Drunk at work? No, just resting.
JUNE 5, 2015
I know I don't get enough sleep. really struggle with it. There's always so much churning around in my head that it takes quite a long time to fall asleep, and once there, I am prone, like very many, to waking in the middle of the night with the mixer still on, seemingly only able to drift off once again just before the alarm sounds. This gave her a great mix of both style and substance.
Optimism - L&D's vice
APRIL 10, 2015
With election fever gripping the nation (ahem), I''ve been thinking a bit about polling and it occurs to me that we are subject to some of the same errors that cause pollsters eggy faces after the election - you know, where the media outlets start their witch-hunt to find out why the predicted outcome didn''t match the one we got. One of the standard tropes for communiques from companies and organisations of all sorts involved in L&D is the line that "we expect to see a growth in area x" in the next 12 months, using the old approach "everyone else is doing it so you should too". solutions.
Dan experienced 'creating a Tin Can API statement'
OCTOBER 24, 2012
I've just read up on Tin Can API. I've been meaning to do it for ages and I'm kinda pleased that, as it turns out, Tin Can does pretty much what I had assumed it would do - but it does it better than I could have imagined and way more besides. Something for everyone All the LMS loving tracky types can love it because it does everything they need it to. Social learning types should be delighted as this reaches out and allows individuals to say what they learnt rather than only rewarding pre-ordained learning experiences. Brilliant. Crucially however, it can't be a bolt on.
3 mysterious "features" of the LMS experience that ruin them for me
JANUARY 20, 2016
I've been working with LMSs for a long time and with everyone there are some common moans. Here are a couple that leapt out at me today. Remember, my experience is in large corporate LMSs, often from big global providers. Yours might be different. hope that it is - I've certainly heard good things about some companies' offers. By all means enlighten me in the comments. 1. Timing out" A perennial problem, my LMS booting me out after a period, usually unknown, seems to afflict me on whatever LMS I'm working on. Oh, and the pop-out radio iPlayer. That's it). Scorm seems to be the reason for it.
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Why I don't like Twitter
JUNE 27, 2011
Let me start by making one thing really clear. like Twitter very much. find it very useful and it has probably become my number one personal learning tool over the last year*. However, I am becoming increasingly sceptical about its use as a social learning tool in any organised sense and in particular, there are some characteristics of how it is being used that frankly I'm not altogether comfortable with. Perhaps this is because there are lots more conferences in the learning tech arena, perhaps not. The concept is familiar enough. And it works okay. Look mum, I'm on telly!" Great stuff.
"Enlighten us but make it quick"
OCTOBER 28, 2013
That''s the cry of Igniteers everywhere. I''ve attended, spoken at and organised Ignites for (checks date of earliest posts ) nearly four years. Since running the first one I''ve always thought they''d make a great contribution to my favourite* annual exhibition Learning Technologies. Since then, LT has grown and it''s even gained a sibling, Learning and Skills. It''s bigger and better than ever.
A good BETT
JANUARY 16, 2011
Each year I go to Learning Technologies and see the posters for BETT and curse that I've missed what is billed as "Europe's biggest educational technology event". But this year, reminded of BETT by the somewhat smaller BETTr conference being run by Bristol's Matt Jukes (more on this to follow), I actually got my act together and managed to attend. And wow! Glad I did.
When social is a taxing problem
JUNE 30, 2014
One of the projects I''ve been keen to push on with my current employer is extending our elearning provision beyond the isolated horrors of the self-study elearning "course" to more collaborative social opportunities. In this respect we''re quite lucky; with our current performance and learning management suite provider we have access to an advanced, mature enterprise social network (ESN) platform that is integrated with current user profiles. Extending access to new users is simply a process of adding that permission to their profile and they are in. So far, so good. social learning
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.
No elearning, thank you very much!
