Marc My Words: How I Learned to Love IT (So Can You)April 11, 2018
To be effective, training organizations need to learn to love IT. Here’s how to overcome separation from IT, still a serious problem for many in training.
Marc Rosenberg, PhD, is a leading management consultant in training, organizational learning, eLearning, knowledge management and performance improvement. He has written two best-selling books, E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age and Beyond E-Learning: Approaches and Technologies to Enhance Organizational Knowledge, Learning and Performance. His monthly column, “Marc My Words,” appears in The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Magazine. Marc is past president and honorary life member of the International Society for Performance Improvement, has spoken at The White House, debated eLearning’s future at Oxford University, keynoted conferences around the world, authored over 50 articles, and is frequently quoted in major trade publications. Marc was awarded the Guild Master Award in 2013 for his accomplishments and contributions to the eLearning community.
To be effective, training organizations need to learn to love IT. Here’s how to overcome separation from IT, still a serious problem for many in training.
An effective design strategy involves adding links at the bottom of key pages with these terms: “Know more” and “Learn more.”
Whether due to budget shortfalls, evolving attitudes, or marketplace changes, the ground around L&D leaders is shifting. Here are six challenges they face.
You’re just starting instructional design. Are you ready to go? Before you do anything, have you answered these 10 questions?
We have come to the silly season of predictions for 2018 about our field. Here are Marc’s 15 predictions about what will be predicted.
Civics education, necessary for a thriving democracy, is an ideal eLearning application project on a national scale. And not just for high school students!
Bad training programs not only waste learners’ time, but also chew up organizational resources with little to show for it. Last month we looked at four project level waste factors. Now we will focus on three more strategic level factors that the larger organization must deal with to truly root out learning waste.
Learning not taking hold in your organization? It may be because you have lots of training activities, but also have lots of training waste. Waste can be found in what you do—or don’t do—to enable people to learn, and then to translate that learning into valued performance. This is where your training strategy comes into play.
Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but I recently took a birding course. Exciting, huh? The four-hour course, offered by the Rookery Bay Reserve in Naples, Florida, was terrific. I learned a lot about birds, but not in the way you might think.
The ADDIE model (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation) has been with us for decades, and, for better or worse, it’s firmly embedded in instructional design practices. With some tweaks, ADDIE just might find a new use as an entry-level model for developing performance support solutions. Here’s how.
We have often heard it said that performance support can be used instead of training. But that doesn’t mean the two are at odds with each other. Here are six scenarios where training might be helpful in fostering performance support adoption and use.
Corporate universities (CUs) have been a mainstay of many businesses—and government agencies—for almost 40 years. They all began with great promise and support across all sectors of the organization. Yet many fail. If your organization has a corporate university (or something similar), these are the seven wrong turns to look out for.
If it’s December, you know you’re going to be hearing this song, and you know you won’t remember all the words. Here’s a memory aid to help you!
When picking a product or vendor, there are lots of factors to consider. You did your homework. You surveyed the marketplace, selected a small group of vendors that might meet your needs, and sent them a solidly written RFP. Now that the proposals are in, how do you decide which one to pick?
We’ve all heard the phrase caveat emptor (buyer beware), but too often we ignore it when selecting an eLearning vendor. One way to protect yourself is to write a solid request for proposal (RFP). An RFP is an invitation to the vendor to propose work according to criteria you set. Here’s how to write an RFP that protects you and your project outcome.
Thanks to their use of technology outside their educational environment to learn and to collaborate, communicate, and document their own lives, today’s students are different from students of a generation ago. Now the emphasis must be to open up education to personal technology and enable students to use it wisely and productively. Here are five key considerations for doing this successfully!
We search for something on the web, or on our organization’s intranet, only to find tons of outdated, irrelevant content. It seems we find it too easy to publish content and too bothersome to update or “unpublish” it. How do you avoid creating a content curation mess? Marc offers four guidelines for content expiration.
Last month, Marc looked at the importance of content curation and the consequences of ignoring it. This month, he outlines seven approaches to actually getting curation done—from culling to crowdsourcing, to algorithms and analytics, to syndication (and more)—and the factors to consider in selecting or combining the methods.
Knowledge doubles every year, and the shelf life of that knowledge gets smaller all the time. The amount of “stuff” on the Internet is overwhelming, and we could wear ourselves out trying to keep up with the new, refresh ourselves on the old, and keep track of what’s no longer valuable. A good content-curation strategy is your best hope, and here is a checklist to help you develop one.
