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E-learning: better than face-to-face?


blended learning > e-learning > face-to-face learning! recently discovered a three year old research report from the Department of Education in the United States. meta-analysis, encompassing studies covering a 12 year period from 1996 to 2008, it compares the effectiveness of e-learning and blended learning to face-to-face instruction. Advocates of e-learning have argued for some time that it is at least as good as face-to-face methods, but this research appears to provide substantial supporting evidence. Report here

Learning evaluation solutions


Keen readers of this blog may have noticed a shift of emphasis in recent posts. I've apparently become much more interested in the evaluation of learning and development. In fact, this has been a career-long interest, and has always formed a part of my professional work. However, I have let the cat out of the bag with my latest LinkedIn update - "planning a new venture!"

Digital evaluation


I once attempted a joke about e-learning, following Don Morrison’s suggestion that a measure of an industry, profession or sector’s maturity is the emergence of jokes about it. In that spirit, the prospects for learning evaluation are discouraging. The thing is, it’s not even true. The advent of digital technology has made learning evaluation more affordable, efficient and effective.


Kirkpatrick's evaluation model - animated!


This short video clip offers a simple exposition of Kirkpatrick's four level learning evaluation model

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Reasoned evaluation


A client asked me today about approaches to evaluation, and this got me thinking about how advocates of different approaches get very dogmatic about what works and what doesn’t work. Kaliym Islam, in Developing and Measuring Training the Six Sigma Way , says “none of the four levels in the Kirkpatrick model capture business feedback or business reaction to the training product”.

Adventures in Moodle


Picking up from some of my previous blog posts, it’s now over a year since my organisation established an online learning environment, based on a Moodle platform. It’s been an interesting journey. Initially I expected to get three things: 1. learner management system , enabling us to store information about learners and generate reports. 2. And we don’t have the third thing.

Are you my friend?


Driving to work the other day, I heard an item on Radio Scotland about how many online “friends” we can realistically maintain. I’m not sure how this became a topical item for commuter news, as I have investigated further and discovered Robin Dunbar identified the number – it’s 150 – way back in 2008. See this New Scientist link.)

Learning from mistakes


I subscribe to training zone and find some of their articles useful, amid a sea of thinly-disguised sales promotions. recent example of the useful stuff is the ‘the top 10 bad people managers’ by blogger Simon Kenny, who lists some great examples of mistaken behaviour by managers. You need to register for training zone to view his blog.) We need help.

Transform Your Video Strategy for Enterprise Learning & Communication

We sat down with Tom Clancy, former CLO of EMC, to discuss the role of video in the future of enterprise learning and communication.

evaluation examples


I'm looking for examples of learning evaluation in practice - both good and bad. I'd welcome anything from a bank of case studies to any small anecdote anyone is willing to share. And I'm interested in any context of learning and development implementation. Can anyone help? Please use the comments option, below, to post links, or email me via the learnforever website. Thanks

Sharing learning across the third sector


Today, I am delighted to be launching the Academy – sharing learning across the third sector. This new initiative has been a long time coming: since I first discussed the concept with David Elder nearly three years ago, the model has changed twice, funding partners have come and gone, but at last, today, the company I incorporated last year finally gets off the ground. Let me know what you think

Learning Evaluation Network


When is a social network not a social network? This issue was raised in the testing phase of the Learning Evaluation Network (LEN), just launched on the Ning platform. Ning describes all the networks it supports as “social networks” but this conveys all sorts of assumptions, largely based on the most widely-recognised Facebook model. Evaluation of learning and development is pretty niche.

Explaining Total Value Add


One or two people who have read the e-book I published last year with Alasdair Rutherford – Total Value Add, a new approach to evaluating learning and development – have asked for more information about how Total Value Add works. Total Value Add includes two related ideas. Let’s take the first idea first. That’s one example. More information can be found at www.airthrey.com

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a new chapter


I''m in the process of winding up two of my recent ventures. I''ve announced on LinkedIn and Twitter that the Academy for Shared Learning, the social enterprise I have been developing for the past two years and that finally launched earlier this year, has been voluntarily wound up by its members. Sadly, the Academy proved unable to generate the levels of interest needed to sustain it. So what''s new? I''m joining Sense Scotland as its new Head of Organisational Development. It''s a big challenge, but one I am really looking forward to meeting. More to follow, I''m sure

A book a year


I’ve been doing a lot more writing in the six years since I launched this blog. After an eight year gap from my first book to my second, I’ve had three books published in the last four years (see sidebar links), and I’m planning to step up that rate. Not that this is the season for resolutions, but I’ve decided to aim to write and publish one new book every year.

I'm Spartacus!


In the current issue of Management Today , Nigel Nicholson offers “A New View of Leadership”. Some of what he describes is not new – he offers a triangular model of seeing (vision), being (identity), and doing (action), which may be considered an attempt to bring together visionary, authentic, and action-based approaches to leadership. We are all (potential) leaders, we are all Spartacus.

