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Your Performance Support Doesn't Speak xAPI? 3 Reasons it Should


​By now, you’ve heard the buzz regarding what’s variously called Experience API , xAPI, or The Tin Can API. And you know that it’s an emerging learning technology standard that facilitates the collection and communication of data related to the wide range of ways in which a learner interacts with formal or informal learning assets. Don’t have an xAPI-compliant LMS?



We've all heard a lot about "microlearning." What is it, why is it, and does it work? Over the last few years we've seen a growing use of the term "microlearning." Most common is a range of 3-20 minutes, but a kind of conventional wisdom has emerged that the most effective length for current attention spans is less than 10 minutes. Proponents also tend to favor video as the most effective medium.

Latent Learning


Strong and durable learning can happen without incentives and reinforcements. How do we make the most of that insight? Part One on latent learning. Before Edward Tolman's maze experiments (see this post , and this post , for the full story) and subsequent theories about "cognitive maps," it was conventional wisdom that learning only occurred with incentives and reinforcements.

More on cognitive mapping


How Edward Tolman's experiments shaped our theories of learning. Edward Tolman's influential experiments with rats in the 1940's remain highly formative for the field of cognitive psychology, and continue to shape our discussions about learning theory. So let's look at his experiment more closely to see what I mean. It was the performance of this third group that got the researchers' attention.

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.

Learning and Emotion


When Pluto was downgraded from its status as a “planet” to a “dwarf planet” in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union, do you remember how you felt? Certainly among astronomers, professional and amateur, the taxonomic shift—which meant that Pluto was no longer one of the planets in Earth’s solar system—the debate was contentious, even emotional.

Learn Harder, Learn Better?


In the last Insight post ("Forgetting to Remember", 1-27-16), we gestured toward a body of research suggesting that creating learning conditions in which learners work harder to retrieve information can measurably improve memory. This thinking can run counter to conventional wisdom about learning and instructional practice, and might be experienced by learners in that way if introduced awkwardly.

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“I'm Lovin' It!”: McDonald’s Journey with Performance Support


Imagine this training challenge

Forgetting to remember.


Solomon Shereshevsky (1886-1958) is perhaps the most famous mnemonist of the twentieth century, and became a useful case study in how the brain remembers information. He could retain entire conversations, pages of printed text, blocks of random numbers--most anything that entered through his senses. It is necessary to forget effectively, so that we can remember effectively.

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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.

Employee Performance InfoGraphic


Performance Support: Hiding in Plain Sight in Life, but Not So Much in the Training World


I went into Starbucks this morning. It was packed, yet all the drink orders came out correct; a really low error rate. On each cup is a simple checklist job aid, completed when the order is made that tells the barista how to make the drink. Performance support. I had always been confounded when completing my tax retun. But now, Turbo Tax hides the complexity and, after asking me a variety of simple questions, a miracle (at least to me) happens: my tax return comes out of my printer without me having to know anything about the pretzel logic of the tax code. Performance support again

Moving from Training to Performance Support


Overcoming Barriers to PS--Yes, You Can!


In our post, Your Finger’s in the Dike and the Dam’s about to Burst, Bob referred to a Gartner study that shows IT spend on new systems and applications is expected to double in 2013. That means there is a potential for your performance support project to get funded! But, in order for it to even be considered, you'll probably have to overcome some internal barriers

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.

Mobile Performance Support (PS): There's an App for That!


These days it seems we don't go anywhere without a mobile connection of some kind. Smartphones and now tablets are just part of our daily existence, allowing us to stay connected wherever we are. No one who’s seriously gone mobile should be surprised to hear that the mobile workforce is growing. It’s huge! recent IDC report says that this year, the number of mobile workers will total 1.3 billion around the world-- an impressive 37.2% of the workforce. This is just the beginning



As Keith points out in his response to our last post, it's important to carefully assess the needs of learners and the goals of the learning project. If an organization needs learners to retain information or concepts for a longer period of time, some of the research we've been summarizing indicates there are ways to improve reception and later recall--such as making the learning activity "harder." Blocking"--where learners go through repetitive drills--is a familiar method to most of us from our formal schooling, and/or from sports practice. The application of the concept is not complicated.

ROI: The Most Difficult Metric!


Do you know what the impact of your training efforts are on the organization? Are you measuring them? "Of course!" you say. "We have all kinds of data supporting what we do!" But, the real question is, can you truly make the connection between what you are providing to the business and how that has improved the bottom line

Sales Opportunities are not Created Equal


"Random acts of sales support undermine the best-laid strategies"  - Scott Santucci, Forrester Research Problem Statement: while financial objectives are very specific and constantly fine tuned, strategic objectives are often left ambiguous.  This ambiguity leads to a proliferation of misaligned sales enablement activities that if left unchecked will do more harm than good

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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.

