Spark Your Interest

How to identify a good instructional designer

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In the last post, we made the case for why instructional design matters. We believe that designing good instruction for learning requires a unique set of skills and the reality is (as with any profession) there are good ones and not so good ones. When you are looking for an instructional designer, especially to build your online course, here are some things you should look for: Good ( needs) analysis skills – they ask questions about the outcome and challenge you on the creation of the course.

What does travel teach us about learning?

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I’ve recently returned from a trip to Greece and thought it would be fun to reflect on what I’ve learned from travel that I could apply to training or learning. Don’t rely solely on technology. We had the worst GPS experiences on this trip.

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The role of instructional designer in social/informal learning

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One of the quandaries that instructional designers have been struggling with, is their role (if any) in informal or social learning. First of all, what exactly is informal and social learning?

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Performance equation

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When building your training solutions, it’s really important that you consider how your target audience is going to incorporate this new knowledge or skill into their practice, task or work. Whether it’s online or offline (or both!),

2018 Customer Training Goals

Are your customer training goals actually achievable? Or will they be cast aside as your team gets caught up in their daily tasks? If you’re not sure, this guide can help.

The nature of e-learning in Australia

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This post is written by Ryan Tracey. The young nation of Australia has a rich history in e-learning. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and so in 1951 the School of the Air was launched to educate children dispersed across the outback.

Design Confusion

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Design. The word has such lofty connotations. You create. You make. You construct. You model. You build. You design. I’m a designer. An instructional designer. I design instruction. Seems pretty simple, right? Well, it used to be, but it’s become a bit more muddy these days. At least to me.

Learning to learn | Learning to think

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I’ve seen a few articles around the topic “Learning to Learn” recently: https://hbr.org/2015/06/improve-your-ability-to-learn. link]. link]. It would seem that learning to learn is a skill that is in demand. But (and this could be a wild generalization), I wonder how well we as a society teach learning. I’m not talking about learning styles, or generational preferences. I’m talking more about process than content.

e-learning for social programs and community initiatives

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There are a lot of causes or issues in the world and we often see wonderful websites or resources that are beautifully presented to provide information related to a particular need. As an instructional designer, I often find myself identifying that a form of training or instruction could enhance a campaign or website and increase the likelihood of long term behaviour change.

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.

“T-shaped” instructional design process

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(Not so) Recently I commented on Twitter about my approach to professional development this year and Steve Flowers (@xpconcept) commented that it made sense in a broader application to instructional design.

Designing a learning experience, applying #UX to instructional design #LX

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Many of us have heard of “user experience” or UX , but how many of us think about the “learner experience” or LX ? We’ve looked at (ranted?) about the confusion between e-learning design and web design. We’ve looked at some shared goals between product design (and management) and instructional design. Let’s look at how instructional designers might learn from user experience (UX) designers.

Why Instructional Design matters

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In the first post of this series , I wrote about my observations of blurring the lines between web design and elearning, as well as the obsession with beauty over useful. In this post, I’ll explore what the differences between the web design and instructional/e-learning design. They are different, but closely associated, design approaches. So, the closing question at the end of the previous post was “does instructional design matter”? I’m going to declare my bias right up front.

#BCTECH Summit – an instructional designer’s perspective

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Last week I attended the #BCTECHSummit and one of the things I was interested in finding out was how companies were innovating around technology and training. BCIC wrote a nice blog post highlighting some of the cool things about our tech scene. And of course if I could be a hometown type of cheerleader, well I was happy to do that too. Here’s my “trip report”… Overall, I was so excited to see such a variety of tech-related solutions: Agritech. Healthtech.

State of the Front-Line Manager

It's no secret that front-line managers are essential to your organization's success. They form the base of your leadership development funnel and, most likely, account for over half of all your organization's leaders. Improving how front-line managers perform yields mouthwatering increases in how individual contributors perform.

“T-shaped” instructional design process

Spark Your Interest

(Not so) Recently I commented on Twitter about my approach to professional development this year and Steve Flowers (@xpconcept) commented that it made sense in a broader application to instructional design.

Instructional Designer’s Mindset

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I was going to call this post the “curse” of the mindset of the instructional designer, as many of us go through life seeing places where people could really use our help and sometimes we can’t stop. But, in reality it isn’t a curse. It’s a gift! An instructional designer mindset means: You seek to clarify what the intended audience supposed to DO and HOW are they supposed to do it. You identify that there are conditions that may impede learning and/or remembering.

The nature of e-learning in Australia

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This post is written by Ryan Tracey. The young nation of Australia has a rich history in e-learning. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and so in 1951 the School of the Air was launched to educate children dispersed across the outback.

Think like a product manager

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Instructional designers create instructional or training products. Whether we like it or not, product design and product management is our industrial cousin. How so? We produce a “thing” that others choose to use/buy or not.

Content Planning Map: A Template for Training Teams

Are you delivering disjointed feature-based training? Rather than looking at small tasks, focus training content on goals that you want your students to achieve. Download the template to learn how!

e-learning for … everyone?

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Recently I was interviewed for Slaw.ca , Canada’s online legal magazine: e-Learning for Lawyers, explained. e-Learning for Legal Organizations . These articles came out of a discussion with Natasha Chetty of [link]. Bellweather provides strategic planning, business development, reputation management and training services to professional service firms and related organizations.

