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2015 Learning & Development Technology Trends Report – Enterprise Social Networks

Welcome back to the Impact Instruction Group’s video series on our third annual Learning and Development Technology Trends Report. This episode, we’re going in depth on Enterprise Social Networking.

First, let’s take a step back and define enterprise social networks. Chief Learning Officer Magazine defines them as private internal software platforms designed to engage employees while fostering collaboration and informal learning.

We asked our survey respondents if they had adopted an enterprise social networking tool… it was a new question for our 2015 survey. They were split down the middle… 50 / 50.

Our founder and CEO Amy Franko explains in this short video.


You can also see exactly how our respondents answered our enterprise social networking questions in this graphic:

II_Survey_Dec2014_v5_Q56And, for all the details, be sure to download a copy of our 2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report. you haven’t already downloaded the full report. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

View previous posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments | Leadership Insights Mobility | Staffing

2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report – Staffing

We wondered how organizations’ learning and development teams will be staffed to keep up with the growing mobile learning emphasis in training. So we asked you as part of our survey for the Impact Instruction Learning and Development Technology Trends Report.






In looking at the data, one number in particular caught our attention… That’s the decrease in organizations that say they have the right people in place to meet the growing emphasis on mobile learning. Only 12 percent believe they do. That’s down from 21 percent last year.


What skills SHOULD a learning team have in place to stay at the forefront? We found it’s a blend of technical, business and interpersonal abilities.

Learn more from Amy Franko in the video above.

And, for all the details, be sure to download a copy of our 2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report. you haven’t already downloaded the full report. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

View more posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments | Leadership Insights Mobility | Enterprise Social Networks


Reduce the Capability Gap with Technology-Based Learning

columbus ceo logoOf all the things that keep leaders up at night, one of the most challenging is the “capability gap,” that is making sure the right people are with the organization, in the right roles, and with the right skills to move the business forward.

How can leaders assess their organization, to reduce capability gaps and build their competitive advantage? A strong place to start is with a role-based talent development program that encompasses consistent on-boarding and ongoing learning experiences. Our Amy Franko shared seven benefits of technology-based learning in this guest blog in Columbus CEO.

2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report – Mobility

We in the learning industry must answer the demand to incorporate a level of mobile and social learning into our work environments.

How are we doing at it?

Impact Instruction Group asked our survey respondents how they would characterize their company’s adoption of mobile learning. Impact Instruction Group Founder and CEO Amy Franko explains more in this short video.




This graphic also provide

This graphic also provides insights. You’ll see that 44 percent said they had new mobile devices and need to create a strategy to leverage them. But, ZERO said they have a fully-implemented mobile-learning strategy.


Why aren’t we doing better? The Towards Maturity organization cities several barriers when it comes to implementing mobile learning.

For example, the “bring your own device policy,” the cost of acquiring devices, the loss of control over corporate data, and the perceived lack of use all work against mobile learning implementation.

If you’re not already incorporating mobile into your learning program, we’ve got a few tips to help you get started.

  1. Identify a specific business need.
  2. Start small.
  3. Create a strategy document.

If you haven’t already downloaded the full report, access your copy now. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

Join us again soon for our next video when we talk about staffing.

View previous posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments | Leadership Insights | Staffing | Enterprise Social Networks


2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report – Leadership Insights

Survey Says: Leadership Shows More Interest in Technology-Based Learning + Performance Solutions

Our 2015 Learning and Development Technology Trends Report is out, and one area of focus was leadership’s interest in technology-based learning and performance solutions.




What’s on the radar in the C-Suite? More than 70 percent of our respondents indicated that their leadership is showing an increased interest in implementing technology-based learning and performance solutions. That’s up several points over last year. We weren’t surprised to see this support, especially with technology being leveraged in other areas of their organizations.

This graphic illustrates the results. Just click on it to view it full size.


This focus means the pressure is on us to show results. It’s crucial that we provide learning opportunities that best leverage current technologies, and also make sense for our organizational environment and culture. We must also  be willing to create the business case for our learning initiatives and demonstrate solid ROI.

There are several ways you can do this.

First, we recommend that you know the core strategic initiatives of your organization and develop an understanding of your IT initiatives. That will help you identify core technologies.

Second, we’re seeing success with establishing cross-functional relationships and involving different stakeholders in learning initiatives. That builds credibility for the training function.

If you haven’t already downloaded the full report, access your copy now. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

View more posts from this series:

Introduction | Investments |  Mobility | Staffing | Enterprise Social Networks

2015 Top Learning and Development Technology Investments

We’re back to tell you more about the results of our third annual Learning and Development Technology Trends Report.
This week, we’ll dive into the first section of the report… Investment.



