Elearning! June/July 2016

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June / July 2016 Volume 12 Issue 2 • www.2elearning.com

The Path to Innovation:

RedFlint Innovation Center Pg 18

>> The Power of

Learning Partnership Pg 24

>> 2016 Learning!

Champions Honored Pg 30


To acheive your end result, start at the beginning.

Old thinking rarely leads to fresh ideas. RedFlint was designed from the ground up to transform education by offering learning opportunities based on experience. It’s a place where ideas are tested, not just accepted. Education ignites innovation.

redflintvegas.com |

Sparked by

Š 2016 University of Phoenix, Inc. All rights reserved. | IST-5904

Attend FREE!

Live Virtual Conference 09.08.16

Attend Enterprise Learning! Conference Online Join us for this live full day event of sessions, exhibits and networking—All accessible from your desktop, tablet or smartphone. No Cost! No Travel!

ELC Online 09.08.16

Thursday Event Schedule 6:30 AM PT – 2:00 PM PT Keynote: Stretch: How to Future-proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace By Karie Willyerd, Workplace Futurist and Author of “Stretch”

>> Learn from Thought Leaders,

Analysts & Technologists in Live Interactive Sessions

Building a Leadership TV Network to Compliment Learning By Emma King, VP Learning Strategy, INXPO

>> Network with 2000+ Professionals

in Live Chat, Speaker Q&A, Forums and More

>> Solve Real Business Problems with Experts Who Have Done It!

Smarter Brain for a Smarter Organization By Margie Meachum, Chief Freedom Officer, Learningtogo

How to Attend ELC Online

Virtual Genius Bar: Advice from your Peers By Emma Meyer, Leadership TV Host and invited panelists

There are two ways to attend ELC Online: 1. Free Pass: Attend selected session free on live day only. 2. Premium Pass: Attend all sessions live and ondemand for 90 days.

Hosted by:

Just Do It! Virtual Reality for Learning By Ritchie Djamhur, Head of Culture & Learning Bing Lee Stores & host of Ritchie’s Room And more….

Registration Opens June 9th at www.ELCEShow.com

Sponsored By:

Enterprise Learning! Conference is a B2B Media Company, LLC brand. Learn more at www.elceshow.com



>> Cover Story: Path to

Open Innovation: RedFlint Innovation Center. PG 18

Las Vegas will be home to RedFlint, University of Phoenix’s new center for innovation and collaboration. By Ruth Veloria

>> Essentials

>> Features

8 9 10 11


News Deals Trendlines People on the Move

Colleges and universities may be in competition with one another, but they share a common goal — train a workforce that will be successful today and lead us into a brighter future. By Dennis Bonilla


Learning! Champions: Setting the Pace Learning isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon and takes hard work, dedication and creative thinking. Elearning! Magazine celebrates 46 top learners leading the way to a better educated workforce. By Claire Johnson




Partnerships in Learning Lead to a More Educated Workforce

June / July 2016 Elearning!

>> News 8 9 11

A Look Ahead With Skillsoft Exercising A.I With Elon Musk Budgets and MIllennials Present Challenges

>> Management 15

Leader’s View Dennis Bonilla and Ruth Veloria introduce a program addressing tech skills shortage and innovation.

24 Partnerships in Learning Lead to a More Educated Workforce Learning goes beyond the classroom with University of Phoenix’s program combining education with businesses and seed funding. By Dennis Bonilla


Learning! Champions: Setting the Pace Forty-six industry leaders are impacting the learning industry. By Claire Johnson

PG 48 48

Workers are staying in their careers longer than ever and it’s likely they will need more than a single degree to stay relevant in an ever-evolving job market. By Ruth Veloria

>> Tools & Practices 10

First Look: Virtual Reality in Learning Research The results are in for Elearning! Media Group’s study about virtual reality and learning


COOL Stuff A pair of University of Washington undergrads are making strides with creating a glove that translates American Sign Language to English.


Lifelong Professional Development Key to Career Growth


Innovation Invasion: IT Ignites Technological Reform Across Industries Certification programs enhance opportunities in recognition and help professionals keep up with changes in their fields. By Dennis Bonilla

>> Business 7

Editor’s Note How a university is pooling resources with businesses to help students innovate. By Claire Johnson


Trendlines Statistics, figures and industry trends


My Virtual Reality Awakening Taking people out of their natural environments and planting them someplace else allows them to discover, be inspired and understand others’ perspectives. By Ritchie Djamhur

The Right Ingredients to Change the Face of Innovation Accelerators provide companies with the support and financing needed to thrive. By Ryan Negri

Elearning! June / July 2016



Catherine Upton Group Publisher >> cupton@2elearning.com


2elearning.com Trending Topics The True Nature of Neurolearning By Andrew Fayad http://www.2elearning.com/insights/ item/56491-the-true-nature-ofneurolearning

Bridging the Soft Skills Gap By Bruce Tulgan http://www.2elearning.com/ideas/ item/56492-bridging-the-soft-skills-gap Learning! 100 Award Winners Being Honored at Enterprise Learning! Conference 2016 http://www.2elearning.com/top-stories/ item/56501-learning-100-award-winnersbeing-honored-at-enterprise-learningconference-2016

Most Popular Web Sessions

Is Virtual Reality Going Prime Time for Learning? http://www.2elearning.com/webseminars-series/item/56500-isvirtual-reality-going-prime-time-forlearning Engaging the Smarter Workforce http://www.2elearning.com/webseminars-series/item/56494-engaging-the-smarter-workforce


Enterprise Learning! Conference June 6-8, 2016, Anaheim, Calif. www.elceshow.com


June / July 2016 Elearning!

Joe DiDonato Editor at Large >> jdidonato@2elearning.com Claire Johnson >> editor@2elearning.com

Managing Editor

Jerry Roche Contributing Editor >> jroche@2elearning.com Adam Weschler Manager Digital Programs >> aweschler@2elearning.com JW Upton

Vice President >> JW@2elearning.com

Larry Bagan

National Sales Director>> lbagan@2elearning.com

Marguerite Hoffman Event Operations Manager >> operations@2elearning.com Kim Lewis

Art Director >> production@2elearning.com

Beverly Miller Print Production Manager

Dianne McCauley Controller

Contributors: Dennis Bonilla, University of Phoenix Ruth Veloria, Univeristy of Phoenix Ryan J. Negri, Iron Yard Ventures Ritchie Djamhur, Ritchie’s Room

Elearning! Media Group is the property of B2B Media Company LLC 44920 W. Hathaway Ave. #1794, Maricopa, AZ 85139 • 888-201-2841 • 951-547-1131 www.2elearning.com Elearning! magazine is published bi-monthly by B2B Media Company LLC, 44920 W. Hathaway Ave. #1794, Maricopa, AZ 85139. Application to mail Standard Class is filed with Sheppardville, KY Post Office. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: Elearning! 44920 W. Hathaway Ave. #1794, Maricopa, AZ 85139. Subscriptions are free to qualified professionals in the USA. All international or non-qualified subscriptions can receive Elearning! e-zine complimentary by ordering at http://www.2elearning.com/reg/choose. Elearning! magazine is a trademark of B2B Media Company and publishes under creative commons copyright.



Championing A Bright Future

t’s truly amazing to see all of the innovation revolutionizing the classroom. University of Phoenix, ranked the top online university in the marketplace, is creating a 3D classroom experience and bringing in industry partners to help provide their students with the tools and the resources needed to build their own startups. The students are combining their business

expertise with science and innovation, coming up with solutions for real-world problems they experience. The program pairs education with businesses in the community and venture capitalists so that students are given access to mentors and the ability to compete for seed money. It’s no coincidence that Dennis Bonilla, Executive Dean of University of Phoenix’s College of Information Systems & Technology is on the cover of this issue. Bonilla one of 46 Learning! Champions being recognized in this issue. Arranged into categories — Lifetime Achievers, High Performers, Trail Blazers, Innovators, Creative Consultants, Mentors, and Rookies of the Year — these individuals have had a significant impact on the learning industry and are being honored accordingly. Each winner has unique qualities and encourages and inspires those around them. Take Frank Anderson at the DAU for example, his work has been recognized by some of the most elite organizations and people — even the President and the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Karen Miner-Romanoff coordinated “Voices From the Inside,” an art exhibit by kids that raises money for their chosen charity with the Ohio Department of Youth Services. Jared Martinez found solutions for his financial trading problems and now dedicates his work to teaching others how to follow his formula. You’ll learn more from the Learning! Champions and other key industry leaders at our Enterprise Learning! Conference Online taking place Sept. 8 and Dec. 8. As you probably noticed, Jerry Roche is segwaying into retirement. He’ll still be working with Elearning! Media Group occassionally, but feel free to direct any questions or ideas toward me. I look forward to working with such a passionate group of individuals.

Elearning! June / July 2016



MOOCs in Developing Countries

New Initiatives Introduced at 2016 Global Skillsoft Prospective Conference The 2016 Global Skillsoft Perspective Conference brought thousands of learners together May 9-12 in Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace. More than 600 organizations attended and 29 countries were represented at the conference. Bill Donoghue, Skillsoft’s new CEO introduced some items on the organization’s agenda — Skillsoft is working to rewire itself for the millennial generation, become a more self-developing organization, integrate more social components, create more custom learning adventures and launch a new version of Skillport. The organization is working diligently to update its content library with 3-5 minute videos that make the most of graphics, animation, narratives and role play. Keeping with social responsibility, Skillsoft is partnering with Emmerson Collective, a Chicago-based organization, to help gang members build skillsets and find jobs. —More info: perspectives.skillsoft.com/2016

Virtual and Blended Schools Are Growing Despite Proficiency Rates Nearly 300,000 students are enrolled in approximately 450 virtual schools according to the National Education Policy Center’s 2016 Virtual Schools Report. Additionally, about 25,000 students are enrolled in blended schools which offer virtual learning and some face-to-face interaction. Authors Gary Miron, a professor at Western Michigan University, and Charisse Gulosino, an assistant professor at the University of Memphis recommend that states prioritize why so many schools have poor proficiency rates — only 18 percent of the virtual schools had aboveaverage proficiency rates in English and math, and 82 percent had proficiency rates below the state average. According to the paper, “States should place their first priority on understanding why virtual schools and blended schools perform weakly under a college- and career-ready accountability system and how their performance can be improved before undertaking any measures to expand these relatively new models of schooling.” —More info: nepc.colorado.edu/files/publications/RB-Miron%20Virtual%20Schools.pdf


June/July 2016 Elearning!

The University of Washington surveyed 1,400 MOOC users and 2,250 non-users in Columbia, the Philippines and South Africa and found that those in developing countries have higher completion rates and less education than MOOC users in developed countries. Many users reported coming from low- and middle-income backgrounds and less than half of the MOOC users surveyed completed college. Nearly 50 percent of developing world MOOC users surveyed received certification for at least one course and an additional 30 percent reported completing at least one course. Those that were employed reported a 70 percent certification rate. Most individual MOOC completion rates in the U.S. and Europe range between 5 and 10 percent. Sixty-one percent of users in the survey took MOOCs to gain skills for better job performance; 39 percent enrolled to prepare themselves for additional education; 37 percent enrolled in order to obtain professional certification. Lack of time and awareness is what kept many of respondents from enrolling with 79 percent of non-users reporting they had never even heard of a MOOC. Half of the non-users in all three countries hadn’t enrolled in MOOCs because of time constraints and 49 percent of users that have utilized MOOCs don’t enroll more often citing lack of time. These results are particularly important because of the widelyheld assumption that people living in developing countries struggle to access the technology required for MOOCs. The study found that only six percent were non-users because of the high cost of Internet, four percent lacked computer access and two percent don’t have the computer skills deemed necessary for MOOC coursework. —Source: digital.lib.washington.edu

Those in developing countries have higher MOOC completion rates than those in developed countries.


WPA Names Elearning! Magazine Maggie Award of Excellence The Western Publishing Association (WPA) named Elearning! Magazine as the winner of the Maggie Award in the “Best Cover/ Trade” category for “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” June/ July 2015 magazine cover. This marks the 23rd award that the media group has received. “We are honored to receive such a prestigious award,” said Catherine Upton, Group Publisher of Elearning! Magazine. “We had very tough competition including Emmy Magazine featuring the cast of “Empire” and Oracle Magazine. It’s a great honor to win.” The WPA receives nearly 1,000 submissions for awards each year. For 65 years, the WPA has served publishing organizations west of the Mississippi River. Members include Oracle, The Enthusiasts Network, Penske Media Group, United Business Media and hundreds of others.

Exercising Artificial Intelligence With Elon Musk Elon Musk is opening a training gym backed by Tesla, SpaceX, Amazon and other Silicon Valley companies meant to be a free training “gym” for computer programmers. In the past, Musk has spoken of the potential threat of artificial intelligence if in the wrong hands. His solution is to fund a $1 billion nonprofit — OpenAI Gym – an open-source tool helping developers understand and teach elevated concepts to AI. Originally developed for internal use only, the organization is beta launching the gym to everyone. Users can chat about struggles and compete on a scoreboard for the best learning techniques and problem solving. Programmers can start by training their bots on assorted games and eventually they should be able to complete more advanced tasks such as driving cars. —More info: gym.openai.com

Deals SYNERGYSE, a Canadian-based interactive training service for Google Apps for Work has a proven track record, training 4 million people across 3,000 organizations. Recently acquired by GOOGLE, the company was started by former Google employees and built on Google’s Cloud Platform which should allow for easy integration with Google’s own products. With the acquisition, Google will make Synergyse Training for Google Apps complimentary to all Google Apps customers. Companies that implement the training program see about 35 percent

higher adoption rates across apps according to Google. INNITRAC, a global e-commerce fulfillment firm and EBAY ENTERPRISE are forming Radial which touts itself as “the largest omnichannel commerce technology and operations provider.” Radial will plan the tools retailers need to compete in the complex and competitive e-commerce space. The company is known for its operational expertise and technology that helps retailers get their products into consumers’ hands quickly with low costs. CALLTOWER’s most recent development in its aggressive growth strategy is the acquisition of CONNECTSOLUTIONS’ SKYPE FOR BUSINESS assets. The ac-

quisition marks the second transaction for CallTower in 2016. In January, CallTower merged with SOUNDCONNECT to create a global leading technology and innovation driven unified communications company. Babington.co.uk, a website to assist with finding apprenticeship jobs and training under BRIDGES VENTURES’ umbrella, was sold to private equity firm RJD PARTNERS. RJD Partners will attempt to profit from a government pledge to bridge the United Kingdom’s skills gap with expanding apprenticeships. BIZLIBRARY, which works to find employee training and development solutions, will work with ON IMPACT PRODUCTSIONS as a new video

content partner. The partnership will add more than 30 new video lessons and potential interactive e-learning courses to The BizLibrary Collection. EDUONGO, a cloud-based learning platform that hosts online academies is partnering with e-learning courseware provider VADO. The combination of EDUonGo’s Learning Management System (LMS) with Vado’s content results in a complete employee training solution called Skillnatic, a new marketplace for corporate training. Vado offers more than 350 management development and employee soft skill development courses. Courses are for individual contributors, frontline leaders and managers. Some of the courses can be purchased in course bundles or in full learning tracks.

