Conference Take-Aways

Following the 2019 Dev Learn conference, Bianca Woods put together a list of questions to put your conference learning into practice. This week, our own Brian Washburn attended the ATD Core 4 Conference in Miami as a presenter and a participant. We decided to put Bianca’s recommendations into practice and see what they look like from the eyes of a participant. I virtually sat down with Brian and asked him a few questions inspired by Bianca’s recommendations. Here is what I learned. Continue reading

Great Presentations Start Here

A great presentation involves planning, evidence-based instructional design, engaging delivery, compelling visuals and some way for people to do something new or differently or better as a result. Easy, right?

Maybe not so much. I’ve never met a single person who could do every one of those things well. So how can someone cobble together a great presentation with all of those elements? Continue reading

A place for research and insights into digital-based L&D initiatives

At the end of last year, I made a one-word resolution: “new”.

For my organization, I was thinking about “new” as in customers. For the L&D community, I was thinking about “new” as in launching a new product (stay tuned, it’s coming in November!). And for this blog, I was thinking about “new” in terms of research.

Recently, I began taking a look through some of the reports and research that’s been compiled by the UK-based organization, Towards Maturity. If you’re looking for insights, research and data around digital-based L&D initiatives, you ought to check out their site. Continue reading

Webinar Engagement Strategies

It’s been a while since I’ve had to deliver a webinar, but over the next several weeks I’m working with a client on instructional design and visual design skills. We have a series of webinars that we’re working with them on, and I’d forgotten how different it can be to deliver content virtually.

Most of the credit for the activities in today’s post really should go to my colleague, Lauren Wescott, who helped me plan this series of webinars.  Continue reading

Instructional Design Lessons from the State Fair

Over the past several years, my kids and I have started a tradition of going to the Washington State Fair on “opening day”, which has turned out to be the Friday before Labor Day. As we rode rides and won stuffed animals and ate fried food, some parallels between the state fair and instructional design began to emerge in my brain. Continue reading

4 Activities for Group Problem Solving

We recently wrapped the first round of beta on our new presentation creation tool, Soapbox. A piece of feedback that we received quite often was that people were excited about all of the fresh activities that Soapbox provides. Beta users were energized at the prospect of trying out new activities suggested by Soapbox to add depth and engagement to their training. Chances are that if you’re tired of your learning activities then your learners are too. Here are four application activities straight out of Soapbox to try as your next problem-solving activity.  Continue reading

Four Steps to More Engaging Training Design

A little while back, I was showing a tech industry executive – someone who knows both his way around the C-suite and who knows his way around training design – a lesson plan that was generated by our training design tool, Soapbox.

“Hmmmm. When you first told me about this, I thought I’d see some sort of instructional design model integrated into the way you designed this.”

I pointed out that the lesson plan actually did follow the formula of a 4-step instructional design model. He looked at the lesson plan again and smiled. “Ah, I see it now. Yes, this is good.”

Being intentional about the design of your next training program by using a model rooted in adult learning theory can make the difference between a meandering, ineffective session and an engaging session that leads to change. Following is the model we use Continue reading