Sunday, November 28, 2010

Introducing Totara! Webinars in December.

We had fun at DevLearn last month giving some sneak peeks of the new Totara LMS.  If you missed us on the stand, now’s your chance!

totaralms If you haven’t heard yet about Totara, it’s a new corporate distribution of Moodle. 

It includes a wide range of features designed to meet the specific needs of corporates, including competency management, staff development plans, team management, individual and corporate dashboard reporting, and the management of classroom events.

The new Totara distribution of Moodle is open source and available on a subscription basis which provides ongoing support and enhancements.

Totara officially launches in January 2011.

The nine webinars will take place on 15th, 16th and 21st December. There will be three webinars each day to cover Pacific, European and US time zones.

The webinar covers:

  • Overview of Totara
  • Demonstration of key features including: competency management,  team management, individual development plans and reporting
  • Subscriptions, hosting and support

To register for the webinar: Totara LMS.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicago Based e-Learning Developer? We're looking!

Are you based in Chicago? Are you an e-Learning Developer? If not, do you know someone who is?

We're looking for some new talent to join our growing team:

Great people are the heart and soul of Kineo. We seek the talented, the experienced and the exceptional. We offer a great working environment, competitive compensation and the opportunity to work with great clients.

We are currently looking for bright enthusiastic people to join our e-learning development team.

Ideally, you will:

•be highly IT literate and love learning new software
•have experience with commercial eLearning development tools like Articulate and Captivate
•have knowledge of Flash, HTML, Photoshop and other web development tools
•be able to demonstrate a good eye for layout and brand
•be passionate about quality and have an eye for detail
•be well organized with great communication skills

Position Type: Full Time

State/Province, Country: Chicago, IL USA

Interested? email

More Information:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three Tips for Putting the Humanity Back into E-Learning and More Top Tips

Oh, the humanity!  Is your e-Learning turning out more like a horror show for zombies than a program that actually helps, gasp, people?

Three tips for stopping the horror and putting the humanity back in:

  1. Start with the learner, not the content
  2. Get emotional
  3. Watch your tone

For more of the meat on this one, read the full top tip on our website: Tip 44: Where’s the humanity?

And be sure to check out more top tips, including the latest: Tip 45: Video – bring out your inner guerilla

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Live in NY! It’s Kineo…

Wednesday, November 10, Kineo hosted a live workshop in New York on rapid eLearning in the Enterprise.

We started the morning with introductions, asking people to share their burning issues.  Here’s some of what people shared:

  • I’m a one-stop-shop – how do I learn more about tools?
  • How do I speed up the process?
  • Our sales team just wants text messages.
  • My biggest problem is Apple’s war on Flash.
  • How do I create more effective training?
  • What about audio narration – am I doing it right?
  • A lot of courses in a short amount of time.  How do I engage learners in a short time with a limited budget.
  • Our challenge is creating eLearning for teachers when they can’t install anything on their computers.
  • My bugaboo is that YouTube is blocked in schools.
  • How do I scale development while maintaining instructional integrity?

The New York workshop included short sessions from Kineo’s Mark Harrison, me!, and Tom Kuhlmann of Articulate.  Here’s a quick rundown of what we each talked about:

Kineo’s Mark Harrison on Learning Models:

How often do you need to have an interaction?  The myth of needing an interactive exercise every 3-5 screens.  That is often the closest to a learning model that most interactive designers get. (A very simple model).

We need models to help stop the stream of consciousness writing.  These structures are crucial to building better elearning and can actually help you speed up the process.

  • Knowledge and skill builder model (tutorial) – great for policies, processes, and procedures
  • Scenario model – learn and apply or simulation – great for decision making, soft skills, and policies, processes and procedures
  • Process or Systems training model (show me, try it, test me)

Mark tells the story of a 3 hour certification program he had to take before he could travel to a country abroad.  He had to pass the test before the ticket was issued. His solution? Screen grabs of the entire program that he then referred to as he took the test.  Is this what your learners are doing? Maybe you need to rethink your programs…

So let’s take a closer look at those models:

Knowledge and Skill builder (a variation on Gagne’s 9 Events):

  • Get attention
  • Set direction
  • Present info
  • Exemplify and practice
  • Assess and summarize
  • Action and support

See Kineo Design Hour: Learning Models presentation for more details.

AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (see the Kineo Top Tip: Learning from the Ad Men)

Cammy (that’s me!) on tone and writing for elearning:

Five guidelines:

  • Keep it light
  • Give it spirit
  • Have a conversation
  • Call for action
  • Be adult

See the Kineo Design Hour: Tone of Voice presentation for more details.

