Friday, June 27, 2014

The Accidental (Mobile) Instructional Designer #mlearncon

This week, it's been mLearnCon in sunny San Diego! A really great conference with an engaged community of practitioners actively solving problems and seeking out ideas and insights.

I led a session on Thursday, riffing a bit off my new book. So many of us working in this field found ourselves here seemingly by accident. So we've been designing and developing eLearning all these years, and now a new twist has been added to our plates--making it mobile.

Apologies that my slide deck doesn't capture all of the great insights and sharing that the group contributed, but this should give you an idea of how the conversation went:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

E-Enabled Performance Support with Ruth Haddon #ICELW Concurrent Session Notes

These are my live blogged notes from the International Conference on eLearning in the Workplace (ICELW), happing this week in NYC.  Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Ruth Haddon, COO Epic US @epictalkUSA @rahaddon

People use technology interchangeably -- we want to be able to access our information on any device.

We learn by doing. We don't need a formal learning course. We learn by trying and failing. We need to put what we learn in the classroom into practice in our daily lives.

We love to talk. Earliest forms of performance support = ask the guy sitting next to you.

If he doesn't know, where do you go?

It's how we learn, we're social beings.

We also like to search. 6 billion google searches done every day. We google it.

In our personal lives, if we don't know something, we look it up. Expectation is that it'll be at our fingertips. Problem is we don't do that in the L&D world.  

Where do we learn? 70% learn on the job; 20% learn through coaching; 10% formal classroom.

But L&D professionals focus on that 10%. Instead we should focus on performance support to push it out onto the job.

Gloria Geary on electronic performance support: 

  • Integrate (we need it to be there at our time of need - use the tech to embed it and it's there), 
  • Filter (not too much; don't overwhelm with too much support - need specific answers to specific problems), 
  • Represent (needs to be explicit, and people need to be able to understand it. I don't need to know the history of knitting to figure out how to pick up a lost stitch.)

Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson -- 5 Moments of Learning Need:

  1. learning for the first time
  2. learning more
  3. remembering and applying
  4. learning when things change
  5. learning when things go wrong

Sometimes all you need is performance support (particularly on moments 3-5).

BJ Fogg on how we change behavior:

  1. Ability (classroom, e-learning)
  2. Motivation (persuasive/social technologies)
  3. Triggers (how do I know I need to do this new behavior? job aids, embedded support, etc.)

So how can we foster performance support?

  • create resources and videos to help people
  • integrate tools right into the software
  • portals and integrated software systems to provide searchable information
  • make sure these resources are available on mobile, tablets -- the places where we need them


1. Short resources:

  • More and more clients looking for short, pithy resources to get messages across in a short way (and not asking for courses) -- shifting away from there's a training need to performance support and shorter resources -- e.g. short videos, q&a with experts, animations -- less than 2 minutes pieces that get across a specific short answer to a specific short question. This is what makes it so powerful.
  • Quick reference, diagnostic tools, how to guides, job aids. (And these are available across your devices). Glossaries people can access on their mobile phones. Diagnostic tools to help you throughout your day.
  • How-to Videos -- short videos on how to use the system.
  • FAQs with experts -- taking the conversations you want to have with an expert, to scale it so everyone can get that info.
  • Media types: podcasts, videos, infographics, whiteboard animations, screen captures, etc.
2. Embed performance support in the software you're using.
  • Integrating information into SharePoint to help people see what's needed at each step of the way.
3. Helping people find resources with support portals and structures.
  • Always think about how easy you can make it for people to find it. Can they find it in three clicks?
  • Helping people learn and manage large projects. Created a portal that guides people through each stage of the process with example documents and guidance at each stage.  Small training nuggets on each step. Guides them through the journey.
  • Providing performance support to help people do their jobs. In a flow chart of your team's process, embed the documents and templates people need to be using.
  • Think about gathering existing materials and giving it structure. Put a surface layer on top of all that material. You can drill down by clicking on steps in a process OR search by keywords.
4. Make it mobile
  • Design apps that give people the materials they need and when they need them.
  • So people can refresh on those questions/info when they need it -- and when they might not be at their desk. 
  • Apps help people take things out into the workplace.
  • Diagnostic tools that used to be in big paper manuals can go into a mobile app. 
  • The tools are out there to make it easy to provide short nuggets of info for multiple devices.
It's all about transferring training to the workplace.  

Performance support helps us prop up the forgetting curve.

Really it's about coming up with an integrated strategy. To use formal training along with performance support. It's not an either/or -- they need to be integrated.

