L&D Lessons Learned from Being a Parent (Part 2 of 5)

Surprise and Delight

Very recently, I took a long weekend trip to visit my best friend from college. This was the first time I have traveled alone in a long time. No kids, no strollers, no diapers. Heaven.

I was very surprised when my bag got searched at security. But when the TSA Agent pulled a full 16 ounce waterbottle out of a crumpled brown paper bag marked “For Mom”, we both laughed. Much to my surprise, my middle kiddo had packed me a “care package” that included travel-sized hand sanitizer, two bandaids, a rubber band, a sticker, and a full water bottle.

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What happens when training and marketing collaborate?

A month and a half ago, I was sitting in a training session when someone from the marketing department got in front of the room. She shared how she worked with the training team to help follow up training events with communication and additional resources for training participants.

Recently I asked this marketing professional to sit down and help me better understand how she works with the training team, and what’s in it for both the training and marketing teams. Here is what Emily Ledbetter had to say.

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L&D Lessons Learned from Being a Parent (Part 1 of 5)

My colleague Erin Clarke joined our team at Endurance Learning last year. Every once in a while when we’re talking in a meeting or a 1:1, she’ll mention something about her experience as a parent and I’ll respond: Wow, that’s true in parenting and in instructional design!

Over the next few weeks, Erin will be sharing a series of posts that offer some transferable lessons she’s learned by being a parent that can also be used in the world of learning and development or instructional design. Some topics Erin will touch on include:

  • Surprise and delight
  • Poop
  • “I do it!”
  • Try something new

For today, however, Erin begins with a lesson on how context can be everything.

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Who do you lean on for L&D support?

A year or so ago, my friend and colleague, Kassy LaBorie, invited me to join a group of fellow trainers and training designers for their monthly, virtual chit chats. Over the past year, as part of this group, I’ve met an incredible group of people, passionate about their craft and always willing to lend a helping hand.

Some of us work in larger training teams, some of us are “teams of one”, but we all need support, advice and a helping hand from time to time. In today’s podcast, I brought in some different voices from our monthly, virtual training group to share what they find valuable about our meet-ups, and what you might want to consider if you’re thinking of pulling a group of people together.

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Training Design Lessons from a Spy Museum

Last week I was in New York City with some of my family for spring break. Perhaps the most surprising highlight was an impromptu visit to Spyscape, a spy museum near Times Square. While it was a very cool museum for a tourist like me, I was also fascinated by how engaged every single visitor to the museum seemed to be. The instructional designer in me couldn’t help but to take notice.

Here are three instructional design thoughts I had after walking through the museum and seeing hyper-engaged visitors everywhere I turned.

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Is “understand” really a 4-letter word?

When I was first learning how to write learning objectives, I was instructed that I should be very careful about the verbs I choose, especially verbs such as “know”, “understand” or “recognize”.

The thought process behind this warning is simple. When we create learning objectives, we’re not just putting words on paper. We’re outlining what our learners should be able to do, and if we’re holding up our end of the bargain as trainers, then we should be able to observe people doing whatever we said we wanted them to do in those learning objectives.

When we use words like “know” or “understand” or “recognize”, how can we actually observe those things happening since those happen mostly inside someone else’s head? Therefore, avoid those kinds of verbs and choose something more observable.

I would still say that’s 100% correct*. (With an asterisk.)

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What does it feel like to work on an eLearning project as part of a team?

Some people have the opportunity to work on a larger training team with many colleagues who may also be involved on the same project, or at least colleagues to bounce ideas around with. Others in our field work on small teams or are even working as a “department of one”.

Unless we’re creating elearning for ourselves, there will always be someone else who can be part of the elearning development team: the client who asked for the elearning.

In today’s podcast, the Endurance Learning team takes some time to reflect on the benefits, challenges and lessons learned when it comes to a work culture that always joins the eLearning designer and the client together as part of a single team.

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Working with SMEs

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) will be some of the smartest and most capable of people we have the fortune of working with. Sometimes those SMEs will be experienced in working with people on developing training programs and are used to distilling their expertise into bite-sized chunks for learning purposes. Other times, SMEs will want to make sure that everyone learns everything about a topic.

In today’s podcast, I’ll briefly talk about what an SME actually is and how we can partner with them to make sure everyone’s time is used well, including some sample questions that may be helpful in getting us more quickly to the right information.

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“Let’s timebox this”

Last week, I was in a meeting with two colleagues talking about the visual design of something we wanted on an elearning project.

Our graphic designer said: “I’ll spend some time on this.”

My other colleague suggested that she “timebox” the amount of time she spent on playing with the visual design.

I don’t know that I’d heard “timebox” being use this way before. Maybe it’ll soon become an office buzzword in the same league as other hated terms like “let’s circle back” or “let’s think outside the box” or “let’s hold the space” or “let’s take this offline” or “synergy”… you get the point. But, before it gets to the point of annoying buzzword, I wanted to highlight how it’s actually quite an important concept that training designers would be well-served by using.

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What is “Instructional Design”?

The terms “instructional design” and “instructional designer” get thrown around a lot. But what do these terms really mean? Is anyone who develops training an instructional designer?

In today’s podcast, I’ll dive a little more deeply into some ways to define “instructional design”, “instructional designer”, and I’ll also walk through some pros and cons of perhaps the most well-known instructional design model: ADDIE.

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