That Was the Year That Was

That Was the Year That Was

While 2013 will be remembered in history as the year that the Patent Protection and Affordable Care Act was rolled out (sort of), there were also some seminal events transpiring and philosophies changing in the corporate learning arena.

Certainly, mobile learning has impacted our daily lives in many ways, not the least of which is learning. The new Experience API (xAPI) makes it possible to collect data about the wide range of experiences a person has (online and offline). Then there’s gamification, which is to today’s learner what the textbook was to yesterday’s learner. According to Gartner, 70 percent of all global companies will have a gamification app by as soon as next year.

One of the other biggest advancements is that learning professionals are finally realizing the value of Big Data, as advanced by Jenny Dearborn, the featured writer in our August/September issue.

“Big Data is the next big thing,” she wrote. “Data analysis is the key, because Big Data without powerful analysis is just simple math with lots of numbers. By triangulating data sources, you can chart out the impact of your programs.”

But Big Data is not the only key to the success of an organization, as Tony Robbins and Walter Rogers pointed out in our June/July issue. Effectively training salespeople is also imperative. “Leap-frog advancements in custom learning platform development enable the use of applications, animation, interaction and graphical reproduction that support the modality of choice,” we noted in that issue.

And now in this issue, we’re defining and bringing a concept called “connected learning” to life. The cover story (page 14) defines connected learning and reveals how its implementation can help your learning initiatives. A follow-up article discusses how the concept was implemented for one of Harvard’s executive education courses and the difference that connected learning has made (page 22).

The main takeaway from all those articles is that connected learning pushes organizations to higher levels of performance while developmentally stretching participants/learners. “And that’s a formula that face-to-face can’t match, with the potential to revolutionize talent development,” as our guest writer concludes.

This, too, has been a great year for the Elearning! Media Group, culminating with our “Best of Elearning!” awards program, highlighted in this issue. Earlier this year, we also celebrated the “Learning! 100” award-winners and an extremely successful Enterprise Learning Conference & Expo (ELCE) in Anaheim, Calif.

Competition in the “Best of Elearning!” program (article begins on page 27) has exploded. We are now tabulating almost 4,000 individual Web ballots per year, and we’ve honored more than 200 companies and more than 400 products over the past nine years.

We are on the cusp of a new year, and that means new ideas and concepts, new technology, and new challenges. Happy holidays to all our faithful readers from the staff of Elearning! and Government E-learning! magazines. Have a great 2014!  

—Jerry Roche, editorial director

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