Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another Way of Looking at Learning Metrics

This is part 3 – the rest of my notes. I just wanted to separate out the calculations so that they were easier to find.
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After jumping through the usual higher education fiery hoops to get a room, my university hosted a seminar on eLearning Impact by SkillSoft and Knowledge Advisors.

Key topic: How to get and present metrics the senior execs understand.

There were a number of ideas that I thought could help the community at large. Or at least spark some discussion

Thank you Kevin Duffer (SkillSoft) for giving me permission to blog these notes. Please comment on what you think of these models and I will forward them on to Kevin.

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General trend: more pressure than last year to report. Expect more pressure next year.
- 47.4% - I can report on L&D
- 31.6% Don’t know that I can report

What folks want to report on
- ROI
- Business Impact
- Relevance
- Certification
- Hours / “Pants in seats”
- What was actually used?
- Compliance regulations
- Tracking demographics
- Why employees don’t take/complete
- More efficient data collection

Performance.gov
- Government trying to get standards and consistency

Bersin – 4 dynamics in gov’t sector
- Budget cuts – need to demonstrate value and articulate impact
- Aging workforce – knowledge management to maintain institutional memory
- Low retention of new hires
- Federal mandates / shifting politics

During this turning point, learning investments have been proven to accelerate performance.

Learning fuels adaptability and innovation, improves engagement and retention.
- Needs transparency and accountability
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6 Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning (Wick, Pollock, Jefferson and Flanagan) – link

No metrics + no value evidence = Risks
- Sustainability
- Budget
- Resources
- Credibility

If you don’t have a value story – that program is at risk.
Demonstrate IMPACT
Doesn’t matter how many actually run to the program
CFO – why should we retain this?

What gets measured improves.
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eLearning does lots of things classroom can’t scale to
- Efficient
- Adaptable
- Available
- Scalable
- Effective
- Economic

Department of Education – Evaluation of evidence-based practices (link)

No significant difference phenomenon (link)

If you use Google, you are eLearning
- eLearning = using technology to answer a question or build knowledge

Organizations must embrace this
- Blended and classroom really don’t scale
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FAQs
- Did the program make a difference?
- Recover costs?
- ROI?
- Do we need measurement expertise in-house?
- How do we standardize measurement?
- How do we benchmark?

Findings – Moving the Needle [SkillSoft sponsored, but I think it can apply to any well-designed library of content]
- SkillSoft has increased effect on performance
- Learners feel SkillSoft has impact on critical areas of org performance
- SkillSoft help close skill gap and build confidence
- Highly valued
“I would rather go to Books 24x7 than Google
- Faster and more relevant
- Comments “ was worst, now best” [peer marketing]

Alignment (to org) / Adoption (visible! Easy access!) / Value (measurement strategy)

Focus on the following levels (though most questions will still be level 1 or 2)
- 3 Application – is this put into practice on the job?
- 4 Impact (organizational results)
+ Productivity
+ Revenue
+ Quality
+ Time Efficiency
+ Customer Satisfaction
+ Employee Engagement
- 5 Value
+ ROI
+ Benefit / Cost ratio
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CLO April

Calculating 2 main Level 5 metrics (put this in a separate post)

Monetizing Program Effect (also put this in a separate post, because I thought it was that important)
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CLO December 2010 – Patty and Jack Philips
How Execs View Learning Metrics

Executives want to use more about impact.
- If has impact, ROI is naturally there

The learning industry lacks framework
- measures
- definitions
- principles

Mistakes to avoid
- Assuming ALL eLearning participation has offset classroom
- Measuring all learning programs
+ Focus on the most strategic 5% of programs
- Not being conservative in business outcome claims
- Inconsistent reporting approaches
- Measuring the wrong things
- Only communicating usage metrics
- Not establishing expectations for learning
+ What did they expect they were getting out of it?

To evaluate
- Demonstrate effectiveness
- Improve curriculum
+ Get rid of underperforming courses
+ Improve others
+ Also better with strategy

Talent Development Reporting Principles (TDR)
- Still in Development
- 5 of 7 CLOs of the year help to create and adopt this model
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3 Key Learning Report Statements
- Start with the end in mind

Efficiency
- Cost, # of people
- Activity and investment

Effectiveness – how well learning contributes

Business Outcomes
- Desired business results
- Learning Impact
- Quality improvement, cost reduction
- Examples
+ Time to proficiency – new hires
+ Lost mail
+ Dress code compliance
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Multiple data systems should be used
- Data Mining systems to make relevant
- Process to pull and/or calculate data
+ What is relevant to you? Determine this with stakeholders.
- Find location to pool calculated measures
+ reference easily
+ compare periods
+ can even be an Excel spreadsheet if necessary
- Turn into a scorecard / dashboard

Give reports targeted to each audience
- Quarterly, Business Execs – efficiency, effectiveness, outcome
- Monthly, Learning Execs – outcomes, learning effect
- Weekly, Learning execs – efficiency

It will be a long haul to get everything compiled
- Build consensus around it
- What info do you want?

This is a way of valuing human capital with CFO [basically making human capital more quantitiative]
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Standardize your evaluation forms
- Smart Sheet with at least 1 metric for levels 2-5.
- Roll out to every course in curriculum
- Ask same questions across every course

1) Business Outcome Statement
- In terms of level 4 measure
- Can be qualitative and quantitative
- [What are we measuring currently?]

2) Effectiveness Statement
- Measure at all 5 levels
- At least 1 question each for level 4 and level 5 with several level 1 questions

3) Efficiency statements – primarily out of LMS (usage, completion etc)

Metrics that Matter – impact analysis from Knowledge Advisors available through Skillsoft. Service that will help develop these evaluations and compile data for you.
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Remember to communicate in a way the leaders understand

When reporting upward – consider your audience

Organizational execs
- Quarterly
- Synopsis of L&D (total)
- How does learning contribute to the executive strategic initiative?
- Think long term
- Get prior year results if you can
- Scope and build what you need

Remember to get others involved

Can do dashboard – but limit it to keys for stakeholders. Don’t clutter with a bunch of pictures.