Elearning! June/July 2016


Trendlines News First Look: Virtual Reality in Learning Research Elearning! Magazine conducted an online survey of learning professionals to reveal the current state of Virtual Reality for Learning. These finding were tabulated from 200 respondents across all industries. For the purposes of this survey, Virtual Reality is defined as the computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment, such as a VR head gear or viewer with a screen inside or gloves fitted with sensors.

Most Learning Professionals Have Already Experienced VR Have you personally experienced Virtual Reality? Yes 65% No 35%

The VR Experience is Most Likely from Consumer Applications How have you personally experienced VR (including smartphone apps)? Games on VR Gaming Consoles 39% VR Movie Viewing 33% Company VR Training 19% VR apps for personal use 61% CR apps for business use 36%

VR Leaves Learners Wanting More After experiencing VR, would you: Like to try it again 67% Share with a collegue 47% Apply it to learning 62% Use at home for personal use 38% Skip it. Other tools are more effective 13%

Potential Training Applications for VR Describe how your organization uses or plans to use VR solutions? Diversity Training Mission Scenarios 13.49% 14.29% Sales or Product Gamification 14.29% 23.81% Compliance Training Edutainment 15.08% 22.22% Safety Training Not At All 19.84% 50.00%

Investment Learning Leaders Would Make in VR How much would your organization be prepared to spend on VR equipment for learning purposes? Under $10,000 65.00% $10,000 - 24,000 $250,000 - 999,000 15.83% 0.83% $25,000 - 99,000 $500,000 or more 10.00% 2.50% $100,000 - 249,000 5.83%

Impact of VR on How Education is Delivered by Respondent’s Company In my estimation, VR: Will have none 13% Will have little 17% Will have some

Source: Virtual Reality for Learning Study, May 2016 by Elearning! Media Group www.2elearning.com 10

June/July 2016 Elearning!

27% Will have significant 25% Undecided 19%


Organizations See Value in Video Learning and Virtual Classrooms

In a survey conducted by Elearning! Media Group, video learning and virtual classrooms were ranked as the most valuable investments for organizations. Forty-seven percent of respondents favored video learning and 45 percent favored virtual classrooms. Other respondents found mobile learning (39 percent) and simulations and 3D (39 percent) to be extremely valuable investments. How valuable has your investment(s) in the following been for your organization? (1) Extremely Valuable, (2) Somewhat, (3) Neutral, (4) Not Valuable, (5) Not of any value Gamification 2.23 Simulations & 3D 2.13 Augmented Reality 2.70 Virtual Reality 2.63 Virtual Classroom 1.84 Mobile Learning 1.95 Video Learning 1.69 Social Learning 2.22 —More info: Virtual Reality for Learning Study, May 2016 by Elearning! Media Group www.2elearning.com

Budgets and Millennials Present Challenges for Many Organizations Employee engagement is gaining respect as a key strategy for many organizations according to the 2016 Workplace America TalentKeepers’ study. For four consecutive years, more than 80 percent of U.S. employers rank employee engagement as a strategic priority. And even though the number of organizations rating themselves as very effective in engaging employees nearly doubled from 14 percent to 26 percent in just one year, this is a surprisingly large gap given the consequences of poor engagement. In a troubling trend, employee engagement budgets across the United States have fallen for the third straight year. In 2014, 71 percent of all employees had some level of funding but that figured dropped to 61 percent in 2016. “What we also see is best-in-class organizations all dedicate some of the highest percentages of their labor and operations budgets to engagement strategies,” said Craig Taylor, a Vice President at TalentKeepers and the report’s lead author.

In 2014, 71 percent of all employees had some level of funding for employee engagement, but that figure has dropped to 61 percent. From 2011 to 2016 unmanaged attrition has been fueled by “Job and Career” issues, however, also notable is “Leadership” steadily growing for the past four years as a stimulus for turnover. This emerging trend should motivate us to refocus efforts on making leaders the primary reason people stay. “In 2015 Millennials became the largest cohort in America workforce and 40 percent of organizations are acknowledging that by providing formal training for leaders on how to manage them,” said Craig Taylor. “This is incredible growth in just two years up from 25 percent in 2014.” —More info: talentkeepers.com

People on the Move

BRAD MOSS is the newest addition to 360training.com’s executive team as Chief Operating Officer. Moss has a proven track record of developing and improving operational processes, increasing efficiencies and reducing cost, and advising on complex e-commerce solutions. Previously, Moss was the general

manager for Razorfish Technology’s managed services, served as Vice President, Principal and Managing Partner for Amplifi Commerce and worked as an independent consultant for various projects among others. The Springboard Consultancy, a United Kingdom-based interna-

tional training company specializing in women’s development issues has named KAREN DALYGHERABI its new managing director. After a successful career as a senior officer in the British Army, promoting excellence, development, achievement, and diversity, Daly-Gherabi worked for the British Council for 12 years, creating international opportunities, building trust and engagement through education, training and cultural relations. Her training work has affected more than 17,000 women across the Middle East and North Africa.

DAN VUJOVIC is joining the intellum team as Director of Client Training. Vujovic, formerly the Senior Learning Design Manager at Cornerstone OnDemand, brings nearly 20 years of client-facing learning design and development experience to Intellum with a background that spans curriculum design, instructional design, learning strategy development, user experience and interactive technologies. In his new role, Vujovic will be responsible for designing, implementing and evaluating client training content and curriculum for all Intellum products and solutions.

Elearning! June/July 2016



UNDERGRADS DEVELOP ASL TRANSLATING GLOVE Most college students worry about internships, finals and balancing a social life with school, but two University of Washington undergrads have something else to add to their plates — how to refine their invention with the $10,000 Lemelson-MIT prize they were awarded. Their invention, the SignAloud Glove translates American Sign Language (ASL) into English. Specially embedded sensors measure how each finger flexes and bends and is sent to a nearby computer for analysis via Bluetooth and then spoken through a speaker. Still in the prototype phase, creators Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor built the device spending nearly $100 on parts and using the school’s CoMotion MakerSpace. Inspired by a desire to help others and Azodi’s inability to speak for seven years, the two set out to build a device using their engineering skills that goes beyond what any other devices on the market currently do. None of the tools available previously have quite the advanced capabilities that SighAloud Glove has. Going beyond helping people communicate with one another, SignAloud 12

June / July 2016 Elearning!

Glove can help students learn ASL by giving them immediate feedback. The pair says it will eventually be able to translate ASL into other languages. —More info: http://www.washington.edu/ news/2016/04/12/uw-undergraduate-teamwins-10000-lemelson-mit-student-prize-forgloves-that-translate-sign-language/ NEW ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM DEBUTS Siri creator Dag Kittlaus debuted Viv, a new artificial intelligence system at TechCrunch Disrupt NY. Viv, a much more advanced AI platform than Siri, has a longer memory and demonstrates this by answering complex follow-up questions after the initial question is asked. It also integrates third-party platforms, such as Venmo, into the system. Created with dynamic program generation, Viv’s code is written to understand intent and generate programs to best answer questions and solve problems. Rather than having developers write codes for each specific question or task, the idea behind Viv is to have developers build any experience they want. —More info: http://viv.ai/

MEET THE MILLENNIAL CORPS IBM is tapping into a segment that’s often talked about but rarely taken seriously — millennials. The company is developing a group that can be voluntarily joined to come up with new ideas and keep the business fresh. Members of the group, Millennial Corps, act as beta testers for new products and help foster a startup culture within the company, where people can create and implement new ideas. The goal is to reach a new generation of workers which can be difficult in any company, especially a company the size of IBM, which has 377,000 employees in more than 170 countries. In just two years, more than 5,000 people from more than 65 countries have become involved in Millennial Corps. A major issue many established companies face is how to remain relevant. With the development of Millennial Corps, IBM’s hope is to help give young people a direct pipeline to the top. The group is generating results; a survey was sent out to members to select which designer IBM should collaborate with for a high-tech couture gown for the Met Gala in May. Ultimately, fashion designer Marchesa worked with IBM’s supercomputer to design a wired LED dress that changed colors for supermodel Karolina Kurkova. The Cognitive Dress changed colors in reaction to emotions expressed on social media. Not surprisingly, it generated a lot of media — both social and otherwise — buzz. —More info: ibm. com/us-en/

The 2017 Learning! Champion Award honors individuals for exceptional contributions to the learning industry. Nominate a client, leader, partner or mentor for consideration online. Nominees can be Mentor, Thought Leader, High Performers, Trail Blazer, Rookie of the Year, Innovator, or Creative Consultant.

Learn more at: http://www.2elearning.com/awards/learning-champion-award Nominations Open: August 1st Close: December 31st

Presented By:


Learning! Champion Award is hosted by Elearning! Magazine, a B2B Media Company. www.2elearning.com

Leader’sView Innovation Ignites in the ‘Techtopia’ of Las Vegas



nnovation and the entrepreneurial spirit have led to some of the 21st century’s greatest companies, products and services. Business leaders have seen the power that a single out-of-the-box idea has to transform an organization — or even an industry — in a short amount of time, and now corporate innovation programs have become a central business practice. Most of today’s graduates and CEOs probably didn’t think they’d be spending their careers hunting for unicorns, but that’s increasingly the task of today’s leaders. The market is hungry for the next billion dollar idea that will make a company an overnight success, or keep it relevant in a technology-driven economy. To compete, companies should always be looking for new and innovative ways to engage customers and improve products and services. Smart leaders know this responsibility can’t rest solely in the C-Suite. Harnessing the power of a diverse workforce and unique employee perspectives is one of the surest ways to generate out-of-the-box ideas, services and products that set a company apart. This makes workforce development, and having an aggressive strategy in place to recruit, develop and retain a highly skilled workforce that can stay ahead of the curve, extremely critical.

Dennis Bonilla, Executive Dean, University of Phoenix, College of Information Systems and Technology

Ruth Veloria, Executive Dean, University of Phoenix, School of Business

THE TECH SKILLS GAP The rapid advancement of technology within corporate America, has led to a new kind of skills gap where employees who are fully-qualified within their field find themselves falling behind due to a lack of technological savvy or drive to innovate within their organization. A recent University of Phoenix survey found that only 37 percent of working U.S. adults consider themselves entrepreneurial within their own positions — also known as “intrapreneurial.” The tech skills shortage is also deeply impacting information technology professions. The demand for tech-skilled employees is growing far faster than the pool of qualified candidates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2010 and 2020, computer science careers are projected to grow by more than 22 percent, making it one of the fastest growing occupations during that time period. The result is that some job seekers feel like their skills are outdated and their contributions to the company are stymied. Employers are consequently frustrated by the skills gaps between employees and the evolving needs of the organization. A REGIONAL APPROACH Cities rely on the strength of their workforce to fuel growth of urban populations, maintain housing prices and to insulate against negative economic impacts. Human capital is arguably the single most important factor in evaluating a city’s resiliency. When looking at cities that have reinvented themselves, Boston tops the list, having transitioned from a dying manufacturing town in the early 1980s to the vibrant information city it is today. Researchers argue this result is, in part, due to the fact that in 2000, half of Bostonians between age 25 and 34 had college degrees. Educational institutions have an opportunity and obligation to increase the relevance of their degrees by advancing their offerings to meet the needs of employers and job seekers in every community in the United States. Universities are uniquely positioned to assess local market conditions and tailor educational programs to ensure residents have the skills for meaningful careers and that businesses have qualified workforces that keep them in the market. There are several cities across the country working closely with higher education to boost the size and skills of their workforces and improve the labor market for employers, including the new “techtopia” of Las Vegas.

Elearning! June / July 2016


Leader’sView LAS VEGAS, A NEW TECH HUB? Though most commonly known for its party culture and the “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” mentality, Las Vegas is quickly becoming an IT-centric economy. Clark County is home to more than 37,000 IT professionals, making up nearly 70 percent of the total IT workforce in Nevada according to the Nevada Government Office of Economic Development. Between 2014 and 2023, the number of jobs in that state is expected to grow by more than 10 percent. The desert city has also been a launch pad for some of the most well-known, award-winning gadgets and technological advances introduced to the global stage in recent years. Las Vegas is home to the world’s largest trade show and platform for innovation, The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), renowned for introducing some of today’s most revolutionary products, including smartphones, wearable tech devices and Wi-Fi enabled appliances. Zappos.com, the largest online shoe store, found its home in the heart of the city and has even made inroads to revitalize downtown Las Vegas with the Downtown Project, an initiative to take the city from good to great and transform it into a hub for inspiration, entrepreneurism, creativity and innovation. SuperNAP, one of the world’s most advanced technology ecosystems is also housed in Las Vegas and is an active partner in the city’s tech revitalization. IGNITING INNOVATION AT REDFLINT Las Vegas is poised to be a major player when it comes to innovation and business, and that is why University of Phoenix is investing in the city of Las Vegas to provide an innovation resource that incubates and accelerates the ideas that solve today’s business challenges. RedFlint, an innovation experience center, will immerse visitors in an experiential, hands-on learning environment that will foster the skills and strategy development necessary to revolutionize a business and industry from the inside out. University of Phoenix College of Information Systems & Technology, University of Phoenix School of Business and Iron Yard Ventures are working to satisfy the needs of the entire business spectrum using real problems facing communities and businesses to help cultivate the creative thinking that will lead to tomorrow’s business solutions. RedFlint helps employees looking to update their technology skill sets and get their hands on the latest software and technologies; new businesses looking for entrepreneurial support; and established businesses looking to kick-start innovation and development programs. Additionally, the center will provide space and training events to assist local nonprofits, K-12 educators, small businesses and other community organizations. This open-concept center, situated in the Bank of America Plaza building in downtown Las Vegas, will provide businesses and the community the opportunity to experiment with new technologies and business angles to create solutions to local business, industry and city challenges. However, the RedFlint team aims to help businesses in a way that will be felt far beyond the bright lights of Las Vegas. It only made sense to open RedFlint in a city that is as forward thinking as the center will be. The RedFlint center will serve as a dynamic innovation ecosystem for the Las Vegas business community to experience and test new concepts, programs and technology. Connect with Dennis Bonilla and Ruth Veloria for more information: linkedin.com/in/dennisbonillait @DennisBonillait linkedin.com/in/ruthveloria @VeloriaRuth


June / July 2016 Elearning!


Ideas are just ideas until you nurture their potential.

