Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Question for Blogger Users

Is it just me or have you been seeing more spam in your comments lately?

Fortunately, I moderate all of mine so you don't see it here.

Thanks for the feedback.

Follow-Up: Great ILS Challenge

Alan Levine was kind enough to send me the link to his very interesting Great ILS Challenge presentation.

He provides both a description of his thought process for tackling Mark's challenge and the slide show.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Bittersweet Loss


Can a loss - especially one as heartbreaking as the Capital's Game 7 loss to the Flyers in overtime be a good thing?

Usually, after a loss of that sort, the building is quiet, the fan base morose. Instead, almost everyone I talked to seemed optimistic.

You know - we would have been whupped by the Penguins anyway. Better for someone else to take that beatdown. We got what we needed out of this. We'll be ready next year.

I'm so glad they got this playoff experience - we are going to be sooo dangerous!

Already got my season tickets! Can't wait!!!!!


The only naysayer...a drunk guy complaining how with Washington sports teams it's "Always next year." My thought - in ANY sports team, if you don't win the championship, it is "Always next year." Washington is no different. Hockey is no different.

But for this team - next year is going to be far more exciting!

Have a great summer boys! Can't wait to see you back in DC!!!!

-------------------------------------------------------------------
A few fan blogs that are far more eloquent expressing these types of thoughts than I am.

A View from the Cheap Seats
On Frozen Blog
Puckhead's Thoughts

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Christopher Walken Roasts a Chicken

Go to I'm Cooked.com to see the video (having playback problems this morning).
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Roast chicken is a standard dish in the American culinary lexicon. Of the 200+ cookbooks in my collection - 75% of them have a recipe for roast chicken.

Christopher Walken is a highly regarded American character actor, best know for playing Christopher Walken-type guys.

When presented with a topic that one needs to develop training on (again) that doesn't change much, how do you make it interesting?

Adding the unexpected is a good approach.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cool Things I Learned Today

I am testing Microsoft's speech recognition on blubber (Blogger).
Sadly I'd (I) type faster than I speak , at least with the strong (this tool). This is one of the benefits of going back two (to) basic tutorials . Learning new things you did not know about .
-----------------------------------------------

I type faster than I have to speak using this thing.....so, back to typing.

I had no idea that this function was available starting with Office 2003. And, I'm able to use speech recognition throughout Windows (like in Blogger). Who knew?

Things you need:
- a headset microphone
- a reasonably quiet area
- patience

Step 1 - Set up the user profile

In Windows Start > Settings > Control Panel > Speech
Select a profile or click New to create one
Click Train Profile.
Read the sentences. It's an advertisement for how fabulous voice recognition software is.
Follow the instructions to finish.

Training speech recognition software is always a good idea. It minimizes the number of mistakes the application makes when translating. Especially if you have a strong accent.

Step 2 - Activate Speech Recognition

Open one of the MS Office programs
Tools > Speech > Speech Recognition
Move the cursor to where you want to add text.
Click Microphone to turn on the mic
Start speaking - slowly and clearly.
Click Microphone to turn it off when you don't need it. Otherwise, the ambient noise might do something funky to your document.

Even when you leave the Office program and go to a web site (like Blogger) or a non-Office program (GroupWise Mail, for instance), the Speech Recognition software remains available until you close it.

A great choice for those who hate typing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Within the Office programs, there is also a Text to Speech tool. It suffers from "computer-voice syndrome" and can only be used within the Office programs.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thoughts on Live Blogging

This was really the first time I've live blogged. Very pleased with the results of this particular experiment.

1) I have a place where I can now reference all of the stuff from the conference. When I get a chance (probably tomorrow), I'm going to tag all of the posts and put a link on the side (probably replacing the Moodle link). I'm overdue for updating my blogger template anyway.

2) The manager commented that it seemed like she was right there with me - which tells me that I did a good job taking notes.

3) Maybe I really ought to figure out how to seamlessly add pictures next time. Some sessions really needed the visuals. (picture = 1000 words)

4) I'll admit I felt a lot like a reporter running around. It was kinda cool. Live blogging is also a good cover for when you are not feeling particularly social - as well as being a nice conversational gambit when you are.

I hope others find my (occasionally disjointed) notes as useful as I did. Maybe next conference, we can convince more people to share.

And isn't that what community is about anyway?

Day 3 - Concluding thoughts

The Case study for Makrini told me a lot more about the game development process and the ideal relationship between SME and designer than any of the other sessions. Seeing it in practice is incredibly valuable.

Got some interesting information about creating an infrastructure for informal learning. My one reaction - I wish they talked a little more about the human supports behind the running of the infrastructure.

The Thursday keynote was my favorite - simply because I love seeing others creative processes.

------------------------------------------------

Overall - an incredibly useful conference for me. Didn't run into too many dud sessions of the ones I selected. And, from the feedback from my employers, I selected well.

Also made some valuable contacts and met some people I had interacted with in the virtual space. Some folks I missed because I was running around a bit too much (and, occasionally, as a result of deep-seated social anxiety - but that's a whole 'nother issue).

Pleased to hear I am going to run into many of these players again at Mark Oehlert's conference at George Mason U in June. Can't wait!

From Inception to Delivery - ILS Case Study

Presentation: From Inception to Delivery, an ILS Case Study
Presenter: Kevin Conti and Vincent Brown
-------------------------------------
Our Worlds of Makrini

"Game" - a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet, but would a game by some other name sell to the executive suite? - Jeff Johannijman (sp?)


Immersive Learning Simulations becoming the more dominant preferred terminology.

Perception - quality (content, usability, design) is more important than quick and cheap.

Our Worlds of Makrini (history)
- Followed a traditional and successful diversity facilitated training program.
- Airport in Nashville, Tennesee (real time in person and text message.)
- Back of Napkin conversation with another trainer.
- Desire for the future - totally outside of the box.

The live conversations will never go away. But add other ways to learn.

If you can have people have a common experience - can then have better conversation later.....

Goal - create an environment where people can have an open dialog.

Use another world - to try to break down stereotypes.

Features and Uniqueness
- Immersive learning simulation - what if you make a different decision. Show different impacts.
- Teaches diversity and inclusion behaviors
- Links behaviors to business variables and results. Gotta show and scale.
- Interactive, engaging and emotional - also, make sure NOT TRIVIAL
- Innovative delivery platforms.
- Graduated levels of difficulty.
- Creative storyline - the strength of the SMEs.
- Proprietary behavioral models - also wanted to show way the SMEs works.
- Never done before

Wanted a client sponsor.
- Money
- Also show that will work for an actual client
- The client that agreed
+ Very strong training and instructional design team.
+ Also familiar person in instructional design head. Creative tension - resulting product better.

Needed someone to help bring the game to life - used PIXELearning.
- Not from US (actually helpful
- Wanted someone to stretch them
- Had to be expert in field of gaming
- Had end-state. Needed someone who could help, guide and collaborate from beginning to end.

The Challenge
- When did ROI - found that classroom cost increase exponentially with the number of employees vs. the (slightly) higher up front costs of game development that stays relatidvely fixe no matter how many employees.

The Solution
- A Serious Game - a way of solving organizational training and other problems.
- Serious Games can seem complex
+ Technical
+ Creative
+ Gotta have strong instructional design skills
+ Game theory
+ Simulation and graphic design for usability and appearance
+ Software engineering
+ Subject matter expertise (maybe most important for a good product)

This isn't lumps of learning objects strung together - this is a very complex beast.

(Hopefully they will post the preview video)

Structure
- Introduction that outlines objective and context, introduces characters, areas and play
- Simple tasks to help teach the play
- Initial engagement that sounded logical from a business perspective

The Creative Process
- Every Tuesday and Wednesday - they have meetings within Makrini to test and write script.
- Started to write, thinking will give all to designers.
- Now working in parallel - they develop, the SMEs write as they see the pieces. Regular deliverables to show progress plus decide where to go next.
- Actually tested the characters to see how people react.
- They started narrow - but was able to get much broader as they started going through the design process.

Process
- Identify business needs
- Understand learning objectives
- Identify barriers and challenges
- Concept creation (plus getting the SMEs to understand what they are building and create the background history)
- Detailed design
- Development and deployment

Still in concept creation

Really wanted to make sure that it addressed the business needs
- Gotta be relevant to entire employee populatoin
- Diversity critical business imperative
- Test on the least technical person
- Recognize training fatigue around some topics (like diversity)
- Get emotional connection
- Focus shift from evolving the competency (awareness) to behaving inclusively
- Drive deeper understanding and competency (awareness not enough)
- Move effectively to engage the new generation workforce (screw talk - text)
- Create a personalized journey (gotta engage in 3 or 4 different levels).
- Responds to the diversity fatigue
- Continued recognition as thought leder and practitioner (for the CLIENT)
- Something different!

Learning Objectives
- Increase awareness
- Increase competency
- Increase supervisor ability

Goals
- Increase productivity
- Reduce cost
- Reduce exposure

Barriers and challenges
- Does this happen in the business (relevancy). Designing for widespread (more than just one client).
- Delivering it over a range of client PC/IT environments
- Length of time required to "complete" the game. Gotta be able to break away and reflect.
- Significant development costs and timeframes.
- Visual imagery - desensitizing the conversation through characters. Lots of reaction testing. Lots of time thinking this through due to the subject matter.

