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  • 07 Jul 2013 10:15 PM | Anonymous

    By Diana Lowe

    VP of Special Interest Groups and Communication and Sales Trainer @ Dale Carnegie of Austin

    Even though I have been in the world of training for quite some time I am always amazed at the new things I am learning from Austin ASTD events with our brilliant speakers and members.

    I think to myself, “I should know this” “Must Google that website” or “What's the name of that L&D guru again!

    Recently, I sat in a meeting where they were talking about rapid elearning. I was thinking “What??”  So if you are like me and feel a little lost because you are relatively new to L&D, transitioning into L&D, coming back to L&D after a time out of it or if you work in training delivery and are not involved the instructional design, here is a quick glance at rapid elearning. 

    What is it?

    Although it is a term that is not clearly defined most people would agree that 'rapid elearning' means “easy tools that let you build elearning courses without special programming skills or sharing expertise at the speed of business.”

    One blogger notes that the term rapid elearning “now normally means: rapid creation of courseware by people who are less experienced with courseware development particularly subject matter experts.”  In the original 2004 Bersin & Associates report rapid elearning was defined by this criteria;

    ·         Courseware which can be developed in less than three weeks

    ·         Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) act as the primary resource for development

    ·         A well-known tool (e.g. PowerPoint) or user-friendly templates form the starting point for courseware

    ·         Simple assessment, feedback and tracking are usually provided

    ·         Media elements which enhance learning but do not create technology barriers may be included (e.g. voice)

    ·         Learning modules can be taken in one hour or less, often in less than 30 minutes.

    ·         Synchronous (scheduled or live) and asynchronous (self-paced) models may be utilized.

    In short it is short, bit-size courses delivered via the medium of online. To my surprise it is different to web based learning. Although it is a form of web based learning. It is sited that the main difference is “After creating an instructionally sound Design Document, content is created utilizing PowerPoint rather than a traditional web-based training

    (WBT) storyboard, it is then published to its final e-Learning format.” Web based training requires that “the storyboards are then brought to life by a development team that could include graphic artists, multimedia developers, programmers, and network specialists.”

    Meaning that rapid elearning can achieve the same training goals with less resources, less staff and can be created in a shorter time period.

    Rapid Elearning in Business

    As our world grows smaller due to the internet and we find our businesses and colleagues in different cities and time zones, the need for flexible training is more evident than ever. Enter rapid elearning.

    “According to research by Bersin 89% of companies need to develop e-learning solutions within 3 weeks.” Tom Kuhlmann states, “Ultimately, it’s usually about getting the right information to people at the right time while operating at the speed of business.” And our speed of business is getting faster and faster with new iterations of technology.

    A Forrester survey published in March 2010 found that rapid e-learning is the fastest growing part of the e-learning market. Forrester found rapid e-learning is ideal where:

    ·         speed is an issue

    ·         content needs updating frequently

    ·         content is being repurposed from other documents

    ·         content which has a short shelf life

    ·         budgets are low

     

    “Over 50% of organizations Forrester surveyed used rapid elearning for:

    ·         Compliance training

    ·         Process and procedure training

    ·         Desktop Systems/application training

    (Information from http://www.kineo.com/rapid-elearning/)

    Pro's and Con's of Rapid eLearning

    Frogkick has a great 'green paper' on the pro's and con's of using rapid elearning.

    Pros

    ·         Shorter development cycle

    ·         No formal programming resources required

    ·         Sharp look and feel with user friendly navigation

    ·         Interaction and quiz capabilities

    ·         Reporting and LMS integration features

    ·         Easy to update and maintain

    ·         Traditionally, lower development costs than WBT

    Cons

    ·         Limited in the complexity of animations and streaming media capabilities

    ·         Restricted in the complexity of interactions

    ·         Must select from interactions within the tool

    ·         Limited learner tracking capabilities

    ·         Must select from tracking features within the tool

    ·         Does not facilitate a learning object approachundefinedcan not leverage specific program elements across other training initiatives

    How to Start

    ASTD  ID/elearning SIG Leaders have noticed that more and more roles in L&D are asking for rapid elearning experience.