So you have a great business concept. Now what? At RedFlint, tap into the collective knowledge of experienced business advisors. Then, execute your big idea surrounded by the latest data analytics and digital marketing tools. Elevate your ideas.

redflintvegas.com |

Sparked by

Š 2016 University of Phoenix, Inc. All rights reserved. | IST-5904

Dennis Bonilla, Executive Dean, University of Phoenix, College of Information Systems and Technology; Ruth Veloria, Executive Dean, University of Phoenix, College of Business; Stephenie Gloden, Vice President, Enterprise Resource Management; Tim Patrick, Dean of Technology, University of Phoenix, College of Information Systems and Technology 18

June / July 2016 Elearning!

Path to Open


RedFlint Innovation Center BY RUTH VELORIA, EXECUTIVE DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX SCHOOL OF BUSINESS Technology has been the great equalizer of the 21st century marketplace. Startups and entrepreneurs are disrupting the businessas-usual mentality with their nimble ability to harness technology and innovate new products and services. They help fuel local and national economies and inspire the next generation of big ideas and visionaries. The entrepreneurial spirit has led the digital transformation of consumers’ everyday lives, revolutionizing how people do just about everything, including receive news, keep up with friends, which food to buy and where to live and vacation. Advanced technologies have fueled the growth of today’s global hyper-connected

economy through the Internet of Things, big data and its offspring — data science — as well as cloud computing. Each have respectively altered how business can be done. The power of digital technology transcends industry boundaries, and is creating similar changes across major employment sectors such as health care, finance, security, information technology, retail, education and even federal and state services. BUILDING A HOME FOR COLLABORATION The increasingly symbiotic nature and overlap of business and technology led University of Phoenix to launch RedFlint, an innovation experience center in Las Vegas. The brainchild of the College of Information Systems and Technology and School of Business, as well as business ac-

celerator, Iron Yard Ventures, RedFlint allows high-level collaboration between students, the public, startups, entrepreneurs and large enterprises to become a reality. RedFlint will house the latest technologies, including data analytics and digital marketing tools, to level the playing field for individuals cultivating a big idea, while creating a safe place for businesses of all sizes to connect with the grassroots dreamers and thinkers in their community. Imagine a high energy, open concept space with the latest programs, technologies and devices to explore and play out business concepts — without the risk. This state-ofthe-art, unique collaboration space will be in the heart of Las Vegas’ innovation district, a downtown corridor founded by renowned innovators and brands who share a common commitment to the city, and

Elearning! June / July 2016



to spark innovation in every community across the United States. Businesses of all sizes need a space to come up with new, bold ideas; a hub where entrepreneurs, startups and large enterprises can come together and combine their distinctive strengths to collaborate in a truly “flat” structure for the digital era; a collaborative work environment where all ideas are welcome, and every person and every business gets an equal chance to fire up his or her potential. We know that the best way to do that quickly is to gather all the right sparks in one place, one ecosystem, to democratize opportunity for all. This concept is how you create real lasting change. Through my work with business leaders and major employers across the country to inform and collaborate on academic programs as the Executive Dean for the University of Phoenix® School of Business, I’ve learned that large enterprises do recognize the changing playing field across their respective industries and are feeling the pressure to address their digital and in20

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novation needs, both for talent acquisition and retention and ongoing market share and customer engagement. While these large companies have the resources and networks to launch innovative new products, many struggle to ideate and incubate within the constraints of company culture. From my conversations, innovation is on the top three list of what is keeping CEOs up at night. I can relate — as a highereducation leader, I’m constantly thinking about how I can better utilize technology to improve how we serve students and impact changes within my own organization. Large leading global professional services company Accenture has researched this very issue. A recent study it conducted with the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance found that large enterprises are more reliant than ever on collaboration with outside entities to learn new ways of harnessing technology to evolve their business model and stay relevant. However, the research also recognizes that while entrepreneurs may be enjoying their time in the sun, the

overwhelming majority of them will not succeed without the power and scale of established business. In an economy made flat by innovation, businesses large and small are on the same playing field, and seemingly need each other more than ever. It appears that the challenge now for large companies and entrepreneurs is to look for ways to accelerate, innovate and incubate while also finding effective ways to collaborate across small, medium and large businesses. Building on Accenture’s findings, this collaboration must be done in a meaningful way that builds trust between stakeholders, benefits all parties, and continues to foster invention and introduction of visionary concepts. I’ve also seen that the nature of advanced technology will push leaders to look beyond the confines of their own industry to identify parallels in tech integration and advancement across business sectors. The core mission of University of Phoenix is to be recognized as the most trusted provider of career-relevant higher edu-

cation for working adults. University of Phoenix leaders see, day in and day out, the way innovation is impacting how all industries do business, and consequently how aspiring professionals must be prepared to thrive in the workforce. We work closely with some of the country’s leading employers and know first-hand the importance of training future professionals with the digital skills and ingenuity needed to compete in the 21st century marketplace. HELPING BUSINESSES PARTICIPATE IN THE 21ST CENTURY ECONOMY Innovation has been pivotal for many brands to stay relevant with their customers, but unfortunately, from my experience, many companies’ innovation often sits on the back burner when the current to-do list feels unmanageable. There are many reasons for this. Most organizations are not structured to encourage idea generation and testing, or financially sturdy enough to truly afford the risk or time expenditure involved in incubating ideas, so their efforts are short lived. Companies that take the leap and commit resources to develop think tanks or incubator departments that allow entrepreneur-minded professionals to think outside the box and approach problem-solving in a safe environment still aren’t faring much better. While Google has made headlines with its well-known policy that allows employees to spend 20 percent of their time innovating, recent studies actually show that largely, organizations get stuck in the early stages of innovation and don’t move past incubators or accelerators. We know the most impactful businesses are those that refuse to fall victim to traditional business cycles, and we are seeing more and more leaders recognize that empowering employees to be innovators can be an effective solution. A University of Phoenix School of Business survey also found that the next generation workforce is looking for intrapreneurial opportunities and wants to join businesses that provide additional opportunities to harness their own creativity to affect change within their organizations.

More than three in five of those who are satisfied with their current job say their organization provides opportunities to be entrepreneurial. taking risks to innovate and create an employment environment that will appeal to entrepreneur-minded professionals if they want to stay ahead of the curve. Intrapreneurs, professionals who approach work like an entrepreneur but use that talent internally to be innovative and add value to their organizations, are increasingly driving change in large companies. Intrapreneurs aren’t afraid to identify and advocate for more efficient ways of doing things, better ways to engage customers or opportunities for new revenue streams. Not all companies can make the level of commitment needed to build an incubation arm of the organization, but it should be possible for most companies to create a process and environment where intrapreneurial employees can research and present

new ideas, and work cross-functionally to tackle company challenges. A University of Phoenix School of Business 2015 national survey of 2,000 adults in the United States found more than 37 percent of working adults consider themselves “intrapreneurs” and 93 percent believe they possess entrepreneurial qualities. It even appears that overall job satisfaction is tied to opportunities to be entrepreneurial within a company. More than three in five of those who are satisfied with their current job say their organization provides opportunities to be entrepreneurial. The survey also found many workers feel held back from being intrapreneurs with 70 percent saying their organization could do more to foster an entrepreneurial culture.

HARNESSING THE POWER OF ‘INTRAPRENEURS’ Companies of all sizes should consider Elearning! June / July 2016



In the innovation economy, technology, business, innovators, educators and thought leaders can partner to tackle the real-life problems facing their businesses and communities with better, faster and nimbler solutions. While innovation and creativity can’t be too structured, there can be policies and procedures in place that allow employees to work on and present ideas, and to move them forward. If policies are in place, employees should also be encouraged by leaders to take advantage of them. They must know their efforts and achievements will be valued and that “failing forward” (as coined by author John Maxwell) isn’t just accepted but encouraged. This doesn’t mean throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. It means creating an environment in which people aren’t afraid to 22

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test, share and sometimes falter. If failure is a widely accepted reality of the innovation process, then it stands to reason that an organization’s (and an employee’s) tolerance for failure is a key indicator of a high-performance, creative culture. Employees should also see that ideas are recognized, evaluated and, when they work, swiftly put into action. Without these cultural traits, it’s less likely an organization will attract, retain and grow employees who have entrepreneurial mindsets. Holding back ideas and professionals in the innovation economy is a critical mis-

step. Bringing entrepreneurs, businesses, the public and students together with access to education, technology and business savvy has the potential to change and transform lives. Individuals no longer have to leave opportunity on the table, or sit out of the 21st century economy, and businesses no longer have to shoulder the burden of risk alone. In the innovation economy, technology, business, innovators, educators and thought leaders can partner to tackle the real-life problems facing their businesses and communities with better, faster and nimbler solutions. This melting pot can connect talent with the skills and resources necessary to make ideas come to life, and by sheer fact of the diversity of contributors, will foster more creative and innovative thinking than can be done within the corporate environment or alone in a home office. RedFlint is where students learn to embrace disruption and harness it to spark businesses. The collaborative tech-enhanced atmosphere also encourages the power of seeing and doing within a framework that is synchronized to the accelerating pace of change. It’s the place to unlearn the old and learn the new, quickly.

As an institute of higher education, University of Phoenix will be able to contribute to the open innovation process through the participation and guidance of diversely trained faculty, including business and technology experts who understand what it takes to make an idea stick and sell. THE PATH TO OPEN INNOVATION The digital economy exploded onto the scene early in the century and has transformed life as we know it over the past several years. The infiltration of advanced technologies into nearly every product and service available has changed the mission of business and the labor market considerably. In today’s market, ideas are the currency for modern business. It appears that in the flat world of the innovation economy, organizations of all sizes experience similar pitfalls and frustrations in the innovation process. University of Phoenix, through RedFlint, has the power to advance joint innovation by opening effective two-way collaboration between individuals and businesses of all sizes, in a space fueled by the latest technologies. It will jointly reimagine Main Street and ignite 21st century businesses empowered by diverse ideas and people from all walks of life. Businesses must overcome corporate bureaucracy to participate in today’s modern economy and harness the power of their workforce to promote intrapreneurism and a culture where risk is accepted and smart risk is rewarded. Entrepreneurs must continue to push against boundaries, but know when it’s the right time to seek help and embrace the support of experienced mentors who have the skills and resources to make an idea a reality. It may be easier than ever before to start a new business or transform an existing company, but the competition is fierce and too many people still don’t know how. We will continue to identify solutions that help ideas come to fruition faster and more effectively, and continue to fuel companies and communities forward. These efforts can spark long-lasting positive differences in our lives, communities and economy. Learn more about RedFlint at: redflintvegas.com

It may be easier than ever before to start a new business or transform an existing company, but the competition is fierce and too many people still don’t know how.

SOURCES: 1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Monthly Labor Review: Startups and older firms: which is more responsive to local economic changes” bls.gov/opub/mlr/2014/ beyond-bls/startups-and-older-firms.htm 2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: “Digitalization changes everything: improving economic measurement in an era of radical innovation and transformation” bls. gov/opub/mlr/2015/article/pdf/digitization-changes-everything.pdf 3. Accenture: “Harnessing the Power of Entrepreneurs to Open Innovation: Creating a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation through digital collaboration,” accenture.com/us-en/insight-b20-digitalcollaboration.aspx; page 6 4. Accenture: G20YEA – Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit Turkey 2015: “Harnessing the Power of Entrepreneurs to Open Innovation,” accenture.com/ us-en/~/media/Accenture/next-gen/B20/ Accenture-G20-YEA-2015-Open-Innovation-Executive-Summary.pdf

Elearning! June / July 2016


Partnerships in Learning

Lead to a More Educated Workforce


June / July 2016 Elearning!

BY DENNIS BONILLA, EXECUTIVE DEAN OF UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX, COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY Technology has disrupted and forever changed the way we do business, and in turn has altered the required skill sets of the workforce needed to run it. Digital technology is a vertical that crosses every industry and impacts nearly every job. Today in the United States, those who are without any tech expertise can find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to professional opportunities. According to a report by Burning Glass, nearly 78 percent of middle skills jobs require some digital skills, such as spreadsheet

and word processing proficiencies. Whether it be jobs that require basic computer skills, or that some of the fastest growing job sectors require advanced tech skills, such as writing and analyzing code to keep sensitive data secure, there is no disputing that technology has fundamentally and irreversibly changed the face of the job market. These changes aren’t just impacting job seekers. Employers are struggling to build a pipeline of qualified professionals for the jobs they have available. For example, a 2015 Global Information Security Workforce Study estimates that the global shortfall in the information security workforce will reach 1.5 million in five years. Employers are increasingly working alongside higher education entities to tackle this challenge, as education and training must

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partnershipsinlearning keep pace with industry advancement in order to provide employees with innovative and technology-focused skill sets. Ensuring we have a workforce prepared to excel in the 21st century workplace is one of the most important challenges we face to remain competitive as a nation. And it’s not a challenge that can be undertaken by higher education or industry alone. Solving these workplace challenges will take collaboration between all interest groups that have a stake in equipping the workforce of today and tomorrow. PARTNERING TO EDUCATE THE WORKFORCE The diversely skilled workforce required by today’s rapidly changing workplace calls for robust education and training. Matching educational programs to business and community needs requires higher-level collaboration and partnerships among stakeholders. Higher education, business and industry must partner to ensure aspiring professionals have access to an educational experience that is agile, relevant and experiential and delivers industry-aligned training designed to immediately benefit both the student and the workforce. Curriculum cannot be developed in a silo and institutions of higher education cannot recycle course material that was previously relevant but now would leave students woefully underprepared for the 21st century workplace. Just as businesses are constantly adapting to the changing marketplace, so too must education adapt to ensure the workforce is properly trained. These dynamics make partnerships in learning imperative as we work together to prepare the workforce of tomorrow. Innovative partnerships between education, business and industry can provide students of all kinds with access to education, pathways to careers and industry-aligned training. By working together, the student experience is better enhanced and the student is better-prepared when entering the workforce. PARTNERSHIPS ARE MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL Partnerships should not be seen as a requirement, but as a 26

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mutually beneficial opportunity for education and industry collaboration to improve the workforce. Among other benefits, business, government and industry can gain access to a steady stream of intern candidates and highly-skilled graduates, as well as provide their current staff with education, training and career development that can help with staff retention and elevation. At the same time, educational institutions that partner with employers can benefit from strong enrollment, job opportunities for alumni and access to industry insights and needs that can shape and inform curriculum. Educational partnerships have broader economic and global impacts. A welltrained workforce sparks innovation, ignites creative thinking and accelerates industries forward. PARTNERSHIPS IMPROVE ACCESS TO EDUCATION In the education community, we recognize there is little in our work that is more important than ensuring students of all backgrounds have access to high quality educational experiences. It’s a national priority as well — the White House set an ambitious goal of producing a higher share of college graduates than any other nation by 2020, hoping to return the United States to the top ranking after dropping into 12th place. A critical piece to building America’s bench of college graduates is through providing a variety of pathways to higher education, and one of the best ways to do this is through dynamic partnerships that deliver value, workplace experiences or resources that a university couldn’t do on its own. The following are some of the most important partnership areas we actively pursue at University of Phoenix.

