Archive for June, 2012

Coaching – Do You Want to Be a Little Smarter?

June 28, 2012

Content for this article came from Talk that Talk, Brandon Hall, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, July 2012.

Who doesn’t want to be a little smarter than the average bear? With the internet at your fingertips, you have ready access lots of smart people. Many great speakers and authors have stated that if you surround yourself with smart people, you become a smart person. Incredibly, this happens almost by osmosis. You absorb the thoughts and actions of those who you are around on a regular basis. So, the number one thing you can do, if you need to change some things in your life, is to make a change and hang around different people.

Where do you find these people? Let your fingers and your mouse do the walking.

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Medieval Help Desk – Boil Content Down to the Problems…and Solve Them

June 19, 2012

I sat in on a web seminar by Ray Jimenez, of VignettesLearning.com. The discussion was how to boil down long PowerPoints into chunked content.

As part of his presentation, he offered up this video. It is subtitled, but it offers a pretty good laugh.

Some of us like to think of our content as all the stuff you should know – History, Background, References, etc.

Think about what a course for this poor monk would be like – probabaly not include those three items. Just answer the main questions and solve the learners’ problems. They can learn history and background at a different time. Do you need to know the history of Detroit or how a car is made to learn how to turn the key, press the gas, and go forward? No.

Author – Writing for Personal and Professional Expression

June 15, 2012

Many trainers want to write articles and a book but don’t know where to start. This is the first in a series on getting started in publishing by internationally-known author and consultant and Past President of the Central Florida Chapter of ASTD, Bob Lucas, who shares his experiences on the writing profession.

Writing for Personal and Professional Expression
©copyright, Robert W. Lucas

My first article was printed in a real publication (Police and Security News) in the mid-1980s. I was so excited. Although I had not been paid for the piece, my words were right there in a newspaper-type publication for the world to read. That shot of adrenaline encouraged me to continue  my literary efforts. I wrote other short articles for the publication and then decided to test the waters elsewhere. I created a monthly column of training tips for the Metro DC chapter of ASTD’s member newsletter.  From there, other small pieces followed in local publications and in The National Rifleman for the National Rifle Association, where I worked at the time. In all these instances, I did nothing more than share my experience and knowledge on training and development related topics.  Ultimately, the articles that I had written led me to my first book contract where the publisher asked for samples of my writing to gauge my style and to see if I could effectively put two sentences together to make a thought.

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Opportunities to Have your Instructional Design Skills Change the World

June 13, 2012

Many times, we get stuck in the rut of doing the same kinds of eLearning or course development over and over. We don’t really get the opportunity to do something unique that causes us to stretch our skills or infuse us with new inputs. Also, sometimes it just feels like we are a machine cranking out content, but not really affecting anything long term.

You can step out of your normal “box” and get involved in some projects that will stretch you and allow you to build some portfolio pieces, as well as build new contacts and possibly offer you access to some new tools to improve your skill set.

Two programs you may be interested in are:

  • Global Giveback
  • E-learning for Kids

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The Right Thing – A Lesson in Customer Service

June 13, 2012

A situation occurred last weekend that is worth sharing. It offered two very important lessons worth pointing out.

  1. Customer Service is worth almost every penny you pay or invest
  2. Always look for the teachable moment

THE STORY

My son and I were spending the day together at DisneyQuest, here in Orlando. What DisneyQuest is isn’t important to the story. What is important is that I am talking about an event that took place on Disney property.

My son, eight years old, had a lanyard and a series of trading pins he had since about 2007. He wanted to take them for his first time at DisneyQuest to see if he could trade them. He successfully traded different pins all day. We had been riding this Buzz Lightyear bumpercar thing a few times and each time, for some unknown reason, he would take off the lanyard and put it in the storage area. Around 8:30 PM or so, he says to me that he doesn’t have his lanyard. We went to check the bumper car attraction and they searched all the cars and could not find it. They suggested I go to Guest Relations to see if anyone turned it in.

Not expecting much, I warned him that unfortunately his lanyard was probably gone and we were now hoping that someone was honest and turned it in. He understood that I was not about to buy him a new one and he was a little upset…but he was onboard and understood.

We talked to a young woman in Guest Relations and she sympathized with him. She told us to go enjoy the rest of our evening and to come back and see her around 10:00. So, we did. When we came back, she said she wandered the building and asked everyone she could find about his lanyard and pins. She got no positive response.

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Area of Expertise (AOE) – Managing the Learning Function

June 7, 2012

This Area of Expertise (AOE) is about providing leadership in developing human capital to fulfill an organizations strategy. This skill set incorporates:

  • Strategy
  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Monitoring
  • Adjusting activities associated with the administration of workplace learning and performance

You will find about 9% of the CPLP questions involve this AOE.

Something that is important for any training professional to recognize is that training is not always the solution to an employee performance issue. Training managers should always conduct a needs analysis to attempt to save their company time and money. The best way to do this is from the top down, rather than focusing on individuals. Your role is to know the elements of a needs assessment. This includes gap analysis, priority identification, causes, solutions, and opportunities.

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Area of Expertise (AOE) – Measuring and Evaluating

June 4, 2012

This area of expertise is about gathering data to answer questions regarding the value and impact of learning solutions. Not only does it focus on individual programs or courses, but it also encompasses the overall measure of system effectiveness. It takes advantage of findings to increase effectiveness and provide further recommendations for change.

You can expect to see about 12% of the CPLP exam cover this AOE.

Some of the skills used in this AOE include:

  • Statistical theory and methods
  • Designing research
  • Analysis methods
  • Interpreting and reporting data
  • Data Evaluation 

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