What happens when instructional designers are partners, not order takers?

When a long-time friend and I decided to leave the safety and comfort of our respective jobs to start our own instructional design company, Endurance Learning, we made a conscious decision that we were going to be different. We didn’t simply want to bring our clients’ initial ideas to life, we wanted to make sure our clients ended up with the best learning experience possible.

It was a nice theory. In reality, it proved to be a risky proposition. After all, pushing back on a client could mean that they take their training project (and their budget) to someone else who will do exactly as they say.

Recently, Michelin presented our Endurance Learning team with their Dealer Experience Partner Award. As he presented this award, Tim Cunningham, Michelin’s Director of Customer Training and Development, cited our ability to be a partner with his team and to push back as necessary as some of the reasons he found our instructional design contributions to his team so valuable.

Endurance Learning receiving Partner Award

Following are four takeaways from our experiences with Michelin that could be applied by instructional designers everywhere – whether you’re internal to the organization or coming to work on a project from outside the organization.   Continue reading

Is Kirkpatrick’s Training Evaluation Model Really Kirkpatrick’s?

A week or so ago, Shannon Tipton posted a link to this article on the Learning Rebels Facebook page: Donald Kirkpatrick was NOT the Originator of the Four-Level Model of Learning Evaluation.

It’s interesting food for thought and I encourage you to read the article in its entirety. The bottom line of the article is that Donald Kirkpatrick based his 4-level training evaluation model on the work of someone else, but save for one article written many, many years ago, he never credited the other individual.

At the end, the article’s author, Will Thalheimer (who does an amazing job debunking common learning myths), asks: Knowing now that this model is not an original thought or work product, what should workplace learning professionals do when referring to this model? What’s ethical?

Personally, I don’t think I’ll change how I talk about the model all that much, but I do wonder what the bigger point of this seemingly academic argument could be.   Continue reading

My Top 10 Tools for Workplace Learning

Each year, Jane Hart at the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT) compiles a list of the top 200 digital tools used for learning. She compiles this list by asking for people from across the world to submit the top 10 digital tools for learning that they use on a regular basis.

Below, you’ll find the 10 digital tools I’ve found most useful over the past year (in no particular order) as well as a link for more information if you’d like to submit your own list to C4LPT.   Continue reading

3 Principles for Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Last month I had an opportunity to write a 20-page booklet for ATD entitled PowerPoint: Your Co-facilitator.

Powerpoint Your Co-Facilitator - effective powerpoint presentations

Since then, a number of friends and colleagues have asked me to boil the booklet down into the top five or ten tips that lead to effective PowerPoint presentations. As I reflected on that question, I think there are three guiding principles that can make any PowerPoint deck better. And these principles have very little to do with conventional advice such as “bullets kill, so eliminate bullet points” or “only use three lines of text, no more than 8 words per line, and no smaller than 36 point font”. My principles have little to do with the need to hone your graphic design skills, either.   Continue reading

For and Against 12 Training Evaluation Metrics

On Monday I asked readers to share their thoughts on the most compelling of twelve training evaluation metrics. Whether you’re trying to create a case for funding for a training program you feel is essential or you’re trying to market the value of your existing professional development offerings, using qualitative and quantitative training evaluation metrics will be an important part of your argument.   Continue reading

The Best Training Metric

Training can often be a tricky thing to measure. Just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. After all, when the people who make budget decisions decide to ask what the value of your training program is, you’ll need a good answer.

With today’s blog, I’m going to try something a little different. I’d like to get your thoughts, dear reader, on the following question. Share your thoughts in the comment section. I’ll come back on Thursday summarizing all the thoughts that are contributed here and add my own thoughts as well.

The question: Which of the following is the BEST metric to measure a training programContinue reading

Six Questions to Answer when Creating a Training Program

Last week, my co-founder Tim Waxenfelter and I presented to a group of HR and training professionals at the Virginia Banker’s Association VBAConnect Conference on several topics, including how to create a training department from scratch within an organization.

As part of the overall reflection toward the end of the session, we shared a Program Development Mapping Worksheet with the attendees to help them think through some key considerations they’d want to keep in mind when creating a training program from scratch.   Continue reading

Case Study: The Impact of Training One Year After Launch

A year ago I found myself in Birmingham, AL, helping to lead a train the trainer session as part of the launch and roll-out of a new sales training program.

A year later, we’ve been able to look at the impact of training through the lens of Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation and see the results and impact on each level, including a double-digit growth in sales for those stores who have implemented this program compared to those who haven’t.   Continue reading