Scholarships and Tuition Reimbursement As workplace needs evolve, it’s likely that no one degree or training program will be adequate for an employee’s entire career. Consequently, employers and industry associations often find themselves searching for opportunities to upskill their current workforce. Scholarship programs can be one of the most effective ways for education and industry to partner in a targeted effort to help a current workforce gain the skill sets necessary to successfully compete in the job market. They also can be customized to the needs of the employer, and include not just an educational component, but also on-the-job-experience to ensure companies are getting the skills they need. One such program is the Dream BIG Scholarship Program, conducted in partnership with the National Retail Federation (NRF). The national association is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing thousands of major retailers. Retail is the largest private sector employer in America, supporting one in four U.S. jobs and employing more than 42 million Americans. The scholarships provide those awarded the opportunity to pair education with work experience and ambitions to pursue a wide array of career opportunities within the retail industry. The flexibility of the degree program allows recipients to continue to work and live at home while advancing their education. In the past four years, University of Phoenix and NRF have provided 50 fulltuition scholarships to deserving retail employees.

HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS WORKING TOGETHER There are also opportunities for institutions of higher education to partner with each other to improve access to education. While colleges and universities might be competitors in the marketplace, ultimately they share the same goal — to train a workforce that will be successful today and lead us to tomorrow. By seeking opportunities to enhance the student experience and drive student success, higher education and industry come out on top. University of Phoenix recently joined forces with Thurgood Marshall College Fund to accomplish this goal. Through a unique partnership, University of Phoenix provides students at select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) member schools across the country with access to career-relevant curriculum and expanded course offerings through flexible online learning options, to further support a path toward graduation. The partnership allows participating HBCUs to efficiently incorporate online learning options for current students that subsequently increases their abilities to meet the needs of a larger student population. ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION RESOURCES It’s also important in educational partnerships, that our best and brightest minds — our students — have the opportunity to help improve businesses during their educational experience. From graduate programs to research studies, there is significant opportunity to use the work of students to inform businesses. Companies and organizations who partner in this arena can provide students with access to experts and data which can then be utilized to drive research and propose solutions to current real-world problems. They can reap the benefits of this research and use it to inform their professional practices. Recently I was named to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC) Board of Directors. The mission of the AZHCC is to promote the success of Hispanic-owned and small businesses in the state. It begins with education. Providing Hispanic students with access to quality

relationships with a wide range of employers, associations and others to truly understand staffing needs and allow that to inform academic programs. These efforts can provide curriculum, training and other educational opportunities that help prepare students for work with an industry or employer looking for a particular skill set.

[We] share the same goal — to train a workforce that will be successful today and lead us to tomorrow. education is vital to the success of Arizona’s future economy. By 2020, Hispanic youth are projected to make up more than 50 percent of the K-12 public school student population in the state of Arizona. For the state to remain economically competitive, it must create pathways to post-secondary education for these students. According to the Pew Research Center, as recently as 2012, Hispanics accounted for only nine percent of young adults aged 25-29 with a bachelor’s degree. PARTNERSHIPS BUILD PATHWAYS TO CAREERS Providing access to education is critical, but it isn’t enough to just provide an education. Colleges and universities must ensure that educational programs create a clear nexus between education and career-readiness. This can be accomplished by forging

Education and Industry Shaping Workforce Standards While improving access to education and creating pathways to jobs is critical, perhaps the most important partnerships universities are exploring today are those that help to determine in real time the competencies across industries that are needed to keep up with the pace of the 21st century job market. When education and industry work together, they have the opportunity to transform the way professionals are trained and ultimately hired. By partnering to standardize competencies, education and industry can work together to develop curriculum that can be taught across institutions of higher education. In addition, employers can offer a uniform set of hiring standards that reflect the training students are receiving. University of Phoenix College of Security and Criminal Justice had the opportunity to do just that last year by working with the ASIS Foundation to develop the Enterprise Security Competency Model. This model, the first of its kind in the security industry, established a core set of skills and competencies required for security positions, ensuring a clear path to education, training and ultimately, competency to address 21st century security risks. With no previous widely endorsed set of competencies and skills across the industry, the Enterprise Security Competency Model has quickly been adopted by companies of all sizes including Time Warner Cable and IBM. This model is intended to define the foundation for educating security professionals and ensure the consistent education and training of professionals who play a critical role in ensuring the safety and security of our nation. Incentivizing Continued Education Many industries can benefit from employees who choose to continue their educa-

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partnershipsinlearning tion. However, cost and time often serve as barriers in the pursuit of advanced training. Education and industry have the opportunity to partner to remove these barriers by incentivizing employees through accelerated programs and course credit for real-world experience. For example, University of Phoenix has partnered with the Security Industry Association (SIA) to award students who have completed a SIA Certified Security Project Manager (CSPM) credential with 21 credit hours to apply toward a Bachelor of Science in Security Management from the University. Allowing professionals to apply realworld experience and applicable education toward academic degrees can inspire people to embark on an educational journey in which starting from ground zero may seem too daunting a task. Helping Military Succeed in the Job Market There are many resources available to military members as they transition to civilian life. However, having a transition plan is critical for these veterans as they move into new civilian careers, or look to enhance their existing careers. A 2015 online survey from University of Phoenix of 1,007 past and current service members found that less than one-third (31 percent) of past and current service members have made a transition plan. Industry and education have a tremendous opportunity to help these soldiers by creating programs to assist military members with their career path goals. Partners Building a Space for Innovation and Collaboration The RedFlint Innovation Center is a joint venture between University of Phoenix College of Information Systems & Technology, University of Phoenix School of Business and Iron Yard Ventures designed to create hands-on, collaborative, experiential opportunities based on real problems facing communities and businesses today. When RedFlint opens in September in Las Vegas, it will be a next-genera28

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tion incubator: a space that brings together the free flow of information, learning and innovation under one roof with the express purpose of not only producing a quality workforce, but reinventing the traditional employee-business-industry model. Situated in downtown Las Vegas and part of the city’s newly-branded Innovation District, RedFlint will provide businesses and the community the opportunity to explore new technologies and business angles to create solutions for local businesses and industries. Ventures such as the RedFlint Innovation Center will provide opportunities designed to offer the chance to create and experience new concepts, programs and technology. The Center will be a space for businesses to bring concepts to life by accelerating an idea through the various stages of product development. It will also be a place where solutions that have timely and real business applications are incubated. It will innovate industry, and leverage local relationships to create a showcase of businesses and leaders that puts regional innovation on stage. At RedFlint there will be an opportunity to partner with businesses and organizations in various ways to ensure the workforce is strong and skilled and maximize the experience. It will create opportunities and a place where partnerships can come together in a tangible way. A CALL TO ALL TO EXPAND PARTNERSHIP EFFORTS Supporting the continually evolving and innovative workplace of the 21st century can’t be done by one entity alone. Strategic partnerships between education and industry are key to ensure that a pipeline of welltrained and skilled professionals is consistently being infused into the workforce, enabling it to keep pace with the

growth and innovation across industries. University of Phoenix encourages institutions of higher education, businesses, government entities and other organizations to seek out opportunities to work together to provide the tools employees need to prosper, innovate and grow. For more information about each of these programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit: phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment. For more information about scholarships, please visit: http://www.phoenix.edu/ tuition_and_financial_options/scholarships.html Sources: 1. Digital Skills Gap, Burning Glass, March 2015 2. (ISC) Global Information Security Workforce Study, 2015, page 3 3. National Retail Federation, “The Economic Impact of the U.S. Retail Industry,” https://nrf.com/resources/retail-library/ the-economic-impact-of-the-us-retailindustry 4. Datos: The State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market 2015, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, page 198 5. Pew Research Center, “More Hispanics, blacks enrolling in college, but lag in bachelor’s degrees” http://www.pewresearch. org/fact-tank/2014/04/24/more-hispanicsblacks-enrolling-in-college-but-lag-inbachelors-degrees/

accelerate Businesses take off when hurdles are cleared.

Learning from experience takes time, unless someone else is giving the lessons. Connect with mentors, partners and investors who can help launch your business through RedFlint and Iron Yard Ventures Hospitality & Gaming Accelerator. Apply to the Iron Yard accelerator in Las Vegas and be coached on how to create and scale a viable business. Prepare for lift off.

redflintvegas.com |

Sparked by

Š 2016 University of Phoenix, Inc. All rights reserved. | IST-5904

Learning! Champions: Setting the Pace

Learning isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes hard work, dedication and creative thinking. BY CLAIRE JOHNSON

The 2016 Learning! Champion Award honors individuals for exceptional contributions to the learning industry. Elearning! Magazine names 47 professionals across eight categories: Lifetime Achievement, Thought Leader, Trail Blazer, High Performer, 30

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Mentor, Creative Consultant, Innovator and Rookie of the Year. Each winner was nominated by their peers and selected from hundreds of submissions. The Lifetime Achievement winners have dedicated their entire lives to learning and have helped thousands of others do the same. The Thought Leaders are industry experts always willing to share their expertise and are dedicated to bettering their communities and industries. The High Performers have gone above and beyond, usually in a relatively short time frame, to implement new learning

techniques in their organizations. The Mentors take a special interest in others to help them achieve their potential. Creative Consultants have the ability to create solutions to learning problems that scale beyond the current challenge. Innovators are technologists and problem solvers who often bring these solutions to market for others to share. Rookies of the Year are new to their role or the industry and have surpassed performance expectation and are on their way to a successful career. Thank you to the 2016 Learning! Champions who include...

Frank Anderson, a retired Brigadier General, United States Air Force, is the former president of Defense Acquisition University (DAU) and former director of Human Capital Initiatives which is responsible for training and workforce development. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Contracting and as Air Force Competition Advocate General. A graduate of the Defense Systems Management College, Air Command Staff College, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Anderson is certified in Program Management and Contracting. He cares strongly about the evolving practice of workflow learning and has dedicated his career to it. Throughout the course of his career, Anderson received the highest performance excellence awards presented by the President and the Secretary of Defense to federal civilian employees: the Meritorious and Distinguished Presidential Rank Awards and the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award. He also received the Herbert Robach Memorial Award, the National Contract Management Association’s highest honor. In 2002 and 2006, he received the Corporate University best-in-Class (CUBIC) Award as Corporate University Leader of the Year and DAU was selected as Best Overall Corporate University. An since, DAU has continued its excellence in corporate university leadership. Anderson served as a major weapon system program director, product group manager, and director of contracting for the Air Force’s largest buying and acquisition center. He commanded the largest Air Force B-1B in-plant contract management office and served as director of the In-Plant Sub-Contract Management Division. Anderson co-authored the book “Leading A Learning Revolution, The Story Behind Defense Acquisition University’s Reinvention of Training.” http://www.hci.mil/


Frank Anderson, Retired, Defense Acquisition University

Josh Bersin, Chief Executive Officer, Bersin by Deloitte Josh Bersin founded Bersin & Associates, his own research and advisory consulting firm that focused on enterprise learning and talent management. Later acquired by Deloitte, the firm offers premier analyst and advisory services through in-depth research, trends, benchmarks, and best practices for corporate human resources, training, leadership, and talent management. As founder of Bersin & Associates, he has researched and implemented key industry learning and talent best practices. His commitment to advancing e-learning, learning technology and HR talent practices qualifies him for the Learning! Champion Lifetime Achievement Award. Bersin has spent 25 years in enterprise software with DigitalThink, Sybase and IBM. Bersin obtained a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Cornell University, a Master of Science in engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He is responsible for Bersin by Deloitte’s long term strategy and market eminence and is a frequent speaker at industry events. Bersin is a contributing writer for Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CBS Radio and National Public Radio. He frequently covers topics ranging such as feedback, company restructuring and workplace learning. linkedin.com/in/bersin

Dr. Ken Blanchard, Founder, The Blanchard Companies Dr. Ken Blanchard has had a long and successful career leading people. The former assistant dean at Ohio University gave a speech while on sabbatical “Different Strokes for Different Folks” at a Young Presidents Organization event and was met with such an enthusiastic response, he and his wife started their own management consulting company, The Blanchard Companies, which now has more than 300 employees and offices around the world. Blanchard co-authored “The One Minute Manager” in 1982 which sold more than 13 million copies and was on the New York Times’ bestseller list for years. Blanchard follows a two-part rule for great leadership. Leaders must have a vision or direction and servant leadership, where the traditional pyramid structure is turned around and the leader does everything possible for the organization and employees, acting as an example for accomplishing and maintaining the company’s vision. Always looking for the best in people, his advice to leaders and managers is to find something team members are doing well, and let them know they are appreciated. Positive feedback goes a long way making the employees feel valued and encouraging them to continue to work hard and perform well. He also lives by advice his mother gave him: “Don’t act like you’re better than anyone else, but don’t act like they’re better than you either.” Everyone has good qualities, they just need to be sought. linkedin.com/in/kenblanchard1

Elearning! June / July 2016



Ajay Pangarkar, Workforce Revolutionary, CentralKnowledge Ajay Pangarkar is pursuing the need for organizational learning leaders to build and implement simple learning solutions and focus their efforts and resources on business relevance. Pangarkar wants learning leaders to see themselves as a business unit with their sole purpose of existence to achieve their leader’s imperative, meeting organizational strategic objectives. He has a passion for making workplace learning relevant to business results. CentralKnowledge designs, develops and delivers complete and tangible workplace learning solutions under Pangarkar’s leadership contributing to organizational performance expectations and achieving business objectives. His focus is on developing real time learning opportunities by leveraging technology to ensure employee performance improvement. Through his unique consultative approach, Pangarkar guides practitioners through the selection and implementation of innovative learning approaches, on-demand e-learning, and award-winning assessment products and strategies. A Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and a Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP), Pangarkar prefers to re-think and alter the traditional visions workforce and employee performance management. A three-time published author with Wiley & Sons, Pangarkar recently published a book titled, “The Trainers Balanced Scorecard: A Complete Resource for Linking Learning and Growth to Organizational Strategy.” linkedin.com/in/ajaypangarkar

Nicole Brown, Vice President, GlobalEnglish, a Pearson company Learning is in the fabric of Nicole Brown and part of what drives her to succeed. For more than two decades she’s evolved and transformed her career while incorporating the development of her team and her community. Brown has worked with many companies to understand their needs around Business English and works with the product team with Pearson English Business Solutions to develop solutions matching the needs in the market. Pearson English Business Solutions helps corporations develop talent to realize their potential and enables them to communicate, collaborate and operate in a common language which is essential in such a globally connected world. Brown received an invitation to the inaugural meeting of the White House Technology in English Conference because of her work with the organization. A small group of 24 attendees, most of whom were academics, policy makers, and private and public executives collaborated to help more people communicate in English. Brown was also instrumental in closing a large deal with HCL TalentCare in India. HCL TalentCare aims to be a global talent-solutions company offering integrated products and services to meet the growing demand for quality talent. Its focus is to create development solutions that offer a career launchpad for students and a ready pool of employable talent for enterprises in the IT, banking, insurance and healthcare sectors. linkedin.com/in/nicolerbrown

Steven Stone, Vice President of Learning, Performance and Development, USAA Steve Stone has transformed learning at United Services Automobile Association (USAA) since he joined the team in October of 2009. He started by ensuring each team member had a defined job description with well-written and specific objectives. He then created an educational strategy to develop the learning and development team. He instilled a principle of running learning as a business and pushed for business impact metrics to track and report progress to the clients he supports. Inspired by a leader he met early in his career who stressed the need to contribute to the profession, Stone spends considerable time sharing the latest thinking and concepts advancing the learning profession with business leaders. The phenomenal support this organization provides to the business clients he supports is evident through scorecards and business practice metrics. He speaks at many industry events and has hosted campus visits for organizations interested in learning about how USAA approaches learning and development. Reinvented curriculum driven by Stone’s vision is projected to see a $15.4 million return on labor productivity costs. Additionally, a new sales course is delivering a 38-percent increase in sales by new employees. linkedin.com/in/stevenjamesstone


June / July 2016 Elearning!

