Long road to ruin

I’ve borrowed the title for this post from Messers Grohl, Mendel, Smear, Hawkins and Shiflett … more commonly known as Foo Fighters.

Why? Well, over the 2018 festive break I’ve read more than a few reflective pieces from those in my extended network about the direction and increasingly intrusive nature of technology in our lives, and this song title leapt to mind. The ‘long road to ruin’ here is how we are ‘letting’ tech companies access and control our lives.

This control may not be actual control, however the trend for app-enabled and ‘smart’ devices like watches, fitness trackers, toothbrushes, weighing scales, light bulbs, door locks, etc. certainly is trending towards this. Whilst we are paying for the devices, sometimes with contactless payment, we are handing over the data of what we do with these devices (personal, location, health, etc.) to an organisation we know nothing about. Nor do we know what they’ll do with that data. Or who they’ll share/sell it to?

From the data we create and hand over one of these purchased devices to the data we create on free services like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc, we have the illusion that we are in control, using features such as how private we keep our account, opting in or out of different settings, yet we don’t have the control we think we have. Amazon is using our browsing and purchasing habits to tailor itself to what it’s algorithms think we’ll want next. Not to mention what we ask Alexa or what we watch or listen to through your Prime membership. Whilst you can link accounts between these services, and the cross-analytics you generate there, you think you’re being clever by not doing it and preventing that kind of access/data control over you, it turns out it doesn’t matter anyway, these organisations are sharing your data/control anyway.

I now have too many devices in the home that have the ability to listen. With only one device actively set up to do this (Amazon Echo) the others all have microphones that could, if hacked or otherwise taken control of, listen without me wanting or knowing it. I hear you cry ‘if you’re that paranoid, don’t have them!’ which I’ll agree with, but I’m also a sucker for making my life easier, or access to information or family or news or games or a good deal on Lego easier. I have chosen to enable these devices and have chosen to bring them into my life. But what they do, that’s the device itself and the organisation that ends up collecting the data I create, with that data still troubles me.

Apart from these devices that collect data on what I do, where I do it, who I’m with, there are also devices and organisations that know more about me than probably I do. Devices with fingerprint or facial recognition. Companies that use voice recognition or voice-stress analysis in an attempt to root out hacking in an attempt to keep us safe, even from ourselves.

So, why a ‘long road to ruin’? Unless we have a full and very frank understanding of this data we create and precisely what is being done with it, by and with whom, then I believe we are all in for a very hard lesson to learn when it comes to light exactly what we’ve allowed to happen in the name of simplifying our lives – “we are entering the post-privacy age.”

Image source: Alan Levine (CC BY 2.0)

The Complete Learning Technologist Certificate – Coming to Orlando in February!

I’ve wanted to put together a learning technologist certification for a long, long time. Well, guess who had the same idea – Training Magazine! And they’re making it happen at Training 2019! Learning geeks will unite in Orlando for our three-day learning technology program February 22-24, 2019. You can register here.

  • Day 1: Creation and Authoring Learning Tools, presented by Jeff Batt
  • Day 2: Multimedia Planning, Tools and Gadgets, presented by Nick Floro
  • Day 3: Delivery and Emerging Technologies, presented by yours truly

I’m going to cover a variety of technologies on day three, in addition to discussing how to select and implement educational technology. And I’ll give you some free goodies to take home with you. Take a look at the program descriptions below and consider joining us at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort!

The Complete Learning Technologist Certificate Program

Whether you are a designer, developer, manager, facilitator, administrator, or executive, you need to understand what learning technologies are capable of today—and what their promise is for tomorrow. Through demos, hands-on experience, checklists, and rubrics, this program goes beyond identifying the latest shiny training tech objects — and helps you become a well-rounded learning technologist who makes the optimal selection, design, and implementation decisions for your organization.

Day 1 Creation and Authoring Learning Tools; Jeff Batt, Head Trainer, Learning Dojo

Authoring tools change quickly and often, so how do you keep up? We’ll begin by examining the overall principles of development (i.e., elements, properties, behavior). Then, using those principles, we’ll begin our exploration of specific authoring tools. You’ll learn:

  • About the basics of course authoring, regardless of what authoring tool you may be using.
  • How development principles apply to current off-the-shelf tools like Adobe Captivate and more.
  • How to make the appropriate selection for authoring tools.
  • How to learn any new authoring tool.

