Articles

Below are various articles on training, training development, learning management systems, and project management.
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Does Your Training Deserve to Live?

Monday, 04 October 2010 16:56

So, does it? Does it deserve to exist in order to fix a problem?  In many cases the answer is ‘no’. Let’s list some problems that training can’t fix, identify why training used to ‘fix’ them anyway, and what a better method of choosing a solution might be.

Organizations frequently use training as a ‘super solution’ to eliminate performance gaps.  However, performance gaps frequently have one or more root causes that are poorly addressed (if at all) by any kind of training:

  • Employee motivation
  • Job or task design
  • Broken or poorly implemented processes
  • Work flows
  • Organizational structure
  • Poor or mis-matched incentives
  • Inconsistent or lax enforcement of current policy and procedure
  • Poor information systems
Read more: Does Your Training Deserve to Live?
 
 
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Crafting Better Learning Goals and Learning Objectives

Friday, 10 September 2010 23:08

 The foundation of good training is a well crafted Learning Goal supported by well structured Learning Objectives.  This applies to face-to-face, online,  or blended learning.

 A good Learning Goal and set of learning objectives provide focus to the course.   If something doesn’t support one or more the learning objectives, it doesn’t go into the course, no matter how interesting it may be.

A learning goal describes the large scale aims of the course.   It is the 30,000 foot view of the course purpose and tells the learner at a glance what he or she will be expected to know  and be able to do after completing the instruction.   Each course has one learning goal.  Each learning goal is usually stated as a single sentence.

Here are some examples of learning goals:

  • Students will learn how to administer a TeamSite.
  • Salespeople will be able to execute each step of the company sales process.
  • Learners will be able to successfully complete common word processing tasks using Microsoft Word.
  • Administrators will be able to redact documents using Adobe Acrobat.
  • Employees will learn to identify and avoid disrespectful behaviour in the workplace.

 

Read more: Crafting Better Learning Goals and Learning Objectives
 
 
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LMS Thoughts Part I

Saturday, 27 February 2010 18:38

Much has been written on Learning Management Systems (LMS), their history, design, shorcomings, benefits, selection, implementation, well, you get the idea. 

I'm not going to go over ground that is covered well by others.  I will post a partial list of the resources I like later.  However, I would like to share my thoughts on four important aspects of LMS selection and implementation.  These are things that are frequently ignored, taken for granted, or poorly done.  Any of them can cause an implementation to fail.

What's in it for me?

An LMS is a complex piece of software and touches many groups within an organization.  A competent implimentation plan identifies key stakeholders: those who have an interest in the outcome of the selection, implementation, and use of the LMS. Their support (or lack of it) is a key factor in a successful implementation.

Read more: LMS Thoughts Part I
 
 
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Effective Agendas

Monday, 11 January 2010 22:18

Note:  I wrote this article with a focus on eLearning projects, but its concepts really apply to all project management.

Introduction

When you are a contract developer, regular contact with your client during the development process is mandatory.  A major form of contact is meetings, both in person and by phone (or Live Meeting, Webex etc).  As the eLearning contract developer, it is your responsibility to manage those meetings so they are productive.  Poorly managed meetings result in miscommunication, wasted time, and lost productivity.    You don’t need to be an expert in meetings; a few simple concepts can pay huge dividends.  One such concept is Agendas.

Read more: Effective Agendas