When PowerPoint and Adult Learning Collide

Recently I’ve facilitated several sessions on more effective ways to use PowerPoint in a training setting. The simple truth is that your PowerPoint slides, like any other element of your presentation design, should align with the fundamental principles of adult learning theory.

Adult learners like to have some sort of control over what they’re being asked to learn. So how can PowerPoint possibly support this principle?   Continue reading

C4LPT’s Top 200 Tools for Learning (2018 Edition)

I don’t know where my mind has been recently, but I seem to have missed two very important release dates: Daredevil Season 3 was apparently released by Netflix a week or two ago. Perhaps more relevant to this blog, Jane Hart’s annual list of the Top 200 Tools for Learning was released in late September. You can find the list with brief descriptions of each tool here.

I get excited to review this list each year for two reasons: 1) I’m curious how the tools I use rank in popularity across the L&D community (the list was compiled after 2,951 votes were cast from 52 different countries), and 2) I love scanning the list to see if there might be some digital tools I could add to my craft in the coming year.

This year, one thing that jumped out at me was the number of “Audience Response Tools” that are available.  Continue reading

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

How can your storytelling be more effective?

On Saturday, I attended a memorial service for my 101-year-old grandfather. The stories that my aunts and uncles and cousins shared were phenomenal. Storytelling is such a powerful means of communication, especially when you can picture what’s happening in the story.

But what happens when you aren’t quite as familiar with the subject matter or situation in the story?

In his book Brain Rules, John Medina writes: “Vision trumps all other senses… we learn and remember best through pictures, not through written or spoken words.” So how do we add the sense of sight to our storytelling?   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

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

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