Monday, December 10, 2007

Enews Reader Responses: Politics of LMS Implementation and The Basics of Games

Thanks to Terry, Al and Jeff for sharing their comments and observations.
Enews, November 26, 2007

What is the politics of e-Learning?

Sadly, we all have to navigate the turfs, silos, and territorial waters. Story: A senior executive in-charge of e-Learning wants to proceed with the content development and refuses to synchronize his plans with IT/Tech Support department. "I don't want to get trapped with the slowness of IT. They have yet to purchase the LMS and we are behind. I don't want to wait. I'll have to deliver my part."

Silly? Some of us ignore the politics and we lose big time. e-Learning content and LMS delivery should be a one and all solution, cohesive, and strategically sound. It should fit like hand-to-glove. What do you think? Email your thoughts and I will share them with the community.

From Al Padkowsky

The senior e-Learning exec is correct. When you work in a large corporation, the reality is that you cannot let others hold your success hostage to their inability to deliver on previously-agreed upon goals. The executive’s primary responsibility is to deliver on those things he can control and if the IT department is not able to perform, then the exec can not use that as an excuse for non performance. A good analogy would be a football team where players are told to take care of their area of responsibility and trust other players on the team to perform as expected. If someone is not performing, then the coach (CEO) takes appropriate action.

Another important point is if the exec can deliver compelling content and show the value of his team’s contribution to the corporation, then that can be used to build the business case needed to secure additional resources such as a dedicated IT staffer or the ability to outsource the LMS. Using an open-source CMS like Moodle can provide enough interim functionality to deliver courses, monitor results and produce the reports necessary for the business case.

Best Regards,

Al Padkowsky
Senior Learning and Development Manager
Raritan Inc.
Enews, November 12, 2007

Case situation: Game Development

A training manager from one of the largest retail stores asked if video gaming as a type of training really helps 18 to 21 year-old workers. So I asked the question: What is in video games that make them so engaging? Is it the hand-eye coordination, the power of the game software, or is it about a compelling story with strong plots and characters? The story of course. What do you think? Please email me your quick thoughts.

From Jeff O’Malley
To me, the basic appeal of stories lies in the mythological truths underlying them. It's the same reason why the message in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and in songs like "We Shall Overcome" still resonate so deeply among a wide spectrum of people.

Jeff O’Malley is the Prison Fellowship International Senior Director for Communications and Marketing and Senior Facultyof the Institute for Leadership Formation.

From Terry
The engaging factors of video games are more than a great story. There is a whole body of research on using the engagement techniques of games for learning. Marc Prensky has a one- page list of reasons games engage us. I think it is a good list, although a lot more can be said on the subject. Clark Quinn's book "Engaging Learning" addresses some of the research in depth.

Here are links:

Terry duSolieil

Northrop Grumman