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Establishing Your Learning Tech Edge


Tue Dec 17 2019

Establishing Your Learning Tech Edge

“Gone are the days when on-the-job experience was enough to sustain your career. These days, employers want job candidates and employees to continue their education. A certificate shows an employer that you are dedicated to staying on top of your industry’s latest technologies and practices.” In its article, “Is a Certificate Program Right for Me?” Campus Explorer sums up the importance of ongoing skills development.

In this age of increased reliance on artificial intelligence and machine learning, everyone needs for data skills. So, talent development pros who help others grow their skills have dual reasons to develop their capabilities in this area—for themselves and for the talent they serve. TD pros can take great strides in this idea by attending a preconference learning event ahead of ATD’s TechKnowledge. According to the Association for Talent Development’s The Future of Work: Technology, Predictions, and Preparing the Workforce report, while 84 percent of organizations have talked about training employees on how to use new technologies, only 43 percent have implemented that training. This is a disconnect that talent development practitioners can help rectify by learning more about these new technologies.


Where Do You Want to Start?

To keep TD pros on top of their game, ATD offers an array of certificate programs designed to meet the learning professional where they are in their skill level. The programs range from project management to the latest cutting-edge technology. Heading into ATD’s newly redesigned TechKnowledge February 5–7, 2020, in San Jose, California, participants in these preconference programs will be ahead of the game. They’ll already have started their active learning and sharing knowledge with their peers.

Think Small: Think Microlearning

We know all too well the distractions workers face. According to Bersin by Deloitte’s Meet the Modern Learner: Engaging the Overwhelmed, Distracted, and Impatient Employee, L&D pros have five to 10 seconds to grab the attention of their learners before they click away, and most learners won’t watch videos longer than four minutes. It’s no wonder that talent development professionals are yearning for a new way to reach employees. Increasingly, microlearning is the way to do it.

Whether you’re just dabbling your toe into microlearning or are interested in enriching your skill set, ATD’s Microlearning Certificate can help. In the program, learners are given the MILE—that is, MIcroLEarning—model to help you curate, create, and crowdsource materials and then implement, promote, and evaluate your program.

Think Proof: Think Measuring ROI

L&D pros are increasingly being asked to show the worth of their development initiatives. Describing recent ATD research, ATD Associate Director of Research Services Maria Ho reported that organizations aren’t where they need to be when it comes to measuring and evaluating training and development initiatives. Effective Evaluation: Measuring Learning Programs for Success noted that only 38 percent to organizations measured at Level 4, or business results; and only 16 percent were measuring the return on investment. With respect to having those measurement and evaluation competencies, Ho noted that there’s “a great need and a great opportunity in many ways for talent development professionals to upskill themselves, particularly as far as those critical data skills are concerned.” ATD’s Measuring Return on Investment Certificate, another preconference learning opportunity, shows attendees how to apply ROI techniques to measure learning and performance so that they can gain buy-in from senior leaders. The program also gives participants a chance to develop their own evaluation plan to improve their processes back on the job.

Think Just What Is Needed: Think Adaptive

To determine how much your development initiatives are working, you need to understand where employees are now so that they can gauge how their behavior is changing as a result of their learning. At the same time, you don’t want to waste the time of your learners by giving them content they already know. As we’ve already seen, learners get turned off quickly in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world of work.


One way that learners can spend their time only on what they need based on where they currently are is through adaptive learning. As James Bennett described in his interview with ATD Education Senior Manager Jeffrey Surprenant, “Typically, when a student begins an adaptive course, they take an assessment. This lets the system begin to determine what the learner needs to know and what they do not need to know.” During the ATD Adaptive Learning Certificate program, learners will gain best practices and common pitfalls, and will practice creating learning objectives, assessments, and other course components.

The full array of available preconference learning courses can be found on the TechKnowledge program page.

Coming Together

After completing one of ATD’s top-notch certificate programs, you can continue that learning at TK, with more hands-on, social learning sessions, and a different perspective on some of the topics covered by preconference learning programs. To blend your own learning, you’ll gain added inspiration from keynoters Marco Tempest and Luvvie Ajayi. Tempest will share his keen tech insights and help you expand your thinking about future possibilities. Ajayi’s combination of comedy, technology, and activism will leave you laughing and thinking about how you can achieve more in your work.

Finally, one of the new aspects of TechKnowledge is that of a hackathon experience, where several individuals come together to collaborate on a challenge. It will undoubtedly spark attendee curiosity and ignite potential.

ATD TechKnowledge: Showcase your commitment to developing yourself, get the tools to upskill and reskill your organization’s talent, and prepare for the future.


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