As the decade closes, I would be remiss not to reflect on how my career has evolved over the last 10 years. I have been an instructional designer for the majority of this decade, thanks in no small part to the immense amount of resources available in the learning and development field. Continue reading
Last week I wrote about the strengths of elearning vs. instructor-led training (ILT). In the comment section, someone suggested that it would be interesting to see a third column in the comparison: virtual instructor-led training (vILT). I’m nothing if not a man of the people, so I’m giving them what they want.
Something I found interesting when I added the vILT column is that I couldn’t really come up with anything unique to vILT. Every item checked off for vILT is shared by either ILT or elearning. As I studied this more, I had to pause. While vILT by its nature is instructor-led and thus will obviously share some traits with ILT, it also has some things in common only with elearning.
There’s nothing in this chart to suggest that any one of these formal training methods is superior to either of the other two. It really comes down to the problem you’re looking to solve.
Need to deploy something rapidly across multiple countries and continents in multiple languages? Elearning may be your best bet.
Have an audience of learners that doesn’t have access to reliable Internet? More traditional classroom-based learning (ILT) may need to be your solution.
What’s missing from this chart when it comes to advantages of these three delivery methods? Is there anything unique to vILT that neither ILT nor elearning have? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section.
Microlearning is on the tip of a lot of people’s tongues at the moment and many groups are developing eLearning with a mobile focus. As we approach training with the lens of microlearning, should we use continue to use the same tools? Continue reading
Last Wednesday I was a guest on dominKnow’s Instructional Designers In Offices Drinking Coffee (IDIODC) show and we spoke about Instructor-led training (ILT) and the value it still has in today’s world of learning. During the show, we reminisced about predictions during the early 2000s that ILT would eventually be replaced by elearning and other technologies.
As we talked, there was consensus that both elearning and ILT belong in every instructional designer’s tool bag. My company has certainly had conversations with clients in which we entered the meeting assuming the best solution would be elearning, but after asking some probing questions it turned out that ILT was the best solution (and vice versa).
If your needs assessment determines that a formal training intervention is the best solution and you’re trying to decide whether you should go the elearning route or the ILT route, perhaps you’ll find the following comparison helpful:
Do you agree with the comparison? Do you see it differently? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comment section.
With Thanksgiving (in the United States) coming up this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we show gratitude to others. I definitely think there are very powerful ways that we, as trainers, can show our gratitude to our learners.
Put some effort into room set up
What the learners find when they walk into your room goes a long way to setting the tone for the session and says a lot for how you’ve prepared for them.
Make your session mean something (even if they don’t want to be there)
Sometimes people come to our sessions when they don’t want to, and sometimes they come with expectations that don’t align with what you’re planning to cover. One thing I like to do is begin sessions by simply asking people to introduce themselves and share one expectation they have for the day. If their expectation aligns with the scope of the session, great. If not, I take their out-of-scope expectation and put it into the Parking Lot so that I can talk with them in more depth during a break. Sometimes fate intervenes and allows me to cover parking lot items in the flow of conversations that emerge organically in a session as well.
Keep them engaged
One of the foundational philosophies underlying the training that my colleagues and I design is Dialogue Education. Based on Jane Vella’s work, we adhere to her 12 principles which are basically a “thank you note” for training attendees. Concepts such as ensuring a safe environment for learners to participate, working in partnership with learners, ensuring relevance of content and ensuring practice with reflection (praxis) are all key components.
Delight them with something new
Sometimes “new” is the content you’re delivering. Sometimes “new” is a model you’re sharing, a process or procedure or a new way to solve a problem. Sometimes “new” is a way for them to engage – tools like PollEverywhere and Kahoot often excite my participants so much that they want to bring it in to their own future presentations.
Celebrate their accomplishments
Assuming you’ve engaged your learners and allowed them to get involved in your session, offering opportunities to celebrate what they’ve learned and demonstrated they can do in your session is appreciation/celebration-worthy.
What’s missing? How do you appreciate and offer thanks to your learners?
There was a discussion on social media this week around the necessity of fun in training. I stared at the post for a long time and trying to decide if, in fact, fun is something that should be included in all training. I spent a lot of time thinking about this over the last 24 hours, and think this is an interesting conversation we should be having in L&D. Continue reading
The holidays are fast approaching, which means the Train Like A Champion 1-word resolution post will soon be here. Before we get to resolutions, however, we have some ideas for you in the event you find yourself with some extra funds that need to be spent before your finance team can close out the books for 2019.
Books for Your Professional Library
While you can always browse our list of must-read books for any L&D professional, a few more have come to my attention in the past year, including:
- Microlearning: Short and Sweet (Karl Kapp and Robyn Defelice)
- Interact and Engage: 50+ Activities for Virtual Training, Meetings and Webinars (Kassy Laborie and Thomas Stone)
- Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life (Allison Holzer, Sandra Spataro and Jen Grace Baron)
- The eLearning Designer’s Handbook: A Practical Guide to the eLearning Development Process for New eLearning Designers (Tim Slade)
- Digital Kindness: Being Human in a Hyper-connected World (Lauren Hug)
There are a few little gadgets that can make any trainer’s life a little more fun, including:
- A basic PowerPoint remote to advance your slides without standing behind the podium
- A fancy PowerPoint remote that does some cool tricks
- A Bluetooth/wireless speaker for playing video or music during a session
- A really good power bank to re-charge your devices when you can’t find an outlet
- A good travel backpack for your computer
- Mr. Sketch Markers (I know they’re not really an electronic gadget, but I had to sneak them into this list somehow!)
Cool Online Tools
- Snagit for screen capturing and more
- Camtasia for video editing
- Soapbox for creating your in-person training sessions in about 5 minutes
- Storyline for rapid authoring of elearning
Professional Development Opportunities
- Take an employee out for a cup of coffee and some informal coaching (formal training isn’t always the answer!)
- Join your local ATD chapter
- ATD TechKnowledge (February 5-7, 2020)
- Learning Solutions 2020 (March 31, 2020 – April 2, 2020)
- ATD 2020 International Conference and Expo (May 17-20, 2020)
What did I miss? If you have extra use-or-lose money budgeted for this year, how would you spend it?
I enjoy learning new languages. When I travel, I try to learn the native language to truly enjoy the local experience. As technology has changed my approach to this has evolved from books, audiobooks, web sites, to apps. I finally landed on Duolingo because I like the learning model.
Spaced, repetitive practice.
Every day, a green bird reminds me that I need to practice my latest language, or I am going to fall behind. I’ll be honest, this bird is a little pushy, which is exactly what I need to remember to finish my Spanish lesson when I don’t feel like it. Continue reading
Following the 2019 Dev Learn conference, Bianca Woods put together a list of questions to put your conference learning into practice. This week, our own Brian Washburn attended the ATD Core 4 Conference in Miami as a presenter and a participant. We decided to put Bianca’s recommendations into practice and see what they look like from the eyes of a participant. I virtually sat down with Brian and asked him a few questions inspired by Bianca’s recommendations. Here is what I learned. Continue reading
Have you ever wished you could reduce the number of hours (or days) it takes to come up with engaging ideas for your training sessions?This morning my company, Endurance Learning, launched an online tool that can help you generate a facilitator guide, a complete set of activities and a PowerPoint deck – all in under five minutes. The tool is called Soapbox. Here is how it works:Continue reading