After certificates have been handed out, how does training continue to live?

I’m currently working with a client who needs to deliver the same online training program to two different audiences. The first audience is located in their US-based headquarters, the second audience is located in regional offices around the world.

The headquarters has a thriving community of practice for training alumni that meets regularly, in-person. Furthermore, the headquarters has a critical mass of people in this role who can see each other in the break room, daily meetings, the hallway or walking by one another’s desks for informal conversations about challenges and key learnings.

People in regional offices are a little more isolated when it comes to ongoing opportunities for informal learning that can reinforce the initial training. So what are regional and remote staff to do?

Online Communities of Practice

Technology offers a lot of opportunities to shrink the distance between people and allow for greater communication, yet the ability to seed an active online community of practice remains elusive to many organizations. Continue reading

Storytelling for Trainers

Last week, my daughter came home from the school library with her first graphic novel. She excitedly showed me how the story moved through the speech balloons and panels. Her excitement came from the novel approach (pardon the pun) to telling a story. She recently graduated to chapter books, and I think she was missing the imagery she had grown accustomed to in her beginner books. Continue reading

When a training program is as stuffed as a guest at grandma’s house on Thanksgiving

Many of us in the United States celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday. A time for family to gather, give thanks, and eat. A lot.

The American Council on Fitness estimates that the average American takes in 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving… and 229 grams of fat!

Is it possible that there’s a training program or two that we’ve developed that can be equally bloated and gluttonous? Sitting on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner last Thursday, I started wondering this very thought (because I’m apparently always thinking of training). Continue reading

The Rules of Writing Training

I love math. The square root of 9 is always 3. Prime numbers are only divisible by 1 and themselves, and circumference is equal to 2π r. For similar reasons I love chemistry, music, and various other disciplines that have rules that are consistent and repeatable. Continue reading

Integrity of Interactions

It’s my favorite time of year! Let’s kick it off with another scary story.

You wake up confused. The sliver of twilight through the window indicates it could be early morning or late evening. How long have you been asleep? Continue reading

Interactive Lectures using Google Docs

Technology has come a long way since I was in college. When I attended class, I scribbled poorly written notes in my spiral notebook which I later compared with classmates in a study group while we crammed for tests. Study groups were vital for me to discover anything I missed and an opportunity to ask clarifying questions. It wasn’t that long ago, but times have changed. Continue reading

Mixing Up Interactions

My youngest is learning to read. She is in a stage that Montessori teachers call the sensitive period which involves concentration, a need for accomplishment, and tear-filled breakdowns – sometimes by both of us. When my oldest was learning to read, we ran through our nightly sight-word drills exactly as the syllabus outlined. It was the exact same routine every night, and now my oldest is an excellent independent reader at 7 years old. However, I have three more years of instructional design experience since teaching my oldest to read, and I realized there is something missing in the way I ran site word drills the first time. 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