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Five ingredients for compliance e-learning excellence

From the Coleface

Last week I had the privilege of judging the e-learning awards (obviously my lips are sealed as to who the winners are until the awards dinner). Naturally some of the entries had other ingredients that made them sparkle in other ways, but here I can share five themes that many of the short-listed entries had in common. Focus on behaviours not policies. Make the learning part of a campaign.

Talent management myths and facts

From the Coleface

Last Friday I went to an excellent session of the Trainers and Developers Network   led by Catherine Shepherd. In many organisations talent management is siloed away from L&D, but it’s usually helpful to understand more about what your colleagues in HR are doing (and how it interacts with your LMS). Here are my three main takeaways from the day. What is talent management? What next?

Escaping from the compliance e-learning cul-de-sac

From the Coleface

Much of the e-learning that professional firms offer is compliance-based. The The risk is that poor compliance e-learning ends up tainting learners’ expectations of e-learning (this is sometimes referred to as the “compliance e-learning cul-de-sac”). The resulting report can be found here. Consistent with wider industry trend of personalisation. Ideas to save you some brainstorming time.

e-learning professionals “the cobbler’s children with no shoes”

From the Coleface

At a recent Professional Services e-learning Forum, L&D teams were likened to “cobbler’s children with no shoes” This allegory describes the phenomenon where professionals are so busy with work for their clients and their teams that they neglect using their professional skills to help themselves or those closest to them. beautiful metaphor, but is it true to life? The Professional Services e-learning Forum draws it members from the UK’s largest accountancy and legal firms. ” In descending order the most commonly used channels were: Conferences (e.g.

Poll 30

New Brandon Hall Group report forecasts major shift in 2016 online learning trends

Companies are increasingly dissatisfied with online learning tools, prompting many to reinvest in technology that supports a modern training approach. Download the report from Brandon Hall Group to see how new investments are bringing real business results.

Is this compliance story too close to home?

From the Coleface

Learners are used to compliance e-learning. Anyone in a big company is used to having several mandatory modules a year to complete so the game becomes “how can I do this as quickly as I can and get my tick in the box?” Or so I thought… In the past two years I’ve suggested including relevant real life stories to three different clients to whom this applies.

Are confidentiality concerns holding back the e-learning industry?

From the Coleface

If e-learning has a creation myth, it is that the e-learning industry was born out of the dotcom crash at the turn of the century – swarms of freshly unemployed web designers and developers started applying their skills to changing learner behaviour rather than consumer behaviour. Rating systems (e.g. stars from Amazon, likes from Facebook). Proof. But of what? doubt it. learning

Viv on Learning Now TV on 31 March

From the Coleface

As an experienced blended learning designer and judge of the e-learning Awards (recently rebranded as the Learning Technologies Awards), I was invited to appear on TV. As part of the learning designers series, I’ve shared three key tips on blended learning design on LNTV. Spoiler alert – or to whet your appetite – the tips that I’ve explained are: Consider your options.

Instructional design agony uncle

From the Coleface

Here are some examples of the kind of things I’m expecting to be asked : Which learning theories are useful? How do you make the best use of Subject Matter Experts? How can you work most effectively with graphic designers, technology specialists and others on the project team? How do you design realistic scenarios? How do I design effective questions? learning training

How professionals learn

From the Coleface

In the November Issue of TJ ,  Des Woods and Henry Marsden have an article called “How professionals learn”  As the former head of learning at Ernst & Young and head of professional development at Linklaters, Des is writing from considerable experience. This is a great article if you are relatively new to professional services in your L&D career, especially if you’ve worked in a different industry previously. There were 3 things that really resonated with my experience: Professionals want learning in small chunks as the pressure to remain chargeable is high.

How would you design learning with an unlimited budget?

From the Coleface

Recently I was given what many instructional designers would consider the best brief ever: there’s unlimited budget, there’s no major urgency, just come up with something innovative and interesting. There had to be a catch, and there was -  it’s one of the dullest compliance topics imaginable for people in the insurance industry. And from this a treatment was born.

