How Many Of These Tools Have You Used For Learning?

How Many Tools

Savvy learning and development professionals keep their eyes out for tools and technologies that can help make the learning process easier. Each year, Jane Hart’s Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4PLT) publishes a list of the top 100 tools for learning. Curious how many of these tools you’re already using? I’ve made a little calculator to help you quickly add them up.

I love exploring this list from time to time because it points me toward new technologies I’ve never heard of and otherwise wouldn’t think to test out.

It was from this list that I got inspired to use PowToon (#46 on the list). I also spent a little time exploring Socrative (#72) and Kahoot (#81) in hopes of finding an alternative to PollEverywhere (#70). In the end, it seems PollEverywhere is the best solution for my needs.

Overall, I’ve used 46 of the technologies from this list in some way, shape or form. I’m looking forward to examining many of the other 54 tools to find out what they might be able to do for me and my learners.

How experienced are you with these tools? Use this calculator in order to add up the number of Top 100 tools you’ve been using, then drop a line in the comment section to let us all know your count!

As a side note, if you want to have a say in which tools make the 2015 Top 100 list, go here and cast your vote.

Using eLearning to Promote Classroom Sessions

“What’s in it for me” is a common mantra for learners, especially because they probably have more pressing things to take care of. Your upcoming training session is competing for their time and attention.

In order to grab potential attendees’ attention for an upcoming face-to-face workshop, I recently used Articulate Storyline to create a brief online quiz (click this link if you have 3 minutes and want to take it for a test drive).

eLearning Promo

Putting together a short, fun online activity can do several things for you:

  1. Creates intrigue as learners get a small taste of what’s to come.
  2. Creates a greater sense of urgency for your content, especially if learners take a quiz like this and realize their New Employee Orientation program (or whatever your content might be) is simply “average” or “needs some work”.
  3. Gets your learners invested in your content before you session even begins (“how exactly can I go from “average” to “world class”?).

Even if you develop in-house training sessions that people are required to attend, creating a sense of intrigue and urgency can help your colleagues get excited to set aside some time for your next workshop.

Have you found other creative ways to engage your audience and promote your training sessions? Let’s hear about them in the comment section.

Know someone who might be need a little inspiration to promote their training sessions? Pass this post along to them!


Interested re-imagining and revising your New Employee Orientation so that it can truly be world class, inspiring your new employees as they begin their journey with your organization?

Join phase(two)learning’s Michelle Baker and me in Indianapolis on March 9-10 for a New Employee Orientation re-design workshop that will be one part networking event, one part learning lab.

Contact me at brian@endurancelearning.com or click here for more information.

 

Can eLearning Change Hearts and Minds?

Last week I wrote about how a well-designed classroom training experience can change long-held beliefs and practices. I began to wonder if an eLearning experience could change hearts and minds in a similar way. I was skeptical.

I discussed this idea with eLearning instructional designer extraordinaire Kirby Crider.

Kirby

What do you think? Can eLearning ever provide a powerful, life-changing experience that some people may find in the training room? We’d love to see the conversation continued in the comments section below.

Brian: I’ve seen some amazing eLearning design from folks like Michael Allen and the Articulate community. They’re fun. They’re engaging. But I’m skeptical that eLearning is a tool to change hearts and minds for something like diversity training or change management. You’ve spent more time designing eLearning than I have. What do you think?

Kirby: Plenty of classroom sessions don’t change hearts and minds, and the same goes for eLearning. I do think it’s possible to break out of the standard way of doing things in the self-directed eLearning world, just like how you’ve shown on this blog that it’s possible to break out of the reading-off-a-PowerPoint-slide way of doing things.

Brian: A lot of what I write about is based upon what I’ve seen working in practice. I just haven’t seen an eLearning module in practice that I’d consider powerful or life-changing.

Kirby: Describe for me what makes those in-person experiences so powerful for you. You recently wrote about a white privilege checklist activity that made a big impact on you. Why did it resonate so much?

Brian: The checklist itself was interesting, but it wasn’t enough on its own to change anything for me. The ensuing conversations with a diverse group of other participants crystalized this concept of privilege. It was eye opening for me to be able to see and feel the passionate, incredulous reaction of an African American colleague when I confessed to never having through about my privilege. How do you replicate that intensity online?

Kirby: Of course there will be certain things that can’t be replicated online, but have you ever watched a TED talk that profoundly changed the way you behave? I have. Imagine if you combined the storytelling, the surprise and the utter relevance of a killer TED talk with reflection questions that promote asynchronous discussion via an integrated message board with other users!

Brian: Interesting. Video can be more engaging than looking at clip art or even photos of real people on the computer screen. I definitely find webinars more engaging when the presenter uses a video feed. But it’s so easy to misinterpret tone in an online discussion. Any suggestions for how to mitigate misinterpretation of tone for anyone interested in designing a social component into their eLearning design?