    Members site two instances when they really need to display their elearning skills.

    Firstly, that they have experience and created course work but due to proprietary information have not been able to keep it. Secondly, rapid elearning course creation wasn't a requirement in a previous role. So how can they build a portfolio to build and demonstrate their skill.

    Well we have some exciting news . . .  starting this month Austin ASTD are working on pilot “Rapid Elearning” program. A program that is the first of it kind for Rapid Elearning. Pilot participants will be able to learn the skills of Captivate 7, and create their own portfolio to keep, to learn more about how Captivate 7 works, to demonstrate continuing professional development, and to show potential employers.

    Are you interested in signing up? If so please contact me sig@austinastd.org or check out http://bit.ly/13v7ujOand you will be added to our list.

    For additional resources on rapid elearning please find a list of site below!

    Sources and Resources

    http://www.kineo.com/free-tools/

    http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning

    http://elearningtech.blogspot.com/2006/06/what-is-rapid-elearning_13.html

    http://www.elearningguild.com/research/archives/index.cfm?action=viewonly2&id=106

    http://rapidlearninglife.com/

    http://www.frogkick.com/pdfs/rapid_elearning_vs_wbt.pdf

    http://www.adobe.com/resources/breeze/meeting/

    http://onlineuniversitydata.com/2010/17-eye-popping-infographics-on-e-learning-and-online-education/

    http://blog.gatlininternational.co.uk/2011/05/10/thinking-about-elearning-the-statistics-speak-for-themselves/#.UU5XTVsjpXc

    http://www.ambientinsight.com/Reports/eLearning.aspx
  • 06 Jul 2013 3:26 PM | Anonymous

    Q:  What is the new Experience API (“xAPI”)?

    A:  The xAPI is a specification that allows simple tracking of users across nearly any platform. xAPI allows a lightweight means to use JSON to a data in a “triple” format:  <Subject>< Verb><Object>.  Things like:  I watched this movie, I read this blog, or I did x can now be tracked in an interoperable way.

    You can really track users in the browser, games, mobile, virtual worlds, simulators, well…..basically anything.  Now, the really interesting part is that you can also capture data from systems that aren’t typically connected to learning. You can track data from point of sale systems, automated systems, sensors……any system.

    The value is that learning and outcomes (performance) can be tracked among diverse user experiences across a variety of systems.   Understanding which learning has a positive impact on performance is possible.   Understanding how to approximate the development of your best performers is possible.  Knowing what experiences add value (or don’t) is now possible.  [if you really want to know these things]

    Q:  xAPI has been described as a “successor” to SCORM. What makes xAPI better than SCORM?

    A:  The xAPI addresses a number of limitations classically associated with SCORM.  The following list details items that were issues in SCORM that are addressed in the xAPI: security, use outside the LMS, use outside the browser, offline support, web and native app tracking, tracking virtual worlds and simulations, tracking informal learning, and tracking group performance. xAPI makes these previous issues easily addressable in an interoperable way.

    Q:  How rapidly is xAPI being adopted?

    A:  xAPI spec is a success story for a community developed specification.  Vendor participation has been very good from the start and has resulted in a lot of adoption by vendors.  The specification reached 1.0 in late April and many vendors currently serving the elearning market are adopting.  Additionally, vendors not typically associated with SCORM are planning adoption at some levels with their technology.  For more on the making of xAPI read: 

    http://www.adlnet.gov/an-open-source-success-story-a-community-developed-specification

    Q:  How are Learning Record Stores (LRS) being incorporated today?

    A:  First, an LRS is a way to store xAPI statements.  It’s basically a way to track what you currently do in your LMS AND it’s the place to store anything else that you might want to track about learners.  An LRS can be incorporated inside  or outside  of your firewall.  The LRS becomes the hub of data that is tracked via the xAPI.

