A guiding principle for good instructional design is to be sure that you know your audience and design something that meets their specific needs.
If you know that your audience is relatively inexperienced, then you need to make sure the basics are covered. If your audience is quite tenured, then advanced skill building would be in order.
What happens when you’re not quite sure who is planning to show up (for example, when you have to design for a conference session)? What happens when you’re told that your audience will have a broad range of experiences? Continue reading
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Association for Talent Development Puget Sound (ATDps) chapter’s annual workplace learning conference. As soon as I walked into the room for the general session, I noticed something a little different.
On each table there was a container with Continue reading
The answer is: we look foolish.
A few weeks ago at the Online Learning Conference, I sat in a room and I was amused by a question the keynote speaker posed to the audience. She asked: what color is a yield sign? I turned to the person sitting next to me and said: yellow! She smiled and nodded. Such an easy question!
The problem was: we were wrong.
Not such an easy question. And when the answer was revealed, there was a collective palm-slapping-forehead sound that rang out across the ballroom.
In case you were wondering, a yield sign you’d see on the road today (and every day since 1971) actually looks like this: Continue reading
I’m coaching my son’s first grade CYO soccer team this fall and earlier this week I attended four and a half hours of mandatory meetings and training. The morning after the training, my wife asked what I learned.
I paused, then said: “You can’t bring your vuvuzela to games this year.” In fact, you can’t bring cow bells or whistles either.
She asked if I learned anything else during these four and a half hours. I paused again, then began to panic. Continue reading
Last week I was talking with a colleague who made a distinction between what she perceives her team as doing compared to what some other teams do. She said: “We really view our team as educators, while there are other teams that get out into the field and don’t even care about who the audience is, they simply have a slide deck and they’re going to walk the audience through the slide deck. We call them presenters, as opposed to educators.”
I normally don’t get too caught up in language and vocabulary and semantics, but this was an important point. Perhaps more importantly, this was coming from an operational manager, not someone in the L&D department. This wasn’t just “inside baseball” talk among training geeks. Continue reading
Last week I re-watched the 1993 classic Dazed and Confused for the 3,925th time.
This week I finished a train the trainer session for a new client. During a break my mind wandered back to the clip in Dazed and Confused where the rising seniors were hazing the incoming freshmen.
When Communism ended in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall (yes, I know that the Soviet Union didn’t break up until 1991 and technically China still considers itself “Communist”, but really, everything seemed to end when the Wall fell), it seemed like the last great struggle left in the world was going to be the battle against bad, boring, wasteful learning experiences.
Of course, the Berlin Wall didn’t just come tumbling down one fall day in 1989. People may have wanted it to just go away, but it was a long process that included a series of events – some big, some small, and some so subtle they barely registered.
In our struggle against bad, boring, wasteful learning experiences, we’d do well to keep this in mind. Continue reading