Integrity of Interactions

It’s my favorite time of year! Let’s kick it off with another scary story.

You wake up confused. The sliver of twilight through the window indicates it could be early morning or late evening. How long have you been asleep? Continue reading

If the words we use matter so much, perhaps we need to be bilingual.

Is it a “learning experience” or a “training session”? Are they “goals” or “learning objectives”?

A few days ago, a non-L&D friend of mine was telling me about a company newsletter she had to release and an internal L&D person insisted that she use the term “learning” instead of “training”.

“What does the even mean? People understand ‘training’.”

She was right. This whole idea that we want learning to be a lifelong experience and that “training” represents an event, is a concept that gets a lot of mileage within L&D circles, but there are very few other people who actually care about this.  Continue reading

Interactive Lectures using Google Docs

Technology has come a long way since I was in college. When I attended class, I scribbled poorly written notes in my spiral notebook which I later compared with classmates in a study group while we crammed for tests. Study groups were vital for me to discover anything I missed and an opportunity to ask clarifying questions. It wasn’t that long ago, but times have changed. Continue reading

Mixing Up Interactions

My youngest is learning to read. She is in a stage that Montessori teachers call the sensitive period which involves concentration, a need for accomplishment, and tear-filled breakdowns – sometimes by both of us. When my oldest was learning to read, we ran through our nightly sight-word drills exactly as the syllabus outlined. It was the exact same routine every night, and now my oldest is an excellent independent reader at 7 years old. However, I have three more years of instructional design experience since teaching my oldest to read, and I realized there is something missing in the way I ran site word drills the first time. Continue reading

5 Ideas to Get Participants Exploring Your Content Before You Begin Speaking

Over the weekend I walked to the playground with my children and as they charged toward the play structures, I noticed that they suddenly stopped before they could reach the monkey bars and the slides. As I caught up with them, this is what I saw:

ASL

They had both found this board with instructions on how to sign each letter of the alphabet using American Sign Language, and they were trying to spell their names.

They had the entire playground to themselves and they stopped to interact with this board. It made me start to wonder: how can we capture our own learners’ curiosity in order to get them to want to interact with our content even before we begin our presentations?

Here are five ideas:  Continue reading

Replacing PowerPoint with Play-Doh

“I’m sorry. Can you say that again? You want to use WHAT when we teach the technical aspect of the content?”

“Play-Doh.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought you said. And you want grown adults, some of them in their 60s and 70s, to do this?”

“Yes.”

Such was the conversation I had with my client when I proposed we swap out a technical, PowerPoint-based presentation with a hands-on activity that called for dozens of canisters of Play-Doh. I admit that, after this conversation, I grew a little more nervous. If the activity flopped, my team stood to lose a lot of credibility with this extremely important client.   Continue reading

Poll Everywhere Leaderboard Review

This week, Poll Everywhere released a new poll option with leaderboard functionality.  If you are unfamiliar with Poll Everywhere, check out this post. This week I reviewed this tool, and I am excited to share what I found.

Before I get to that, I should say that leaderboards are one of those gamification terms that I have to intentionally not roll my eyes when I hear. Continue reading

19 Sites That Can Help Your PowerPoint Slide Design

I’ll start this post by simply saying: Mike Taylor knows how to find things. He’s constantly posting articles and resources on Twitter and LinkedIn that, if curated in one place, would probably serve you better than any masters program in instructional design.

This post borrows heavily from one of his sites on which he’s compiled “a collection of the best free design resources on the web.” If you have some time, I encourage you to check out his site.

Sometimes having too many choices can be overwhelming, so I’ve narrowed his resources down into the following list of 19 resources that may be helpful if you’re specifically looking for new places to find stock photos, fonts or icons.   Continue reading