Day 2: Multimedia Planning, Tools and Gadgets; Nick Floro, Learning Architect, Sealworks Interactive Studios

Looking to bring your skills to the next level? On day two, you will learn how to get started building and designing interactive learning. Learn the finer points, practical skills that you can apply, and best practices for delivering engaging learning. You’ll learn about:

  • Architecting your next project with collaborative tools.
  • Sketching a storyboard from paper to PowerPoint.
  • Improving brainstorming and feedback loops.
  • Creating a prototype with Marvel app.
  • Using Explain Everything App to create animated explainers and promos and to provide feedback.
  • Thinking Outside the Box: 5 activities and concepts to add to your next project.
  • Building an interactive chatbot for learning.
  • Strategies for designing for learning and your audience.

Day 3: Delivery and Emerging Technologies; Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist, Adobe

You’ve spent two days learning how to create engaging training resources. Day three focuses on how to deliver your content using the latest in learning technology and features content from Katrina’s books LMS Success and The LMS Selection Checklist. You will:

  • Define common types of learning technology platforms.
  • Demonstrate how technology can help you engage learners through the use of gamification, mobile learning, social learning, and blended learning elements.
  • Explain how to use reporting and analytics to understand the learner experience.
  • Describe the process to select a new technology platform, including the features and factors you should review with potential vendors.
  • Discuss the process of successfully implementing and maintaining a learning technology platform.
  • Cover best practices that include how to internally market your platform, curate your course catalog and content, and build an effective administrator team.

BONUS! You will walk away with supplemental materials and a free trial of Adobe Captivate Prime.

BYOD:  Please bring a WiFi-enabled laptop with Storyline and Captivate installed (trial versions okay).

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Learning Thursday #2: Project-Based Learning

Earlier this month, I started the Learning Thursday blog series, which features a new learning and development article every other week that has a unique perspective.  I’ll also post some discussion points for those who would like to reflect on the article.  If you’d like to participate, please follow me here on the Adobe eLearning blog and comment on this week’s article:

Krajcik, J., & Blumenfeld, P. (2006). Project-based learning. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 317–334). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

(The Google Scholar link will take you to a free PDF of the article.)

Introductory Paragraph: Any teacher or parent can tell you that many students are bored in school. But many of them tend to assume that boredom is not a problem with the best students, and that if students tried harder or learned better they wouldn’t be bored. In the 1980s and 1990s, education researchers increasingly realized that when students are bored and unengaged, they are less likely to learn (Blumenfeld et al., 1991). Studies of student experience found that almost all students are bored in school, even the ones who score well on standardized tests (Csikszentmihalyi, Rathunde, & Whalen, 1993). By about 1990, it became obvious to education researchers that the problem wasn’t the fault of the students; there was something wrong with the structure of schooling. If we could find a way to engage students in their learning, to restructure the classroom so that students would be motivated to learn, that would be a dramatic change.

After reading the article, please add a comment with your thoughts on one (or all) of these questions:

  1. Can you give an example of a project-based learning experience you’ve had?
  2. What is one topic you would like to deliver using a project-based learning approach?
  3. How can learning technology be used to support project-based learning?

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Successfully Implement Your Learning Management System (Includes Webinar Recording & Slides)

On November 29, I presented a 60 minute session on how to efficiently implement an LMS, based on my experience during 30+ implementations I’ve led or consulted on for clients and former employers.

The full session recording contains links to additional resources, including an implementation task list from from my book, LMS Success.  I also provide links to some of the videos on YouTube channel Learn Tech Collective.  If you’d like to get to know other professionals in e-learning and learning technology, create an account on the Adobe Elearning blog or join the 2,300 members of LinkedIn group Learning Management System (LMS) Administrators.  You may be interested in the Learning Technologist Certification at Training 2019.

After the session, some attendees asked me whether an LMS consultant is necessary when going through an implementation.  My short answer is no, and my full answer is in this post I wrote awhile back. 

If you would like to check out the full session recording, click here.  The description is below.  And here are the slides:

Congratulations! You’ve selected the perfect learning management system (LMS). Now what? Join Katrina Marie Baker in this 60-minute webinar for a lively discussion and some amusing war stories from past implementations. 

Our agenda will cover how to: 

  • Complete your implementation so smoothly that executive leadership is in awe of your project management skills. 
  • Avoid common pitfalls that cause your implementation to stretch out longer than originally expected. 
  • Work effectively with your LMS vendor to determine a timeline, set expectations, and get everything done on time. 
  • Assemble an administrator team that is excited, knowledgeable, and well organized.

Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn!