If learners have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a course, doesn’t that mean they are ready to learn? No! They must actually be ready to learn. Here are the key things you should find out about and deal with before you answer that question.
The xAPI is a specification for building tracking mechanisms into applications and systems. A growing number of innovative products for adaptive and experiential learning support the xAPI. If you aren’t excited about the possibilities, this column explains why you should be.
Knowledge management (KM) has had a rough go of it. Hot topic one year, dead the next, repeat. KM is important, so what can we do? This month’s column from Marc offers a start on gaining better understanding of what KM is, and what it can and can’t do. This time, we’ll think big but start smaller, learn as we go along, be ready to scale when needed. Here’s how!
We all like to think we work in a positive learning culture, but that’s not always the case. Here are 10 key steps to building a positive learning culture that will succeed!
Have you heard someone utter those words? “This will revolutionize education, training, and/or learning and development!” How has that worked out for anyone? Technology may make learning more efficient, but that’s not the same thing as “more effective.” Here are Marc’s thoughts on revolution, evolution, and what makes the real difference.
It’s the time of year when the experts weigh in with their pronouncements about what’s “out” and what’s “in,” so here is Marc’s totally non-scientific take on the ins and the outs for our field in 2016. Enjoy! (And feel free to leave your own prognostications and reactions in the Comments.)
Few things in life are certain. Even though we are sure that eLearning is certain to succeed, there are, unfortunately, lots of examples to the contrary. However, Marc says that you can count on three laws of eLearning failure. They are not beyond your control if you know what they are.
Modern-day LMSs were born out of the new transactional capabilities of the Internet in the late 1990s. They are as much eCommerce as eLearning. LMSs can offer many products, process thousands of transactions, handle payments and delivery, and keep track of it all. This is a great value of LMSs. Without a good LMS, there would be chaos in the eLearning world. Why does Marc say he hates them?
The new school year has started in many countries, and that means it is also time for parents to take an interest again in how the massive industry called public education is using learning technology. Here are a dozen questions to ask. Listen carefully to the answers you get, including the non-verbal responses, when you hold educators accountable.
What word do you use to describe or name the people who use the content you labor to create? How does a name affect the way you relate to the person(s) named? It probably does more than you think it does. Here are some thoughts about labels.
LinkedIn, the online social media giant that focuses primarily on professional career development, communities, and networks, has acquired Lynda.com, an online eLearning provider that focuses on skill building. Will this marriage work from a learning perspective? Here is an examination of that question, from the point of view of eLearning managers.
Compliance training is popular, attractive, and often required by law. But is it enough? More importantly, are you doing compliance training in a way that is actually dangerous? Here is a discussion of the four shortcomings of many compliance training programs, and recommendations that will help you avoid those dangers.
How do you see mobile learning? As a context? A device? An ecosystem? Is the way you think about mobile learning inhibiting your application of it? The thought-provoking scenarios in this column may help you resolve these questions.
Even though we act like it’s been here forever, the Internet has only been of practical use for about 20 years. Nothing has changed our lives so much, so fast, as the Internet. Herewith a meditation on the bigger picture, beyond the online learning world, and some mind-blowing revelations.
The problem with learning technology is not the technology itself, but how well it’s used. Here are seven cautions to keep in mind as you develop and implement learning technology solutions of all shapes and sizes, to assure that you don’t jump into things blindly and that you see the bigger picture.
Classroom training just doesn’t seem to get much respect. But it should. It still has an important role to play in the learning ecosystem, for at least four significant situations, and this month’s column points out just what those are—and what they aren’t.
You will be hearing a lot from The eLearning Guild and in Learning Solutions Magazine over the coming months about learning and performance ecosystems. This column expands on Marc’s introduction of the concept last month. Between these two columns and the white paper linked at the end of this one, you will gain a more complete understanding of this vital and emerging concept.
Training is not enough! We must move away from individual, siloed, “one-off” solutions to an ecosystem comprised of multi- faceted options that enhance the total environment in which we work and learn. Here is your high-level introduction to the ecosystem concept, and why it is so critical to your future.
Has technology in our schools come upon a significant barrier? Is it the schools themselves? Technology can improve learning, but we may never reach its full value if the context where it is used—the school—does not significantly change as well. There are efforts underway to change schools, but we still have to ask if they are enough. Read here about what it will take to change the game!
We hear a lot about giving the learner something to do through interactivity and we hear a lot about engaging the learner. They are not the same thing. Interactivity does not necessarily create engagement, and engagement does not necessarily require overt interactivity. Learn about the difference here, and about the “Four T’s of Engagement.”
