Learning Design: The Great, The Good and The Good Enough
MARCH 27, 2014
This could be a story about buggy whips. You might know the classic management tale of the craftsman who was proud of building the most handsome and useful whips to spur on carriage horses at the turn of the last century. Unfortunately, as you you probably know the tale, carriages once replaced by the automobile rendered his lovely product useless. Learning is not like that. And good enough.
BIG DATA, GOOD INFORMATION & A WAY FOR YOU TO USE IT
JANUARY 13, 2014
In this article I want to explore 3 connected ideas. The first is about big data, the phenomenon that now makes available enormous, staggering, volumes of information almost instantaneously. The second is a condition that says information already known to us can limit how big data can be used because there are other types of knowing to expand thinking. So the era of big data is here.
Overcoming Generation Differences When Building Learning: Part 2
FEBRUARY 7, 2014
When we last visited this topic about a week back I promised to create a visual—a chart of sorts—to encourage learning and instructional designers to consider how generational bias in training delivery. Just looking to start a conversation. Quick Review. You might want to pop back to the original article: [link]. We need to depend on these folks to help convert those who tend to be inflexible.
The Learner, 70:20:10 and Customer Experience
MARCH 11, 2014
More so than in other efforts learning demands a careful balance of content and context. Many courses or projects chock a block with great information never quite achieve the results intended because of the way the information is delivered. Still too many learners won’t or cannot stay engaged. And it’s not for lack of effort by designers. Firstly, it’s important to clear off the Kirkpatrick levels.
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.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IS A SIMPLE PROCESS ONCE THE RHETORIC IS REMOVED
NOVEMBER 21, 2011
The benefits of knowledge management (KM) are a monster value-add to any organization. Nevertheless, the more I learn how companies capture and leverage their intellectual property, the more disheartened I become. How could such a straightforward process for transferring information and learning become bogged down in dense MBA rhetoric taking what is essentially a simple idea and obfuscating it in layers of process and jargon? Some might think large enterprises require significant resources to carry forward a KM initiative. I’m not one of them. Consider this KM for Dummies—No offense intended.
NOW EVERYONE WINS: OVERCOMING GENERATION DIFFERENCES WHEN BUILDING LEARNING
JANUARY 23, 2014
During an interview about a week back I asked the project manager about the audience for which the training courseware would be designed. The strongest criteria, emphatically made, was the consultants ability to work out a curriculum for 24 to 70 year olds. She added, by the way, some of them ‘don’t play well with others’ or didn’t want to take the training…and were clearly hostile.
10.2 Strategic Ways to Ensure Learning Begets Performance Improvement
JUNE 5, 2011
“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.”. Would you like to guess the year this hypothesis was coined? That’s right! What a year! If you find this concept plausible, if the clarity with which business results are expressed, then the more accurate learning objectives can be formed. Let’s step back a bit. so we always meet objectives.
5.1 Reasons How and Why to Build Learning with Social Media
MAY 25, 2011
Using social media (SM) to prepare material for instructional design, courseware and webinars and such is the flip side of the same coin that encourages social media as intake media. We read a lot about using SM to learn, but how about to build? Here are 5.1 reasons to build learning via SM. 1. Social Collective. People learn best in a social context and are self-directed, particularly when focused on a specific task. Therefore: Use small groups within the larger cohort to decide which content they should tackle and how to share their results. 2. Information for All on Demand.
ELearning is Dead, Dormant or in Denial
APRIL 11, 2011
It’s no secret that coming from leadership positions in public and corporate education I am very critical of substandard learning; ‘e’ or otherwise. Without vigorous advocacy at the top you’ll never get great results. So I ask, where have the learning leaders in major corporations gone? Well, mostly salaries, etc., but there is something a bit more insidious.
LEADERS ARE TOO FAR UPSTREAM TO EFFECT CHANGE—TALENT MANAGEMENT MUST BE FOCUSED DOWNSTREAM ON MANAGERS
FEBRUARY 22, 2013
Who hasn’t been the recipient of the exhortations of motivation? It seems everywhere; used to suggest, cajole and inspire workers. Indeed exhort all of us to get out in front of a task and get going. remember, I think, a professor or mentor of mine in the education business who consistently said that motivation, a mental state, is not what we want to create. No, he said, what we really want is movement. Movement is measurable, while motivation lies within us affected by a variety of mental attitudes and internal prejudices. The End of Motivation? So what to do? Science and Business. Management.
