9 Simulation Training Best Practices L&D Professionals Need to Know

Are you thinking about developing a training simulation for your organization's employees? In this article, I share some simulation training best practices from the L&D community to help you efficiently utilize this learning tool and ensure effective delivery.

This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

Why I moved my #CMALT portfolio

Last week I completed a pet project I’d had in mind for a while now. I moved (copied, pasted, checked, published) my CMALT portfolio from it’s original Google sites location to here, my blog.

Why?

Two reasons – firstly I’m getting fed up of my ‘stuff’ being all over the place, that I’m messy with my online behaviour and my online artifacts/things, and I wanted to start tidying myself up. Secondly, I wanted to bring attention back to my blog and the 950+ posts I’ve written over the last 11 years.

Over the next, well, however-long I want to regroup and refocus my thoughts and attention. I want to realign what it is I want out of being ‘online’ and how I can use that time more effectively in the ‘real’ world (understanding that online is also real too!). I want to spend more time on me (yes Twitter, I’m looking at you!), I want to take a serious look at the newly launched SCMALT initiative. I want to reconsider the SFHEA application I started last year. I want to give myself the time and energy to actually finish these things, instead of letting the day to day grind control me.

I want to take back control of me. And the first, small and probably insignificant step, was for me to tidy something up. And get me thinking about me, my work, my passion(s), and my life. Here’s to starting something new. Again.

Adobe Learning Summit is in Las Vegas on October 3!

Las Vegas.  Great sessions for learning professionals.  Really really good food.

Where can you get all of these things for free?  The Adobe Learning Summit.  It’s happening on October 3, and the Captivate Specialist Program will be available on October 2.  Register now or check out the session listings.

I’ll be doing part of the opening session on October 3, and presenting an overview of Adobe’s learning management system at 2:45PM.  Check out the session description below.  Hope to see you there!

Adobe Captivate Prime 101: Deliver Blended & Social Learning Experiences with Adobe’s LMS

Want to know what’s new and unique in Adobe Captivate Prime? This session will take you on a tour of the entire learning management system, including Prime’s fluidic course player and new social learning features.

Join Katrina Marie Baker to learn how the new features can support your blended learning program. We will cover:

• A general overview of the platform from the user and administrator perspectives
• How Adobe Captivate Prime allows learners to share web-based and user generated content on topic-specific discussion boards
• Ways learners can create their own videos, audio, and screenshots directly in Captivate Prime
• The new social learning browser add-in that allows learners to share web content easily
• How the fluidic course player helps you deliver a variety of content on mobile devices and web pages outside of the learning management system

The post Adobe Learning Summit is in Las Vegas on October 3! appeared first on eLearning.

Top tips for learning

Every year for, well quite a number of them now, I’ve submitted my ‘top 10 tools for learning’ that Jane Hart / @C4LPT runs. I’ve submitted my top 10 again this year.

Every year Twitter has ruled the roost for me, being the single best source of learning, chatting, collaborating, sharing, etc. Pretty much everything else has come a very distant 2nd or lower. Twitter has been my go-to source for so much and for so many contacts and networking.

So, instead of repeating myself on my top 10 here, I’m going to give a few top tips on learning, that things that aren’t necessarily app or technology based. Rather these are things I do to enable me to learn, to give me space or freedom to learn.

  1. Twitter. Yes. Twitter is still number one on my list. But this time it’s about switching it off. And not just Twitter. Switch this off and anything else that will ping a notification on your phone, laptop, tablet, etc. Notifications are the most intrusive and disruptive thing in your life. And I put that above young children and noisy neighbours!
  2. Music. Some people work/learn well with background music or the radio. Some don’t. Know what works for you and use it to your advantage. If you need silence and can’t find it, consider some noise-cancelling headphones to help you out.
  3. Location. Do you like a busy office or cafe environment to read and absorb your learning materials? Do you prefer the study with door shut and all external distractions minimised? Know what you need and make room for it, and make sure you use it when you need it.
  4. Time. It’s kind of obvious this, but make sure you have the time to do some meaningful learning. If you can only learn in small chunks of time, do it. Don’t try and force yourself into a marathon 2 hour session if you know you can’t last that long, you’ll only get frustrated and give up. if you know you like and need the hours, make sure you have the space and dedicate yourself to it. Block time out of your calendar (and at work if that option is available too), and complete the above three tips too. if you’re a morning person, do you best work/learning in the morning and use the rest of your day for everything else.
  5. Friends/family. Sometimes having someone else involved in our learning can help. This may be someone to chat through difficult concepts or theories, someone who can make sure the distractions are minimised (take the kids to the park to give you that 3o minutes space you need, block the meeting requests to keep the time you’ve given yourself preserved in your calendar) and someone who just understands what you’re trying to do and can chat and reassure you that yes, it’s tough, but worth it. If you need a support network, remember this doesn’t have to be those who are on the same course, it can be anyone you like.