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Skillsoft users – there is apparently a Business Impact calculator available in SkillSoft that is complementary. Work with the Learning consultant / SkillSoft team.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monetizing Program Effect

The university hosted a session by SkillSoft and Knowledge Advisors on learning metrics.

This is part 2.

Here – they are trying to put a hard number towards skill gains.

Comments highly welcome and will be forwarded to Kevin at SkillSoft. I think there will be lots to discuss here.

Below is an example calculation
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Factors
Cost = eLearning cost per license: 50$
[The debate on what costs to include continued. My current thinking – WWAD (what would Accounting do?)]

Salary = average salary across learner population: $50,000/yr

Survey
Knowledge Advisors recommended surveying this in 10% increments from 0 to 100%. Then use the average.

Lsi = Learner’s estimation of Skill Improvement: 30%
Ltc = Learner’s estimation of Training Contribution: 60%
ST = How much of the job uses that skill? : 20%

Hawthorne Effect
Bias = 100 – Hawthorne Effect (est 35%) = 65%
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Lsi x Ltc x ST x Bias = Training’s impact on skill adjusted for self-reporting (TI)
30% x 60% x 20% x 65% = 2.34%

Salary x TI = Calculated Monetized Benefit (CMB)
$50,000 x 2.34% = $1170

CMB – Cost = Calculated Net Benefit (NetB)
$1170 - $50 = $1120
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(NetB / Cost) x 100 = ROI per participant
($1120 / $50) x 100 = $2240

CMB / Cost = Benefit / Cost Ratio
$1170 / $50 = 23.4:1
For every $1 spent - $23.40 returned
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Further notes

You can change the bias. Sit with your stakeholder to help determine the bias.

Hawthorne effect – almost every organization will demonstrate this when you begin to measure. Natural gravity.

Cost – you will need to use the actual cost number.
- The team recommended using license cost as a solid number and divide by the number of active users.
+ Stress for people who access the content – this is what we see.
+ May want to measure what happens if people DON’T use the content
- Again the argument went up that we need to consider other costs and not just the license. [see a trend?]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Calculating Return on Investment and Benefit / Cost Ratio

The university hosted a session by SkillSoft and Knowledge Advisors on learning metrics.

I am going to post this in 3 parts.
The first 2 will be calculations.
The final post will be the explanatory notes.

This is part 1.
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ROI = (Program Benefits – Program Costs) / Program Costs x $100

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Benefit / Cost Ratio = Benefits / Cost

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All of this is in $$$$$

In the example from the SkillSoft / Knowledge Advisor lesson, they just used the cost of the license per user. There was quite a bit of debate over what to include under costs.
- Do you use license cost per active user? Or license cost per all users in the system?
- Do you include the hourly cost of administration of the system?

I’m sure there are other considerations.

What do you think should be included in costs?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Closest thing to an action shot that will ever exist


This was the final week of CrossFit Sectionals. 6+ weeks of competition.
Different workout every week.
Didn't come in last ;)
Part of what I've been up to over the past 7 months.

Very educational.

I learned about:

- Performance under pressure

- Choking (I performed better at the gym, I think, than I did in the competition most weeks)

- The many colors of performance anxiety
+ Never done this before anxiety (Week 1)
+ I don't know if I can do this anxiety (Week 3)
+ Why are all these strangers watching me? anxiety (all weeks)
+ I can do this but I suck at it anxiety (all weeks)
+ I can barely DO this move, and you expect me to JUDGE it?!? anxiety(weeks 2 and 5)

- The importance of just doing it - nevermind how WELL you do it

- The importance of a solid support system (the folks at Potomac CrossFit and Patriot CrossFit ROCK)

- The importance of continuing - even when you really really really want to quit (Week 5, 20 minutes of power cleans, toes to bar and heavy wallball = sucky)

- Pacing (It kept me from getting too beat up or seeing white elephants)

- Taking each day and each event as it comes.

- Focusing on process vs. end goal.

My goal for this competition was to be able to do everything they asked of me. Except for the 110# jerk (ie - getting that barbell overhead and locked out by any means necessary), I did everything that was asked of me.

For this 40 year old former couch potato and kinesthetic moron - this was a victory.
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It was also the first time I embarked on something where I had nothing to lean on.
And something so "out of my league".

Book learning for me is easy.
I trust that I can figure things out eventually with the right resources.

Get me to perform physically, however, and it is a whole different ball game.

I have a lot more empathy now for those who are scared of the classroom or feel that they can never learn or do something. Because prior experience has taught them that the chance of failure is high.

Failure is painful.

Yet if you manage to pass through the failure point, amazing things happen.

You come out of the experience a different person.
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Thanks Nicole for the picture.

And if you want to see the crazy stuff I'm still doing - this video at 1:08. I'm in the grey shirt. And that is 30 reps of power snatch at 75#.

I need to start with my hips lower.....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#skillsoftp11 SkillSoft Mobile Strategy

Presentation: What Comes Next: Mobile
Presenter: Pam Boiros, Tim Hildreth, SkillSoft

Mobile Challenges
- Multiple platforms –
- Speed of technology change / no standardization
- Speed – lack of bandwidth
- Security - variable
- Economics – can assume access to PC. Can’t assume access to mobile device.

2009-2014 Radical changes
- Usability improvements
+ Full-screen phones
- Data intensive devices
- Increasing broadband availability
- Rise of the tablets

More companies deploying phones to more people

Some companies figuring out how to incorporate employee own phones

Mobile as subset of learning portability
- Another dimension of getting stuff to people
- Can mean courses on the laptop (downloads) and synch
- Chapters and videos are portable (Books 24x7)
+ Chapters as PDFs
+ Leadership development channel
- Books 24x7 – mobile browser interface
+ Native iPad support
+ Kindle and eReader compatability

Mobile learning is not a one size fits all solution
- Pure learning and assessment
- Reinforcement / Refreshers (Learning Nuggets)
- Performance support / job aids (no more than 5 min long)
- Data collection / surveys and analysis

Mobile learning framework
- Supplements but does not replace traditional eLearning
- Component of corporate “learning ecosystem”
- Tracking and reporting remain key
- Appropriate content, appropriate device, appropriate time
- Must be simple