So does Linkedin really work?

From the Coleface

I’m often asked the question does Linkedin really help or is it a waste of time? Like most social media it allows us to do things that we do in real life faster, more cheaply, with more reach and more publicly (or with less privacy, if you prefer). The answer I usually give involves a game I used to play as a student. Fast forward about ten years and I get introduced to Linkedin. learning

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.

Let’s focus on the learning (with a little help from Cynefin)

From the Coleface

I enjoyed a day out at the Learning Technologies Summer Forum yesterday. Like many conferences, there was no shortage of vendors trying to broadcast how their offering is the panacea to organisations’ performance problems. This noise about the channels of learning (“modality”) tends to distract from a far more significant consideration: What is the nature of the learning that we want to make happen? 1. How clear are we about what we want people to learn? This arena is well documented, especially by Cathy Moore e.g. [link]. 2. Domain. Learning channels. Obvious. Best practices.

5 free technology tools for trainers to enhance face to face training

From the Coleface

Face to face trainers often see technology as threat or replacement of the face to face experience. But when used appropriately technology can enhance what happens in the training room (and afterwards). At the eLearning Network event “A fresh look at elearning”, Julie Wedgwood demonstrated five tools which have great potential and they’re free! These tools are especially applicable when participants have access to tablet computers or smartphones. Wordle If you have a back channel set up for the classroom e.g. Twitter, copy and paste the text into Wordle. This will produce a word cloud.

Professional Services e-learning Forum (PSEF) welcomes CLO of the year

From the Coleface

Fresh from being awarded CLO of the year by the LPI, forum member Sarah Lindsell , Global & UK Director of Digital Learning and Learning Strategies at PwC, was the guest speaker at PSEF’s 3 March meeting hosted by Deloitte. PSEF is a networking group for L&D professionals in the UK’s largest accountancy and legal firms, held under Chatham House rules. Thanks Sarah.

Curation 101

From the Coleface

Just when you thought you had enough e-learning buzzwords, curation came along. For those who like definitions “ Content Curation is the act of discovering, gathering, and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter.” Inspired by Sam Burrough’s  talk at the eLearning Network , I thought I’d try curating and share my reflections. Maybe. Happy curating!

Research says that whatever I say next will be a whopping lie

From the Coleface

Over 15 years of working in L&D (and a dose of studying philosophy of science at university) makes me very alert to the phrase “research says” It is usually followed by an unsubstantiated claim. After all, if you are making a claim that is backed by scientific research it is not hard to include a link, reference or a footnote, so why wouldn’t you? link]. Learning styles: [link].

Storyboarding for eLearning

Storyboarding is a very important step for creating eLearning courses. But don’t you feel it’s a waste of time to start creating the courses from scratch and copy-paste text and other objects from the storyboard to the eLearning tool for course development.

How well do you really know your learners?

From the Coleface

So as an L&D professional, hand on heart, how confident are you that you really know your learners well? Do your learners prefer the bare facts presented as fast as possible or a more interactive, immersive, fun experience that takes longer? How does this vary according to different subject matters or segments of you organisation? It’s worth investing the time so that you can.

Beautiful data, frightening conclusions

From the Coleface

As someone who enjoys reducing information overload and making complex topics more meaningful and accessible, I’ve enjoyed browsing my way through two coffee table books which show the power of infographics: David McCandless’ Information is beautiful and Simon Rogers’ Facts are sacred. The way that data has been put together and presented is genuinely inspiring. learning

Ice bucket learning

From the Coleface

If you’ve managed to avoid the ice bucket challenge , I can only commend you for managing to stay unplugged from social media on your holidays, you have surpassed me. For the rest of us, this is a cultural phenomenon, which naturally I look through the lens of L&D geekiness to see what we can learn. The act of filming a video clip and posting in on social media is commonplace. It was fun.

