Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Instructional Design funnies

Just stumbled on this hilariously accurate clip on instructional design as viewed by the customer/client. I've heard every single one of these requests from business unit stakeholders. If I'm honest, I've even considered a couple of them as options myself. Thank goodness I quickly came to my senses. Enjoy.

I wonder how useful this clip would be to help stakeholders understand how crazy some requests are? Maybe a little more polite diplomacy is required...

Monday, October 28, 2013

ElNet Sydney Congress speakers

The people I spoke alongside at the ElNet Sydney Congress way back in June were great practitioners keen on sharing their ideas and experiences. I thought I'd pull together where you can find more of their work and (hopefully) make it slightly easier to get to great content and resources that will tide us L&D practitioners over until the next event. Each presenter brought something unique to the day. Some have blogs, some run their own business, but all are generous in what they can offer the field. I highly recommend at least browsing each of the presenters online presences at some point.

Mel Doriean is a facilitator and consultant who's worked in the public sector. Her presentation, Would you like fries with that, was a super practical session on project management as it relates to learning interventions. She's also got some handy resources saved on her diigo profile.

I missed Matt Moore's presentation on Doing it better, but from his questions of other presenters throughout the day, and watching the clip afterwards, I know to expect challenging stuff from him in future! With a background in knowledge management, Matt's got a great ability to identify cross-over between disciplines.

Debora Gallo's session was fantastic. She talked candidly about her personal experience cross over from commercial practice to higher education as well as what it's like to maintain strong relational ties with an organisation when you're an introvert. Developing a strategy is something so vital to internal representatives who want to move away from reactive practice. She also writes sporadically (and has some great resources available) at eBites.

Robin Petterd shared some detailed thoughts on how agile could be used to manage eLearning projects. It's a great discussion on multiple disciplines converging to create greater results. Robin's also an artist (go check out his work here) and runs Sprout labs.

Alison Bickford is always great to hear. She's a dynamic, incredibly experienced leader in the Australian L&D field and never fails to push the limits of what's currently accepted as the norm. This session was no exception. Titled Horses for courses, we were given a chance to grapple with better defining project needs and learning needs to arrive at a solution sooner, and with less sacrifice along the way. Alison also runs Connect Thinking and the eLearning Academy. You can follow her on twitter at @connectthinking too.

Unfortunately I also missed Larisa Ishchenko's session on social learning for the workplace which is a real shame as the clip shows it was a super interesting 40 minutes. Not to worry, you can keep pace with her work by following her on twitter at @seagull128 and see some of her other work on slideshare.

Looking forward to what ElNet come up with at their next Sydney Congress.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Multiple Choice Assessment Design at Work

I've been writing a lot of multiple choice assessments lately. It seems to be the mainstay of compliance training theory assessment. While it's just as easy to donkey design a multiple choice quiz as it is to donkey complete one (we've all been there - just pick c and hope for the best), I have found a few resources around the traps to mostly summarise what I understand as pretty solid assessment design.

Thinking about good multiple choice questions
10 rules for writing multiple choice questions
University of Texas on writing multiple choice questions
Brigham Young University's 14 rules for writing multiple choice questions

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

10 Quick Networking tips for the haters

A few people have asked me about networking. I'm no professional, and in fact get quite turned off by those who think they are. I have kinda figured out what works for me though.

Below are 10 tips I've found help with professional networking:

  1. Quality v. Quantity - there's a place for both these kinds of networking. Depending on what method of network you're using (online or offline) the strength of tie is likely to vary. For example, building a relationship with someone over LinkedIn, while hard, is possible, and may result in a slightly weaker tie than a family friend who works in the same industry and city as you. That's fine. A spectrum exists, and can be really handy at different points in a career.
  2. Only go to events, places, mixers, conferences, companies that excite you. I love Jess Hagy's image to really drive this home:
  3. Follow up immediately. I mean, have you ever been annoyed at someone doing something for you promptly? No. Consider how good an impression it would be then, to *actually* send someone that article, make that email introduction, share that resource.
  4. Be honest. Don't tell your new conference buddy that you're gonna lunch with them every week from here until eternity if you know very well your only chance to run is at lunch. Instead, be honest and try to find a compromise.
  5. Don't feel guilty. No one expects you to be great at this, or make x new contacts in your personal professional network each month. If they do, you're in sales buddy, and you better get comfy with networking. Otherwise, cut yourself a break and quit the guilt trip.
  6. Think about the long term and short term. Both kinds of relationships are useful. It's great to have someone you can reach out to for a quick answer, and you'll never know when keeping in touch with that florist-slash-acrobat is going to come in handy.
  7. Listen more than you talk. It's cliche, but you have two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly. Who is the most interesting person you talked to lately? Why did they hold your attention? The best people to talk to are the ones who want to know all about us.
  8. Don't be elsewhere. Be in the room. Don't be in your phone, bag, drink, buddy's conversation. Be present in the conversation you're having. Anything less is an insult.
  9. Focus on the other. If you're focused on the other person that you're meeting, it's more than likely they'll feel seen, heard and valued. They're much more likely to want to hear about who you are from there.
  10. Authenticity is king. Be real. Just be normal. If the new person doesn't know the real you, how are they going to know if they want to keep in touch? It's that simple.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Sophie Carter - Free is Good, Freedom is even Better

I presented at the ElNet Sydney Congress a couple of months back. The theme of the day was project management, and while I talked a bit about that, my main goal was to challenge  everyone to start thinking about learning as a larger activity taking place at work. Check it out below.