In the first scenario, we looked at the roll out/launch phase of a new product or service.Once the roll out or launch has been successful, we now have users and consumers who need to learn more about how to use the product, how to resolve issues, and how to have the best possible experience with the product.
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:
At the end of the day, prototyping is all about confirming or disproving your hunch with user feedback. No one will argue with you when you bring back user feedback. The key to a successful prototype experience is to build multiple rapid prototypes -- this will allow for more discovery and unbiased comparison. When rapid prototyping, it’s important to consider focusing on one variable for each prototype -- this will allow you to hone in on one aspect of the prototype to find if it works or not. It’s like separating the risks you want to explore -- keep the prototypes low-fi and quick to accelerate findings. You don’t need high-resolution, fully-produced prototypes to get the answers you need.
After attending a recent conference for training and development specialists, I remembered why it’s so challenging to prepare for presentations.
For me, the challenge lies not in the presentation itself or any concern about standing in front of an unknown number of people, but in finding the right level of content to deliver to my audience.
When you’re preparing to present information, it’s very helpful to have an idea of your audience. But what if you don’t know the audience or the attendees’ level of understanding of what you’re presenting?
I was able to attend several sessions at the conference, but two of them stood out in my mind – not because they were especially bad or good, but because they were so different in their approach.
Data is dull business, but it can be very useful and important for both the individual and the organization. Learning Locker is new software that was recently developed by HT2 Ltd. It’s an open source learning record store that changes the way organizations and individuals can use learning data.
Learning Locker lets individual learners own their learning records. The idea is that each learner is given an actual card or something similar, showing all the learning he or she has completed. The value here is that learners keep track of what they have accomplished and can use their own data to enhance their career. For example, the data might help when they ask for additional responsibility or new challenges, or when they apply for new opportunities. It could also assist if there's a question regarding learning completion.
Learning Locker also benefits the organization. The data starts with each organization: it owns the data initially. The organization can supply individual learners with their own data, so this data becomes owned by both the individual and the organization.
What’s the difference between children and adults? Ask any kid, and you’ll get answers like:
- Grown-ups are bigger than kids.
- They know more stuff.
- They have to go to work.
- They don’t have to go to school.
Such answers really do apply to most adults. Even those of us who aren’t very tall are bigger than most kids (and sometimes bigger than we’d like to be). Through education and experience, we have indeed learned lots of “stuff.” Certainly, most of us do need to work for a living. And while many adults continue formal education through college and beyond, it’s true: we don’t have to go to school. Well, until we have to take required employee training, that is.
When you’re formulating your overall learning content strategy. This topic will focus on the role of authoring and delivery platforms, and their impact on your strategic and tactical implementation.
Too often, instructional designers move straight to authoring and begin assembling their course right away. This is not surprising, because the businesses we support are often moving at a very fast pace, and many of us juggle multiple projects at the same time. Sometimes, we just want to get it done. However, working in this manner can result in course content that’s redundant, and can lead to fragmentation and loss of productivity for you and your audiences. Your focus should be on creating content that’s clear, simple, succinct, and elastic – able to bend to the learner’s context. This content should also be in a format that’s digestible by anyone in your target audience, anywhere, and on whatever device they have with them. I realize this is easier said than done, especially with deadlines always looming on the horizon. One of the biggest drivers affecting how you design and develop content revolves around your available resources. This is the primary reason so many learning and development (L&D) teams are creating training in a non-elastic fashion: you’re only the sum of the skills of your team.
I was surprised when I returned from an event; I found that I really got more from listening and networking than from the subject matter. This is not to say that the speaker didn’t have an interesting topic, or that it was boring or uninformative: it was interesting, and I did get some new ideas from the speaker. What I found so surprising was that I enjoyed the discussions with the others in the room more.
Networking frequently leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The idea of pushing myself on others or pushing an agenda isn’t my cup of tea. It’s not always bad and can sometimes help if you’re trying to branch off into a new field.
However, this networking experience was very positive.
The classroom works when…