Invigorating the Classroom through a Transmedia Infusion

NTI has been experimenting with innovative ways to increase the retention of knowledge, return on investment, and engagement, while bridging the gap between a physical real-life classroom and a virtual environment of eclectic interaction. The goal is not only to provide a higher level of interaction for the candidate, but lead to tangible elements that focus on employability, lower attrition, participation, retention of knowledge and higher performance on jobs. The NTI challenge is to provide an environment with these capabilities while attending to the primary audience, Americans with disabilities who are looking for employment in the workforce.

Over the past few years, NTI has put established the NTI University to engage students in the skills necessary to build a career. The NTI classroom is one built on an Adobe Connect platform. Interactions include gamification, puzzles, forums, video, chat, webcam, polling, and quizzing. This is nothing new in the training space when creating an online-classroom. However, what is new is the element of engagement surrounding the restrictions of our candidates. How can one create an interactive classroom for audiences that are sight-impaired, struggle with examinations due to limited mobility, while providing an experience for everyone?

To achieve this, the Training Department has been injecting transmedia in the classroom. Transmedia is the art of illustrating a single story or story experience across multiple media formats in order to invoke a degree of audience participation, interaction or collaboration using digital technologies. The chunks of content that are created over multiple platforms are linked together and then the content is synchronized with each other so a story could be formed.

Since no two students learn alike, the retention of information through various stories allows a student to connect the dots of isolated events and situations. Through the method of transmedia storytelling, a student can take smaller chunks of information that are provided incrementally to form a larger and more cohesive experience. Picture it like a piece of the puzzle. Someone may look at the first piece and realize it is a smaller part of the whole, but does not know where it may initially fit. However, when the puzzle is finished, the completed image surfaces as well as the strategies on how the puzzle was completed. You can even go on to share with others your strategy for completion.

We live in a globally connected world in which we use multiple platforms to connect and communicate. Leveraging social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube, or other emerging platforms, a student can share their experiences, perspectives, and resources building upon the transmedia methodology. The sharing allows greater depth to not only their own understanding, but a shared collective intelligence that grasps at the attention of the student. In addition, students can make the content their own while not being impeded by the technology. NTI is slowly unlocking a further depth of engagement by leveraging technologies such as the Popcorn.js platform and HTML5 to deliver stories with transmedia. The NTI Training Department is currently experimenting, testing and evaluating video, multimedia, 3D rendering products, touch tablets, cellphones, and social media elements to orchestrate online classes.

With these tools, students will be able to experience the ability to manipulate the videos and simulation to share, chat, interact, and redesign according to the content needs regardless of disability. It will be predictive as a student correctly or incorrectly interacts with a video. This technique will be demonstrated in NTI’s upcoming “Interviewing for Success” self-paced training, which will be made available to the public. The course will balance social media integration, QR codes, gaming, and hands-on exercises. In addition, by enrolling into the NTI program, students can enable more functionality and unlock new levels of training content. Through engagement, a student can accelerate their career success.

Our end goal is to live the experience and the interpret the story from an individual perspective. In the re-envisioned classroom format, NTI is striving to bring a wide array of multivariate learning experiences to the classroom and is ready to create the next-level experience. Within the class, a student will be allotted more of a chance to create and control their own experience as well as understand the story through their own eyes while leveraging real-world experiences.

You can continue to follow the NTI evolution as we will be posting updates to this article as well as the experiments to bring a re-evolution to NTI Training to life on @elearning_nti at Twitter.

Mike Sanders is the Senior Director of Talent Management Services for NTI where he oversees the Training, Call Center, and Recruiting departments. In the past, Mike was the Manager of Training for Canon North America, worked for a few Financial Firms, and has built Interactive media, Websites and Learning Management Systems for several Fortune 500 firms and start-ups.


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