Level 1
- new hire orientation
- complaint against colleague
- Ethnic clashes (can research to predict a little)
- Communication challenges (stereotypes)
- Building familiarity, comfort and trust (at the end - from challenges to skilling. How to build this...)
- Developing a droid (gotta test this, make them leverage the diversity. The droid is the spy - gotta make sure the droid has the right behaviors.)

Level 2 and 3 in development

Concept Creation / Business Scorecard
- Employee engagement
- Market sensitivity to price
- Market reputation and potential
- Customer satisfaction
- Product desireabiliy

Concept
- Virtual business environment - can have face-to-face conversations that are based on the game experience.
- Hybrid - want real dialog (with structured leaders guide) in real life.
- Embed mini-games, simulations for reinforcing key concepts
- At each point in the level - a decision point. Multiple paths. Thematic.

The logic behind the story very granular. Can see stratification from there through the metrics gathered through the game. Helps with improving the game.

Right now a single player - so personal decisions. May be moving to Multi Player.

SME did scenarios. The programming and logic from the Game designers

Detailed design - key elements
- Characters (appearance, behavior and roles)
+ Used surveys to design the characters and twek appearance and behavior
+ Once characters designed. Asked about who seek advice from, trust, seem to be a friend, would be in charge, seems to be a criminal. Further tweaking. Purely visual.
- Scenario overview (context and storyline)
+ Space station with alien species to remove sensitivity
+ Commercial setting to make relevant to adult employees
+ Role - you are the new hire
- User tasks, process flow and objectives
- Screen layouts/elements (interface design / usability)
+ Put user metrics for feedback at the bottom - how close you are to goals.
+ Assessment real-time as you perform an action.
+ Easy access to tasks. Easy to find tools.
- Simulation logic (variables, cause and effect, consequences and scoring)
+ Behaviors in the system based on research.
- Technical environment (browser, LMS, variable connectivity)

Phases of development
- Alpha test phase one (september goal)
- Beta test phase one
- Pilot test phase one
- Design and development phase 2
- Alpha test phase 2
- Beta test phase 2
Implementation!

(very very cool - also very technical and time-consuming. The design will be key!)

Keynote - Thursday

After the 3am wakeup - finally fell back asleep around 5am. And promptly overslept.....
Figures.....

Presentation: Things I've Learned in my Life so Far
Presenter: Stefan Sagmeister

A video of the approximate talk can be found at the TED website.

Design for Music - record covers etc. Design for music industry right now - not a great business.
- "Tough to do gutsy work in an industy ruled by fear."
- Also includes building "identity", logo
+ Didn't want to do a representation of a building (Casa de Music).
+ Koolhaus building - still a logo (very distinctive) - look from all sides (6 total)
+ Added color - scanned an image (in this case - famous picture of beethoven) and gave color to logo to match the logo.
+ No set color - depend on the image
+ neat thing - all advertising can come out of it and communication.
+ Something simple can become very distinctive

Socially Responsible Design - group that wants to cut 15% of pentagon budget and move to education
- This particular group has funding and a chance of succeeding
- Direct client happy to experiment - can try out lots of stuff. Multiple ways to represent the same idea.
- Inflatable graphs
- A TV commercial (Mos Def) (truemajority.org)
- Lots of vehicles (3 little pigs) Anchor forced to explain what about
- Easy to get volunteers to drive these things

Corporate Design - not passionate about this, but $$$$
- Corporations have clear hierarchy, makes it easier to design
- Beginning to enjoy it more - how to be created
- Took entire photography and illustration budget and spent on cover (indented) - so can then shoot the cover under different lighting conditions.
- 1 idea - multiple, slightly different iterations.

Every 7 years - close studio and that an "experimental year"
- Fernand Adria (chef) - open 6 months, experiments 6 months
- Found for himself - a different quality to a year when you explore where there is no pressure.
- The need applies to most professions where creativity a role. From 5 minutes in the morning or 20% of time to pursue own stuff to sabatical year.
- Lots of things come out of those years
+ Reorg of studio
+ All studio does have to do with promoting and selling, 5% the actual work in. Thought it was a bit out of whack
- Because not available - unavailability can create desire. Good number of clients more willing to give jobs with unprecedented freedom.
----------
Unlimited freedom can be a very difficult thing to deal with.
- Took a list of things, then pick one and made it the 6 double spread pages.
- Surprised got very good feedback and a number of people asking for prints.

- Interest came because it was personal

In many fields connected with design (form / function), much has become mechanical. THere is room for a subjective point of view (follows with what Mark and Brent were saying during yesterday's conversations)
- Can be good. Can be stale
- Audience may not realize that a person behind any creation - design. "The machine makes the newspaper."

Often republished - as republished more, the quality of response improved..
- Often redesigned by the person.
--------------------------------------

2nd client Paris - we have billboards - do something
- Took big camera through arizona - took one picture every day.
- Put up so one vantage point of in sequence (again, one line of things he learned)
- (Became something of a regular schtick)

---------------------------------------
Everybody Thinks They Are Always Right - basis of conflicts.

- 1st iteration ( Esquire Mag tokyo) - peeing in the air (which turned out to be the main advertiser)
- 2nd iteration in scotland - 1 word per city (same phrase)
+ Wanted to create media event. 1 big inflatable monkey per city with a word.

The monkeys made it around.
---------------------------------------------
Bali's reaction to 2002 bombing. Encouraged everyone to look within vs. external retaliation.
- Everyone involved now in prison. Done quietly.

US reaction to 9/11. External retaliation
- Few in prison
- More died as result of reaction
-----------------------------------------

Helping Other People Helps Me
- Did light boxes for this one
- Sign painter at end of 19th century - you were a graphic designer
-----------------------------------

Form and Content
- 1st thing a designer will do is relate the form and content
- Try to separate it sometimes
-------------------------------------

(at this point he loses his powerpoint. We know how you feel!!!!!!)

(He started being successful because of the personal)
--------------------------------------------

Started the diary when 12. The ideas came out of that. (like most of us - there are years missing).

In Business Week - best addition to business life was keeping a business diary. He tried to do both - but his life is too fuzzy.

Friday morning exercise (or saturday morning exercise).

(For me - this is what the blog serves.) A reflection tool

----------------------------------------------

If I want to explore a new direction professionally it is helpful to try it out for myself first

---------------------------------------------

Self-censorship is the reason why he feels he does mediocre work rather than the client's demands.
---------------------------------------------

This video shows some of the process behind one of his contractual installations.



-----------------------------------------

Is Your ELearing Engaging - Web Analytics

Presentation: Analyze This: Is your elearning truly engaging
Presenter: Ryan Sparks, Care2Learn

How we can use existing software to measure engagement

Google Analytics (free)
Google tool (cost) - dependent upon firewall

Basis of Web Analytics
- Tracks how people arrive at a website and what they do when they arrive
- Bounce rate: percentage of single page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page
+ In courseware - will typically apply to the first page of the course.
- Exit Rate - the percentage of exits that occur from a page
- Conversion - Occurs when a visitor reaches a goal (last page, quiz completions, pdf download)
+ Think about what page goals you wish to measure

(issue for me - the LMS will already measure these things in our courses. May be more useful for the independent web pages)
I had given directions earlier on how to add Google Analytics to Blogger. Go to the Google Analytics site for more information on installing the tool on your website.

Understanding the data
- Daily visitors
- Top 5
- Average visitor time
- Average visitor depth
- Geographic distribution of visitors
- Average visitor bounce rate (single-page visits)

Add filters (to increase validity of date)
- Get rid of own access to course
- Get rid of instructional designers/developers updating content.

Things to ask
- Are the students interacting extensively with the course or just leaving the browser window open?
- Activities require a minimum amount of time being completed?
- What percentage are burning though the course?

Content
- Is it most visited because -
+ Way course is structured?
+ Most paths to that page?
+ The content most useful, engaging, accurate?

(Left since I did not need this for my corporate situation)

CA Case Study - Informal Learning

Presentation: Informal Learning in a Corporate Environment
Presenters: Ronald Ateshian, CA, Bill Bruckley, Q2 Learning

Came in part-way through
-----------------------

Implemented a corporate wide LMS to consilodate disparate systems for employees, partners and customers
Implemented eBook platform
Standardized and integrated virtual classroom and virtual lab tools
Changed development and delivery methodologies to support extended learning capabilities
Presented corporate self service CA TV platform
Implemented CA learning collaboration suite

Q2 Learning's xPert ecommunication, ecampus (this seems to be the wrap-around for all of this technology)

The important piece is took blended learning strategies and tied all together.

