Image by Harish Sharma from Pixabay One of my biggest areas for practice and improvement as an instructional designer and corporate trainer is in eLearning. I haven’t had much exposure to it outside of the materials I created in the Umass Boston master’s program. It’s an area I feel will be beneficial to practice in and utilize on the job. My employer tends to avoid eLearning and push class room style training above all else. This posed a problem when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we were forced to rethink our daily training routines.I decided that a learning pursuit for eLearning experience would be the way to go for this assignment and class. It would allow me to practice something interesting and simultaneously help me along in the professional development area. I started out not knowing what was out there, other than the usual suspects (Storyline & Captivate). My original…

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I recently completed a digital story on how people cope with change. I chose this topic because it’s something that I teach in my current workplace. The concept of change and how people interpret it is interesting to me and it always spurs some great in class conversation. As I started scripting and selecting images, a question occurred to me. When designing learning for a new concept that will impact a learners way of performing a task, should designers consider implementing change management activities? My answer is yes! A few years ago, my employer decided to install new computer hardware that would streamline a current process. The problem was, this new hardware is going to change a behavior that some employees have been performing for many years (20+ in some cases). The major change came in the form of adding machines being removed from workstations as the new hardware calculated…

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The time has finally arrived for my colleagues and I to resume in-person workshops. The Covid-19 guidelines are stressful but we are managing to keep everyone as safe and as comfortable as possible. We were given our first training assignment since the beginning of the pandemic and we were quickly able to string together a rather robust workshop. We brainstormed, edited & printed materials and re-familiarized ourselves with the subjects. We created a PSA and emailed all participants about the new guidelines for “office etiquette”. All that was left was the creation of introduction, we always use a silly ice breaker. It was decided that we would ask the following question: Name? Where will you be working? What new hobby or skill did you pick up during the quarantine? The participants all had great responses and we shared a few laughs, mostly at my expense! I attempted grilling some expensive…

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In his post Instructional Design Lessons from the State Fair, Brian Washburn discusses learner preference from the viewpoint of his children’s behaviors at the state fair. One child enjoys going on the rides while the other would rather play the games. Washburn relates learning to going on a roller coaster. He explains that a ride is something that happens to you. There is no need to perform or do anything, just enjoy the ride. He claims that some people prefer to learn in the same fashion as riding a ride. They prefer to sit back and let it happen, becoming passengers to the material they are learning. Washburn asks “What can we, as instructional designers and trainers, do to hold ourselves accountable to making sure this kind of training participant still walks away with increased knowledge, skills or abilities?” He proposes multiple methods of delivery, such as storytelling and gaming,…

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Hybrid Learning has been thrust into the spotlight within my network of corporate trainers. It seems to be the most appropriate solution to the “new normal.” Leaners still get the lessons they need and then they can come into an in-person workshop when it is safe to do so. It made perfect sense to me, so I began to think of ways to convert existing in-person workshops to media that is in line with hybrid learning. My plan was to convert some stuff to PowerPoint, put together a few eLearning modules and roll everything out piece by piece.  Of course, everyone else was doing it so why shouldn’t we? Enter, Stephanie Morgan from hrzone.com. In researching strategies, I came across her post titled Blended learning: how to craft the perfect blend for boosting performance. In it, she discusses a post from Donald Clark about what blended learning shouldn’t be. Suffice…

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  The Covid-19 pandemic is making some trainers rethink their usual methods of delivering learning. For some, switching over to remote or hybrid learning wasn’t an issue. For others, including me, the option for remote is just not there. For those of us that may be stuck with classroom style training as the only medium allowed for training, we are tasked with coming up for strategies to train in a socially distant world.             First worry and consideration is class size. It depends on the size of your facilities. For me, we are reduced to half the amount of people allowed in our training rooms. Many of our workshops utilize group work and role plays, all of which may not be the safest activities to perform. Also, the thought of wearing a face covering for multiple hours a day is a cause for concern and could be a major distraction. …

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