How does Amazon.com so effortlessly connect “zillions” of people with “zigabytes” of product information? The answer, in part, is through using advanced knowledge-management (KM) techniques. In the eLearning field, we can learn a lot from how Amazon approaches the relationship between customers and information.
Selling performance support comes with unique challenges. Whether you are just getting started or have some performance-support experience under your belt, here are ten approaches to employ when planning to sell a performance-support project.
Focus groups can provide invaluable insight when used strategically for many analysis activities in the eLearning field, from needs assessment to usability to evaluating course effectiveness. Here is a complete, yet concise, guide to the what-when-how-who details that shape a focus group that will be a key resource for better decision-making.
In organizations facing difficult times, training is often the third thing that’s cut, right after travel and free coffee. It’s obvious to most of us that investment in quality training is a good bet. So why can’t we sell it? Here are three key “failures” to avoid.
There is an assumption that training provides enough learning and support to launch someone right to proficiency and competence the moment they leave the classroom. If the training is great and the learners learn, we are told, they ought to be able to perform competently from day one. This is hardly ever the case. Here’s why, and what to do about it.
Training activity that doesn’t produce business value is primarily wasted. Here is the story of a training organization that believed it was creating value, but saw it in terms of its own desires, rather than servicing and supporting the key needs of the business, as defined by the business. Scary stuff. Don’t try this at home.
Does everything that’s done in the name of learning always make sense? Here are 11 stories about performance improvement gone awry, from getting away (far, far away) from the office to total makeover to the edifice complex and more. Enjoy!
Performance support is in the midst of its second revival. The first time around, every performance support project was a custom development job. Today, a new category of tools makes it much easier to create resources that support work at the moment of need. In this review, meet Leo, a proven way to help people get their work done.
A house is no better than the foundation under it, and the same is true for eLearning: if the infrastructure won’t support it, you’ve got (expensive) trouble. Learn from this example that is currently creating so much concern in the US.
”Smile sheets.” “Happy sheets.” We often hear level-one evaluation (the learner’s reaction to instruction) dismissed as trivial or unimportant. But maybe we’ve been asking the wrong questions. Here’s why level one is important—and how to do it in a way that provides insights that matter and that supports correct assessment of your work.
Sometimes a trip down Memory Lane is worth making. The differences you remember between the best and the worst educational experiences you’ve had can be excellent guides to making better experiences for the learners in your organization. You can even turn the memories into a course- improvement checklist. Here’s a guided tour through those experiences.
Some instructional designers write the assessment (the criterion test) first, and some write the test after they have finished designing the course and creating the content. Which way is right? Here are six key points you should consider as you plan your next eLearning project.
Performance support—simple tools that guide and support people as they carry out tasks—is an effective, low-cost complement to instruction. Here are five quick points that you can use as the basis for your “elevator speech” that explains the concept to your colleagues and stakeholders, and three valuable resources that will help you implement the concept.
Google Glass is getting a lot of attention, but will we use it, and if so, how? It has features that might make it a viable performance-support technology in many settings, and it also creates some significant concerns. Read about the pros and cons here!
Social media played an incredible role in reporting the events at the 2013 Boston Marathon and assisting in its outcome. There are some lessons about the power of social media in learning we can take away from those events. What are the benefits and what are the pitfalls?
How do people become high performers? Here are three ideas from one of the keynote speakers at last month’s eLearning Guild Learning Solutions Conference. Plant these ideas into your programs and watch your learners grow!
Delegation is a key skill for instructional designers; especially when turning content development over to end users and subject matter experts. However; just as in any other management effort, it is vital to delegate with control. Here are some key errors you want to avoid.
Is it necessary to communicate all content in the form of courses? There are real reasons to deliver some content as well-designed information instead of instruction. Marc invites us to think critically about what fits the eLearning paradigm and what doesn’t.
Looking for a new career? Think you have what it takes to be an eLearning specialist or manager of eLearning? Here are the nine things you need to know on your first day in your new career … or maybe the nine things it would still be good to know even if you’re already on the job.
Imagine a world where the tools we use remove complexity rather than add to it, and are so intuitively easy to use that we can operate them—correctly—the first time, precisely when we need to use them, with minimal risk. The possibilities for this are here. Are you ready for them? Marc talks about performance support, training, and saving lives.