CA Learning collaboration
- SCORM conformant (integrated with LMS) - remember, standardizing what delivered
+ collaborative tools integrated with LMS
- Highly configurable
- Discussion threads (moderated)
- Blogs
- Wikis
- RSS feeds (from the blogs. Also aggregate as well as broadcast)
- Resource library
- Subscription options (can get messages whenever response in room)
- Chat and virtual classroom (not turned on yet)
- Tagging with full text search capability
- Training centers
- Wrapped and transitional learning
- Enables push and the pull (people should be able to get what need on demand)

(need to think about this in my context with Skillport - what systems / supports will need to be put in place with the tools we have at our disposal)

(Whole point is to put together the tools and resources to make learning accessible and available).

Each group has their own site for their team.
The administrators put together templates so folks can import items to pre-formed buckets. Allow folks to control content in pre-defined forms.

(at this point -our sound is taken over by another session)

Can setup learning paths. Coach learner on fly. Can structure the learning if need to.

Want to make sure providing knowledge at learner fingertips. Partner with other organizations to make sure able to address needs of learners.
- actively gathering information and widgets giving you things that might interest you (work groups, new courses, etc).
- Hoping to do this moving forward.

Best practice tips
- ADDIE Model and identify business and learner needs up front.
- Ensure the technologies support those needs
- Involve stakeholders (mgmt, IT dept, sample of learners) from beginning
- Make use of RFPs and Test-Case scenarios to evaluate proposed solutions to establish buy-in before selection
- Use seasoned project managers on your side and vendor-side while identifying involving competent staff on your team for implementation.
- Evaluate effectiveness of solution during and after roll-out
- Keep asking questions, push vendors
- Templates based on business requirements
- Over-communicate real-time status and roll-out plans to all stakeholders

Remember - gotta go through stages.
------------------------------------------------

Bill Bruckley

Platform needs to map to real human interaction.
- Also hate having people I don't know becoming my "friend"
- Reverse-engineer the human friend developement process

Levels
- Acquaintences - pleasantry
- Colleague - professional development
- Collaborators - action
- Friendship - intimacy

Conversations THE core business process for building professional relationships.
- Sustained conversations for action.

This is how we learn, share knowledge in the important aspects of the job.

Affordance - the features that call you to do certain things.
- what are the affordances that are needed for sustained conversations for action

Where did the platform start life? DNA? Native features vs. later addons.
- Discussion forums / Conferencing (then networking and content)
- Content Management Systems (LMSs then build in networking and collaboration)
- Networking (Facebook - may eventually build in content and discussion)

Some key differences between building a community v. social networks
- community = small town (folks know each other, norms and practices, real names, report all new)
- social network = big city (more anonymous, avatars, report abuse)

Most social networks not built for sustained conversations. RSS important in social network to aggregate.

Look for features that will support the types of conversations we wish to have.

Also need to have the tools that allow you to access info from multiple angles (e-mail still important in the social world).

For conversation
- want forums, blogs, wikis, IM, chat, webmeeting, email
- Simple organization forum -> item -> response
- Discussion read as transcript. Can post and find later
- Linear and branchig discussions
- Attach files and pictures to post
- Track and read the new material
- Participate via email, read via RSS
- Facilitation features (view, edit, move, attribute)
- Reports on utilization by forum and person

For content
- Attach files to posts (wiki and resource library)
- Resource library
- Full text search - single POINT of search
Not used as often
- Tagging
- Rating
- Version control
- Check in/out

Community
- Profiles and photos
- Online status
- Directory
- Personal Home page and endorsements next level
- Share photos.videos and reputation management, 3rd level
+ Value of files post
+ Value of individual post by person

Corporate
- Enterprise architechture
- Role-based management - access what you need to see easily, not access what don't need.
+ Map the way you socially want to construct the site - temp and permanent teams.
+ Also includes moderator / control capabilities
- Multiple sites
- Interoperability

You want to be able to support sustained conversation for action around shared content.

Think deeply about platform you are going to use to facilitate this. Not about cost. Think more ROI. Esp. because the conversations don't move if you have to change .

Another Example of LiveBlogging

Christy Tucker (Experiencing E-Learning) has been live blogging her participation in the Technology, Colleges and Community online conference.

Lots of fantastic stuff going on in parallel.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 2 - Concluding Thoughts

I think some of the more valuable information I picked up today was as a result of more informal conversations.

Rovy's explanation of a new model for continuing education.

Meeting a fellow university co-worker at Clark Quinn's session - there is apparently a group of Faculty and Staff that is interested in incorporating more sophisticated approaches to eLearning. Hi Eva - be forewarned, I will be following up with you next week. (Yes, it takes coming to Orlando, FL to meet people in DC).

Hearing everyone's Captivate wish list. Lots of stuff I want too and a few things I never thought of. Also picking up more tips and tricks in the meantime.

Finally catching up with Brent. He said something I forget when I start reading too many marketing blogs on branding and see what he, Mark, Clark Quinn and others have done to evolve their personal brand:

(I'm paraphrasing, Brent - you said it much more eloquently in real life)
It's about what you are passionate about. It's about YOU on the page. It's really not about "brand-building." YOU are the brand.

Mark said something very similar soon after lunch as we talked about guilt and blogging. (Again, Mark was infinitely more eloquent in real life than my memory).
Sometimes I feel guilty when I don't blog much, then I feel guilty about feeling guilty. But I have to remind myself that my blog is for me. I'm just airing my mental laundry. And if others want to read it, then bully for them.

That's just it - it's YOU. People will see when you are faking or trying to spin or be political.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Of the more formal sessions - Clark Quinn gave some great advice that I'm taking back. Since my original post was so disorderly - I'm going to try to make more sense of it below.

There are 3 levels
- Simulation (what I've been doing for the past 5 years) - you are modeling a system. There can be some branching, but it is normally fairly linear. The baseline how-to.

- Scenario (where I hope to take more of our training) - take the simulation and put it into a story. Branch it out so there are more paths to take to the goal state. To make this level successful - you have to have a good, focused story.

- Game - a much higher level of complexity. Still have to have a good base story, but you have to add more variables, more rules, more randomness. Not a priority for my purposes for the immediate future.

Tweaking is really important at all levels. Good scenarios and games have the same characteristics of good learning. Novelty, challenge and feedback.

Most important of all is the story. In creating the story, think about
- What makes that topic exciting to the subject-matter expert. What is the turn-on?
- What is the appropriate level of engagement for the audience?
- How can I exaggerate the impact of the learner/player's decisions?

He confirmed an awful lot of what I suspected. It's really about the design and planning before the programming.

This idea played out in the ILS challenge. Love that they delved into the creative process of the participants - not the end-product. And they found one hook to center their story around.

-----------------------------------------------

Off to spend quality time with some family in the area. See you tomorrow.

The Great ILS Challenge

Presentation: The Great ILS Challenge
Presenters:
Mark Oehlert - Referee, Defense Acqusition University
Jan Cannon-Bowers - DOD, Institute for Simulation and Training
Kevin Corti - PIXIE Learning
Alan Levine - The New Media Consortium (cogdogblog)

--------------------------------------------------------

Intro: This is not about fast implementation. Focus on whatever you need to do to get people to learn.

Challenge: You are a CLO. Your company has just acquired 2 other companies with vastly different cultural backgrounds (Asian - South Korea and African). Have to meld the divisions quickly. What can you create to get the divisions working together.

BTW - Annual stockholder meeting coming soon. (time pressure)

Jan Cannon-Bowers

Game Requirements
What do we need the game to accomplish?
- Build shared organizational culture
- Develop Common Understanding
- Build effective teams

Desired outcomes
- Maintain productivity (short-term)
- Improve workforce efficiency and performance (long-term)
- Impress shareholders (Stressful)

How to do this?
- Consult the literature - teams and team tracking, learning science, game-based learning.
- Collect best practices - organizational, game design, training
- Hire brilliant multi-disciplinary team (artists, SMEs, designers, etc)

What research says
- Shared Knowledge and Mental Models.
- Interpositional knowledge
- Cross training
- Back up Behavior
- Closed Loop Communication
- Goal: Implicit Coordination. See the world from the perspective of teammates. Minimal discussion - stuff just happens organically.

Initial idea - MMOG (Multi-Player Game)
- Foster collaboration among players - MMOG forces folks to collaborate
- Vicarious learning - Watching other people. Can scaffold performance by having more senior player help junior player. Can also model roles.
- Build Interpersonal Relationships - Guilds and team-level outcomes. Success of team dependent on team-members

Is MMOG the right solution - Constraints?
- Socio-economic differences
- Mix of languages, backgrounds, etc
- Folks in different time zones

Anericans - 40% have access to internet. Account for 27% of world total

Asia - 14% have access to internet. 38% of total. South Korea - 71% and familiar with MMOGs. Major part of culture. Kids ostracized for not playing Maple Story.

Africa - 5% of Africans have access. 4% (or less) of World's total. Almost no computer access.
- MMOGs fail several requirements Infrastructure differences, experience levels. Might lead to poor team building.

What would work in Africa?
- Games that don't require technology (Board and card games)
- Board games - expensive to manufacture, easy to lose pieces, hard to modify
- Card games
+ Fixed deck (Poker, Uno)
+ Collectable (Magic, Pokemon)

Collectable card games
- Good - print in any language, cheap, graphical, play on own time
- Bad - lose shared culture thing, lose common understanding, maybe too low tech (US and Korea)

Decided - Workplace Magic - the virtual gathering
- Combine MMOG and Collectable Card Game
- Anyone who want to play card game pair with those playing with MMO.
- Gotta play well with both.