    Q:  What do instructional designers and trainers need to know about the new Experience API?

    A:  Designing with xAPI is going to require a bit of a different thinking.  You’ll need to start thinking about learning ecosystems. A learning ecosystem is a collection of applications working in concert that aligns formal, informal, and experiential learning towards performance. Before the xAPI, we thought about tracking data about progress and completion. We also thought about learning as a resource.  In the future, we’ll need to think about how to design and track experiences along learning journeys.  We will need to know whether someone is on track or not in their journey and our systems should be able ultimately be able to help without our intervention…..more on this later!  

    Q:  What do e-learning developers need to know about the new Experience API?

    A:  There are authoring tools that support xAPI.  That’s only one piece.  You will need to think about design differently.  More soon!

    Q:  What do Chief Learning Officers need to know about the Experience API?

    A:  The xAPI is going to affect the marketplace of tools, products, and technologies available to solve learning and human capital challenges.  Be ready to ask the right questions of your vendors.  Things like:  are you planning on implementing the xAPI into your product?  why? (these are good questions)

    Q:  Why should my company or organization adopt xAPI?

    A:  There are many potential business drivers for an organization looking at adoption: Unanswered questions, gaps in learning/evidence, long progression of learners, on the job training rampup period knowledge organization, connecting learning and performance.

    Q:  What do I have to do to start using the new Experience API?

    A:  First, there are some technical things you need to address.  What will you use for an LRS?  There is an open source one available from ADL.  There are commercial ones……your LMS vendor might even be making one.  Ask and seek.  Get your developer to look at the spec.  Take baby steps.  Be persistent.  Ask the community.  There is a good group connected to ADL.

    Now….define and develop a meaningful pilot to prove the value to your organization.  While the tech is important, defining a goal is key.  Here are 4 primary non-technical steps to do this:

    1. Articulate well-formed problems– what are you trying to solve and why?
    2. Define questions to be answered – what do you need to know that you don’t know now?
    3. Ecosystem mapping – what are the data sources that you need to use to answer the questions?
    4. Value proposition – define the who, the what, and the benefits for your stakeholders.  Make sure you include end users, management and technical people.

    There are other conversations you need to have with regard to design and identity, but this will get you moving.

    Q:  What rapid e-learning development tools support the Experience API?

    A:  Currently Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate have support

     

  • 07 May 2013 6:52 PM | Anonymous

    By Beverly Moore

    The April program was delivered by Steve Lee, Co-Founder and Relationship Manager at Allen Interactions on “Defining an Instructional Design Process,” a discussion of the principles contained in the recently published book Leaving ADDIE for SAM by Michael Allen.  

    Let’s face it – for most instructional designers, ADDIE is second-nature, and the thought of replacing it with some other methodology is a little unsettling.   But, as we saw during Steve Lee’s presentation, the components of ADDIE are still valid.  Our challenge is to think differently about the timing of these activities. 

    SAM (Successive Approximation Model) is an agile methodology for development of learning experiences.   The idea is to spend a significant effort conducting the up-front analysis work, called the “Preparation” phase in SAM.  Then, in the “Iterative Design Phase,” select one activity to prototype, perhaps in PowerPoint.  Review/test (evaluate) this design, then refine and retest until you are confident in the design.  You may do this for 1-3 activities before you move on to develop any of them fully.  In the “Iterative Develop Phase,” you’ll design, implement and evaluate in iterations until you have a solid design that is fully developed and ready to deploy.  With a few modules fully developed, you can package them to test in the learning management system if you have one.

    So, why choose SAM over ADDIE?   There are several reasons:

    •          Reduce your risk to timeline and budget.  Iterative design and development allows you to adjust to changes in requirements that may happen once the design phase starts. 
    •          Jumpstart development.  If your training is part of a process/tool change, you can proceed with training design and development as soon as portions of the future state are locked.
    •          Improve usability and effectiveness.  You can test out a prototype with a community of Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) so you don’t get to the end of development and find out the course is not engaging, not effective, or doesn’t work as expected. 