Reason overcome by emotions


If you’re not interested in football, you could be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss was about recently-appointed Sunderland coach Paolo di Canio, and revelationsof his fascist sympathies. In a nutshell, many people involved with Sunderland Football Club would prefer they did not employ someone of such an extreme political persuasion. suspect there are many other examples.

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.

Skill development


A few years ago, I wrote about Roberto Moretti's Practice Made Perfec t system, as an approach to helping people learn skills. I've recently found a useful follow-up in an unlikely source. European coaches have introduced a lot of new thinking and techniques to British football, and perhaps none more so than the two great Portuguese coaches Jose Mourinho and Andreas Villas-Boas.

The Shared Academy


When I wrote the corporate universities chapter for CIPD’s Learning and Development subscription manual (published 2007, but no longer available), I wrote: “ That is not to say that the corporate university (CU) is the sole preserve of the large corporation. In the six years since I wrote that, through a global recession, the argument has become more compelling.

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year to all my clients, followers and readers. hope 2013 brings everything you want and need. My thanks are due to Bob Little for my inclusion in his list of 2012 " e- learning movers and shakers ". My book, Delivering E-Learning is still available

Growing faster than Facebook


Was 2012 the Year of the MOOC? That’s the title of an article from the New York Times in November , but if that’s the case, what are we going to call 2013? And is MOOC pioneer Andrew Ng right that it’s “growing faster than Facebook”? MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses, which already seem like such an obvious development one wonders why they haven’t been around for much longer.

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.

Signed copy of the Learnforever Book


I''m offering all readers and followers of this blog the chance to buy a copy of the Learnforever Book, direct from the author, at a reduced price and with extra benefits. For just £12 sterling, you can have a copy of The Learnforever Book, signed by the author, with the personalised inscription of your choice, posted to any address anywhere in the world. Published in December 2013, The Learnforever Book is a collection of posts and comments from this blog, between 2007 and 2013, edited and with a new introduction and index.

Festive Quiz


As it’s that time of the year again, I thought I’d lighten the mood with a wee quiz. It’s more fun if you don’t Google the answers! And I’ll post them in the comments section in a day or two. No prizes, just the deep satisfaction of being a know-all. 1. What is the usual colour of a flight recorder black box? 2. How long did the Hundred Years War last? 3. What country makes Panama hats? 4.

Health & Safety Culture


As we approach the end of 2012, I'm reflecting on a year when human resource issues were frequently to the fore. Back in January, the government jumped on the bandwagon of complaining about health and safety "red tape". David Cameron promised he was "waging war against the excessive health and safety culture that has become an albatross around the neck of British businesses". How quickly we forget!

Against the herd


When I worked for Pearson plc in the 1990s, I was part of a newly-created business, Financial Times Management, specialising in management education. When that business was just two years old, a decision was taken no rebrand it as FT Knowledge. Haven't we just had a restyling? Are the benefits of the latest change a worthwhile use of CIPD member subscriptions?

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.

Another evaluation update


In June, I wrote about progress in what was then a brand new action development programme. That was the first cohort, since completed, of LEAD, which stands for Learning Evaluation Action Development, and is Airthrey Ltd’s flagship programme. LEAD aims to support and equip those responsible for learning evaluation to conduct their own evaluation project (something real, not a simulation).

Olympic spirit


The latest issue of People Management quotes Mike Morrison ( @RapidBI on Twitter) "at the Olympic Games, many, many people got a lot out of volunteering. This should be explored as a business strategy". This will come as no surprise to many in the 'Big Society', from the public and third sectors, where volunteering as a means of delivering public services is increasingly a way of life.

How learning adds value


I’m developing a model showing the various ways learning adds value in an organisation, and so far I’ve identified four clusters of different ways. The classic learning paradigm This is the process flow from: acquisition of knowledge/skills/behaviours; to performance improvement; to business results. This is the main sort of value we expect learning to add. Does it make sense?

Number crunching


We live in a world of big data. As the cliché has it, the Internet changes everything, and it has certainly transformed our access to reams of data and valuable analysis of it. spent the recent US Presidential election campaign following the blogging exploitsof Nate Silver , erstwhile poker player and baseball analyst. You had people saying 'you can't quantify people's feelings through numbers!'

Quality Control process for E-Learning

Quality assurance is often reduced to correcting errors in a nearly completed learning product. But creating a quality assurance process that influences decisions throughout production reduces the amount of revisions. This is the final step to ensuring that e-Learning applications are not themselves a barrier to learning

An appeal for crowdfunding


I’m looking for contributions to fund a research project on evaluation of learning and development. Although focused on Scotland, the project should have clear implications for the wider world. discovered crowdfunding when a friend’s son, a photographer, was involved with a group of people in making a short film, and they used it to raise all the funding they needed.