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1017 - Height Matters for OJT, Machine Learning for Machines, Brexit and the LMS

Elliott Masie’s Learning TRENDS - April 1, 2019.
#1,017 Updates on Learning, Business & Technology Since 1997.
58,091 Readers - - The MASIE Center.
Host: Curation & Learning LAB - April 30 to May 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 

1. Height Matters: On The Job Training Parity?
2. Machines Sent Back for Machine Learning.
3. Brexit: Impact on Learning if UK Splits from Europe? 

1. Height Matters: On The Job Training Parity?  In this era of Big Learning Data, we are starting to see some intriguing trends in items that make a difference in learning and performance outcomes. 

A recent study by graduate students from Toronto compared the effectiveness of On the Job Training assistance, based on a range of characteristics.  One item that popped out was most intriguing: 

“When the heights of the learner and their On The Job Trainer were within 1.5 inches of each other, the speed to competency was the best.  If the learner or their OJT tutor were 2 inches or more different, with one of them being observably taller or shorter than the other, the speed to competency went down.” 

Apparently, the trust factor was the highest when they were almost the same height - and were able to look each other in the eye on a level field.  This applied to the manufacturing, sales and health care fields.  It did not matter what their height was - just that there was almost parity between the learner and OJT provider. 

The study’s researcher advocated that Learning Systems might include the height of both learners and tutors to advocate for parity.  But, I can only imagine Human Resources raising objections.   Hmmmm. 

2. Machines Sent Back for Machine Learning: While Machine Learning is usually focused on computer systems that can learn from the performance of tasks and users, it has sparked a new line of business:  

Machine Learning Schools for Machines 

Many offices have effective machines in their space that work fine, but they pre-date the world of Machine Learning and AI.  For example, your office probably has a printer/copier that is pre-Machine Learning. 

The office equipment could be replaced by a newer and “smarter” version.  Yet, that would not fit well with a more “Green” approach to recycling and extending the use of equipment.  A Machine Learning Enabled Printer would be improving their performance based on daily learning from usage. 

Hence, a coalition of office machine manufacturers have been testing a “Machine Learning for Machines” location.  The older machine is sent back to have a few extra computer chips added to its tech board and to go through a Boot Camp for Machine Learning.   The equipment gets significantly smarter after about 150 hours of high speed simulation and prompting from the Machine Learning algorithm. 

It is an exciting evolution of Machines Enjoying Machine Learning. 

3. Brexit Impact on Learning Systems in UK & Europe: This weekend I was in London and was deluged with news about the Brexit proposal.  Would the UK stay or not stay as part of Europe?  

There is heated debate and high levels of uncertainty about the impact of Brexit.  And, that now extends to the world of LMS and Learning Systems. 

Companies that purchased Europe-wide Licenses for their LMS, LCMS or even Leadership Programs are worried that Brexit will throw a wrench into the fee structure and data sharing arrangements.  

A group of UK Chief Learning Officers is meeting with MP’s in Parliament to craft a Brexit and Learning Waiver.  Ideally, learning programs will be safe, no matter what the outcome of the Brexit debate. 

NOTE:  It is my annual delight to have fun with Learning TRENDS on April 1st.  It is a day to stretch the writing and enjoy a smile with my learning colleagues around the world.  Although I am looking for an online tutor who is 6 Feet 2 Inches Tall, plan on sending my fax machine to Machine Learning School, and hoping that Brexit does freeze the LMS access when I return to London on Saturday.  Feel free to send me an email to 

Happy April Fools Day! 

Yours in learning, 

Elliott Masie
Twitter: @emasie  

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