MMOG side
- Player explores virtual environment that mimics 3 work location
- Learn about functions and processes at each location
- During game, players collect cards for the collectable card game
- Can also plan Duals. for card playing partner. (can schedule who will play who in the card game

Card side
- Players build deck based on what the MMO player finds.
- Game play relates directly to function and processes of company
- Winner earns rewards for the MMO player

Does it meet the goals? Yes.
- Implicit coordination - game requires players to anticipate needs of teammate
- Backup behavior - can monitor and correct behavior of teammates
- Cross training/ Interpositional Knowledge - game requires players to learn more about each other.

Kevin Corti

Quantify the Objectives - Organization and audience needs / modes of use etc
Picked through request and pick up potential objectives

Question and change a bit so more quantifiable
- What do I (the ILS designer) need to understand?
+ Why did they acquire them?
+ What are they trying to achieve?
+ Where do acquisitions go wrong?
+ What factors influence this? Priorities?
+ How do successful companies leverage diversity?
+ How do companies undertake "merger repair?"
+ Who is my audience? - Leadership, Sr. Mgmt
- OK - how do I leverage the "power of difference?"
- Realized, success determined by abilities, attitudes of people and their environment.
- How do we get all on board working towards common purpose?

Research - understand practical issues and challenges
- Time zone differences
- Different processes
- May need to point to presentation. He's talking very fast.

Design walkthrough

Sell it to the Board - Time, Costs, ROI

His steps once he gets all of his information
- Embellish the back story.
- Focus on the goal(s)
- Went through each of his options and game-types.

Decided on Blended Game-Space learning.

2 types
- Single Player mode - for leadership and newbies and folks with low bandwidth. Success dependent upon meeting the business objectives defined by the board.

- Collaborative player mode - Force them to work as a time and undermine the acquisition. Destroy the business. Achieve catstrophic failure. Thinking - more fun and if understand what goes wrong, can better avoid it in the real world.

Make sure give many options. (again - need to look at the presentation. Can't type fast enough.) The presentation will give the jist of the structure.

Level design
- Level 1
+ Pitch for the project. Unveil background/tell explicit tasks and hint at hidden ones
+ Teach them how to use the tools
+ Introduce characters
+ If get enough information, can go to next level.

- Level 2
+Objective - convince CEOs
+ Add limited resources
+ Interview NPCs
+ Collaborate with team
+ Did you meet minimum criteria

At each level - earlier decisions can bite them later. Challenges / objectives harder. Resources more limited. More red herrings and random events. Higher levels - embed mini-games. Released just before you need them for the main task.

Final part outside of game - take the virtual experience. Implement for real.
- High score chart and performance benchmarking
- Communication, relationship-building, expereince sharing, mentoring, P2P support, internal communities of interest.
- Ideas, suggestion, feedback look for senior management.

Doable?
- 2 months intensive design, 3 months intensive development, 2 months testing and debug. $500K.
- ROI - global dominance. Priceless.

Alan Levine

Mulled over the issue. What really unifies us?
- Mothers!

Built a prototype - music and picture presentation (which I hope will be posted).

Can you think of anything more challenging than teaching your Mom to use a computer?
- Connects to technology.

Solution - bring Mom into virtual world. Mom + technology.

OK - trans-global international company (ACME).
- ACME diversified from anvils to everything (cars to toilet brushes)
- (think Wile E. Coyote / Road Runner)
- ACME acquires company in Gabon. That company - oil and beer and transportation
- ACME (acquired company 2) starts in Korea (13th century) - wanted the voice
translator.

OK - 24 hour coverage with handoff times.

Bring your virtual mom to work day.
- Help real-world Mom enter the virtual world. ACME has access to "rent-a-Mom", but better to have real mom do it
- By end - rent-a-mom will know what work you do.

There is a survey - how much of the avatar was done by yourself?
- did have embedded technology - recording in real-time actual time with mouse. Looking for unusual patterns.

ACME has a virtual office in the virtual world.
- Past - virtual exhibit of history of ACME. Have to carefully pull out of the clip. Mom helps you bring back some historical artifacts. Embed Mom's story into the exhibit. Do for each new company.

- Present - Starts with virtual reception center / business center. Still 3 different cultures. As go higher, cultures merge more.

- Future - The laboratory. Not built yet. Do modeling and prototyping in this space.

Assessment - how Acme is doing -ask Mom. Everyone must do it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

(Paraphrased)

Mark: How would the design process be different if we were asked to build a course rather than a game?

Jan: Easier to build a course because it is more familiar. We understand courseware. The interactive part throws a loop. The key is interactivity. Both with people and artifacts.

Kevin: Easier. Familiar.

Alan: I thought you would have given us a harder problem.

Mark: If we looked at this as a way to evaluate the acquisition beforehand. How would that change the design process.

Kevin: My game much better at that. If you gave people at all levels opportunity to experiment, I think the integration would happen more smoothly.

Alan: Have result be the actual acquisition.

-------------------------------------------------------

My thoughts - I like Jan and Co's consideration of the technical issues that may confront the players. 2 of them used a low-tech/high-tech blend. Jan in her game design (cards and MMOGs), Kevin in his post-game exercises.

The Mom idea was cool - where I see this working better is encouraging people to get to know each other outside the "workspace" through their Moms (though I can see this being a very emotionally charged issue).

Cool session.

Integrating Serious Games and ILS

Presentation/Discussion: Integrating Serious Games and ILS into Your Learning Strategy
Presenter: Clark Quinn

This post is a bit more disjointed than I would like.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Core argument more effective learning.

Pragmatic issues
- Expensive or death
- Individual mentoring - very expensive

Not worth investing in if
- perfectly capable
- too small a skill change

If complex - or
- lots of practice
- deep practice
- resistance (why we are changing)

Can you do cost effectively - adjust to how big.
- (see ILS report - Quinn, Cost and Budget)

Problem with comercial gaming - too many people;

Most business needs met with far less resources.

Scott - Microsoft.
Can be more cost effective - template, storyboard out. Use captivate

1) Difference between simulation, scenario, game (see ILS report)
- Simulation - model of a system. (relationships).
- Scenario - 2nd step - to a goal state. (Microsoft, very prescriptive)
- Game - 3rd step, tune until level of challenge just right and the learner is fully engaged.

The game (level of challenge) increases learning

2) Ways to implement
- Pick answer, same next question (linear), even mult choice.
- Branching - if you do this, go here all the time. Pre-scripted (Captivate). Only need a try or 2 to get the idea.
- Engine / Model / Rule driven interaction. Game calculates. Novelty and unpredictability built in.
+ Way most commercial games work

Instant replay - if you do it right, can have slightly different scenarios. Do it again and again.

Can do a whole bunch of branching scenarios to mimic this. But further level of complication - more rules.

Often don't need engine-driven model. Can save.

What makes compelling simulation
- Effective learning principles: feedback, novelty, context
- Compelling simulation - good story, feedback, novelty.

Gotta wrap the right story around it. - BIG FOCUS.
- Exaggerate, but focus on what motivates your audience.

Tuning huge part of this. Most time will be spent tuning after the base built. 90% of effort should go here.
- Our advantage - we don't have to make fully commercial level.
- Set engagement metrics - what is the appropriate level of engagement for the audience? Tune until hit goal.

Get the design right and there is lots of way to implement.

A good game is a series of interesting decisions.
Good learning is an important series of decisions. (what do they normally get wrong. Find story to put in context).
- What is the correct alternative to the "right" answer

Learners make principled mistakes, not random mistakes.
- Prior learning. May work in another context, not this one.
- Make it easy to make that principled mistake. Opportunity for feedback.
- If don't get immediate feedback in real world - don't do in game

Keep extraneous stuff out to keep costs down
- Purge, purge, purge.

Stages of deliverables

- Concept document
+ Who is audience. Not just what do they know. What are their interests?
+I reserve the right to raise the learning objective high enough.
- What decisions does the student need to be able to make?
- Common mistakes,
- What settings does this occur in?
- By the time this is documented, have an idea what do.
- Minimize signoffs .

- Storyboard - captures look and feel and variables.
+ if circulate to SME, don't just hand to them.
+Capture user experience through one play. (could be screenshop. Could be small prototype.)
+Also estimated budget.

- Postpone programming before paper but prototype early and often.
+ remember - SMEs think in terms of linear stories
+ tap into interest of SME. Helps with the sale. What turns them on about the field/subject?

Instructional design - we need to get the student to understand vicerally, not just intellectually.
Exaggerate the consequences of NOT having the knowledge.

Second Life v. Simulation
- Second Life - no explicit Goals
- Simulation - must have explicit goal.
+ Make sure that they can't do it by chance. Have to be able to get to it through thinking.

(BTW - Use Immersive Learning Simulation (ILS) v. "Game") Get the reports (dangit).

