This month we welcome James McLuckie to the Flow Hospitality Training team as Director of Content. His role will be to oversee the entire area of digital learning and content for the hospitality sector, assuming responsibility for our creative and module development teams.
We caught up with James to find out more about him, his vision for digital training, and what attracted him to joining our team.
Tell us a little about your experience in the training sector
“I have been working in e-learning for most of the last 15 years, mainly focused on leadership and management content. I worked with many corporate clients and thus became involved in different aspects of online learning.
I was on the board of the E Learning Network for four to five years and am also on the jury for the Learning Technologies Awards . So, more or less, digital learning has been in my bones for most of my career.
Before that, I worked in traditional learning and development for a financial institution. But then I realized that I couldn't wake up every day and just get excited about interest rate mortgages, so I decided to try something new. At the time, digital learning solutions were starting to take off in a reasonably robust way, so I discovered what really made me enjoy and that's why I've been at it for so many years.
What is your vision for the future of digital learning?
The two trends that excite me the most are personalization of learning and the changing formats of effective learning content.
Artificial intelligence powers personalized learning
Now is the time for AI for learning and professional development. Just think about the way we interact online with shopping, music, and the media and the sophistication of the algorithms behind the recommendations. The idea that you could do that yourself to learn is exciting. In the hospitality industry, employees can stand up for long shifts and take a quick break for a sandwich, where they usually use their phones. Therefore, it would be ideal to use this medium to obtain recommendations for some incredibly adapted content.
Change online learning content formats
When I started designing elearning courses, everyone was focusing on hour-long courses. They released all the content through 60 slides and at the end they included a questionnaire that assumed that everyone was competent. The trend is evolving towards little pill-based learning with short videos, animations, infographics, and checklists.
What do you hope to achieve by working at Flow Hospitality Training?
I have always worked in very generic leadership and management spaces with clients such as Google Salesforce and Heineken, local institutions and financial organizations, which are very diverse sectors. The opportunity to specialize appealed to me a lot - especially in the hospitality industry. My husband is a food blogger, so it was incredibly encouraging when I was considering the change. I find the hospitality industry fun, changing and incredibly innovative thinking in terms of being open to new ideas.
In previous positions I have almost always worked with learning experience designers and outsourcing much of the creative and multimedia work, such as animations and games, while here at Flow most of that talent is internal. The idea of working with that directly, of managing and nurturing it that has enormous appeal to me.
It is also a very exciting time to join the company for the merger with MAPAL Software . The strategy for the future is ambitious and exciting. Obviously it will bring new challenges, but being a part of this is very positive for me.