Thursday, May 27, 2010

Book Review: Ruth Clark’s Evidence-Based Training Methods

I’ve been trying to read a lot lately – books, not just blogs. 

And I do find that the age-old book report is a great way to synthesize and encode all those juicy learning nuggets.

ASTDMy latest review: Ruth Clark’s Evidence-Based Training Methods: A Guide for Training Professionals

Recommendation:  Thumbs Up. 

I presented a webinar today and found myself quoting liberally from this book.  So if that’s not a good indicator of its usefulness, I don’t know what is!

Clark effectively summarizes current learning research, covering important topics like use of audio and graphics.  And bashes the learning styles myth.  A lot of the material was familiar to me from having read E-Learning and the Science of Instruction and from participating in her session of the same name last fall at DevLearn (my notes are here).

Click here to read my review of Evidence-Based Training Methods on the Kineo site.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The eLearning Salary Gender Gap

This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Janet Clary – a response to my original post eLearning Guild’s 2010 Salary Report in which I declared I was ticked off by this:

There continues to be a consistent gender gap in pay between men and women. On average, men are paid 14.5% more than women. This gap is most notable in part-time employee pay, where women receive an average hourly rate that is 49.4% lower than the rate men receive, while working a comparable number of hours.

The National Average Salary — Full-time Employee $79,300:

eguild_salary_gender_gap So, in pictures, the average Full-Time elearning salary for men is $85.8K and for women $74.4K. 

Women make –5% of the average; men make +9.5%.


Now, of course there are many variables.  And the eLearning Guild report does a good job helping you use the data to construct your salary. 





Take this worked example from page 22:

Scenario #2 — Full-time employee negotiating a salary increase
An Instructional Designer in Oregon, who is an individual contributor, is preparing for her annual review and evaluating a potential request for a salary increase. She works for a computer hardware manufacturing company that employs 50,000+ employees. She has four years of e-Learning experience and a Bachelor’s degree.

Now I think what’s missing here is an adjustment for gender, right? 

So we should actually adjust her salary down by an additional-5% (the penalty of being a woman), putting her adjustment at –3.5% (or -$2775.50).

So that would put her total salary at at $77,714,50 instead of $80,490.

If she’d have been a man, she could have asked for $89,213!

So – how off are you?  Here’s my challenge.  Go off and calculate for yourself.  See where you’re at.  And then pause, reflect, take action?  (see the other blog carnival offerings for more on the subject of action…) 

Fill out the worked example making adjustments based on your own situation.  You can find the variables in the Guild Report (pages listed below):

  • Industry (p. 15)
  • Company Size (p. 16)
  • State (p. 17)
  • Years Experience (p. 18)
  • People Managed (p. 19)
  • Education (p. 21)
  • Job Focus (p. 21)
  • Gender (p. 5 = -5% for women, +9.5% for men)


This post is part of a blog carnival on the subject of the gender salary gap. Read more from Julie Dirksen: Ranting on the Gender Pay Gap in E-Learning, Janet Clarey: The Salary Gap In US E-Learning Industry, and Cammy Bean: eLearning Guild’s 2010 Salary Report.

Have something to say on the subject?  Join the ride and contribute.  Then share a link to your post in the comments on one of our blogs.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Phew! Reflecting on #ASTD10

I generally leave conferences both exhilarated and exhausted, and sitting on the flight home from three days in Chicago at the ASTD International Conference and Expo, I realize this one was no exception.

(What I would give right now for a foot rub. Anyone?)

Three days of booth babe duty at our lovely Kineo stand with my colleagues Steve Lowenthal, Steve Rayson, Mark Harrison and Gabe Rosenberg.

There was a lot of energy this year, overall felt like a lot more bustle and excitement than at last year’s ICE. As Ron Burns of Proton Media said, “what recession?”

I had no time to attend any sessions, but did imbibe much learning and connections nonetheless:


On the stand, we had lots of interest in our corporate Moodle LMS offering. I’ve asked before whether the corporate Moodle is at a tipping point, and the strong indicators are, yes. Yes, indeed.

Companies want the flexibility and freedom of an open source model. People are frustrated with ongoing licensing fees, lack of good customer support and responsiveness from traditional LMS vendors, and slow time to implement.

I heard a lot of, “I’ve been looking into Moodle and we’re really interested...tell me more.” (If you want to know more, be sure to read some of the case studies on the work we’ve been doing in the corporate Moodle space).

Hanging out with Mr. SCORM himself

ASTD_ASilversIf you’re in eLearning, you’ve heard of SCORM. But did you know there is actually a Mr. SCORM and that he is the fabulous Aaron Silvers of ADL? (@mrch0mp3rs)

What I like most about Aaron is that he can talk about these really technically confusing things like metadata and metaparadata and the semantic web and I sort of get it.

Aaron and I talked about his vision for the new SCORM. Expect to see some exciting changes to SCORM in the next bit.

