Is Virtual Reality a Good Idea?

eLearning, Multimedia, Training

Have you seen the trailer for the movie Ready Player One? If you haven’t, watch it below.

I bring this up because it got me thinking about the future of Virtual Reality and its benefits and implications for continuing to advance this technology. I decided to continue exploring this topic and begin creating a Pecha Kucha presentation for one of my master’s classes this semester. I’m particularly interested in learning more about its current uses in gaming, technology, and education.

Currently, VR is making a comeback and trending in delivering immersive experiences to learning with many benefits in information retention and learner engagement; however, there are some questions about VR that we can’t possibly know the answer to just yet, so we’re forced to speculate and imagine. After watching the trailer for Ready Player One, I began asking myself the following questions:

  • As VR’s technology improves and develops, could the level of stimulation experienced in VR lead to confusion in the real world?
  • Since VR is physically risk-free, might we get too used to being able to survive large falls and end up having more accidents? Or,
  • Could virtual reality prove to be so compelling in the future that we end up choosing it over the real world?

Although these questions do scare me a bit, my stance is definitely pro-VR. Do I think VR will be the doom of our society? No, I think our leaders should be concerned with other issues.

With this project, I hope to address current and future benefits of VR as well as potential implications. Since VR is an emerging trend in the learning community, I believe educators and workplace trainers will find this insightful.

Learning Objectives:

With this project, I hope viewers will…

  1. Identify differences between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
  2. Recognize VR benefits in immersive learning.
  3. Seek VR devices to implement as potential learning solutions in workplace and classroom settings.

Tools and Technologies

Here is where I need your help. If you haven’t looked it up by now, a Pecha Kucha is a presentation style in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (6 minutes and 40 seconds in total). To do this, I need an easy-to-use video editing tool. I plan on using a program called Filmora, but I’m curious to know any opinions about this program from anyone that has used it.

So what do you think about VR? Sound scary or exciting? Let me know below. 

Gamified Learning: Pros and Cons

Gamification, Training, Workforce Management

I’ve always been excited about gamified learning. Instructors (and designers) have seen an increase in student engagement when learning is made fun; however, this trend has also received some backlash because according to critics…

“Gamification is a fad that doesn’t help teach students anything meaningful and many professors scoff at using games in their college classrooms since they do not see it as serious learning.”

I bring this up because my department (a health care call center) would like to implement gamification into our workforce management system and I have the option to enable the gamification feature in the LMS I manage.

I’m hoping I could get your opinion about the pros and cons of using gamified learning. 

From what I gathered…

Pros: Increases learner engagement, creates enthusiasm, provides instant feedback, and makes social connections.

Cons: decreases learner attention span, cost, student assessment (not easy to track progress), game logistics (Is it accessible, additional costs?).

I think the best way to make this backlash less likely or severe is by taking the time to ask questions prior to implementation and not overusing it when delivering training. Most of the backlash that comes from this trend is because of poor planning.

What experience have you had with gamification? What did you find successful? 

Course Design: How to Identify Triage Hot Words for Non-Clinical Agents

Training

Over the past three years, I have been delivering training for a startup health care call center in Denver, CO. The call center services multiple primary care clinics around the Denver metro area assisting them with scheduling appointments, provider-to-provider referrals, and 24/7 phone access to nurse triage services. At the start of 2018, I decided to change my department’s focus and have a more active role evaluating call transfers between our non-clinical agents and clinical team.  head-scratching-3084884_640

One of the primary responsibilities of our clinical team is to triage patients over the phone which effectively reduce unnecessary medical costs for our patients. This service has been in place for about 30 years, however, three years ago they were integrated into the one-stop-shop virtual resource center idea which expanded our staff numbers when non-clinical positions were introduced. This new team would be responsible for inbound and outbound scheduling and referral management phone calls.

To continue reducing unnecessary costs for patients, our non-clinical team (aka Resource Specialists) were asked to use their active listening skills and capture any potential emergency or urgent symptoms a caller may share while trying to schedule an appointment or get information about their referrals. These “Hot Words” serve as trigger words which require the call is transferred to a nurse for triage.

Learning Need

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Resource Specialists would now need to improve their active listening skill and basic medical knowledge to ensure patients requiring triage aren’t being missed. As member of the Training and Development team, I am responsible for delivering training and learning material to our non-clinical team so I have begun brainstorming a variety of ways to improve our team’s skills and knowledge to ensure all hot words are being captured. Prior to the start of my Instructional Design master’s degree, training was inadequate.

I have recently completed a Training Needs Analysis and discovered the team has been missing hot words primarily because they lack the necessary medical knowledge to think critically about potential outcomes when symptoms worsen. They may also benefit from realistic simulations to improve their empathy skill and raise motivation.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize emergency and urgent “hot words” during inbound and outbound patient phone calls.
  2. Obtain and transfer necessary patient information over the phone to complete a warm transfer to the clinical team.
  3. Apply active listening techniques to build trust, show understanding, and acquire information.
  4. Formulate follow-up questions during phone calls when emergency and urgent “hot words” are identified.