The pitfalls of selling content online – five questions that training companies should ask

From the Coleface

Imagine you are running a training company that has successfully carved out a niche. You’re selling lots of training courses and it’s only capacity that is stopping you from selling more. One day you realise that you could increase reach, lock out competitors and reduce cost of sales if you put some of the training online. What could possibly go wrong? Here are five questions that I find many training companies in this situation have failed to ask. 1. Who is the buyer? Are you targeting the buyer or the learners? As there is so much free learning content on internet (e.g.

Evaluating Training - Capturing the Benefits Aspects of ROI

Training evaluation is necessary and, in many ways, critical to the success of a business. But because short term priorities always seem to take precedence, it is typically something we plan to do better in the next course, or maybe next month, or even next year. After all, we’ve managed pretty well up to now, so surely another year can’t hurt!

Dialogomatic 2.0 launches on 1st April

From the Coleface

Today I have been given exclusive reviewer access to the Beta version of Dialogomatic 2.0, the system that takes dialogue from a novel and at the click of a button can republish this as the script for self-paced e-learning, a stage play, music for a musical or as a comic strip. Socratic dialogue has now reached new heights! Version 2.0 This is the biggest breakthrough since Powerpoint.”

Happy season

From the Coleface

At this time of year there’s plenty of times that you’ll hear ‘Happy Christmas’ or ‘Happy New Year’ which got me thinking about the nature of happy. There are three pertinent stories I wanted to share, two from 2013 but the first one from 20 years ago…. After university I had a fun year where I was elected to be in charge of university sport. training

Is praise better behind closed doors?

From the Coleface

Lucy Kellaway’s recent article in the FT “Compliments are always best made behind closed doors” challenges the conventional wisdom that workplace praise is best given in public and criticism in private. If that’s what the praiser intends to happen, then that’s fine, it’s just that many praisers won’t be aware of this unintended consequence. training

Learning Science Laundering

From the Coleface

When I’m explaining to non L&D people what I do, one thing they commonly say is “Oh yes, e-learning. We had to do a module on Anti-Money Laundering” Much as I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been involved in making compliance e-learning more interesting, there’s clearly quite a lot of page-turners still in circulation. link]. e.g. [link].

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.

Chain of fools

From the Coleface

I chose the title for this blogpost because I like the tune , not because I wanted to offend… Anyway, here’s a chain of events that’s been played out in hundreds of organisations. Often it has pretty depressing outcomes, but in case you get too despondent, let me assure you there is a happy ending, especially if you like flowcharts. The alpha version of the e-learning is achingly dull. 

News is bad for you

From the Coleface

A really thought-provoking article by Ralf Dobelli (based on a longer essay) about information overload and in particular, news. To pick out some headlines, “news inhibits thinking, kills creativity, makes us passive and wastes time” So if Dobelli’s arguments are valid, why would anyone read or watch the news? Who would not want the reputation for being well-informed?

What a fantastic widget!

From the Coleface

You may have noticed that more and more websites are allowing you to download appointments into your calendar e.g. lets you get the train time you have looked up straight into Outlook with just the click of a button. Though the technology for sending iCalendar files (.ics) learning

Did you get potatoes in your stocking?

From the Coleface

Now that the festive season is becoming a distant memory and the kids are back at school, the magic fabric of Christmas has begun to fray a bit in the Cole household. And I admit, I’m to blame. Let me try to explain… It all began with me telling my children that if you’re good, Santa will fill your stocking with presents. training

Move Beyond Learning to Applying: A Modern Management Development Program

A better way to develop front-line managers !It’s well documented that people leave managers – not companies. Download this guide to learn how to shift the perspective from event to journey and how to take learners through Proficiency Journeys to get results.