    While the iterative design/develop approach was the focus of the presentation, there were several other tips in Steve’s presentation:

    •          Teach people how to do their job in the real world where things don’t go perfectly.  Take learning objectives and ask “What are all the mistakes someone might make?”
    •          Provide opportunities for learners to make choices and experience the natural consequences of those mistakes, and then the opportunity to try it again making different choices.  Give them feedback but don’t prevent them from making poor choices. 
    •          When creating e-Learning, if you think people will try to “click through” just to get to the end, make that the longest path to finish. Make them think before moving ahead.
  • 23 Apr 2013 4:25 PM | Anonymous

      Would you like to know one of the quickest ways to achieve greater success and satisfaction in your life?   Work on improving your emotional intelligence.

     

    What is emotional intelligence?  It is a set of emotional and social skills we use every day, whether it’s on the job, at home, on the road, or talking to ourselves.  And, how well we use those skills is being proven to be more important to our success and happiness than our IQ’s.  In fact, as much as 40% of the success you’ll have on your job relies on your having good emotional intelligence skills.

     

    The concept of emotional intelligence hit the public full force when Daniel Goleman released his groundbreaking book Emotional Intelligence in the mid 1990’s.  Before that, IQ was considered by many (and still is by all too many) to be the determiner of success in life.

     

    But, will IQ alone make you a good team member?  An A-rated boss?  A successful trainer?  A good spouse?  An effective parent?   Adept socially?  Will it make you happy?  No, that’s where EQ kicks in.

     

    As you might expect, experts got busy studying emotional intelligence, identifying individual skills and then devising ways to measure them reliably.   On the EQ-I 2.0, a thoroughly validated assessment tool, 15 individual EQ skills have been identified.   Among these 15 skills are Self-Regard, Independence, Assertiveness, Interpersonal Relationships, Impulse Control, Reality Resting, Flexibility, Stress Tolerance, and Optimism. 

    Now, I am betting you could take each one of these skills and point out someone who has either too much or too little of that skill, right?  Now, just imagine how life would change if that person simply corrected the imbalance.   And, did you see a skill that is a challenge for you?

     

    I got into emotional intelligence while going through a life-altering transition.  And, I can tell you there is nothing that will wake you up faster than seeing your EQ scores objectively laid out on a chart.   Mine was a picture of my life as I had created it.  It was also a picture others were seeing daily!  One of my low scores was “optimism.”   I saw why my life had been, quite frankly, disappointing.  You can’t win when you’re thinking “losing.”  Odd that I could see it in others, but not in myself.  I was being “realistic.”

     

    Now, as opposed to IQ, your EQ can be improved.  You simply decide what skills you want to improve, and you start tracking yourself, creating new, more resourceful habits.  In my case, I got busy identifying situations where I was really being pessimistic and change to something more resourceful.  And, it’s a good thing I did.  ShortIy thereafter, I found myself the subject of a public, “dressing down” by a well-known consultant I’d paid to hear.  As a result of my EQ self-work, I was able to realize he had huge ego problems -- and set everything aside and move forward.  Otherwise, his remarks might have destroyed me.  Now, that’s the benefit of having a good EQ. 

    Diana Ferguson

    Fundamentals for Success

    Certified in Core Values Index™ and Emotional Intelligence

  • 14 Apr 2013 2:08 PM | Anonymous

      Since ICE Dallas is right around the corner, and some of us are planning to go (disclaimer – I‘m not, but will be attending IAFNA in June), I thought a look at various “How to Get the Most Out of a Conference” posts might be useful. There’s standard advice: make checklists, network, determine your goals, etc. But I couldn’t find what I wanted to hear – take it easy.

