Freeing Up More Time To Spend On Better Instructional Design

Have you ever wished you could have more time in your day to develop better, creative, more engaging and effective training programs?

The laws of time dictate that there can only ever be 24 hours in any given day, but Megan Torrance has some ideas on how you can save time during the development of training programs. She’s literally written the book on integrating an Agile process for instructional design, and recently she spent some time explaining where she sees time being “sucked” away and how instructional designers can be more efficient in their craft.

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Lessons in learning design from a former marketing and advertising pro

The professionals in the world of marketing and advertising are very effective at grabbing our attention and moving us to action so that we’ll buy their products.

Danielle Wallace, who led advertising and marketing efforts for some very big brands before launching her own learning and development company about eight years ago, dropped by the Train Like You Listen podcast to share some lessons that she’s successfully applied to training initiatives.

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Who has anything new to say about learning and development?

At my son’s soccer game over the weekend, I was talking with another dad. He’s working on an app that will make sure you don’t miss a concert by your favorite artist simply because you didn’t know they were coming to town. I love this concept because there have been plenty of times that I’ve scrolled through Facebook to find my friends at a concert venue, watching a show that I didn’t even know was coming to town.

While it’s not an app, I’d like to take a little time right now to try to offer the same type of service for the field of learning and development. There are a lot of really smart and/or creative people doing some fascinating stuff, but unless you know where to look, you may never be exposed to these folks.

Here’s a list of 12 people that you might want to begin following on LinkedIn. They post some very smart, creative things that could help inform you, inspire you or otherwise help bring your L&D game to the next level.

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Still looking for ways to engage people during virtual meetings and training sessions?

Just last week, two things happened to make me realize that even though Covid-related lockdowns began in March 2020 (leading to a complete shift from in-person to virtual meetings and training sessions), there are a lot of people who still aren’t quite sure how best to leverage virtual technologies to engage people.

First, someone who I used to co-facilitate training with reached out and asked if I had a lesson plan template and some best practices for how to engage people virtually. Second, there was an article in the Washington Post last week entitled: Workers are putting on pants to return to the office only to be on Zoom all day.

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A Tale of Two Periodic Tables for Learning Professionals

Have you ever done a “vanity Google search” just to see how high any search results including your name might be? A little while back I was doing a sort of vanity search for Endurance Learning’s periodic table of amazing learning elements and I was surprised to find that it wasn’t the only periodic table of learning elements at the top of Google’s search results.

In 2020, the Elearning Brothers published a Periodic Table of Instructional Design.

Curious about this “other” table, I reached out to Chris Willis to learn more about how it can be used by instructional designers and even casual trainers (people who don’t have “training” in their title but are asked to put together training). If you have a few minutes, give this week’s podcast a listen (or read the transcript). Warning – this podcast was recorded in person at ATD’s annual International Conference and Expo, and both Chris and I were wearing masks, so the recording came across a little more muffled than usual.

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How do we make icebreakers relevant?

Some training participants really enjoy icebreakers. They can be fun, a nice way to ease into a day of learning and they can ensure participants have an opportunity to meet one another in a low stakes activity before needing to work with each other in small group activities later in the day.

On the other hand, many training participants do not like icebreakers. Some, seeing an icebreaker scheduled for the first 15-30 minutes of a training program, choose to arrive late in order to avoid the icebreaking activities all together.

If you feel an icebreaking activity is important to help create a sense of connection and get participants talking with one another before the “real work” begins, what’s a trainer to do?

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Tips On Establishing A Structured On-The-Job Training Program

Is all of your orientation and onboarding done in a classroom? Or perhaps it’s done via Elearning? How much of it is on-the-job training?

Several weeks ago at the Association for Talent Development’s annual International Conference and Expo, I had the opportunity to meet presenter, author and Head of Training at Baker Construction Enterprises, Paul Smith. Paul has literally written the book on how his organization successfully implemented a formal, structured on-the-job training program that effectively helps bring new employees up to speed while also helping them to feel supported in their new work environment.

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What’s the right formula when working with SMEs on training?

“How do we get subject matter experts (SMEs) to be better trainers?”

It’s a question I hear often, especially in light of the recent presentations I’ve been doing on the concept of radioactive elements, which comes from my book What’s Your Formula?

Before I dive more deeply into SMEs, I want to remind everyone what “radioactive elements” are. Radioactive elements are components of training that can be very powerful, but they can also be very dangerous or even harmful if they’re not used very well. As you can see from the image below, these elements include some of the most commonly used pieces for training today: lecture, PowerPoint, SMEs, handouts, smile sheets (level 1 evaluation forms), icebreakers, elearning, augmented reality, role play, games and data.

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One Website, 51 Different Learning Elements

As you may have heard, I wrote a book recently (and I’m super humbled and flattered by the reviews people have been posting on Amazon!!). If you’re interested in checking it out, here is a quick link. Today’s post is about a giant, free resource that my colleagues developed as a sort of companion piece to the book.

The book, entitled What’s Your Formula: Combine Learning Elements for Impactful Training, revolves around a periodic table of 51 different learning elements, which are organized into five different categories.

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