Learning and Performance Innovation

Learning and Performance Innovation

Jeff Allen (University of North Texas, USA), Pamela Bracey (University of North Texas, USA) and Laura Pasquini (University of North Texas, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-068-2.ch005
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Abstract

Innovations in learning and performance possess the ability to enhance academic programs which encourage educators, businesses, and other stakeholders to reach their objectives. This chapter will address the subject of learning and performance innovation as it directly relates to educators, training personnel, performance specialists, and leaders. Further, this chapter will broaden the definition of innovation to include the utilization of theory, system, processes, and tools that advance society by improving skill sets, promoting global and local connectivity, and increasing productivity and knowledge.
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Introduction

Emerging technologies, such as wikis, blogs, digital media, social networking, open source and mobile applications, have created a different dynamic for learning and performance beyond the traditional educational experience. Referred to as forms of learning innovation and performance innovation, new approaches have allowed the enhancement of teaching, training, learning, and assessment to accommodate most learners. These learning and performance innovations provide a cooperative and collaborative venue that contrasts with the traditional classroom-lecture setting.

The term Learning Innovation encompasses creative, replicable and effective strategies, techniques, tools, or systems used to efficiently enhance the knowledge acquisition process of learners. Conversely, the term Performance Innovation encompasses creative, replicable and effective strategies geared towards reaching desired goals through human behavioral change and the measurement of this change. When implemented appropriately, these constructs collectively possess the potential to drastically enhance academic or training programs, and encourage educators, businesses and other stakeholders to efficiently reach their objectives.

This chapter will address the subject of learning and performance innovation as it directly relates to educators, trainers, performance specialists and leaders. Further, the authors seek to widen the definition of innovation to include the utilization of theory, system, processes, and tools that advance society by improving skill sets, promoting global and local connectivity, and increasing the productivity and knowledge of a society.

Definitions for Understanding

To best discuss the areas of learning and performance innovation, it is necessary to define a few terms that the authors will be utilizing throughout this chapter. For both performance and learning there might be specific terms; however for commonality and referencing we will define the terms used in this chapter. The Learner is an individual who gains knowledge, comprehension, or mastery through experience or study. The Learning Facilitator is an individual responsible for assessing the skill level of learners, planning the learning experience, implementing the learning plan, and evaluating the acquisition of knowledge after the plan is executed. Examples include, but are not limited to, teachers, instructors and trainers.

The term Distance Education encompasses formal learning in which the learning group (learners, resources, and facilitators) is physically separated, but virtually connected through the use of interactive telecommunication systems. Whereas, Interactivity is the degree to which technology supports and enables human collaboration. Finally, Emerging Technologies are the digital tools and online resources which comprise cutting-edge developments and represent contemporary advances and innovation around the 21st century in various fields of technology (e.g., social networks, mobile computing devices, social media, and open education resources, etc.).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it.

Open Education: A collective term that describes knowledge, ideas or important aspects of teaching methodology shared freely over the internet

Meta Tags: Meta elements are HTML or XHTML elements used to provide structured metadata about a Web page. Meta elements can be used to specify page description, keywords and any other metadata not provided through the other head elements and attributes.

Wikispaces: Wikis are simple web pages that groups, friends, and families can edit together. Starting your wiki at Wikispaces is fast, free, and easy. http://www.wikispaces.com/

Wiki: A website that allows the easy creation and editing of interlinked web pages for online collaboration and sharing.

Social media: Online applications for social interaction and content creation for accessible and simple publishing to share knowledge and information

Data Mining: The process of extracting patterns from data and an important tool used to collect useable information.

Blackboard: Develops and licenses software applications and related services to over 2200 education institutions in more than 60 countries. These institutions use Blackboard software to manage e-learning, transaction processing and e-commerce, and online communities. http://www.blackboard.com/

Web 2.0: A term commonly associated with user-centered web applications that promote information sharing, interaction and collaboration online

EC&I 831: Social Media & Open Education: An open access graduate course from the Faculty of Education, University of Regina. This course is available to both for-credit and non-credit participants. It features openly available, live, and recorded presentations from notable educators & theorists. It is anticipated that the open nature of this course will benefit all participants, especially in the fostering and development of long-term, authentic, educational connections. http://eci831.wikispaces.com

Blogs: Short for the term,”web log,” this is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

Moodle: (abbreviation for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) A free and open-source e-learning software platform, also known as a Course Management System, Learning Management System, or Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). http://moodle.org/

Ning: An online platform for people to create their own social networks http://www.ning.com/

Machine Learning: A scientific discipline that is concerned with the design and development of algorithms that allow computers to evolve behaviors based on empirical data, such as from sensor data or databases.

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