Get to Know: Richard Vicary – our Head of Digital Services
We want to help you get to know the many exciting and interesting people we have in the KnowledgePoint team. This week, we have Richard, our Head of Digital Services.
Quickfire industry-learning question round, ready?
Explain what’s meant by “learning tech stack”
Once upon a time, an organisation would seek an enterprise platform to deliver all of their learning needs – learning records, content development, content delivery, learner collaboration and interaction, talent identification – this typically meant prioritising your requirements and picking the best overall fit, but knowing that you were going to have to make some sacrifices along the way as no-one was able to offer the perfect solution. The concept of tech stack is a recognition that there are 100s of options for each of those components and, rather than having to choose a single platform and make compromise, you can take best of breed from these offerings to create a learning eco-structure that delivers in all areas.
Where does MLB sit in a learning tech stack?
MLB enhances the delivery of learning support materials, materials that once upon a time may have been printed and perhaps are presently stored as pdf download links amongst other eLearning assets. It gives learners the ability to annotate these otherwise flat documents and centralises their storage so that learners can pick up on one device where they left off on another. MLB breathes life into what may other be cumbersome or heavy documents.
In your experience, what’s important to learning organisations when choosing a method for delivering their learning content?
Firstly, does it deliver a benefit to the learner?
Secondly, can it do this as an integrated part of my learning delivery?
Finally, how easy is it to administrate? Can the deployment of the platform be automated?
What is a common issue that you find customers come to you with?
Delivering a solution that excites their customers without increasing the cost of management.
What is your favourite benefit that MLB offers?
I love that it integrates with the learning stack and keeps all learning content accessible from one place.
Let’s get personal…
Describe your favourite moment or experience from your education?
I definitely didn’t appreciate education when I was at school, I somewhat see school as a missed opportunity for me now, however I have in the last 3 years been applying myself to learning French and am currently between AS and A level standard, and am very proud of this achievement.
What have you learnt in the last 12 months?
If you had a superpower what would it be, and why?
The ability to fly instantly comes to mind, who wouldn’t want to be able to fly?
What do you wish you’d been taught in school and why?
Video Game Programming
Who (dead or alive) would you like to meet?
What could you give a 30-minute presentation about with no advance preparation?
Tell us a surprising or a fun fact about you.
I play the saxophone and guitar.
Workplace learning and careers…
As the UK further eases coronavirus restrictions, what are your predictions for the learning market?
That many will crave a return to face-to-face in-person training, but that we will also take forward the flexibility of time and location that we have come to appreciate over the last 12+months.
When you think of a good leader, what qualities and skills do you associate with them?
Inspiring, passionate, wise, sleeves rolled up, nurturing, contemplative.
What conditions do you believe are vital for effective learning?
Time plays a massive part in effective learning, well paced delivery of material, not too much at a time but not too spaced out, time to digest, time to revisit.
What do you expect from the workplace of the future?
More flexibility on time and location, stronger collaboration tools.
What values/motives drive you in the workplace?
To work towards and achieve goals as a team and organisation.
What is your preferred method of learning (repetitive reading, taking notes, cue cards etc)
I love any learning method which is based on Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve – I am not a note taker (nor a reviser in the traditional sense), apps that test what you know and only remind you of the elements that you seem to be forgetting have helped me so much.
What’s a mistake you made early on in your career, and what did you learn from it?
I told someone I couldn’t help them – my supervisor pulled me up on it immediately – I think it has really shaped me to go the extra mile to find a solution for people.
If you could get a new skill in 10 minutes, what would it be?
Video Game Programming.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
If you don’t understand something, ask.