Coming down the pike - the future?
  • Contextual performance support -- your phone knows where you are and what your next appointment is and can push info to you that you need -- before you even know you need it.
  • Tin Can xAPI -- to gather data and share -- you took this training course, someone else who took that course found this info useful. Making training and info more personal and useful.
  • Google Glass -- it knows where you are, it knows what time it is...what about first responders who will have access to an expert right in your helmet.  As a diagnostic tool, could be really powerful. A hands free way of getting information. It's early days but some strong potential to provide performance support in an instantaneous way.
  • Smart Watches -- technology that you'll have with you all the time.  

In summary, mobile support is good for:
  • Good for: ensuring transfer of training into workplace and supporting new learning on the job.
  • Support it with: flexible resources, portals, integration with existing software.
  • Consider: Timing, connectivity, tracking (or not), phone features (what can you use that will add value?).


Emotional Experiences: The Underrated Key to Successful Online Learning, David Guralnick #ICELW Concurrent Session Notes

These are my live blogged notes from the International Conference on eLearning in the Workplace (ICELW), happing this week in NYC.  Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

David Guralnick, Kaleidoscope Learning (and the organizer of this very conference)

Our most memorable learning experiences have an emotional component to them...

What about motivation? Extrinsic (coming from the outside) vs. Instrinsic (coming from within)

People who had to eat radishes vs. chocolate chip cookies -- the radish eaters gave up on unsolvable puzzles more quickly then the cookie eaters. (Baumeister, et al 1998)

Acts of self-control and responsible decision making seem to interfere with actions that follow. They take away our attention.

Top characteristics of great learning experiences (what people in David's seminars have reported):

  • Personal relevance
  • Coaching
  • Feedback (how you're performing) from a person...
  • Feedback from the environment -- where you can tell how you're doing (you can actually SEE if you're crocheting correctly)
  • Appreciation by someone else
  • Learning by doing (none of the top learning experiences were passive learning experiences)
So what emotions came up a lot for people? How did they feel about these experiences?
  • Confident
  • Happy -- they enjoyed the experience
  • Supported 
  • Encouraged to experiment (and fail)
  • Energized
How can we create online experiences that bring out these characteristics?

" alone is not enough. It's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing." ~ Steve Jobs

Leadership Training at Aetna using an Online, Connected Learning Technology Platform #ICELW Concurrent Session Notes

These are my live blogged notes from the International Conference on eLearning in the Workplace (ICELW), happing this week in NYC.  Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Ted Fleming from Aetna and Sue Todd (from CorpU).  

Aetna is a diversified health care benefits company. 47,500 employees. Dealing with the big issues of quality of health care, costs, etc at a global level.  We need to train leaders to work in a more complex and global world.

Goal "Accelerate leaders' to serve in broader and more senior roles and to help them accelerate the growth of the business:
  • Expand peripheral vision and foresight
  • Be more self aware.
  • (there were a few more goals that I missed...)

In this session, we'll look at the program they took their top leaders through. Leaders across 13 different states and skill leaders. And we know that people learn best when learning from each other.

In Conjunction with CorpU, Aetna created a Connected Learning system:
Collaborative Online Learning

1-1 and Team Coaching

Quarterly Meetings

Small Group Meetings

Leading Minds Speaker Series

Execution Workshops

Used an online platform (CorpU) to execute and curate this program. 

Don't fall into the ROI trap as a way to measure success and effectiveness.  Instead, focus on things like:
  • Career Dev (are they getting promotions faster?)
  • Are they staying longer?
  • What's their performance like? Do their staff like them? Does their staff stay longer?
  • Program costs
  • How are they performing against their objectives?
  • And more measures...
About 70% of people who've been through the program are exceeding their revenue targets.

CorpU put Harvard, etc. other programs content into their platform. They didn't want to be in compliance tracking world, but instead to focus on collaborative learning environment.  Creating the concept of a collaborative learning  journey.  

5 week "sessions"

With a focus on key activities:
  • Watch
  • Read
  • Reflect
  • Collaborate
  • Discuss
  • Participate (weekly live events)
Make it work anywhere - on iPads; make it compelling. Bring Harvard Law professors into for lectures. Great case studies and reading materials.

Using "narrative non-fiction story telling" to increase engagement and completion through professionally produced video. Seeing 80% completion rate, which they things is great vs. traditional learning.

Have people collaborate in classes the way you want them to collaborate in the real world.

5 week courses, interspersed with 7 week informal practice sessions to keep the learning going and stay connected after the formal learning.

