5 Lessons Learned Writing Training for a Global Audience

We’ve been pretty busy over the past few years developing both instructor-led and elearning for a variety of organizations that are doing work around the world. As we’ve expanded projects with learners across the globe, we’ve learned a number of design lessons ourselves in the process.

If you happen to be working on training or learning projects with a global audience, perhaps these 5 lessons learned, as summarized by my colleagues Lauren Wescott and Erin Clarke, will help your projects move forward more smoothly.

Can you spot the difference between these two images?

Spot the difference in the photos.
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Effective Training Design Has Layers

A good lesson plan or eLearning storyboard may look linear – with one starting point and one ending point – but between the start and finish are a lot of layers. You may see an activity on your lesson plan or storyboard, but what’s beneath that activity? Is the activity built upon a solid foundation of adult learning? Is the activity directly connected to your learning outcomes?

In today’s podcast, I spend a few minutes talking about those layers and diving into the various categories of layers – or elements – that can go into a learning program to make it more engaging, effective and successful.

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3 Job Aid Design Lessons from a Beach in Hawaii

I’ve been on vacation on the Big Island of Hawaii for the past week, and as I’ve been known to do, I’m constantly on the lookout for instructional design and blog inspiration. On Monday, I had a chance to be inspired while on a snorkeling trip.

While being able to swim amongst a variety of fish in their natural habitat was pretty cool, perhaps even more cool (at least from a nerdy, instructional design perspective) was this sign that I spotted near the water.

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Leaders Assemble! Leadership in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

What kinds of serious organizational leadership concepts can be learned by watching movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)? Authors Sy Islam and Gordon Schmidt argue that there are a lot of leadership lessons to be learned. There are so many lessons, in fact, that they teamed up to write a book about the subject entitled Leaders Assemble! Leadership in the MCU.

Recently I has a chance to talk with Sy and Gordon about their book, about which characters from the MCU were the best leaders (spoiler alert: neither Iron Man nor Captain America made the cut… although there was an interesting spin off to this conversation that revolved around Thanos!) and what specific steps you can take to bring leadership through the eyes of the MCU into your organizations. Plus, there’s an ultra-nerdy trivia battle at the end of our podcast which mixes leadership as well as Marvel trivia.

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Creating a train-the-trainer lesson plan in 7 minutes

Last week I wrote a bit about Soapbox, which is an online tool that can be used to create training and skill-building lesson plans in just a few minutes. Today, I’m going to show exactly what it looks like to create a lesson plan in just a few minutes (and later in this post, you can download a digital copy of the final lesson plan).

First, here is a video that will walk you through how I developed a complete lesson outline for this train-the-trainer session in under 7 minutes.

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Mentoring: What is it and how is it different from coaching?

I recently had the pleasure of talking with Wendy Axelrod, who is an executive coach, mentor coach and author of a handful of books around mentoring. She shared her thoughts on what mentoring is, how it’s different from coaching, whether it’s appropriate for someone to mentor someone who is older or more experienced than them and what an organization may want to consider if they’re thinking of starting a mentoring program.

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How to create a training plan in under 10 minutes

Since I began writing this blog in 2012, one of the most visited and requested resources has been this lesson plan template. I find this template super helpful when I’m starting from scratch, especially when it comes to organizing my thoughts and mapping out how much time I should be spending on any given activity… and then how much time I’ll have left to cover other content after getting through any given activity.

While this lesson plan template helps keep my thoughts organized, it doesn’t save me a lot of time in the development of a lesson plan. If I (or someone on my team) wants to save some time, we’ll turn to Soapbox, which is an online tool that we created to basically map out a lesson plan for you in about 10 minutes.

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Benefits of Getting Involved With Your Local ATD Chapter

About 10 years or so ago, I decided to join my local ATD chapter so that I could connect with other training professionals in the Seattle area. Bit by bit, I grew more involved. I’d attend a monthly member meeting/workshop before work. I’d attend their conference. Eventually I had an opportunity to present at the local ATD conference, and later I began to volunteer. Through my local ATD connections, I’ve found new friends and I’ve also cultivated relationships that have led to training projects.

Recently, I had the chance to speak with Sarah Schillen (president of ATD Puget Sound in Seattle) and Gwen Navarrete Klapperich (president of ATD Hawaii) to hear their thoughts on the value of getting more involved in local ATD chapters. Give it a listen for their thoughts on the benefits of getting involved in a local ATD chapter… stay to the end to hear them go head-to-head in a tightly contested match of training trivia!

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Train-the-Trainer Program Effectiveness Research Released by The Learning Guild

Last week, The Learning Guild released a report entitled Train-the-Trainer: Evidence-based Practices, which was written by Jane Bozarth, PhD. You can download an executive summary (or you can sign up for a free membership of The Learning Guild and download the entire 29-page report) here.

If you have 30 minutes or so, I’d encourage you to give it a read. In short, if you’re going to put together a train-the-trainer program for part-time trainers around your organization (SMEs or other folks who don’t have “training” in their job title but who are pressed into service to train others from time to time), you’ll want to make sure that your train-the-trainer program is effective and is a good use of everyone’s time.

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Microlearning Basics

A few days ago I had an opportunity to speak with Robyn Defelice and Karl Kapp, authors of the book Microlearning Short and Sweet. They shared their insights on what microlearning is, what it isn’t, whether a specific time limit is appropriate in order to qualify as “microlearning”, whether microlearning saves time when it comes to training development and they named at least six distinct uses for microlearning. They wrapped the conversation up by squaring off against one another in a training trivia challenge.

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