The Gronstedt Group was founded in 1997 by Dr. Anders Gronstedt. It creates customized learning programs using simulations, podcasts, vodcasts, mobile learning, social media, gaming and virtual worlds. Gronstedt leads the group in creating customized learning programs for people teaching the skills they need to succeed in a thoughtful and engaging way. Boasting clients such as Eli Lilly, Coldwell Banker, Jamba Juice, United Healthcare and the City of New York, Gronstedt and his team delivers innovative and costeffective learning solutions to their clients. Before starting The Gronstedt Group, Gronstedt was an assistant professor at University of Colorado in Boulder. As a faculty member of the School of Journalism, he worked in the Integrated Marketing Communications Program. He holds a Ph. D. in Mass Communications from University of Wisconsin in Madison and studied business at Stockholm School of Economics. Gronstedt is delivering his keynote address “Next Gen Learning: The Virtual Reality Experience” at Enterprise Learning! Conference 2016 (ELC16) where he’ll immerse attendees in a virtual reality experience. There, he’ll showcase a high end learning experience via Oculus Rift and take the audience on a tour of the virtual realm. Then, each attendee will experience 360 degree applications, as well as open-source learning content and apps via Google Cardboard Viewers. Gronstedt continues to push the boundaries to immersive leanring. linkedin.com/in/andersgronstedt

Louis Carter, best known for his role as CEO and founder of Best Practice Institute, continues to blaze a path for global learning leaders, provoking traditional thinking in social collaboration, technology, and feed-forward appreciative coaching. His methods include case study creation with highly customized e-learning platforms and confidential in-person experiences — that are so secure even the United Nations and the Pentagon have used them — to ensure that executives who participate have a clear structure to follow and base their work on measurable results and appreciation. Carter created a Benchmark-It process that is used monthly with a group of senior executives that is quick and rooted in positive psychology and appreciative inquiry. This includes round robin case sharing through presentation, questions, recommendations and appreciation. Results from Benchmark-It sessions have led to enterprise-wide applications within Fortune 500 companies including leadership development center of excellence creation, redefinition of high potential leaders, culture map adjustments, integrated learning architecture changes and more. Additionally, Carter created two online platforms directly related to learning and his most recent book “The Change Champion’s Fieldguide” has been listed as one of the top 100 books in organizational change on Amazon.com. His other books, “Best Practices in Talent Management” and “Best Practices in Leadership Development and Organization Change” have been on the top 10 list for leadership development books on Amazon. linkedin.com/in/louiscarter


Louis Carter, Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Best Practice Institute


Dr. Anders Gronstedt, President, The Gronstedt Group, Inc.

Dr. Christopher Washington, Provost & Chief Academic Officer, Franklin University Dr. Christopher Washington’s latest call to action invoked the development and implementation of groundbreaking work to increase student success among the university’s adult population, 70 percent of whom are first-generation college students. Through extensive data collection, analysis and decision-making across all academic units, Washington is leading students to continue to follow their dreams despite the high rates of challenges they face. He’s accomplished this through increasing cooperation and evidence-driven interventions for high impact gateway courses that can often lead students to abandon their dreams. Washington opened the International Institute of Innovative Instruction, a collective body of learning scientists from across the globe that work to create and teach dynamic and innovative courses in more than 40 programs. Washington identified 24 gateway and high-impact courses that repeatedly experienced low student success, retention and persistence. In order to increase student performance, Washington tasked the institute and faculty to utilize university performance data, identify the challenges and develop instructional design, teaching, sequencing, and student support interventions. It took the team five months of collecting and analyzing data to develop solutions and interventions based upon the analysis. linkedin.com/in/christopher-washington-b4395b6

Elearning! June / July 2016



Dr. Karen Miner-Romanoff, Associate Provost of Academic Quality & Executive Director, International Institute of Innovative Instruction, Franklin University

Dr. Karen Miner-Romanoff combines her passion for criminal justice reform, teaching, research, and learning into a university-wide event that supports all of those ambitions. The event has garnered national attention and raised awareness, forged new lifelong learning advocates, supported the scholarship of the intersection of art and crime, and raised funds for a charitable foundation for at-risk youth. She seeks to reach new stakeholders and communities beyond the traditional student and forge change through learning, showing and inspiration. Inspired by a high school art teacher when conducting interviews in an Ohio youth institution in 2011, Miner-Romanoff came up with the idea to gather, frame, exhibit and auction youths’ art in a collaboration with the Ohio Department of Youth Services and Franklin University. The project, Voices from the Inside, includes a silent auction with proceeds benefiting the youths’ chosen charity. Research indicates that the participating youth are benefiting from the development, exhibition and charitable sale of their art. Those who view the art and corresponding educational materials are reporting that their punishment philosophies, viewpoints and perspectives have altered or been questioned based upon both the voices of the art and the materials that explained the realities of youth crime, at-risk communities and behaviors, and restorative justice and rehabilitative successes with youth. The art has become the voice of social transformation. linkedin.com/in/karen-miner-romanoff-ph-d-j-d-52848546

Darren Louie, Enablement Architect Skills & Practice Management, SAP SE For more than three decades SAP software has powered the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies with its enterprise software suite. In 2014, the company faced rapidly changing markets, increasing customer demands and intensifying competition from smaller and more agile cloud software companies. As a result, they embarked on a difficult journey to redesign its core platform and applications and reinvent itself as a cloud company powered by SAP HANA. Soon began a turbulent cycle of innovation that produced an impressive suite of new products and solutions but also created an unprecedented enterprise learning challenge across the company. To address this challenge, Darren Louie used design thinking and gamification concepts to build a Communities of Practice (CoP) site that would promote learning and collaboration across product management, presales, support and consulting for the company’s game changing software solution. This community serves as holistic platform for training employees with both formal and informal learning methods and provides a place for employees to access courses, role-based learning plans, case studies and collaborate with each other through forums and knowledge sharing sessions. A business value study in the second quarter of 2015 determined that this community helped employees to learn more effectively, increase productivity, and ultimately drive more than $10 million in consulting revenues through its trained workforce. linkedin.com/in/darren-louie-3565813

Dr. Karie Willyerd, Workplace Futurist, SAP SuccessFactors Dr. Karie Willyerd has served as Chief Learning Officer for five Fortune 500 companies and co-founder and CEO of Jambok, the industry’s first video-based informal social learning software platform, which was acquired by SuccessFactors in 2011. She is also the co-author of the award-winning bestseller, “The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today.” Willyerd’s newest book is “Stretch: How to Future Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace,” was selected as an Amazon Editor’s Pick in Business and Leadership in January, 2016. She’s also written many articles and blogs for Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Immersed in higher education, she’s an advisor to the business school at Colorado State University and the Center for Effective Organizations at University of Southern California. Always looking to make a difference, Willyerd serves on Silicon Valley’s City Year board. Willyerd keynotes at Enterprise Learning! Conference 2016 in Anaheim, Calif. this month. She’ll address ways to stretch skill sets in the workplace. linkedin.com/in/kariewillyerd


June / July 2016 Elearning!

Amanda Smith’s dedication to employee learning and development is unmatched. Leading the training and development initiatives for a rapidly growing financial services provider comes with a number of challenges. Smith has succeeded not only in developing trendsetting compliance training programs that are proven effective and recognized as outstanding by industry analysts; she also cares about employees, listens to their feedback, and develops the learning programs for which they ask. She challenges her team to live up to SWBC’s core value of excellence through continuous improvement. In addition to being smart, tech savvy and compassionate, Smith goes above and beyond to establish meaningful and accurate training ROI to ensure her programs provide real value to SWBC and its employees. Smith challenged market providers by designing a unique process for advanced manager approval, as well as library management functionality for SWBC. Recognizing the need for the intelligence of this functionality, she worked with SWBC to build it into its standard system design. Smith helped develop a mandatory compliance training workflow and reporting process. These enhancements have also been broadly accepted as best practices, and recently earned SWBC a Brandon Hall Excellence Award for Compliance Training. linkedin.com/in/amanda-mandy-smith-23589b3


Amanda Smith, Vice President of Training & Employee Development, SWBC

Carol Wludyka, Corporate SRU Training Specialist, Wakefern

Food Group

Carol Wludyka is solely responsible for the training and development of all of Wakefern’s corporate associates. She held focus groups to gain understanding of what the nearly 2,500 associates needed and has added many engaging programs to accommodate them. She regularly engages with those in the programs to ensure that they have a good experience from the trainings offered. Showcasing her ability to think creatively, Wludyka is implementing fun programs, such as Wacky Wednesdays, to offer short sessions on diverse subjects. She also engages associates by having them facilitate topics. She’s implemented the new Managers Training Program and much more. Wludyka only works with premium instructors to facilitate training workshops. Her background makes those working with her feel confident and trust her opinion as an industry expert. She’s been with Wakefern for more than 30 years and has been a member of the human resources team for more than a decade. linkedin.com/in/carol-wludyka-6b837312

Johnny Hamilton, Online Instructional Designer, Providence Health & Services Johnny Hamilton has an instinct to identify needs within Providence Health & Service’s development process and then finds high-value solutions before people really realize they need them. Hamilton identified the greater need that many employees at Providence who develop learning do not understand basic design principles, and thus their learning is not as effective as it could be. In response, he wrote an article describing ten design guidelines. However, to assist people to understand and implement these guidelines, he created an interactive, online tool in which users apply the guidelines to step-by-step transform an e-learning page from poor to good design. Hamilton then provided and presented this free online tool and concept at three national learning conferences, in which learning professionals from across the country twice voted his ideas and tools as the best. Hamilton elevates the learning that Providence provides to its more than 78,000 employees. He developed a brand for his department, brought innovation to its e-learning production capabilities, supported and trained other employees to develop their own e-learning, and shared his insights with the learning industry through a number of presentations at national conferences and free interactive online resources. linkedin.com/in/johnnyhamilton1

Elearning! June / July 2016



Kristen Kubasko, Clinical Education & Training Manager, Quantum Rehab/Pride Mobility Products Corp.

Kristen Kubasko has strategically extended her organization’s training reach by deploying an enterprise-wide learning platform with mission-critical online courses, communities and collaboration components. As Clinical Education and Training Manager, Kubasko manages internal and external training programs which include program design, continuing education tracking practices, budget, program compliance, annual clinical development and technical training schedules that focus on increasing rehab market share. Leading the transformation and actively developing and teaching courses, Kubasko brings the real world to the classroom in a personal, engaging, and virtual manner as a clinical instructor. She is also a Reimbursement Clinical Instructor Course Developer and instructs courses about Medicare policy including compliance, documentation requirements, the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System and government regulation. At Pride Mobility, Kubasko has created CDs and videos for presentations across the country on seminar tours. linkedin.com/in/kristen-kubasko-mba-76a2637

Michele Chetwynd, Instructional Designer and LMS Administrator, Instruction By Design When Michele Chetwynd started with a health care organization five years ago, she was challenged by an antiquated LMS system that suffered a critical failure. Since education and training for a health care system is a huge part of required record-keeping for regulatory and accrediting agencies, Chetwynd was faced with the daunting task of restoring lost records and training modules; conducting needs assessments; investigating new LMS possibilities; presenting and proposing potential solutions; and finally, implementing a new system. She created a robust learning environment that she’s sustained and supported and has successfully provided an enhanced learning experience for users. Chetwynd has been solely responsible for the LMS system as the LMS Administrator. Additionally, she is the only instructional designer serving the needs of more than 8,000 associates in the organization. She works closely with leadership and other stakeholders to ensure that the education provided, and the platform by which that education is offered is nothing short of excellent. Her work assists the organization in providing excellent and engaging education while maintaining accurate, timely, and relevant reports and records to comply with regulatory and accrediting agency standards. linkedin.com/in/michelle-chetwynd-5b361b48

Paul Thurkettle, NATO E-learning Program Manager, Allied Command Transformation

Paul Thurkettle is the leader of NATO’s e-learning program which provides distance learning courses and education and training technology capabilities globally to NATO, nations and partner countries. In fulfilling his mission, his team provides e-learning materials via NATO learning management systems that enable synchronous or asynchronous distance learning supporting operations, exercises and academic areas. E-learning is a new area for NATO and Thurkettle created a NATO e-learning capability which serves more than 85,000 customers from 55 countries with more than 120 courses. His programs have supported the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), (now Resolute Support Mission) in Afghanistan with 12 hours of online pre-deployment training enabling more than 50,000 augmentees from 35 nations to prepare themselves with no classroom or residential training for deployment into operational theatre. The courses requested by the ISAF Commander have met and exceeded expectations. linkedin.com/in/paul-thurkettle-a6828414


June / July 2016 Elearning!

