Product Review: SessionLab

In just over a month, I’ll have an opportunity to speak at Learnapalooza, a super-fun annual conference in Seattle that features a wide variety of learning blocks – from speed learning sessions and demos to breakout sessions to keynotes from some of the most important L&D voices found in the Pacific Northwest.

The theme of the conference is superheroes and my session will revolve around three superheroes in the world of instructional design.

One of those superheroes is a tool called SessionLabContinue reading

Can’t find that perfect training idea for next week’s session? Sleep on it.

When there’s a deadline looming and you haven’t quite found the right creative solution for an upcoming training program, it’s tempting to keep pushing late into the day, even into the night, until a good idea finds you.

According to an article I recently read in a Time magazine special edition focused on the science of creativity, pushing through and sacrificing sleep may not yield the result you’re hoping for.  Continue reading

Creative Things Come to Those Who Wait

I was sitting in the same conference room I’d been sitting in for two weeks, across the table from the same client, working on the same project. The clock was ticking.

The client had come to the Seattle office for two weeks. We had two golden weeks to work together in person, then we’d need to rely on remote meetings and emails and file transfers once she returned to her field office.

While we were both working as hard as we could and we were both feeling a sense of urgency to keep moving forward, I think both of us were also bored.

“What if we have the learners create an FAQ document – we’ll give them the questions and they need to come up with the answers – as the culminating activity for this section?”

“It’s practical,” she responded, “but I don’t think I like it.”

Ugh! We were never going to finish before she went home.

“I liked the idea you came up with for a prior section – the activity with the mountain climber theme. Can’t we do something like that here?”  Continue reading

How different is instructional design in a K-12 setting vs. a corporate training setting?

Instructional design, at its core, is about creating learning experiences that engage and excite learners to embrace new knowledge and skills. That said, does the context – whether instructional design is applied to a traditional school classroom or a corporate training room – matter? Or is instructional design the same, regardless of context, setting and audience?

Last Monday, Endurance Learning welcomed its newest employee – Lauren Wescott – to our team. I first learned of Lauren and her skill set about 6 months ago when I saw a post on LinkedIn that said she’d been working in a K-12 setting as a teacher and instructional designer for several years and now wanted to explore the world of corporate training.

EPSON MFP image

Today, Lauren is going to share some of her insights on the similarities and differences between instructional design in a K-12 setting and a corporate training setting.  Continue reading

Training Handouts are a Natural Extension of Instructional Design

Recently I was asked to facilitate a webinar on how to create better handouts. I hesitated initially because I’m not a graphic designer. Then a thought struck me: graphic design may lead to prettier handouts and training manuals, but instructional design leads to more effective and engaging handouts and training manuals.

If you have 45 minutes and would like to see a recording of the webinar in its entirety, here is the link. During the session, I discussed the following five mistakes that many people make when distributing handouts to training participants:  Continue reading

What happens after a training session?

A participant walks up to you after your training session, smiles, and says: “Thank you. That was by far the best training session I’ve ever been to. I have to tell you, I’ve been to a lot of these sessions and I didn’t have high hopes for this session, but my boss told me I had to be here. I wasn’t looking forward to it. But now I’m so glad I came.”

As long as you’ve made your content relevant for your audience and have designed opportunities for engagement, a comment like this may not be uncommon.

But what happens next?

Two people I respect very much in the learning and development space, Nancy Bacon and Mark Nilles, recently published a short eBook for conference planners on how to design a more effective conference. I think there are some key lessons in there for anyone who works in the training space.  Continue reading

A 3-item Checklist to Make Sure Your Next Presentation is Meaningful

 

My colleague, Heather, has been on fire recently with the templates she’s shared on Train Like A Champion. In case you’ve missed them, she’s shared:

All of her recent templates have made me wonder if there’s a template or checklist I could share. Then it hit me. While Heather has been sharing some templates for fairly advanced training professionals, perhaps I could take a step back and offer something up for anyone who ever has to give a presentation, regardless of their experience or comfort level in front of an audience. Continue reading