Monday, August 19, 2019

Digital Learning For Behavioural Change

I was skeptical, and slightly worried, by the title of Haymarket HQ's talk last Friday: "The Future of Digital Learning to Drive Behavioural Change" by So-Young Kang, Founder of Gnowbe. Haymarket HQ is a start-up center in Sydney's Chinatown, specializing in helping Australian businesses expand into China. But the behavioral change So-Young talked about was not some sort of Orwellian brainwashing, but helping people get ready for new jobs.

So-Young emphasized a mobile first approach to online learning, rather than mobile responsive. The latter is for on-line delivery to desktop computers, but uses features in web technology to ensure the display is adjusted if the student has a mobile device. With real mobile-first, the screen display, the content, and the course, is designed with mobile devices in mind. This requires much smaller units of learning.

With my course design I started with desktop orientation, about ten years ago, and started incorporating more mobile features using responsive design over the last five years. I now assume the student will study the material on a mobile device, do the quizzes and forum interaction, but still use a desktop computer for the major written assignments.

So-Young talked of both businesses and universities using Gnowbe products for staff and students. What was most interesting was using this for people skills. Academics and teachers could look at some of these techniques. What is yet to be explored in detail is how this will fit with conventional post-secondary learning. Are VET and university qualifications to be replaced by micro-learning? I suspect not, but it may be supplemented, or supported by this.

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