The immersive learning simulation IS an assessment.
- May want to validate later.
- BTW - if really making games, may need a software engineer.

Are some free game engines online. Stuff to start with. Can also get commercial engines.
- May be cheaper to hire flash programmer than it is to try to use engine.

QR Codes

Presentation: Scanning the Globe: Connecting Your Digital World to the World Around You.

Presenter: Brent Schlenker

Came in partway through.

Hey Brent - I see you found the joys of ComicLife too!!!!

------------------------------------------
QR Codes

A camera application - put QR ap in background in crosshairs of camera in mobile phone and click.

As soon as you recognize the code - it takes you straight to information.
- Ap called Scanlife

There is also a QR code generator. Put the content you want.

Very few players in this space. - just Google "QR codes."

Can also put in phone number, will automatically dial it.
Main approach - use for website.

QR codes used often in marketing in asia.
- used for commercial tracking.
- Convenience for mobile phone users - use camera function on mobile phone and will take you there.

Goal - a more simplistic way to get to the information (esp,. in 2.0 space)
New ways to collaborate - make technology work

Another thing in the cluster of things to craft engaging learning moments.

QR codes can be partially destroyed and still can complete the content.

BTW - not available in iPhones.

It will be the experience you design AROUND it that will be important.

Can hide QR codes into images - take picture of image and will send QR code.

Also can use as access to Medical Records - identification code. The deformity makes it better than barcodes.

Advantage - this is a much cheaper technology than many other mobile technologies (chips, etc).

Print and paste in whatever format I want. (you will have to catch me before you tatoo a QR code on me.)

There are other standards in the 2D code space. (semacode, shotcode, colorcode)

(maybe an educational scavenger hunt?)
Think of games. Like Geocaching....

2D Barcode Manifesto
- Manifesto focuses on free, open-source but standardized. Focus on user-driven innovation.

ZXing announced in next version of Android SDK
- Android all about open handset platforms.

So essentially - I need a much nicer phone than the 5 year old "just does phone" handset I am currently carrying.

Software that also allows PC webcams to read QR codes as well.

QR codes - may also allow us to access eLearning FAST. Hmmm.......
- Also makes us be more "cutting edge"
- Access training/support materials on hardware fast while working on it.


If nothing else - lowers the barriers to entry for gathering information. (not having to type in your phone - just scan.)

Cool for orientations / guided tours - go to a unit or department or area - scan the QR code using your cell phone. Don't need barcode reader.

For basic phones - text. Essentially need something that will take a picture and the software.

Give everyone QR code to see who is in the cube. Or on their badge.

What defines what action the application takes depends on the application you have installed. Find one that defines phone and http:// correctly.

Call for ideas - talk to Brent if you are interested in exploring how to use this in eLearning. He's looking to possibly create a community of some sort to explore various ways to potentially apply this technology.

Lunch Conversations - Wednesday

Brent and I met up with Rovy from the Academic ADL Co-Lab during the Wednesday lunch break. As lunch conversations tend to do - we talked about blogging, the impact of technology, Nicholas Carr and other technologist topics.

After Brent left - Rovy and I talked more about his work with the Academic ADL Co-Lab.

The Academic ADL Co-Lab is part of the University of Wisconsin system. One of the projects they have their eye on is through the Technical College system. Their idea is to create "Career Path" education. "GED to PhD" as Rovy jokingly called it.

The idea behind Career Path education is that people may not NEED structured degrees. Instead, they need access to the tools that will help them learn the things they need as the progress through their career.

Think of it as an executive career coach for the rest of us.

It's essentially an extension of the Career Center. Instead of just advising on someone's career, they are also going to provide the tools and coaching that will allow someone to get the skills they need - 24/7 accessable.


This means online learning and occasional synchronous coaching.

Our universities are currently not structured to accomodate this idea. They get money, grants and status based on the number of degrees they give. But what if....

The Wisconsin Technical Colleges and the Academic ADL Co-Lab are working with the Department of Labor to flesh this program out further.

The university I work for is all about giving alumni tools for their post-university life. Life-long e-mail is their first step.

I'd be curious to see what pricing and support structure they come up with to implement this idea. This could be a very cool thing for my university to offer to the Alumni.

Focus Groups

Kudos to Adobe for spending a significant amount of time trying to get feedback on their development products. From the way I've seen their products evolve, they seem to be listening.

Hope they found the info useful....

---------------------------------------------

I sat in on a focus group for Captivate (can't talk about it much). There were some great tips thrown back and forth that we could use now.

Caveat - I have not been able to test any of these tips, so I don't vouch for how well they work. I hope to update this later with more details - maybe even pictures: )

Here's what I learned:

- After you delete any content you don't want, Save As... This should permanently delete some of the content in the library you don't want, keeping file size down. (Joseph Ganci)

I've been doing inventory of the files I am using and erasing the stuff I don't need. This process is painful. Hopefully, this works better.

- Using the Q and A features for discovery learning. (Penny - Christian Aid). I haven't done this yet - may be worth trying as a prototype.

- You can customize the rollover slidelets so that the rollover area is not rectangular. I may not need this (application trainer, most of my objects are rectangular) - but it could be really cool to use at some point. (Joseph Ganci)

BTW - Joseph Ganci was the guy I learned almost everything I know about Authorware from. Admittedly, I'm far from a guru, but it is way cool to meet someone in person who has taught you so much personally.

His Authorware site. - Super-duper valuable for those of us who may still be using Authorware.

Keynote - The Future of the Internet

Presentation: The Power of the Internet
Presenter: John Patrick, former VP and Chief Internet Strategist at IBM

Not sure what to expect from this one.

A little tag-team blogging with Inga this morning. Finding power bonds....
---------------------------------------------------------------

The Big Picture
- 5% of what internet has in store
- Power of the click

The Internet is About PEOPLE.
Transferred power from institutions to individuals.

- Expectations rising by the day

More cool stuff available daily

- Disintermediation just beginning

Music industry a prime example. Too easy to make digital music on internet. May not have been a problem if the industry listened sooner. (see iTunes)

- Global-local Convergence-Divergence

Internet global and able to be centralized, but also local (more customized) availability.

In theory - one device that does everything. But - actually seeing more specialized devices. (He's a big fan of the Kindle - seems more natural). Devices becoming more specialized. ALL connected to the internet

The Pervasive internet

Anything with a chip has networking capability.
Everything connected to everything
Does expect that security and privacy will be available at all levels

Power of the Click
- End to end solutions

People expecting end-to-end solutions (see eBay)
- eBay holistic. Thought about escrow, shipping, insurance, returns. Every aspect.
- Thought about reputations (largest reputation database in the world).
- We are now expecting this of hospitals, schools, etc.

Click here to call

Problem - most companies trying to empower THEMSELVES, not the customer.
Is your website to improve the efficiency of the company or the customer?
Right now - most websites focus on helping the company MARKET to you.

The 3am update cycle no longer applicable. Systems have to be both global and continuously available.

WHO ARE WE TRYING TO SERVE?!?!?!?

We need to satisfy the customer. Not Compliance (sorry Vin)

HUGE opportunity
What is the "Killer Ap" - eMail. SMTP.
But most e-mail to companies go unanswered. And still very self-centered.
Teenagers still using eMail as primary communication (PEW Foundation)

For companies - instead of asking the questions, why don't you listen?

Spam - 82% of his email.
- He uses Challenge Response system - will send an email back. Forces you to click to send back.
- Generally - Spam filters talk to each other.

Most issues we see is an "Attitudinal Problem"

Why we are only 5% of the way there.
- Example - health care.
Of 2 trillion dollars - lots spent on duplicate procedures. Why? Lawyers (burden of proof still on customer (in this case, the docs), not compliance).

How much does liability cost add to our health care? Some pay 1/4 mil.

Information technology (or lack)adds to problem. (Really its a process problem. A people problem. See my earlier writings on this blog.)

Part our own fault - we don't take enough responsibility as patients and we don't demand enough information. (We are now starting to see this demand, at least in my part of the world. He's right in that as patients we need to be able to see the doctor notes. The doctor resists often because they don't want anyone challenging their decisions. The system is designed around the doctor's convenience - not the patient's.) We need to push.

He can't wait until all of his information on internet - "At Last!!! It will be SAFE!" At least with electronic medical records, we can see who is looking at your records.

eGovernment and Education
- Early leadership and innovation

ex. IRS, eFile. Encrypted and reliable.

- Empowerment of the grassroots

- Lifelong learning via the web

Not just teaching the "kids". We all are trying to keep learning.

- Limited by learning how to learn

Lots of people don't know how to learn. That's where educators come in.
There are tips and techniques that can't be fully done through blogs.

- Schools and libraries will (and are) change(ing)

Millions of children now home-schooled. Lots of resources now available on internet.
Libraries expanding. Fundraising to add space - turning into the new community center.

Accomodation or choice
Are we going to accomodate the internet? Corporations - many accomodate.
Or Are we going to EMBRACE the internet and give the customer CHOICE. Are we going to let them access data 24/7, whatever they need? Ought to go that way.

