Sunday, May 01, 2022

Learning Designer Survey - Please Help!

In preparation for the 2nd edition of "The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age" (coming April 2023), I'm looking for updated insights about those of us who work in the instructional design/learning experience design space. 

If you're an instructional designer and/or ID related tasks fall under your job description, please take five minutes to complete this survey!

Thanks for sharing your story! 

~ Cammy

Monday, April 25, 2022

Learning Solutions 2022 - Conference Summary #LSCon

It's been a long time, and, man, it was really good to be back in person with my L+D peeps at the Learning Guild's Learning Solutions 2022 (#LSCon). 

900 or so of us converged in Orlando, Florida for a week of talking, socializing, listening, learning, dining, laughing, commiserating, connecting, and re-connecting. Man, was it exhausting. Also super inspiring. Quite frankly, it was all the things. 

It's as if we were all some kind of salamander-like creatures emerging from under our dark rocks and into the light for the first time in years. We slowly blinked our eyes and looked around. We dipped our toes back into the world of in-person conference activities. We weren't sure if we should hug people or fist bump them or just say hi. We weren't sure if we should wear masks or go free. 
My last large conference was Dev Learn in Vegas in October 2019. Which was like an eon ago, right? Before Everything Changed. It really has been awhile. 

Back in the Olden Times, I used to live blog every conference session I attended. I didn't do that this year, but I did take notes, which I'm going to attempt to turn into a few light touch summaries from which you can hopefully glean a few insights. And I'm going to post them on my blog, which I haven't touched in YEARS. But the timing is right. I'm ready to write and share and get out from under my rock. 


Presentation Roulette (Cammy Bean, Hadiya Nuriddin, Megan Torrance, Destery Hildenbrand, Matt Smith) 

The Guild invited me to join a Tuesday night get-this-conference/party-started event which was a total hoot. 5 presenters, ad libbing and improvising our ways through decks we had never seen on topics we drew out of a hat. My topic: "Why Compliance training NEEDS to be boring." 20 slides automatically timed to advance after 20 seconds. Random stock photography of dogs and chess pieces and whatever weird things the Guild decided they wanted to throw at us. What a fun time with lots of laughs. Watch out for our upcoming world tour ;) 


Opening Keynote - Embrace the Shake: Transforming Limitations into Opportunities (Phil Hansen)

Keynotes are generally meant to inspire and set the tone. This year's keynote did just that. Phil Hansen is a visual artist who's favorite medium was pointillism, a technique which requires deft motor control. While in his early twenties, he developed a tremor in his hand making it no longer possible to draw a straight line or make a precise dot. He figured his life as an artist was over. But then, on the advice of a doctor, he decided to "embrace the shake." The artwork he's since created is AMAZING. Think "outside of the box." Phil shared plenty of examples of inspiring ways he's made art in spite of/because of his shaking hand. Embracing our limitations can actually drive our creativity. He talked about the difference between a limitation (something that has been put in our way) vs. a self limiting believe (something that we have put in our own way). All of us in the keynote session made art together on our phones and Phil's going to put them all together to create a larger work of art. Can't wait to see what we created! 

  • Link to the Bruce Lee video 
  • Link to the TED Talk 
  • Link to the longer video that contains Sarah's story How to 

Use TikTok Videos as Part of Your Learning Culture (Vanessa Alzate, Anchor Training) 

Sounded like fun and although I couldn't stay for the whole session, it was great to consider TikTok style videos as a format for learning within an org. It's what the kids are doing (just talk to my teens). It's edutainment at its finest with learning bites often in 30 seconds or less, imparting knowledge and info that you can put to use right away. 

Ever seen the TikTok video of someone demonstrating how to REALLY use a vegetable peeler?? Now you know, no practice activity required. The best content is goofy and silly, with a whole lot of sass and creativity flying around. Teachers are flipping their classrooms and posting "the facts" on TikTok to then follow up with more experiential learning in the classroom. If you're looking to have a play with TikTok style videos, think about telling stories to create a strong narrative arc to connect with learners. Make it goofy. Keep it light and short. Create a place where your people can create and share their own videos -- just remember it needs to be a place they are already going. You can create private channels on TikTok, but you may also want to think about how you can get TikTok inspired content going on your Intranet, LXP/LMS, or whatever place your people are. 