Learners

The team is made up of about 30 adults between ages 25-70 and the majority have a general understanding of medical terminology. Fortunately, I have found enormous success using e-learning courses to deliver training because all our learners are comfortable using technology. Courses are typically very linear which are easier to follow and motivates learners by rewarding when questions are answered correctly and courses are completed.

Training Structure and Tools

blogging-3094201_640Learning will be structured primarily as an e-Learning course created using Adobe Captive and uploaded to TalentLMS. The course will include a variety of micro-learnings such as software simulations (how to videos), caller-agent scenarios, knowledge checks, and final assessment. In addition, I will create an infographic with an overview of the general nurse triage process as well as a handout with a list of common hot words. The infographic will be created in Adobe InDesign with many of its graphic elements created in Illustrator.

I am excited about this training and can’t wait to see the results!

What Motivates Adult Learners?

Adult Learning Principles, Training

 

What motivates different people, and how can we match up the appropriate motivators for folks at different stages?

I recently began asking myself the same question so I decided to test out a few things when delivering training to our call center staff. I work for a health care call center which if you’re familiar with health care, it’s always changing! However, most of the people that work for health care are very set in their ways. Let me explain…

I found, with many of the staff we hire at our call center, people tend to resist change when it comes to technology. My company recently (about two years now) made a system-wide update to their Electronic Health Record  system which forced all of its employees to learn something that affected their day-to-day tasks, e.g., scheduling patients, ordering labs and other tests, documenting in patient’s charts, collecting payments, running reports, etc… Now, health care is interesting because there’s a position for every type of person, young and old. What I find most interesting, however, is the reaction we get from people that have been with the company for 10+ years. They’ve seen it all. And it’s unfortunate that this demographic is always overlooked. Our older generation of employees tend to be late adopters* because they want to maintain their old skills.

Late adopters: referring to a person’s resistance to adopting a new idea or way of doing things, an innovation. (Surry Ely, 2007)

When attempting to motivate late adopters, it’s important to think of the following: 

  • Most of the time, late adopters are autonomous and self-directed;
  • they’re goal-oriented;
  • they want to know how new information relates to them;
  • they want to feel respected and heard (they have years of knowledge/experience);
  • they want to maintain old skills;
  • they need to earn your trust (especially if you’re younger than them and trying to teach them new things).

I would love to know what you think or what you would suggest I do so I can gain trust from adult learners. I will be 30 years old this year and most of the people I train are 10+ years ahead of me. I’m an easy-going person and get along with everyone, but I still feel resistance from our older learners.

What would you suggest I try to gain their trust and respect? 

5 Tips for Training Contact Center Agents

People Development, Training

Recent studies suggest that 66 percent of customers, when calling a contact center, expect to speak to someone that is friendly. They find the agent demeanor more important than fast resolution or shorter hold times. How can you ensure your agents provide warm, helpful support over the phone? Provide them with clear guidance and ongoing customer service training and feedback.

Follow these tips to help your agents exceed customer satisfaction:

1 – Start your new employees on the right path

Demonstrate your dedication to your agents by providing them with clear documentation around objectives and procedures. Agents want to know what’s expected of them and how they can find information if they need it. Invest time in an internal knowledge base with resources like call scripts, job aids, and easily accessible training videos.

2 – Shorten the learning curve

Equip your agents with easy-to-use tools. They have a lot to learn about your services, products, and customers. Equip them with tools that streamline workflows, limits repetitive tasks, and make customer information readily accessible. Having to learn various systems and programs can extend training time and easily discourage new employees. Invest in phone support solution that’s integrated with other support channels that make customer record finding a breeze. This will save your agents loads of time.

3 – Pair them with veteran employees

Exposure to agents that exemplify a positive service interaction will set the bar. Give them time to shadow these agents or listen to call recordings.

4 – Don’t wait to offer constructive feedback

As soon as agents start taking calls, you’ll need to find a way to identify areas for improvement and provide constructive feedback. Many call center software comes with a call monitoring feature allowing you to listen to calls, even when your agents are remote. Don’t wait too long to provide feedback. Learning is most effective when they have something recent to reflect to. Be sure not to overlook this.

5 – Provide support through tough calls

It’s easy for new agents to be discouraged after experiencing tough calls. Reassure them by having their backs as they learn the ropes. Longer calls indicate an agent is dealing with a tough issue. Monitor these calls through your dashboard and be readily available in case support is needed. Provide your agents with an easy way to communicate with you. I have found an Instant Messaging tool to be very successful in contact center environments.

Your agents should be focusing on customer interactions rather than workflows. Customers can feel when agents are comfortable and confident, and you’ll see the difference in customer satisfaction.