The Bubble - Bust or Boom (2001-2002)
- The Internet was NOT the problem
- Water does not flow uphill
- Same economy - new tools. The internet is a tool.
- Bubble #2? Probably not - people smarter.

Where is this going?
- Fast
- Always On
- Everywhere
- Natural
- Easy
- Intelligent
- Trusted


Fast - Our major carriers biggest threat to the future of the internet.
- Outside of US, Governments empowering growth of internet. Internet much faster (see Japan).
- Japan deregulated components of Broadband. Here - ATT, Verizon
- Heartening to see Comcast promote selves as phone company and Verizon promote selves as video company. Competition good.

The technology available so that we can go even faster.
- BPL - Broadband Power Line. BPL modem - gets electricity and broadband from power system. Can add further competition.
- FiOS - very fast, good technology. Everything will be fiber eventually.

Can the backbone of the internet handle it? Yes. Internet highly distributed due to packet technology.

Torrents of Bits - very effective protocol for downloading huge files.

Bottlenecks will move around.
- Internet asynchronous.

Always On - Dial-up mostly gone.
- Remember - everything connected to the internet, including appliances.
- Will be as secure as you want it to be.

- WiFi v. WiMax - uh - it's wireless. Deliver broadband into community. Deliver through wireless routers.

- Should become pervasive - but being prevented by the phone companies (lobbyest creating laws to prevent universal WiFi in local governments) (see Philadelphia trying to WiFi the city).

- We are ranked 14th in internet accessability.

Everywhere - Where is the internet anyway? For most of us - the PC.
- Should be wherever we are.
- Mobile internet one of the biggest things. (Norway - Opera)

I ran into computer problems here.....

Natural - we want one profile WE control, not them
- Schema - but only certain profiles can access it.
- Blogging/Podcasting revolution. Getting bigger (part of the overall schema)
- Wikimedia - The Writeable Web
- Gaming Exploding
Gaming teaching how create solutions with limited resources, how to collaborate. 2 very important skills.
- Let's play tag - the Long Tail

Intelligent - Web pages now developing context.
- AJAX
- Global Application Web
- Everything at your service
- Semantic Web - tags, tags, tags.

Easy
- Open Standards - the grassroots win (see Linux)

Trusted
- Security redefined - great tools available if you look for them. Best ones not free.
- Privacy policy and framework essential
- Linkage of brand and digital ID
- Healthcare and Finance ready to go
- Block bad things.

Surviving and Thriving
- Think Outside In - listen to the people
- Think big, act bold, start simple, iterate fast
- Anticipate the evolution of the internet
- Build a framework for choice and services
- Partner to the hilt
- Get a taste of Net Attitude, talk to kids.

patrickweb.com

Welcome - Wednesday

In the Learning Management Colloquium - "Live Research"

Looking forward to the Espresso Learning session (which I will be running around between presentations) - 20 minutes of content, 20 minutes of questions.

Hoping to see Quinn and Thalheimer. (at least one of them).

3 rounds (so I may change my schedule - sorry Brent).

Tag team blogging with Inga (very impressed that she can Twitter and Facebook and Blog at the same time). I'm not that coordinated. Her comment - This way is easier.

Clark Quinn - mind map of keynote. Very cool.

Conversations Over Coffee

Had a chance to meet Greg from Microsoft. He's their primary eLearning developer for the Vendor Help Desk (the nice people you call at 3am when your Word is on the fritz). Got some interesting ideas from him:

- eMail training - develop corporate templates for particular situations. Post, share, and show how to copy/paste into the body of the email.

- He's a big fan of SnagIt for screen captures in Captivate 3, then importing the images. I occasionally use that approach if I'm having display problems (like if I need to film in 800x600 but the screen looks wonky at that resolution).

Often - I do a dry run within Captivate with any new application. Check to see what doesn't record correctly, then do it again - this time pressing PrintScreen to capture anything that doesn't capture correctly the first time. Better to have too many slides than not enough.

We also talked about vendor training v. what the client should be responsible for. My thoughts: the vendor should give us basic how-tos (like how to send an e-mail). The client is then responsible for the customization and details on workflow (when you send e-mail, the inner workings of the distribution lists, eMail policies, etc). Very cool to meet people on the other side of things.

Morning - Day 2

Had to stop watching hockey because it got too depressing at the end of Period 2. Didn't seem to get much better during the 3rd period - but there is some signs of life. I hope the boys aren't too burned out after 2 months of "Game 7s".

Now that I have my deep hockey thoughts out of the way....

It appears there will be a lot of running around today - particularly in the afternoon as I try to catch multiple things scheduled for approximately the same time while praying my laptop doesn't die.

Good luck Brent with your presentation!

Inga - Love the posts!

Mark - My apologies for calling ILS (Immersive Learning Simulations) ILT (Instructor-Led Training) yesterday when I met you. One little letter - a world of difference. Looking forward to the ILS Challenge.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day 1 - Concluding Thoughts

Yes - I know I should be out socializing, but there is HOCKEY on. As of now (5 minutes or so into the first period), the Caps are looking much better than Sunday's game.

Of course, this also gives me a chance to reflect on the day.

Some very cool sessions today. The two most useful for my situation - Alec Lamon's session on Simulation development and the Adobe Captivate 3 session (for that one, I was torn between taking notes and fiddling with the Captivate 3 installation on my laptop.)

So I managed to accomplish a number of my goals today:

- Finally met Mark Oehlert. Still amazing - 2 people who live in DC who meet each other in Orlando. Figures. BTW Mark - cool business cards. Oh - and I didn't ask him any moronic questions. I'm sure I'll have plenty tomorrow....

- Also finally met Silke Fleicher. She was very helpful when I did the Captivate 2 presentation a long time ago. I'll point you to her blog for more information onthe Captivate 3 presentation and some of the cool new things happening in Adobeland.

- Got to the Object Oriented Programming session. Those of you more technically savvy than I am, please correct me. It strikes me that Adobe Flash encourages Object-Oriented programming anyway through the use of the pre-programmed objects (buttons, etc). At least it made those objects make more sense.

(1-1 as we speak, last 2 minutes of the 1st period)

- Had a chance to look at the vendor hall. Most interesting tool, Sealund's Inquiry 2D Serious Games Engine. Not sure if I would use this for heavy-duty development, but I can see how it would be good for rapid prototyping and proof of concept as we try to convince our clients that gaming is good.

(Damn! 2-1 Flyers on a stupid, stupid play! Grrrrr.....)

- Also saw lots of tools for creating avatars and building interactivity. Not sure if I need most of those - but they were interesting to look at.

(Ack! 3-1 Flyers on an even stupider play!)

Tomorrow - another keynote and lots of gaming sessions.

For those at the conference, if you find me a bit balder tomorrow - you now know why.

Tips and Tricks - Captivate 3

File size shrinking
- Don't need the entire recording area (720x540 recommended)
- Reduce color.
- Remove excess desktop icons
- Avoid gradients
- Limit full motion recording. (click directional arrows vs. dragging the scrollbar).
- Limit media - is audio needed?
- Compress audio
- Image compression
- Keep projects short (3 minutes recommended).
- Easily link using skin menu

Single SWF
- Additional files
- Avoid additional files -- project>skin>uncheck borders

Integrate full motion recording slides into project
- the full motion recording slide is external now.
- Insert new slide. Insert

Full motion recording /editing. On Developer center - full motion editor for Captivate

Audio and image editing
Right click > find in library > edit with.....

Multiple levels of feedback
- set click box to continue after first attempt and to jump if correct.
+ first click box then create second click box after the first.(3 attempts - 3 click boxes that disappear after each attempt)
+ enable failure caption
- can also create sophisticated feedback through branching

Creating prototype or mac application deminstrations
- Create images > insert as image slides> show mouse and adjust paths

Inserting captivate content into PowerPoint
- Use Adobe Presenter

Share - http://share.adobe.com (in adobe Labs right now)
- can drop items in there to help communicate content if don't have access to web server

Can put Captivate .swf files into .pdfs (need to figure out how to do this with Adobe Professional)

Captivate 3.0 - Tips and Tricks

Presentation: Captivate 3.0 Tips and Tricks
Presenter: Silke Fleicher

NEW STUFF FOR ADOBE CAPTIVATE 4!!!!! (Wednesday 10:45am - 11:45am and 5:00pm to 6:00pm EdelWeiss room)

Session available
http://blogs.adobe.com/silke.fleischer

Introduction to OOP with ActionScript 3.0

Presentation: Introduction to Object Oriented Programming with ActionScript 3.0
Presenter: Scott Hutton, MindCross Training

Anything that will help build technical skills. I've seen ActionScript (but don't ask me to program in it without a book). Not quite sure I undertand Object Oriented programming. Should be interesting.....

Did some preliminary digging around in Captivate 3 before the session. It appears that all ActionScript programming needs to be through Flash. The actual flash objects are then imported into the Captivate file (usually buttons).

FYI - this session requires some preliminary knowledge of Flash and a little familiarity with ActionScript 3 OR Object Oriented programming. At least I have that much going for me.....

