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Can We Learn from Information?


In a recent blog post over at Midcourse Corrections, Jeff Hurt wrote that “Information isn’t education.&# While that may be true in the purest sense, we shouldn’t conclude (as I posted in my comment) that it means people can’t learn from information. “You don’t have to memorize all the rules of grammar,&# I used to tell my college students, “you just have to know where to find the rules.&# I taught them how to identify the kinds of grammar problems that plagued them and where to locate the info in their grammar book. There are podcast feeds for that.

Is the LMS Dead?


Every now and then the blogosphere buzzes about whether the LMS (Learning Management System) is still the best way to manage training. Some say yes, we still need a way to track learners’ progress, especially for compliance training or grades tracking (for those in higher education). Others say the LMS is quickly being supplanted by the proliferation of PLEs (personal learning environments — where individuals construct their own mashup of Web sites, blogs, social network contacts, e-books and magazines, asynchronous courses, and other resources) which support informal learning.

Oh, No!! It’s Back!!


What’s back? The soaring cost of oil… which means increased travel costs… which could also mean fewer members having the funds to get to your face-to-face (FTF) learning events. I’m trying not to say “I told you so… I warned you to get your elearning act in gear… I cautioned you about ignoring the lessons we were supposed to learn back in 2008… &#. Okay, maybe your association wasn’t affected then and isn’t seeing an effect now. Here’s why. recent study by Elearning! and Government Elearning! Why should this matter to you?

What Our Vendors Can Teach Us


Awhile back, aLearning conducted a brief survey to get some insight into the biggest challenges association learning vendors face in our segment. Turns out, there’s a lot learning leaders in the nonprofit sector can discover from what they had to say. Who Participated? One organization reported their primary P/S as an association management system. Do their perceptions match your reality?

How to Choose Between On-Demand and Instructor-Led Training

Not sure whether to offer on-demand or instructor-led training, or both? Each has its pros and cons and your decision will depend on your organization’s needs and goals. Download this eBook to learn which option is better at scale, as well as the resources needed to implement each training type.

Content Curation


All debates about using the terms “curation&# and “curator&# aside, figuring out ways of “finding, grouping, organizing or sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue&# * is something that all associations should be doing. Because we’re already doing most of it, and it’s a big (maybe even gigantic ) reason our members pay dues to belong to our selective group. Aren’t they?!? Of course they are. But let’s take this amorphous idea of “content curation&# and make it concrete and actionable. What’s the big deal?&#. Voila!

Why are So Many LMS Buyers Dissatisfied?


Patti Shank, in her 2010 “Getting Started with Learning  Management Systems&# research report for the e-Learning Guild cites some important findings: Of the 909 survey respondents, “more than a third think that the LMS can be an “ impediment to learning.&#. “Only about 62% of respondents said that their LMS lives up to vendor promises.&#. “Almost 13% plan to abandon their LMS.&#. “On average, most respondents spent two to six months on each phase of implementation except for administration, which took longer.&#. Is it the fault of the vendors? The products?

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Secrets to Successful eLearning Revealed!


Jeff Cobb and Celisa Steele at Tagoras have been very, very busy these days… We recently noted their updated LMS for Associations Report ( see Tagoras On Target )  and now they’ve done it again. They’ve updated their 2009 State of the Sector report — with the all the insight and expertise you’d expect. They’ve renamed it the “Association Learning + Technology State of the Sector Report,&# which bears a bit of attention. We wanted to be clear in the title that we think expansively about the role technology does and can play in association learning.&#.

Why Your Board of Directors is Dysfunctional


And it is, isn’t it? Admit it. Well, maybe things seem okay for the moment, but at some point, you’ll experience frustration with a board of directors that you’ll be convinced is off its rocker, in whole or part. It isn’t their fault. Think about it. They volunteer to run for the board of directors of your nonprofit organization, get elected or appointed, and voila! — they’re supposed to know what’s expected of them. “But Ellen! We have an extensive board orientation program,” you say. Sure you do. Stop a second and think about that.

