Taking on the Unexpected

Many of us are being asked to do things that we don’t normally do. Maybe it is working from home while the dog barks at the mailman or coaching children through school while taking online meetings. If you are in the L&D space, you’ve probably been asked to convert a classroom session to in-person delivery, deliver a session via an online platform, or support others in your organization to deliver sessions online.

If you are like me, the request to help others have come in more frequently. Even RFP’s are asking that we build in coaching on their chosen tool to get the presenters comfortable with a session they’ll have to deliver. It’s a great idea! And it takes time. To help us address this hurdle we’ve started building guides for trainers that speak directly to the challenges of using these tools and maintaining what we know to be best practices for adult learning. The latest guide is the Trainer’s Guide to Microsoft Teams.

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What can trainers steal from online, k-12 instruction?

Back in March, schools abruptly closed and went online. It was a messy experience for students, teachers and parents. This fall however, many schools and teachers have done an amazing job finding new educational technologies and navigating their classes through less than ideal circumstances. As I sometimes catch myself spying on my children in school to see what online school looks like these days, I find that some teachers are using technologies I’d never thought to use (or hadn’t even heard of).

I think there might be some lessons and technologies we, in the world of learning and development, can adopt from these online school experiences. Here are two recent examples that I’ve seen my children’s teachers use.

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Troubleshooting for Trainers

Do you walk into every training development project knowing exactly what needs to happen to make it a success? If you are like me, probably not. As a junior trainer, a lot of my lessons were learned from failure and feedback. While those are wonderful ways to learn, it isn’t always ideal to put yourself or your team at risk for failure if it can be avoided. Is there a way to be proactive about troubleshooting your next training event?

Sophie Oberstein, author, coach, adjunct professor, and L&OD consultant, joins us on the Train Like You Listen podcast this week to discuss how you can find solutions to training problems.

Make sure to check out her book, Troubleshooting for Trainers, which is available October 6, 2020.

Listen using the player below. Please leave us your thoughts in the comment section or on twitter @train_champion.

Give Soapbox a Try to Change the Way You Train

Trainer’s Guides for Zoom and GoToTraining

In the spring, the whole world seemed to need to move to online meetings and virtual training, almost overnight. On April 1, we asked Train Like A Champion readers how comfortable they were delivering virtual training, and the results came back, split down the middle. Half of the respondents to the poll chose “I’m super comfortable” and the other half chose “I’m pretty shaky”.

My guess is that with practice and having virtual sessions become more of the norm, people are much more comfortable now than they were six months ago.

Just like with other tools (PowerPoint comes to mind), feeling comfortable using them, and feeling comfortable leveraging all of the features they have to use the tools for maximum impact are two different things. For that reason, my colleague Lauren Wescott, has spent time studying the most commonly used virtual platforms and has begun to generate a series of quick reference guides on how to maximize the use of the platform you may be using. The first two guides focus on Zoom and GoToTraining.

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Can Curiosity Be Taught?

Like many other parents right now, I have children at home who are learning online. While our school is doing a good job with this new approach to early childhood education, screen -time limits and other obvious factors have me playing the role of a part-time teacher to fourth and second grader. While my forte has always been training adults, I am noticing a lot of overlap in our young learners and adult learners.

One of these overlaps is curiosity.  Facilitating and training people, young or adult, to be curious is important, but is it really an outcome that can be trained and measured? On this week’s podcast, we talk to Bethany Kline from www.Rover.com about her approach to training learners how to be curious and how she applies her methods to scale innovation across an organization.

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How to Engage Learners

When it comes to how to engage learners, finding the magical formula can seem like catching a mythical creature. In theory, it is absolutely attainable, however, in practice, unexpected obstacles abound.

Speaking of rare encounters, on this week’s podcast, Brian finally meets Cara North to talk about her approach to unlocking learner engagement. During this episode, she talks about the three legged stool of engagement and why it is important not to put all of your weight on one leg, why content will always rule, and some tips and tricks to engaging learners.

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Real Cost of Instructor-Led Training

Instructor-left training costs can come in many forms. Financial costs are the traditional way in which this question is answered. “We were able to develop this training program for about $2,500.” But what’s the cost to you?

real cost of instructor-led training includes time

Just because you develop a training program in-house, doesn’t mean it was designed for “free”. Yes, your time is already budgeted and paid for, but it’s certainly not “free”.

If you didn’t have to spend so much time coming up with original activities and thinking of new ways to engage people, what else could you be doing with your time? Another way to think of it might be this: if you had an extra 4-8 hours of work time this week, how would you invest that time? Would you get one more project scratched off your to-do list? Would you shut down a bit early on Friday?

The Big Question

When someone (usually around budget season) asks: “How much does it cost to put together your training programs,” what do you tell them? Are you able to come up with a good answer? Do you know the true cost of instructor-led training?

We put this little calculator together to help determine the real cost of instructor-led training.

Cost of Training Assumptions

As you can see, our Cost of Instructor-Led Training calculator is making a few assumptions. It assumes that:

  • It takes about 8 hours of development time to put together a plan and materials for one hour of training (including background research, activity development, facilitator materials, participant materials, PowerPoint slides, etc).
  • Your labor hours are the only costs involved in training. Costs go up even further if you’re using graphic designers, purchasing off-the-shelf content or videos, printing participant materials in full color, etc.

Lower the Cost of Instructor-led Training with Soapbox

Yes, this particular training cost calculator brings Soapbox into the equation and offers an idea of how many labor hours you could save by automating some of your instructional design process, but there’s a bigger point to be made here.

The saying “time is money” is only partially true. Yes, when you’re at work, your time equates to labor hours, which have a cost to your business. Unlike money, however, your time cannot be saved. So the real question is: how do you want to spend it?

We would love to help you determine how to lower your cost of instructor-led training with Soapbox. We only need 15 minutes (we know your time is valuable!).

Are there instructional design lessons to be learned from Married At First Sight?

Perhaps I’ve been quarantined too long and have run out of “good” shows to watch, but when I recently stumbled across Married At First Sight (Season 9) on Netflix, I couldn’t resist.

As I began to watch it, I noticed something. I found myself rooting for certain people on the show. I wasn’t rooting against anyone on the show, but I definitely found myself rooting for a few of the people more than others. As I reflected on this more, I wondered if there was a lesson for us in the world of instructional design.

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Virtual Training Design Lessons from a Weekend of Wine Tasting

Last weekend I had a chance to visit several wineries in Walla Walla, WA. A lot of people wondered why I was going to wineries if I don’t drink. Honestly, if I have an opportunity to sit outside on a gorgeous day, surrounded by beautiful scenery and amazing views while having fun conversations and learning about things I knew nothing about, then count me in.

As we sat in the final winery we were visiting over the weekend, I began to reflect on the experience and realized there might be some lessons to take away that can be applied to virtual training design.

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Voice User Interfaces and Training (podcast)

“Alexa, play the podcast Train Like You Listen from Spotify” .

Voice-activated digital assistants are household items for many of us. Smartphones, speakers, even watches can be voice-activated to help us with any number of things. My mom and her 81 year-old neighbor spent the weekend setting up and activating skills for several smart speakers in her house. They set up entertainment, reminders, asked questions, and set up some safety features. What else can we do with devices with a voice user interface?

On episode 30 of Train Like You Listen, Myra Roldan, author of Design A Voice User Interface, sits down with us to talk about how she leverages voice user interfaces as a training tool. In this short podcast, Myra helps us to understand more about what a voice user interface is and some examples of how they can be used to train in a variety of situations. For more information from Myra, be sure to visit her website http://myraroldan.tk/.

 

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