Ban the word training

Some days, I wish we could just ban the word ‘training,’ as it relates to learning in the workplace. It kind of makes me think of ‘teaching an old dog a new trick.’ I’ve always embraced it, by thinking of it in terms of practicing & developing core skills required to ultimately excel in any field, but when it comes to ‘training,’ I think we have to be careful to avoid allowing the ‘teach me a new trick’ mentality to overshadow the ‘developing core skills’ mentality.

There are no ‘new tricks’ that will make it easy to thrive in the rapidly changing environments that have become the new norm for most forward thinking organizations. However, coming together to share knowledge, ideas, and best practices – now that’s the mentality we need to bring to ‘training.’ Don’t just come to consume, bring something to share.

ABCs of Instructional Design

I recently launched a course on instructional design based on the ADDIE and UBD instructional design models. The course has been setup on several sites so that I can evaluate the designer tools offered in each learning environment. I am experimenting with the tools of 3 different learning management systems: Moodle, Blackboard, and Desire2Learn. It has been interesting to observe how drastically the look and feel of the course changes from platform to platform. I also setup the course in Udemy. Udemy offers a wide variety of online courses including The ABCs of Instructional Design, facilitated by yours truly. I think I just about have the course organized the way I want it. It’s amazing how different a course that you have been designing for years looks when you start seeing it through the eyes of new students!

Pleasant Surprise

Recently, we started exploring ways to use our learning management system to facilitate greater collaboration, particularly asynchronous communication. Today I was pleasantly surprised to see that a faculty member had opened a discussion post that inspired feedback from other members. With faculty being so over committed, being open to virtual discussion and collaboration will create so many more opportunities for interaction. It’s only the tip of the iceberg, but imagining the potential is very exciting!!

Modeling as an Instructional Strategy

As my organization transitions to a new learning management system (Desire2Learn), I keep trying to figure out ways to help acclimate the faculty I support to the new platform. The more I can model the functionality of various features in the section designated for discipline resources, the more opportunities the faculty will have to experience the added value, rather than be “sold” on the added value.