Check out #LearnOnTikTok for inspiration and examples. 

Best Practices in Instructional Design for the Accidental Instructional Designer (Cammy Bean, Kineo) 

Hey, that's me! This is a session I've delivered many times over the years and it's always a delight to connect with newly anointed IDs who are making their way into our field. If you fell into this field by accident, you are NOT alone. You have a whole community of people who are figuring it out as they go along too! 

The Power of Performance-First Mindset (Bob Mosher) 

Always good to refresh on the 5 Moments of Learning Need with the ever-energetic Bob Mosher. When do we need to learn or perform? 5 key places: New (when I'm new to the content), More (when I need to learn more), Change (when something has changed), Solve (when I need to solve a problem), APPLY (when I need to DO the thing!). Bob reminds us to design for the APPLY phase first and work backwards. Not everything needs training! 


Thursday Keynote - The Future of Work is Here (Crystal Washington) 

Crystal Washington talked about the future of work, with a focus on three areas - the SHIFT we're going through, the TRENDS we're seeing, and how to DRIVE CHANGE (how we understand those trends and bend them to our needs) The world is operating in a state of perpetual panic. Hard to be innovative when you're operating from a place of FEAR. WE think we're changing technology, but technology is changing us. Collect data. Ask questions. Create a trend or bend one that's already existed. Don't wait for someone to tell you what the newest thing. YOU look for the easter eggs and find the hidden treasures. People register CHANGE as DANGER. It's why we resist change. We have FEAR. 

Guild Master Panel: What L&D Needs to Hear (With Learning Guild Masters Julie Dirksen. Nick Floro. Megan Torrance, Ron Price) 

Lively discussion with questions posed by David Kelly from the Guild and the audience. 

Guild Research: Upskilling, Communities, and Engagement (Dr. Jane Bozarth, The Learning Guild) 

Jane took us through some of the latest research publications from the Learning Guild. Lots to dig into around Communities, Engagement, and more. I was late to this session as I had a meeting, so be sure to check out some of the great research reports produced by the Guild (available with a free Guild Membership - well worth the cost, I might add!) 

Content Strategy for LXP Authoring when Collaboration with an AI (Chad Udell, Float Learning/SparkLearn) 

Chad is one of those guys who plays with the new tech and tinkers and is about 50 steps ahead of the rest of the learning world. In this session, Chad shared some of the tinkering and thinking he's been doing with Artificial intelligence (A(), which is already transforming the training ecosystem landscape - e.g, AI enhanced search. 

He reminded us that "AI is just math." 

Types of AI: 

 • Artificial narrow intelligence (ANI) - like Nest 
 • General AI or Strong AI 
 • Super AI - Ultron and other scary humanoid robots that will take over the future in some scary sci-fi dystopian time 

Products that are making the mark aren't from the training domain. 

Tools you can use: 

 • Grammarly (when unlocked from your team, it does trend analysis across your entire team) aids in uniformity and quality. (maybe $20 per month per user - saves a lot of time). 
 • - automated creativity tool - generates copy in seconds - marketing automation tool. Feed it baseline info and let it iterate for you, reducing tedium. Good for A/B testing and variations. Creates highly digestible content. 
 • Open AI - got purchased by Microsoft. > you enter in some key words and copy and then it will write you a first draft blog post (it can find your keywords, you can have it edited for a second grader) Higher quality and more $$. 

Lifecycle Learning: Performance at Work (Jeannette Munroe and Cristina Masucci, Sodexo) 

This was a fantastic case study of one sales enablement team's journey to build a world-class sales training program from NOTHING. 
Their challenge? A three part-er: 

 1) Create an onboarding experience (that created a competitive differentiator for the company) 
 2) Grow a positive sales culture (community, confidence, incentive to win) 
 3) Improve conversion (increase seller productivity and reduce cost to acquire a new client > these are the metrics that matter to the biz) 

To design this program - they started with the RESULTS they were after. "What did this program did to achieve for their business?" And they had to better define the problem they were trying to solve. "A problem well-stated is a problem half-solved." This took considerable time to sort through the complexity that was their sales process. 