    For some of us, conferences are overwhelming. We’re navigating unfamiliar surroundings and unknown relationships, while inputting large amounts of new information. I feel tired just typing that sentence.

    What’s a professional introvert to do? I say “take care of yourself”. Decide what tracks you want to cover, but don’t push. Take a pass on sessions that don’t excite you. (You know you’ll be sorry you went to those anyway.) Use the time to take a nap or be alone. Review your notes. Find a friend to chat with. If you take the time to refresh yourself, you’ll have the energy you need when you need it.

    Let’s start a new phenomenon. Conference-life balance. Introverts, chime in! What's your advice?

  • 02 Apr 2013 5:21 PM | Anonymous

      In my opinion, Brain Rules by John Medina is one of the best books we have reviewed in the Cliff Notes SIG. The review was so intriguing that I bought the book. I learned a lot from it – both for personal knowledge and for professional development. I think we are all aware that the brain is an amazing organ. This book highlights incredible insights and inspires the desire to treat our brains well.

    Some of the most fascinating rules/principles covered in the book are:

    • Exercise boosts brain power.  Did you know that your lifetime risk for dementia is cut in half if you participate in leisure-time exercise? How about this – exercisers out perform couch potatoes in long-term memory, reasoning, attention, problem-solving tasks, and fluid intelligence tasks! That should be enough evidence to get everyone enrolled in an exercise class!
    • Every brain is wired differently.  The brain acts like a muscle in that the more activity you engage in, the larger and more complex it can become. Consider this: The world forces wild animals into learning mode. Brains in wild animals are 15 to 30 percent larger than brains in domesticated animals.
    • People don’t pay attention to boring things. You’ve got a few seconds to grab someone’s attention. You’ve got 10 minutes to keep it. At 9 min. 59 seconds something must be done to regain attention and restart the clock –- something emotional and relevant. That’s one of the reasons I chunk online training into 10-minute segments. And get this – the brain remembers emotional components of an experience better than any other aspect. That sure makes me wonder why learning professionals so often ignore the affective domain. It is mighty important.
    • Repeat to remember. OK, we don’t want to dwell on the drill-and-kill approach to learning, but there’s a lot to be said for repetition. People usually forget 90 percent of what they learn in class within 30 days. That’s pretty depressing so as learning professionals, we’ve got to make sure our audience has an opportunity to put new knowledge and skills to use right away.
    • Sleep well, think well. The brain appears to consolidate the day’s learning the night after learning occurs. An interruption of sleep disrupts the learning cycle.
    • Vision trumps all other senses. As an artist and visual communicator, I love this one!  The more visual the input becomes, the more likely it is to be recognized and recalled. A test performed years ago showed that people could remember more than 2,500 pictures with at least 90 percent accuracy several days post exposure, even though subjects saw each picture for about 10 seconds. Accuracy rates were about 63 percent a year later.

    It is hard to write a short review of Brain Rules. The book is packed with terrific information and a lot of it can be used to make training more effective. I hope you'll read this book and get as much out of it as I did.

    Linda Warren
    Past President, Austin ASTD

     

  • 25 Mar 2013 10:18 PM | Anonymous

      Sherry Lowry recommended a great little, yet inspiring book on the creative process. I’ve always been interested in the creative process and problem solving. There are academic approaches to studying the subject, but I really enjoy Steal Like an Artist because it is a fresh, spontaneous, and creative approach to inspiration. It also deals with the difference between plagiarism and influence – a slippery slope – especially in the digital era when there is the pervasive attitude of thinking it’s OK to take any resource online and reuse it.

    The first time I read the book I marked lots of pages that I wanted to read repeatedly and today I’m enjoying a few of the excerpts.

     

    -- From the cartoonist Lynda Barry, “In the digital age, don’t forget to use your digits!” Your hands are the original digital devices. Use them.


    -- Art that only comes from the head isn’t any good. You don’t need a scientific study … to tell you that sitting in front of a computer all day is killing you, and killing your work. We need to move, to feel like we’re making something with our bodies, not just our heads.

