Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Building a Learning and Performance Support Ecosystem (Steve Foreman) #elguild

eLearning Guild online webinar with Steve Foreman (InfoMedia Designs). These are my live blogged notes. Here's the event page describing the webinar.

What is an ecosystem and why build it?
To enhance individuals and orgs by connecting people with a broad range of techs that drive performance.

There's formal training -- and then there's all of the ways that we learn within the flow of work (performance support, collaboration, access to experts, knowledge management. ALL of these are included in an ecosystem.

Guild research: We continue to see a trend to replace more scheduled training (classroom, webinars, etc.) with more on-demand training. And we see a trend to provide more options for learning within the work environment and the workflow.

The six components?

  1. access to experts (consult)
  2. knowledge management (research)
  3. performance support (perform)
  4. talent management (advance)
  5. structured learning (train)
  6. social networking and collage (share)

Let's walk through 'em now:

Talent Management: people have competencies, they need them, jobs requirement them. Talent management options match up people with competencies, identify gaps -- allows you to improve in your current job or prepare for the next one.

Performance Support: complete processes and tasks, make decisions

  • software help (sims, walk-throughs, etc.)
  • task & process support (explanations, sample outputs, step-by-step instructions, advice links)
  • diagnostic tools -- to help you diagnose and solve complex problems (calculators, comparison tools, etc.)
Knowledge Management: look up info and access tools

A searchable knowledgebase, publishing/workflows, curated, analytics -- giving people access to the info they need when they need it.

Access to Experts: ask questions, get guidance

A directory of experts in your org (could be Sharepoint).

You're interested in getting guidance on a topic - you search your org to find who has that expertise. You can read their profile, see what they've written/published, see how others have rated them, see how to contact that person.

Social Networking & Collaboration: discuss experiences, exchange ideas
A valuable way to support people to connect and learn from each other.

Structured Learning: enhance skills, achieve certification

Formal learning for new hires, compliance, etc.

Where do you start? Where you are! You should leverage what you have and go from there....

More on these components:
Coaching is part of talent management. But you might also have a structured learning program that involves mentoring and shadowing. Cohorts may be part of structured learning, but could be part of social networking where cohorts work together to complete an assignments.

These components aren't discrete.  There's lots of overlap.

The three building blocks?

Each component requires content, process, and technologies

Content: you might have the content, or you're designing an environment where content can emerge

Process: what's needed from a business perspective? What problems are you trying to solve? You need to look at HOW the work happens. Where are the bottlenecks and inefficiencies? That will help you identify where to provide work-based solutions. Each component has its own set of processes.

When designing ecosystem solutions -- especially those built seamlessly within the workflow -- it needs to be kept alive and thriving. It's not a case of "we've delivered the course and we're done." So they require ongoing processes to maintain and keep the content relevant.

Lots of different techs to support an ecosystem.
Talent Management, software help, search engines, CMS, DMS, analysts, blogs, wikis, social network, authoring tools, LMS, assessments, etc.
These can be loosely joined -- with a backend that lets you pull out data.  They don't have to be tightly integrated.

Organizational Culture
Your culture will determine how this goes down.

  • You need management leadership and sponsorship.
  • Tech advocacy -- partnering with your IT group.
  • Content needs to managed and curated. Important to have ongoing ownership and control of your content.
  • L&D function and its perceived charter -- if you think you're about training, then you won't go far with ecosystems. If others think you're about training and courses, it'll be hard to overcome that.  You need to broaden your scope. In ecosystems you want to impact the work where and when it's happening.
  • Budget, resources and time -- this may take time.
  • Standards, governance, process.

How do the pieces fit together?

  • Portal
  • Search Engine
  • knowledge base, communities, courses
  • xAPI
  • Learning Record Store
  • Analytics/reports
  • Newsfeeds

How do we create ecosystem solutions?

Design needs to focus on strategic links.

Your business strategy drives your learning strategy which drives your ecosystem architecture.

Don't let the tech drive what you can do. First focus on what your organization is doing. Think strategically, analytically, holistically.

Think strategically. 
Find out what keeps the exec leadership team up at night. Get access to top level execs.Be sure to identify that you're solving the right problems. Ask them "What do you see as our top five business goals over the next 3-5 years, and what are the challenges? What do you see as the top human performance challenges impacting those goals?