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Additional Class Available on December 18! Social Learning, User Generated Content & LMS Gamification

A second session of Engagement Upgrade: Social Learning, User Generated Content & LMS Gamification will happen on December 18, thanks to the Association for Talent Development!  Click here to join our free group discussion of some of the most popular topics in the learning technology space.

Here is the description:

Engagement is one of the most common demands for L&D professionals struggling to get more buy-in from an ever-busier workforce. There are hundreds of tactics and strategies that are credited with enhancing engagement, but which of them really have the potential to work?

In this session, Katrina Marie Baker, Adobe’s Senior Learning Evangelist, will explore three engagement enhancement options and discuss their potential to enhance the learning culture within your organization. This webinar goes beyond theory and focuses on what gamification, user-generated content, and social learning LMS features can do for your training program.

Join Katrina Marie Baker and explore how to:

  • Facilitate a culture of learning with user-generated content recommendations and sharing.
  • Moderate and aggregate user-generated learning content.
  • Align gamification initiatives with business objectives so they contribute to your organization’s goals.
  • Use learning technology to drive engagement using badges, leaderboards, and rewards.
  • Facilitate learning object-oriented discussion and conversation among your trainees.

This webinar includes examples of engagement features found within Adobe Captivate Prime.

Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn!  If you’d like to get to know other professionals in e-learning and learning technology, create an account on the Adobe Elearning blog or join the 2,400 members of LinkedIn group Learning Management System (LMS) Administrators.

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Engagement Upgrade: Social Learning, User Generated Content & LMS Gamification (Includes Webinar Recording & Slides)

On December 13, I facilitated a group discussion of some of the most popular topics in the learning technology space.  If you missed it and would like to join another live discussion, I’m facilitating one more session on December 18!  You can also take a look at the slides (embedded below and also available here) and the webinar recording will be available shortly.  The description is below as well.

Engagement is one of the most common demands for L&D professionals struggling to get more buy-in from an ever-busier workforce. There are hundreds of tactics and strategies that are credited with enhancing engagement, but which of them really have the potential to work?

In this session, Katrina Marie Baker, Adobe’s Senior Learning Evangelist, will explore three engagement enhancement options and discuss their potential to enhance the learning culture within your organization. This webinar goes beyond theory and focuses on what gamification, user-generated content, and social learning LMS features can do for your training program.

Join Katrina Marie Baker and explore how to:

  • Facilitate a culture of learning with user-generated content recommendations and sharing.
  • Moderate and aggregate user-generated learning content.
  • Align gamification initiatives with business objectives so they contribute to your organization’s goals.
  • Use learning technology to drive engagement using badges, leaderboards, and rewards.
  • Facilitate learning object-oriented discussion and conversation among your trainees.

This webinar includes examples of engagement features found within Adobe Captivate Prime.

Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn!  If you’d like to get to know other professionals in e-learning and learning technology, create an account on the Adobe Elearning blog or join the 2,400 members of LinkedIn group Learning Management System (LMS) Administrators.

The post Engagement Upgrade: Social Learning, User Generated Content & LMS Gamification (Includes Webinar Recording & Slides) appeared first on eLearning.

Learning Thursday #1: Mobile Technologies in Education

We’re almost to the new year, so I figure I’ll start a new blog post series.    I’m going to put out a new learning and development article every other week that has a unique perspective.  I’ll also post some discussion points for those who would like to reflect on the article.  If you’d like to participate, please follow me here on the Adobe eLearning blog and comment on our first article:

Vavoula, G., Sharples, M., Lonsdale, P., Rudman, P., & Meek, J. (2007). Learning bridges: Mobile technologies in education. Educational Technology, 47(3), 33–37. Google Scholar

(The Google Scholar link will take you to JSTOR, where you can read this article for free.)

Abstract: MyArtSpace is a service for children to spread their learning between schools and museums using mobile phones linked to a personal Web space. Using MyArtSpace as an example, the authors discuss the possibilities for mobile technology to form bridges between formal and informal learning. They also offer guidelines for designing such bridges.

Please add a comment with your thoughts on one (or both) of these questions:

  1. Have you seen a learning experience in the corporate world that is similar to the MyArtSpace experience discussed in the article?
  2. Can you think of an environment other than a museum where this sort of learning experience would be effective?

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The way I learn

When thinking about what kind of course I want to create and what kind of learning experience I want my students/learners to have, I think about the resources and technology I can use. I also think about how I learn. Or rather, what learning experiences have had the impact on me that I want others to have.

This isn’t about learning styles (in the sense of the published research and/or theories). This is about me. As someone who has taken classroom and online courses, read books, watched videos, etc. I’ve learned about myself.

