What’s most important when you need to take a “Mobile-first” instructional design approach?

Last week I was talking with a team in Uganda to scope out an elearning project.

“Tell me about the audience. Do they have computers and reliable Internet at home? Would they take the courses in an office with an Internet connection?”

“Actually,” the response came, “some would gather around a computer in an office, but many others would probably need to use their smartphones.”

I paused. For whatever reason, I hadn’t anticipated this response.

Our client asked: “So what implications does that have for the design of this project?”  Continue reading

Learning Project Planning

At Endurance Learning, we are busy planning for 2019 as we lay out our project schedules. I like to dig into project lifecycles before we kick-off each project so that I can understand the scope, where to assign resources, and what our availability looks like over the next few months. The beginning of the year is a great time to do some planning, let’s look at a few ways project tips and calls to action that can keep you and your team on-track for the new year. Continue reading

“Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.”

Recently I took my kids to The Strong National Museum of Play. As we walked through the seemingly endless interactive exhibits, I looked up to find this sign:

Play

There may not be any hard science behind this statement, but we don’t always need empirically-tested data to be inspired by an idea. When it’s integrated into a learning experience with intention, play isn’t just a gimmick. Play can engage participants’ hearts and minds which in turn can capture their attention and can allow them to explore and navigate complex concepts on their own terms.

Here are a handful of ideas to bring play into your next session. Continue reading

The One Word L&D Resolution (2019 Edition)

“Start a blog” was my New Year’s Resolution for 2012. Almost 7 years and 650 posts later, I’m still here (full disclosure: my colleague Heather Snyder has written a good portion of those 650 posts since she joined Endurance Learning in mid-2017).

For the past six years, I’ve shared a one-word resolution that I’ve chosen to guide me personally and professionally in the new year.

In 2013 it was momentum as I pondered the most critical element to successful learning programs. In 2014 it was possibility as I pondered the idea of launching my own company. In 2015 it was execution. In 2016 it was risk. In 2017 it was ruthless as I knew there were some tough decisions I needed to make and my prioritization was going to need to be ruthless. For 2018 I chose joy, and I was joined by my colleagues Heather (who chose the word growth) and Tim (who chose the word focus).

Heading into 2019, my head is wrapped around the word Continue reading

In whom should we be investing when our training funds are limited?

A while back I connected with blog reader Ashley Dietrick, a Learning & Development Facilitator with Lawley. When we discussed the topics about which L&D professionals might be interested in reading, she mentioned that since resources are always tight, an article about smarter ways to invest limited funds could be of interest.

I’d like to thank Ashley for taking the time to share her thoughts on the subject with our Train Like A Champion audience. Following are Ashley’s thoughts: Continue reading

Wrapping Things Up

It’s the end of the year and deadlines are piling up! There is a lot to wrap up this time of year, and I am not just talking about presents. Many folks take holiday away from work to spend time with family during the month of December which also seems to coincide with many end-of-year project deadlines. What happens when our teams just don’t have the bandwidth to meet our year-end goals?

There are several ways to address bandwidth needs, but one of the cheapest ways is to find ways to optimize work processes. At Endurance Learning, we have a lot of little hacks to streamlineour processes. Let’s take a look at a few tools we have developed to make yourwork a little easier.

Templates

Written documentation is required for many projects. Manuals, performance support, and several other document types tend to have several contributors who all come to the project with their own preferences and style. To reduce editing time at the end of your project, start with a style guideeveryone can agree to when your project begins.

Storyboarding is one of my favorite ways to start a project. It helps me wrap my head around the design of my project, and it gives other a visual representation of all of the crazy stuff I think I can make happen in a training. This process is not limited to eLearning development, in fact, here is a great template you can use to storyboard your next PowerPoint presentation.

Checklists

I love a good PowerPoint deck, especially one that complements the presentation. I view PowerPoint development as an art form. Just like any other tool, you should know how to use it properly before turning it on. There are dozens of PowerPoint classes that can make you efficient in the program, but if you short on time and resources, that may not be an option for you. Instead, take a look at this easy PowerPointChecklist and let it guide you through your next presentation development.

Delivering a presentation requires a lot of preparation. I suffer from glossophobia and need to be extremely organized in order to feel confident in front of participants. To guide me through this process, I use our presentation skills checklist as a practice facilitating all of my presentations.

What tools do you use to optimize the work on your team when you are under deadlines? Let’s keep this conversation going in the comments below!

Making Your PowerPoint Slides Effective

I’m not a very good graphic designer, but even I know that PowerPoint slides should look better than this:

Bad Example 1

and this:

Bad Example 2

Knowing the slides should be better than these, and actually being able to put together better slides are two different things.

Over the past year, I’ve written a handful of posts about how to design more effective slide decks, and today I’m putting them all in one place. I invite you to bookmark this page so that you can come back to it each time you’re looking to put together a more effective slide deck of your own. Continue reading

Not All Holiday Parties Have to Be Ugly

It is that time of year again. The time where we conservatively let loose in front of our co-workers and talk about something other than work at the annual holiday party. I enjoy holiday parties, as long as they are not awkward or forced. Just like training, if these parties are well thought out and curated, they can be really fun. Similarly, if they are poorly planned, they are awkward. Continue reading

After certificates have been handed out, how does training continue to live?

I’m currently working with a client who needs to deliver the same online training program to two different audiences. The first audience is located in their US-based headquarters, the second audience is located in regional offices around the world.

The headquarters has a thriving community of practice for training alumni that meets regularly, in-person. Furthermore, the headquarters has a critical mass of people in this role who can see each other in the break room, daily meetings, the hallway or walking by one another’s desks for informal conversations about challenges and key learnings.

People in regional offices are a little more isolated when it comes to ongoing opportunities for informal learning that can reinforce the initial training. So what are regional and remote staff to do?

Online Communities of Practice

Technology offers a lot of opportunities to shrink the distance between people and allow for greater communication, yet the ability to seed an active online community of practice remains elusive to many organizations. Continue reading

Storytelling for Trainers

Last week, my daughter came home from the school library with her first graphic novel. She excitedly showed me how the story moved through the speech balloons and panels. Her excitement came from the novel approach (pardon the pun) to telling a story. She recently graduated to chapter books, and I think she was missing the imagery she had grown accustomed to in her beginner books. Continue reading