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

Replacing PowerPoint with Play-Doh

“I’m sorry. Can you say that again? You want to use WHAT when we teach the technical aspect of the content?”

“Play-Doh.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought you said. And you want grown adults, some of them in their 60s and 70s, to do this?”

“Yes.”

Such was the conversation I had with my client when I proposed we swap out a technical, PowerPoint-based presentation with a hands-on activity that called for dozens of canisters of Play-Doh. I admit that, after this conversation, I grew a little more nervous. If the activity flopped, my team stood to lose a lot of credibility with this extremely important client.   Continue reading

19 Sites That Can Help Your PowerPoint Slide Design

I’ll start this post by simply saying: Mike Taylor knows how to find things. He’s constantly posting articles and resources on Twitter and LinkedIn that, if curated in one place, would probably serve you better than any masters program in instructional design.

This post borrows heavily from one of his sites on which he’s compiled “a collection of the best free design resources on the web.” If you have some time, I encourage you to check out his site.

Sometimes having too many choices can be overwhelming, so I’ve narrowed his resources down into the following list of 19 resources that may be helpful if you’re specifically looking for new places to find stock photos, fonts or icons.   Continue reading

Cool Tools

I am a geek at heart. I love finding new software to play with and find a way to incorporate into training or training development. Let’s look at a few tools I discovered recently that you can use in your upcoming training.

Post-it Plus

Like many trainers, I have a pretty big affinity for sticky notes. After training, I often take photos of my participants’ sticky note creations and then send out the JPG in an email for reference. As an image, this is a static reference without an easy ability to update. Well, it used to be a static resource. With the Post-it Plus app, you and your participants can keep the conversation going outside of the classroom by updating your sticky note creation. Check out this video below.

Picular

The self-proclaimed Google, but for colors, Picular has been buzzing around my Twitter feed all week. Picular.co has a simple interface with a familiar looking search bar and no menus or About Us section. Picular uses your search terms to crawl Google Images for the top results and returns a color palate base on the top results. It isn’t perfect, but it is a fun way to draw inspiration.

I look forward to playing with these new tools and seeing where they take my next training. What new tools are you using? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!