  • Learn by doing – show me how to do something and I’ll be able to repeat some of it. Show me what I’m doing as I do it and I’ll be able to replicate it quite accurately, quite quickly. I (hope) I also learn from my mistakes this way too.
  • Learn by watching/listening – I like listening to music and watching TV and films, and I can remember lyrics and scenes and what happens as part of the story. This doesn’t mean I can learn that way – videos and audio files as part of a course are great but I find myself distracted and/or bored quite quickly.
  • Learn by discussing – Put me in a room with other (face-to-face or online) and I can learn by being an active (or passive) participant in the conversation. I can learn from others’ background and perspectives, and from voicing my own perspectives.
  • Learn by reading – Give me a book to read (fiction) and I’ll devour it in a couple of days if I like it, and I’ll remember characters, events, plot lines, etc. Give me an article or non-fiction to read as part of a course and I’ll dip in and out as my interest waxes and wanes.

What I’m trying to say here is that the above is MY learning style. It changes. Frequently! I don’t fit into a defined learning style, nor do I want to, and how I learn changes with my mood, the availability of time, the level of interest in the subject, etc. I’m not interested in the theories, at least when it comes to MY learning, I’m interested in finding a course and delivery method that I can relate to and invest time and effort in. This is difficult as it’s not usually until you get in to a course that you find out what this is.

How about you? Do you fit any defined earning style or, like me, it changes based upon many different inputs.

Image source: Alan Levine (CCO 1.0)

Negotiate Your Learning Management System (LMS) Contract

Congratulations, you’ve gone through the process of selecting the perfect learning management system vendor for your learning and development organization! All that stands between you and that beautiful piece of learning technology is the vendor contract, and the associated price tag.

During one of my conference sessions last year, I was asked whether it’s possible to negotiate the price of an LMS. And the answer is – absolutely you can! Buying technology is somewhat similar to buying a car. It’s a big investment, and you can negotiate many elements of the contract with your vendor, particularly the cost.

As the video states, it’s important to know exactly what you are paying for. If the vendor gives you a “lump sum” for your three-year contract, have them break it out so you see the line items that contribute to the overall cost. You may be able to strike features and services you don’t need, or negotiate a lower cost for some of the line items. Also discuss payment schedules. Can you get a lower overall price if you pay more up front, for example?

Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions and propose changes to the contract! It’s a critical part of your LMS selection process, and your learning technology vendor should be willing to collaborate with you. Contract negotiation is the exciting last step of your LMS selection process, and it signals the beginning of your LMS implementation!

Information in this video and post is taken from my book LMS Success.  Please subscribe to Learn Tech Collective for more LMS and e-learning videos.  Follow me on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

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Task List for Your Learning Management System (LMS) Implementation

***If you’d like to attend a free webinar on how to implement your LMS, join me tomorrow!***

Quite a few of us hear the words “learning management system implementation” and run for the hills. It’s natural to be afraid of taking on a project that is totally outside of your normal, everyday function. No need to worry – implementing an LMS is absolutely something you can do.

The most critical part of any LMS implementation is your project plan. Make sure you have a basic understanding of LMS administration. Break your implementation into individual tasks, and assign timelines and responsible parties. Work closely with your LMS vendor. They often provide a partial timeline you can use as a starting point. (In the case of Adobe Captivate Prime, you work through tasks with an LMS customer success manager.)

Down below, I’ve provided a list of implementation tasks from my book, LMS Success. Depending on the organization, some of these tasks will be very important, and others won’t apply. Pull the appropriate tasks into Excel or Project, assign start and end dates for each task, and determine who will be responsible for its completion.  (Those who purchase LMS Success or The LMS Selection Checklist get a bundle of supplementary resources, including an Excel workbook of implementation tasks.)

You may want to further divide some tasks into smaller pieces, or create workflows. It depends on the project size and how complex your implementation will be. You can also group tasks by dividing your implementation into five phases, like this:

1: Before vendor is selected  |  2: After vendor is selected  |  3: During contract negotiations  |  4: Before go-live  |  5: After go-live

The task list below is a starting point – not a prescribed plan.  I’ve led or consulted on 30+ implementations, and I change the task list every time.  Also note that some tasks do not directly pertain to the LMS. Many organizations take their LMS implementation as an opportunity to restructure their training department, so you’ll see some of those elements as well.

© Katrina Marie Baker, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts may be used, provided that full credit is given to Katrina Marie Baker with specific direction to LMS Success.

