For some of us, this time of year brings an abundance of cookie baking and list making. And at the top of my to-do list: Renew my membership in The eLearning Guild. By far, Guild membership is one of the best and most valuable investments you can make for your own professional development in terms of the rich content, vast networking opportunities, and practical resources it provides.
In addition, the Guild community at large is one of the most active, supportive, and passionate networks of learning professionals who are always willing and excited to share their ideas, knowledge, and experience with a single goal of further advancing the industry. Will you join me and more than 59,000 other members who agree? Join the Guild or renew your membership today!
What’s on tap for 2014?
The eLearning Guild is a community of practice. At its core, the Guild was founded on the idea that members share with, and learn from, other members. And 2014 is shaping up to be another exciting year for Guild members! With face-to-face and virtual events, real-world research reports chock-full of practical insights, and thought-provoking content from Learning Solutions Magazine—the eLearning industry’s oldest and most trusted source for information on eLearning—the Guild truly offers something for everyone.
eLearning Guild Events
“The eLearning Guild helps shape the future of learning technology, and nowhere is that more evident than at our face-to-face events,” says David Kelly, program director for The eLearning Guild. 2014 will continue that trend at each of our five different events:
- The Learning Solutions Conference and Expo focuses on how technology is redefining expectations for training, exploring proven solutions that organizations can put into use right away.
- The Mobile Learning Conference and Expo continues to evolve, addressing the latest advances in mobile technology while also exploring the proven paths of incorporating mobile into your strategy.
- The Performance Support Symposium continues to grow, as more and more organizations look to find minimally invasive ways to support and enhance the performance of their workforce.
- The DevLearn Conference and Expo is the definitive place for exploration of the future of learning technology. If there’s a technology that is going to impact learning, you can be sure it will be explored at DevLearn.
- And our newest event is Ecosystem 2014. At this event, senior learning professionals will explore the many different technologies used to support learning and performance, and how to build a strategy that integrates these technologies into a culture of learning.
“What makes each Guild event so special is our community. Community is at the heart of everything The eLearning Guild does,” says Kelly. “Our events feature hundreds of sessions conducted by members of the Guild community, and when you attend a Guild event, you join a conversation that is helping define the future of our industry.”
The research conducted by The eLearning Guild is also helping to define the future of our industry. “We did a member survey recently to see what members most wanted us to concentrate research on and we used that to focus our efforts in 2014,” promises Patti Shank, research director of The eLearning Guild. “One of the things we are doing differently is making most of our reports shorter and more focused, and readers should see that change starting with our Learning Technologies (December 2013) report.”
Dr. Karl Kapp wrote the first research report of 2014. It’s a concise take on stories for learning, in which he describes how and why stories help us learn. The report even has a worksheet to help us build good learning stories.
We’re also trying some exciting new things in 2014, like practitioner-participant research. The 2014 mobile report, involves having field researchers (members and others) gather field observations about the use of tablets. The research is happening right now and you can learn more about it in a recent article from Learning Solutions Magazine. “In another research report, we’ll be talking to senior people in organizations for some critical information we need to succeed,” continues Shank.
According to Shank, “No one should be sitting on the fence about joining the Guild. Just the research reports alone are worth far more than the price to join. While other organizations charge you for research reports, we include them in the price of membership. Members tell me our research reports help them make critical decisions. In fact, our recent authoring-tools research report is probably worth the price of membership to organizations just getting started with authoring.” Indeed, that sounds like reason enough to join today!
The eLearning Guild Academy
Janet Clarey, managing director of the Guild Academy, calls the live, instructor-led online Guild Academy courses professional development that matters. “These courses are supported by a social learning and knowledge sharing platform, peer and instructor feedback, relevant examples, and practice,” says Clarey. “Learning is spaced over time with abundant opportunities for practice and feedback.”
Clarey is particularly excited about key topics and themes that will be addressed in 2014. “We’ll be adding courses throughout the year—but for now, here’s a sample … eLearning software training courses, a series of courses for those training in the virtual classroom, mobile learning design, instructional design, designing performance-support solutions, project management, and video production,” she says.
Plus, as Clarey explains, membership in The eLearning Guild affords discounts for Guild Academy courses:
- Membership Discounts: All eLearning Guild paid Member, Member-Plus, and Premium Members are eligible for a 20 percent discount on their course-registration fees.