They needed to understand the way that work gets done and how to get that work done. Then then starting mapping everything to domains (cognitive, psychomotor, affective). They organized all those "tasks" as behaviors. 

Only THEN we were ready to develop learning Jeannette urges designers to "Get best in class at writing objectives." and to "Pick the right verb to drive the right behavior to get the right results." She reminds us that Instructional objectives are for the designers developing the training. Spend good time here this is where most of the hard work gets done. She had visuals for Bloom's behavior wheels for all three domains (look up Atkinson 2010, Blooms wheels) 

They created a two bucket learning program that has been a resounding success: 
 • Onboarding - first 90 days 
 • Optimization - to your last day in role (learning and dev doesn't end with onboarding!) - this is about sustaining and nurturing that sales culture, which they do through an annual Revenue Kickoff Conference in the fall, plus a Revenue Rally in the Spring. They host #FreshFridays once a month on relevant sales topics and #ReFreshFridays once a month to review prior topics. 

They've had a HUGE IMPACT on the business and the revenue pipeline. And they've done it as a sales enablement team of two with virtually no budget. Not only that, but it's all been delivered outside of the LMS. 



DemoFest is always a great opportunity to check out examples of programs real people are building in the real world. This year's conference was smaller than past years - only 22 or so presenters in DemoFest -- and I appreciated the size reduction. It meant I could actually visit most of the tables and check out some cool stuff built in Storyline, Rise, Virtual Reality, aNewSpring social learning platform, and more. And yes, I did kill myself by falling into a lake when trying out a safety program built for the South Dakota School of Mines using Oculus Quest. 

The Guild usually hosts a webinar event post-conference where all the winners show off their solutions. Check it out if you've got the time. 


Working with Vendors (Cammy Bean, Kineo) 

This was a Morning Buzz session I hosted. Casual conversation over coffee at 7:30 am. It was Friday and I had two people show up, but it was a great conversation. One participant is currently in a PhD program for Ed Tech and considering BECOMING a vendor. The other leads a centralized L&D team for a company of 5,000 and is looking to find better ways of partnering with their LMS vendor and content vendors. As I AM on the vendor side, we had a lot to talk about! 

Leadership Learning (David Kelly, The Learning Guild) 

David is the CEO of the Learning Guild. So it was kind of like hearing the Father of the Bride give a toast at his daughter's wedding. OK, not really. But sort of. David talked about key traits of leaders in the learner space (really, any space, to be honest). And shared great ideas for how to put these in action with your own teams. 

The Expo 

The Expo was open Wednesday through Thursday. It was nice to NOT be working a booth myself this year, cuz that really is an exhausting conference experience. A smaller Expo than I've seen in years with about 30 vendors, but pretty much as expected given our collective emerging-from-under-our-rocks status in April of 2022. A few new names and logos to check out, and some big names missing from the usual suspects list (no Articulate or Adobe booths). I'd say more than half of the vendors were pitching platforms -- Learning Management Systems, LXPs -- with a few other tool vendors, translation providers, and just a few content development companies. There was talk of xAPI and building content for Apple Watches, with a little Virtual Reality thrown in the mix. 


And that was a wrap for me! I had to hit the road before things finished up on Friday so I could get home and crawl back under my rock and missed the last few sessions and closing keynote. It was great to get to so many sessions this conference and to participate so fully in the conference experience. I'm super full of learning theory and learning nerd-ery and feel pretty inspired and pumped up, in spite of the afore-mentioned exhaustion. And I did have some amazing meals out with some of my favorite learning people. 

Until next time! It was great to be together again. #Grateful

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

10 Ways to Turn Your Learners into Zombies (Throwback to 2013!)

This was probably my favorite webinar/slide deck ever. And while it's now four years old, the concepts and ideas still hold true today. So, are you a zombie hunter or what?

Thanks to @espencedalton for unearthing this relic on Twitter. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Kineo Webinar: Getting Interactive with Video [Oct 5]

Hey all! Join me this Thursday for a Kineo webinar where we'll take a look at Interactive Video. 

Looking to supercharge your online training and see how interactive video can work for your business? We want to share our best ideas with you so you can make a higher impact, drive effective engagement and make elearning more fun all with interactive video!

During the webinar, we'll cover:

  • What is interactive
  • Making interactive video work with any budget
  • Getting started
  • And of course, we'll look at a bunch of examples!

