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Clark Aldrich Research Common Citations, 1999

Here are some common citations from my own 1999 published work. At this point in my career, I had successfully launched Gartner's eLearning coverage.

I chose to focus on the corporate market. (At the time it was evolving faster than the Academic markets.) But I continued work on K-12 and higher ed, both as a member of the Connecticut Youth TechCorps in the Finance and Development Committee (where I served from 1998-2001), and also as the Governor’s appointee to Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Educational Technology (where I served from 1996-2000).

I had spent my early research on capturing the current state, and now had enough support from the industry to push a bit more vision out. My comments were as controversial (and hopefully accurate) as Unschooling Rules is today.

This is from a December, 1999 Gartner research note called The Three E-Learning Rules That Will Bury Training. Here, many concepts of both Serious Games and Web 2.0 are explored:
As markets converge, competition increases and individuals are recognized as agents of revolution, three principles will overturn 100 years of accepted “training” practices.
Rule 1 - Train Customers, Not Just Employees.
Rule 2 — Simulated experiences are real experiences: By 2003, enterprises attempting to attract and retain people aged 30 or younger will need to offer virtual business simulations as a significant part of their learning programs (0.8 probability). Companies are having to step up their management of their employees’ experience, systematically ensuring both intellectual growth and fun. To meet this challenge effectively, employers of choice will provide sophisticated business simulations with the following characteristics:
  • Employees will take on new roles, be presented explicit challenges and make decisions in a convincing, computer-generated environment.
  • The linear instruction portion of the experience will be less than 5 percent of the total time, with most of the time spent making decisions. Key knowledge and ideas are coded in, not presented. Students will learn from their observation of reactions to their actions.
  • The simulation will be open-ended, with multiple-victory scenarios and multiple paths for each one.
  • Some of these programs will also include a personality analysis evaluation of the student based on decisions made during the simulation.
  • The course will present high production values and fast feedback, eliminating the ability to be hosted on a Web site in the near term. Animation will be the media of choice over video, as it allows greater variety of results. The course will most likely be available via CD-ROM or downloadable from the Web, and unzipped and run locally.
  • Students will be able to replay portions using different strategies.
  • These programs will start out as solo experiences, but evolve to group play by 2003.
  • It will take between two and eight hours to finish a simulation.
The risk in deploying these courses for corporations will be minimal once there are libraries available, although current training management software will have to be recalibrated.

Rule 3 — Shared learning beats shared training: By 2003, at least 60 percent of organizations will have deployed learning platforms, allowing constant collaboration and sharing of best practices (0.7 probability). There has always been a tension between training and practice. Training is how things should be done; practice is how things are done. Training is a snapshot of a theory, which is generally at least 10 months old; practice can be leading-edge. Training is created from the selection of a few best practices and subject matter experts, but there are hundreds more best practices and experts that remain unrecognized, undocumented and underproliferated. Training is often delivered just-in-case, while targeted information is needed just-in-time.

To fill this gap left by training, companies will increasingly employ learning platforms. These are internal or external “sites,” often organized around tightly focused topics, which contain technologies or collections of technologies (ranging from chat rooms to extensive groupware) that enable the submitting and retrieval of targeted information. Companies as varied as Microsoft, Pensare, and SmartForce are releasing different approaches that traverse the risk/reward spectrum.

While there are training management and standards issues involved as well, the real criterion of success for learning platforms must be their ability to enable knowledge management processes by creating a mini-economy, efficiently bringing together people who have content with people who need it, both synchronously and asynchronously:
  • People who need knowledge will be able to retrieve it in the most appropriate form, including through: scheduled classes, segments of speeches, documents, mini-tutorials, chat rooms, e-mails or phone calls
  • People who have knowledge will be motivated to package it for consumption through processes including: the publishing of best practices or templates, the creation of tutorials, participating in chat rooms, even hanging out a virtual signboard and announcing they are available for business.
  • Finally, editors (aka knowledge managers) will exist to find out unpublished information, ensure the accuracy of the descriptions (or meta-descriptions) of the material, and help in the evaluation and compensation processes.
This sweeping vision of learning platforms has several requirements, individually surmountable but collectively daunting. These include:
  • In this paradigm of “everyone is an author,” easy-to-use authoring tools of sophisticated and secure content — including courses and video — must be widespread.
  • The position of editor has to be established.
  • Tracking and feedback tools must monitor who uses what, and what the value of the contribution was to the business outcome.
  • If a new economy is to be built up around great contributors, new compensation schemes have to be created. Information is exchanged in chat rooms on a quid pro quo basis, but this is not sufficient for motivating the level of work needed for creating longer tutorials.
  • A robust version of this system may involve a complexity of implementing (including software, hardware, consulting, change management), on the scale of a small enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation. Many best-practice organizations will roll the responsibilities for these activities under a Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) or Chief Learning Officer (CLO). To some, especially those recently having gone through an ERP implementation, the scale of these activities will be prohibitive. On the other side, however, the gains might be tempting enough to coax some of the Big Five consulting companies into full support.
- C. Aldrich, Gartner Research Note COM-09-6959: The Three E-Learning Rules That Will Bury Training, 13 December 1999

