Welcome to the only place on earth offering training exclusively in the work skills of the future.
The Future Work Skills Academy is the only one of its kind in the world. A unicorn delivering training identified by both the World Economic Forum and Institute for the Future as integral for engagement and agency in the Future of Work we offer skillset transformation led by a diverse array of the world’s experts.
Our subject matter focuses on teaching agency in those traits, skills and behaviours that will allow humans to flourish in the age of cognitive augmentation. Our foundation skills Master Classes include Novel and Adaptive Thinking, Design Mindset, SenseMaking, Virtual Collaboration, Computational Thinking, New Media Literacy, Cross Cultural Competency, Cognitive Load Management and Transdisciplinarity. Special guest stars deliver short courses in contemporary topics such as Assisted Mindfulness as A Digital Literacy, Agile Mindset, Creative Problem Solving, News Judgement and Systems Thinking.
The Academy offers online training courses delivered through a Next Generation Digital Learning Environment Eurekos where learners will interact with learning material and collaborate with fellow team members through Communities of Interest and Teams. The outcome: learners who are confident and ready to realise their full human potential, to lead and manage with confidence, and participate with mastery in the workplace of today and tomorrow.
The Spirit of Our Intent
Mindset and Skillset
We have worked hard to ensure our training is not just about developing Mindset but Skillset. Our measure of success in this regard is that a learner emerges from our Masterclasses embodying the skill in a way that manifests itself into their external environment. That is, they don’t just see things differently but they can do things differently. And to add to the effectiveness of this Skillset training we have ensured all our content is couched in terms of the workplace context; the way of doing immediately becomes a part of their technical competence on the job.
Positive, Confidence Building, Enabling
Yes, we will see changes in work brought about by machine learning, AI and automation. These changes are likely to be significant and without precedent; many people approach this emerging reality with fear. There is a significant amount of airtime devoted to the calamity facing humankind much of it alarmist and dystopian that fuels this fear. Our training eschews this view of the future for our own reality and that is that humans have powers beyond those that will ever be possessed by machines. We like to focus on what we can do, how we can rise, how we can engage and be effective participants in the future of work.
A Snippet on Pedagogy
In designing and developing Master Classes for the Future Work Skills Academy we have employed pedagogical approaches we selected as most appropriate for optimizing learner engagement in a video training context. Our research has been wide-ranging and we ultimately settled on two key sources: the works of Professor John Sweller and his team from the University of NSW and Elizabeth Choe from MIT.
Professor Sweller coined the term Cognitive Load Theory and has been at the forefront of his field for over 30 years. We have drawn extensively on his seminal text Cognitive Load Theory: 1 (Explorations in the Learning Sciences, Instructional Systems and Performance Technologies) in selecting instructional design techniques for our Masterclasses.
In 2017, Elizabeth Choe published: Optimizing Video for Learning: A Case Study-Based Primer of Informal, Educational, Digital Video Best Practices (http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2909769.)
We have used this work as our second key resource which in Elizabeth’s words ‘attempts to connect, curate, and distil best practices that have emerged from learning sciences research, educational video, and video production’.
Optimizing Learning in the Video Format
Our videos are delivered by experts who aren’t actors rather passionate advocates of their subject area. Choe extols the virtues of authenticity as an agent to effective learner engagement. To this end, natural styles of speaking have been adopted as has personalization: ’For scripts, first person, active voice, and contractions are much better than formal, academic styles of writing’ (Choe, 2017). Similarly, Coaches have been encouraged to adopt ‘embodiment’; to behave naturally personal traits and all. Coaches deliver standing up and looking the learner directly in the eye in an approach designed to ‘establish a tone of approachability and authenticity’. We have not employed ‘cutaways’ or shots where the Coach is viewed from different angles – their presence is static and at all times directly connected to the viewer.
To add to authenticity we have not shot in studios rather we have filmed Coaches in their natural environments.
Cognitive Load Theory and Instructional Design
According to Sweller et al ‘Many multimedia instructional materials use narrated explanations simultaneously with written text. From a cognitive load perspective, such duplications of essentially the same information in two different modalities may overload working memory and have negative rather than positive learning effects’. Thus we use no text or visual overlays in Coach-delivered segments.
Diagrammatic information is not accompanied by large amounts of text due to the redundancy effect (the addition of text communicating the same message generally does not have a positive influence on comprehension and recall)
Presenter delivered material is limited to short bursts as ‘lengthy, complex, spoken information may generate a heavy working memory load in its own right’.
Coach led delivery and animations are interspersed with short bursts of narration over written text as accordingly to Sweller et al as ‘narration with concurrent, visual text may not only eliminate negative effects of verbal redundancy, but actually improve learning.’
Animations and diagrams are accompanied with a voice over thus ‘engaging both auditory and visual channels of information in working memory rather than just the visual channel’. This aids in both comprehension and recall.
We use a significant number of animations in our videos. Sweller contemporaries and researchers Schnotz and Rasch (2005) found that ‘animations have a cognitive purpose that can facilitate learning because they provide more and different information than static graphics. They have the potential to help a learner build a more accurate mental model of a system’s behavior compared to graphics alone’.