Clark Quinn

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Revisiting the Ecosystem

Clark Quinn

One of the keys to the L&D revolution is recognizing the full performance ecosystem and the ways technology can support performance and development. I’ve tried to represent and share my thinking via diagrams (including here , here , and here ). Prompted by a recent conversation, it was time to revisit the representation. We create or curate content (curation over creation!),

Learning Design Insights

Clark Quinn

I attended a recent Meetup of the Bay Area Learning Design & Technology, and it led to some insights. As context, this is a group that meets in the evening maybe once or every other month or so. It’s composed of students or new graduates as well as experienced-practitioners. The topic was Themes from a Hat (topics are polled and then separate discussions are held). Everyone contributed.


Clark Quinn

There’s been a lot of talk about microlearning of late – definitions , calls for clarity , value propositions, etc – and I have to say that I’m afraid some of it (not what I’ve linked to) is a wee bit facile. Or, at least, conceptually unclear. And I think that’s a problem. It’s about how to do microdesign, that is, how to design micro learning.

The change is here

Clark Quinn

For a number of years now (at least six ), I’ve been beating the drum about the need for organizations to be prepared to address change. I’ve argued that things are happening faster, and that organizations are going to have to become more agile. Now we’re seeing the evidence that the change has arrived. Two recent reports highlight the awareness. It’s still a top-down model.

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Reordering the Serious eLearning Manifesto

Clark Quinn

So, as you may know (and if you don’t, you should ), almost three years ago now, I teamed up with colleagues Michael Allen, Julie Dirksen, & Will Thalheimer (all worth knowing about) and put together the Serious eLearning Manifesto. And I believe it’s a good thing. But it needs an update. A rant I’ve made before ;). And it’s gotten a reasonable amount of attention.

Technology or preparation?

Clark Quinn

In listening to a recent presentation on the trends affecting the workplace and HR, there was mention about how organizations were using more cognitive technology, AI, etc. and this was changing jobs. There were two additional notes. First, these efforts aren’t (largely) leading to job losses, as these folks were being reskilled. Second, HR wasn’t involved in 65% of this. That’s a concern. But one of the things I wondered was whether all the new, smart technology really would help as much as was intended or needed. Pharmaceutical companies are continually trying new drugs.

Organizational Learning Engineering

Clark Quinn

Organizational learning processes – across L&D, Executive Development, Leadership Development, and more of the roles in HR and talent management – are largely still rooted in both industrial era models and myths. We see practices that don’t make sense, and we’re not aligned with what we now know about how we think, work, and learn. Let’s go! strategy

Because quality matters

Clark Quinn

I was reflecting on some of the actions my colleagues and I take. These are, in particular, colleagues that have been contributing to the field for a long time, ones who know what they’re talking about and that I therefore respect. I retweeted one who called for being careful of the source in message. I’ve supported another who has been on a crusade against myths. And I joined with some others to promote quality elearning. And it led me to wonder why. Why care? Why take risks and potentially upset people? And I realized that it’s because I care; because quality matters.

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Mobile Lesson

Clark Quinn

I’m preparing my keynote for a mobile conference, and it’s caused an interesting reflection. My mlearning books came out in 2011, and subsequently I’ve written on the revolution. And I’ve been speaking on both of late, but in some ways the persistent interest in mobile intrigues me. What does this mean? As I wrote before , China is much bigger into mobile than we are.

Another model for support

Clark Quinn

I was thinking about today’s post , wherein I was talking about a couple of packages that might help organizations move forward. I was reflecting back on some previous posts about engagement models, and was reminded of a more recent one. And I realized this has played out in a couple of ways. And these approaches did provide away to develop the organization’s abilities to develop better learning. So this is another model for support for developing at least the learning side of the equation. For each, my role was to lead the design. design strategy

Kaihan Krippendorff Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

At a private event, I had a chance to hear Kaihan Krippendorff talk about thinking differently about innovation. He used an 8P’s model as a framework to illustrate how to think differently. strategy


Clark Quinn

One of the things that I feel is a really useful tool in my ongoing learning, in my ‘making sense of the world’ is diagramming. I find diagrams to be a really powerful way to understand not just elements, but relationships. And yet it doesn’t feel like diagramming gets enough respect. So I want to make a case for the diagram. Language is good. Our brains have evolved to use it.

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70:20:10 and the Learning Curve

Clark Quinn

My colleague Charles Jennings recently posted on the value of autonomous learning (worth reading!), sparked by a diagram provided by another ITA colleague, Jane Hart (that I also thought was insightful). In Charles’ post he also included an IBM diagram that triggered some associations. The point was that the closer to the work that learning is, the more value. Hence the revolution. :).

Where is Clark?

Clark Quinn

So, where am I this spring? I was at ATD’s Techknowledge in January, and as this is published I’m on my way to Long Beach for their Core 4 event (sold out; if you’re one of the lucky ones there, say hi!). I’m taking the train (and a bus); look forward to watching the terrain roll by and writing. But there’re a couple more events this spring. Next week (March 30th), I’ll be giving a talk to ATD’s East Bay chapter on innovation. If you’re here in the Bay Area, it should be fun and informative. Again, if you’re going, say hello! strategy

Tony DeRose #DevLearn Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

Tony DeRose opened the second day of DevLearn with a geeky (and intriguing) presentation on the links between math and story in making animation. With clips and anecdotes he showed how it works, and inspired about how they’re connecting this to STEM. The post Tony DeRose #DevLearn Keynote Mindmap appeared first on Learnlets. design meta-learning technology

Employee Experience

Clark Quinn

One of the recent trends has been about ‘customer experience’, focusing the organization on a consistent and coherent customer experience from first exposure through to ongoing product or service use. And this is a ‘good thing’! I’ve participated in the efforts of an organization to achieve it, and can see the real benefits. reach out with questions. provide answers.