GAMIFICATION – PLAYING AT (NOT) LEARNING
DECEMBER 8, 2011
When I first heard the term ‘gamification’* I had the sensation of a spider wiggling down my shirt at a picnic. It’s in the same league as ‘monetization’ and ‘level set’ and, ‘incubator’, words coined to make professionals sound, well, professional. I’m not against jargon in general; shortcuts are good if they are pithy and have substance. Not so ‘gamification.’ Defined originally as ‘funware’, it demeans both game playing and education. For the most part, game playing aims at developing recall. Gamification is not Games. have a wonderful cliff near my house they can be lobbed off. VALUE.
FEAR OF BRANDING – 10.1 Reasons to Move On
MARCH 26, 2012
Mulling over branding and applying logic to emotion has become more meaningful to me on a professional and personal basis. In some engagements, I’m compelled to live within the ecology of a company’s personality that is expressed in many ways through its brand. And on a personal level, who has not been bombarded into submission in to formulate a noteworthy and memorable—not to say powerful and compelling brand: can’t communicate your value instantaneously without being commoditized. This whole scenario brings back the idea of corporate culture. Branding has two major components.
SCENARIOS ARE MINI DRAMAS…NOT A GLORIFIED Q & A.
MAY 18, 2012
Contrary to many articles published lately, scenarios are not written questions with a supposition or proposition followed by questions. They are micro dramas that bring learners onto the screen and compel interaction. Once in, learner needs to work his way out. One my mantras I have consistency followed is that elearning is an analogue to a television drama. Using this core belief, the components that make up a show can be modified to enhance, if not totally structure an online course experience. In many examples of courseware, scenarios are one component of a learning experience. Medium Cost.
THE TEACHER-BUILT TEXTBOOK REVOLUTION IS HERE: A GIFT TO PROFESSIONALS OR A POX ON INSTRUCTION
JANUARY 23, 2012
I n the modern era, the textbook is still the spine from which teachers deliver information. Despite the ubiquity of Wikipedia and the web, most teachers rely on a single source to reference the bulk of instructional material for knowledge transfer to their charges. Some texts are terrific; contemporary information well researched, written and compelling with story-based content attractive to the mass of students. However along with soaring prices, how up-to-date can they be—and how often will new editions replace dated volumes? Apples iBooks will sell for no more than $14.99.
Revolution or Evolution?
APRIL 20, 2011
I’m a big fan of “Learning Without Frontiers.” I believe Graham Brown-Martin, et. is interested in a learning revolution not evolution. And if that’s the case, count me in. believe we agree that changing corporate learning and school-based instruction will require more than pilot programs all based on some version of what currently passes for learning delivery methodology. See #1.
Treacherous Business Words Used in Learning « Wonderful Brain
MARCH 29, 2011
I caught an interesting article about the twelve most dangerous words in business. thought, twelve. That's it? Then I realized how they apply to learning and the pain they can cause. won't hold back the suspense
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.
THE ACCIDENTAL LEARNER
JANUARY 11, 2012
There seems to be a revival of interest about informal learning. suppose the definitions range from information gleaned from informal sources—everything from Wikipedia to People Magazine to storytelling, to disruptive media like tablets and smartphones. Some suggest it’s content discovered while looking for something else. Kind of like an accidental scavenger, a web surfer. No matter how the information is presented, gathered or used it appears the single best notion is that it was unintentional and/or secondary to the main thrust of what is or was to be learned. Is this informal learning?
ACCEPTING THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
NOVEMBER 7, 2011
An Inability to Take Action Because of Practical Issues is Not Wholly the Cause of Inaction. There are as many reasons for contracts failing to close, as there are flavors of Haagen Dazs. Unfortunately, if you don’t close many deals, you’ll be eating some house brand frozen treat. So a double yecch, right? What brought this to mind was a TED video I viewed last evening. That it failed to work as designed was formative to Gladwell’s point that when aiming to solve one problem one often creates another: the unintended consequences. Now hold that thought for a minute. It’s expected.
WITH REGARDS TO mLEARNING: A CASE IN POINT OR UP IN THE AIR
NOVEMBER 23, 2011
I promised a colleague a week ago I’d share an experience I had producing a mobile learning project for a major airline. So to him, I apologize for this installment being a bit late…think of it as slow 3G, OK? caveat. So many of us are involved in love affairs with the latest technologies sometimes we forget to brake our enthusiasm and learn after too much money and effort that the latest isn’t always the greatest. Case in point is the following true story—a real business event that occurred far back enough that if executed today would be much more powerful because of current technology. Yikes.
