Join us for UMBC’s ISD Now Webinar – November 7

allison-rossettMark your calendar for November 7, 2012 at 2 p.m. EST for UMBC’s ISD Now Webinar: Mobile Devices for Learning and Performance Support


We all worry about the influence of our learning programs when our participants move out of sight and into the workplace. Mobile devices help to extend the arms and voice of the instructor into the field of play. They deliver at the moment of need, or pretty darn close to it.

Join Us and Learn:

  • What are the sweet spots for mobile learning and mobile support?
  • What is the difference between mobile learning and mobile support?
  • What are planners and sidekicks and how can they address the transfer problem?
  • Can apps help with soft skills, such as leader development?

Allison Rossett, Professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University and in the Training magazine HRD Hall of Fame.

Dr. Greg Williams, Moderator Director and Clinical Associate Professor of Instructional Systems Development Graduate Programs, UMBC


Wednesday, November 7, 2012 ~ 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST

Space is limited. Reserve your Webinar seat now.

ADDIE vs. Agile

Written by: Mike Thorpe, Sr. Training Project Manager – Serco
Today it’s all about: “how fast can you get it to me?” and “how quickly can I see it?”  Thanks in part to social media and the “now” generation, clients and organizations want to see training products much faster than before. I usually get requests for prototypes or samples from clients days and weeks into the development process.

It used to be when developing learning (ILT or eLearning) all you had to know was the ADDIE (analyze, design, develop, implement and evaluate) methodology and you sat down and meticulously worked your objective to completion. For decades, the ADDIE approach to instructional design was the predominant in the field. ADDIE made it possible to manage the process of creating useful training programs systematically. But in today’s fast-paced environment, it’s showing its age, and this top-down, slower, waterfall based process doesn’t feed the need to “see it now!”

So along comes Agile, which initiated in software development and is just now starting to invade project management and instructional design in the learning and development field. The key to Agile design is the multiple, short development cycles. You develop in short pieces called Sprints, and these pieces are shared with clients and target audiences early to gain their feedback and approval. Adjustments are made throughout the design and development process rather than after development and/or implementation.

Agile gets the client or potential learner involved early in the process and can satisfy the, “see it now!” craving that today’s clients tend to have. This frequent review cycle reduces the risk of spending a lot of time creating a very polished product that ultimately isn’t very useful. Agile turns clients and potential learners into active participants throughout the design process, which makes it more likely that your solution will actually be integrated into an organization’s workflow.

Is Agile right for you and your project? Maybe or maybe not, but if you are not familiar with the Agile methodology I would suggest you start doing your research.

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ISD Now Forum with Thiagi – A Video Snippet

Written by ISD Now Staff
Follow us on Twitter: @ISDNow

On October 4, 2012, we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Thiagi to UMBC Campus. He presented to a full house on “Increasing and Improving Interactivity in Webinars.” He had the whole audience on their feet laughing and learning.

Here’s a snippet of some audience members’ reactions to the presentation.

Full video coverage and pictures will be posted soon. Stay tuned!

Video Games in the Classroom


By Todd Marks
Think about the age-old model of putting students in rows for learning. In many of today’s classrooms, not much has changed, despite the fact that this generation of students is extremely tech-savvy and technology is currently available to facilitate innovative improvements in schools.

What is preventing schools from adapting with the times? Students have adapted to technology, so why haven’t the teachers jumped on board?

Statistics from Flurry Analytics show that the ages 45-65 only take up 5% of the gaming demographic. Often, leaders directing the curriculum fall within this range.  In today’s classroom, most students have a smartphone in their pocket, and they use them to text, tweet and post.  What would happen if they used that smartphone for something more positive and productive?

“Gamifying” today’s education system is the answer. It has been proven to work in other Asian countries, but we need the buy-in from the older generation to embrace technology to help change the system, and keep on top of technology adoption.

On the other side of the gaming demographic, almost half of gamers are between the ages of 13-25. These individuals, many of which who are students, are accustomed to gaming. Including educational games in curriculum would be a step in the right direction to better engage our students.

What is holding us back from creating a modern classroom?  Almost all teachers who have been in the same role for several years teach the same thing, the same way, year after year. Incentives would help teachers keep lessons interactive and encourage them to reinvent, rather than lecture the same old material. Learning could incorporate location-based services, augmented reality, natural language processing and so many more technology-enabled tools.

Other countries are adapting more quickly, and they are surpassing us. Infrastructure is keeping us from being on the cutting edge of education delivery.  The good news is this change is happening, just at glacial speed.

“Video Games in the Classroom” was the topic of Todd Marks’ recent presentation at the Baltimore Washington Tech Meetup. See  presentation, above. Todd Marks is an adjunct faculty member in UMBC’s Instructional Systems Development Master’s Program, and the President and CEO of Mindgrub Technologies.

Are you Ready to Network and Learn with Dr. Thiagi?

From the UMBC ISD Team
Follow us on Twitter: @isdnow

We’re busy in the office this week preparing for our next ISD Now Forum and Next Day Workshop with Dr.Thiagi this Thursday and Friday (October 4 & 5). Handouts are printed, informational CD’s are created, yummy food is ordered, and the ballroom is ready to be filled with all of you!

Dr. Thiagi

Dr. Thiagi

If you’re in the Baltimore area, come and join us Thursday night for a complimentary night filled with lots of energy, networking, and information. Dr. Thiagi will be presenting Increasing and Improving Interactivity in Webinars. The fun begins at 6 p.m. and wraps up by 8:30 p.m. RSVP today! We hope to see you there.

Can’t make it Thursday? We’ll be live tweeting from @ISDNow using the hashtag #ISDNow, so stay connected with us!

Also, there’s still room in our next day workshop on Friday, October 5th. Dr. Thiagi will be presenting Interactive Techniques for Instructor-Led Training.  You will need to register for this workshop.

Here’s a video from Dr. Thiagi’s last visit with us back in 2007.