Pete Blank currently serves as the Training & Development Division Manager with the Personnel Board of Jefferson County where he directs learning activities for a system consisting of 24 cities and government agencies and more than 7,500 employees. Blank has an overwhelming impact on employees and organizations through enhanced employee skill and engagement and organizational performance. Through Blank’s efforts, and the efforts of his division, the Personnel Board has experienced a more than 100-percent increase in the number of participants in training classes in 2015. As a member of the National Speakers Association, Blank shares his knowledge and stories enhancing leadership and employee engagement within organizations across the country. He actively engages in promoting the learning industry through membership and leadership positions in professional associations such as the Blue Ridge Conference on Leadership and the Greater Birmingham Chapter of Association for Talent Development. Whether it is through facilitating training in the classroom, developing strategic plans and initiatives targeted at enhancing learning, engaging employees and organizations through keynote addresses and presentations, or serving in leadership capacities for professional learning organizations, Blank continuously champions learning and greatly impacts the employees and organizations with whom he interacts. linkedin.com/in/peteblank


Pete Blank, Training & Development Division Manager Personnel Board, Jefferson County

ReLita Clarke, Corporate Training Manager, immixGroup, an Arrow Company Responsible for managing internal training and corporate development initiatives, ReLita Clarke spearheaded and designed immixGroup’s first LMS also known as immixUniversity online, a global enterprise system that improves the delivery of training, increases employee engagement, and accelerates employee performance. Clarke is also known for establishing and developing an internal “Train the Trainer” program for the corporate facilitators of immixUniversity (immixGroup’s Corporate Learning & Development University). Other notable achievements in her position include developing a highpotential program for leadership and career advancement, establishing metrics for measuring corporate training ROI, and creating an e-learning library. In Clarke’s five-year tenure at immixGroup, she’s earned prestigious certifications including Everything DiSC and Gallup’s Strength Finders Coach. Additionally, Clarke streamlined immixGroup’s onboarding process for new hires, restructured corporate training to match both job role and performance, and worked with key stakeholders to develop multiple programs within immixUniversity. Clarke helps to shape and create a learning environment within the organization that is encouraging, informative and exciting. The continuous education of the organization is extremely important to her and she finds ways to get leaders, peers and employees engaged and interested in the learning and development of others. linkedin.com/in/relita-clarke-0ba6093b

Richard Walker, Managing Partner & Chief Growth Officer, York Solutions Richard Walker created a professional development association, Think IT, for IT professionals which is a service of York Solutions. Presently, Think IT has more than 2,500 IT leaders in the community encompassing seven different groups based on levels of leadership and specialties. Members have access to monthly collaborative meetings that allow for members to discuss common issues and best practices to help them further their personal and professional growth. Walker also created a mentorship program which matches Think IT members based on their goals to help provide them with a sounding board and source of ideas and advice outside of their organizations. Another program that Walker spearheaded was the Link to Leadership Development Program which is a six-month program led by local Chief Information Officers and senior IT leaders. This program focuses on helping those who are considering making the change from individual contributor to leader within the IT world. All profits from Link to Leadership are donated directly to Genesys Works, a local non-profit that provides at-risk youth with business and technical training and internships at Fortune 500 companies. Since its inception, the mentorship program has facilitated more than 250 matches. And more than 125 people have participated in the Link to Leadership program since it first began. Results-oriented, Walker has helps raise $175,000 for Genesys Works and six $8,000 college scholarships. linkedin.com/in/rwalkercgo

Elearning! June / July 2016



Shari Foster, Vice President & Director of Education and Training, Fidelity National Title Group — Southwest Agency Division

Shari Foster’s vision for streamlining and enhancing Fidelity National Title Group’s (FTNG) training of attorneys, agents and underwriters across three states includes standardizing training processes for hundreds of employees while making training more accessible. In 2013, her department issued more than 7,000 certificates to their customers’ employees. Training was conducted using a mix of web meetings and conference calls, and much of the data needed to verify course completion by each individual was collected and processed manually. Foster identified webcasts as an ideal tool to unify and simplify delivery of the content, allowing replication of courses across thousands of agents. She expanded her thinking to include a virtual conference center — a single location that would organize and provide easy access to all the webcasts. She decided that InterCall’s Virtual Learning Environment would work best because of its capabilities developed specifically to meet the needs of her department and geographically dispersed customers. Her collaboration and leadership helped create a streamlined and easily accessible training program. FTNG is now able to digitally monitor each individual’s completion of the course and issue printed certificates, automatically from within the virtual platform. Manual processes such as the issuing and distributing certificates have been eliminated. linkedin.com/in/shari-foster-a2496558

Wanda Miller, Compliance & Ethics Lead of Education and Communication, Bristol-Myers Squibb


Wanda Miller presented her new communication plan to more than 40 global compliance professionals at the Global Ethics and Compliance Summit. After the meeting, her first compliance and ethics newsletter (that featured many new styles of communication including cartoons, a video, and ethical storytelling) generated a positive buzz that resonated throughout the entire global organization. People want to be involved, and that’s something Miller has always wanted for the ethics and compliance department. This year, her passion for effective communication and her willingness to take on a new style of messaging has changed the way compliance and ethics is talked about and the way that the rest of the organization operates. From the top down, she’s receiving incredible amounts of positive feedback for her contributions. Other internal groups now have the chance to take creative risks and make their learning and training more effective in all departments throughout Bristol-Myers Squibb. linkedin.com/in/wanda-miller-9775874


Ritchie Djamhur, Head of Learning & Culture, Bing Lee and Host of Ritchie’s Room

June / July 2016 Elearning!

Boasting more than 20 years’ experience in the consumer electronics sector, it’s no surprise that Ritchie Djamhur has such a strong and loyal following. Host of the Australian hit television show Ritchie’s Room, Djamhur has covered everything from analogue phones and floppy disks to smartphones and cloud storage. A marketing genius, Djamhur’s YouTube channel for Ritchie’s Room has more than 17 million views. Each week, he shows his viewers a hands-on look at technology, including guides and previews of the latest apps and software. His show features running commentary on smartphones and tablets keeping his followers up to date with the latest technology and helping them get the most out of their devices. His blog, also titled Ritchie’s Room, has been quoted in the New York Times and he updates it regularly with the latest news and podcasts. Djamhur’s passion for learning and technology is apparent in all that he does. Between hosting his 4 a.m. radio show, hopping on conference calls at all hours with those on the other side of the world and his comprehensive reviews of electronics, it’s clear that teams and their managers can learn a lot from Djamhur. linkedin.com/in/ritchiedjamhur

As a mentor, Harriett Schenck’s advice to others is to continually seek new experiences and add value to every opportunity. She fully devotes herself to her mentees — advocating for them, consistently seeking performance feedback from colleagues, and recommending additional training to help develop each mentee’s capabilities. Schenck believes that learning is a process, not just an event. She contacts other members of the CapitalTristate team, and works with them to set objectives and create agendas to provide job shadowing, training, and hands-on experience. Schenck has been known to push the envelope on comfort zones, yet she help others maneuver challenges and obstacles. She creates a comfortable learning environment and coaches problem solving skills to help mentees work through issues and concerns. Schenck is a living example of her own advice. She has held positions ranging from executive assistant to director of operations, always seeking the next opportunity to help CapitalTristate succeed. In seeking these opportunities, Schenck always looks for new ways to go beyond the standard expectations and provide something more. In teaching those around her how to add value to the company, she has made CapitalTristate more successful while fostering an environment of positive encouragement. linkedin.com/company/capital-tristate


Harriett Schenck, Director of Operations, CapitalTristate

Mike Jewett, Technical Trainer, Bulletproof Solutions Mike Jewett has worked in the training industry for the past eight years and in that time he’s excelled in multiple areas of training. As a contractor for an e-learning company he is the most requested administrator because of his expertise and knowledge of their LMS. He is also an ILT instructor for Microsoft end-user products. He’s dedicated to making sure no one struggles with their day-to-day tasks and customizes any of his courses to benefit learners. His passion in the classroom and on his website have led him to two Microsoft MVP Awards. Jewett conducts complimentary weekly training sessions through his website because he knows that not everyone can afford to take training. His one hour sessions are exactly what some users need as they might just need a new perspective when looking at things. His blogs are also a quick reference for immediate troubleshooting. Jewett also participates in Computer Science Education Week where he visits schools in the area to teach kids the basics of coding, preparing them for the future. During Jewett’s first year he was able to teach scratch coding to more than 700 students. Three teachers that he worked with this past year have kicked off sixweek coding camps for their students to continue learning. This year he will reach more than 1,000 students. Teachers are seeing such a great response from his classes that many of them are inviting him to host six- to eight-week programs for their students. linkedin.com/in/mike-jewett-70805828

Dr. RK Prasad, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, CommLab India LLP As the CEO of CommLab India, Dr. RK Prasad has introduced several measures within CommLab India to foster learning. He ensures that a fixed time is allocated every week for learning purposes across all departments of the organization. He enthusiastically shares his knowledge and expertise in the form of webinars, workshops and talks to bring about awareness and understanding about key aspects of instructional design, e-learning in particular and corporate training in general. In 2015, Prasad conceived and promoted a unique cross-functional learning within the organization. An entire month was earmarked for a learning seminar and for the duration of it all employees dedicated two hours daily to train and learn from one another in a collaborative way, resulting in a substantial leap of knowledge for the employees. This simple model can easily be replicated by other organizations. The event accrued a total of 1,500 learning hours and resulted in phenomenal user-generated content — 252 unique pieces of content in the form of blogs, infographics, videos, and PowerPoint presentations. These highly educative learning snippets were converted into an attractive e-book so that the knowledge can be shared with the learning and development team. The e-book serves as a handbook for all managers who are interested in improving their team’s performance using technology-enhanced learning strategies and tools. The impact of the month-long learning activity resulted in a beautifully illustrated 30-page handbook that provides pertinent and practical information for managers. linkedin.com/in/rkprasad

Elearning! June / July 2016



Thomas Toth, Managing Director & Founder, dWeb Studios, Inc.


Helen Geiger, President & Chief Executive

Thomas Toth is a passionate and dedicated learning professional who motivates those around him to become better. Toth has more than 20 years’ experience designing and developing training that drives behavior change. He is a professional who is constantly improving his own skills and he’s an early adopter when it comes to new technology which inspires those around him. He cares deeply about the profession and demonstrates this by investing his time to mentor those who are new to the industry. He also volunteers his time to speak at Association for Talent Development events and reaches thousands of learning professionals annually both in person and through his blog TechnologyforTrainers.com. In 2008, Toth’s programs contributed to winning the ATD Best Award. He’s written two books on e-learning authoring, the first and second editions of “Technology for Trainers,” and is a contributing author in two books for trainers including Michael Allen’s “eLearning Annual 2012” and “ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals,” published in 2008. linkedin.com/in/thomasatoth

Officer, Prometheus Training, LLC

Helene Geiger consulted with Abraham Institute to design its new e-learning platform and curriculum. Known for her professionalism, creativity, work ethic, problem solving skills, collaboration and impressive demeanor no matter the situation. Geiger works closely with clients, both beginners and those that are more advanced, to implement e-learning and blended learning platforms. She strives to help her clients get the platform going and continues to work with them to make sure it performs as it is intended. A patient problem solver, Geiger gets involved in troubleshooting to resolve issues or come up with workarounds. Clients are impressed with Geiger’s courses. Abraham Institute was able to gain a full electronic solution on all the curriculum deliverables that gives them the ability to protect the intellectual property of the material while enhancing the learners’ experiences. The result of Geiger’s work with the Abraham Institute was a breakthrough learning-and-doing curriculum, providing a true 70:20:10 solution for the executive training market. ptrain.com

Ricardo Latorre, Creative Director, Chasse Consulting With more than 15 years in the learning industry, Ricardo Latorre has handcrafted solutions targeted toward struggling learners ranging from school children to employees at Fortune 500 companies. His repertoire boasts a number of solutions including several year-long e-learning curriculums designed to aid children in grades K-12 with learning disabilities and global initiatives for companies training their transcontinental sales forces simultaneously. Inspired to pursue a career in creative design thanks to his passion for storytelling, Latorre’s main contribution to the learning industry are characterbased stories crafted to simplify messages in an educational way that engages audiences of all ages. Personification is what Latorre brings to the learning industry which truly keeps the person behind the lesson in mind. Through solutions tailored to different types of learners, Latorre has composed visually appealing stories that unveil and enhance the hidden potential of students that would have otherwise been written off by the system in school and business settings. Each solution he’s had a hand in has resulted in transforming struggling students into proficient professionals. Sales representatives around the world and children in elementary school though high school have benefited from Latorre’s efforts to compose meaningful, relatable and engaging lessons with the goal to augment the capability every individual already has inside them. linkedin.com/in/rlatorre


June / July 2016 Elearning!

Jerry Roche spent his entire career writing. The first half he spent covering the turf industry focusing on landscape and irrigation. He was inducted into the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA) Hall of Fame in 2014 after being an integral part in the organization and being elected the first president in 1990. He was instrumental in recruiting new members and helped organize the first annual meeting. In 1996, he left his position at Landscape Management to become editorial director for seven magazines for Adams Business Media. He rejoined the TOCA board of directors in 2000. In 2007, Roche published his first work of science fiction: “The Armageddon Chronicles.” Roche spent the next part of his career as Editorial Director of Elearning! and Government Elearning! magazines. Some would say technology is a foreign language to him, but his masterful interviewing style and easy-going approach to finding what’s relevant made him successful. Roche has been an integral part in the success of the organization after nine years of leading the 23-time award-winning magazine group. This year, Roche handed over the editorial reigns to Claire Johnson and Joe DiDonato. Elearning! Media Group is proud to name Jerry Roche 2016 Learning! Champion for his contribution to our industry.


Jerry Roche, Editorial Director, Elearning! Media Group


For nearly a decade, Andrew Hughes has made it his personal mission to ensure that commonly-used ineffective and lackluster training techniques are a thing of the past. Realizing his passion for changing the way we learn and evolve, in 2006 Hughes founded and became President of Designing Digitally, Inc., an e-learning and serious game development firm that creates fully customized learner retention solutions for various types of industries. Starting with a solo team, Designing Digitally has grown to encompass a staff of 1,520. Hughes manages the sales and solutions team while providing guidance and knowledge to the production teams for Fortune 1000 companies. Throughout the years, he has had the pleasure of working with courteous and prestigious clients including NASA, Comcast, Hewlett-Packard, Wyndham Hotels, Procter & Gamble, General Electric, the United States Air Force, Samsung, Williams-Sonoma and others. In addition to being president of Designing Digitally, Inc., Hughes is also strongly devoted to the prosperity of the community. He is currently a professor at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College in the Business, Law, and Technology Department, and an Accredited Curriculum Consultant for the Accreditation of Independent Colleges and Schools. He’s the coordinator for the Business Development Plan contest hosted by the Clermont Chamber of Commerce and is an avid guest speaker at more than two dozen e-learning and industry specific conferences annually. In his free time, Hughes teaches middle school students at a technology camp. linkedin.com/in/designingdigitally


Andrew Hughes, President, Designing Digitally, Inc.

