By Carol Haig, CPT, and Roger Addison, CPT, EdD

Andy Kimball is our guest this month, sharing the work of Qube Learning, where he is the CEO. Andy, akimball@qube.com, and his team have been using human performance technology (HPT) to develop workshops and games for improving sales performance in organizations for many years. Currently, Andy is pursuing the use of the iPad, iPod, and iPhone, and other mobile devices as delivery mechanisms for learning. He has developed the Qube Learning Platform, a mobile, customizable, game-based learning system for these devices, and anticipates adding other devices in the future. Here at TrendSpotters Central, we are intrigued by the possibilities for mobile learning that are coming our way and offer this peek into the future of learning-on-the-go.

Genesis of the Qube Learning Platform
The Qube Learning Platform grew from a project at a major high-tech company. The client wanted to rapidly convert a number of online courses to a lively, engaging format that would increase participant learning and motivation. The team at Qube Learning focused on using online games to add the missing dimensions of mental struggle and learner motivation to the client’s existing courses and developed the Qube Learning Platform for a pilot. The client was delighted with the results that included enhanced learner engagement and went on to convert a number of its online offerings to the Qube format.

Originally developed for the web, a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant took Qube Learning’s work with the Qube Learning Platform in a new direction as part of the growing trend toward what Andy terms “self-provisioned content.” As he tells us, the learning world is now following the social networking world, and the Qube Learning Platform will soon enable organizations to create customized social learning games for their specific training needs.

How to Use the Qube Learning Platform
Currently, the Qube Learning Platform is a B2B application that can be licensed by an organization for use with the organization’s proprietary content. Users need an ID and password to access the application. Their ID maps them to specific learning game modules that their organization has loaded and authorized them to see.

iQube is available in demo form as a free app for the iPad, iPod, and iPhone. Readers are invited to explore the platform to experience the possibilities for learning that it offers by downloading the iQube application to one of these mobile devices. To see some examples:

  • Science and Math CurriculumSee the Math and Lunar Phases modules for sample learning materials, games, and tests.
  • ID: nsftest
  • PW: nsftest

Some of these NSF modules have no content but demonstrate the navigation and flow:

  • Airforce Language Training
  • ID: vanessa
  • PW: vanessa
  • Technical Product Training
  • ID: nxptester
  • PW: nxptester

The structure of each iQube module is explained in an introduction and readers are welcome to explore the sample materials. Learn more at www.qube.com.

Success Stories
To demonstrate the versatility of content that can be constructed on the Qube Learning Platform, Andy shares two success stories:

A major international beverage distributer piloted an iQube training program for its U.S. distributors to:

  • Evaluate their knowledge of products and procedures using a 180û assessment
  • Deliver a curriculum of online game-based learning modules
  • Provide a certification system for successful module completion

The pilot met with enthusiastic support from the distributors and the client is licensing an enterprise version for use internationally.

To illustrate the flexibility of the iQube Learning Platform, here is a very different application. The San Francisco Unified School District runs the National School Lunch Program. It is a federally funded program that provides meals to qualified students in need. The district had to ensure that each school understood the program’s policies and procedures and applied them consistently. They required a scalable training solution that would:

  • Explain the policies in an engaging and useful form
  • Maximize retention of the policies
  • Motivate school principals and staff to engage fully in the training and apply the policies consistently
  • Assess the policy and procedure knowledge transfer rates accurately across the district

Qube Learning used the Qube Learning Platform to develop an online game-based solution that successfully addressed the specified needs and enabled the district to receive $10 million in federal funding.

Advice to Users
Andy tells us that the Qube Learning Platform is “content agnostic” and suitable for a wide range of subjects and approaches. With its structure originating in a Reading Room, and branching further into a Bookcase, Bookshelf, References, and so forth, iQube is scalable and easy to use.

Links to the Performance Technology Landscape
The Qube Learning Platform includes these principles of performance technology:

R Focus on Results–iQube is focused on producing results in user engagement, motivation, and content retention.
S Take a System view–The platform is based on systems thinking and application.
V Add Value–iQube produces measurable, trackable results, and it is fun!
P Establish Partnerships–iQube was built with organizational partners, channel partners, and HPT consulting partners in mind.

Application Exercise
Access iTunes on an iPhone, iPod, or iPad and download the iQube application. Explore, enjoy, and consider the possibilities for mobile learning.

In the Future
Qube Learning is working to make the Qube Learning Platform available as a free authoring tool and plans to offer the application on other mobile devices. Contact Andy for more information.

Find all the models and tools featured in TrendSpotters at www.ispi.org/archives/perfXpress.htm#trendToolkit.

You may contact Carol Haig at carolhaig@earthlink.net or at http://home.mindspring.com/~carolhaig; and you may contact Roger Addison at rogeraddison@earthlink.net.