Build Your Own Experience – BYOE
Digital learning is instruction facilitated and enhanced by technology and integrated into the learner’s world. As learning moves to digital, can we achieve the same results that a classroom and online can achieve? Can digital learning go further?
Through a combination of technology and personalization, digital learning offers a new level of experience that incorporates the best elements of classroom and online learning. Great classroom instructors craft learning experiences that tell stories, offer perspective, build empathy, and convey purpose to the learner. Online learning, through structure and platforms, offers scale, interactions and extended content availability.
Designing for Digital
Through the use of technology, immersive design, and storycraft, digital learning is built on five elements that make it a remarkable, memorable success: Personalization, Perspective, Perception, Purpose and Performance.
Digital learning is built on a personal connection between the learner and the content through their device. This foundation of personalization and customization goes well beyond what can be achieved in a lecture hall or online class where instructors teach to one level. The online course screen experience – click, swipe, watch, interact – has been predominantly the same experience repurposed to all devices. But now, digital learning enhances the experience with interactions that directly links the learner’s profile and device to the experience delivered. Further, while digital experiences are linked an underlying system to track and gather data, the primary experience is transformed by directly connecting the person to the learning content through their device. The framework is invisible and enhances the experience providing a path through the learning experience that appears, dynamic and natural.
Having established the personalized connection, the next step for digital learning is to provide a perspective that the learner can identify with. The connection is built on their shared perspective and understanding. Digital allows the learner to self-identify their perspective to answer these questions: Why are they taking this experience? What experience do they have with the subject? How much time do they have? Digital can reshape content to adhere to these perspectives. Adding perspective to the learning experience creates better engagement and lasting results. Digital learning can captivate better by providing customized learning to the individualized path and by meeting the learner where they are, on which device, and on what terms.
Have you ever said ‘thank you’ to Alexa or to your Google Home? A recent survey by Google indicated that 41% of voice-activated users feel like they are talking to a friend or another person.[*] The digital interactions with an Amazon Echo or Google Home are created using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG). They allow for idioms, and the delivery of a near-perfect voice creates the perception of trust, learning, and a near-storytelling experience. Digital, through natural voice, augmented reality, or even virtual reality can create a sense of realism, engagement, and immersion that allows the content to come alive for the learner. For the learner, the perception of digital learning is blended with their real-world learning needs. [Here’s How People Say Google Home And Alexa Impact Their Lives – Fast Company]
Once engagement takes hold, keeping and maintaining it requires adherence to the purpose of the experience. Purpose in digital learning is more than a list of learning objectives on an intro slide, it is conveying the essential purpose of learning throughout the entire digital experience. Robert McKee’s definition of story structure shows that every event in a storyline has a purpose that moves the protagonist either closer to or further from their goals. The learner is the protagonist and every challenge and opportunity in the course should align with the purpose. Tightly tying digital learning experience to purpose creates a greater self-identity with the experience and better engagement.
Of course, none of this matters if the content doesn’t perform. Great digital learning experiences hook interest both intellectually and emotionally, build interest and involvement from the learner, and reveal a path forward. Ultimately, digital learning should motivate action in ways that the learner hadn’t previously considered.
Digital learning reaches the learner on their device and their terms.
Coach Bennett and The Nike Run Club App
Coach Chris Bennett, of Nike Run Club, and I regularly chat. Well, mostly he chats and I complain. In reality, the communication is all one way. The Nike Run Club app streams Coach Bennett’s instruction, advice, and coaching into my headset while I run. The app ties together personalization, perspective, perception, purpose, and performance into a single, customized learning experience, largely through the power of AI.
The proof of success is the steady stream of images of completed run maps in his Twitter feed from across the globe. @bennettrun
The app can reach thousands of runners across the globe – at any time of day – on their schedules and during their runs. The technology behind the app, and its integration with devices like the Apple Watch and smartphones, extends the reach of the coach to runners, their devices, and their personal running profiles so that each runner is coached individually.
Each runner has a unique perspective whether on a recovery run, a tempo run, or a first-time run. Before any run, the app asks the runner to self-identify the intent of their run, duration and then aligns its commentary and coaching to their perspective.
Digital content blends seamlessly into the real world run, using augmented instructions and coaching reminders that flow into the runner’s cadence and pace, whether on the treadmill or out on the road. The interjection of pre-programmed audio comments and instruction throughout the training session gives the perception of real-time coaching.
The app’s purpose – “every run has a purpose” – is continuously articulated and reinforced during every run. Once all personal selections are made, regardless of the program selected, the running instruction and process are consistent and on message
This effectiveness of the experience is achieved through the expertise and enthusiasm conveyed by Coach Bennett. His voice, his cadence, and the natural conversational style all communicate his persona. The effect of this persona is the equivalent of a coach calling out commands from somewhere on the oval or running right next to the learner.
With PerStart, we are moving the pre-boarding experience out of the LMS and into the hands of the new hire to create a lasting performance experience. We are creating a digital experience that allows the new hire to self-identify the elements of interest and shape the order and presentation. We see the PerStart content as Lego learning blocks in a digital format that allows the new hire to build an experience that supports their time between their offer acceptance and their first day.
Digital learning offers the ability through a combination of technology and personalization to combine the best elements of classroom and online learning into a new level of experience for learners. This learning can create an immersive experience, is freed from the infrastructure and allows the learning design to create natural navigation that is built to support the richest learning experience.
How is your organization positioned to grow with the digital learning opportunities? What examples have you experienced?
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