Skill based learning – How it drives an organization’s performance

Training and learning organizations today play an active role in contributing to the bottom line of any organization by aligning their objectives to the immediate business objectives. This provides a solid ground for cost justification and encourages businesses to place training groups right where they should be, at the heart of a growing, thriving, learning culture.

What Would Your Members Say?


When you spend a lot of time in an RV on the road, visiting different places, staying in various campgrounds, parks, and RV resorts, you realize what your expectations can be, based on the name of a place. We’ve stayed at resorts that only allowed certain types of RVs (yes, it’s permitted by law), and cost more than a room at a bed and breakfast. Stay with me here. Membership benefits?

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What Corporate Trainers Can Learn from Associations


In her reaction to our recent post, “Did You Feel That?” ” Adrienne Gross said, “One thing that technology can’t really help with though is motivation: ‘I want to do this training.’” ’” I responded by agreeing that we can lead people to training but we can’t make them learn. And that got me thinking about a key difference between corporate training and association training. Our problems are 180-degrees in difference. Corporate trainers struggle to get learners engaged. They aren’t always in the mood. Our very bad. Tools?

Did You Feel That?


We’ll call it a technological earthquake (because we’re currently in Soutern California; you can call it a tornado or hurricane or monsoon… whatever). The “seismologists” are the researchers at the USC Annenberg School’s Center for the Digital Future. They’re reporting on more than ten years of studies, tracking the emergence and use of technology and online activity. ( You can find a summary of the results here.). The article identifies some key takeaways from their work. According to Jeffrey I. ” Yep. ” Are you preparing for this shift?

Stealing from the Rich…


Stealing what works in elearning from the rich corporations, that is… First, my usual caveat: we’re not corporations. We shouldn’t assume that everything they do is worthy of emulation by associations and other nonprofits. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them, right? And because the series we did that dissected what the ASTD BEST Award winners did in 2009 had so many hits (and still does), I figure it’s worth our time to look at some other companies, what they’re doing, and what we can learn from them. Source? This happens at Google a lot.

Whitepaper: When The LMS Isn’t Enough

In this whitepaper, you will discover the main reasons why the LMS alone is no longer meeting the needs of the modern learner. More importantly, you will learn what you can do to enhance its value.

Handy Learning


Last fall Tagoras published an update of its “Learning 2.0 for Associations&# report and I posted briefly on it. Great research is worth more than one look, and this report is no exception. (If you haven’t taken a first look at it yet, stop here and go do that before you do anything else!). couldn’t help making some notes as I perused all of the great examples and the recommendations for various uses of Learning 2.0 options covered in the report. So, with a grateful nod to Jeff Cobb and Tagoras, here are a few more ideas related to Learning 2.0 for associations. Casting.

Welcome to the Learning Decade!


So says Sam Herring, writing for Fast Company   in his article, “Moving Toward 2010: The Learning Decade&# (3/21/11). Bravo! I’m all for that. Of course, I wouldn’t limit the value of learning to just one decade, but if we must, this one is as good as any. Better, says Herring. All because of the Great Recession. “…[M]ore and more organizations recognize that learning can help solve the most vexing economic and financial problems of the day. As a result, we predict that the years leading up to 2020 will be known as ‘The Learning Decade.’&#. ’&#.

More is the Word


We’ve all been watching what’s been happening around the world: from grassroots political movements that are changing who’s running a country to mass demonstrations with multiple themes. championed by thousands of passionate followers. Flash mobs have morphed into demonstrations lasting weeks and months. More people are connecting to common causes faster and more cheaply than ever before in history. But you knew that. So what does this have to do with learning? “Short but often” events must occur online. Period. More learning doesn’t have to be a nightmare.

You Ready to MOOC?