Device support
- iPhone (3 or 4), iPad, iPod
- Blackberry’s newest phones + Playbook
- Android phones and tablets (2.3 or higher)

2 pronged
- Server-based solution for broad support
- If needed, light-weight apps for select devices to support download, notifications, and seamless login
+ Mostly browser-based, html 5 solution. Moving away from apps. Want to be more OS independent
+ Big challenges for app – have to go through the specific “market” (like iTunes)
+ Want them to hit standard SkillPort URL

Supported Content
- PowerPoint
- Audio
- Video
- Mult choice and short answer questions

Focused on getting customer content that can be pushed out vs. SkillPort content
- Product updates
- Podcasts
- Assessments

SkillSoft content that they are focusing on making mobile (phase 1)
- Books 24x7
- LDC
- SkillBriefs

Dialog Design (6.0, Aug / Sept) – to be mobile tool
- Will support audio and video
- Remember: Flash won’t play on Apple devices
- Direct publish capability being put in
- Can assign just like any other content in system

SkillPort 7.3 – main mobile enabled SkillPort
+ optimized for smartphones – can get view based on how access SkillPort
+ Phase 2 update release – optimized for tablets
+ Assign msparks to learners like any other content
+ Search, MyPlan, MyProgress [won’t see most of the SkillPort tutorial library. Can find and put in MyPlan for later]

3rd party LMSs – still tricky space. Mobile accessibility dependent upon which one you are using.

Future thoughts
- SkillSoft content – not viable until tablets hit the market. Phones too small for courses.
- many hurdles
+ Limited flash support
+ Limited support for Java applets
- Research projects focused on Business Skills library
- What will it take to get library of content and tweak? No dates, but pursuing.

Can see new ways to re-engage learners with the touch screen vs. mouse interaction

Stuff to think about
- Do you have an active initiative around mobile? In organization? In training?
- Are you thinking about phones? Tablets? Both?
- Have you standardized on any particular devices?
- Have you thought about the kinds of resources you think make sense for mobile delivery? Learning? Performance support? Assessments?
- Are you plugged into your IT department? What are THEY thinking (since they will have to support you)

Skillport#p11 The 2020 Workplace

Presentation: The 2020 Workplace
Presenter: Jeanne Meister

[Left briefly at the beginning of the presentation]
What is life going to be like in 2020?

25% of workday – looking for answers to questions

For a 1000 workers – inability to quickly find answers is millions of dollars of lost productivity

Want to have their work life look a lot like their home like
- Same productivity tools as personal life (Wikipedia, facebook, google, etc)
- Same tools (mac, iPhone, etc) Stressing IT policy and security.

2020
- “Training department” – not resonate. Training is part of the job.
- Work/life balance is dated. Work is PART of life.
- REAL issue – work/life flexibility
- LEARNING IS PART OF WORK

2020 – Participation revolution
- Revolutions are happening faster
- From 100s of years to 10s of years to a few years
- Consumer experience will have tremendous impact on learning
- We are creating experiences to change attitudes and behaviors

Author used twitter for research with hash tags

What is interesting is not QUANTITY of YouTube
- Young adults using YouTube for How To videos.
+ Learning to DRIVE in YouTube video
- Can learn ANYTHING on YouTube
- Some companies – for each course in curriculum, looking at what is out there on YouTube that can be vetted and brought in as pre-work

Use what is already available

What is the impact on learning of all this participation
- IT concept – Consumerization of IT. We bring our needs to the IT dept. and uses and saying “This is what I want to do.”
- Will see the same thing with learning. We want our LMS, Intranet etc to work like Google Search engine

Focus on the experience
- Build an engaging experience
- Should be at HEART of what we are doing

Gamification (points, badges etc) – help us ALL get engaged and motivated
- Didn’t this start with frequent flyer programs? How did our behavior change as a result?

Flipping the classroom – Khan Academy
- Started by tutoring cousins in math on YouTube
- Attracted math teachers around the world. Students see video first and discuss in class.
- 2200 videos.
- He has already GIVEN the lecture. The classroom now the discussion and collaboration zone.

Salman Khan TED talk

3 trends

Globalization – global access to markets and talent
- Everyone spread out, maybe all over world.
- Companies identifying global mindset as a core competency
+ corporate responsibility programs now embedded globally
+ IBM – can compete to bring skills to another country
+ Join resources and budgets – learning and IBM foundation

Demographics – 5 generations working side-by-side
- 2020 Millenials will be 50% of workforce (North America data)
- Attitudes of millennial generation (1977-1997) global

- PEW research survey – How Millenial Are You?
+ How do you read the paper?
+ Each of us is adopting a millennial mindset. We are engaged and using tools in both personal and work life.

Social Media inside the organizations
- Likely to use Web 2.0 in learning function
- 2008 – only 8%. In 2011 – will be up to 87%
+ Text, Web, Twitter

[Used Poll Everywhere to get poll using cell phones – very cool presentation tactic]

Productivity seen as both a benefit and a barrier
- Good that they can find experts and collaborate
- Bad because it decreases productivity – checking out own facebook page and for personal stuff
- Same fears as email really

To address barriers
- www.socialmediagovernance.com
- Make sure working on cross-functional way with Er, Legal, HR to create guidelines and policies to use social media inside org

Some predictions coming true in 2011
- Intel Digital IQ online course – for handful of Intel Spokespeople
+ Media training
+ Eventually expanded to everyone
- Social Media training will be as common as ethics and other compliance training
+ How to be respectful and responsible using social media

World’s Most Interesting Intern – Greg Justice
[nothing like watching corporate white boys rapping about ergonomic desk chairs]
- Found Greg through Twitter
- “When they told me to share my experience, it never occurred to me to write it.”
- So did you get the job at Cisco? “Nah, interviewing to be a Hollywood Screenwriter.”

When you think about learning in 2020 - what comes to mind?
- Social
- Apps
- Gamification – more achievement-oriented learning

Social and participatory now a REQUIREMENT to get a job.
- One company – Twitter ad contest. Send 13 tweets about why should they get a job as a paid intern.
+ Develop blog, YouTube channel
+ WHY should you get this job?