Anne Paine, Learning Solutions Manager, Apex Performance Solutions For the past four years, Anne Paine and her team have consistently provided an innovative approach to two primary learning areas. She and her team are adding gamification strategies to otherwise traditional training. This was done specifically for a gold mining client that desired a new engaging and interactive approach to employee onboarding and benefits training. She’s also working with her team to create new e-learning widgets including an animated white board illustration widget that plugs into Captivate or PowerPoint and a widget that includes libraries of animated characters and icons that can be easily inserted into Captivate or PowerPoint to add visual interest and impact to e-learning. Paine has been president of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of Association for Talent Development (ATD) since 2013. In that role, she’s presented several e-learning and gamification talks to the Online Learning Consortium in Denver and the Learning and Leadership Conference in Reno, Nev. Paine’s Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM) study course has resulted in 98 students who have successfully prepared for and passed the rigorous PMP or CAPM certification exam. This has not only helped Apex employees gain their certification and the knowledge and credibility that comes with it, but has also helped other employers achieve the same result. linkedin.com/in/anne-paine-03357020

Elearning! June / July 2016



Daniel Munson, Associate Vice President of Process Improvement, Bisk Education Web conferencing tools have been in use for more than a decade now allowing for the use of Voice Over Internet Protocol, PowerPoint, and shared screens often using just a web cam showing a talking head. Daniel Munson has incorporated the use of the light board in his web conferences when teaching Villanova University’s online Six Sigma program that keeps the students entertained while learning. In them, he stands behind a lighted glass wall that the student does not see and when he writes on the board it appears that he is writing on air. Munson was named the Associate Vice President of Continuous Process Improvement in 2015. He joined Bisk Education in 2003 and has been the chief architect and director of a suite of Six Sigma Courses for Villanova University. His background includes more than 25 years at Honeywell and Storage Technology (now Sun Microsystems). Munson has consulted process improvement methodologies worldwide to the likes of BP-Alaska, Ryder System, 3M, Alcoa-Fujikura, Litton, Sumitomo, Lily, Amp, Omron-Mexico, AMP, Boeing, Philips-Austria, National/Panasonic-Japan, and Siemens. linkedin.com/in/munsondan

David Lloyd, E-learning Leadership Development Specialist, Community of Christ With no previous e-learning experience, David Lloyd and the eLearning Development Team at Community of Christ moved 2,000 ministers to interactive, innovative online learning from paperbased tests. The initial target audience was in English-speaking countries, but it is anticipated these classes will be translated into multiple languages to be used in the more than 40 countries in which the church has a presence. Lloyd and his team first created 10 completely new print resources for the various priesthood offices in the church. They then helped change the paradigm from only live classes and paper correspondence classes, to community-based learning experiences which included reconfiguring the print classes into an aggressive e-learning experience. The pilot program for these e-learning classes was a heightened sense of community for the students and a more focused learning environment. In the past, students would have to dedicate a weekend and travel to take the classes, which was especially difficult for those with families. The e-learning platform is spread over eight weeks allowing the delivery of more information and permits students to plan their own schedule each week. linkedin.com/in/david-lloyd-02320810

Dr. Rohit Kumar, Senior Scientist, Raytheon BBN Technologies As co-principal Investigator of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded STEM Grand Challenge program, Dr. Rohit Kumar is leading Raytheon BBN Technologies’ efforts to bring together problem-solving, a time-tested pedagogical practice across numerous STEM disciplines and recent advances in intelligent tutoring. The structure of carefully crafted problems enables accurate tracking of problem-solving behaviors making it possible to provide intelligent support for students. The result of Kumar’s recent work, the BBN Learning Platform, implements elegant interfaces for creating and practicing problem-solving based learning activities. It gives high school physics teachers an engaging tool that promotes self-paced learning through problem solving and provides immediate guidance and feedback to students. It also gives teachers insights into their students’ progress, painting a clear and accurate picture of what material students understand and where they need to improve. In addition to his work on the BBN Learning Platform, Kumar leads the company’s efforts to create error-tolerant spoken language translation systems that facilitate cross-lingual communication. linkedin.com/in/rohitkumar


June / July 2016 Elearning!

Drew Rosen has a passion for technology in adult education delivery, the digitization of education, deploying knowledge services for performance support, and the migration from instructor-centric to student-centric delivery pedagogy. Under Rosen’s vision and leadership, Learning@Cisco has transformed its certification training program from a five-day, instructorled, one-size-fits-all delivery model to offering customers a choice of flexible learning options empowering them to study anywhere, anytime, in a rich, multi-model learning experience. Throughout the curriculum’s evolution, Rosen encouraged the team to experiment with new approaches in design and development of content, while keeping the focus on the learner and the learning experience. Rosen’s leadership and vision inspired the organization to expand learning options for its self-study community and embrace the next generation of learning strategies. Rosen is leading the organization in a transition from Microsoft Word and PowerPoint courseware development to Extensive Markup Language authoring, allowing the creation of multiple learning outputs including PDF and ePub for self-paced e-learning from a single-source development effort. He challenged the software enablement team to design a rich, interactive learning platform that incorporated multimodal delivery, gamification, formative assessment, hands-on labs, and virtual mentoring. The resulting online learning platform won LearnX and Brandon Hall Excellence awards in 2015. linkedin.com/in/drew-rosen-161203a


Drew Rosen, Senior Director, Content Development, Cisco Systems

Frank Russell, Chief Executive Officer, Prositions, Inc Frank Russell is the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Prositions, Inc. He leads the Board of Directors and is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the company. Russell has more than 30 years of human resource management experience. Since 1985 he’s founded and led three companies, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, to continually grow, expand, and evolve the learning industry. Since the inception of his first company, his goal has been to provide exceptional learning technology to organizations who need them and that mantra has permeated his entire career. Through the years, Russell has consolidated training for the state of Iowa, aggregated content through a revolutionary distribution model, converting training media from analog to digital platforms, developed a cutting edge LMS delivered via the internet, and created mentoring software that increases visibility by tracking all instances of learning. As founder and former Chief Executive Officer of both GeoLearning and Excellence in Training Corporation, Russell has impacted many over the course of his career. Russell’s emphasis on helping people is what sets him apart. Prositions was founded in order to help individuals find jobs after a major downsizing and it works to help individuals achieve their dreams. Today, Prositions has grown into a full-fledged talent consulting firm with its own software designed to continue its positive impact on today’s workforce. linkedin.com/in/frank-russell-60285640

Ibrahim Jabary, Chief Executive Officer, Gamelearn Ibrahim Jabary is revolutionizing the field of e-learning thanks to his innovative learning methodology based on the use of video games. The expert management consultant has pioneered the development of game-based learning solutions. In 2009, he founded Gamelearn, where he developed his three serious games reaching more than 100,000 professionals in 700 companies worldwide. Jabary has overcome many of the main struggles associated with e-learning, especially in the development of soft skills such as negotiation, leadership and time management. His games garner a 92-percent completion rate, a 97-percent applicability rate and a 93-percent recommendation rate. His games incorporate high quality content, fundamentally practical approaches and sophisticated simulators that allows students to practice the learned skills and techniques and receive personalized feedback. Jabary and Gamelearn utilize the cloud so clients don’t need to install additional software. The games adapt to numerous devices including desktop computers, tablets and smartphones. The programs can be translated to more than five languages. His methodology has garnered international recognition including several awards from Elearning! Media Group, a gold medal in the Excellence in Technology Brandon Hall Awards, Best Service Award in CIPD’12 Manchester Exhibition, and Top 10 European Startup (San Francisco Demo Night, 2011) among others. linkedin.com/in/ibrahim-jabary-2457661

Elearning! June / July 2016



Jared Martinez, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Market Traders Institute

The currency world wrecked Jared Martinez’ original business so he founded Market Traders Institute (MTI) and started mentoring more than 30,000 international traders of all skill levels. He built an e-learning package using his simple and effective formula to profit from trading. While Martinez wanted his education package to be virtual, enabling traders all around the world to use it and be successful, he also wanted to make sure that he could mentor them, helping them through the emotional struggles and learning curves of trading. Now, Martinez’s package includes live analyst broadcasts and twice-weekly mentorship sessions where he takes questions from any and all MTI students, answering them live on the spot. He hosts sessions with students for a few hours each day and teaches many of the classes himself. Beyond leading the company from one employee to more than 140 employees, Martinez also helped the company make the Inc. 5000 list. Now, his e-learning package serves tens of thousands of traders across more than 15 countries. linkedin.com/in/jaredmartinezmti

Jill Betters, Marketing Manager of Commercial & Architectural Programs, CertainTeed Corp. Jill Betters and her team have designed, launched and managed a learning management system implementing user and facilitator attendance tracking technology in the architectural credential maintenance industry. Betters manages the only regularly running webinar hosted by a building product manufacturer focusing on this audience, which includes several panel discussions and more than 100-percent attendance growth in 2015. Content ideas, design, building and delivery requires the coordination of 300 individuals across a varied combination of subject matter experts, marketers, technical researchers and sales people. CertainTeed has completely digitized attendee tracking for in-person courses — the sales force utilizes iPads to allow users to enter their own information at the time of course delivery. Demonstration of attendance happens automatically and the user can access electronic copies of their certificates anytime. Program and sales managers can utilize attendee information to track sales initiatives, analyze trends and explore content efficacy. linkedin.com/in/jillmbetters

Ken Rogers, Director of Education, E-learning, Mobile

Learning and Knowledge Distribution, The Kelly Companies For the past five years, Ken Rogers has been leading union-oriented online learning programs across several similar but separate international union apprenticeship and journeyman programs. He’s been implementing and blending learning programs that have transformed first time passing rates for online instructor certification preparatory courses. Additionally, Rogers’ leadership has touched the lives of apprentices and journeymen in a way that can rarely be measured but can’t be lived without. His impact has helped contribute to safer and more knowledgeable workforces in critical classroom and online training programs. The organizations being impacted are enjoying unprecedented success utilizing e-learning courses, LMS technologies and integration with other enterprise platforms. Rogers combines a straightforward common sense approach when solving organizational challenges and leaves a trail of success in his wake. By applying underlying learning technologies to new initiatives, Rogers has dramatically impacted learners across a diverse spectrum of blue collar industries. linkedin.com/in/ken-rogers-8583a15


June / July 2016 Elearning!

Author of “Inspired to Learn - 10 Keys for Elevating Confidence, Performance, and Profits Through Exceptional Learning Experiences,” Rich DiBenedetto is revolutionizing the design and delivery of training in many industries including retail, human resources, transportation safety, investigations, police leadership and ethics. He works to improve the effectiveness of training through the incorporation of multimedia and real-life scenario examples, simulated decision-making, and recursive and comprehensive testing. He improves the efficiency of training through online delivery and accessible interfaces. His programs and methods have been adopted through multiple large retail companies’ loss prevention departments as the official de facto training standard and offers continuing education credits. The New Jersey State Safety Council has adopted another one of his programs as an accepted online driving school method for insurance rate reductions. Through his vision of creating an online learning method that promotes retention, maintains engagement and maximizes confidence, DiBenedetto presents a path forward that many in the industry would be wise to emulate. linkedin.com/in/rdibenedetto


Rich DiBenedetto, Vice President, Learn it Solutions — a Verisk Analytics Business Unit

Emma King, Vice President of Event & Learning Strategy, INXPO, Inc. Emma King works with INXPO clients from many industries identifying ways to evolve traditional enterprise training programs into online platforms. She recently received the Innovator award from her company for revamping its own learning portal and processes. She is also a regular contributor to Elearning! Magazine. Additionally, King delivers webinars and workshops on topics such as measuring comprehension, generational learning styles, blended learning, knowledge management, innovations in software simulations, learning practices for small-to-medium sized businesses, and aligning learning technologies with business strategies. King has been invited to evangelize learning best practices, tips and techniques at learning conferences such as Training, Association for Talent Development, TechLearn, eLearning Guild, CheckPoint in Europe, Society for Applied Learning Technology and many others. King offers strategic direction and oversight for INXPO clients and several of them have received awards or promotions, while nearly all can boast positive business return on investment. Several of King’s clients have been recognized as Learning! 100 honorees. She worked with Mondelez to define and implement a new virtual classroom that accelerates learning and reduces training costs for the firm. More recently, she is in the midst of a project with one of the world’s largest consumer packaged goods firms where she is revamping and relaunching its training program for product, brand, and marketing. linkedin.com/in/emmaking

A recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science and Statistics, Johnathan Hollenbeck quickly navigated the complex maze of large corporate acronyms, processes, and culture after joining Cisco in July 2014. Hollenbeck is a talented data analyst always willing to step up to the plate and take on new challenges to help his teammates. With the keen ability to look at data from many perspectives, he not only sees numbers, but has an established sense of clues and patterns to look for in learner behavior. Recently he observed an interesting pattern when analyzing learner medals earned in Cisco’s e-learning platform. While there were several learners who had accumulated an impressive medal count, some of them were achieving gold medals by retrying challenges and retaking assessments over and over in quick succession, essentially cheating the system and themselves out of learning and understanding the concepts well enough to be prepared for the certification exam. Hollenbeck’s astute observation of learner achievement data is something one might expect from someone with years of experience, not someone fresh out of college. linkedin.com/in/jonathan-hollenbeck-06489229


Jonathan Hollenbeck, Software Engineer, Cisco Systems

Elearning! June / July 2016



Robert Kriner, Senior Technical Trainer, Polytron, Inc During his first nine months with Polytron, Robert Kriner worked directly with an equipment vendor to identify changeover issues when equipment was shipped to new clients. Even though he’d never worked with e-learning tools, he was able to create a very successful solution. Smaller equipment vendors in the food and beverage packaging industry have struggled with providing clients with up-to-date information for equipment operation and in 2015, Kriner worked with MeadWest Vaco (now WestRock) to identify information that its clients needed to know. He used the older manuals as a baseline and developed a set of job aids that matched with a Computer Based Training (CBT) solution. The CBT could be loaded on the equipment for easy reference on the Human Machine Interface at the line. These CBTs included short step-by-step procedures and explanations, combined with video of the procedures. The hard copy job aids were also made available at the line. Favorable feedback was received from the first installed location and the information was accurate and easy to reference. The combined CBT with handouts was valuable to the end user and contributed to decreased operational change over time. linkedin.com/in/robertkriner

Linda Renville, Online Instructional Designer, Providence Health & Services Although she’s not new to learning, Linda Renville has found success in her new role as an Online Instructional Designer developing online courses for more than 78,000 employees in California, Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Montana in the past year. Regardless of the type of course, Renville produces high quality and high volume. In 2015, she produced more than 70 courses for her department, a remarkable feat. Renville continually shares her knowledge and expertise. Providence uses HealthStream as its LMS and she supports the more than 30 Providence HealthStream administrators. Many of the administrators aren’t instructional designers and don’t have the software to create content, because of this, she provides them with ongoing support for HealthStream’s HTML Editor through one-to-one mentoring, periodic online training. This past fall she presented two workshops at a conference her department hosted for more than 30 administrators. Renville also focuses on rapid e-learning development and has produced more courses than the rest of her department combined, helping Providence meet the growing demand of online courses from various departments, facilities, regions and system-wide initiatives. Her contributions helped her team win the HealthStream 2015 award for Excellence Through Innovation in Industry Driven Initiatives. linkedin.com/company/providence-health-and-services

How to Apply for the 2017 Learning! Champion Award The Learning! Champion Award recognizing individuals for exceptional contributions to the industry. Nominees can be innovators, thought leaders, trail blazers, mentors, cutting-edge technologists, rookies of the year, creative consultants, or high performing learning leaders that positively impact the learning industry. Nominate a client, leader, mentor or partner for consideration. Nominating a candidate is easy via the online ballot available at http://www.2elearning.com/awards/ learning-champion-award. Be prepared to share information about the nominee including the category; why are you nominating him/her; the candidate’s contribution to the industry and the impact; and basic background information on the candidate. All applications must be received by December 30, 2016 for consideration. Learning! Champions are recognized in Elearning! Magazine, at The Learning! Champion Award Ceremony and invited to participate in web seminars, articles, blogs and more. Nominations will open fall 2016.


