Making Your LMS More Valuable For Your Employees

If you’re anything like I am, you’ve tried to bring people to your LMS on several occasions, adding courses that your data suggests are needs for your organization. For all the promise that online learning holds – with its 24/7 access, no-need-to-travel-for-training – many organizations continue to struggle to bring their employees to their online learning platform.

Having worked with several organizations that have invested significantly in online learning, there seem to be three letters often missing from resources uploaded to an LMS.

Those three letters are: Continue reading

Why does it matter if people in your organization don’t like to lead training sessions?

There are a lot of reasons why someone may not like being asked to train others in your organization.

Perhaps they’re busy and don’t have time for “one more thing.” Maybe they have anxiety around speaking in front of others, especially their peers. Perhaps they feel like they’re not an expert, or worse, they suffer from a touch of “Imposter Syndrome“.

Whether or not they like to do presentations at work, it is essential that high performers have an opportunity to share their expertise. In his book The Leadership Engine, Noel Tichy writes, “Jesus, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. all… had strong ideas, values, energy, and edge, but without disciples to spread their mission, both during their lifetimes and after their deaths, their legacies would have been short-lived.”

Organizations need disciples to buy in to their mission and carry out the myriad tasks that keep the organization running. To do this, organizations need people who will embrace training others. How can we set people up for success every time they present, and perhaps help people across the organization embrace the opportunity when they’re called upon to train others?   Continue reading

Six Ways to Build a Better Training Role Play

Many people find the six dirtiest words in a training setting to be: “Now let’s do a role play!”

There are many reasons people don’t like role play, and many of those reasons are legitimate. Often people don’t have enough context to carry on an effective scenario. Often the role play arrives at a happily-ever-after sort of conclusion that is neat and easy to wrap up in a training setting, but not actually realistic at all. Often people don’t like getting up in front of all their colleagues… and then receive feedback.

There’s gotta be a better way.   Continue reading

Case Study: Continuing the Learning after a Conference Session

Last fall I had an opportunity to deliver a pair of presentation skills sessions at the Arkansas Early Childhood Association Annual Conference in Little Rock. Everyone I encountered during the few days that I was in Arkansas showed me an amazing time, the session participants were engaged throughout, and then I got on a plane and returned home. What did the participants do with the concepts I’d taught?

Recently, I exchanged a few messages with one of the conference organizers – Michelle Pounds – and was amazed to hear how they had extended the learning from my sessions. It can serve as a model for how organizations can get the most out of their investment in sending people to a conference, maximizing the possibility that the learning is applied in the real world. Following is a brief description of what Michelle and her team did to keep the learning going, written in Michelle’s words:   Continue reading

Teaching Style: What Would Jesus Do?

Last week I was sitting in church and I was struck by how the homily held my attention from start to finish. In the homily, the speaker compared the teaching style of Jesus to other rabbis and holy men of his day.

As I listened, I grabbed a pen and found a donation envelope in the back of the pew in order to jot down a few notes. I knew this homily was blog-worthy.

Whether you believe Jesus was The Messiah, just another prophet, just some guy who lived two thousand years ago or just some character made up in a book that a lot of other people find important, the fact is that the teaching style that was attributed to him was very, very different than what was considered normal.

There’s a lot of value for learning and development professionals to take a look around at how they apply their craft and ask: what would Jesus do?   Continue reading

Evolution of an eLearning Designer

Early in my instructional design career, I developed loose structure I followed for most of my instructor-led training. Most training I developed had the same basic structure:

  1. Short lecture (two to five minutes)
  2. Activity
  3. Short assessment
  4. Repeat for all objectives
  5. Final Assessment

Evolution of In-Person Structure

As I grew in my field I learned that this structure missed a lot of opportunities for engagement Continue reading

Crowdsourcing Training Trivia

Crowd Sourcing

This coming Thursday I’ll be serving as the emcee for the Association of Talent Development Puget Sound (ATDps) chapter’s annual conference. As I was talking over this opportunity with a colleague, she asked what I’d be doing to engage the audience from the beginning.

One idea that came to me is that we could get the audience engaged before the session even begins. This is where, dear reader, I need some help from you today.   Continue reading

Want your learners to feel like they hit the lottery? You’ve got to trust them.

Lottery Winner

Over the past few years, I’ve been facilitating fewer training programs myself and I’ve been designing a lot more training lesson plans for other people to deliver. For many of my clients, the learner-centered design style that I incorporate into each lesson plan makes them feel uncomfortable.

One of my favorite clients always uses the metaphor of correcting a golf swing as a way to describe what his staff seems to be going through. When you adjust your golf swing, it’s initially uncomfortable. It feels funny. Your game may even get worse for the first few weeks. In the end, however, your game can improve exponentially… if you don’t revert back to old habits and your old swing.   Continue reading