    -- “The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.” Jessica Hische

    -- Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend time in another land, among people that do things differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, when the world looks new, our brains work harder.

    -- The right constraints can lead to your very best work. Dr. Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat with only 236 different words, so his editor bet him he wouldn’t write a book with only 50 different words. Dr. Seuss came back and won the bet with Green Eggs and Ham, one of the bestselling children’s books of all time.

    I hope these excerpts have piqued your interest in inspiration and creativity. Steal Like an Artist is written by Austin Kleon, who by chance, lives in Austin, Texas.

     

    Linda Warren

    ASTD Austin, Past President

  • 18 Mar 2013 6:32 PM | Anonymous

      Are you a front door only person? Are you ever intrigued by the side or back door? If you've got a curious nature, exploring the less obvious (and less traveled) ingresses can be the most interesting. And if you're adventurous enough to use social media like Twitter, the resources are nearly unlimited.

    More and more conferences, speakers, and vendors are sharing valuable information online through Twitter, Slideshare, LinkedIn, YouTube and more.  Savvy learning and development experts are going so far as developing curated back channel resource pages; Karen Wade organized a Knowledge Pot Luck to develop a Knowledge /Inspiration /Tools & Tips "KIT" which she wrote about on Austin ASTD blog.  I hope we can see it expanded.

    Another hero of curated back channel resources is David Kelly; he points out on his blog that like many of us, it's just not feasibly to attend every conference and seminar of interest. But that doesn't mean it's not possible to see the presentations, and connect with others.  Kelly has curated five back channel resources for conferences on his site davidkelly.me and he's gone so far to include the Twitter hashtags in the titles.

    Hashtags, if you aren't familiar with them, are user generated categories to make it easier for people to find topic threads on social media.  Unique hashtags mean anyone attending a conference or just watching from afar can keep current on what people are talking about online.  Speakers link to their presentations on Slideshare and use the hashtags to make it easier for people to find them. And it means that you can see what people are talking about (good and bad).

    Recent conferences you can search for on Twitter include #ASTDK13,  #TRG13, and the upcoming #SXSWedu.

    If you want to learn more about using hashtags and following conferences you can see an online version of the handout I created at blog.jenn-brown.com; there's also an article on how to subscribe to Twitter lists there.  You can also directly subscribe to my twitter list for learning and development events (if you have a Twitter account).

    The (free!) online resources for learning and development professionals is growing daily; why not take advantage of them? It's just like being there, only by using the back door.

    Jenn Brown

     

    Photo Credit:  Behind Which Door, (c) Marc Falardeau

  • 11 Mar 2013 9:08 PM | Anonymous

      Like many adult learners I thrive in a visual and kinesthetic learning environment. A classroom where I can think out loud, hear others ideas and discuss the practical application of learning and development theories.

    The Austin ASTD CPLP cohort has provided this platform for me and I look so forward to attending. It’s a challenge to find time to study for the exam so the cohort has been keeping me focused.

    Anyone else have thoughts about the CPLP exam or the cohort?

    Leah Carrubba

  • 04 Mar 2013 2:15 PM | Anonymous

      Jane Hart issued a challenge recently…can you create useful learning content within the size limits of a tweet (140 characters)?? Depending on the topic, this can be easy or really really hard!!

    My contributions:

    ·        Polish silver jewelry: 1-wet it, 2-rub in tiny bit of toothpaste (keep wet), 3-rub til paste=black, 4-wait 2 mins, 5-wash away! #140id

    ·        #140id Follow blog (Google #Reader): 1-Go 2 blog, 2-Select address, 3-Copy (Ctrl+C), 4-In GReader, clk SUBSCRIBE, 5-Paste (Ctrl+V), 6-Add

    Join in on Twitter – it’s fun! – and don’t forget to add the hashtag #140id.

     

    Holly Nellene
    2013 Chapter President

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