Why Are We Still Talking About Microlearning?

Years ago, I had a director who had perfected the art of what our team called the “drive-by”.  A drive-by from this director involved him asking you for a “really quick favor” in which you would be asked to work on a pet-project of some sort that often involved a new technology or new industry trend he wanted to try out. These projects ranged from the latest video technologies, new StoryLine features, Moocs, gamification, leaderboards, performance support, etc… If ATD or other industry leaders had it on their radar, he had a pet-project targeted. Being asked to be involved was a compliment, even if other work had to be balanced when asked. Continue reading

Six Scary Mistakes You Can Make In Course Design

Course design can be scary. There are a lot of logistics to consider, the content needs to be correct and put together in a way that makes sense, and the participants must engage with the content to learn. There is a lot of art and a lot of science to course design, and many books/principles/etc. have been written to simplify the process.  So far, simplifying course design has been fairly unattainable. Continue reading

A tool to help design strategic planning workshops

In about a month, my team will be launching a tool we’ve developed to help create better presentations, faster. Our original concept was to dramatically reduce the amount of instructional design time spent on developing training sessions.

I’m currently working with several clients on facilitating strategic planning sessions, which got me to wondering: would our tool be useful in helping to design elements of strategic planning sessions?

After three or four minutes of playing with the tool, here is the lesson plan it generated for me Continue reading

A place for research and insights into digital-based L&D initiatives

At the end of last year, I made a one-word resolution: “new”.

For my organization, I was thinking about “new” as in customers. For the L&D community, I was thinking about “new” as in launching a new product (stay tuned, it’s coming in November!). And for this blog, I was thinking about “new” in terms of research.

Recently, I began taking a look through some of the reports and research that’s been compiled by the UK-based organization, Towards Maturity. If you’re looking for insights, research and data around digital-based L&D initiatives, you ought to check out their site. Continue reading

Webinar Engagement Strategies

It’s been a while since I’ve had to deliver a webinar, but over the next several weeks I’m working with a client on instructional design and visual design skills. We have a series of webinars that we’re working with them on, and I’d forgotten how different it can be to deliver content virtually.

Most of the credit for the activities in today’s post really should go to my colleague, Lauren Wescott, who helped me plan this series of webinars.  Continue reading

Instructional Design Lessons from the State Fair

Over the past several years, my kids and I have started a tradition of going to the Washington State Fair on “opening day”, which has turned out to be the Friday before Labor Day. As we rode rides and won stuffed animals and ate fried food, some parallels between the state fair and instructional design began to emerge in my brain. Continue reading

4 Activities for Group Problem Solving

We recently wrapped the first round of beta on our new presentation creation tool, Soapbox. A piece of feedback that we received quite often was that people were excited about all of the fresh activities that Soapbox provides. Beta users were energized at the prospect of trying out new activities suggested by Soapbox to add depth and engagement to their training. Chances are that if you’re tired of your learning activities then your learners are too. Here are four application activities straight out of Soapbox to try as your next problem-solving activity.  Continue reading

Four Steps to More Engaging Training Design

A little while back, I was showing a tech industry executive – someone who knows both his way around the C-suite and who knows his way around training design – a lesson plan that was generated by our training design tool, Soapbox.

“Hmmmm. When you first told me about this, I thought I’d see some sort of instructional design model integrated into the way you designed this.”

I pointed out that the lesson plan actually did follow the formula of a 4-step instructional design model. He looked at the lesson plan again and smiled. “Ah, I see it now. Yes, this is good.”

Being intentional about the design of your next training program by using a model rooted in adult learning theory can make the difference between a meandering, ineffective session and an engaging session that leads to change. Following is the model we use Continue reading