science classrooms” (Iqbal, Kankaanranta & Neittaanmaki, 2010). Focused is placed on scientific investigations and social learning as depicted in Atlantis and River City. The environment promotes exploratory and inquiry based learning, which requires a change in roles for instructors. Teachers will then take on the role of facilitator or guide, while students become explorers, apprentices or producers of knowledge (Iqbal et al, 2010).
Organizations are not only looking for producers of knowledge, but they are also seeking teams of individuals that can effectively generate business solutions. Collaborative teams may consist of individuals with various expertise, talents, and responsibilities. Since larger organizations may have team members that are dispersed in various locations, Groupware technology may be used to cut travel costs. Collaborative “groups play a critical role in most of the activities in today's organizations: strategic decision making, unstructured problem identification and solving, planning, idea generation and other collaborative group activities” (Pazos, & Beruvides, 2009). Groupware will allow teams to generating work related solutions, while combining elements such as email, document management, and bulletin boards. Teams may also use groupware to track, share and organize information simultaneously (Noe, 2010).
Just like Groupware is there to support the group in problem solving, Electronic Performance Support Systems are there to support the individual. The EPSS system can be compared to a personal assistant, there to support the learner in all their performance needs. It stores a warehouse of knowledge and resources that will enable the learner to achieve required levels of performance in the fastest possible time with minimum support from others (Noe, 2010). As EPPS is structured to meet the needs of the learner, business organizations may see long term improvements in performance as well as a solid return on investment.
Iqbal, A., Kankaanranta, M., & Neittaanmaki, P. (2010). Engaging learners through virtual worlds. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 2, 3198–3205. Agora Center, University of Jyvaskyla.
Johnson, B., Phillips, F. & Chase, L. (2009). An intelligent tutoring system for the accounting cycle: Enhancing textbook homework with artificial intelligence. Journal of Accounting Edition 27, 30-39.
Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
Pazos, P., & Beruvides, M. G. (2009). The impact of communication medium on team performance patterns. IIE Annual Conference.Proceedings, , 386-390. http://search.proquest.com/docview/192462218?accountid=14872