- Organizational Discounts: Employees of nonprofit, government, or accredited academic institutions receive 35 percent off their registration.
- Group Discount: If your organization registers three or more people for an individual course, you’ll get an additional 10 percent off.
- Courses are also available for individual groups and companies.
Be sure to review these Frequently Asked Questions about the Guild Academy to learn more.
Online Events from The eLearning Guild
The Guild also offers online learning via Guild Online Events. According to Chris Benz, director of online events for The eLearning Guild, “For 2014, we have consolidated Guild Online Events into two areas: Online Forums and webinars. Online Forums are two-day, 10-session online conferences that we have been running since 2004. Guild Webinars are one- or one-and-a-half-hour standalone presentations.”
Benz promises an action-packed year with some great Online Forums lined up for 2014. The ones that he’s looking most forward to include:
- The February event, which will focus on the intersection of performance support and knowledge management
- The April event, where we’ll look at learning projects gone awry and then resurrected
- The May event, where, as a follow-up to our new face-to-face Ecosystem 2014 conference in March, we’ll look at learning infrastructure from a more tactical angle
“As you might expect, our July event on trends in learning also promises to be exciting, and in December, we’re trying out an event focused on essential skills and expertise for learning professionals, which will provide advice on a broad range of topics from presentation skills and project management to budgeting and leadership development,” says Benz.
As for Guild webinars, they are now free to members and non-members alike, and fall into three broad categories: “Best of” webinars will feature the most popular, best-rated sessions and award-winning projects from Guild conferences; Thought Leaders Webinars will feature recently published authors and other experts driving new ideas in our industry; and sponsored webinars produced by industry-leading companies such as Adobe and Citrix.
Learning Solutions Magazine
As a reader of Learning Solutions Magazine, you’re probably already aware of the breadth, depth, and value of its content. Bill Brandon, the editor of learning solutions magazine, is looking forward to a fully packed year of content planned for our readers in 2014. What does “fully packed” mean? “This past year, Learning Solutions delivered over 240 articles on eLearning design, development, and management—all of it free of charge to Guild members and eLearning practitioners around the world, all of it written by people who are your colleagues,” says Brandon. “This coming year, in addition to features, tips, tutorials, reviews, product information, and examples for eLearning practitioners, we are increasing the amount and level of content for organizational leadership: senior managers, executives, and chief executive officers,” he continues.
What kind of content will be covered? Brandon promises important new coverage by respected experts that will focus on human capital management and its components, as they relate to getting the most out of investments in technology and in the development of talent. “We will continue to publish vital content for eLearning designers, developers, and managers, especially the fundamental ‘meat and potatoes,’” he shares. “We will also present the advanced, leading-edge technology and concepts that will ensure Guild members stay up-to-date and ready for new challenges and new opportunities alike.”
“From game design and technology to performance support, from alternatives to ADDIE to professional development, from project management to the science of human capital analytics, and from great reviews of the tools that help eLearning creators produce outstanding products to the latest in brain research, every week we will give readers and Guild members more of the knowledge that makes a difference in their careers,” says Brandon. “I hope you will take advantage of this great, constantly refreshed resource, and recommend it to your colleagues as well!”
Membership has its benefits
Guild offers four levels of membership, each with different benefits. (Figure 1) And, if three or more
individuals from your organization join the Guild, you can save with Group Membership. All membership
levels receive the weekly eLearning Insider newsletter, bi-weekly Learning Solutions Magazine Update
newsletter, and have access to the Annual eLearning Salary & Compensation
Report, past conference handouts, networking opportunities through LinkedIn,
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and more. Paid membership starts at just $99
annually. I just renewed my membership—will you do the same?
Figure 1: The eLearning Guild offers four levels of membership.
About The eLearning Guild
The eLearning Guild is the oldest and most trusted source of information, networking, and community for eLearning Professionals. As a member-driven organization, the Guild produces conferences, online events, eBooks, research reports, and Learning Solutions Magazine—all devoted to the idea that the people who know the most about making eLearning successful are the people who produce eLearning every day in corporate, government, and academic settings. Our goal is to create a place where eLearning professionals can share their knowledge, expertise, and ideas to build a better industry—and better learning experiences—for everyone. Learn more at www.elearningguild.com.