All the recent discussion about how we learn from information has spurred me to post on MOOCs, before I’m really ready for it… but I do have a bit of insight to share, so that’s where we’ll start. Haven’t heard of MOOCs yet? MOOC = Massive Open Online Class. All the rage. Okay, maybe within some circles. The MOOC Guide on Wikispaces describes them this way: “It is a gathering of participants, of people willing to jointly exchange knowledge and experiences for each of them to build upon. You can find more info from this source here.). Topic? Plenty! Members.

Seven Simple Secrets to Off-the-Shelf Course Success

Off-the-shelf elearning is applicable for a wide audience, but it won’t address your organization’s unique situations or distinctive content. So are these courses all that helpful? For sure! Read on for 7 secrets to make off-the-self learning your own.

Free Help for Session Facilitators


We’re always grateful when our members volunteer to lead educational sessions and share what they’ve learned with their peers. Sometimes we just wish we had more time to spend with them as they prepare for those sessions. We know they’ll probably rely heavily on a lecture format using PowerPoint slides as talking points. That’s not always a bad idea, but we’d feel more comfortable if they had a better understanding of adult learning and the roles of interaction and relevance in learning. What if you had free access to a mini-course, a crash course, in adult learning? Of course you did. Thanks!

Learn or Die


… as an organization, that is (though some brain experts are also telling us that continuing to engage and challenge our brains is essential to staying mentally healthy as we age). Somehow I missed this report, which dates back to 2008, but it’s no less valid now (maybe even moreso) than it was then, so it’s worth a post. “In Search of Learning Agility: Assessing Progress from 1957 to 2008″ by Timothy R. Clark, PhD, and Conrad A. “We know that, Ellen,&# you’re thinking. “So what?&#. Are your programs prioritized? Do you have a learning strategy?

Why Tutorials Instead of Documents?


One of the standard objections to simply done tutorials (like those you’ll find under the aLearning Fundamentals link on the left) is that they’re essentially page-turners. With minimal interaction, why not just post a document that covers the same content? I’ll be the first to admit that including more interactions is a great thing, as long as they contribute to the learning outcome. Instead, we focused on the few key decisions that will at least narrow the LMS field and get you started. Let’s be honest here. How interesting would that be?!? Be honest. Motions.

Getting to the Core


“What Are the Core Competencies of a Trainer?&# This great question was posted by Ling-Huey on ASTD’s LinkedIn forum, and her question generated dozens and dozens of comments. Here’s a summary: Effective trainers … know the subject matter and can adapt key messages to learners’ levels of understanding while helping learners see the relevancy of the content. involve the learners. exude enthusiasm and passion. accept that it isn’t about them — it’s about the learners. understand how adults learn. model the desired behavior. are good listeners.

Leaving performance reviews behind: Where to start [Guide]

Is your company ready to move beyond the annual performance review? Where do you start? What are the keys to success? In this guide, you’ll gain an understanding of: the forces driving change, three foundations of success and take a deep dive into the skills gap many managers have that will sink your efforts before they start and how to address them.

Indefinite Hiatus


Regular aLearning blog readers have probably noticed a sudden drop in activity here. No worries! We’re fine. But we are involved in some other areas these days and providing up-to-date insight on association-related elearning topics hasn’t been at the top of the list, sorry to say. Previous posts on various topics continue to garner so many hits daily that the blog will sit, waiting and ready for new posts, when the time comes. Just click the image or button on the left for more information on how to order your copy. appreciate your support! Uncategorized aLearning


Get Latest Tagoras Report on Virtual Events — FREE


For just this week, if you sign up for the Tagoras Research Community list — which is free to join — you will receive a complimentary copy of Association Virtual Events: State of the Sector. It’s a win-win! Don’t wait — the offer will expire at the end of this week (April 6 or so). For details and to sign up, see this page on their Web site: [link]. Tagoras does excellent research and is a go-to resource for association leaders. Check them out! aLearning Strategies aLearning Surveys eLearning Resources elearning strategy Jeff Cobb Tagoras virtual learning events

Cloudy About ‘The Cloud’?


