Can instructional technologies solve all of our educational/training challenges? No. Can instructional technologies, such as learning games, educational apps, SIMS, and gamified curriculum engage learners, especially digital natives? Certainly! (Hall, 2014; Aldrich, 2009; Ifenthaler, Eseryel, & Ge, 2012; Ritterfeld, Cody, & Vorderer, 2009). Engagement is necessary for real-world learning (Jukes, McCain & Crockett, 2011). In addition, engagement fulfills the first step in the ARCS model, which is to gain the learner’s Attention. The second step is Relevance. How relevant is STEM if students aren’t convinced of the current practical worth and future usefulness of it? The third step is Confidence. Learners can increase their confidence as they try, fail safely, and learn-by-doing interactively with always-accessible instructional technologies (Nygaard, Courtney, & Leigh, 2012). The last step is Satisfaction. Satisfaction can be awarded in the form of congratulatory words, digital badges, reinforced knowledge and skills, and high scores on the leader board. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs isn’t flawless but heightened satisfaction can be experienced with a sense of significance and successful achievements (esteem). The ADDIE model, Design Thinking, and human factors psychology can be used in Instructional/Training Design to foster richer User Experiences for learners.
Why is there such a massive chasm between engagement and learning? It seems like many learning activities are either producing educational but boring lessons or engaging but non-learning assignments. Why isn’t there a healthier hybrid of Fun-Learning? Could it be mainly because of a defunct holistic approach? ITPI uses a balanced, multidisciplinary methodology to design, develop, deploy, and test instructional technologies (high tech and high touch). We bridge academia and industry to trigger multi-sensory points in learners’ heads (knowledge/thinking), hearts (attitudes/feeling), and hands (behaviors/doing) . Don [Kirkpatrick] stated: “Trainers must begin with desired results and then determine what behavior is needed to accomplish them. Then trainers must determine the attitudes, knowledge, and skills that are necessary to bring about the desired behavior(s). The final challenge is to present the training program in a way that enables the participants not only to learn what they need to know but also to react favorably to the program.” (Kirkpatrick and Kirkpatrick, 2009, p. 3).
Multi-generational workforces differ in their learning preferences, but their is a “sweet spot” where Baby boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials overlap when it comes to blended learning and active/experiential/discovery learning. Multigenerational workforces like learning that includes interactivity and games (Paradigm Learning, Inc., 2014). “Games and traditional assessments share underlying characteristics that provide a means for quantifying knowledge and abilities…Assessment occurs naturally in a game” (McClarty, Orr, Frey, Dolan, Vassileva, & McVay, 2012, p. 18). In addition, effective digital learning games, serious games, and SIMS can promote higher order thinking skills, such as applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating (Ritterfeld, Cody, & Vorderer, 2009). This is in alignment with Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy. “Perhaps what is most unique about digital games—as opposed to any other learning innovation—is the combination of motivation, engagement, adaptivity, simulation, collaboration, and data collection that can’t be achieved at scale any other way” (McClarty et al., 2012, p. 23). The soft skills stated by McCarty et al (2012), such as adaptivity and collaboration, are leadership skills. Exercising other leadership skills like decision-making, problem-solving, conflict-resolution, effective communication, emotional intelligence, impetus, agility, and tenacity can enhance people’s competency in practically any subject matter (Marzano, 2000). Learners are leaders and leaders are learners. Imagine how fulfilling it could be if we work together to ignite transformative, light bulb moments for people to achieve their performance improvement goals! Let’s do this!
ITPI services mainly academia, businesses, non-profits, government and the healthcare/medical industry. As creatives, we strive to deliver quality and timely results according to your satisfaction.
We consult, conduct research, design, and develop Instructional Technologies for Performance Improvement, which includes:
- Learning Games
- UX Research & Design
- Corporate Training Games
- Instructional Design
- EdTech Integration
- Serious Games
- eLearning/Curriculum Development