Can you teach entrepreneurial skills?
People who think like entrepreneurs think differently. They believe you can teach this. 

The portal is branded for Aetna. High quality videos, including conceptual videos, plus discussion with sr. leaders (10 videos from to senior leaders at Aetna in a panel talking about difficult/big issues that impact the business).

Weekly live virtual classes. 24-7 access to experts, moderators, peers.

Portal includes course maps, virtual learning communities and more.  Lots of blended modalities in the courses -- people can go through assets on their own, but then come back for group work.

Different flavors of video to mix things up and keep people engaged.  They don't all follow the same style.

Can easily tailor and add activities to the course. 

Cohort groups of about 30-35 people.

As you take notes, mark things favorites, participate in a discussion activity -- it all goes into a BACKPACK so you can always find it.

Tracking -- who's completing what modules, how long are they spending -- do we need to make adjustments? Some people go to the live session having completed all the online content. Others go to the live session and then get intrigued and go back and complete the online content.

Most of the activities were taking word docs, action plans, etc. and then uploading to your group for review and commentary by experts and your peers. 

What types of activities resonated more with senior leaders?
  • Short videos of seniors leaders where they explain a concept
  • Seeing concept applied outside org
  • Seeing concept applied inside the org
  • Ask them to do something -- how are you going to do it?
  • Have an outside expert comment on the quality of that activity and provide coaching
The higher up in the org, they're more used to poking holes in things. The feedback loop was really valuable.

Keystone (the overall goal of the program)
Provide an overview of the competitive challenges facing the health care inductry. Assess entrepreneurial skill level of program participants. 

How can I accelerate the growth of our business?

The course structure over 1 year:

Finance -- what's the end target number you need to hit? Buidl business acumen.  Apply analytical techniques to identify growth opps.

Business model canvas -- what business model do you need to generate that revenue?

Innovation -- what products do we need to deliver to that?

Tech & Ops -- can we delivery that product? Develop org capability to design and deliver new products and services.

Serious Games & e-learning Gamification #ICELW Concurrent Session Notes

These are my live blogged notes from the International Conference on eLearning in the Workplace (ICELW), happing this week in NYC.  Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Margarida Romera, Professor University Laval (Quebec) -- with a link to her slides on this session.

The individual gamer is not alone in the workplace. 

He/she interacts with the Organization (learning needs and objectives, org (un)learning culture, org history/cohesion/goals/challenges, cooperative and competitive dynamics). 

And the gamer interacts on an Interpersonal Level (Teams) (small group history/cohesion/goals, coop/competitive dynamics, learning objectives, etc.)

Games = organized play (Prensky (2001)
Serious games = games with purpose
Gamification = use of game design elemnts in non-game contexts (Deterding, 2011)

Beyond complexity…a methodology (HEXA-GameBasedLearning GBL):

1. Purpose/(educational) objectives – learning objectives

2. Purpose/(education) objectives – learner-centered needs analysis

3. Game modalities:
  • Serious (educational) games = game universe/immersion (cognitive and visual level)/gameplay
  • (Educational) gamification = real life contexts/non-game, secondary task

4. Game mechanics & rules
How do we make points, what are the behaviors the end user needs to do to earn points and advance in game; what moves the player inside the game – is it competition? Inter-group competition and cooperation – one of the most fundamental of game mechanics. Teams working together to compete against other teams.

5. Purpose/(educational) objectives – learning assessment & feedback
Show that the learning objectives are achieved – e.g., increase in sales? Did we achieve that as a company? What analytics are we looking at?

6. Gaming and learning experience
Analysis of the experience itself. If the player doesn’t have a positive experience, then we are also failing. In a game-based learning activity, are the people playing the game into it? Do they like it? Is it just broccoli covered chocolate?

Check out:
Serious Games Society:
Games and Learning Alliance (GALA) "Exploiting games for education."

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#ICELW Opening Keynote with Steve Wheeler @timbuckteeth "The Future is Mobile…Social…Personal"

These are my live blogged notes from the International Conference on eLearning in the Workplace (ICELW), happing this week in NYC.  Forgive any typos or incoherencies.

Opening keynote with Steve Wheeler @timbuckteeth, The Future is Mobile…Social…Personal
Plymouth University UK

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” ~ Arthur C. Clark

We need to make the technology invisible –so we can concentrate on the learning. Remember that technology is just a tool.

We can’t predict the future, but we can look at trends and think about what’s coming in the next year or two.

