Examples of Easter Eggs in Learning Programs

Monday’s podcast featured gamification expert Karl Kapp sharing some insights on what “Easter Eggs” (in a learning context) are and how they can be used most effectively. In the transcript of Monday’s podcast, I challenged readers to find four Easter Eggs that I had embedded into the post. If you were wondering what those four Easter Eggs were, I’ll reveal them at the bottom of this post (so keep reading!).

Before I get to those Easter Eggs, however, I wanted to share several examples of Easter Eggs that blog readers shared, which were creative ways to hide information (or just reveal a few fun things for those lucky enough to stumble upon them).

Continue reading

Learning Campaigns

What is it like to be on the other side of the training? In other words, do your participants have a working world that lives beyond attending your training? In all of my experiences, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. In fact, often I have to account for not only meeting the training objectives, but also making sure there are several ways for the learned to access information and find various was to prompt them to engage with those tools, events,  and resources.  

The more we can access our learners, the more likely we are to be successful in our training outcomes. This week on the Train Like you Listen podcast, Amy Lou Abernethy, President, Co-Founder and Chief Learning Strategist at Amp Creative, stops by to talk to us about how we can use learning campaigns to increase learner engagement and promote a learning culture.

Continue reading

How To Keep Learning Going After Training

A lot of magic can happen during a training, conference, or webinar, but what happens after the session ends? Keeping the learning going after a session enables trainers to build on what happens in a session; however, designing this may not be easy. This week we sit down with Nancy Bacon of Nancy Bacon Consulting to learn how she finds ways to engage after training. She discusses tools, resources, and a few ideas on how others can approach learning after a session.

It should be noted that this podcast was captured before social distancing recommendations were put into place. While gathering may look a little different than it did a few weeks ago, everything in this podcast continues to apply for those of us who can meet and talk virtually. Whether virtual coffee or virtual meetings, now more than ever, it is important to find ways to continue to come together in new ways.

Continue reading

Lessons in Informal Learning from a Kids’ Bake Sale

Bake Sale

A few weeks ago, my kids got together with the neighbor’s kids and put up a lemonade stand outside our house. Thanks to several charitable parents and a few good natured neighbors, the kids walked away with $4 in profits that they could split equally among themselves.

This past Saturday, our budding entrepreneurs were at it again, this time with a bake sale. They declared that all the proceeds would be donated to earthquake victims in Nepal.

This morning I will have the opportunity to walk up to my organization’s director of development and hand over about $70 in cash that can go toward re-building efforts in Nepal. It was quite a boost over their previous ($4) effort!

From the perspective of a parent, this bake sale idea to raise money restored my faith in humanity. From the perspective of a learning and development professional, I just couldn’t leave well enough alone. I began to ask a few questions about what they thought was the difference between the lemonade stand and the bake sale. I uncovered several words of wisdom from these elementary school kids that talent development professionals would benefit from incorporating into their own practices, such as: Continue reading

How Does Learning Stick? 5 Resources that Help Answer This Question.

I had been working in training and instructional design for several years and was feeling pretty good about myself. I was creative. I was charismatic. I loved being in front of people in a room. I loved using Mr. Sketch Markers to create fun (and great smelling) flip charts. And people seemed to love my presentations.

People would come up to me after presentations, telling me they were some of the best presentations they’d ever attended. Ever!

Yet when I looked around, I didn’t see people doing many things new or differently or better as a result of my presentations and training programs. So I spent a lot of money and a couple years’ worth of time on earning a master’s degree in organizational development in order to study how better to make training stick. I learned that there were a lot of other, non-training factors that go into whether or not a training program is successful.

That said, training professionals and instructional designers have an obligation to do everything in their power to make sure a training program is well-designed so that their learners have the maximum opportunity to remember what they’ve learned.

Here are five resources that can help you better figure out how learning will stick:

1. Will Thalheimer’s “Decisive Dozen”

Will Thalheimer has sifted through tons of research in order to distill evidence-based practices down into 12 key concepts.

2. Make It Stick

Looking to go further in depth on the topic? Peter Brown, Henry Roediger III and Mark McDaniel have written the best book I’ve read on this topic in a long time. It’s both informative and filled with ideas on both how to design learning programs more effectively and how to boost retention long after the event has passed.

3. Transfer of Training

This book is a little older (written in 1992), but the concepts that Mary Broad and John Newstrom have laid out in this book continue to influence the way I design training programs today. One of the most fundamental pieces to this book is the importance of both the trainee’s manager and the trainer, who can both play a more significant role than the learner him (or her) self when it comes to whether or not the content will actually be put to use.

4. Art Kohn’s monthly column in Learning Solutions magazine

Art Kohn’s presentation at DevLearn 2014 was my first introduction to the concept of learning boosts. Since that presentation I’ve been a pretty faithful reader of his column, which offers bite-sized chunks of brain research and its role in how people learn.

5. Meta-analysis: Is Blended Learning Most Effective?

Every once in a while I still hear the question: isn’t in-person delivery better than online? In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education studied this question and cited research that concluded… well, I’ll let you read the study for yourself (click on the link above!).

What did I miss? I’d love to hear about other resources you use to figure out how learning best sticks.

Want to Boost Learner Retention?

At DevLearn 2014, I attended a workshop entitled “Building Online Training to Promote Learning Transfer and Behavior Change,” presented by Art Kohn. It completely changed the way I’ve approached training design.

During the session, Mr. Kohn stated that the latest version of Adobe Captivate will ultimately have very little impact on a learner’s retention. Likewise, reviewing notes or highlighted passages in a book or even job aids have little impact on retention.

What has the most significant impact on learner retention? Small follow-up quizzing called “learning boosts.”

Learning boosts aren’t just a buzz wordy fad being preached by some nutty academic presenter trying to push his latest theory. The concept of learning boosts are rooted in neuroscience and research conducted by people who are much smarter than I am (so if you’d like to explore the concept or the science in more depth, pick up a copy of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning).

How do learning boosts work? Mr. Kohn’s model, which I like because it’s simple and straight forward, is called 2/2/2 (keep in mind that this model is simply his way of applying the research to his teaching practice; there are many different ways to apply the concept of learning boosts).

First: Send learners a multiple choice quiz about your content two days after a learning event. This can be something as simple as a 5-question quiz that could take 30 seconds to complete.

Second: Send learners a quiz requiring short answers two weeks after a learning event.

Third: Send learners a short questionnaire asking how they’ve applied your content two months after a learning event.

If you’ve been reading Train Like A Champion blog posts for the past week or so, why don’t you test your memory:

 

 

 

Why didn’t I include any questions about today’s blog post? The research shows that if you want to improve longer-term retention, then there needs to be some space between when someone initially learns something and when they’re tested. If you truly want to be tested on today’s content, be sure to come back to my blog next week (or just hit the subscribe button at the top).

In case you’re wondering, the answers are: Tweet Chat, One and The average person isn’t even aware of what’s possible.

Know someone who might be interested in this “learning boost” concept? Please pass this article along!