Ultimately, it’s about a balance between what time, space, volume, etc. you can give yourself, and what you need. We don’t always have the time or space to give ourselves the best opportunity (we are all busy people with work, family, social lives, etc), but by knowing what we need, we can at least give ourselves a good chance of making the most of it.

The big caveat for the above, for me when I want time and space to learn, is that I often like a mixture of everything. Sometimes I’m comfortable in a cafe with headphones and tablet, sometimes I need the quiet and shut-away feeling of the study as the materials are really detailed and I get too easily distracted when I have to focus hard.

PS. I used the imave of Spider Man / superhero deliberately as I think everyone who makes the time to learn something new, something difficult, something to improve themselves is a superhero. Whatever you do, remember you are doing you’re best and that is a brilliant thing to do, no matter the result! Be happy, be proud of yourself for trying it. If you can get the above in the right balance, you’re giving yourself the best chance to progress your learning and yourself.

Photo by Raj Eiamworakul on Unsplash

The L&D Benefits of Contributing to Wikis (Learning Thursday #17)

This Learning Thursday article builds on a previous article about participatory learning.

According to Cress & Kimmerle, individual learning occurs:

  • “As a result of externalization (due to processes of deeper processing and elaboration which are activated by the externalization process),
  • “As a result of internalization (due to the simple adding of new knowledge units) and
  • “As a result of inferences (due to the expansion of a person’s individual knowledge space through internalization and, arising from that, an opportunity to interconnect old and new knowledge units, i.e. inferences of knowledge units that were unknown until then).”

When an individual contributes to a wiki, all of these learning processes occur simultaneously.  That’s a lot of activity – almost like the individual is exercising on multiple pieces of gym equipment at the same time.  Wikis therefore have a real potential to benefit learners when they are incorporated into a classroom experience.  Schweder and Wissick note that wikis appeal to shy individuals, and they can bring together multiple stakeholders in the learning environment (parents, teachers, students, and outside resources).  Participating in wikis can even encourage outgoing behavior in school-aged students.

Many corporate organizations resist building internal wikis out of fear that the information will be inaccurate.  According to Jimmy Wales, and this article from The Connected Learning Alliance, wikis tend to be more accurate than popular opinion would have us believe.  The Connected Learning Alliance notes that wikis can be inaccurate due to being incomplete and may therefore not present the full and complete topic.

A previous Learning Thursday article included examples of how beneficial a participatory culture can be to learning and to society in general.  Wikis promote a participatory culture, as does Scratch.  Through Scratch, students use a simple computer programming language to build games, stories, and other media projects.  When one student shares a project, others often build onto it or create their own iteration.  When a learner is able to analyze a problem or situation, and then formulate complex additions or responses to what they see, it proves they have developed an understanding.  Where traditional learning environments fail is often in the “real world” context, because traditional environments ask the student to memorize but not necessary understand.  If a student is able to apply complex knowledge in a real world environment, such as a wiki article or Scratch project, they have truly gained understanding.

If you’re interested in creating a participatory culture for your corporate training program, check out Adobe Captivate Prime.  You can create topic-specific discussion boards for learners, and Prime’s built-in editing tool allows them to create and share videos, audio, and much more.  Here’s a demo of Prime’s social learning features.  And here’s a recent webinar I presented on ways to engage learners without breaking the bank.

Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn, and follow me on Adobe’s eLearning blog.

The post The L&D Benefits of Contributing to Wikis (Learning Thursday #17) appeared first on eLearning.

Let The Learner Lead: How Learning Technology Can Support Skills, Competencies, & Constructivism (Includes Webinar Recording & Slides)

A big thanks to everyone who attended yesterday – a wonderful chatty group as always.  And thank you to eLearning Industry for hosting our discussion of learning technology and theory!

You can watch the recording or take a look at the slides:

The slide deck suggests some books that relate to the topics of skills and competencies.  I also mentioned articles on various topics, so here are those additional links:

Here’s the full session description:

How do you encourage a person to learn without telling them what to believe? How do you assess skills without asking learners to memorize facts? It’s all in the learning environment.

Many learning professionals incorporate constructivism into their instructional design approach. Constructivism seeks to actively involve the learner in a process of meaning and knowledge construction. Learners are exposed to an environment and framework that allows them to derive meaning as opposed to passively receiving information.

Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist at Adobe, will provide food for thought on the following points:

  • Definitions of constructivism and some related terms, such as project-based, experiential, and inquiry-based learning
  • Benefits and limitations of constructivism
  • How constructivism can be applied to a training course or program
  • How to create an effective learning environment using technology
  • Suggested reading and additional resources

Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn, and follow me on Adobe’s eLearning blog.

The post Let The Learner Lead: How Learning Technology Can Support Skills, Competencies, & Constructivism (Includes Webinar Recording & Slides) appeared first on eLearning.