Tom Kuhlmann The Rapid eLearning Story

Many of the people Tom talks to are one/two person eLearning shops.  As we evolve in our eLearning journeys, we often follow this path:

  1. “convert this course” (when you’re just getting started, you need to get it online)
  2. “make it look better” (I see that my course could look better. How do I do that better without being a graphic designer?)
  3. “make it interactive” (how do I make my courses more learner-centric?)

1. Convert the course

Provide a structure for the course. When you’re just getting started, this structure can work well: welcome; instructions; objectives; section of content – intro, object, content, wrapup; assessment; summary

Basic graphic design principles:

CRAP: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, Proximity

Using graphics to craft meaning (it’s not just eye candy)

  • The Non-Designer’s Design Book Robin Williams
  • Slide-ology Nancy Duarte

If you want to be able to create more interesting PPT presentations, you need to learn more about PPT.

You’re developing meaning as you put things on the page.

Great resources from Cathy Moore:

Take a company policy and build it the typical way, then apply “dump the drone” – before and after

Create your own eLearning style guide – and then tell the marketing department that’s what you use for eLearning.

Working with SMES: SMES don’t care about learning theories. Show them before and after.

 2. Make it look better

If it looks good, people will be more interested. the aesthetic is important.

Visual design creates meaning. We direct the learner’s attention through layout and what we put on screen and where.

Visual voice – imagine a western movie poster. It has a “voice” – probably a bit dusty, frayed, font is in that “Wanted” style.

Give your course a visual voice.

Tom describes a mind mapping process they use to create a visual identity for a program

3. Make  it interactive

Some rapid ID models you can follow to assemble your course:

Information & Interaction

one track that gets information in linear mode OR one track that gets right into the interactive mode

(See Christian Aid course example that Tom and Dave Anderson built for Lingo’s -- on Tom’s blog)

RSI – Rapid Situational interaction

Place your content in a relevant situation – you get all of your content in this route, but it’s presented through the situation.

The Usual Suspects

Have a situation (some context),…interviewing or surveying some choices – see Tom’s blog for examples.

Wrapping it up

All in all it was a great event – although it went by in quite a blur!  Thanks to all of you who attended and I just wish we’d had some more time for chatting at the end.

Monday, November 08, 2010

eLearning Pros: What did we want to be? #dl10

In prep for last week’s DevLearn closing session, I ran a little survey on my blog asking eLearning professionals what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Here’s the word cloud from those results:


Very, very interesting…

Granted, these results are surely skewed to those of you who actually read my blog…but nevertheless says something about who we are.  What say you? 

Saturday, November 06, 2010

DevLearn, Reflected #dl10

As always, the eLearning Guild puts on a great show and this year’s DevLearn in San Fran was no exception. Heading home completely exhausted and in dire need of a foot rub – good signs of all the action there was.

Life as a booth babe

At the Kineo booth, we were busy on the stand talking about Totara – the new open source LMS for corporates – and showing off some our custom eLearning projects.

I was joined on the booth floor by our US CEO Steve Lowenthal, our new Director of Totara Jonathan Newman (who’s quite the smarty pants on open source and Moodle – welcome Jonathan!); and two of our colleagues/founders from the UK, Steve Rayson and Mark Harrison.

It’s really cool to talk to hear what eLearning challenges (and triumphs) people are facing in their own organizations. Best part of being a booth babe!

I had the chance to occasionally wander away from our booth and check out a bit of the other expo floor action:

  • Saw a few glimpses of Allen Interaction’s new Zebra authoring tool
  • Got to see a brief demo of Lectora Inspire
  • Checked out the buzz at the Open Sesame stand (an online market place for your eLearning courses – think iTunes for eLearning)
  • Saw the cool dudes from Bloomfire who are firing things up with social community
  • Talked ARGs with the team from Tandem Learning who created the Dr. Strangelearn alternate reality game for the show and wore some really snazzy lab coats
  • And, as always, got to see Tom Kuhlmann in all of his Articulate awesomeness.

Talking non-stop at DemoFest for two hours

DemoFest is a blast but boy oh boy is it exhausting.

I showed off a project I did for Paul Mitchell – a Moodle learning portal for sales reps complete with a program on color basics, interactive product knowledge brochures, a virtual salon to apply what they’ve learned and convince a salon owner to go with their products, and a final challenge.

My voice is shot from that experience…that’s for sure.

Congratulations to Kevin Thorne (@Learnnuggets) for winning best of show at DemoFest!

A smattering of keynotes and sessions

When you’re exhibiting in the expo it’s a bit hard to partake in many sessions, but I did get to jump into some of the keynotes: really great stuff by John Seely Brown (my blog attempt here), Byron Reeves on Engagement and Marcia Connors on the new social learning.