You teach swimming or prevent drowning?


Okay, I realize that's a fairly aggressive title! But a fairly stark realization that has become apparent to us, as of late, both in our travels and when working with many senior learning leaders. We simply aren't tasked to deliver the same outcomes we once were. We've all heard the demands from our organizations around better aligning with business outcomes and performance measures. Yet, we continue to see the same old deliverables, often packaged in a new wrapper

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Podcast: Bob Mosher speaks with Charles Jennings on the Performance Support Maturity Model


Listen as Bob Mosher and Charles Jennings discuss the Performance Support Maturity model. Find out where your organization stands! Charles Jennings is a thought leader and learning and performance consultant. Read more on his work here

Learning in the Flow of Work


Here’s a reality: The closer a learner is to the place and moment of “Apply,” the more open and ready that learner is to learn.  Consider your own learning mindset while in the workflow compared to when you step away from it to learn in the fabricated environment of a classroom or an eLearning course. At which of those moments are you most motivated and ready to engage mentally, emotionally, and physically to learn

From Scattered Information to Transformational Performance Support


Check out our newest info graphic: From Scattered Information to Transformational Performance Support

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.

The Performance Support Spectrum: Part 2


We hope you’ve found this month’s focus on the Performance Support Spectrum valuable and helpful. We believe it’s critical for every organization to know where they are on the spectrum and where they ought to be. If you don’t know where you are and where you are going, you’ll never get anywhere useful

Smart Performance Support Isn't Science Fiction!


We hope this month''s focus on ''smart'' performance support (PS) has been as compelling to you as it is to us. We can’t imagine anyone not wanting performance support that starts smart and gets smarter because of how you and others perform.

Improving ROI Begins with Improving Worker Performance


We've now talked about the value of demonstrating ROI for your training efforts, and we've talked about making sure we measure all the right things. It's no longer enough (not sure it was ever enough) to just measure training efforts. We must trace the results of our efforts all the way through to the business and financial impact to our organization. And, there should be an impact--otherwise, we're wasting our company resources and our employee's time

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Rebooting Your Sales Process: Start with Outcomes and Metrics


Problem Statement: sales stages don’t provide much utility if the intended outcomes of each are not clear.  Also, you know a sales stage isn’t accomplishing much if the percentage of deals that close within that stage isn’t significantly higher than the previous one

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.

Your Finger's in the Dike and the Dam's About to Burst!


Why 2013 is the year for Performance Support. It's January 2013 and the dam is about to burst. For the past few years I think we've become a little complacent, plugging our finger in the dike but only standing in ankle-deep water. But that's about to change! The economic downturn of 2009 is now fading into the past. Businesses are growing again, competition is heating up, and the outlook for the future is bright again. The dam is getting full

Turning Instructional Design Upside Down


This weekend was my town’s annual Arts Festival. As I was wandering around the booths, I ran into a woman who had been in my first 9 th grade English class. Fresh out of college, I had a lot of ideas about how learning should work in my classroom. All my students would be brilliant and I would be the best teacher ever. Reality quickly slapped me in the face and I realized I had to make some adjustments to best meet the needs of my students. When I started working in the world of performance support, I had a similar experience

IT Managers, Can You Handle This?


9 Elements of Sustainable IT Adoption My colleagues recently attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) in blazing-hot Houston, TX. They raved about Dux Raymond Sy’s session, “Lead the Enterprise Social Revolution: How to Drive Sustainable Adoption.” Dux is a Microsoft Collaboration guru, a dynamic keynote speaker, and foodie to boot

There’s Nothing that Performance Support and a Little Ice Cream Can’t Fix


The other day I helped a friend make banana splits for her kids. We carefully split the banana, piled on three scoops of ice cream, and then finished it off with toppings. Each child’s banana split was unique. One had a traditional banana split with three kinds of ice cream and all the toppings. The other had vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and no nuts. As we were making them, it struck me that performance support (PS) is a lot like a banana split

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.

Big Learning Data & Performance Support


   Business journals are filled with stories about the exploding arena of Big Data.    There is a growing interest in gathering and analyzing a larger, richer, and more correlated set of data strands that come from an increasingly digital set of behaviors.  And, the world of Big Data got a large boost when reporters focused on how the Obama p