In a short time, our world has changed dramatically. No longer is knowledge and information bound to printed volumes or even desktops. We now have the ability to create interactive elearning content and publish it on mobile devices, including iPhones, making it instantly available anytime, no matter where we are.
Gone also are the days of memorizing vast amounts of information for instant recall. We now have instant access to vast libraries of information, far more than we could have ever hoped to memorize in a lifetime. Mobile accessible eLearning makes it possible for us to access just about any knowledge we desire wherever we are, just when we need it. In this way, it represents a tremendous breakthrough for reference and performance support. But having all of this information at your fingertips can also be overwhelming. The real breakthrough is achieved when learners are able to find exactly the right information, when and where they need it.
In the late 80’s and 90’s Roger Shank, then Dean of Northwestern’s Institute for Learning Sciences, pioneered research into expert tutoring systems using artificial intelligence. That evolved into “ask” systems that let users access relevant help by simply selecting the question that they want to have answered. As a practical matter, these systems were never really “artificially intelligent.” They relied upon developers and programmers to develop hard coded pathways that they believed would best serve the learner.
Fast forward a decade… Google and others have made huge strides toward anticipating which website we are searching for when we enter a request into their search engines and serving up the information most relevant to us. This technology has given way to a new generation of “ask” systems.
The latest generation of performance support pioneered by the Blueline team, leverages these new “ask” system capabilities. Search responses, relevant links and associated content are determined using a gaming engine model (rules and probabilities) to predict and share the most relevant content for each user. The engine “learns” from previous users’ choices and the designer’s intended objectives. So in this case, you could say that the learner’s experience evolves “intelligently” based on the succession of choices they make.
Pair this next generation of “ask” systems with mobile delivery and you have an unprecedented business tool. Intelligent support that is accessible just-in-time at the point of need.
Would you like to explore potential strategies for putting these exciting new platforms to work in your organization? Blueline is here to help!