In 1989, we thought the future was multi-media.
In 1999, we said the future is the Web.
In 2009, we said the future is smart mobile.

Steve shows this great cartoon from circa 1900, showing the illustrator’s idea of Learning in the year 2000– kids sitting at a desk, books being poured into a grinder. Wires connecting the book grinder to the kids brains.  He thought that learning would no longer be about instruction.

Disruptive technologies change things profoundly.  Sir Tim Berners Lee, on the web “ this is for everyone”…

What’s the next disruptive technology?
Is it Google Glass – will your organization use it?

Implementing new technology – the cycle sort of mimics the stages of grief (Denial > Anger > Bargaining> Acceptance):

Knowledge > Persuasion > Decision > Implementation > Confirmation

Trends in L&D
  • Apprenticeship model (just for me) – in the olden days, and then we moved to…
  • Standardized courses (just in case)
  • Bespoke courses (just in time) – and now we’re moving to…
  • Personalized learning (just for me)

 Everyone has a personalized learning environment/network – this will become essential.

Age and generations—these are NOT the issue—it’s context (he shows a picture of a kid reading a newspaper next to his grandfather on his computer).

The linguistics of text.  LOL to grandpa means “Lots of Love”…

Learners taking notes by taking pictures of your slides. One of his colleague says “it’s awful when they do this because this makes it so easy for them!” – we all laughed as half of the audience is taking pictures of Steve’s slides.

We have to be so careful of how we project our identity through social media.

We learn through making.

We need digital wisdom. E.g., Thomas Edison did NOT write or talk about the Internet.

Learners will need new literacies:

  • Social networking
  • Privacy maintenance
  • Identity management
  • Creating and organizing content
  • Reusing and repurposing
  • Filtering and selecting
  • Self presentation
  • Transliteracy (Working and communicating across many platforms, twitter/fb/email/etc.)

We have skills we need to acquire. > Those skills become competencies. > Later on those become literacies – we need to be fluent in them. > And final, we need mastery

(It’s a pyramid, with skills at the base and mastery at the top. Can you picture that?)

When you work in a digital environment you need to learn those new competencies – because it’s an alien environment for all of us. We’re all still getting used to it.

 These tools we use are both personal and social. They occupy the same place at the same time.

All of these tools are available: twitter, fb, youtube, instagram, linkedin…

The more people you connect to, the more noise there is, but your friends help you filter it out.

These PLNs (Personal Learning Networks) are going to become even MORE important to organizational learning.

“I store my knowledge with my friends.”

People still learn – even when it’s unstructured and chaotic.  The “learning” we provide is often too sterile.

BYOD or CYOD (Choose Your Own Device)…

The architecture of participation. Learners create their own content map through tools, sharing, collab, tagging, voting, networking, user generated content.

Skills we need:
  • Connection (people witnessing history and sharing it, conneting people to each other through their networks – people share, reorganize and repurpose content)
  • Context (understanding multiple meanings, diverse interpretations, creativity, we need to get back to divergent thinking)
  • Complexity (being prepared for uncertainty)
  • Connotation (making meaning, finding the impetus to push things farther).

These four Cs are the new 3 Rs (Reading, Riting, Rhithmatic…)

The NMC Horizon Report – every year they come up with predictions. These are some of the things they were looking at in 2012:
  • Game based learning – provides opportunity for immediate feedback.
  • Big Data – give us the picture of the big learner network.
  • Voice and natural gestures (touch tablets, Xbox 360/Kinect type interfaces) – we’ll start seeing these in business

1 year or less = flipped classroom, learner analytics
2-3 years = 3D printing, games and gamification
4-5 years = the quantified self, virtual assistants

Future Learning Topology (Learning 3.0)
  • Distributed (Cloud) Computing – outsourcing your memory. > Infrastructure
  • 3D Visualization and Interaction (e.g. gestural) > Interface
  • Smart Mobiel Technology > Tools
  • Collaborative Intelligent Filtering

Web 1.0 The Web
Web 2.0 The Social Web
Web 3.0 Semantic Web
Web 4.0 MetaWeb

We are already seeing early evidence of the Smart eXtended Web (Web 4.0) – in things like intelligent filters, recommendation engines.

Things that are connecting to the web that aren’t computers – toilets, refrigerators, heating systems.

The Internet of Things = Ubiquitous Computing (computers will be embedded in everything!)

The wearable web, memory extension, vision enhancement, augmented reality, ubiquitous computing, the quantifiable self.

The future is ours.

“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them, into the impossible.”  ~ Arthur C. Clark