How do we as an organization reduce time between discovery and adoption of new products and services?
- Thrown question to the network – internal and customers

How do we create content and make it easy to
- Contribute
- Comment
- Access from anywhere (incl mobile)


IBM Survey OF 707 CHROs

- Financial performers – 57% more likely than underperformers to use networking and collaborative tools inside org

We will see more studies proving the value of this.

What can you do?
- Be on top of demographic issue. What will next decade look like?
- Are you a personal user of these technologies? Esp social networking tools
- Practice Vuja De – look at something you may have been in before, but with a fresh set of eyes
+ My job, my role, what I deliver
+ Don’t repeat same things over and over

What can Organizations do?
+ Telecommuting Policies and Training
+ New skills for the 2020 workplace
-- Social Media Literacy training tip of the iceburg
-- Develop a global mindset
+ Reverse Mentoring
-- I want to grow and develop through mentor and coach
-- Reach out to younger members of org. Often powered by tech platform
-- Listen to the younger members

Skillport#p11 Wednesday Keynote Pt 1

Presentation: The Future of Learning
Presenter: John Ambrose

What works now, what comes next

The best way to predict the future is to create it – Peter Drucker
- This is why we are here

Participating in the process – key to what we do as learning professionals and technologiest
- Learning becomes a contact sport
- More participatory with our learners

2010 – Year of the user
- Taking user experience with systems and making them better
- Why do we have to deal with user unfriendly enterprise apps at work, but at home our tools are intuitive
- 2008-2010 – users have to be at center of experience (SaaS)
- Web 2.0 technologies weaving into our lives and into user expectations
- Just 26% of US orgs have expert discovery system
+ Easier to find someone outside org [very true]
- We have to bring users and social technologies together in a smart way

2011 – Year of the team
- Learning used to be a solitary experience
- Learning has to adapt to being more interactive/human/social to reflect the way we work (in groups/teams)
- inGenius – social layer. Over 225 companies have adopted.
- review and comment on content
- foster exchange of knowledge
- In highly regulated industry – look as extension of Books 24x7 and SkillPort
- Champion of social technology – encourage purchase [sales pitch]
- Cognizant – 65% under 30
- Have a knowledge platform. Can share knowledge among each other
- Twice rate of adoption of inGenius of most

2012 – Year of the stream
- Learning had to become a more active/dynamic environment vs. static repository of content
- Easy destination to get learning
- Push to other places
- Learning Content powering talent initiatives and applications
+ John Deere – look at requirements / competencies for job and see learning assets connecting to it
+ Cable and Wireless – development plans with relevant books/ plans / etc
- Lots of linkages between learning and career paths
- USAA – core value – customer service
+ Train employees (call centers) – stream bite size learning during lulls in calls (3-8 minutes)

Not as simple as these 3 targets.
- We all have very complex technical environments (Oracle, SAP, Teleos, etc)
- Total seamless integration – the holy grail
- We should be able to aid in that curation process as learning professionals.

What was missed
- iPad adoption – thought was stupid. But bought one 1st day anyway.
+ Completely missed how quickly it would be adopted
+ Companies using iPads as part of training programs
+ Some security issues with them.
+ Entirely new class of computing device. Very popular
+ Still only 20 million total units worldwide. Still small relatively
+ We will probably see convergence between tablets and laptops
+ Companies seeking to leverage tablets
- Take 8 core competency and linked videos to competencies. Access through iPad

SkillPort on iPad 2
- SkillPort working on issues to get around the “not supporting Flash” issue
- Full catalog available.
- Can do search
- Can admin
- Can go through videos (LDC) and launch [did not show actual course launch]
- [Will probably work best with Books 24x7 and LDC right now]

Was thinking about SkillPort on Smartphone a couple of years ago.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it – Alan Perlis

It SHOULD get simpler. It shouldn’t be so complex.

It’s not good enough to get information into people’s heads. We want to trigger their cognition at the right time and the right situation – Will Thalheimer

Thalheimer’s Learning Landscape Model

- Learning orgs have most influence in the learning and prompting activities
- On the job learning and performance – where we have the least impact but has GREATEST impact on bottom line.

Today – we are still in Learning 1.0 . We have content etc

Learning 2.0 – blend and curate assets incl. user-generated content and make more participatory

Curation of content – not about stacking content anymore. How do you blend it in new ways.
- Customize with proprietary

Trigger zone – 1.0. emails, skill briefs etc
2.0 Smarter search – solution is to get better about finding and sifting. Tag and use community. Let cream rise to top.

Performance zone – 1.0. High impact/limited influence. Technology has opportunity to revolutionize this.
2.0 – Sharepoint, some cool stuff around this. Can integrate SkillPort to Sharepoint

Results zone- today, usage. Maybe ROI
2.0 – smarter about learning analytics. More business prediction and performance/focus. Return on expectations (not just investments). Collaboration maps.

If we get good at sponsoring collaboration in enterprise from learning perspective, we will have new insight in how org works and performs.

Role of the LMS in all of this
- Focus has been administrative, managing transaction
- We are moving towards curation and linkages vs just admin
- SkillPort – being able to do basics but also support on demand and blended learning.

Don’t get bogged down by legacy complexity.

Look at stand-alone knowledge centers and SLAs

Gotta make the whole total experience as user-friendly as possible.
- Immersive, highly interactive
- Destination – interact and inter-play

At end of day
- people, content , community together

Skate to where the puck is going
- Social
- Curation

#skillportp11 Wednesday Thoughts

Managed to get a bit more sleep last night. Yay NyQuil. Am now doing a 2-pronged attack with Claritin D (Thanks Karen!) and DayQuil. This with Halls Cough Drops seems to be knocking down the coughing.

I will be skipping some sessions again today to get some rest. I am desperately trying to do the Harry Potter thing organized by the conference. That and I want to spend some quality time with my cousin.

Like yesterday – posting will occur in chunks.

To all of you reading this in the hospitality industry – puhleeze retrofit your expanding walls so there is more electric outlets available in these ballrooms. And better wifi while you are at it. My netbook hates your public WiFi. A lot. Thanks much.

#skillsoftp11 Hogwarts Gaming Competition

Gaming is an effective way of training people

- Out of reach for most organizations – costs of programming etc



Example: PacMan

- No one explained how it worked.

