Content Strategy

Trainer Challenge – The disruptive student

Posted by Kathy Boyd on Jul 14, 2015 10:53:54 AM

As an adult, you have many opportunities to learn. In some cases, learning is prompted by a desire to further your education. In other cases, it is at the request of your employer.

The first case is one that you choose, and although it may not be easy or a subject that you especially like, you have chosen to attend the learning opportunity. In the second case, you may not have the option to accept or deny the learning opportunity—you MUST attend.

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Topics: classroom training, employee training, classroom learning, engaging learners

How do you present hands-on training when there’s no training environment? (Part 2)

Posted by Kim Dare on May 6, 2015 10:02:00 AM

As I described in part 1 of this blog post, I was recently presented with the challenge of training agents in a new support tool that they wouldn’t have any access to until they began working in the production environment. This meant that the first time that they actually used the tool, they’d be taking customers. My goal was to prepare them thoroughly, so that the transition would be smooth.

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Topics: training, classroom training, instructional design, training and development

How do you present hands-on training when there’s no training environment? (Part 1)

Posted by Kim Dare on Apr 28, 2015 9:00:00 AM

Support agents rely on a number of tools during the support experience to deliver excellent service to their customers. These tools are constantly in development. In addition, new tools are often added to provide a better experience or combine the functionality of multiple tools into one robust tool. When new tools are developed, training is needed to help agents transition smoothly to the new experience. I recently had an opportunity to develop training

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Topics: training, classroom training, instructional design, training and development

What are your thoughts on mobile phones in the classroom? (Part 2)

Posted by Kim Dare on Feb 4, 2015 4:00:00 AM

In part 1 of this topic, I talked about my experience as a student. In part 2, I want to share how I manage potential distractions in the classroom as an instructor.

You see, there are different learning styles. To expect students to sit still during a course might be unrealistic. Some learners do need to take copious notes in order to track the content. Some need to do activities and are lost during delivery. Some need to be doing a few things at a time in order to stay focused. Some need to walk to the back of the room occasionally to get the blood flowing. I’d like to be able to trust my students to know their own learning style. But I also know that I can’t always trust that my students have assessed themselves accurately. So I have come up with an introduction that allows participants to work within their learning style, without shame, while giving me an opportunity to assess. Here’s a summary of what I share with my students:

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Topics: learning and development, classroom training, learning program, mobile devices, classroom learning

What are your thoughts on mobile phones in the classroom? (Part 1)

Posted by Kim Dare on Jan 28, 2015 4:00:00 AM

Mobile phones, personal laptops – any distraction, really. How do you handle distractions in the classroom? In this two-part topic, I’ll share my thoughts on allowing students to use cellphones or computers during content delivery.

When I teach, I struggle with the idea of allowing participants to check cellphones or look at content other than the class content. I’d love to think that I’m so engaging that no student could be torn away from my voice. Or that the students are so invested in the course that nothing would entice their attention away from it. But then I think that it’s pretty judgmental of me to think that a student looking at a phone doesn’t care about their success in the course.

Almost 15 years ago, I traveled as a technical trainer for a large high-tech company. Having already spent 12 years in public education, I was very comfortable in front of a classroom. But teaching adults was a very different experience (as I noted in a previous blog post). My thoughts on managing distractions were influenced by my experience as a student during the 3 months of preparation. This is what my day would look like:

  • 8:00 a.m.: I’d arrive in the classroom, take my seat, take out my computer, and chitchat with my neighbors.
  • 8:15 a.m.: The facilitator would introduce the syllabus and take care of any classroom business.
  • 8:30 a.m.: The facilitator would begin going through the slide deck and delivering content.
  • 8:40 a.m.: I’d start to get heavy eyelids and need to do something to keep my eyes open.
  • 8:43 a.m.: I’d sneak my cellphone out and check my Facebook for about 5 minutes. I was terrified that my facilitator could see me and I’d get in trouble.
  • 9:00 a.m.: The facilitator would do a quick review, and I’d be able to answer all of the questions.
  • 9:15 a.m.: Break time.
  • 9:30 a.m.: We’d return to class and repeat the first six bullet points.