This will build credibility, gain influence and sponsorship, and helps you focus your effort.

Think analytically.
Figure out where you should focus. Talk to middle managers. How does the work happen? What are the problems and why? How do you measure the problems? What are your business metrics?

If you can clarify task, work outputs and workflows you'll set the right context.

If you identify obstacles, bottlenecks, you'll uncover opportunities for your ecosystem.

Prioritize by frequency, complexity, and level of impact. Pick the problems that are marked HIGH for all three dimensions and focus on those ones first. Then tackle the next tier.  This will help you demonstrate impact.

Think holistically.

What kind of solution will increase productivity?

Look at the components that you have available to you -- what you have right now that you can leverage.

Establish metrics that are focused on those business metrics. This is what you want to impact.

Identify the right components and your requirements.

Start with the end in mind so you can establish your goal.

Establishing a phased goal helps you deliver value at each phase -- you get started more quickly.

Focus on productivity and not learning, then you'll be impacting business metrics -- what sponsors care about.

If you focus on environment and not just content you'll find that content emerges from the users.

Case studies
Examples may not include all six components.

Steve shares an example from a healthcare company that built off structured learning, performance support and knowledge management.

Financial services: structured learning, talent management, knowledge management, access to experts. Wanted to decrease time to access and find information -- time spent searching for info rather than working with customers estimated at $11M/year. Created some standard learning paths for new hires, development plan creation/review/tracking, knowledgeable of product and sales collateral, product expert contacts w/office hours.

Communications company: wanted to change their culture to move towards more of a solutions selling company -- where selling suites of products and solutions. So they measured revenue and the size of the sale. Their solution included knowledgebase, process based performance support, ask an expert, CoP, learning/mentoring program.

All case studies driven by business problems. Each used different components or "recipes." Measured success using business metrics.

Check out the Ecosystems: The Whitepaper from the eLearning Guild and the Ecosystems research report coming in January.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

5 great reasons to download the Kineo Insights Report today!

The latest Kineo Insights report is hot off the PDF presses! 

Think of it as an early Christmas present - a stocking filled with insightful nuggets, analysis, and trends.  Definitely worth the read over your morning cup of joe.

What is the Kineo 2014 Learning Insights Report? Insights and analysis from 35 leaders at stand out organizations all around the world who shared their views with us on what's happening in the real world.

Here's a teaser of some of my favorite quotes and tidbits from the report:

1. The role of IDs
Traditional instructional design skills are not going away but there is an increase in consulting skills required. The learning team has to consult with the business on how to improve performance because it is “no longer about the learning team delivering improvements through training”. One L&D manager argued “learning team members need to be able to talk more about ‘learning strategies’.

 2. The Learning Campaign campaign has taken off!
‘Campaigns’ has certainly entered the learning lexicon this year. A number of businesses are taking more of a campaign or change management approach. One L&D manager said it is no longer “one and done” but rather “building on key messages and taking people along through a communication strategy”.

3. Social tools go mainstream

In one retail business Yammer was seen as a core part of the learning platform. “Stores have really embraced it – section managers love it, people get back much more quickly, e.g. ‘Anyone got a fault with a zip on this jacket?’ ‘Yes, this is how you fix it’. People share pics of how they’ve laid out merchandise and ask for feedback, e.g. ‘I just moved this to be beside shoes’ etc. People respond much quicker on Yammer. No way you’d get that response on email.”

4. Too many channels?
Whilst technology was generally seen as positive there were concerns. One key risk identified was simply the amount of messaging people constantly get via different channels and devices. “There is a real challenge to cut through the 20,000+ messages individuals are receiving every day in and out of the workplace.”

5. Taking the assessment out of the course
One company was using post-learning assessments and reviews rather than built-in assessments to help achieve behavioural change and application in the workplace. They ask each learner “What will you commit to do differently because of the training?” They also get learners to work closely with managers to agree a plan of action and to demonstrate that they are applying training.