- Learn about boundaries of environment

- How characters behave and consequences of actions



Multiple choice – lose the intangibles



Identify the elements of the workplace

- Learners not necessarily TOLD, but experiencing and learning skills that can’t be taught in traditional manner



Characteristics of games

- Strong narrative – fits in nicely with adult learning principals, esp. relevancy

+ Consequences

+ Storytelling

- Strong characters – you learn about how orgs run by how people interact with you

- Exploration of a world – something learners can relate to

- Learn through Challenges (Decision-making)

+ PacMan – making decisions on the fly and through re-playability, apply what learn

- Risk / Reward

+ Run or go for the pill?

+ Life like that – could be dangerous, but the payoff could be huge

- Scoring – people like to be competitive

+ Folks want best score

- Gotta be FUN!

+ Even simplest game

+ Can you get people to crowd around and try again?



Day-in-a-life game

- Building out a framework that models the workplace

- Give learner ability to perform daily task

- Multiple levels of challenges

- Interactions with customers/ co-workers etc

- Complex scoring



Example day-in-a-life game: Office Galaxy (demo game)

- 2 dimensional avatar cartoon – consistent graphic mood (comic book in this case)

- goofy retro gaming music

- allowed personalization

- Narrative: give background, focused narrative

- Character: Shift leader serves as helper through game

- Character: Manager – will give feedback

- Set your objectives based on the behaviors you want to demonstrate

+ [What is your time scale? 8 hour shift? Weeks? Months?]

- Satisfaction / consequences checks for instantaneous feedback

+ Both graphic and explanation



Think about your job on a daily basis

- 3 or 4 high priority

- 3 or 4 medium

- 3 or 4 optional, but random



How are you going to accomplish more in that amount of time?



Interactive activities



Also have people wanting help (optional challenges)



Intersperse narrative throughout game



[Didn't stick around for the contest. Decided to rest and medicate for this evening's Harry Potter event. Because dangit I am going to get out of this hotel even if it kills me.]

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#skillsoftp11 The SkillPort Roadmap

I asked permission to blog this one on the off chance they are giving away company secrets. Thank you Stephanie.

My cousin was kind enough to come to my room and provide medication and a bit of moral support. Will be hiding in my room for the rest of the evening. Just me, some NyQuil, 2 cell phones, the laptop, the 2nd half of my sandwich from lunch and lots of tea and water.

A rockin' evening is on tap tonight.
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Presentation: The SkillPort Roadmap
Presenter: Stephanie Pyle, SkillSoft
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Over 2000 customers and 7 million end users
- Now in Market Leader bracket
- One of largest deployments of LMS in world

A focus on building highly requested functionality while focusing on simplicity of implementation

SaaS Platform – hosted and managed for you.
- Maybe 15 who have on own servers
o Multi-tenant architecture – at any point you can upgrade, but don’t have to
o Update one, updates all
o New releases immediately available
o Customer data isolation – no data comingled. 2 customers – ea with separate database
Configured, not customized
- Standard operating procedures
- Simplified software upgrades
- Automated business process

Dedicated Technical Expertise
- In depth domain and tech

[showed off SkillPort 7 interface]
- let users drill down using file/folder structure
- improved search [big fan of this]
- resources within search results

Can configure in terms of language and terminology (if don’t like it)
My Plan – add item easily
My Progress – easy view and print reports

Focus on continuous improvement (start in 2000
- Base is content delivery system
- Build out what customers say they need

Learning Trends
- Social learning and collaboration
- Mobile – smartphones and tablets
- Continued eed for ILT, but more integrated with and supported by online resources
- More compliance needs at all levels of the org
- More personalized experience for the learners
- Focus on customer content [yay]
o Integrate and use with off-the-shelf content
o Created and publish by many people – formal instruction, Expert-created resources, end-user submissions

Reporting – start to rollout in SkillPort 7.1
ILT updates also starting to rollout

SkillPort 7.1 – Still in Controlled Release (including my university)
- Early feedback on new reporting being addressed
- Main: new reporting engine
- More complex, but more flexible [personally a fan of the changes]

SkillPort 7.1 – Deep Linking [unfortunately still does not work very well with LDAP]
- Designed to go to SkillPort user screen

ILT 4.0 released March 2011 [also fond of these changes, though I wish I got more warning about the UI change]
- Focus on customer pain points
Conflict alerts – ILT checks to see if a classroom or instructor booked
Enroll at top of page
Course and sessions now collapsible
Better control over enrollment and session roster
Email improvem,ents
Event journals
Skillport company admin can configure 25 ILT settings
- September 2011 – ILT support will be folded into core SkillPort Platform

SkillPort 7.2 – Probably next couple of months. In final testing stage
- Admin UI redesign
o Task-based vs area based
o Drop-down tabs
o Focus on consistent user patterns across all
- Granular object support
o Can assign topic vs. entire course [YAY]
- Ability for admins to assign books to My Plan (also videos and course topics)
- Development Plan Support – collaborative folder
o Shared control folder allow manager and employee to build plan together
o Approval state – approve plan and report against. User can view against development plan
o Learners request Waivers for resources in the folder
o Different from learning program – very specific program. Completion. More permanent
o Development plan is a grouping of resources, but may change
o Company can hide development plan (enabled/disabled)
- External Learning events
o Can now assign to User or Group. Admin can create OR user can create.
o Can create in My Plan or in My Progress
o Learning Events have a completion status and show up in My Progress and Reporting
o Both end user and administrative side
o External learning object – sits in catalog. External learning event – ad hoc [no news on whether reporting on external learning objects has improved]
- New area for Manage Approvals (if using Approval Manager workflow) (in 7.1)
- Course topics and book sections now in Learning Programs. Do not need to add entire course or book/chapter
o Shorter and more focused learning
o Assign course TOPICS to My Plan [yay yay yay!!!!]
o Works in newer architecture. Older arch not supported (like Office 2003).
o If use SkillStudio – will also be supported
o Can also deep link to topic
- inGenius – social learning layer incl wikis and blogs
o Same engine SkillPort and Books 24x7. Single profile.
o Has activity stream that you can make public (also comments etc)
o Community activity in search results.
o Can recommend and like. Report most recommended.
o Moderation features for admin (passive). No anonymous posting.
o Can report comment as abusive
o Basic reporting (most active courses and people)
- Blogs and Wikis in 7.2
o 1st version
o Simple link on left. Can turn on and off.
o Can set up who the authors are in both
o Treating blogs and wikis as content
o Most valuable when use as part of learning programs (not there yet). Want people to start playing with them.