Sumeet Moghe ran a fun breakfast byte session on Friday, exposing the myths of eLearning. (He’s also done a mad job of live blogging his notes, so be sure to check out his blog!)

I had a quick poke in to hear what Sarah Kesher Sound80 had to say about audio in eLearning. Couldn’t stay but will definitely look for their slide deck.

Neil Lasher delivered to a packed house about the science of design – ran us through some research on fonts and layouts. (ITC Garamond wins!) In

teresting stuff. His slides should be up soon on the DevLearn site.

Final keynote session

My personal highlight was getting to be part of the final keynote session. Very cool to be a part of that – up on stage with some amazing people: Richard Cullatta, Aaron Silvers (aka “the beard” or “Mr. SCORM”), Jane Bozarth, Ellen Wagner and Gina Schreck.

We each got our five minutes of fame to tell the world our big idea.

I’ll try to get my slides in shape and post on slide share so you can check out my big idea – it involved pie. Intrigued? Or maybe hungry? I mean, what’s not to like about pie?

But it’s the informal stuff that REALLY matters

I don’t know if it’s possible to document all the random hall conversations while collapsed on the couch, but let me tell you, that’s where the real learning and connection happens. Got to meet so many people face to face for the first time, meet some new names and faces, and snark with the usual gang of suspects.

I feel a bit like a showboater if I try and tell you all the people I got to hang out with – but, wow, it does make a girl giddy!

(Mark Oehlert has the idea that next time we should just all get together and hang out on bean bag chairs for a few days. I’m so in.)

If you want to know more, I suggest you follow the #dl10 tweet stream on Twitter!

Looking forward to the next one!

Kudos to Brent Schlenker and all of the eLearning Guild team for putting on another great learning geek fest. See y’all next time! (And Brent, note bean bag chair idea above…)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

John Seely Brown The Power of Pull #dl10 Keynote

These are my live blogged notes during the Wednesday keynote at DevLearn (non-edited version – apologies for any typos, etc.!) – I didn’t get through the whole keynote – had to get to our booth as the Expo starts while the keynote is still going…and my loud typing was just too annoying.

Clark Quinn has done a nice mindmap of the entire keynote -- worth checking out.

But here goes.


John Seely Brown -- A new culture of learning in a world of constant change

The emergence of a new culture of learning in a world of constant change.

learning on demand – how you pull, not push.

A simple belief: the old institutions aren’t hacking it very well. Nor are our schools.

We have to look at things differently.

20th century infrastructure built on roads, cars, ships, etc. – scalable efficiency became the goal (the more you do something the better you get.)

The trouble with this insight – that curve is a diminishing returns curve. We now scramble faster and faster to stay in place – we have to work that much harder to make the same amount of improvement we used to make.

predictable, hierarchy, control, org routines, minimize variance – the core of scalable efficiency.

This transferred over to our 20th century push-based education system. Predictable curriculum, standards based, authority focused.

The 21st C. infrastructure is driven by the continual exponential advances of computation, storage, etc.

having to relearn fundamentals of computer science – the half life of a given skill is shrinking.

The big shift: Push vs. Pull

How do we enhance the imagination of our workforce? Creativity?

the 2nd shift: The explosion of data!

rethink how we learn, what we learn: Importance of the tacit (need to marinate in new situations)

DevLearn The New Face of Learning is Here! #dl10

Brent Schlenker kicked things off here at the DevLearn key note – talking about the new face of learning.  Which is you and me.

devlearn_that's_me!It really is! Brent explained the DevLearn logo is made up of images of eLearning Guild members.  And he said my name out loud to everyone – along with Clark Quinn and Tom Kuhlmann.  Holy cow!  I’m right above the woman’s left eye. I had no idea.

Reports have it there are 1600-1700 registered people this year.  And by the looks of the crowd, I believe it.

I’ve mostly been doing my booth babe duty on the Expo floor – things have been very busy in there!  Have popped my head into a few keynotes here and there, but seem to find most of my conversations and connections happening on the couches in front of the Expo hall. 

Will try to send occasional messages from the floor – my keyboard is too loud for the live blog notes that I like to take (I’ve been shushed one too many times and have finally learned.  Need a stealth keyboard for the next conference!)

Over and out.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Totara LMS: Open for Business

totaralms Eager to learn more about the new open source learning management system Totara?  The website is now open and ready for browsing:

And if  you’re going to be a DevLearn this week, we’ll be demonstrating Totara in all its open loveliness.  Stop by Kineo Booth #100.

San Francisco, see you soon!