Treacherous Business Words Used in Learning Pt2
MARCH 29, 2011
So we left off with Important/Urgent and I just want to mention that what is important and urgent to someone else may be of little consequence to you. What’s the phrase, A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part. So true. Of course know when and with whom to pick your battles, right? I’ve saved these heavyweights for last. Enjoy. Or not. 7. Strategic. In theory, strategy or strategic plan means looking out in the distance and setting your goals. That’s gone. Strategic is now important on steroids. Simply when it’s spoken by a machine.
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!
Instructional Techniques – Quick Takes – 1
MARCH 17, 2011
Here’s what I did. Oh and caveats. good instructor/leader/teacher with a bit of theater or ham, will enjoy the best results. Yes, and this works with small (up to 10 or so) adult learners for beyond that it gets too cumbersome and potentially sucks up too much time. Setting up these parameters eliminates books that demand too much interpretation (so long Dr. Suess).
TITHING FOR TEACHERS: FOR A LEGACY OF EXCELLENCE, A LIFETIME OF TANGIBLE THANKS
MAY 7, 2012
This is National Teacher Appreciation Week, an opportunity to celebrate great teachers. While attention is focused let me float an outrageous idea. Though I don’t have the workings of this proposal completely flushed out I hope to instigate a dialogue and let you continue the conversation. believe teachers are underpaid. And underappreciated. Let me back up a sec: What brought this top of mind are commercials currently airing (and somewhat self-aggrandizing) for the energy industry. Not to the school or district—but directly. Henry Adams) would be a paradigm for the nation. That’s the plan.
Baking the Cookies: Hiring Learning Consultants to be Successful
MAY 17, 2011
So many words have been written about dysfunctional organizations, if weighed would easily capsize…oh, say an aircraft carrier. Those who work in cubicles are often victims of enterprises that are so inefficient and in some cases borderline dysfunctional it’s stunning anything of value is created. If you want to smell the enticing aroma of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, then follow the directions on the box. She believes the functions have been clearly defined and deliverables understood by all. And never reviews the work product again. Too often that’s not the case.
The $125,000 Teacher – And Corporate Counterpart
MARCH 15, 2011
This past Sunday 60 minutes featured a story that no doubt will contribute to the warm dialogues concerning the public schools, teacher unionism and tenure. [link]. The Charter School – TEP, The Equity Project – makes the case that paying teachers a substantial salary, somewhat on par with (my words here) what a high level Instructional Designer or Learning & Development leader earns, will improve student test results. Or what we would call improved performance and employee effectiveness. Few of them have had good experiences in school. Should there be a. Learning
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.
WHEN YOUR LEARNERS ARE ENGINEERS… BETTER KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
OCTOBER 30, 2012
It can’t be a secret that stereotypes are often well proven by personal experience. And in my many years building learning, whether facilitated instruction or elearning it’s a cardinal rule that instructional designers need to know many aspects of their target learner’s personality traits. One, and maybe the most important metric, is their profession. perfectionists. creative within their field.
Getting Closer to Bond, James Bond « Wonderful Brain
APRIL 3, 2011
I don't believe it's a secret that information design is gaining traction in the learning world. With so many form factors from smartphones to oversize touch screen computers – and now the iPad, revolution/revelation how we handle data
Your Inner Critic – Cueing up What You Know
JANUARY 6, 2011
Reading an article from the Behance titled “Why Your Inner Critic is Your Best Friend I was intrigued for a few reasons. As the author Mark McGuiness scribes, the inner critic has gotten a bad wrap – interrupting, interfering and disjointing our drive to move forward. We are always trying to silence it. These can be values we have set for ourselves or from others whose work challenges us.
ARTICULATE NON EST REX – 3 REASONS HIGHER ORDER LEARNING IS BEYOND THE MOAT
OCTOBER 26, 2012
For the past two months or so, I’ve been writing high profile video scripts and storyboarding in a group whose company is synonymous with the 2008 economic collapse. That they made a recovery and paid back most of their bailout money is a testament to leadership and perseverance. But I wish those same qualities extended to training, for here, little was produced that could be considered responsible online education. Like most subjective or creative ventures, it comes down to choices. You know, and accept training not education as your outcome. Low-Level Learning Cheats the Learner. Not so.
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.