Again - my comments in italics, when I think about it.
------------------------------------------------------

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) - technique oriented around objects and data.
- ActionScript 3 is object-oriented "capable"
+ Implementation of OO is optional.
- VB have object "tendencies" but not encouraging object methodology. ActionScript the same, but now more able to program using Object-oriented methodology.

Procedural vs. Object-Oriented
- Object Oriented - separates everything into objects. Hides the coding details within the individual objects.
+ Instead of spending time coding - spend time putting stuff together (not quite true - someone has to code stuff at some point).
+ Big difference - object-oriented is a technique. Reuseable. Is there something out there that allows you to do most of what you want?

- Procedural - concentrates on data and program functionality. Single-point(ish). The big long page of code in a file.
+Development done by using the timeline and all code contained within the flash file.

Object-Oriented Terminology
- Classes - a template/blueprint (a collection of data and events. But more fluid.)
+ Can use however you want, but you may not know how it exactly works.
+ Goes through a lot of trouble to hide code. (see below)
- Encapsulation - Hiding the details of the class
- Inheritance and Composition - Aids in the reuse of code
+ Inheritance - I can take stuff and override it
+ Composition - Collection of things in one place that can be reused together
- Polymorphism (Overloading, overriding)
+ An entity that exists in multiple forms, and entity having different behaviors
+ Provides flexibility
+ Coded one way, but it doesn't do what I want (i.e. Area - triangle. I want to calculate the area of a circle).

The non-coder parts of Flash promotes this approach.

The Class is the foundation of object-oriented programming
- Blueprint comprised of
+ Properties
+ Methods
+ Events
- Coding methodology
+ An object is an INSTANCE of a class

- Promotes maintainability and reusability (Why Classes and Object-Oriented programming important!!!)
+ If someone in an organization creates a class, other people can use it and make minor changes (if needed) so they can use. Or can use wholesale.
+ Much easier to create programs using a whole bunch of pieces than coding from scratch.

Classes v. Objects
- An object is an instance of a class.
+ Instantiation - my object can use an individual use of a class. Example - a Continue button that you can't change but you can use. Each instance of that continue button is an object.
+ Can build a class - such as a background template.

Flash will give you the instance names. (remember dropping and dragging items already available in Flash?). You can also change the instance names.
- When you customize - you are customizing the particular instance (object). You are NOT customizing the actual button (class).
- You may only be able to customize pieces of that button (the color, the height/width, the name on the button). May not be able to customize how that button works. This helps when trying to figure out why your instance of the button doesn't work right.

ActionScript command: package - a declarative function required in a Class. If ActionScript file and flash file in same directory, can be blank.
If ActionScript file and flash file is in sub-directories, I have to use package to define where the information is.
- package Classes - Classes points to an import command. In this instance, the ActionScript file is one level down from the Flash file (wish I had pictures to show you this.....)
+ within the flash file - import Classes.Glossary
+ Also a setting in flash called Classpath where all of your Classes are.

ActionScript command: public - allows you to tell program what you can use
public var - anyone can control the variable (not a good idea. Folks can change data on you).
public function - anyone can control the methods. Most often - methods available, variables private.

Remember - all about sharability with how you organize your work.

Encapsulation
- Hides the details of the code and data
+ The developer decides what will be exposed to the user (public vs. private)
- Primary benefits
+ modularity
+ information hiding
- Object design
+ Think about what will be made public vs. private

Access modifiers within ActionScript
- public (see above) - you trust that it will work
- private - not sure it works or how you want to work. Can't touch. Only seeable by methods of the class (within the code). Still USED by the class. End user doesn't see it.
- protected
- internal

Inheritance
- The ability to inherit properties and methods from another class
+ Extends the functionality
+ Copy + paste code much nicer than rebuilding from scratch
- Classes are organized into a tree structure
+ A subclass includes ALL of the functionality of a higher level class
+ Everything from a higher level class is automatically applicable to lower levels in the hierarchy
- Class hierarchy
+ Classes can be created from other classes. (Copy + modify code)

(Again - wish I had picture. Shows how classes work within Flash.)

Example - Flash MovieClip class (one of the things you drag and drop into your stage)
- Package flash.display
- Class - public dynamic class MovieClip
- Inheritance
MovieClip (below are all of the classes the class MovieClip inherited)
- Sprite
- DisplayObjectContainer
- InteractiveObject
- DisplayObject
- Event EventDispatcher
- Object
- Subclasses - LivePreview Parent

Aggregation (Composition)
- Inheritance - you are part of a tree. Add to it, extend capabilities, pass it on. Is a... (RaceCar is a vehicle)
- Composition is a group of classes that are used together. Has a... (Vehicle has a tire)

Remember - any class can be extended
Example3.as (the actionscript file)
package (
import flash.display.MovieClip
public class Example3 extends MovieClip

(Example3.fla - var myObject:Example3 = new Example3();)
Must have import and extends in the code to extend the capability of the class.

Since opening up your variables is a really bad idea, need a method to return the variable so it can be seen.

(Not gonna type the code - really have to take a look at the presentation files. Essentially, the variable is private. The function is public that returns the variable.)

(from here, I get confused..... I'll admit - I'm not entirely certain how I would use these techniques. The presenter had to race through this section because he ran out of time.)
Polymorphism
- The same method name may be implemented in different classes.
- Example - the x and y properties are referenced the same way regardless of which class they are part of (button, movie clip, etc).
+ a button may have an x value of 10 and a y value of 20
+ a movie clip may have an x value of 400 and a y value of 500

Constructor
- Methods used when an instance of a class is created
- Must have the same name of the class (see the code)

Collaboration in a Multi-Department Environment

Presentation: Collaboration in a Multi-Department Training Organization
Presenters: Bruce Baumgarten and Shane Verheyen, California State Automobile Association

I find myself now working with multiple training departments. Especially as we move to SkillPort and start converting ILTs to eLearning.

(Grrr...computer gets lonely without power......)

This one is a bit more free-form than my other notes due to the nature of the session. Many of my thoughts are in italics (when I thought about it).

--------------------------------------------------------------

Implemented an instructional design community of practice.

Collaboration
- Thinks and acts beyond one's own work group
- Puts enterprise needs and goals ahead of individual objectives
- Takes responsibility to help others succeed
- Freely share information
- Celebrates successful performance - results and values

How do you turn "collaboration" into an outcome?

One approach - develop a Community of Practice - process of social learning. Stable group formed through regular interactions on a common interest. From informal to formal.

(This is a "Working Meeting")

AAA has cultural value of collaboration.
- Is this idea helping to support or augment one of your core cultural values?
- They are also helping to support a DIRECT business line.
- Organized as formal "University" group. Support the university but report to business line.

One change to one product can affect 4 different training groups.
- How do you create those lines of communication so that one minor change can be communicated to everyone affected and the message is consistent.

Community of Practice
- Create consistent learning experience.
+ Develop consistent templates and writing standard. Minor customizations.
+ Streamline processes.
- Meetings to develop common vocabulary and processes.
+ Reduce redundancies and utilize resources.
- Sharing information
- Culture of sharing even minor tweaks to information.
+ Share experiences and best practices.
+ Developed culture where asking questions OK.

SWOT Activity (my thoughts)
- Strength (Internal)
+ Trainers starting to communicate with each other
+ A couple of members from other groups starting to work together more robustly

- Weakness (Internal)
+ Training groups still very siloed
+ Roles in new environment not well defined.

- Opportunity (External)
+ Lots of incoming eLearning conversion work
+ Compliance beginning to want more robust reporting through LMS - centralized project.

- Threat (External)
+ Time constraints
+ Demand
+ Unknown upper level politics - reporting to different Senior VPs.

(Yay! I got a Flash Drive!!! 1GB, but its something)


Communities of practice can be synchronous, asynchronous and both.
- AAA also a grassroots start.
- As grew, developed site with standards and other important info (maybe where a wiki might work?)

Formal vs. Informal
- AAA more formal
+ Got a sponsor, business plan, have 3 subcommittees (standards (closed mostly since developed the standards), technologies, professional development), meetings and frequency (they are every other week. Committee also have own meetings)
- Trying to serve as an advisory group as well as self-governance.
+ Need to justify existence.
+ Later, can then ask for money for projects.
- Developed business plan with mission, goals and strategies, formal organizational structure
- Membership can serve as part of professional development plan.

How started - created steering committee of other instructional designers in other departments to develop the business plan.

What are the outcomes of the 2 different formalities and what do you want to accomplish?
- Community of Practice there when you need it, but may be problems with participation if someone doesn't need it.

My notes: What are you going to center your community of practice around? I suspect for us, if we are going to build a community of practice it will be more around our LMS and eLearning conversion. May need to be more of a project-based community.

Return on Investment
- They documented everything that the community did.
- Included - writing standards, HTML standards, ID systems document (streamlining an on-boarding process), Enterprise vocabulary, file naming conventions, folder taxonomy for shared projects etc, LMS administration).
- Cost v. Benefit
- Tangible v. Intangible
- Do you actually measure the benefit?