There's lots more to soak in and digest. Get your copy of the 2014 Learning Insights Report and: 

  • Understand how learning technologies have changed over the past year 
  • Learn about the challenges global organisations are facing, and key steps to help solve them
  • Find out the key areas of change you need to implement in your organisation in 2015

Friday, November 14, 2014

Cammy and Connie in Podcast Form!

Connie Malamed, world renowned as The eLearning Coach, and one of the better human beings in this world, interviewed me for a podcast a few weeks ago.  

I haven't listened to it (I mean, who wants to hear her own voice?), but Connie assures me that we both sound reasonably intelligent.

Head over to Connie's blog for a listen as we chat about pressing matters:

  • Who is an accidental instructional designer
  • How to work with subject matter experts (SMEs)
  • Three approaches or categories of learning design based on the course goal
  • Strategies to use for each approach: information awareness, building skills and knowledge and problem-solving
  • Using the advertising model, AIDA, for sustaining attention
  • How to avoid clicky-clicky-bling-bling
  • Tips for writing learning content
  • Future of workplace learning
Want more from Cammy? Be sure to grab your copy of The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

10 Things eLearning Developers Can Learn from Software Developers: Jason Rimmer #devlearn

My live blogged notes from Jason Rimmer's session at DevLearn. Forgive any typos and incoherencies.

"eLearning is a Technology Solution." ~ Trina Rimmer

Tech: code, defects, platform, tools
Solutions: stakeholders, subject matter experts, schedules

Focus on what you need to do, not how you're going to get there.

Evolve your process alongside capabilities. How do we evolve the way we work to the rapidly changing tools and tech?

1. Establish project ground rules

2. Track everything

3. Flex your process

The less you have to focus on, the faster you can do it.  Flex your process to deliver your projects better. Understand WHERE your process is holding you back. Can you cut the work down into smaller chunks? You'll deliver the project more quickly. Your stakeholders will see more product more quickly.

4. Save your history -- keep versions (your customer might like the last version better than the next one..)

5. Use the right tool

6. Oops -- I missed this one :)

7. Focus on the MVP -- the minimally viable product

8. Make testing repeatable
Don't just wander around and click on things. Make a repeatable plan. Know all your possible use cases. Document that test plan and then re-run it.

9. Keep stakeholders on the team
Your stakeholders are as much a part of your team as your execution guys are. It's critical for your project being successful overall.

Let your stakeholders meet the project team. So they have confidence that things are happening. It makes them feel good. Give them visibility into what you're doing.

10. Bounding for the win

Act --> Move --> Evaluate

Always be moving. When you don't deliver, the team starts to go into a death spiral. Focus on acting, moving, evaluating. Management sees movement. You're "bounding." Smart people are always moving forward. You can't move without evaluation.  "Don't get bogged down by that, make some small progress." 

Always move forward, even if it's just a small amount.

Top Tips for Responsive eLearning Design #DevLearn

Responsive web design...what's that and what does that look like in eLearning?

Check out my slides from today's session at the eLearning Guild's DevLearn.

I break it down, look at some examples of responsive websites, and then share a whole bunch of examples of responsive eLearning, built with the open source Adapt Framework.

Meme-ing the future of eLearning #DevLearn

Fun time with memes at the eLearning Guild's DevLearn 2014.

  • Five presenters (Cammy Bean, Jane Bozarth, Jeannette Campos, Chad Udell, David Kelly
  • 20 slides.
  • 15 seconds a slide.
  • One topic: The Future of e-Learning in Memes.
  • LOTS of laughter.

These are my slides. You'll have to fill in the blanks :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

#DevLearn Keynote with Neil deGrasse Tyson @neiltyson

These are my live blogged notes from the opening keynote at DevLearn 14, happening this week in Las Vegas.  Forgive any incoherencies or typos.

Neil deGrasse Tyson @neiltyson -- Science Literacy and the Future of Work

Children are born scientists. We beat it out of them.

Running around your house and breaking stuff – that’s scientific inquiry at work.

A toddler spilling her milk and watching it run down the floor – an experiment in fluid dynamics.

Don't deny the child the experiment just because you want to avoid a big mess (“no jumping in puddles!”)

A kid grabbing an egg off the counter and seeing how it breaks – an experiment in material science, embryotic biology

Kids already are scientifically literate.

