This month (or should I say the year’s first) on The Learning Circuits blog the Big Question is “Challenges, Plans, and Predictions for 2009”
I’m a week behind writing my New Year’s message. My goal is to post at least once a week this year. Is this a sign that I’m already into the second week and have not posted and that I’ve failed? Or can I write two before next week to catch up so I don’t feel guilty? Challenge: This blog. Plans: Fulfill the goal to post once a week. Prediction: Looking back a year from and reflecting on this post…
It is also fitting that since I’m in Memphis and today is Elvis’ birthday a shout out to the big guy wherever he is.
In retrospect, last year was a big challenge for me personally and professionally. This year’s challenges, plans, and predictions are always so clear this time of year as we usually have this renewed sense of newness. Ya’know…new year, new ideas, and such.
My attempt here is to point out challenges, plans, and predictions I’ll face professionally within my organization as well what I see in the industry.
Professionally – Our biggest challenge is being carried over from last year. We learned a great deal implementing an LMS for the first time into a large corporation with 50k+ users. There are still many environmental issues, technical challenges with the various network connections, and more importantly content development that is reusable and easy to manage and update. The more awareness and attention an LMS receives, the more demand the business requires of it. We’re at a crossroad where that demand has yet to prove a benefit, yet we have limited budget and set of skills to produce the content to show the appropriate ROI to increase the development team, thus supporting the increased demand. Whew!
Industry – As a whole the industry is going to be challenged as a byproduct of the economy. Budgets are being slimmed and with that the costs to upgrade, maintain, and purchase eLearning systems, tools, and content will be challenging for many companies. The challenge for training departments will be to prioritize what is really a need vs. a want and providers of systems, tools, and content will have to look at creative ways to continue to support the industry without pulling their own rugs out from underneath themselves.
Professionally – Our plans for this year are to upgrade our LMS and tweak some of the existing functionality. With our system being on-line now for about a year, we have identified several areas that we can improve while other areas we ‘thought’ would be a benefit have proven not to work as well as originally planned. As for content, our plans are to carry on with what I would refer to as our biggest success last year by organizing our content and creating a library of templates and source material. To continue with that success, my plan is to compile everything into a media library similar to a content management system. I know, I know, you’re thinking “Why not just use a LCMS?” Well, that thought had occurred to me/us, but as indicated above our budget is trimmed as well. We bought a LMS with what we could afford and at this point we are not at a place to convert of upgrade to a full LCMS.
Industry – I don’t think I’m quite qualified to speak on how the industry is planning on facing the new year. I saw a lot of energy around rapid development tools and techniques last year and my assumption is that energy will carry over with companies leveraging how they can incorporate rapid development tools and techniques into their workflow.
Professionally – In a fast-paced retail environment we can predict sales trends and customer behaviors. However, because of that pace it’s rather difficult to predict the eLearning efforts. The LMS is the backbone of delivering eLearning (at least in our environment) and its acceptance among the enterprise will determine the pulse for more content. I predict by this time next year we’ll have more full and rich content as more and more users will see how beneficial eLearning can improve their knowledge and awareness.
Industry – Mobile learning was the big buzz this time last year. Where mobile technology works in one industry it doesn’t work in another. Web 2.0 technology has really taken off in the past year and social networking has become almost a normal collaborative vehicle. I predict more learning networks formed with smaller groups, like the Learning Town! and Work Literacy networks.
Thank ya, thank ya vury much!