Easier integration of customer content
- Next 3-6 months
o Direct publish to SkillPort from SkillStudio / Dialog Design
o Add support to SCT for new media types
o Integrate SCT functionality into SkillSoft Publisher
o Add support to Publisher for simple publish of passive content (no completion)
- 6-12 months
o Provide seamless login from SkillPort Admin UI to publisher
o Integrate Publisher into SkillPort
o Support custom previews via main SkillPort site (eliminate separate preview site
o Add simple assessment creation functionality to SkillPort Admin UI
-
- Emerging Mobile Learning Framework
o Supplements, but does not replace traditional eLearning
o Component of corporate learning ecosystem
o Tracking and reporting key
o Appropriate content, appropriate device, appropriate time
o Must be simple
o Targeting most popular platforms (iPhone, Pad, Andriod, BlackBerry new phones + playbook
o Customer created content
o 2 pronged

SkillPort 7.3 – Q3/Q4
- Integration of ILT to core SkillPort
o Enhanced workflows & User experience
- Additional reporting templates
o Enhancement to support SARM customer upgrades
- 1st phase of compliance support
o Enhance course recurrence and retake
o Central repository for emails + email editing
- Mobile support and access to My Plan and My Progress
- Streamlined process for self-publishing Custom Content
- Customer Keyword Support
o Keywords against content so highlighted in search results.
o You can customize terminology in system

Mid next year
- Focus on user experience
- Continued reporting improvements
- Increased focus on collaboration and social learning
- Increased focus on Mobile
- Full Compliance support

#skillsoftp11 Hands On Lab: SkillStudio

Thankfully for all participants I have both Purelled myself sterile and refused to actually put my hands on the machine. Left before the actual hands-on portion of the program.

A few notes:

SkillStudio will allow you to edit SkillSoft-generated content [which would be the ONLY reason why we would consider purchase]

Based on SkillSoft ID model.

If building from scratch in this tool, they recommend that the developer have the following skills:
- Strong understanding of Instructional Design and SkillSoft’s Instructional Design model
- Graphics editing and audio creation experience
o Audio and graphics must be final before adding to SkillStudio
- Proficiency in Windows
- Course authoring experience (the interface can be a bit overwhelming for first time developers)

The tool requires desktop install from a source CD.
- Mandatory training with purchase for up to 4 developers
o Virtual – 2 half-day sessions.

#skillsoftp11 Engineered Engagement

Post to blog. Catch up on emails. Eat lunch. 30 minute nap. Purchase more cold meds and tea. Pray I can keep the coughing to a minimum.

BTW – this was a VERY popular session
---------
Presentation: Leadership Development: Engineered Engagement
Presenter: Patti Blasingame, GC Services

From 2 programs into 1 structured program
- Blended eLearning with ILT

SkillPort implemented by this company 2005. 500 licenses / 300 courses.
- Company of 5000+ employees
- Used as pilot

First leadership program instructor led 2001
- Time-intensive
- Time away from operations is extra work for them

October 2009 – Goals
- Increase SkillPort Utilization
- Create a process to engage centers / learners
- Improve business performance
- Improve team performance
- Improve manager performance
- Reduce front-end employee turnover
- Increase client satisfaction

Between 2009-2010
- Increase course access 82.08%
- Increase total users 67.6% (topped out their licenses – waiting list to get into SkillPort)
o They will be revisiting licenses
- Increase completions 88%

Reengineered Leadership Dev process to
- Gain better ROI
- Get more engagement
- Offer more flexibility
- Provide more job relevance
- Reduce time off production floor (if in training class, the audience is very distracted because thinking of operations)

Audience
- Front line managers
- Most have NEVER managed in their life
- Needed to connect lessons in SkillPort to their own day-to-day existence. Context

Old solution – Workshops
- Classes either 1 or 2 day (4-8 managers off production floor for entire day)
- Costly (materials and time off floor)
- Inflexible

New Solution – Leadership Learning Series
- Example – Coaching for Top Performance ILT time reduced from 16 hours to 4 hours
- Benefits
o GC certifies facilitators
o Workshops 90 minutes max.. In-person time. Split into chunks
o Class size 1-20
o Courses accessed anytime – Can do in own environment on company time or outside
o Lower direct costs

SkillPort courses generally done outside production areas so not distracting

Coaching for Top Performance (example)
- 60 minute Intro workshop
- Creating your own leadership Development Plan (1hr) SkillPort course
- Giving Feedback: A managers Guide (4 hr) SkillPort course
- 90 minute checkpoint workshop
- Managing as coach and counselor (3.5 hours) SkillPort course
- Leadership essential for motivating employees (1hr) SkillPort course
- 90 minute wrap-up workshop
o Workshops ongoing
- Assignments from the SkillPort courses done in Context
o example. Managers create OWN Leadership Development Plan for Checkpoint workshop
o They created their own supplemental materials
 Word, Dreamweaver and PowerPoint
- Workshops all about of what they learned / discussion around the SkillPort assignment
o Many workshops virtual
- Total duration of sequence –
o This was mandated. Gave them 90 days to complete the process
o Each center started process at different times (based on workload and culture of that particular center). Managed own timelines within the deadline.
o Current avg time to completion – 60 days

Implementation
- Oct 2009: More licenses
o Develop shorter workshops
- Nov 2009
o Communicate change from Instructor Led workshops to Leadership Learning
o Attend SkillSoft Admin training for ILT module
o Schedule training
o Develop 1st Leadership Development Program
- Dec 2009
o Finalize program
o Load into SkillPort
o Build ILT structure
- Jan 2010
o Publish workshop materials to intranet
o Conduct field administrator virtual training Dialog Live
o Conduct facilitator workshop virtual training Dialog Live
o Ongoing Maintenance
 Setup User IDs
 Reset passwords
 Coach admins and facilitators – at least 2-3 days (HR and some ops)
 Ongoing coaching / support

Mandate to change the workshops – CEO level.
- He likes saving money. They showed how they can save 100k per year by going blended.
- Also liked the reduction in time off floor.

