End of The Year Evaluation: How’d Your Training Programs do in 2012?

There are only a few weeks left in 2012. Things are about to slow down in advance of the holiday season, so hopefully you can take advantage of this time and reflect upon the learning programs you implemented over the past year. Check out David Vance’s article on Chief Learning Officer’s website on why you should measure and evaluate.

For eLearning programs specifically, Marc Rosenberg recently wrote an insightful piece on “Testing Your eLearning Strategy” on Learning Solutions Magazine’s website.  Marc points out eight questions that instructional designers can ask themselves to help determine whether or not their eLearning strategy is solid.

One of key points Marc makes is that strategy should put you ahead of trends.  In an era where technology develops at a rapid pace, waiting until everyone else is on-board is simply too late. The key, Marc says, is to “jump in, get started, and prepare for continuous improvement.”

In other words, it’s important to remain flexible. That flexibility, however, must be balanced with commitment. He says trainers must remember to also balance expectations with resources and time.

If you run eLearning programs, check out Marc’s post, and run his eight-questions past your strategy. If you’re not confident in how your strategy stands up against his test, get started on revamping things. With a fresh year on the horizon, there’s no better time to start.

Keep learning,
Your friends at ISDNow

If you’re not already following us on twitter, please do! www.twitter.com/isdnow

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.

Follow us on Twitter @isdnow

Writing Instructional Objectives

Writing effective instructional objectives in education and training is one of the most important things a teacher or a trainer can do. They set the stage for designing a good course, linking behaviors to outcomes and creating effective evaluation measures. Many people think that writing instructional objectives is very difficult. In fact, there is a simple formula to use.   In this video, lead by Dr. Greg Williams, Director of the Instructional Systems Development program at UMBC, will show viewers not only what the formula is, but how to use it successfully.