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Cultural Alignment

Clark Quinn

I was thinking about the ways in which organizations can support performance. That is, we can and should be aligning with how we think, work, and learn. So we can provide tools to support us in the moment, we can provide tools to help us work together, and we can develop people all slowly over time. So, one of the things we can do to optimize outcomes is to give people performance support.

Rahaf Harfoush #ATDTK Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

Rahaf Haroush opened the second day of the 2017 ATD TechKnowledge conference. She made clear some important points about the potential for technology. For instance she made the case for context-sensitive performance support, social network analysis, and a learning culture. An interesting point was that existing business practices were developed in times of data scarcity. social strategy

Penn Jillette #DevLearn Keynote Mindmap

Clark Quinn

Magician Penn Jillette opened the DevLearn conference with a fascinating presentation on storytelling, telling his story and unpacking magic for us. The post Penn Jillette #DevLearn Keynote Mindmap appeared first on Learnlets. design meta-learning

A Cognitive Audit?

Clark Quinn

In the recent Chief Learning Officer magazine, I wrote an article on the basics of the cognitive science of learning. And I truly believe that if you’re a professional, you should be aware of the fundamental scientific basis of your profession. Pilots need to know aeronautics, physicians need to know physiology, etc. And therefore, I reckon L&D needs to know the cognitive background.

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Tackling the tough stuff

Clark Quinn

I was reflecting a wee bit on my books (and writings in general), and realized that there’s somewhat of a gap when I talk about games, and mobile, and more. And it’s not unconscious, but instead principled, even if it arises somewhat implicitly. So I thought I’d talk briefly about why I tend to focus on the design, and not the practical implementations. These will change.

Top down or bottom up strategy?

Clark Quinn

In a recent discussion around HR strategy, the question arose about where to start. That is, if you’ve bought into moving into the digital age, where do you begin. The flip answer from the host of the event, a large consulting agency, was to hire them (and my flip reply is to ask whether you want newly minted MBAs following a process designed to be ‘heavy’, or someone coming in light and fast with an adaptive approach ;). And I wasn’t satisfied with that, for two related reasons. It’s a good one, but it’s not enough. And I think that’s a good basis.

What’s Your Learning Tool Stack?

Clark Quinn

I woke up this morning thinking about the tools we use at various levels. Yeah, my life is exciting ;). Seriously, this is important, as the tools we use and provide through the organization impact the effectiveness with which people can work. What this represents is people talking about the tools they use to do their jobs, and I reckon it’s important for us to talk about tools for learning.

Activities for Integrating Learning

Clark Quinn

I’ve been working on a learning design that integrates developing social media skills with developing specific competencies, aligned with real work. It’s an interesting integration, and I drafted a pedagogy that I believe accomplishes the task. It draws heavily on the notion of activity -based learning. For your consideration. As they work on the deliverable, they’re supported.

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Demoing Out Loud (#wolweek and #DevLearn)

Clark Quinn

Demoing is a form of working out loud, right? So I recently was involved in a project with Learnnovators where we designed some demo elearning (on the workplace of the future), and documented the thinking behind it. The posts, published by Learning Solutions, are aggregated here.) And now there’s be a chance to see it! So, a couple of things to note. First, this is Work Out Loud Week, and you should be seeing considerable attention to working out loud (aka Show Your Work). On principle, this is a good practice (and part of the Workplace of the Future, to be recursive).

How to learn and learn-to-learn

Clark Quinn

I was asked by a colleague to answer some questions for a project on how to learn. I naturally decided to answer in a blog post ;). In your working life, how have you learnt effectively from experience, please provide an example if possible? how have you used intentional practice, learnt from failure, learnt from ambitious projects and/or used reflection). I was really upset.) I read, a lot.

Silo APIs?

Clark Quinn

I was in a conversation with my colleague Charles Jennings about organizational innovation, and one of the topics that arose was that of barriers to successful organizational function. In particular, we were talking about how the division of responsibility between organizational development (OD), leadership development, and learning & development is a problem. And I think the problem is bigger. Separating out functions into silos makes sense in a deterministic world, but that doesn’t characterize our current environment. Now, separation of functions can be useful. The post Silo APIs?

Errors and misconceptions

Clark Quinn

When I was a grad student, my advisor looked a lot at error. HIs particular focus was to prevent it through good interface design. He characterized them as of two types: slips and mistakes. Slips are when you have the right intent, but from elements of our architecture end up making the wrong move. Mistakes are when your intentions are wrong. Then we can remediate them at the moment. design

Quiz 59

The complete eLearning journey

As an eLearning designer wouldn’t it be great if you could take charge of your eLearning environment right from storyboarding your ideas to generating responsive eLearning courses to being able to effectively deploy and track your learners’ performance?


Clark Quinn

So yesterday I talked about the value of diagrams , but I thought I’d add a bit about the process of actually creating diagrams. Naturally, I created a diagram about it. I created this diagram for a session I ran on diagramming a number of years ago. In that session I talked about our cognitive architecture, why we need models, how diagrams work, properties and design issues, and more.