[Free Webinar!] Let The Learner Lead: How Learning Technology Can Support Skills, Competencies, & Constructivism

So the last webinar was a little crazy in a very good way.  We had hundreds of people attend live or watch the recording to learn about how to spice up a training program with no budget, and persuade leadership to provide a larger budget next year.

Let’s talk about next week!  I’m doing a fun “learning theory” oriented topic for eLearning Industry.  We’re talking about skills, competencies, and constructivism – specifically how to use learning technology to support these elements within a learning environment.  You can register here for free or read the description below.

I love to talk about different learning theories like constructivism, and really enjoy when class participants bring their own ideas of why and how constructivism and other learning approaches should be employed.  I do not believe that constructivism is “the answer” or the correct approach in all situations.  That would be awfully boring, wouldn’t it?  We as instructional designers should pick the right approach for each situation.  Let’s talk about some of our options during class.  Please bring your ideas – we always have a chatty, involved audience.

Let The Learner Lead: How Learning Technology Can Support Skills, Competencies, & Constructivism

How do you encourage a person to learn without telling them what to believe? How do you assess skills without asking learners to memorize facts? It’s all in the learning environment.

Many learning professionals incorporate constructivism into their instructional design approach. Constructivism seeks to actively involve the learner in a process of meaning and knowledge construction. Learners are exposed to an environment and framework that allows them to derive meaning as opposed to passively receiving information.

Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist at Adobe, will provide food for thought on the following points:

  • Definitions of constructivism and some related terms, such as project-based, experiential, and inquiry-based learning
  • Benefits and limitations of constructivism
  • How constructivism can be applied to a training course or program
  • How to create an effective learning environment using technology
  • Suggested reading and additional resources

Group discussion will take place throughout the session.

The post [Free Webinar!] Let The Learner Lead: How Learning Technology Can Support Skills, Competencies, & Constructivism appeared first on eLearning.

New perspectives

Last week I took a taxi from Southampton to my in-laws house, where I’d left my car. A journey of about 45 minutes and 30-something miles. The taxi had those rear-facing seats and, because of the luggage spread over the boot and other seats, I took one of these rear-facing seats for the journey. A journey I’d driven many many times myself But this time I was a passenger, and traveling backwards.

I’m rarely a passenger in a car, preferring to do the driving myself, so this was an uncommon experience for me. As was the experience of facing backwards out of the side and rear windows as we hurtled down the M27 and A31 (New Forest), a route I know well. What struck me about this was that we we weren’t going particularly fast (I checked), and the ride was comfortable, but it still felt overtly dangerous and nerve racking, mainly because it was a new and different experience for me. Watching cars and lorries fly by in the wrong direction, the (apparent) distracted behaviours of other drivers, the bumps and turns of the road and how the other vehicles moved on, through and around them. Everything about this was so familiar and yet totally alien to me.

Then I thought that the only thing that was different in this situation was me. The route, speed, road, other road users were all the same, pretty much, as any other time I’d driven the road. So, here I am, totally out of my comfort zone doing the same thing, only ‘different’. Then I thought, is this how students feel when they come to further or higher education? Is this how they feel when they access online resources at college and university for the first time, yet it’s the same or similar to systems or work they’ve done previously? Do we prepare students for the different perspective of living away from home when they’ve had independent lives previously?

My experience in the taxi was unsettling, but in a safe(ish) environment. We should, in further and higher education, be providing the students with an equally safe, but flexible, environment in which they can explore and learn about their chosen subject and expand their skills and horizons. But do we, as the course team, faculty, student experience, etc. take the similarities into account or just look at the differences?

Do we do enough to prepare ourselves to understand the students, in order to properly prepare our resources, systems, access, etc. so they benefit the student instead of benefiting ourselves?

Image source: Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

Memes & Scavenger Hunts: Ten Ways to Improve Your L&D Program on a Budget (Includes Webinar Recording & Slides)

Yesterday’s webinar discussed memes, scavenger hunts, and other cost effective ways to spice up a training program. The session was one of the most popular yet – over 1,300 registrations and hundreds of people who have attended live or watched the recording so far.  A lot of awesome ideas were shared by the audience.

You can watch the recording or take a look at the slides:

The slides include links to additional resources.  Here they are:

Here’s the full session description:

Is your learning and development budget missing some zeros? This session is for you. Sadly, Oprah isn’t going to attend and give everyone a new bank account. But you will get boatloads of budget-stretching ideas from your colleagues during this interactive session. You can still provide a great learning environment, even if you’re running short on funds!

Katrina Marie Baker, Senior Learning Evangelist at Adobe, will provide some practical tips on how to:

  • Engage learners in the classroom or virtual classroom without spending money
  • Get help from departments outside of L&D (yes, you can make this happen!)
  • Use learning technology to make your L&D team more efficient
  • Persuade leadership to give you more funding next year

Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn, and follow me on Adobe’s eLearning blog.

The post Memes & Scavenger Hunts: Ten Ways to Improve Your L&D Program on a Budget (Includes Webinar Recording & Slides) appeared first on eLearning.