Game Changers: An Interview with eLearning Advocate, Jackie Morton

jackie morton bite-sized eLearningAt Learning Solutions 2014, Jackie Morton, Director of Human Resources at Crowe MacKay, delivered a presentation on ‘Gamified Bite-sized eLearning’, demonstrating her hands-on experience in using the Axonify platform to change the way Crowe MacKay delivers their corporate learning. Morton shared her insights into the reasons why bite-sized eLearning and game mechanics are driving significant change in the industry, bringing working examples to the table. After her session, I caught up with Jackie to ask her more about her experience as an L&D professional, and her predictions on the future of elearning.

Jackie, what tools and trends do you see shaping the future of learning?

I think that the trends that we’re seeing are all moving towards understanding and supporting the needs of the brain. With the surge in brain research over the last decade, we now know more about the brain than ever before – and to understand how the brain works, is the key to understanding what motivates behavioral change. We’ve learned that the delivery of “bite-sized” information, and increasingly spaced content, not only helps our professionals feel less overwhelmed while learning, but we can see that it also helps boost their long-term knowledge retention.

What do you see as the course learning will take over the next decade?

I see a lot more variety in the delivery of learning than we’ve seen in the past, moving away from the conventional classroom based learning experiences. I think we’re going to see an explosion in new technology and eLearning, with much more integration between classroom training, gamified learning and online solutions.

What do you believe are potential game changers in today’s learning technology market?

A leading question! Gamification has been receiving a lot of attention as of late, and with very good reason. The application of game mechanics like leaderboards, points systems and rewards, really has proven to drive measurable change. The incorporation of the fun, social aspect of gamification really engages our learners and has a noticeably positive impact on attention. While the term ‘gaming’ may still unnerve some of our more traditional professionals, gamification–the pairing of game mechanics alongside our learning content–has proven to increase engagement across learners of all ages and genders.

What role do you think employee learning can play as part of the larger employee engagement strategy?

I’d say that the right learning and development solution plays a crucial role – especially in an industry like ours. We develop professional accountants, and they need to acquire tremendous volumes of knowledge to achieve their designation, and to be effective as professionals. So, I think that by really focusing on the learning experience that we provide, to help support their development as accounting professionals, we are able to really motivate and engage our learners. They recognize that our organization is helping to serve some of their most crucial needs as professionals.

Finally, if you would be giving advice to someone just beginning their career in L&D, what would you tell them?

I would tell them to try and look towards understanding the needs of the brain and to try and stay informed about the latest research in brain science. By understanding the needs of the brain, you gain an understanding of what motivates and engages a learner. A culture of continuous learning is central in nurturing successful employee development, and its importance to businesses today is clear.

If you’d like more information on how Axonify is helping Crowe MacKay—a full service accounting and business advisory firm—develop some of the top accounting professionals in North America, please contact us for more details. We’d be happy to share their success story with you.

Written by Laura Martin.

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