Saturday, February 21, 2004

TechLearn 2004 Handouts are available

The handouts from the 2004 ASTD TechLearn Conference are now available, free online to all. Almost the next best thing to being there.

Have only poked around a bit so far, but was pleased to see Allison Rosset's handouts, I've seen her speak before, this is a good update. I like her "chills and thrills".

Refreshing tips for getting the most out of conference breakouts

Jay Cross has done a nice piece in one of his blogs on getting the most out of conference breakouts; as usual, from Jay, it's refreshing. I love how he always says what he's thinking. His thoughts start out with some interesting observations being on the receiving end of level 1 evaluations (hmm... why is some of this familiar?), and concludes with some good thoughts for future consideration. Should be required reading for all conference delegates, LOL...

Somewhere I have an article that I wrote on getting the most out of a conference, I don't think I've ever posted it somewhere, will have to get it up on my articles website soon - and I'll be sure to add a link to this bit from Jay's blog.

CSS and learner control

I was pleasantly surprised to see a new article in Learning Circuits called CSS Your Way to Learner Control . This is a cool article, as it contains a link to a course page that you can modify the appearance of, by using the radio controls at the top. Waaayyyy cool!

I had not even fathomed CSS in the realm of using it to give the learner control over their learning space. What a paradigm shift.

Via this article, I also discovered the W3C Core Styles, 8 free CSS style sheets that are free and designed for non-developers to customize look and feel. Again, it's kind of cool, as you can try them all out.

Man oh man, this idea of CSS and learner controls is going to have my brain going now... I gotta learn more about how this is used....

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

NASAGA's first online conference

NASAGA - the North American Simulation and Gaming Association is doing it's first NASAGA Online Conference March 10-12, 2004. You don't have to go anywhere, it's conducted entirely online. Speakers include Thiagi, Clark Aldrich, Mark Prensky and Jennifer Hofmann, all of whose work I follow. Two new folks to me are Marie Jasinski and Bernie Dekovan. Should be a good event.

One great thing is that NASAGA is using iCohere - my favourite tool for this type of event. I've attended a number of iCohere online conferences and they are great (click for article). And I am delighted to be able to finally attend a NASAGA event!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Great Chevalier session

Back to my blog again, off and on, up and down, it's like a stream of consciousness that periodically fades in and out...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a full-day workshop with Roger Chevalier of ISPI International. The session was here in Vancouver, which was a rare opportunity. There are some great post-workshop resources here.

One of my biggest learnings / ah ha's was that Level 1 (Reaction) evaluation can provide misleading information; I've always known and believed that it was not enough, but by way of example, Roger shared that it can provide some invalid data - a definite ah ha moment. The example he used was of an instructor who got the lowest Level 1 evaluations from learners, but the highest Level 4 (Results) results... He was keeping his class late for application activities (hence, the better results), so the class didn't really like it - but they did learn. And, with reframing of how he set up the evening session, his Level 1 ratings did increase. This was a brilliant example.

Other ah ha's:
- more of a reminder than an ah ha for me was an example of how classroom time was cut by 1/3 through the addition of job aids (complicated task, only occassionally done, provide a job aid rather than training); I'll put that lens on again
- a reinforcement of how valuable role playing is -- I got caught in my own comfort of understanding theory and - like most people in the workshop - saw where I went wrong only when we applied our questioning in a large role play (gee, it's always good to be sitting in the learner's seat!)
- the process (and sequence) of behaviour engineering questioning: information, resources, incentives, motives, capacity, knowledge and skills -- and if you don't pay attention to one it will bite you
- plus the accompanying performance improvement leverage model (things earliest on this list have high impact + low cost; things at the end of the list have low impact + high cost); again, great reinforcement and good examples to deepen my learning
- the Hawthorne effect reminder as it relates to evaluation of learning and performance improvement

I also liked how Roger applied force field analysis to performance analysis. I first learned about force field analysis in a marketing context, and haven't reallly seen it applied well in a performance context before today. I'll use this for sure.

A favourite quote from Roger: "training is our drug of choice"

Also learned that the famous "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it" that has been attributed to many people was actually first said way back in in 1902 (though not sure by who).