Sacrifice the cleanliness of your home and let stuff break.

And adult scientist is a kid who never grew up.

“Neil should cultivate a more serious attitude in his schoolwork.” We have a system of education that asserts that the best students are the best behaved ones.

In 1969:
This is why our country is so messed up. These are the people who are now governing our country. These were the options we had? Women could be mothers and school teachers.  Notice, the men were not given the choice to be fathers.

With the women’s movement, education expanded – more options for women. More talented people moving into the workforce. This corresponds with a downturn in American Education.

1960’s Civil Rights, 1970’s Women’s Lib, 1980s Gay Rights – this is why we see a black president before a female president.

“Did your college major teach you what to know or how to think?”

What’s more valuable in the workplace? Knowing stuff or knowing how to think about stuff?  At the end of the day, you want to know: Who are the problem solvers?

We need to learn HOW to think so we can solve problems we’ve never seen before.

When you learn Trig Calc, your brain is going through a new wiring process. You’re learning HOW to solve problems. It’s the act of having to slog through math problem sets. It leaves your brain differently wired.

“Job Description” Workers = I don’t do it if it’s not in my job description. They only apply a body of knowledge to their job.

A “Problem Solving” Worker has a completely different attitude.

How do YOU react to a task never handed to you before? Problem solvers embrace them. That’s who you want in the workplace.

How would you promote someone who only ever just works completely in their job description?

"We've come to presume that the answer matters instead of the brain wiring that leads to the answers."

“Multiple Choice” Workers = Q: “Where do you want to go to lunch?” A: “What are my choices?” This is a world where the answers are pre-sorted for us. The brain doesn’t have to do any work. Work would mean coming up with answer out of the blue.

The Straight A Student: If you got straight A's, then the teacher was pretty much irrelevant. Don't show me your great teachers if you got straight A's. Show me your teachers if you got a B and your teacher helped you move to A. Those are the educators that really matter. The ones who made a difference.

Don't define what you know by the grade that others give you. 

My grades are not the measure of what I know -- not the measure of myself - it's my commitment. Don't use your grade as the measure. At your second job does anyone ask what your GPA was? Your A's don't matter to anyone but yourself (or maybe the teacher who held you up as an exemplar student).

Let's look at the top ten college dropouts: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Michael Dell, Mark Zuckerberg, James Cameron, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lady Gaga, Tiger Woods

These are no slouches here.

We have to get out of the mindset that everything that is not the right answer is equally wrong. Is K-A-T more wrong that Q-W-R to spell cat?

Creativity is what you do when you step into a new place where no one has been before. Seeing what everyone else sees, but thinking what no one else has thought.

At MIT, you take over 80% of you classes in math, science, engineering.

At Harvard, he majored in physics. Half of his classes were in non-science/math subjects. 

To win the Nobel Prize, you need to think like no one else has thought. You need angles and ways in that are new.  (Havard has about 60 Nobel Prize winners; MIT has about 29). 

Could it be the immersion in the liberal arts that opens up the mind to ideas you've never had before?

Where is science going on in the world?

A map based on scientific activity. Look at Japan? (Japan won three Nobel Prizes this year).

But where is the trend going? Look at research trends. The US is shrinking...

Innovation in STEM fields is the driver in economies. 

But there's hope -- interest in science is on the rise. Tyson has 4 million twitter followers. There are LOTS of shows with science as a theme (Big Bang Theory, CSI, Cosmos, etc.) When you connect STEM to pop culture it flies.

"Neil deGrasse Tyson is about to crack a knowledge egg on your ass."


What's the role of games in education? 
He talks about his son, who plays a lot of games. There's a lot going on in the mind of a gamer -- spatial play. Engagement. The gamification of everything.

How do we change the trend with US falling behind?
One idea -- In the US, kids don't respect their elders so much. We don't see this in other countries, esp in the far east. What does it take to think like no one has thought before? It requires irreverence for authority. Disrespect for someone saying how someone should think. Maybe this irreverence keeps us on the edge and keeps us from being drowned. We would be FARTHER behind if it weren't for this.

Keep thinking about the future. What's the role of science fiction in stimulating innovation. It gets us to think about the possibilities.

How do we serve the greater good for society?