Getting social

I didn’t have a lot of time to cruise the expo hall (man, there were a lot of vendors!), but I did make a point of checking out Bloomfire and their Collaborative Social Learning Community. Josh has a great vision of helping groups put out user generated content in an easily accessible way. Bloomfire (@Bloomfire) even has a built in screencasting and video recording tool, making it super easy for people to share informal bits with each other.

Talking leadership

I love connecting face to face with people I’ve known online and I really enjoyed meeting Terrence Wing. (@TerrenceWing) Terrence does leadership training and is very involved with ASTD (he was on the conference committee!) I like his approach to training, “We create leadership packages – tools and resources for ASTD_TWinger TStonemanagers based on situational needs.” (He made an analogy to Jack Bauer’s hostage packages on the show 24.)

Talking content

As always, it was great to connect with Thomas Stone (@ThomasStone) of ElementK and hear what they’re up to with off-the-shelf content and LMSs. He’s possibly the most sincere person in the eLearning biz. And I mean that most sincerely.

Meeting the legends

I’ve known Professor Karl Kapp for yASTD_Kkappears, but it was a bit of a shock to meet him face to face after all this time. (I told him my head would explode if this were to happen and it did.)

Great to catch up on his book (Learning in 3D continues to be a top seller!) and he even brought around Ron Burns of Proton Media to share a what’s happening in the immersive learning space.

Be sure to check out Karl and Ron's video tour of ASTD!

Top tips

Our own Steve Rayson was on the prowl with his flip cam, recording eLearning top tips from the likes of Mark Harrison of Kineo, Tom Kuhlmann of Articulate, Karl Kapp, Allen Partridge of Adobe, Ethan Edwards of Allen Interactive, and yours truly. Check out all the new additions to the Kineo TV channel.

Here’s a few to get you started:

All in all, a great show! Thanks to all of you who stopped by our booth and look forward to seeing you next year!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recommended: "In Defense of the LMS"

Are you an LMS naysayer? Do you have any idea what an LMS is actually capable of these days?

Either way -- or whatever your LMS experience -- I heartily recommend this post from Dave Wilkins: "A Defense of the LMS (and a case for the future of Social Learning). It's a long read, but he makes it more enjoyable with swears.

Dave is currently a bigwig at So, yes, he's got a bit of a bias, but he certainly knows his way around an LMS.

Chicago Bound: Kineo at ASTD ICE #astd10

ASTD_LogoNext week I’ll once again be doing booth babe duty at ASTD’s International Conference & Expo in Chicago

With over 8,000 attendees expected, the expo should be hopping.

Stop by booth #1103 and check out what we’re up to at Kineo in terms of custom and rapid eLearning,  tools and capability building and Moodle LMS.

Be sure to let me know if you’ll be on the prowl at the show.  I love meeting people face to face.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Year on at Kineo #yam

oneToday marks my one year anniversary with Kineo!  It’s been quite an amazing year and I felt this  milestone required a momentary pause in the madness to stop and reflect on all I’ve done and learned in the past year. 

kineologo Last May, I told you all that starting at Kineo was like having a corporate crush realized.  Well, the honeymoon is still on and I’m delighted to be a part of the Kineo team.

Some highlights of the year, in no particular order:

Instructional Design

As a personal mission, I’ve been reading lots of book this past year in my never-ending quest to get an informal Master’s Degree in Instructional Design.  Maybe one day I’ll get an honorary degree…

Range of Projects and Amazing Clients

I think it’s possible that I’ve worked on more different projects in the past year than combined for the previous ten.  OK – maybe that’s an overstatement.  But I’ve gotten to work on some exceptionally cool stuff for some really great clients– from educator sexual misconduct to behavior in the workplace for financial institutions to the structure of hair and how hair color products work.  (Have a question about getting your hair colored.  Ask away!)

Speaking Gigs & Online Webinars

This stuff really floats my boat.  I’ve presented at the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn and Learning Solutions Conference, presented an ELearning Guild Online Forum, and hosted numerous Kineo Insight and Design Hour website.  I’m honing my presentation skills every day and now aspire to be an eLearning Talk Show Host.  Connecting with people and sharing knowledge is the bomb.  Ask Ellen Wagner, who can tell you that I like to incorporate interpretive dance numbers in my sessions whenever possible.

Audio Interviews

I like chatting people up and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to chat up some great people:  Tom Kulhman, Brent Schlenker, Karl Kapp, Will  Thalheimer and Ellen Wagner.  Who else should I be talking to? 


Although my blogging efforts have been a bit sporadic, I have continued to do a lot of writing – not just project work – but also articles and eLearning Top Tips for the Kineo website

Rapid eLearning!

Creating quality eLearning in a matter of weeks is indeed possible.  And I have lived to tell the tale!