Webinar details:

It's been awhile since I've run a webinar. I'm getting excited to get back out there. See you there!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Deliberate Practice

Now THIS is what Deliberate Practice looks like!

Last night, the Fire Department used the house next door (which will be demolished on Wednesday) as a training ground.

It was pretty exciting to watch the smoke and fire streaming out of the windows and to see the firefighters climbing the roof and cutting holes in it.

Alas, they didn't burn the house completely to the ground, much to my daughter's chagrin.

Fun and exciting that is, until one of the firefighters had smoke or heat exhaustion. He seemed fine, but it definitely changed the tone of the whole event.

Preparing for the real deal means preparing at all levels.

So how can you set up training in your workplace with this level of deliberate practice?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Kineo Anniversary! Eight Years On...

Today marks my 8th anniversary with Kineo.

That's right, eight years ago TODAY we opened up Kineo here in the US.

Thanks to so many great clients and fabulous team members who have helped us do so much great work these past eight years.

It's been a fabulous experience, with lots of challenges, lessons learned, and triumphs along the way.

My anniversary present?

Training Industry just named us to their Top 20 list of Content Development Companies for our 5th straight year.  Check here for the full TI list.

Looking forward to the next eight years!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Play to Learn! (Book Tour Stop)

Karl Kapp and Sharon Boller have been banging the drum about learning games for years. In fact, one of my favorite ID-books back in 2007 was Karl Kapp's "Gadgets, Games, and Gizmos for Learning." 

Well, 10 years later, games have not gone away, in fact, they've solidified their place in our industry as clients and learners continue to ask for and expect modern learning experiences. At Kineo, we hear more and more from our clients a requirement for gamification, games for learning, serious games -- and all the many ways that need is expressed.

So, if gaming is on your dance card these days and you're looking for some tips on how to get started and what to do, be sure to add this book to your required reading list!

Karl Kapp and Sharon Boller
ATD Press, 2017

Why I like it:
  • Easy to read!
  • Great balance of theory with a focus on practical how-tos
  • Informative and practical -- with roadmaps to help you with defining game goals and instructional goals, learner personas, learning objectives; creating prototypes; play-testing; development considerations; deployment and more.
  • Great table mapping bloom's taxonomy to different types of games
  • Examples, examples, examples

My favorite chapter (Chapter 3) has some great tidbits and insights. Consider these teasers for the rest of the book...

Learning games need to be "fun enough":
"Learning games need to be what we call “fun enough.” A mistake made by many new learning-game developers is to try to design an entertaining game. Unfortunately, that often makes learning harder rather than easier. Remember, you are not creating the next great commercial game to entertain your learners; you are creating a learning game whose success will be measured by the achievement of learning outcomes." (page 23)

Remember the bigger system and design a game that's part of something larger:
"Commercial games such as Angry Birds, Assassin’s Creed, or Monopoly are usually played without context: A group of friends simply start playing a game, either online or in person. However, for a learning game to be the most effective, it needs to be part of a larger instructional plan and include instructional support elements. You can’t simply create a game and expect the players to learn from it without providing any context or guidance. For learning games to work, they need to be an integral part of a larger learning design." 

Don't make it so hard that people lose heart. Keep the emphasis on learning:
"The second principle is that both a losing state and a winning state need to lead to
learning. You need to design the game play to encourage learning throughout the game, and consider what happens when a player is not successful." (p. 24)

Check out the Table of Contents to see why this book is a must-read for learning designers.

Table of Contents:
Section 1. Playing Games to Learn About Games....The Basics....
Playing Entertainment Games...
Exploring Learning Games...
Section 2. Making Game Design Choices That Support Learning ....Setting the Right Foundation for Your Learning Game...
Linking Learning With Game Design...
Two Game Design Case Studies....
Matching Scoring to Learning Goals...
Section 3. Putting Game Design Knowledge to Work....Creating the First Prototype....
Section 4. Development and Implementation...Development Considerations...
Deploying Your Game..
Final Thoughts....
The Final Word

This is an easy to read, accessible book, chock full of practical ideas and tips for helping you make the leap from learning designer to learning game designer.

Be sure to add Play to Learn to your essential reading list!