Everything from class size to irrelevant curriculum, from lack of involvement to ineffective teaching, all seem to point to a US education system that at best is treading water and at worst is falling behind the rest of the world. Is technology the answer, or is it more lipstick on the same pig? Marc has some insights for all of us, and not just for American readers.
After two decades in eclipse during the rise of eLearning, performance support is returning to become an essential part of business strategy. Marc reflects on the significance of this re-focus in the world of learning and performance.
Ever since Bob Mager popularized instructional objectives more than 40 years ago, they have been part of the Holy Grail for instructional designers and the training industry. But are they as valuable as we think they are? Marc suggests a way to add value to the learning objective.
Good design depends on the right answers to important questions, and it is critical to answer those questions at the beginning of the project, not at the end. Here are seven important details you must identify correctly from the start.
We have tended to think of competence as a fixed point: either you are competent or you are not. If that’s the whole story, Albert Einstein was just a competent physicist, Florence Nightingale was a competent nurse, and the Beatles were only a competent band. There has to be more, beyond mere competence. There’s a continuum of performance from novice to master. Learn about it here!
As we find new and better ways to create, store, manage, and, especially, share knowledge, what else changes? Perhaps it is that our key role moves from production to decision-making and advice on content and learning quality. Marc reflects on keeping our eyes on what really matters.
The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) has been a pace-setting, research-based professional organization that has influenced so many aspects of what we do in our work that it is difficult to list them all. Here is a salute to this organization!
No matter how good you are at building eLearning, sooner or later you will likely have to rely on an outside provider. But how do you separate the good vendors from the bad? Here are seven vendor qualities you should look for.
Traditional roles in training and education are in transition, and perhaps fading away. Specializations in eLearning are merging and morphing. What was current last year is now passé, and what was a blip on the horizon is now mainstream. In a time of constant change in our professions, where do you focus your attention? The answer is continuous professional development, and here’s how.
Having a strategy is important, and it needs to be a solid strategy if it is to be the basis for a successful and sustainable eLearning effort. Here are ten of the mistakes that people most often make when setting their strategy, and each mistake will weaken the strategy.
Great teachers are still necessary. But there are some characteristics, beyond being impressive lecturers, which make teachers great. Why do great teachers matter in eLearning? It is because great teachers also make great eLearning developers.
As students return to school, many of them (and their teachers) are seeing tablet computers in the classroom, a trend that will only grow. Marc looks at what tablets bring to K-12 education, the concerns that they raise, and what we can do to ensure the success of this technology in the classroom.
After you have analyzed a performance problem and determined the non-instructional components of the solution, it’s time to begin working on the parts that have to be taught. Here are eight fundamental points of instructional design and delivery that you must incorporate into eLearning in order to get the results you intend.
We know that training is only one solution to performance problems, and that there are several others. So why always fall back on “build a course to fix it” as the default solution? Here’s an aid to help with that particular performance problem, and there’s no course required.
Early adopters of eLearning more than 15 years ago – before the mass adoption of the Internet and the Web – were already producing innovative programs that can still serve as models for us today. Great design and production values went a long way to overcome the primitive technology. Marc reviews the most successful example, and what it takes to be that effective.
While the LMS and SCORM may not be dead, they do not address the complexities of new learning design strategies and their transcendence of technical standards. Marc reflects on the history of standards and comments on the new ADL Future Learning Experience Project.
Mobile devices as performance support platforms is a pretty cool idea these days – but only if the designer thinks through the whole problem, from the customer’s point of view. Marc has some words for Hyundai about this.
Social media and social learning are attracting a lot of attention, but don’t overlook the fact that it’s not the technology that makes them effective. Here are the eight ingredients you need to make social learning successful.
Love it or hate it, social media and its compression of expression is here to stay. Marc presents the pros and the cons, and asks the critical question: What are we going to do about it?
One of the most important things we in e-Learning today can do for the generations to come is to support effective use of technology in primary and secondary education. For the past several months, Anne Derryberry has written about her experiences as a volunteer in her local high school. Now Marc shows you eight more ways you can make a difference in your local schools.
High-level simulations, an interactive student guide, student-created job aids, simple memory aids, substantial realistic practice, and a competency-based assessment. Where are you… in a military training center? Medical school? Nope. It’s Bartending 101. Pull up a stool.
Is instructional systems design (ISD) dead? The arguments against ISD usually center on its perceived inflexibility and the excessive time it takes to go through the process. The arguments for ISD cite its systematic approach and evidence that, if followed, you’re likely to produce more effective training. Maybe there are better questions to ask. Here are four such questions.
Want the latest research content from Learning Solutions Mag?