How do you measure enforcement?
- Seems to be more self-enforcing across the community.
- Assuming that everyone is professional. People tend to catch any issues within the standards and documentation.
- Found a cultural change - because realizing don't have to go it alone and tools exist.

Buy in - easier since makes job issue.

Can create formal review cycle. AAA thinking about creating a review cycle with the standards group involved.

Much of the building of the Community of Practice out of sheer need
- New LMS
- New corprate university structure
- Folks struggling to get stuff to work within the new LMS

The success of the Community of Practice also dependent upon topic at the time. More representation based on what is going on. (This may be the big takeaway here).

Things to think about
- Over participation vs. NO participation - is one group making ALL decisions for everyone?
- Individual company culture
- Importance of ROI (what do you want to measure?)
- Elevator speech
- Formality (how much)
- Be prepared for the "Why"
- Organizational buy-in

The activity of documenting decisions serving as a knowledge management tool for all members. Also regular re-evaluation of old decisions with experience.

AAA Community of Practice sponsors - Manager level. Governance at manager level - cross college.
- If did it again - would focus more on the enterprise level. Lacking Bill-back structure and selling that idea.

Problems with streamlining technologies?
- Decisions already made by IT departments. Community of Practice - What and WHEN do you use the technologies.

Representatives for making decisions on technologies?
- Yes - Shawn a member of that group. They were moving from Centralized to Decentralized with the university structure. Now becoming more centralized to address technical issues and more consistency with product.

- The Technology sub-committee were the ones who did later recommendation and testing with the products with their own tools (Captivate into the LMS, as example).

A View from the Trenches of Simulation Development

Presentation: A View from the Trenches of Simulation Development
Presenter: Alec Lamon,: Senior Director, Wharton Learning Lab - University of Pennsylvania

Hoping to find another model for the type of instruction our team (and our soft-skills colleagues) hope to develop over the next few years.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Their learning lab is a result of a donor. Part of the computing group in the Wharton school.

- Partnering (with faculty authors)

- Exploration
+ They try different experiments.
+ Faculty just needs to teach. Not need to teach in a particular way.
+ Have a faculty willing to experiement. Some successes and failures.

- Alignment with School strategy
+ Important to align case with goals of organization

- Technology
+ He comes from technology background.
+ Make sure choices match what trying to accomplish. Don't drive from cool.

Exploration
- Always constant pressure that technology magically transform learning.
+ 1950s - TV. Not change way people learn. Just more access. But only 1 way (talking head)
+ 1990s - Distance Learning. Tried TV studio where beam faculty to learning centers. Small geographically located learning groups with interactive videoteleconferencing. Still very lecture-based with limited discussion. (Much like my MIDLN experience.)

- Before - unstructured experiments. Lots of individuals experimenting.
+ With learning lab - help find the experiments that work and try to formalize them. See if will bear fruit in larger scale.
+ "Core" classes - the 1st year MBA classes. When looking for impact - looking for impact in Core classes - will touch all MBA students.

Agreement: School / faculty author gets resources from Lab, but school owns the intellectual property of the result.

Why some experiments don't work - does not align with strategy of school.
- Your experiments should match the goals of the org.

Wharton Business School / Learning Lab
- World Class Faculty / Faculty acceptance and adoption
+ Don't want to embarras the faculty
+ Very important that what Lab adds works. No point in student doing pre-reading then the meat and potatoes of the course not work.

- World-class education / Increase student engagement
+ Intersperse cases with games etc.

- Brand / External adoption
+ Being able to have stuff used at other schools with Wharton's name is a huge brand builder (and $$$$$$)

Match strengths of school - Educational Methods. Try to do this with their projects and measure against some of these design goals. (Not trying to match ALL design goals, but usually apply 2-3 goals per project. Wish the graphic was posted).
- Open ended outcomes - may not necessarily be the greatest number, but also graded on the strategy.

- What's the point - not give the point up front, allow faculty member and students to analyze resulting data together.

- More than meets the eye - not give the variables up front. Hide information may have at the beginning at a half-way point.

- Just do it - actually do and participate in the actual theory

- Encourage dialog and discussion - Can assign item and discuss with rules (student-generated) and how the team will accomplish the item. Can show group results. Can change rules as see results. All must work together.

Faculty Acceptance and Adoption
- Over 30 applications. MOST in use. 50% of ones aren't used because faculty left and no-one pick up ap. 50% didn't work (technically, pedagogically, or process failure)

Student Reaction
- 83% students said computer/web-base tools increase attention and engagement
- 78% satisfied. 5% negative, rest neutral
- in past 2-3 years, student clubs approach to use applications outside of classroom.

(Most of Wharton Lab's applications are PART of class. Not the entire class. Still need good instructional design and overall course structure).

Metrics to start for satisfaction
1) Getting into core classes. Within first 2 years.
2) No real metrics set (ie - want 60% of students be happy)
3) Faculty - wanted to have proposals increase over time. In beginning - 3. Now - 13. Success = more proposals each year.

External adoption = internal respect (esp. when others pay for it!!!)
- OTIS - commercial application. Bundled with textbook. 9,000 students in past 5 years.
- Stanford, ISB, INSEAD also using applications. Leveraging faculty/author relationships.
- Not commercialize more because realize it's a much larger than thought. Found external-focus split team too much during OTIS experience.
- Don't forget your vendors (Adobe).
- Can also leverage expertise in the tools.

Partnering with Faculty
- Can't get SMEs to join you - have nothing.
- Where to start?
+ Core classes
+ Find the more developed experiements. Faculty doing stuff - but not in good form (paper-based games, excel).
+Find prototypes - low-hanging fruit
- Extend depth, not reach (is this a problem most eLearning has had in terms of faculty adoption? Focus on reach, not depth - improving what they already do?)

Paper-based games and protypes are your friend.

(Is your solution going to make the faculty's life easier? This may be a primary question for adoption.)

Successful gating process
- Method to submit proposals. Refine. Academic directors and faculty approval committee make the decision as to whether to pursue the project.

Worst thing you can do - be in the "wrong quadrant".
- Faculty expects the world (high expectations) - but won't do anything about it (low engagement).
- Faculty must be highly engaged, while expecting a lot.
- Don't go begging for projects. Faculty feel like they are doing YOU a favor.
- Trust your technology instincts. May not know pedagogy, but do know technology. Do NOT let faculty make technology choices for you.
- Scope creep - have to stick to specs and make sure they are reasonable - esp. timeline.

Early Pitfalls
- From 2nd round of proposals. Begged for projects.
- Faculty said want all 800 students to play this, real time. No time in class so much do from home (on web).
- Technologists knew real-time data over web not very doable at time (2002). Said OK anyway.
- E-mails from faculty wanting more stuff too. Kept saying OK.
- Conclusion - didn't work pedagogically, didn't work technically (crashed servers), students very upset.
- Never used again.

How much flexibility does faculty have after "Approval Process" to make changes before Beta.
- Try to have signed letter with specifications early in project.
- Learned to say "No" to faculty.
- Must demonstrate what asking for will affect timeline and/or functionality.
- Academic directors can also serve as mediators. Problem children to them.

As a result of learning to say "No," gained reputation for knowing what doing.
- Expanded consulting services (6 years later)
- Enhancements to 3rd party aps.
- Advice on simulation choices and management
- Earlier intervention to impact decision-making

Technology
- 3 main factors
+ Hardware - leverage infrastructure have (not a hardware shop).
+ Software - use standard tools unless something very particular. Tools match what organization already has. ColdFusion, Flash. Has flexibility, but most data-driven, web-based and had infrastructure.
+ Human (DON'T IGNORE THIS!!!)

Team
- Strong technical skills. Database-design (ground-up), PHP, ColdFusion.
- Strong dedication to customer service. No separate technical support line.
- Quick studies with diverse interests. Don't know where next project coming from. Must quickly understand what faculty trying to get across.

Software choices
- Phase 1 - ColdFusion + Flash. Game more flexible web app development.Allowed to build interactivity

- Phase 2 - Flash + Remoting. Finer control of interactivity. Caveats - interactivity creep and too time consuming. Build usually 5-6 months time, Flash took longer. "Magpie development" - adding cool shiny things that don't add to the application, may even hurt (i.e. pegging the processor).

Technology must be in service of the learning!!!

- Phase 3 - Flex + Data Services. Must faster way of developing rich apps.

Little surface commonality. Underneath - similar techniques.
As much code reuse as possible.

Everything they do is custom development. Choice made early on. Not sure if it was right choice.
- Because on diverse set of databases, can't really do externally. Lots of faculty support for each application, especially in early going.

Revision process - communicating with faculty
- Built own bug-tracking software (not sure why).
- Faculty - email or meetings. Encourage to get up and go over. Use teaching schedule and meet after class.

The applications designed to be used by faculty member - can't just use out of the box. (Another problem with scalability). Lots of faculty training before let them loose.

7 developers + director
- Director still does some development
- Everyone else does everything (meet with faculty, databases, ColdFusion coding, testing, support). Plus most people like doing the design piece.
- Silos - harder to keep people happy.

Measurements - nothing formal, but should. Do the one survey.

Conference handouts