Find she is much more engaged now with her end users.

Pre-Implementation Experience
- Get the word out
- Identify Center Admins
- Add 900 Users
- Conduct Admin/Facilitator Training
- Coaching sessions
- Develop and publish LLS workshops
- Communicate

This program is starting to be done as pre-requisite for management
- Management trainees being encouraged to take this course.
- Remember: they have limited licenses, so needed to prioritize participation
- Once trained in how to use system, engagement easier

The Benefits
- Flexible implementation – can customize to environment and issues.
o Even more engagement from managers and HR
- Workshop roster fits ops schedule
- Certify facilitators internally
- Nearly 75% less time off production floor
- Streamlined methods for building bench strength
- No wasted materials
- More engagement

ROI – Training hours and turnover comparison
- Generally as increase training hours, decrease turnover.
- Is keeping in mind that there are numerous variables [like collections call center being thankless] that also impact turnover
- Looked at all centers individually to also see if there is something else going on with that center
- Used MayTab to create graphs for presentation

Training metrics used in business case
- Turnover (CEO’s number 1 priority)

[Couldn’t hear the answer to whether they measured the managers who took the class and their turnover. The presenter started mumbling when she was answering questions.]

$93,000 saved in 3 centers (attrition costs)
- Development costs: 4 week dev cycle.

Future outlook
- Business impact series
- Challenge series

Key Success Factors = Engagement
- Relevant
- Flexible
- Dynamic

#skillsoftp11 Tuesday Keynote

Truncated - because I couldn't stop coughing and the thing was being filmed live.
Stupid #$*(#$ cold.
-------------
Satellite interactive teleconference event – will be produced in the conference and broadcast out

Will be part of the Leadership Development Channel in SkillPort.

[BTW – the book is free on Kindle today]
---------------
(Shawn – Exec Producer)
We can sometimes get pre-occupied with “the killer app” when we are really trying to connect people with ideas

Connect people to ideas as seamlessly as possible to create behavioral change.

Passion might be what you love to do / your purpose is why the world loves you.

--------------------
Tim Sanders

- Mothers make incredible influence in business world through example.
- Sales and Marketing – fat budgets, well liked by CFOs.

For the training and development folks
I am not a cost center
I am a profit center

A company that stops all training and development – LOSER

I sell business performance
- Breakthrough product development
- Sales – sells bottom line revenue.

Training and development is the CORE performance driver of the company

Build real case studies. All c-levels respond to case studies.
- How did you take individuals from A to B (before/after)
- Singular case studies around different ideas

Tip for HR generalists – to have a positive culture
- Stop hiring unhappy negative people.
- Don’t hire high-performance bad attitude person
- The high performance jerk will poison environment – everyone else will leave
o The manager seduced by the performance.
- Refer him to a competitor

---------------
Leadership Development Channel
[Nothing like being a live audience. Sucking on lots of mints and water to try to keep the coughing down. Good thing I am way in the back.]

The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.
- Challenge the way you see the world
- Combine call to adventure with call to action

Idea: Success is NOT a destination. It is a direction. The direction is forward.
- Remember the mind is a goal-striving mechanism
- #SkillSoftP11

Mark Cuban saw objections as opportunities to shine.
- Not stopped by things that phase others

Grandma – you are either the phoenix or the fire
- Troubles separate the strong from the weak

When something in the economy goes wrong – initially we blame others. As go on – we start to take it personally.
- People get addicted to watching bad news.
- Can’t be paranoid enough during bad times.
- For every minute work, worry for 10.
- Will get into head
- Change work behavior. Go from balanced to workaholic
- Language change – from builder to beater. From rainmaker to downer.
- Life begins to fall apart
- The annual review – so terrible, woke up.

Are you going sideways?
- Easy to spin out of control and wait passively for the next boom time
- What are you NOT doing today that you did back in the day? What are you NOT giving?
- [answer that for yourself]

Principles from Grandma
- There is enough to go around – change the way you behave and acted.

The leader’s role is to define reality – and then give hope.

If we don’t go back to what worked in 2005-2006, we will ALL experience personal recessions.
- We stopped growing.
- A personal recession – when you stop growing for a year personally, professionally. “Just getting by” This is NOT the way to live.

If we don’t start moving forward, we can’t take advantage of the next upswing

Hanging Tough – New Yorker
- Phoenix companies before recession actually officially over. (all recessions)
- They continue to invest in the future,
- Stop thinking short as soon as feel the technicals are sound

We are not pointing the mechanism forward.

Question 1: How do you see the world?
- Perspective determine everything. Language, actions
- Are you scarcity thinker or abundance thinker?
- ALL times.
- Success exclusive or contagious?
- Should information be kept in silo since info = power>
- Perspective trigged by environment.
- If don’t manage it – scarcity thinking is default.

We have to cultivate abundance thinking as the way we see the world – thick OR thin
- Scarcity thinking will eat at your head.
- Focus on what OTHERs getting.
- HR – notice leaders start to hoard resources. Hire too many people.
- Greed is just fear during good times.
- Start to compete. People start to go to war with each other.
- Focus on lack.
- Focus on lack – will repel high performance people

You use fear because it works on you. But it also makes you unhappy.

2 kinds of rich - $$$ rich and meaning rich

Where does abundance mentality come from?
- Deep self of confidence and self worth

[At this point, I had to leave. Could not stop coughing. This is going to be a long conference day at this rate.]

#skillsoftp11 Tuesday

Wound up with a full blown dose of the crud by the end of yesterday. Spent most of the night hacking and coughing. Apparently, the DayQuil I consumed as a mid-day snack didn’t work. Maybe I should bag the pills and just go liquid.

