This is my last post of the year and I intend to end the year with a prediction (or hope). Read on if you like science fiction (or even otherwise). If you don’t know already, Santa knows if you have been a good or naughty. He seems to have the uncanny ability to personalize his gifts and delivers what you wished for (sounds eerily similar to Amazon.com). Personalization seems to be Santa’s USP. He doesn’t mass manufacture gifts and then air drop them over your town like a World War II style bombing raid.
If you like what Santa does, I am sure you hate your training department. You are always expected to take the same course everybody else is expected to take in spite of the fact that you are a person with unique capabilities, experiences, background, interests, and motivations.
The answer to this problem lies in algorithms that can track your activities related how you consume and apply learning and then present recommendations based on your interests. Netflix has been doing this all along, Amazon’s famous product recommendation feature is a much talked about success story, and dating sites like Match.com claim to find your soul mate based on your interests and likes.
This is a great first step in solving the learner’s dilemma – How do I get access to learning content that makes sense to me? According to Toby Segaran, the author of “Programming Collective Intelligence: Building Smart Web2.0 applications“, collective intelligence and data mining allows companies like Safeway, Amazon and Match.com know a lot more about the individuals and offer products and services relevant for every customer. The network knows what the nodes don’t and individual contributions can be combined in new ways to produce entirely new outcomes.
Earlier this year, Noodle Education launched their personalized recommendation engine for identifying educational opportunities such as the best university for a specific course. Check out Noodle’s founder present this concept here.
The next frontier in enterprise learning is in the application of data and analytics to craft a personalized learning experience for every employee. This is where Big Data also comes into play.
I can’t wait for 2013 and beyond to see if any of this fantasy actually becomes the norm. In any case, you can add personalized learning experience to my wish list for Christmas!