Mind Platter

I listened to a fantastic ASTD webinar recently about “neuroleadership” or brain science applied to leadership. David Rock of The Neuroleadership Institute was the presenter. There was a lot of great content (if you’re an ASTD member and you missed it, I encourage you to track down a recording), but one thing in particular captured my attention: the Mind Platter.

It is a play on the recently revised nutrition model rolled out by the USDA, describing the components of a “healthy diet” of input for the mind. Mind Platter was only mentioned in passing during the webinar, but it is an interesting way to think about getting our brains the sustenance they need. I have been thinking about the role of each component in the design of training.

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Game Playing #LCBQ

I’m currently in graduate school, and statistics is one of my classes this term. I took stats as an undergraduate, and kinda sorta understood it well enough to eke out a B+. But this time I really wanted to learn the material. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Khan Academy watching the statistics videos. After a few videos, the site started giving me messages about the points and badges I was earning by watching videos. This practice is known as “gamification” – creating incentives to encourage ongoing engagement with media.

October’s “Big Question” from ASTD’s Learning Circuits blog takes on this growing trend: Does Gamification have a role in Workplace Learning?

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PowerPoint Isn’t Always Your Friend

PowerPoint!For learning professionals, PowerPoint is a key technology. Trainers use it in live classes, and elearning developers either use it as a base or strive to surpass it. It’s a powerful tool. But is can also be powerfully bad. Stunningly effective case in point: the Gettysburg Address in PowerPoint (original text here). Why does this fail? Why is it so much less affecting and powerful than Lincoln’s original speech? The tech is better; shouldn’t the message be more effectively delivered?

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Elearning, now with more fun! #LCBQ

I am just going to go ahead and admit that in my organization, elearning is not synonymous with fun. As much as I might like to imagine otherwise, nobody thinks, “YES! I get to do some eLearning courses today!” This is partially because our organization has a poor track record with elearning – we are so guilty of bullet point overload. And partially because we have to train on many non-fun topics. Anybody want to spend an afternoon learning about bloodborne pathogens? How about corporate compliance? Or health care privacy regulations? Can learning about infection control ever be fun? And what is fun, anyway? This is the question posed by the ASTD Learning Circuits blog in their monthly Big Question. Actually, the question as written is: How do you make e-learning fun? Or is engaging really what you go after? And how does that differ from fun? Read the rest of this entry

The Novice User

I read a great blog post today about working with a completely novice computer user. The educators who have been in my department for several years still tell stories about the transition from paper to computer documentation a few years back. Some of the staff hadn’t used a mouse before. Read the rest of this entry

Step away from the desk…

I spent an fruitful few hours with a colleague from another organization yesterday. I met her at a gathering of the Piedmont ASTD. When I asked to see some samples of her organization’s eLearning, she graciously invited me to her workplace to check out their authoring software and LMS. Read the rest of this entry

Action Mapping!

On the past few projects I have worked on, I have been using the action mapping approach to design described by Cathy Moore here. We have a gap analysis form that we use in our training department, and it does a good job of identifying whether training is needed or not. But it is not a robust design document. The action mapping makes it easy to collaborate with subject matter experts (SMEs) on what content will be included in the training. It also helps keep me focused on the “need to know” and what the end goal is. When you start with the goal, it gets the conversation off to a focused start and can help redirect the desire to train because people aren’t sure what else to do.

The other nice thing about the process is that it makes it much easier to plan for a Level 3 or 4 evaluation of the training. If you start with the business goal, then your level 4 metric is already determined.

eLearning Update

Our training department has been working hard to get better at creating eLearning modules. We’re working entirely in PowerPoint, but that application can do a lot of things to support learning if it is used correctly (and so many things to hinder it if not). I recently redesigned a module on patient bracelets – every patient who comes into the hospital receives a bracelet for identification, and they can collect more if they have allergies or other conditions. Read the rest of this entry

Partnering to Heal: Our Tax Dollars at Work

I came across a fantastic example of eLearning today. Partnering to Heal is a sophisticated social simulation produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to educate providers and patient advocates about how to reduce the spread of infections in hospitals.

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Outside the Comfort Zone

In my last post, I answered a question about on-demand learning. I recently had a need for some on-demand learning outside of work myself. An online community that I belong to decided to put together a magazine. The call went out for writers, artists and photographers to submit their work and for copyeditors to help put the magazine together.

With no works to submit, but still wanting to contribute, I signed up to be a volunteer copyeditor. I am a good writer and editor, and I figured it would be an easy way to be a part of this interesting idea. A few weeks later, I received an email for the magazine’s volunteer editor talking about “slugs,” “AP format” and “running wicked fat on copy.” As I read that email, it dawned on me that I had no idea what a copyeditor actually does.

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