FEBRUARY 11, 2013
Our organisation has been asked to review and feedback on the new guidance for one particular area in which we are involved. I was particularly struck by the vehemence of its position with regards to elearning:  The use of e-learning may offer a number of benefits to an organisation. However, in all but the smallest healthcare organisations such a small GP’s practice with a single stage [activity] plan, e-learning is not acceptable as the sole means of training staff. And we know how reliable that is. evaluation thoughts compliance education elearning
Things I'm fed up of doing in the 2010s
MARCH 15, 2011
These are some productivity (for which read "Windows/Office") activities for which the case against was clear and present 5 years ago, or longer, and yet which persist. They're a mixture of training related and general points. Dealing with email. Need I go on? Irritating inbox limits, lost communications, spam, single line throw away comments, documents mailed to a dozen people on the same network. despise email. Responding to people setting up meetings via internal email to tell them to send a freakin' invite. Fixing PowerPoint slides. think it was within a month of getting a training job.
weelearning - we want you to have it
JANUARY 28, 2013
In his latest post on our weelearning website , Sam Burrough explains why we are encouraging everyone to pick up on our idea and go with it: If you’re lucky enough to be heading to this week’s Learning Technologies Conference or Exhibition , one thing is guaranteed, you’re going to meet a lot of cool, interesting people. You may even end up down the pub with one or two of them, especially if you’re going to Curation Camp. You’ll probably think to yourself, wistfully on the way home, “ah, I wish I could do that more often.” So well in fact, we want to share the idea with you.
mylearningworx - a reflection on the launch event
DECEMBER 21, 2012
Last week I was pleased to attend the launch of mylearningworx , a new site that offers individuals the chance to both make a course and take a course. If your passion is to teach people about local history or some craft or hobby, their platform allows you to quickly and easily pull a course together and sell it to others who want to learn. While most elearning to date has been in either the mass market of formal K-12 education or in custom products for large wealthy companies, there aren't that many folk really addressing the "long tail" of online formal learning. And good luck to 'em.
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Elearning. L&D's hard to kick habit?
JULY 3, 2015
I was talking about elearning design with a colleague recently and we wondered briefly what constraints we had on ourselves that we ourselves imposed. Scrolling seems so self-evidently the right solution to lots of text, yet lots of authoring tools are predicated on a fixed screen format of design that not simply encourages the text 'n next approach to learning design. It's quite normal to see all sorts of audio controls on the chrome of the player, despite the fact that Windows has separate volume controls, as do most computers (on dedicated buttons), speakers and many headphones.
The informal learning plugin, on an LMS near you soon
OCTOBER 21, 2011
I just read a tweet from Jay Cross that took me to a post from a representative of Blackboard, makers of the dreadful LMS, purporting to dispel "myths" about informal learning. Given that I take informal learning to be a conceptual notion of knowledge acquisition and sharing rather than a defined and fairly uncontroversial body of knowledge like, say, climate science or evolution, I was intrigued and felt I needed to know more about these "myths". I had to respond but not sure that my contribution will be welcome, so thought, like Jay, worth reposting. To a planned taught course?
Learning research to action - from Jakob Nielsen
FEBRUARY 2, 2011
I never tire of going on about Jakob Nielsen and the usefulness of his Alertbox. Nielsen is one of the pre-eminent figures in web usability, but in this post he is looking at information recall/learning as it relates to online content. link] How can we use this? sent the following suggestion out to my colleagues on our Foundation Degree programme. Thought I'd share it here. The activity may be a relevant approach to adopt for review activities. So, what’s the alternative? Setting the idea in a brief scenario context might work. very big boost indeed. There.
Gaminess in learning
SEPTEMBER 6, 2010
Just wanted to catch an important point about what constitutes gaminess - can't remember where it comes from, but I'm fairly sure that Simon Bostock would have been involved in bringing it in to my field of vision: Five points that mean gamey: Collecting (ie badges) Points and levels Feedback to lead to improvement Exchange (for P2P activity) Customisation (for an individual experience) So, gaminess is not a quiz dressed up as hangman or a car race - this is the gaminess that creates re-playability and the desire to improve.
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.
JANUARY 5, 2013
I was looking for something quite unrelated when I came across the concept of the "one minute paper". It's a very simple concept for quick and dirty feedback, seemingly used by people in the HE/FE sector. It's not rocket science, just basics really, but it for some of our instructors I think it would be helpful, so I produced a form for them to riff on and wrote out some details for the wiki.
A simple language learning resource
JANUARY 2, 2013
I stumbled across this - not exactly sure how or why. would sooo love something like this for Japanese*. It's wonderfully simple: each blog post is written in an accessible way, tagged as to what element of language is the key point and a short quiz to test comprehension is appended. MCQs and cloze are used. Useful. Wonderful. That's your queue to tell me about one. ** Ditto.