WHAT I LEARNED AT CHRISTMAS
DECEMBER 19, 2011
Let me make this clear at the outset; my birth family are the tribe of the Old Testament so my father’s association with the Christmas holiday was learned from coworkers, Nat ‘King’ Cole, the tree at Rockefeller Center and New York fragrant with good cheer – often lubricated with smoky liquids around the 25 th. That is until he had grandchildren. This was of course the divine gift my wife and I delivered to him – most likely our lifetime’s crowning achievement. My dad was a typographer, a craft job a composing lines of text in metal. He was, in a word, a schmoozer. Decorating would begin.
IMPROVING PERFORMANCE | KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT SERIES WHITE PAPER
OCTOBER 10, 2011
What can we learn from the methods used to develop curriculum from the academic and corporate sides of the street? In this comparison we can draw come conclusions and discover ways to enhance the integrity of the processes and the resulting knowledge development. Click here for the Improving Performance White Paper. Comments and responses are welcome. Please respond via the blog
PLAY ME or TRADE ME
JULY 23, 2011
I’m writing this preamble dockside on a lake in Maine, early morning sunshine firing diamonds of light off the water. The temperature is mild and the bugs have yet to arrive for their fleshy feast. I’m in a good frame of mind–no curmugeonly thoughts or clever bon mots at the ready. All is tranquil. point this out as so you’ll know there is no overarching agenda, no negativity anywhere in the vicinity of the words that follow. suppose this taxonomy is true of many people and I’ll bet—in an unscientific survey—more typical among consultants than many other groups.
Gadgets You Can Get Rid Of – and Pile Up These Outmoded Education Ideas, Too
MARCH 25, 2011
Reading Sam Grobart’s article in the NYT yesterday [link] I found it not only entertaining but pretty accurate. happen to agree with most of his calls – though I think cheesing the USB Thumb Drive could be a bit immature. Not every client, for instance will install software to see your stuff. For now, I’ll take plug and play. In schools: 1. Shred the attendance book.
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.
A Criteria for (Not) Hiring
MARCH 6, 2011
Kudos for trying to build screening tools using video and other media for selecting viable candidates. link] [Using New Tools For Screening Candidates - Ty Abernethy 's Blog, ERE.Net]. During the process the funnel gets narrower and criteria more stringent winnowing those whom you believe can not only do the job – but must also please your client, your Hiring Manager. There are few ways.
Heroes of Learning Foundation Debut « Wonderful Brain
FEBRUARY 24, 2011
For the longest time I've wanted to learn about the influencers who have changed the course or perspective of professional practice. In the world of corporate learning, for me, at least its been Roger Schank
DELIVERING IN THE 3.0 WORLD
DECEMBER 28, 2011
I’m the owner and managing director of Wonderful Brain LLC. We offer custom learning solutions, knowledge & content management and program/project professional services with enthusiastic leadership to drive or support business strategies resulting in compelling user experiences, people performance, and major profitability. via Delivering in the 3.0 World
TAMING INFORMATION OVERLOAD BEFORE IT DEVOURS
SEPTEMBER 20, 2011
Not too long ago we needed design tools like an artist’s palette demands a variety of colors; both to provide many ways to communicate both cognitively and emotionally. Now we have the technological capacity to deliver learning to anyone in the learning style to which they best respond across multiple platforms irrespective of time and geography. With the gate down learning designers can roam far and wide (and deep) to match content, to methods of communication to outcomes. The challenge is just because we can do anything doesn’t mean we have to do everything. Prepare with Clarity.
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.
Getting Close to the Ground
AUGUST 28, 2011
Notwithstanding the imperatives of cultural expectations, by the time a kids are in high school their trajectory has much been dialed in: College, training of some sort, the military, or work. There are subsets of each; the junior college to build a reputable GPA to get into a four-year school or a career that demands certification of some sort, vocational training institutes for technical knowledge and skills for local employment, or military service born of patriotism, money for college or, particularly in this economy, a lack of options. They have never owned a computer.
Instructional Techniques – Quick Takes – 2
MARCH 21, 2011
Picking up from yesterday, you’ll recall I had one unfortunate learner act as a victim for the cohort, drawing all the attention that-a-way. Whew, everyone else sighs. But no one evades as we go round the room and, if a bit more superficially, dissect each person’s book until everyone knows the method. And that’s critical because it’s from here we depart. Remember, the idea of this whole concerto is to ensure learners can get past the first right answer. What happens we you look at a problem from a completely new perspective? So we took some liberties and rewrote the story with some changes.