In order to assign compliance and other critical courses in the new LMS…

  1. Create a list of compliance courses required of all personnel.
  2. Create a list of compliance courses required for specific regions or countries.
  3. Create a list of compliance courses required for specific personnel.
  4. For all compliance courses – is completion required one time or on a recurring basis?
  5. Standardize classes provided to new hires.
  6. Create a list reflecting courses, personnel to receive them, and whether courses should be automatically assigned based on a set of rules (assuming your LMS does this).
  7. Do you want a standard group of courses to be pushed to personnel on their hire date? Or three months after they’ve joined? Or every year during their employment?
  8. Should compliance courses be maintained in paper formats as an alternative, in case of a system failure?

To assemble your course catalog…

  1. Are there any courses in your current LMS that should not be transferred to the new LMS?
  2. Determine names for all course categories and subcategories.
  3. Compare existing courses and determine which are similar enough to be merged when you migrate to the new LMS. (Many organizations have courses that have been added multiple times to their LMS. Might as well clean that up.)
  4. Mark corporate events and other non-training courses in the course catalog spreadsheet so they can be categorized appropriately and/or eliminated. (A lot of organizations use their LMS as an event management system. This can really clutter your course catalog.)
  5. Correct categories, subcategories, delivery, and course unit types for all courses, on a spreadsheet.
  6. Determine course catalog import structure. (Ask your new LMS vendor about this.)
  7. Should courses in all languages be displayed in the same catalog? In multiple catalogs?
  8. Assign college levels (100 level, 200 level, and so on) so curricula are assigned in an appropriate order.

Some general administrative tasks (in addition to those provided by your LMS vendor)…

  1. Decide how many administrator levels are needed, with associated permissions. (Questions about how to do this or any other tasks? Just comment below.)
  2. Create a list of tasks each level of administrator will complete.
  3. Decide on lead administrators for each department, if your organization is large.
  4. Determine a “regular chores” list for administrators.
  5. Create an LMS support email address that routes to the correct admins.
  6. Will IT have any administrator role in the new LMS?
  7. Determine what inbound/outbound system feeds need to run to the LMS. Maybe your HRIS?
  8. Decide on a go-live date for the LMS.
  9. Discuss GDPR and ADA 508 compliance.
  10. Run test batch import of all data types, such as course history, user information, and so on. (Ask your LMS vendor for advice.)
  11. After running successful test batches, import all data. Test to confirm success.
  12. Discuss whether interface should be offered in multiple languages.
  13. Create course equivalencies.
  14. Exploration of the benefits of xAPI, and how it can be effectively introduced.
  15. Get administrator tip sheets from vendor, if possible.
  16. Discuss how to utilize assessments and surveys more effectively.
  17. Schedule super administrator training with new LMS vendor.
  18. Explore security features and any national or international regulations pertaining to the data in your LMS.
  19. Negotiate contract.
  20. Negotiate SLA.
  21. Decide when to cut over from your old LMS to the new LMS.
  22. Communicate that cut-over plan to your end users.
  23. Decide on the URL for the new LMS.
  24. Replace links to the old LMS with links to the new one.
  25. Train administrators on new system processes.
  26. Begin weekly recorded webinars on LMS administration targeted for different admin levels.
  27. Begin bi-weekly LMS “office hours,” to assist your LMS administrators with data entry and basic questions.
  28. Develop how-to videos for common LMS user/administrator tasks.
  29. Evaluate your organization’s training data entry procedure and streamline it. (Make sure your trainers track their classroom sessions and attendees in the LMS.)
  30. Test user interface prior to go-live. (Have lots of people test it. Try to break it.)
  31. Test class scheduling functionality.
  32. Test learning tracks or paths, and reports.
  33. Test upload of courses.
  34. Test EVERYTHING.
  35. Allow extra time to troubleshoot.
  36. Run a test of the system backup, if there is one.
  37. Run a test upgrade.
  38. System FAQ documents for members of your IT department as well as end users. (Definitely explain how to reset a user password, if passwords are required!)
  39. Review current third-party course vendors. Are they cost-effective?

Marketing and design tasks…

  1. Determine a name for the new LMS.
  2. Create an LMS logo.
  3. Determine a multi-tier marketing plan for different employee levels.
  4. Draft the look of the user interface.
  5. Add gamification elements, if needed.
  6. Create an LMS introductory video, emails, or posters to help you internally market the system.

What tasks would you add to this list?  Comment below!  Connect with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

© Katrina Marie Baker, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts may be used, provided that full credit is given to Katrina Baker with specific direction to LMS Success.

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