Archive for May, 2012

Consulting – Getting to know the Learning & Development Consulting Occupation

May 30, 2012

The May ASTD Chapter meeting was about getting familiar with being a consultant in the Learning and Development space. The host of the event was Seema Rafay of Spectrum Performance Services. She specializes in Performance Management and is strategic partners with Profiles International.


There was quite an interesting discussion as to what a consultant actually was. Two of the definitions that came out were:

  • Someone who has to influence thoughts and actions of others without control.
  • Someone who is a motivator and understands the needs of a company. They affect outcomes and they are familiar with who the players are in a within an organization. It is all about relationships.
    Essentially, what we ended up with was a three-point definition.

A consultant is someone that:

  • Professionally counsels to advise, guide, and inform.
  • Is qualified to engage in this type of activity.
  • Delivers solutions to the stated problems.

There are many of us that have no real desire to be an private consultant for one reason or another, but, it is important to realize that you have the capability to be a consultant within your own organization. If you assist in solving problems, are qualified to do so, and making recommendations that meet the problems, you are a consultant.

The one thing we also agreed to was that consultants do NOT tell people what to do.



Area Of Expertise (AOE) – Delivering Training

May 22, 2012

This AOE covers delivering learning solutions that engage the learner and produce the desired outcomes. This could be a course or a guided experience.

Desired outcomes might include:

  • Managing a learner’s need
  • Responding to a learner’s need
  • Ensuring that a learning solution is available and delivered in a timely and effective manner

This AOE essentially covers the role of a trainer/instructor/facilitator.

On the CPLP exam, you can expect about 15% of the exam to cover content from this Area of Expertise.

Many of the skills in this AOE are similar to that of the Designing Instruction AOE. They include:

  • Adult learning theories and techniques
  • Instructional Design Theory and methods
  • Training delivery options or media
  • Existing learning technologies and support systems
  • Emerging learning technologies and support systems


Areas of Expertise (AOE) – Designing Learning

May 15, 2012

This area of expertise covers the two primary roles:

  • Designing, creating, and developing interventions to meet the needs
  • Analyzing and selecting the most appropriate strategy, methodologies, and technologies to maximize the learning experience and impact

In regards to the CPLP exam, you can expect about 15% of the exam to cover content from this AOE.
This Area of Expertise is essentially a summarization of what it means to be an Instructional Designer. This AOE covers several things, including:

  • Cognition and Adult Learning Theory
  • Instructional Design theory and process
  • Instructional methods
  • Training delivery options or media
  • Task Analysis and Competency modeling
  • Working with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • Assessment methods
  • Learning technologies and support systems
  • Business strategies, drivers, and needs for learning interventions
  • Methods of research
  • Legal and ethical issues related to designing learning
  • eLearning and traditional courses – differences and implications
  • New and emerging learning technologies and support systems
  • Designing Information displays, access and resources


Game Mechanics – What Makes a Good Game?

May 11, 2012

 Is it little characters with catchy music, like Mario or Pac Man? Do you need to wield a sword and slay the mighty dragon, like in World of Warcraft? Do you need to answer trivia on a scoreboard, like Jeopordy? All of these have things in common and you can include these things in your eLearning that you create.

Are you familiar with the term “gamification”?

Gamification is the concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun and engaging.

According to a 2011 Gartner Research Report it is estimated that by 2015, more than 50 percent of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes.

According to, here are some of the common game mechanics.


Rapid eLearning Development – Rethinking ADDIE

May 7, 2012

I think most eLearning developers are familiar with ADDIE. It stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. This is the process we all learned when we started to design learning. The problem is that designing eLearning never seems to work this way.

It is very rarely a smooth and straight path, at least not for me. I find myself analyzing the requirements of a course, and then building pieces, then testing those pieces, and then rebuilding pieces, retesting them, and eventually putting all the successfully tested pieces together. The point is that I find myself building and testing over and over again.

The problem with ADDIE is that Design, Develop and Evaluate happen repeatedly throughout the process, not just as a single phase in the creation process.