When implementing a training program, it is important to choose the right technology for the specific needs of your business. Technology can be daunting and overwhelming, but by familiarizing yourself with the basics, you can make the most of the technology available to you. This article explores the definitions and uses of common training technology terms. Technology has made it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to implement an effective training program.

In today’s highly competitive job market, businesses must find creative ways to attract, retain and motivate employees. The benefits of a company-wide training program go beyond simply increasing productivity or reducing operating costs. These programs often directly result in increases in employee retention, productivity, and motivation as well as lead to a decrease in employee turnover. Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to implement an effective training program. In this glossary, you will find the definitions of common training technology terms that are commonly used when discussing the implementation of an LMS (Learning Management System), CAT (Computer-Based Training), or other similar systems. These definitions are brief and only represent an introduction to the terms listed here.

Human Resource Information System (HRIS)

HRIS helps businesses use technology to enhance their people processes and make both HR and their organization as a whole more efficient. As a result, they may be better able to keep pace with evolving workplace trends. Some systems have predictive analytics, including forecasting and modeling, which can help HR professionals make more informed decisions. Some HRIS providers have monitoring capabilities to stay current with changing regulations and data security measures to help prevent incidents.

Frontline Business Intelligence (FBI)

Business intelligence (BI) is a system that uses data to make better decisions. BI tools help companies get more value out of data to achieve organizational goals. Business intelligence uses data to make better decisions. It’s a system that uses data to grow the business, bringing more value to each piece of information and making it easier to share data across the organization. Customers provide feedback surveys, marketing teams collect leads, suppliers feed in logistics data, and even front-line employees create a significant amount of data.

Data is created in many ways across an organization: customers provide feedback surveys, marketing teams collect leads, suppliers feed in logistics data, and even front-line employees create a significant amount of data. Employees are the ones interacting with customers on a daily basis and receiving feedback from them. In addition, employee data is the easiest to collect: most companies have an HR system collecting information about employees. Using FBI can increase employee engagement, improve customer satisfaction, and decrease the likelihood of customer churn. Learn why data from frontline employees are so important.

Blended Learning

Blended learning refers to a virtual learning environment that is highly individualized and personalized based on each user’s performance. This type of learning is similar to the functionality of a quiz or assessment system but is much more advanced and completely customizable to each user’s needs, abilities, and proficiency. In an adaptive learning system, instructors can easily create individualized learning paths for each user based on their proficiency and progress in the learning content. The system is also able to automatically create new paths for each user as needed, such as when a user has completed all paths for one topic. Advantages of adaptive learning include improved user retention, a reduction in the time it takes for users to progress through content, and an increase in user motivation. This type of learning is particularly helpful for high-stakes, high-pressure situations in which users are expected to retain large amounts of information quickly.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the concept of attempting to recreate human-level intelligence in machines. Simply put, it is the attempt to build computers that are able to think and reason as humans do. Computers that use AI rely on a system of “if/then” statements to accomplish tasks and make decisions. If this happens, then do this. AI and machine learning are often used interchangeably. Artificial intelligence is a broader term that also includes machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. Artificial intelligence can be used in training programs to help make learning more engaging by personalizing content and providing feedback. It can also be used to help create digital tutors, which can be used in place of live instructors in some training programs.

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Learning management systems are a type of Computer-based training (CBT) is training that is delivered to employees through a computer. Within the LMS, each module of training is broken down into smaller segments, or “bite-sized chunks” that are time-boxed and designed to take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes to complete. LMS is associated with e-learning, but the two are not mutually inclusive. There are over 1,000 LMS on the market, however many of them are email-based. These legacies and desktop-based technologies make learning simple but generally lack robust features.

e-Learning

e-Learning is a form of instruction that relies on digital media, such as video, simulation, and interactive content, delivered over the internet. E-learning is often delivered as a series of short instructional modules or short courses that are self-paced, meaning that the user can move through the modules at their own pace. This type of training is helpful when employees need to learn new skills or refresh their knowledge on a particular subject. E-learning is often used in conjunction with other types of training methods, such as instructor-led training, to enhance knowledge retention.

Gamification

Gamification is the concept of applying the design, architecture, and playability aspects of games to non-game activities, such as training. In a training program, gamification is used to make the training more enjoyable and interactive for employees. Gamification often involves the use of points, leaderboards, and other milestones to make the training more competitive among employees. It is also used to highlight important information, such as key takeaways or best practices, through the use of graphics and sound. Gamification can be added to any training program, but it is particularly effective when applied to e-learning.

Chat-Based Learning

This term was coined by Opus. Binging and purging long-form training leads to poor performance on the job. Chat-Based Learning mirrors the experience of sending a text message all within a secure mobile app. It’s interactive, fun, and typically gets better results than traditional gamified methods.

Games-Based Learning (GBL)

Games-based learning (GBL) is a technology-driven approach to instruction in which an instructor uses gaming elements, such as scoring, feedback, and rewards, to enhance the learning process. GBL can be used in a variety of environments, including both computer-based training and e-learning. When using GBL for training, game designers create a game environment that allows users to progress through a scenario and learn as they go. GBL is helpful for training users on a wide range of topics, including technical skills, emotional intelligence and even business skills such as management and leadership.

Instructional Design and Development (IDD)

Instructional design and development (IDD) is the process of designing and creating content. IDD includes everything from deciding what content to include and in what order, to create the visuals and audio used in the program. IDD also includes choosing the delivery method for the content, LMS, or instructor-led training (ILT). The person in charge of creating the training program, such as a content strategist or instructional designer, is typically responsible for IDD.

On-the-job training is a framework that molds employees into experts who then teach other employees of the company. This training model’s primary advantage is that it effectively distributes a range of new knowledge to a large number of employees. It provides individuals with the opportunity for professional development as well. There are several advantages to integrating this model into your business. Here are a few:

  • Curriculum/course consistency:  When you train the experts within your business within a particular framework, they then deliver that same training to other employees. The same information will be distributed and learned throughout your organization.
  • Cost efficiency: Hiring one or two trainers is much cheaper than hiring outside experts to train your frontline workforce.
  • Accessible follow-up: These trainers will be on-site, and therefore have more easy access to follow-up sessions.

Mobile Learning

Mobile learning refers to the use of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for instruction. mLearning can be used in a variety of contexts, including employee training and education. There are a number of ways to implement mLearning, including using mobile apps or mobile-friendly websites. Other ways to incorporate mLearning include sending short texts with important information or short videos that provide tips and advice. mLearning is helpful for employers because it allows them to provide employees with training at any time or any place. Employees can also take the time they need to complete the training at their own pace.

Now that you have read through this article, you should have a better understanding of the functionality of these different technologies. Choose the technology that best fits your company’s needs and implement a training program that will help you to be more productive, engaged, and successful.