We asked our respondents what technology-based learning and performance support methods their organizations would invest in this year. Almost all areas are showing growth or holding steady.

Still ranking #1 in technology investment is eLearning at 85 percent; however, webinars came in second, making a comeback with an increase of 17 percent over last year. Videos also jumped 20 percent this year over last, the largest increase. Virtual Networking was a new category this year, with 40% of respondents investing in it this year. Mobile, Games, Social Networking, Virtual Conferences, and Flipped Classroom remained close to last year’s numbers.

You can see the results in this graphic. Just click it to view it full size.

In our next installment, we’ll take a look at leadership.

And don’t forget to download your copy of the report. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

If you have any questions about the report or how Impact Instruction can help you achieve your business performance goals, just let us know!

View more posts from this series:

Introduction | Leadership Insights Mobility | Staffing | Enterprise Social Networks

2015 Technology-Based Learning Trends

What’s Hot in Technology-Based Learning?
Be in the know with Impact Instruction’s 2015 Learning & Development Technology Trends Report.

Welcome to the first installment in our video series highlighting key findings from our 2015 Learning & Development Technology Trends Report. As a friend of Impact Instruction Group, we want to make sure you’re in the know. This is our third-annual look at how some of the world’s largest organizations are investing in, planning for and using L&D technology.  It has information and insights to empower you to make an impact in your business.


Technology is always changing, and it’s changing the way we approach learning – so it’s critical that we keep our fingers on the pulse of the latest tools and trends. When we in the learning profession use these tools and trends in our work, we can have a great impact on our people, which in turn creates stronger organizations and stronger results.

In this report, we tracked learning technology trends across six areas:

  • Categories of learning technologies in which companies will invest in 2015
  • Leadership interest in implementing new technologies
  • Maturity of corporate mobile learning strategies
  • Staffing plans for mobile initiatives
  • Utilization of enterprise social tools in training
  • Use of xAPI, or Tin can API software

We also compared the data from our 2013 and 2014 technology reports and learned the trends are shifting.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll explore some highlights of our findings with you. Amy explains more in this video. Watch for next week’s episode. And be sure to download your copy of the report. Just click on the blue subscribe button on the top, right side of this page.

Of course, if you have any questions about the report or how Impact Instruction can help you achieve your business performance goals, just let us know!

View more posts from this series:

Investments | LeadershipMobility | Staffing  | Enterprise Social Networks

Go Fast or Go Far? Building Strong Teams

Each year in the Spring and Fall, I volunteer in a world that’s very different from the one I spend much of my waking and working hours in:  as an assistant coach to 20 grade-school girls in an after school program called Girls on the Run.

Girls on the Run teaches life and leadership skills within the context of a running program.  At the end of 10 weeks, several hundred girls from programs all over the region celebrate their accomplishments by participating in a 5K.

As you can imagine there are all types of backgrounds, abilities, personalities, and emerging leadership styles.  We have outgoing and shy, talkative and quiet, those comfortable out front, and those who prefer the middle of the pack.

While running is sport that hones individual mental and physical skills, these girls are also experiencing what it means to be supportive and encouraging in an inclusive, collaborative environment.  They’re learning the power of success through teamwork.

Teamwork is important in every aspect of our lives. Behind nearly every success are both individual contributions and those of the greater team.  This article shares some specific actions you can take in building a high-performance team. [Read more...]

Rediscovering Discovery

We live in a world where an enormous amount of information is created and shared at lightning speed.  I originally posted this article over 3 years ago.  I took some time to revisit it to see what has changed in our world of information and technology, and how we in the training field can help our teams and organizations find the right information for the right learning experiences.

A 2011 Fast Company article shared these facts about social media content, and I revisited these statistics for 2015.

  • 2011: The Facebook community (500 million members) creates almost 1 million pieces of content every minute.  2015: That number is now 890 million daily active users and according to Pew Research Center, Facebook is used by 57% of all American adults.
  • 2011: Twitter’s network serves up 125,000 tweets per minute. 2015:  Twitter serves up 350,000 tweets per minute according to Internet Live Stats.
  • 2011: YouTube receives over 48 hours of video content per minute.  2015:  YouTube’s press statistics report 300 hours per minute, with over 50% of viewing from mobile devices.

That 2011 article went on to share this:  “Taming this torrent [of information] into something manageable and highly relevant is increasingly seen as the key for Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. . . that explains why discovery is the word du jour in tech.”  Creating a discovery engine with the right balance of relevant information and personalization is a formula that still hasn’t really been cracked.

