Back to The Cloud – and Ellen Wagner explored “How The Cloud impacts upon your job.”
Beginning with a refreshingly honest appreciation of the e-learning industry, and the nature of many developers, Wagner correctly pointed out that e-learning development was in many ways still a craft based business model.
e-learning development projects were usually very tightly defined to build a specific solution, and developers are often too inclined to tinker continually with learning materials. Her message for learners and developers of learning – The Cloud is going to profoundly change this – be warned! Clouds darkening…!
For the Learner: How “your” learning and performance is tracked and analysed will become a major issue, and the individual must realise that pretty much everything will be tracked and recorded, and managing your personal privacy will be important. This was one of the few dystopian notes sounded in the conference that heavily addressed The Cloud as the next big thing in learning, and is worthy of real note! I think this is absolutely key and we should all take note.
The Cloud will change the nature in the very availability of content, and this will be a huge challenge if it is not effectively tagged. Meta data is going to be key to making Cloud based solutions work argues Wagner. But how many developers really make the effort to effectively tag their learning materials – not enough!
The sheer volume of content available in The Cloud will make tagging a key enabler for the learner to find what they need to know rapidly.
The Cloud brings obvious benefits in terms of storage and availability, and Wagner confidently predicts that Cloud based authoring will emerge. This caused considerable interest with the audience wondering how material would remain confidential to an organisation.
The nature of The Cloud will predicate against the way e-learning is developed and built at present, the linear nature of courses will change and ID’s will be challenged to create immersive learning experiences, MMOG’s are showing the e-learning industry the way to go, argues Wagner, and the associated analytics from these learning environments will mean learner feedback can be seen and reported and the environment updated and improved as a result.
So what should the learning design community do to come to terms with these changes? Interestingly and absolutely correctly in our view Wagner highlighted the importance of aligning learning to business process and ensuring the results impact are measured, analytics are going to get more and more important.
She advises opening and developing dialogue with the technologists who will be developing much of the new Cloud based learning environments – even take a java course to understand a little more of their world.
Strive to influence at enterprise level, by developing robust business cases and talk the language of the business executive.
We absolutely agree, the ability of the e-learning industry to be able to converse in “many tongues” is key, we have to understand technology, learning and training and the needs of business at senior level (C level).