New Tools

I now speak Articulate and Moodle (neither fluently, I must admit). 


shed view Working from a home office is da bomb.  I work in a detached shed, so I have a bit of separation from the madness of the small children who have free range – but then I get the frequent drop in to bring a smile to my face.  Not too long ago I saw a family of HUGE raccoons lumbering by.

Can’t beat the commute and I love that I can pick my kids up at the bus most days.

There are challenges, for sure, and I’m learning how to set better boundaries – including locking the door while on client calls or webinars. 

Fortunately, there are lots of great tools to support the virtual worker including Skype and Yammer.  And of course, where would I be without my Twitter community?


I feel so fortunate to work with such a great group of talented and creative eLearning professionals.  Not only have I started incorporating words like “mate” (as in, “Thanks, mate!”) and “keen” and “brilliant” – but I’ve also learned a lot about good  instructional design, tools, working with clients and managing large scale projects.

Many thinks to all of you at Kineo – US and UK colleagues included!


I’m sure I’ve missed a few things of note.  I know I have loads of room for improvement, many areas about which I want to know more, and unknown challenges to come.  Bring it on!

Photo credits:

Now that’s an Enterprise Moodle! -- Kineo Moodle for Retail Giant Tesco

Tesco MoodleIn case you’re still not sure if the open source LMS Moodle is ready for prime time corporate use, have a second look.

Kineo has just deployed a Moodle/Joomla learning portal for Tesco, the world’s third largest retailer. For those of us in the US who haven’t heard of Tesco it’s like the Wal-Mart of the UK.

The initial rollout will go to 15,000 with plans to roll out to the global staff over two years -- that's potentially 400,000 users! The eventual scale of the project will make it one of the largest ever implementations of the Moodle platform in the corporate learning space. Now that’s an enterprise Moodle!

Read more about Kineo’s Tesco Moodle/Joomla Online Academy.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

eLearning Guild’s 2010 Salary Report

money 2 In case you missed this, the eLearning Guild has recently released the 2010 Salary and Compensation Report (United States) by Temple Smolen, culled from data provided by eLearning Guild members. 

“The average salary of a person who lives in the United States and works in e-Learning is $79,252.”

Having a Masters Degree does help, giving you a +3.2% boost.

Instructional Designers come in at –4.6% from the industry average.  Apparently, if you want to make the really big bucks you need to be on the “executive management” side of the business.

According to research results, men on average make $10k more than woman.  Yes – even in the eLearning biz:

There continues to be a consistent gender gap in pay between men and women. On average, men are paid 14.5% more than women. This gap is most notable in part-time employee pay, where women receive an average hourly rate that is 49.4% lower than the rate men receive, while working a comparable number of hours.  (p. 25)

Well then. Needless to say, that really ticks me off…

I like the Examples – How to Use This Data section with scenarios for new hires, contractors and employees seeking a raise.

Check out the data and do a few calculations of your own.  Then ask yourself if you’re on track…

Great stuff for employers looking to hire, eLearning professionals looking to be hired, and all the rest of us in between.

Read more about the report and download it from the Guild’s website.

Photo credit:  Money 2 by borman818 on Flickr

Friday, May 07, 2010

ID Live with John Graves

This weeks’ discussion on EdTechTalk Instructional Design Live was with John Graves, Montana State University-Bozeman on Engaging Learners

(These are my live blogged notes…apologies for gaps and incoherencies :) )

John:  When you don’t have f2f contact with a learner, it’s important to establish yourself (the instructor) as a person – with a family and a life.

How do you foster that initial connection?

Front-load the course – make sure all the pieces are in place even before the student comes online.  “Organization, organization, organization” should be your mantra.  Organized and visually pleasing.  Students have an idea what they need to do.  There needs to be a sense of direction. 

The instructor needs to be front and center – a picture.  Share some personal info about you.  Include an introductory podcast so students can hear and see the teacher.

Then students are encouraged to share their own stories – an assignment in the first week is to introduce yourself as a student.

To engage students online – create an online scavenger hunt to expose students to components of the course that are available to them. (find things in the help system, the syllabus, etc.)  10 questions -- (He uses Desire2Learn) – Why does instructor not go by Carl Graves?  Students then need to go to introduction area and find his profile and find out why.  Students then sent to various arenas in the course – introduces them to the places like Help, etc. This really seems to help students figure out where things are.

Other ideas for icebreakers:

Ongoing ways to connect with students:

John basically keeps 24/7 office hours to set up times online (via Skype, etc.) to meet with students.

Feedback of assignments.


Building in peer review into assignments where students give each other feedback on work.

Students do self assessment of their performance as an evaluator for their classmate.

Focused on being the guide on the side rather than the expert – force students move beyond lower levels and into higher levels of questioning skills.

The recording of this session will be available at Instruction Design Commons.

About Instructional Design Live:

A weekly online talk show, Instructional Design Live is based around Instructional Design related topics and is opportunity for Instructional Designers and professionals engaged in similar work to discuss effective online teaching and learning practices.