Let me make a couple of observations:

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Topics: learning and development, classroom training, mobile devices, classroom learning, learning professionals

Pay Attention!

Posted by Kim Dare on Jan 7, 2015 7:27:25 AM

My background is in education in the public schools. In fact, I spent 5 years teaching middle school – easily the most frightening educational territory I can imagine. Middle school students know everything: just ask one of them. They know EVERYTHING. This makes teaching a classroom filled with middle school students a special adventure. The key? Rapport. You have to build rapport with your students in order to get them to pay attention to you. If they’ve connected with you, they’ll listen to you.

Working with adult learners isn’t much different when it comes to rapport. The first 10 minutes of class are often the most important 10 minutes for me – I want to connect with my students quickly. In those first 10 minutes, it’s critical that I accomplish the following:

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Topics: learning and development, classroom training, learning, adult education, classroom learning, education, adult learners

Design Thinking for L&D, Part 3 of 5

Posted by Brandon Carson on Aug 18, 2014 9:58:00 AM

In Parts 1 and 2 of this series, we introduced Design Thinking (DT) for L&D, and discussed the Empathy and Define Modes. In this post, we’ll take a look at the third mode: Ideate.

The ideate mode is where you concentrate on idea generation, or brainstorming. This is the mode where you get the most creative, “go wide” and really work on a broad range of possibilities. You will use the output of your ideation sessions to construct prototypes and get them in the hands of your audiences.

The ideation mode transitions you from empathizing and defining user problems to creating solutions for them. Ideating helps you combine the understanding you have of the problem and the people you are designing for with your imagination to generate real, usable solutions. The important aspect about ideating is to not simply find a single, best solution, but to generate a range of solutions to choose from. The determination of the best solution will be discovered later, through user testing and feedback.
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Topics: learning and development, mlearning, elearning, training, classroom training, employee training, Brandon Carson, training and development, design thinking, ideate mode, training documents

Going Blended: Questions to Help Define Your Learning Strategy

Posted by Brandon Carson on Feb 19, 2014 10:34:00 AM

At Entirenet, we often work with clients who have questions about “blended learning solutions.” In this post, I want to list a few pros and cons of “going blended,” and then leave you with a few questions you can ask yourself to help determine the best path to follow.

Classroom Training Pros:

  •          Instruction occurs face to face. The instructor can see/recognize when a student is understanding the material– or not understanding it – and offer a personal touch.
  •          Classroom training is the current comfort zone for many organizations. Students may be more accustomed to it and may not feel comfortable with online training.
  •          Classroom training often comes with a manual that students can refer to after the class is over.
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Topics: content strategy, elearning, classroom training, instructional design, online training, Entirenet, course development

ASTD TechKnowledge 2014: Recap

Posted by Brandon Carson on Jan 29, 2014 7:03:00 AM

Last week, I attended ASTD’s TechKnowledge 2014 conference in Las Vegas, and live-blogged about it here and here.

Today, I thought I’d provide a recap of my overall experience. It was great to connect and reconnect with colleagues in the business, and to hear and share what’s going on in the industry. The formal theme of the conference was “Learning Technology Applied,” but from what I saw, there was also a theme of “Reinventing Training.” I participated in a panel discussion about that very subject. My premise is that we are in the “Dark Ages of Training,” meaning that too many training functions are improperly staffed, focused on the wrong metrics, and relying on outdated or wrong technology. I encountered a lot of questions about “learning content strategy” (read more about my take on that here), and what to do with “legacy courses” built in old and/or expiring technology, such as Flash.

Brandon Carson (far left) talks with Ben Betts (middle), Clark Quinn (right) and moderator Andi Campbell at the ASTD TechKnowledge 2014 conference.

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Topics: learning and development, training, classroom training, online training, learning content strategy, Ben Betts, ATD, Anders Gronstedt, Clark Quinn, Transmedia Storytelling, ATD TechKnowledge, Andi Campbell