Wearables and xAPI

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If you read my blog, you’ll know I’ve done a series of posts on wearables: Part 1: Wearables – how do they impact learning? Part 2: Wearables and behaviour change. Part 3: Wearables in manufacturing. Part 4: Wearables in customer service. Part 5: Wearables and knowledge workers. These have mostly focused on the tracking/monitoring aspects, less on the content delivery side (from devices like: Oculus Rift , Google Glass , Hololens , etc).

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Synthesize, don’t polarize

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I saw a tweet quite awhile back that was said something like “smart societies don’t polarize, they synthesize” , which I thought could be applied to many things. Take the learning industry for an example. There can be some times when it feels polarizing. If you deliver courses you are a luddite who is a throwback to the 20th century. Or, if you use rapid e-learning tools, you are responsible for the creation of bad e-learning and ruining the industry.

Wearables and knowledge workers. A perfect match for learning?

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This is another installment in the series about using wearables to provide training/education. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. This post will focus on knowledge workers. In previous posts, there was a greater emphasis on using wearables for groups of employees, in this post the focus will shift to how individual employees might be able to harness the power of wearables to support their learning and performance. What makes knowledge workers different?

The Secret to Getting Learning Results May Not Be What You Think

Do you struggle to achieve measurable results with your learning solutions? If so, you’re not alone. According to CEB, traditional training only creates 37% learning transfer. This guide explores the causes of poor transfer and concrete steps to achieving better outcomes.

What does Citizen Science have to do with instructional design?

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I’m not a scientist, but I am curious person. I am the type who reads voraciously, watches documentaries and nature shows and is amazed at the ingenuity of innovators who find solutions to both big and small things. Often sharing with people: “did you hear/read about …” and then rattle off the interesting discovery I found (usually via Twitter). Today, I saw this article tweeted: [link] and immediately clicked through.

“Training for Good”

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There’s a lot of focus in the L&D world on corporate applications of training or elearning. Which is understandable, but it would seem that the not-for-profit organizations are underserved and under-represented.

Other Training Debt

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I’ve written before about “ Training Debt “, based off: [link] and. link] and. [link]. Here are some other ways that training debt might hurt an organization or a cause. Customer Training Debt.

Wearables in manufacturing training situations

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This is part 3 of my series exploring wearables in training and development. In part 1 I talked about the angle that I’m most interested in: wearables providing a trigger, feedback and data for learning and performance. In part 2 , I explored it a bit further, making connections to self-reporting components, affective aspects and behaviour change.

The Essential Template for Your Customer Training Strategy

Looking to build your customer training strategy? The process can be overwhelming, if you don’t have a set plan from the start. This template can help.

When do you need a “course” (and not something else)?

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There are times when it seems that when training is suggested, it always means “a course” In North America, a course means a single instance of programmed instruction (an e-learning module, a 2 day workshop). It may have different connotations elsewhere (in the UK, it can mean a series of related workshops/events). But many training needs are put in a “course” format unnecessarily.

How to get the most out of your instructional designer

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(or how to be a good “client”). We recently wrote a post about what makes a good instructional designer , and a great instructional designer is not the only factor in a successful working relationship. We believe it should be a mutually beneficial relationship, so here are some things that YOU as a client can consider when procuring e-learning or instructional design services and getting the most of our your instructional designer.

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Reflections on DevLearn 2014

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Having returned from my first ever DevLearn, it seemed appropriate to capture some rambling reflections and share them. As with any large conference there are some ups and downs, and for those of you considering attending a DevLearn in the future, here are a few of my main take-aways (and pieces of advice for the future). Twitter and my PLN made it a much less intimidating affair than if I went “cold”. Heck, I even had a roommate lined up ahead of time.

The Talent Question

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One of the common things heard at the recent #BCTECH summit was the cry from organizations for more talent. The government responded with coding in schools and investment in post-secondary facilities (let’s build more talent) and relaxed immigration (let’s buy more talent). One aspect I wanted to explore is the third element – organizations investing in talent development (let’s shape more talent).

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Living up to the Promise of eLearning: Closing the Learning-Doing Gap

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.

Designing a “Learning Journey” #LX

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One of the most useful tools that we instructional designers can borrow from #UX is the Customer Journey map. After we’ve confirmed that this training should exist (a la Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping), we should remember that learning is not an event, but a journey.

Are you Incurring Training Debt?

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I recently read this post about “ HR Debt “, which I strongly encourage you to read. Most startup founders are familiar with the idea of technical debt , whereby poor system design or coding builds problems over time and makes it hard to improve a piece of software. If you don’t clean up and refactor as you build, you’re left with a clunky mess that no one can (or wants to) fix. The same thing happens if you hack your way through hiring and management. I call this HR Debt.

Wearables – how do they impact learning?

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There’s a fair bit of hype around wearables – smart watches, bands, rings , belts (!) and the list could go on. As a trend, it’s still a few years from actual impact (according to the Gartner Hype Cycle ). I am curious about the possibilities for application to training or learning situations. So far, we have naturally gravitated towards examples like Google Glass or Oculus Rift, which hold potential for delivering instant information or training.

Canada’s learning technologies are HOT!

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Most of what I see around learning and technology (especially as it relates to Canada) is focused on MOOCs (for lots of news and commentary, Stephen Downes is a must read). But, there seems to be less coverage on learning technologies or products/services focused on the corporate markets.

Aligning Customer Training With Certifications

Want to deliver a cohesive customer training certification program? From strategy to systems to job functions, it's time for us to reassess how learning and certifications are delivered together. Download the guide to see how!