And in 2015?  There’s more of everything. More information, and information-sharing tools and sites out there.  That creates an even greater need for personalization to find those learning experiences that are relevant.

How can we in the training field problem solve for this?  By making sure we’re pursuing relevant discovery. 

[Read more...]

My #1 Training Design Tool

Every year at Impact Instruction Group, we look at the trends shaping learning and development and publish those findings in our Technology Trends Report. Trends like gamification, TinCan API, social learning, and mobile.

Within each of those trends I see one powerful tool, a tool that training professionals need to have and don’t use often enough.

What is it?  Story.

Stories transcend trends.  They are the emotional glue holding together our training content, its value, and ultimately, our call to action.  Your learners have to internalize that value, to “get it,” and to do something differently or better because of it.

Your training audience isn’t going to remember everything about a learning experience.  Your job?  Make sure they remember, care about, and act upon the most important pieces of the message. The other stuff?  Well they can look it up in your job aids and other materials.

Think about the training you design or deliver.  Are those learners going to forget it all a week later? Is there any emotional glue keeping it together, or just some weak, one-sided tape?

Adding story to your training is a simple tool to help people internalize its value, even if they don’t remember all of the nitty-gritty details.  And you don’t have to be an expert in storytelling to make this work.

To begin, let’s go back to grade school and review the basic elements of story:

  • People and place –Who is the story about? Where did it happen?
  • Exposition – What’s the back story? This provides more context to the overall message.
  • Plot – What happened? This is the sequence of events that make up the actual story.  The plot contains your conflict, or the crux of the story. This could be internal or external conflict.  It also contains your turning point, where the conflict is often resolved.
  • Resolution – How does it end? This is where your audience learns what happens to the characters and you tie together the overall message.

Below are some other resources for learning more about story elements:

  • Interactive Cinderella, from – This one’s very elementary, literally. It’s for grades 2-5, and uses Cinderella to share the elements of story. Nothing like getting back to basics!
  • A Storied Career – This post is about business storytelling, with some great examples from well-known companies.

With the elements of story in mind, we’ll bring it back to training and your day-to-day business environment.  Below are some ideas to help you create stories:

  • Look at those learning objectives. What is your core message? What actions should your audience take as a result of their time with you?  Your core message and desired actions should be well defined in your learning objectives, and they become the anchor for your story choices. Your story choices should tie back to those objectives.
  • Consider how story can address emotional barriers. We’ve all had it happen, where some learners shut down for various reasons.  Scrutinize each lesson and activity for those barriers.  For example, when I’m talking to groups about building network relationships, I know many of them will think they can’t do it. Then the invisible barrier goes up.  As I’m teaching the skills, I tell stories about my own experiences to help break those barriers.
  • Share someone else’s experience or create a scenario. Don’t have your own experience? No problem. I might share a colleague’s experience if I’m in a live training session, or ask the audience to share a story.  In an e-learning experience, branching scenarios are a great way to use the element of story.  For more on this, check out this blog post by Cathy Moore, where she describes a branching scenario done by the U.S. Army.  Warning: I spent a half hour working my way through the scenarios – I was hooked!
  • Infuse your own emotion, personality, and sincerity into it. If I had to prioritize these ideas, this would be #1.  I can’t say enough about it. No matter how well you incorporate the technical elements of story, you must believe in the story’s value and power, or it will come across as flat and disingenuous.  It’s your emotion, personality, and sincerity that sells it.
  • Become open to finding stories in unexpected places. I’ve conditioned myself to look for stories in all situations, and this comes in handy when creating new or refreshing existing materials.  This is especially important for those times when you’re training on a dry subject. Try not to throw in the towel on stories for those subjects – those are the ones that really need story.  Do your research, interview people, dig deep – try to find a human story element that will create that emotional glue.
  • Be sure the story is relevant. Does the story tie to an objective? Because in the end, those are the measurable elements that determine the training’s impact to the business.  For each story, map it to the course objective it meets. If it doesn’t clearly meet an objective, set it aside and come back to it. You may still tell it as a supporting element, but make sure your core stories meet the course’s objectives.

If you hone one design tool in your training, start with story.  Remember that the human mind isn’t designed to remember all of the details of a training experience.  But with well-placed story, the most important details and the value of the message will be remembered – as well as the person who designed or delivered it.

Ready to learn more?

Visit to download our annual Learning and Development Technology Trends Report. Impact Instruction is a 2014 Apex Award of Excellence winner for training design.

© 2015 Impact Instruction Group

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