From the Coleface

3 learning and development trends that will outliv

Viv Cole

As the lockdown continues without an apparent end in sight, there are three trends in L&D that have accelerated. The longer the lockdown, the more likely these are to become the new business as usual. Here are some ideas based on this week’s conversations with @MylesRunham and many others

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Five valuable benefits that the disaggregation of training risks destroying

From the Coleface

Face to face (F2F) training has sharply decreased owing to Covid. The longer that lockdowns drag on, the more that organisations will question if they ever will return to using F2F training.

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Save yourself lots of time by not reading self-help books?

From the Coleface

Over the years I’ve enjoyed/been guilty of reading many self-help books and the lockdown has been an opportunity to read several more. Chris Taylor distils the advice from hundreds of self-help books into 11 pieces of advice: Take one small step. Change your mental maps. Struggle is good.

Is the affective context model of memory true?

From the Coleface

I’ve enjoyed reading Nick Shackleton-Jones’s book “How people learn” and a subsequent talk by him. Although I like the direction that he’s trying to nudge corporate L&D in, I have a few reservations about the ‘science bit’. Whilst I agree that mainstream psychology seems to have gone down a blind alley with experiments testing recall of random things, I doubt Nick’s claim that emotion is the only factor in town when it comes to memory.

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CFO’s Guide to Building an HR Team with Limited Time, Budget and Resources

Building the ideal HR team doesn’t happen overnight—especially when CFOs have limited time, budget and resources. But our new guide can give you advice on where to start and key focus areas you need to know. Download our guide today!

What do you take away from the Game of Life?

From the Coleface

Easter holidays. A great time when we break out the board games in the Cole household. A particular favourite is The Game of Life (published by Hasbro). As a learning designer who often creates mini games for business purposes, I’m always interested in the subtext of a game – the behaviours and tactics that get rewarded with points and hence the model of how the world works that the game is implicitly teaching. 10 ways that the world works?

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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. These should be useful to both clients and vendors who are looking to make their compliance e-learning more interesting and impactful. Focus on behaviours not policies.

Five more ingredients for compliance e-learning excellence

From the Coleface

Once again I had the privilege to judge the e-learning awards (now called the Learning Technology Awards). When I last judged the compliance category two years ago I wrote Five ingredients for compliance e-learning excellence . It was great to see that many of the entries reflected these five ingredients and the general improvement in learner experience. Here are five more top tips that I can share: Do user testing.

Three ways GDPR changes life for L&D managers

From the Coleface

GDPR is one of e-learning’s hot topics in 2018. Here’s a blog that I co-wrote with Brightwave’s Head of QA on how it will affect L&D managers when they have a breathing space from getting learning to their colleagues about GDPR. link]. e-learning training

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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 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 Role of Human Resources in Workplace Safety

While it may seem obvious to say that safety is important for any company to embrace, making it a priority as an HR representative will not only be beneficial to your employees but to your bottom line too. Download this whitepaper to learn more!

Learning objectives are like metadata – useful but best left unseen

From the Coleface

An update on a post about learning objectives which attracted a healthy amount of support and debate: refinements to that position and what it means in practice for learning designers. One of the richest compilations of high quality thinking is Will Thalheimer’s.

Why the time is right for self-managed learning

From the Coleface

In 1990 Peter Senge published “ The Fifth Discipline ” , giving a compelling vision of how companies could transform into learning organisations. The ideas chime with many L&D professionals, but adoption by business has been patchy.

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?

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. Who is the buyer?

Five Reasons Leaders Invest in Language Training

Communication is the lifeforce of any company. Without it, productivity, employee happiness, and ultimately your business suffers. Investing in language learning better positions global business leaders to see gains in organizational effectiveness as a result.

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? How clear are we about what we want people to learn?

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. The exchange of ideas between e-learning and web design diminished as the e-learning industry sought to distance its public perception from the failed dotcoms.

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?

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. Knit the blend together. Use analytics.

From Surviving to Thriving: Returning to what science says about how we think, work, and learn

Speaker: Clark Quinn, Ph.D., Author and Executive Director of Quinnovation

The pandemic and associated upheavals of 2020 has led to both the need and opportunity to rethink how we think, work, and learn. Being forced to distance, we took emergency steps to build mechanisms that supported remote-learning, with an emphasis on elearning and virtual training. The consensus suggests that our existing elearning and training weren’t as well-received as we hoped. Our efforts to rely on elearning more and translate training to virtual experiences weren’t well-designed. The underlying reason is that we’re not well aligned with how our brains really work! In this session, Dr. Quinn will also go over the implications for learning and working effectively both in general and in this new era. Come see what L&D can, and should, do to help transform organizations to work smarter (and wiser).

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.

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.

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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. A beautiful metaphor, but is it true to life?

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How well do you really know your learners?

From the Coleface

It is a truth universally acknowledged in any presentation skills or business writing course that you need to get to know your audience – that way, whatever your message, you can gauge useful things like what they already know, think and feel before you jump into the delicate basis of encouraging them to unlearn some old comfortable behaviours/ knowledge and learn some new behaviours/ knowledge that will only pay off after repeated practice and a few wobbles.

The Ins and Outs of Connecting Technologies in a Modern Learning Ecosystem

Speaker: TJ Seabrooks, former CEO at Rustici Software

Have you ended up with a collection of content inputs and data outputs that might be hard to wrangle? If your organization uses multiple LMSs and has content coming from many different places, or you’re heading in this direction, this webinar is 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.

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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.” ” Content curation evolved as a digital marketing discipline to enhance search engine optimisation and then crossed over into the learning space.

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?”

Instructional design agony uncle

From the Coleface

At this year’s Learning Technologies show I’ve been invited by the eLearning Network to do a slot on ‘Ask the Expert’ about instructional design. I’ll be at stand 190 from 2-3pm on Wednesday 29 January, answering any questions you might have on instructional design.

The Pro’s Guide To Getting The Best ROI From Your New LMS

You need a Learning Management System when your courses and training programs need to be accessible online. Quickly build the perfect business case and easily determine which LMS will provide the best return on investment you need with this how-to eBook!

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.

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. After the shock had worn off, I felt a mix of elation and fear.

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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. Inspired by those awkward conversations with your boss’s boss whilst waiting for the lift which nonetheless could be full of learning potential, the University of Shamrock created Dialogomatic.

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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. Management have a problem that they don’t want to or can’t solve personally. So they give a budget to L&D.

6 Ways to Secure (More Of) a Budget for Your Customer Education Program

Whether you’re looking to kickstart or expand your customer education program, you need access to a budget. Learn how you can demonstrate the positive ROI of customer training and make the case for securing a larger budget in our latest eBook!

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? One big factor is that everyone consumes news because they think that other important people do.

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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.

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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]. e-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. So how do you sort the wheat from the chaff?

[On-Demand Webinar] The State of Customer Education: Trends and Benchmarks Report

Speaker: Sandi Lin & Linda Schwaber-Cohen

In this webinar, Skilljar CEO Sandi Lin shared learnings from Skilljar's recent study and her insights on the state of Customer Education. She dug into key findings so you can benchmark against industry trends and understand how your strategy and metrics compare.