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96 - Special Report from Camp Uncas - Adirondack Mountains, N.Y.

(Special Report from Camp Uncas - Adirondack Mountains, N.Y.)

12 Learning, Training and Technology Predictions for 1999 - From The MASIE Center

With the New Year about 48 hours away and the snow falling at our remote wilderness cabin in the Adirondacks, it is a perfect time and setting to put on my Predictions Hat. 1998 was been quite a year for the learning field. So, what is The MASIE Center predicting for the last year of this millenium?

1. ASSUMPTIVE CHOICE: During 1999, the learner community will evolve their assumptions about the format of learning. ASSUMPTIVE CHOICE means that learners will assume that there will be a choice in format for almost every learning and training experience. "How can I learn the new networking system - either via on-line learning or a class?" The learner's mantra will be this choice.

2. INTENSITY, SIMULATION & COLLABORATION: During 1999, the bar will be raised on what a learner expects in an on-line learning experience. Look for new products that will offer more INTENSITY (higher levels of engagement), SIMULATION (immediate ability to practice with consequences) and COLLABORATION (multi-learner and real-time access to expertise models).

3. CONTENT, CONTENT and CONTENT: While there is a lot of interest in new tools for creating and delivering learning, the real interest is in CONTENT. Almost every one of our contacts in major organizations has expressed the immediate need for technology delivered CONTENT in a wide range of topics. Remember, most organizations only home-grow a small percentage of their training. They buy the bulk of it. This pattern is placing a high demand on CONTENT COLLECTIONS. Look for the growth of CONTENT libraries in 1999, form existing learning providers and also new players.

5. TEMPLATES: A further expansion of the demand of content will be TEMPLATES. Organizations want to be able to access an "almost-ready" version of a class and then have a rapid process for customizing and finalizing the course.

6. AUDIOGRAPHICS: If we were to invest in one aspect of learning in 1999, it would be AUDIOGRAPHICS. Simple definition: the ability to share a common web page with a second person while having a telephone conversation. AUDIOGRAPHICS will become a core component of both the selling process and customer support. Automatic links between web pages and telephone systems will allow for an easier deployment of AUDIOGRAPHICS. Look towards the browser taking on increased capacity in this area in 1999 and training organizations developing new uses of AUDIOGRAPHICS .

7. COACHING & MENTORING: When we talk with learners about their wish list of 1999, the conversation seems to snake around to COACHING & MENTORING. The learner wants to be able to combine self-study with easy access to an expert as they apply the new material. COACHING & MENTORING will be delivered in a wide range of formats and business models: telephone, on-line, real-time or scheduled.

8. TRANSACTION ASSISTANCE: Watch for an amazing growth in web-based transactions in business in 1999. As we become more comfortable with on-line shopping and with the use of browsers, corporations will be very rapidly migrating major chunks of transactions within the organization to browser based forms. This will spur the growth of a new field of training, called TRANSACTION ASSISTANCE. Imagine small modules of on-line learning (with an escalation to mentoring), for key transactions ranging from changes in your H.R. choices to how to order new materials in a warehouse. This move will be enabled by the growth of enterprise computing systems and the desire of business units to rapidly change a transaction in response to changing requirements.

9. ASSESSMENT: The world wants some new models of assessment. Organizations and learners want to be able to assess skills at a very targeted level. Look for several new players in the technology delivered assessment field. Watch for team based assessment as well as the growth of independent skills portfolios.

10. PRICING MODELS: One of the difficulties in 1998 has been the lack of pricing models for learning content. We all know the range of costs for a 2 day instructor led class. Yet, how much should one pay for an on-line learning experience. Look for a PRICING MODEL to emerge in 1999, to assist buyers, suppliers and learners. We believe that the variables above (intensity, simulation, assessment, mentoring and collaboration) will be key factors in calculating the price, along with the impact of the learning on the enterprise.

11. INVESTMENTS GALORE: 1999 will be a year of massive investments in the Learning Marketplace. We are tracking more than 3 Billion new U.S. Dollars targeted at the learning marketplace. Look for 3 new "roll-ups" in our industry, where a dozen or more smaller companies are purchased and rolled up into an consolidated player. Also, watch for big-time investments in for-profit higher education alternatives.

12. CHANGE & REFLECTION: The easiest prediction to make for 1999 is that there will be change. I should turn in my trends analyst cap for making that one. Yet, in 1999, there are other forces at work to make CHANGE a valid prediction. We believe that people and organizations will use the coming change in calendar to drive greater than ever reflection and introspection. As we face a benchmark as large as the turn of the millennium, it is only natural that we will take a deep breath. I would predict that you will see an unprecedented level of personal and organizational REFLECTION in the next 12 months. Lots of folks will take stock of their careers, consider alternatives and examine their learning needs. Business units will want to go into the next thousand years with greater clarity and focus. So, strap on your CHANGE seat will be quite a year ahead.

Best Wishes for 1999 - From Elliott Masie and The MASIE Center
(Permission Granted to Copy and Re-Post with Attribution to The MASIE Center - )

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