Professional services e-learning forum achieves ten

From the Coleface

7 th July sees the 10 th meeting of the Professional services e-learning forum, an informal networking and benchmarking group for L&D professionals working for the UK’s top 15 accountancy and top 15 law firms. Meetings involve a structured round table discussion under Chatham House rules followed by informal networking. What next? If you think you should have been invited to a Professional services e-learning forum meeting, please accept my apologies and do get in touch. Many of the participating firms have taken part in Towards Maturity benchmarking. accountancy e-learning legal

eLN Insights advent calendar

From the Coleface

After a weekend of getting advent calendars underway, once again it’s great to see that the eLearning Network has its own advent calendar up and running. Check it out at [link]. learning

Pitfalls in mobile learning #5:

From the Coleface

Although this is my fifth pitfall it’s probably the most fundamental – it’s just that I was hoping that this time round the e-learning industry had got its heads round the idea that emerging technologies are not solutions that we need to find problems for. Ask the right questions and your business has several problems that L&D can solve and a few of those solutions will involve mobile learning.

Mobile pitfall #4: Are you really compatible?

From the Coleface

Many development tools claim that they produce learning content which will publish automatically to different models of mobile phone. So for the L&D manager commissioning mobile learning it’s just a game of finding out from IT which phones are on the standard list, cross-checking and then away you go…if only it was that simple…. Hence it’s wise for L&D to pilot and test mobile roll-outs.

5 Unknown Ways You're Wasting Your Training Budget

In the US alone, companies spend over $70 billion on corporate training and about $1000 on individual employees according to Bersin by Deloitte. When it comes to training budgets, leaders struggle to pinpoint what impact (if any) their training programs are having. So what's the result? Companies end up wasting millions of dollars each year on ineffective training practices.

Tricks of the trade for instructional design

From the Coleface

One of the best things about working in instructional design is that you get to work with a variety of organisations and ask some of their smartest people about the tricks of their trade e.g. What does best practice look like? What are the common pitfalls? What are the early warning signs that something may not fit the standard process? Here’s a photo from a hotel I stayed in a few months back.

About me

From the Coleface

Hi…welcome to From the Coleface, brought to you from sunny Sussex by Viv Cole. As a former training manager at a Big Four accountancy firm, I know many of the pressures that you are under. Happily I make the time to read and surf publications about training and e-learning. I’ll pick out the most important and relevant items and summarise them for you.

Is Enterprise search the answer to L&D’s interruption problem?

From the Coleface

How easy is it to find the information that you need for your job within your organisation? Probably a lot more difficult and frustrating than using a search engine to find public information…. My prediction for 2014 is that this is the year that smart organisations will take significant steps to narrow this gap in user experience. They will gain benefits such as faster time to market, improved customer service and reduced reinvention of the wheel, whilst maintaining business confidentiality and security. the Chairman mandates that everyone does customer service training). Finance? Compliance?

Five key questions when buying e-learning

From the Coleface

For many years I’ve designed practical e-learning to help explain the tricky technical intricacies of CPD topics to accountants. thought I’d flip this around to invest some time demystifying the tricky technical intricacies of e-learning for accountants. The difference between good e-learning and bad e-learning often comes down to decisions made early in the purchasing process so this means knowing what questions to ask (and what the replies really mean). To download the white paper go to  [link]. accountancy e-learning

Workbook: Gamification and Your Enterprise Learning Strategy

This workbook is a response to your need to understand how to strategically incorporate gamification into your learning strategy, in order to drive real business results. It’s designed to be printed, written in and used as a guide.

10 top tips for using audio in e-learning

From the Coleface

At last week’s eLearning Network conference I led a practical instructional design session on audio and e-learning. As Bill Miller’s earlier session had covered learner’s emotional states  and readiness to learn, it was easy to make the point that audio used well can connect emotionally with learners in a way that screen text can’t reach. Here’s a lightly edited summary of the groups top ten tips on using audio. Be clear about how you think audio will enhance the learners’ experience. Avoid repeating the text on the screen verbatim. Use short clips. Use the highest sound quality possible.

The science of using audio in e-learning

From the Coleface

Next week I’ll be presenting at the eLearning Network on best practices for using audio in e-learning. One reason I wanted to speak was that this would give me the excuse to spend some focused time doing research: What scientific evidence can be used to ground day to day instructional design decisions?  It’s many years since I was a Psychology undergraduate, so I relished the chance to see how science has moved on.  . What’s the level of recall from reading vs. hearing? Are there certain types of audio that are more effective than others? learning