Don’t be. Here’s the easy-sneezy version of what you need to know to help your association or nonprofit. First, “The Cloud” is just another way of referring to the Web, the Internet, cyberspace. Services “in the cloud” are available via the Web instead of systems having to be installed on your server(s) or applications or programs being installed on your desktop. It means they’re out there — in cyberspace — and you connect to them. Yes, this is very good news. But here’s the best part. ” </blockquote. Here’s an example.

How Does the Money Flow?


As we noted in our summary of the aLearning Survey results, we were surprised by the number of respondents who didn’t know what percentage of the organization’s overall budget is dedicated to education. Perhaps the organization is so small that there’s just one pool of money from which everything is dispersed.Or some organizations have an education budget but the education staffers don’t have eyes on the organization’s overall budget, so they don’t know what their portion of it is. And the data in this survey support this. Without Percentage Information.

Attract, Engage, and Develop Talent using Open Badges: An IBM case study

Companies have an incredible opportunity to use badges to help attract, engage, recognize and develop talent. There have been significant developments around digital credentials and particularly the fast rise of badges and micro-credentials. Learning Professionals need to be aware of what's happening and innovators should be taking a leading role. In this session, David will go through the well-known IBM Open Badge Program to help explain badge programs.

2011 aLearning Association Survey Results Summary — Part 4


If you’ve been following our recent posts that summarize our 2011  survey, you’ve seen that organizations of all sizes are leveraging online learning in some way or another. Click here to see part 1 covering profiles and budget , here for part 2 on elearning programs , here for part 3 on social learning.). But how are associations and other non-profit organizations making decisions about which programs to pursue? Do they have a strategic plan? Do they have a different method they follow? Again, results were scattered. See what you think. sure did. Probably.

One Week Left!


Wondering what other associations and non-profits are up to with their learning offerings? Anticipating a change for the next year, and wonder if others are making similar changes? Looking at increasing your education budget but need to prove other associations are investing more money in their learning programs first? Then you need to participate in the 2011 aLearning Survey. Ten quick questions. Less than five minutes. Valuable data — if enough of you add your voices! It’s free. No individual data is collected. Do it today. The survey is open until September 10. aLearning Survey

Empowering Subversive Implementation


Odd title, eh? If you haven’t yet read Maggie McGary’s post over at Acronym (“Are you empowered to implement what you learn?&# ), you’ll get a head start on where I’m going with this. First, I completely agree with Maggie. I’d add that — at least in my case — I had piles of notes from books, magazines, conversations, social networking threads, blogs, etc etc, as well as those notes from conferences I attended. Of those, I managed to make a couple of changes, create one or two new inspired projects, and otherwise implement what I had learned.

Quick Clicks


Once again, aLearning is pleased to be able to save you enormous time and energy by perusing hundreds of blogs and resources to summarize those likely to be of particular interest to you. If you have any links that have been especially insightful or helpful to you, please feel free to add them to the comments section or send them to me directly for inclusion in a future Quick Clicks post.  BTW, I normally embed the links but am pressed for time — cut and paste if necessary; they wouldn’t be included in this post if they weren’t worth it. What’s the Diff?*. Julien R.

Best Practices for Launching an LMS

When launching a new platform to deliver customer and partner training, there are a few key items to keep in mind. The best and simplest way to stay organized during this process – and be able to measure success – is to follow the tried-and-true practices outlined in this eBook. Click to download.

Measuring Level Four


Sounds like something from a sci-fi flick, doesn’t it?!? But of course I’m referring to Donald Kirkpatrick’s four-level model for measuring learning outcomes. The first level, you’ll remember, is “reaction.&# We do a good job of measuring that by using “smile sheets&# — those feedback forms that we issue right after learning as occurred (for more on Smile Sheets, see the article “Smile Sheets To Smile About&# in the April 2010 issue of ASAE’s Associations Now magazine). Let’s start with why. The answer is because. …sales?&#.