Kirby: There’s a body of research that suggests conversational language and first person language (“you” or “I” instead of “one”) increases retention, and things need to be memorable in order to change hearts and minds. Art Kohn has a nice article about selecting language on the Learning Solutions magazine site. Honestly, we need to stop taking our scripts so seriously in the asynchronous world. When I design an eLearning module, I like to take chances with an activity like this: “Alright, by now you’re probably tired of listening to my voice and clicking on the next button. I’d like to challenge you. Take what you’ve just learned, and go find a colleague. See if you can explain it to them!”

Brian: Bringing the online world into the real world, I like it! Any final thoughts about how to reach a learner’s heart and mind?

Kirby: My father-in-law teaches an online class. In order to build a sense of common ground, he has his students ship dirt from their yards to each other and then asks each person to make a sound effect out of the dirt they receive. We have so many tools at our disposal – Twitter, wikis, discussion boards, plain old email, Padlet, even the US postal service – I’d like to challenge all eLearning designers to use them. You change hearts and minds when you can build community and create spaces for discussion and growth.

What do you think? Is eLearning a tool that can change the hearts and minds of learners? Add your thoughts to this conversation in the comments section.

A New Tool to Help You Decide how to Spend Professional Development Dollars

Budget season has descended upon my organization. While we try frantically to meet the deadlines set forth by the finance department, we’re also trying to pay for as many 2015 expenses as possible by spending 2014 funds prior to December 31.

If you happen to be in the same boat, I spent some time this weekend inventing a cool new tool (at least I think it’s cool) to help you decide how to spend some of your “leftover” 2014 funds.

I’m assuming most readers of the Train Like A Champion blog are in the training or human resources field, which explains the limited nature of this tool. If you have 3 minutes, go ahead and check it out. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Cover Page

Click here to launch the “How-to-Spend-Your-Professional-Development-Dollars” wizard.

If you know of someone in the training or human resources fields who might need to spend down their professional development dollars by the end of this year, please pass this along to them!

Are You Using Some Of The Top 100 Tools For Learning?

Each year, the Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) puts together a list of the top 200 tools for learning. This year, I decided to vote for my top 10.

When I read the voting requirements – that I had to list ten tools in order for my vote to count – I started to wonder if I would be able to complete my ballot. I have several go-to tools, but I’m not sure that I have ten tools that I consider essential to my role as a learning practitioner.

Throwing caution to the wind, I began completing my ballot. Seven minutes later, I realized that there are more than ten tools that I use and my ballot was complete.

I then clicked on this link and started perusing how other people completed their ballots. It was interesting – many others use the same tools as I do. However, there were some tools that I’d never heard of and which I plan to check out in the very near future. And there were some tools I’d used in the past and then forgotten about, which I plan to begin using once again. And these last two points, I believe, hold the power to this list: an opportunity to be exposed to new tools and a reminder of old tools that have long since been forgotten.

If you have ten minutes, I encourage you to fill out your own ballot by clicking here. I’d also encourage you to see what kinds of tools others are using – perhaps you’ll be exposed to something new (and life changing?), perhaps you’ll simply be reminded of an old favorite.

Want to Improve Your Articulate Storyline Skills? Try These 5 Tips.

Articulate Storyline may be the greatest thing to sweep through the learning and development field since the creation of the action-oriented, learner-centered objective. Why? It’s insanely intuitive to use, and the Elearning Heroes online community is a place where you can instantly learn how to do anything you ever wanted to do in an elearning environment.

If you’re using Storyline and haven’t been taking advantage of the Elearning Heroes online community, here are five reasons to start:

  1. Adding and displaying a learner’s name throughout your module. Want to have a learner input text – whether it’s their name or some other text – and then have that same text come up later in the module? Nicole Legault’s handy tip walks you through an easy way to set this up.
  2. Create custom characters for your elearning. Sick of looking through free image sites and not finding exactly what you’re looking for? This post from Tom Kuhlman walks you through the steps it’ll take to help any non-graphic designer modify existing clip art images to create custom characters.
  3. What are other people working on? Every week, David Anderson posts an “Elearning Challenge”, asking Articulate Storyline users from around the world to come up with creative ideas or share work samples around a common instructional design theme. This is a fun way to put your own skills to the test, and to see what kinds of amazingly creative ideas other Storyline users can come up with. What is perhaps the most stunning thing about this particular series of posts is that many of the people who take on these weekly challenges will gladly share their source files.
  4. Free Assets! Looking for free clip art, images, fonts and other visual assets? Create an account on the Elearning Heroes site and you get access to lots and lots of free assets and templates.
  5. Share your module without uploading it to an LMS. Want to have other people check out your latest elearning module or preview your most recent creation without having it go live on your LMS? Mike Taylor walks you through the several simple steps you need to take in order to upload a course to Google Drive.

There are a lot of other tips, tricks and tools that are available – FREE – through the Articulate community. If Articulate Storyline is your thing, check it out.

Want to see Storyline in use? Check out this post which includes an elearning demo which allows you to solve “The Crime of the Century” and identify which meeting facilitator(s) could have been responsible for boring an audience member to death.

Know someone using Storyline? Be sure to pass this along.