Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Best Learning Design Method is the One You Use

This post was originally published on the Daily Mindflash blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

Designing eLearning courses is a challenge, and the challenge just begins with the “e” in eLearning. There is the small matter of designing learning, which involves determining a useful need, writing objectives that add value, designing learning objectives that help learners change behavior or otherwise improve performance, delivering the training, and then evaluating whether the training worked as intended.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

A Better (Scalable) Way to Provide Employee Development

Understandably, learning and development leaders struggle with how to provide their organizations with all (over even much) of the development opportunities that employees expect….especially for the so-called Gen-Y, whose expectations of career development is out-of-whack with what organization are providing.
"Gimme Development"

More than 77 percent of pending 2013 graduates expect their first employer to provide formal training, but only 48 percent of 2011 and 2012 graduates report having received it in their first job, according to the April “Accenture 2013 College Graduate Employment Survey.”
I don't think organizations should struggle with this. In fact, I don't think organizations should provide most of the development that people "expect." Look at it this way: do you really think you will ever have the time or resources to create development programs beyond specific job skills? In case you had to pause to think about it, the answer is, "No."

Even if you had the budget, the needs analysis on that one would be a…well, let's just say it would be difficult. Not only would such a needs analysis take at least months, if don't properly, but the needs are a moving target. What someone needs today is not what they need tomorrow. Good luck keeping up with that.

I suggest you look at it a different way. Enable people to create their own development plan. You just give people a development budget at work and let them spend it anyway they like. And just get out of their way. Give people $2000 per year to spend on school, books, classes, seminars, conferences, or anything else related to some growth opportunity. Your high performers will eat it up. Your low performers will not likely even know this opportunity exists. Tell your managers to pay attention to those who put these expenses through for approval. I bet they are the ones who will shine.

Stop trying to determine what other people want to need. Let them decided for themselves. Just give them an opportunity.

What do you think? Do you think this would work in your organization? Why or why not?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Stanford Study Suggests Exercises First, Lecture Second

I found this study fascinating. It shows what "real" flipped classrooms could look like. The study found that when learners were given a chance to engage in a hands-on project before reading, watching a video, or attending a lecture, "student performance improved substantially." 
Stanford School of Education
"Our results suggest that students are better prepared to understand a theory after first exploring by themselves, and that tangible user interfaces are particularly well-suited for that purpose," said Bertrand Schneider, a GSE graduate student who led the research.
Of course the jury is out whether such a method is generalizable to other topics and settings, but I believe there are many subjects for which this could work. Software training for one. And any other subject in which a task is performed.

So the next time you design a learning experience, think about putting that exercise, activity, or assignment first. Then get into presenting the topic after.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to Use eLearning Quizzes Effectively

This post was originally published on the Daily Mindflash blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

Most of us have been through an eLearning course and completed a simple multiple choice quiz that seemed pointless and a waste of time. These poorly developed assessments can reduce the credibility of our otherwise well-designed eLearning courses. But not to worry, there are ways in which you can ensure that your assessments actually enhance the effectiveness of your courses.

Here are four ways to create effective eLearning course quizzes.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

CEOs Can Use MOOCs to Align and Engage

This is a thought provoking video interview (and headline) with Udemy's Dennis Yang about how chief learning officers can implement massive open online courses (MOOCs) into enterprise learning programs. My point of view on this is that MOOCs are an excellent (and doable) way for CEOs to increase engagement with employees at all levels of the organization, while teaching and communicating what he/she is finding important about the business.

How many of you have worked closely enough with a CEO or senior level executive who reads a book or an article and wants everyone else to read it too. The exec buys a copy for everyone and says, "We all need to read this book and put it into action." Most often no action comes of it. It's likely few people actually read it. And in an organization of thousands of people, only a few get a copy.

What if a CEO could lead a 6 week asynchronous course with readings, discussions, projects, etc? The CEO could reach an entire organization of thousands on an important topic if strategic important to the business. What better way for a CEO to get everyone on the same page then with a MOOC? What better way for CEO to engage employees all over the world in discussions on targeted topics?

Forget what CLOs can do with MOOCs. What can CEOs do with MOOCs?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

To Improve Your eLearning Courses, Take Action (or Not) On Learner Feedback

This post was originally published on the Daily Mindflash blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

You have just collected the training survey data for your latest eLearning course. As you look through the scores and comments, you notice some positive results, some negative results, and even those that look obviously like the learner just went through the motions on the form. Even though many learning professionals discount training survey results, these surveys contain useful data that can help learning professionals continuously improve their courses.

I thought I would share with you some ideas for how you can make use of your survey data to continuously improve your courses.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why Sustaining Discipline Is Key to Manager Development

This post was originally published on the Human Capitalist blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

One problem that most learning professionals encounter is how to make sure people apply what they learned in class to improve job performance. In fact, the concept of transfer of training exists entirely to solve this problem. And at the root of this problem is the belief that people forget much of what they learn soon after a training class. However, such a blanket statement, that people forget much of what they learn, has been debunked.

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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

One Easy Way to Help Subject Matter Experts Produce E-Learning That Works

This post was originally published on the Daily Mindflash blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

Yes. It is true that Mindflash makes it a ton easier to develop, publish, and distribute e-learning courses. In fact, the way Mindflash is designed, you can provide access to subject matter experts (product managers, for example) in your organization, and they can publish important content in the form of e-learning. This is great because this strategy busts the limitation on centralized learning design functions that cannot produce enough content to keep up with the demand for learning content.

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Monday, July 1, 2013

Let's Review: Five Most Popular Posts in June 2013

Here are the five most popular posts on the LXDesigner Blog in June 2013. It includes mostly new stuff, but also an oldie…..from 2011.

Sure, social learning is a hot topic in learning and development, but getting people to participation is tough. This post explores some ideas and a research basis for increasing participation in social learning.

Just a rambling post on how a simple phrase can have the opposite affect of its intention. 

According to a social theory of learning, we learn through an interplay between participation in conversations with others and reification (or the creation of concrete objects or resources derived from participation in conversations). Since performance support is a critical part of providing people the resources they need to do their jobs, this post explores the idea that performance support can dynamically occur using enterprise social networks.

This one is interesting because I original published this blog post in December 2011. Hey, what can I say, it was the fifth most popularly viewed post in June 2013. One of the things I struggle with in my work is staying focused. I like to chasing all kinds of new ideas, which has it moments. However, most of the time, it is important to narrowly focus on just a few topics and really get after them. This post shares with you some ways I have experimented with defining themes for days of the focus based on the idea that if I have a theme, I would focus on that topic. I draw from examples from Pete Carroll and Jack Dorsey.

Creating quality audio for your e-learning courses is easier than ever, but that does not mean you should not take it seriously. High quality audio is one of the most important aspects of e-learning. Learners will judge your course based heavily on the quality of your audio. In other words, bad audio, bad course. Here are some tips for creating high quality audio.