June / July 2016 Elearning!

TipsIT Certification

Innovation Invasion:

IT Ignites Technological Reform Across Industries BY DENNIS BONILLA, EXECUTIVE DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX, COLLEGE OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS & TECHNOLOGY Ideas are the new currency of business. We live in an era in which anyone with a dream and ambition can take an idea and bring it to life through digital technology. This liberation has fueled the spread of creative and collaborative solutions to daily problems for both businesses and individuals. Routinely, new technologies are being introduced with the potential — for better or worse — to change industries as we know them. While new technologies are emerging as quickly as the blink of an eye, the U.S. workforce is stalled, impeded by a lack of access to the real-time knowledge and technical skills needed to keep pace with the changing nature of their positions, companies and industries. As technology becomes an increasingly integral part of business, the right training is critical to bridging this gap. If technology is the catalyst that launches industries forward and innovative ideas are the currency of 21st century business, then how do professionals across all industries make themselves more employable? Through ongoing professional development and certificates.

Certificate programs are an efficient educational opportunity that can replace the potentially daunting prospect of a four-year degree program or graduate school, and allow workers to continue building on their expertise throughout their lives. Depending on the industry, certificates that provide specific skills training and specializations can even be more influential with hiring managers than graduate degrees. Certificate programs can help garner enhanced opportunities and recognition, while helping professionals keep up with changes in the field. Advanced certificates in IT can help create an accomplished professional, and allow them to go above and beyond their day-to-day responsibilities to see the big picture for their organization. INCREASING INTERNAL BUSINESS FUNCTIONALITY WITH IT SKILLS IT certificates aren’t just for professionals in the IT field. IT certificates can help HR understand how to attract and retain the best talent and how to develop programs that lead to a forward-thinking and innovative work environment. An effectively managed HR department is critical for recruiting top talent and firing up the potential of an organization’s workforce. Talent management can be one of the

most expensive and important functions a company undertakes. Attracting innovative individuals with diverse skill sets is critical for maintaining a competitive edge. Yet, despite its importance, many organizations’ current HR systems and practices have been in place for years. Enterprise software can quickly become obsolete as new systems ignite change in the industry, putting the business at a competitive disadvantage when trying to recruit. As technology continues to move HR functions online, it’s imperative these professionals understand how to leverage this technology to support and improve underlying HR processes. IT certificates can help HR professionals understand how to select, implement and control systems and data to increase productivity and profitability. USING IT TO ENHANCE CUSTOMER SERVICE IN TODAY’S TECHTOPIA Consumers in the 21st century have hit the jackpot when it comes to customer service experiences. Digital platforms have made it easier for consumers to create their own custom experiences across service industries, including shopping and travel. While this is great for the customer, technology has made it more complicated for industry professionals to monitor feedback and provide

the best service experience. Pursuing IT certificates can help customer service professionals understand customer behavior and preferences, and help them create strategic plans to build loyalty and increase business profitability. If customer service employees can anticipate consumer sentiment and knowledge, interactions can be enhanced to establish better connections and create a more positive customer experience. EDUCATION IS EVOLVING TO EMPLOYEE NEEDS For those who want to continue their education and enhance their tech savvy, new learning environments are innovating to allow for professionals to choose not only what they learn, but how they learn. To adapt to the times, many online and brick-and-mortar institutions of higher learning are marshalling resources and creating unique IT certificate programs calibrated to meet employer demands, while also accommodating working-adult students who balance their studies with families and fulltime careers. For more information about University of Phoenix programs, including on-time completion rates, the median debt incurred by students who completed the program and other important information, please visit: phoenix.edu/programs/ gainful-employment.

Elearning! June / July 2016



The Right Ingredients to Change the Face of Innovation BY RYAN J. NEGRI, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IRON YARD VENTURES Outside investment can transform the future of a budding startup. It can take a company from a college dorm room, garage, or even the trunk of a car, and lead it down the path to becoming a multi-million or even billion-dollar corporation. To fund this investment, many entrepreneurs are turning to accelerators. These programs connect startups to venture capitalists who bring in seed money and give startups access to their experience and resources. In many cases, accelerators will provide office space, mentorship and other assets companies need to plant their roots and thrive. Accelerators are a relatively new concept — according to Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, more than 70 percent of existing accelerators were founded in 2008 or later. These programs have been helpful in guiding businesses to success. More than three out of every four businesses that participated in an accelerator program have a high survival rate. According to the Seed Accelerator Ranking Project, one of the top accelerators in the country is Iron Yard Ventures. Founded in 2012, the organization touts its success in investing in more than 50 startup technology companies that have collectively produced hundreds of jobs and built a stream of 48

June / July 2016 Elearning!

capital topping $70 million. Accelerators can be developed for any industry. Iron Yard’s hospitality accelerators, for example, focus on synchronizing top early-stage startups with industry-leading corporations in hospitality and gaming. Tech entrepreneurs connect with mentors, partners, investors and hospitality and casino companies to develop a business plan to success. It’s this spirit of progress that attracted University of Phoenix. The University views Iron Yard Ventures as a major player when it comes to forwardmoving innovation. Connecting talent with the means necessary to reimagine business in a burgeoning tech mecca is a recipe for success and has led to the creation of RedFlint, an innovation experience center that offers a hands-on learning ecosystem developed jointly by the University’s College of

Information Systems and Technology and School of Business and Iron Yard Ventures. This trifecta of business development, educational experience and inventive culture will spark innovation and incubate the skills and strategy development necessary to revolutionize business and industry from the inside out. RedFlint will serve as a testing lab where users will face real-life problems to cultivate creative thinking and develop forward-looking business solutions. Users will incubate concepts through the use of the latest technologies, such as data analytics and digital marketing tools, allowing startups to have an edge and avoid traditional early business mistakes. And with the help of Iron Yard Ventures, RedFlint will accelerate startups by connecting them with the necessary resources, mentoring and connections

needed to get off the ground and running. The path to building and growing a business is evolving and must be more collaborative than ever. RedFlint allows students, businesses and the community to come together to create solutions through new technologies, bringing to life the 21st century model of entrepreneurship and business growth. Learn more about RedFlint at: redflintvegas.com Sources: 1. Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs; Bridging the “Pioneer Gap”: The Role of Accelerators in Launching High-Impact Enterprises, pg. 5 and 19 2. Iron Yard Ventures; Announcing the Las Vegas Hospitality Accelerator powered by Iron Yard Ventures 3. Iron Yard Ventures; Las Vegas Hospitality Accelerator

TipsCareer Development Tips

Lifelong Professional Development Key to Career Growth BY RUTH VELORIA, EXECUTIVE DEAN, UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS If you’ve ever had the urge to hit the refresh button on your career, you’re not alone. Two-thirds of U.S. working adults sometimes feel their careers are stalled, and more than half have regretted a career misstep, according to a 2016 University of Phoenix School of Business survey. Nearly half also admit to having no clear plan moving forward. This is particularly concerning, considering that in today’s economy professionals are expected to adapt and respond to the rapidly evolving needs of businesses, which often requires advancing their skill sets throughout their careers. In the 21st century job market, workers are staying in their

careers longer than ever, and will likely face the reality that no single degree will meet their employer’s needs for the entirety of their career. Professionals across every industry are looking for courses to help them gain a competitive edge and grow their industry or professional skills to avoid career stagnation. At all stages of your career, whether you’re just starting out, are a seasoned employee, or nearing retirement, it’s important to acquire new skills related to your job and passions. Expanding your knowledge means more than enhancing your value; it also demonstrates versatility and broadens your options should you decide it’s time to look at not just changing jobs, but changing careers. Professional development courses can cover a range of management, leadership, market-

ing, human resources, business operation and technology skills that allow professionals with deep subject knowledge in an industry to get important training in managing people, staff conflicts or processes. Professionals not in a management role might benefit from a better understanding of how to use office productivity tools such as Microsoft Outlook, messaging and presentation software or learn to gather and analyze data to make better informed decisions. Many working professionals may be intimidated by the time commitment required to pursue a full bachelor or graduate degree program. However, obtaining advanced certificates can be a highly effective option to stay competitive with the job market. Business certificates can provide a deeper exploration into areas such as human resources, project management, health administra-

tion, accounting and technology, and are increasingly aligned with industry standards and employer needs. University of Phoenix, for example, works with the Society of Human Resources Management and the National Retail Federation to help ensure programs prepare students to address industry demands. Understanding the best education option for you takes some honest self-assessment. Examine your own skill gaps by reviewing professional development blogs, web articles and other resources that outline the background you’ll need for the job you desire. Take measure of the knowledge gaps that may threaten your organization’s growth and plot a path to professional development for yourself. Whether you grow your skills by taking on new projects at work for continued on-the-job learning, this underscores your commitment and ability to think strategically. Once the road map is in place, ongoing professional development and training can serve as markers you can follow to put you in a productive, happy and fulfilling workplace destination. Flexible options, online learning and professional development courses can make educational goals achievable and provide professionals with the opportunity to refresh — rather than restart — their careers. Learn more at phoenix.edu/programs/gainful-employment. Sources: The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix School of Business, Feb. 29 - Mar. 2, 2016.

Elearning! June / July 2016


LastWord My Virtual Reality Awakening



aming. Education. Entertainment. Health. All of these industries are about to be shaken up by a platform of experience that is only now beginning to show its possibilities. That platform is Virtual Reality, or VR for short. I recently had the privilege of being one of the first people in Australia to view Da-

vid Attenborough’s new VR documentary featuring the wonders of the Great Barrier

Reef. After being introduced to the technology underlying the experience we were about to jump into, I slipped on my Gear VR and was transported to a submersible. There I sat, just in front of David Attenborough and his crew, taking in the awe-inspiring sights of the depths where glowing, colorful coral and other strange creatures dwelled. From the reactions of my fellow virtual reality submersible passengers, it’s clear that from a video context, something special is happening. Taking people out of their normal surroundings and planting them into another environment to discover, be inspired, and to understand the nature of someone else’s perspective is one of the forces of virtual reality that can be used powerfully in an education setting. I’ve never been to the Great Barrier Reef, and haven’t enjoyed the colors and spectacle of that place. But thanks to VR, I’ve experienced it now. I wasn’t watching on a big screen in my living room or squinting at my phone. I was there, as a captive audience member, looking and learning in a fascinating and all-encompassing visual treat. This experience, and many before it, has inspired me to delve into the production of VR video content. And you know what the big secret is? It really isn’t that hard to make your own. Sure, I don’t have a submersible or a helicopter at my disposal, but with a tripod, good lighting and a plan of what I want to capture, I can put you in the middle of a retail store to see how staff go about their day; show you a scene involving a medical emergency; or give you a sightseeing tour on the observation deck of a tower. The ability to drop your learners into a scene where they can move their head and take in an entire sphere of visual information can be a compelling and reinforcing tool for many subjects. If you have a 360 camera, a tripod and basic editing skills, you can create short but powerful pieces of VR content that will help drive home your training point. The commoditization of VR hardware has, to a certain extent, democratized VR video production to the point where a relatively small investment in time, upskilling and hardware can reap massive benefits in enhancing your teaching strategies and make your training sessions evocative and successful. Have a look at what’s available in hardware and software that’s within your budget, start planning your journey into VR content creation and you’ll be able to inspire and wow your learning groups in no time. — Ritchie Djamhur is Head of Learning & Culture, Bing Lee Stores and hosts his own radio show, Ritchie’s

Room. His YouTube channel brings in 17 million viewers. For more information, visit ritchiesroom.com.


June / July 2016 Elearning!

Do You Make the

PopQuiz Quiz

Grade? 2


6-7 correct makes you Mensa material. 4-5 correct means you are a skimmer — and can learn oh-so much more. Fewer than 4? This issue is your Sunday reading assignment. Try again!


In 2014, 71 percent of all employers had some level of funding for employee engagement, but that figure has dropped to what percentage? a) 67 b) 61 c) 52 d) 43

In that same survey, what percentage of U.S. employers ranked employee engagement as a strategic priority? a) 76 b) 80 c) 91 d) 95


What percentage of learning professionals have personally experienced virtual reality? a) 35 b) 43 c) 56 d) 65


According to the National Education Policy Center, approximately how many students are enrolled in virtual schools? a) 300,000 b) 600,000 c) 900,000 d) 1.2 million


6 7

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that computer science careers are projected to grow more than what percentage between 2010 and 2020? a) 18 b) 22 c) 28 d) 34

What percentage of Americans consider themselves intrapreneurial? a) 32 b) 37 c) 41 d) 45

Out of every five employees, how many of those who are satisfied with their job say their organization provides opportunities to be entrepreneurial? a) More than one b) More than two c) More than three d) More than four

Editorial Index Accenture accenture.com Arizona Hispanic Champer of Commerce azhcc.com Aspen Institute, The aspeninstitute.org Burning Glass burning-glass.com Elearning! Media Group Virtual Reality for Learning Study 2elearning.com IBM ibm.com Iron Yard Ventures ironyardventures.com ISC2 Global Information Security isc2cares.org

National Education Policy Center nepc.colorado.edu National Retail Federation www.nrf.com OpenAI Gym gym.openai.com Pew Research Center pewresearch.org TalentKeepers talentkeepers.com U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics bls.gov University of Phoenix phoenix.edu University of Washington washington.edu

Viv viv.ai ADVERTISERS Elearning! Magazine Subscriptions pg 13 www.2elearning.com/registration-step1 Enterprise Learning! Conference Online pg 13 elceshow.com Learning! Champions Call for Applications pg 14 www.2elearning.com/rss2/item/56378elearning-champion-award University of Phoenix pg 2, 17, 29, 52 www.aredflintvegas.com Answers 1) b; 2) b; 3) d; 4) a; 5) b; 6) b; 7) c

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Elearning! June / July 2016



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