This is from a research note published the same day in December, 1999, called E-Learning Lessons From the Computer Games Market.
Two computer games are particularly accurate models of the virtual
business simulations that will be widely available to enterprises in the near future.
Roller Coaster Tycoon: In this best-selling game, players assume the role of designer and manager of an expanding theme park. The game is easy to use and understand, with an emphasis on business issues such as customer satisfaction and variety. Expect this model to evolve to force greater long-term strategic decisions.
Alpha Centauri: Imagine six market competitors aggressively vying for customer dollars. Some will pursue market share as fast as possible, others will choose to invest in technology or defend their current base. Paranoia is always present; alliances are fragile. A change to the graphics and sounds of Alpha Centauri (but not much else), might produce a perfect, albeit difficult to master, virtual business simulation. Instead, Alpha Centauri is based on the theme of planetary conquest. Yet it is interesting and quite relevant to a business audience.
Work often isn’t as much fun as games, and the contexts are not quite identical. However, in all leading organizations with highly productive, driven workers such as salespeople and engineers, environments similar to those offered by computer games will soon be common. As Generation X continues to create and consume applications, lessons learned from the computer games industry will increasingly impact the evolution of corporate e-learning.
- C. Aldrich, Gartner Research Note COM-09-7081: E-Learning Lessons From the Computer Games Market, 13 December 1999

1999 Articles Written Include:

C. Aldrich, Understanding E-Learning Market Dynamics: 2000-2002: GartnerGroup presents a framework for describing the e-learning market, and predicts vendor growth strategies through 2002. Gartner Research Note COM-09-6234, 17 December 1999.

C. Aldrich, The Three E-Learning Rules That Will Bury Training: As markets converge, competition increases and individuals are recognized as agents of revolution, three principles will overturn 100 years of accepted “training” practices. Gartner Research Note COM-09-6959, 13 December 1999.

C. Aldrich, E-Learning Lessons From the Computer Games Market: Three new rules — seen today in practices of leading game manufacturers and their consumers — will differentiate e-learning from traditional training. Gartner Research Note COM-09-7081, 13 December 1999.

C. Natale, C. Aldrich, Is Project Management Certification Worth It?: Increasing attention is being paid to certifying the skills of project management team members and leaders. We discuss the value of certification and suggest approaches and training that will lead to certification. Gartner Research Note SPA-09-4250, 16 November 1999.

C. Aldrich, Best Practices in End-User Training: End-user training, when well done, will increase employee productivity, build credibility for the IS and training organizations, and even reduce TCO. Here are some best practices. Gartner Research Note TU-09-4549, 5 November 1999.

C. Aldrich, Reducing End-User Class Time Through SALT: By committing to self-assisted learning tools (SALT) for their customers, IS organizations can reduce their support costs, increase their satisfaction, and reduce the time that end users spend in class. Gartner Research Note T-08-7997, 15 October 1999.

C. Aldrich, D. Tunick Morello, Starting a Skill Assessment Program: GartnerGroup answers five questions most commonly asked by organizations starting a skill assessment program. Gartner Research Note QA-08-0934, 13 July 1999.

C. Aldrich, Scenario Planning for the Training Organization, 2003: Decisions, from staffing to technology investments, require knowledge of the training organization’s role in three years. We identify two forces that will impact the training landscape of 2003, and four scenarios that will result. Gartner Research Note COM-08-1220, 2 July 1999.

C. Aldrich, Training Types: Resume and Strategic Skills: Are training costs reasonable? Business managers often focus on cost per day, number of training days, and customer satisfaction for an answer. We introduce a framework to more accurately understand training costs. Gartner Research Note DF-08-1941, 12 May 1999.

C. Aldrich, Training Types: IT End Users and Government Regulations: Are training costs reasonable? Business managers often focus on cost per day, number of training days, and customer satisfaction for an answer. We introduce a framework to more accurately understand training costs. Gartner Research Note DF-08-0935, 12 May 1999.

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