Failed by VISA
JULY 5, 2011
Just when I thought the "Verified by VISA" experience couldn't get any worse, the usually reliable eBuyer manages to pull off a real doozy: See the problem? WHAT THE HELL DO I CLICK ON NOW!? After a moment's consideration I tried hitting tab and thankfully it scrolled the frame you can't see and skipped to the next, unseen box. It's going to catch some people out. usability fail off-topic
Why I'm still at Blogger
JUNE 1, 2011
Started off here. Always been here. Love the backdrop on this one. Can't be bothered to move. End of. (I love Wordpress and I am happy to self-host these things , but Blogger is fine for what I need it to do). Hopefully that will answer that question now and in the future
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.
A BETTr type of conference?
JANUARY 24, 2011
It's an interesting time to be involved with education in the UK. The government is hacking wildly at the structures that have been familiar for so long; results from UK schools seem to be slipping sharply; the industrial education model looks to be broken. And where can we find solutions to these problems, to bring education in this country back on track? Matt Jukes thinks it's in the hacker mindset that we'll find answers so he put together Be BETTr , a sideshow conference running on the third day of BETT, across town in Holborn. What are universities? Google beats the LMS every time.
OpenOffice Impress - a rapid tool?
JULY 25, 2007
The open source movement supports pretty much all we have to offer. It is entirely possible to create blogs, wikis, elearning courseware and even LMSs for free. To design your projects you can replace Adobe with a range of sophisticated desktop apps such as GIMP , Nvu/ Kompozer , Inkscape , Audacity and so on. If you aren't entirely ready to leap on line for your documentation handling courtesy of the likes of Google Docs, you have one very powerful option, OpenOffice. has anyone used that feature? How easily can this be "SCORMed"? Anyone tried that? rapid tools open source tools flash
PowerPoint's forgotten powers
FEBRUARY 8, 2007
In the rush to embrace rapid elearning, one tool and its potential value is easily overlooked - PowerPoint. Rapid authoring tools (RATs) like Presenter and PointeCast hoover in your slideshows and, with a little bit of dressing up, spit out LMS friendly broadcast shows. In the main these are suited to low level tasks like broadcasting new services or products - where content simply needs to be made available and tracked. This is the beauty of using PowerPoint. But PowerPoint can be more (or less?) than that. you don't?) Okay, so it still doesn't help with the ID, but then, that's my job.
Who have you left out?
FEBRUARY 10, 2016
When you're designing training courses* do you ever give any thought to the people who aren't going to participate? No, of course not, they're out of scope. The question I put to you is, should they be? I've been attending an early stage pilot of a new module in our leadership training programme. As is customary with these things a senior member of staff was on hand at the start and end of the day to put things in context**. When he came in at the end he'd been listening to participants' feedback for only a few minutes when he interjected. You're all referring to managers. You're not managers.
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eBooks - a potted guide to what I wanted to know
AUGUST 2, 2012
A great session at weelearning recently left me fired up and thinking about ebooks like I've never considered before. What's the problem with ebooks? I've had a number of ebook readers on my Android phones but have always been bamboozled by their boasts about compatibility with dozens of formats. Choosing your format for digital publishing I'm not going to rehash everything. screen). Scrubby.
OCTOBER 14, 2011
Rule 1: use symbols your users will relate to In keeping with the craze for following crazes, I've decided to add "badges" to our company wiki, Wisdom. built Wisdom first as a personal note-taking tool on our development server, but then it has grown in to a fairly healthy internal resource for my colleagues. Rule 2: use animals. That's got to work.
Compliance in health estates training
OCTOBER 3, 2011
I was required to speak to a group of estates managers at a recent training event organised by IHEEM , the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estates Management, on the topic of compliance. Naturally enough, we fielded a presentation on just how that topic applied to training. I've never stuck anything on Slideshar e before, but thought I'd give it a try. Ridiculously so.
Revisiting old useful ideas - learnscapes
JUNE 24, 2011
For whatever reason, this diagram by Clark Quinn has stuck in my head, and for the fourth time of calling I found myself scrabbling to find it, including tweeting the man himself to see if he could identify it from my patchy description. Our mindset can sometimes be a bit "classical" I fear, as befits a former public sector training organisation/venue in its fifth decade. Please let me know.
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
MARCH 16, 2011
What on earth have I done wrong? usability appeals