How Some HR & Training Professionals are Informing their Practice with Research

Last night I attended a CSTD event focussing on how Research Meets Practice and how some HR & Training Professionals are informing their practice with research. I personally attended 3 of the 5 sessions (which was the formula for the evening).

Dali Hammouch, Senior Advisor-Capability Development, Rio Tinto, discussed on the impact of space on human dynamics and had us reflect on the importance of the physical spaces of the environments in which we learn. Dali is interested in how the configuration of training or meeting environments enhance or hinder communication. Fascinated by the results of his own experience, he decided to look at studies in human and physical geography in order to inform the way in which he set up his environments.

Saul Carliner, Associate Professor, Concordia University, discussed the perception of customers of workplace learning services that is how do other individuals in the organization perceive training and its overall impact. There are a lot of things we assume about training and how others perceive training efforts but Saul decided to start looking at the research and see what it informed him about perceptions. Surprising results so far!

Kenneth Brown, Associate Professor and Henry B. Tippie Research Fellow, University of Iowa discussed how he leverages theory and research to improve utilization of e-learning. Kenneth draws on the validated theory of behavioural change (transtheoretical model of change) and a theory of technology usage (technology acceptance model) to develop a practical model which aims at predicting e-Learning adoption and use. He is currently testing his model.

Being a huge believer of research into practice, it is encouraging to see how other professionals are focussing on the evidence provided by research into to design environments, make statements or implement programs.

For more information about the importance of research into practice, I dug up the two following blog posts: What Is Scientifically Based Research? by Stephen Downes and The worst of best practices and benchmarking by Clark Quinn.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Brushing Up On Your User Experience Design Skills? Take A Look At These Books

Yesterday I wrote about the importance of user experience design testing as part of the overall eLearning course testing process. Paul Seys compiled a fantastic list of books on user experience design (or UX). Borrowing mainly from Web and multimedia design best practices, much of this can inform the design of your online learning environments and resources.

The list comprises all sorts of books including those that focus on

  • user experience design
  • storytelling & conversations for user experience
  • information architecture
  • search analytics
  • grid systems for the Web

As well as two specialized books focusing on best practices and innovation in the field of user experience design.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Taking Into Account User Experience In Your E-learning Design

Two months ago, Tom Kuhlmann wrote a piece on the importance of thoroughly reviewing your e-learning courses before launching them. One of his key tips was to watch learners go through the course in order to understand how they experience it. Web and multimedia designers call this user experience design testing.

ZURB, a team of interaction designers and strategists, put together a guide to facilitating feedback on user design which can be implemented throughout the design process. These techniques are very useful for understanding the user experience while following an e-learning course.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Strategies for Making Content Accessible for Learners

Yesterday, I blogged about making content accessible to learners so that they might access it when they are ready to learn. Now the question is: how do we make this content accessible?

Ross Dawson has a few ideas. But they aren’t new ideas. He’s actually pulled them from his Living Networks book which he wrote 8 years ago to show how applicable they are today.

Positioning For Content Distribution
1. Build evolutionary business models
2. Define and refine strategies for standards and interfaces
3. Develop and implement aggregation strategies
4. Enable versatile syndication models
5. Rework your product versioning

His first two points address concerns about ever evolving technology interfaces to view content as well as the quickly changing landscapes of technology. His third and fourth points focus on the way content is gathered and distributed. His fifth point builds an argument for keeping content fresh and up-to-date.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

How to Avoid Presentation Overload

I’m a huge fan of clean, streamlined presentations with just a few key points. Not yet an expert myself, I have made huge efforts in reducing the amount of content in my presentations, as well as on my support slides.

So how exactly does one go about fighting the urge to overload their audience with everything they know about a subject? Olivia Mitchell offers a few tips to start you off:

  1. A presentation is the worst possible way to deliver lots of information
  2. Just because you say it doesn’t mean they will get it
  3. The more points you make, the less points they’ll get
  4. Stop seeing your presentation as a one-off event
  5. So what is a presentation good for?

Above and beyond face-to-face presentations, Mitchell’s tips are applicable to Webinars. I can also see them being extremely useful for planning and delivering face-to-face and online synchronous training sessions.

In addition, Mitchell offers “The Quick and Easy Guide to Creating an Effective Presentation“, an excellent step-by-step guide for planning your next presentation and your first step in being a more effective presenter.

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Filters to Avoid Being Flooded by a Wave of Content

When I was approached two weeks ago to be part of the Workplace Learning Today team, I was both flattered and thrilled to take on a new challenge. In preparation for delivering weekly insights, I decided to do a major cleanup of my Google Reader Feeds. And before I knew it, the wave of content hit me and I was flooded. There had to be a better way.

And then the perfect article pop-up this morning thanks to one of my strategic filters: Filter or Be Flooded: Do You Need a Content Strategist?

Though this FastCompany blog posts refers primarily to content for Website design, the lessons learned are transferable to our own Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) strategy as well as larger organizational Knowledge Management (KM) strategy.

Some of the key criteria for a good content management strategy which are pulled from Kristina Halvorson’s book Content Strategy for the Web include

  • Content purpose (i.e., how content will bridge the space between audience needs and business requirements)
  • Content gap analysis

Instructional designers, sound familiar?

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Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

From the Innovative Mind of Janey Clarey: Instructional Design by Example Blog

Janet Clarey is one of my favorite bloggers on the topic of training and developement. It is no surprise that she has kicked off this absolutely fabulous idea of blogging about real life instructional design examples.

I wish her the best of luck possible and am thinking up an example to contribute in the very near future.

Corporate e-learning needs another blog. Oh yes. It does.

In this blog, you’ll find examples of e-learning courses and details about the instructional design process used in creating them. You’ll also find specifics about the logistics of the courses. Anyone is welcome to submit an example using the submission form. The site is maintained by Janet Clarey.

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