Attempt at hot shower to clear the junk out was also a fail – managed no better than lukewarm. Apparently, one of the main hot water towers failed, impacting the rooms in my section of the hotel. I noticed that the “hot” water when I tried to take a bath was a tad cool. The front desk swears that I should be able to take a hot shower or bath this afternoon. It would suck if it doesn’t work – the shower in my room is large enough for a 5 person orgy. Hate to waste that level of luxury on lukewarm showers.

On a positive note – discovered that one of my fraternity brothers (hi Shaggy!) worked for one of my SkillPort contacts (hi Kevin). I think Kevin was really surprised that not only did I know one of his former employees, I had also known him for 20-some-odd years.

2nd positive note – ran into my cousin Karen. And I was bummed that I wasn’t going to get a chance to see her due to my battle with the creepy crud. At least I got to talk with her briefly. Hope I didn't give her the creepy crud.

Small world.

---------------
Today’s notes may be truncated. I skipped all of the large ballroom stuff until the keynote. Figured the extra rest would do me a LOT of good. I also figured that the other attendees would appreciate me NOT hacking and coughing in the back the entire time.

My netbook is not connecting to the WiFi in the lobby areas. Thankfully, the hotel room has really good wired internet. As a result, I will be loading in bulk. Not optimal, but it beats rewriting my handwritten notes.

#skillsoft Marketing Strategies Part 4

Pascale Winnick, Symantec

Marketing Resources
- Career Circuit - each month focus on a new resource / skill topic
+ Done as blended learning
- Learning Excellence Credits (CEO-driven)
+ Target # of credits per year
+ Approximately 1 hr = 1 credit with some flux depending on complexity
+ Credits also given for training performed outside of HR training
- LED Intranet Site
+ Multiple occurances
+ Direct links (again with some reprogramming by their IT folks)
- Learning paths - tied to competencies
- Marketing emails - upcoming training

Career Circuit
- Skill Fitness for peak performance
- Online pre-work, then interactive 90 minute webinar
- Wide variety of professional skills topic (focus on soft skills)
- Earn learning excellence credits - 1 per webinar

PowerPoint Ad Deck during 15 minutes before webinar
- Gives ad and information for program WHILE waiting for webinar to start
[genius idea]

Marketing emails
- 2-3 weeks before offering programs'
- Templated. Only things change are the 1st paragraph and the link

They use SumTotal as LMS with registration and schedule

Delivery team helps with development
- they want to be involved in creating the training
- this team also in trenches so hear questions and can help drive the topics

All webinars
- Within 3-5 minutes have people do SOMETHING (interact)
+ check/x or smileys or raise hands
+ whiteboards
+ breakout rooms
- Using mostly Live Meeting with some WebEx

Program Newsletter - towards top 15% of employees
- Director / Manager / Individual Contributor tracks
- Also a next level newsletter for that employee's immediate supervisor with talking points.
- Direct links to tools / resources within and outside of SkillPort

Faithful following only happened when blended
- Webinar, books, learning

Marketing emails
- Short subject, call to action
- Clear call to action early in message
- Concise - 25 words or less per paragraph, 4 lines per paragraph
- Peer pressure marketing with quotes on how program improved life

India - not like Books 24x7
- One cafeteria in the office
- Table tents - 1 side ad, 2nd side instructions
- cards disappear, usage increase

In offices where ILT held, have posters advertising tools and courses

Proofing
- Remember the benefit to the learner
- Active voice
- Concise/Impactful
- Positive language (no don'ts or can'ts)
-------------
The solutions here were very similar to Chrissie's for Deloitte. I left a bit early because I could no longer control my hacking and coughing.

#skillsoft Marketing Strategies Part 3

Chrissie Gale - Deloitte

I didn't know we had access to this!!!

People only have so much mind space
- Gotta hit at the right time

Problem with launch-only marketing
- Content gets old fast
- Lose audience
- Message lost

Keep constant flow with different media
- cross-sell marketing and repackaging content
- Target messages


SkillSoft Learning Growth Model

- Marketing must progress through growth model as well.

This team branded the training department.

Studied the audience and what people needed (done by staff of 60 on Global team + 1000+ learning professionals in local offices)
- Newsletter: to learning professionals
- Touchpoint calls - learning leadership in each country
- Email to learners - opt-in
- Face to face visits with member firms
- Live on conference calls and webinars
+ Webinars targeted specifically to audience

Make it consistent
- Look and feel like Deloitte
- Images
- Tone

Cross-sell -tell them again and again in a different way
- Embed in other publications
- Extend reach of learning

Make use of provided content
- Package content into Learning Solutions - ease of access and context
- Created a mini-portal
+ Need to know
+ Secondary site linked to main page
+ Content linked from SkillPort (Deloitte had people program an interface to make up for the broken deep-linking with LDAP. Symantec did the same)
+ Goal: quick and easy for end user

Timely messages, email and Intranet delivery
- opt in subscription to newsletter
- Newsletter 1x per week
- Templated

Inside Learning newsletter for learning professionals
- Was monthly with 5-6 articles. Too long and folks not reading
- Now weekly with 1 article
- Assistance on how to use things
+ Can TELL me there is an event, but what do I do with it?
- Ask learning teams how can help

Created Marketing Resource center for the local learning professionals
- Branding info
- Toolkits
- Flash ads
- Tips and best practices
---------------
This was my favorite presentation of the 4.

Shame they had to get their local IT folks to create a linking interface to get the direct links in SkillPort 7.1 to work. Bah.

Monday, May 09, 2011

#skillsoft Marketing Strategies Part 2

Travis Marker - Chesapeake Energy

We need to pay closer attention to our culture
- Learn from your audience

The need for a roadmap. Don't tell them when to end.
- Define the culture
- Develop a Brand
- Integrate SkillSoft [this justifies this portion of the presentation]
- Transfer the Knowledge

Define the culture - what is important to your audience?
- If you don't define the culture 1st, you are just handing them off-the-shelf training

Develop a Brand
- Market your training department! Market YOU
+ Logos on everything (once you develop one)
+ Templates for all emails
+ National Learning Week - get yourself out there (in December, check ASTD)
+ Technology give-aways
+ Swag
+ Table tents, cookies, posters, etc
- Remember: training is easily cut
- The more your employees come to you - the stronger your case
- Gen X and Y crave to learn. Have them come to YOU.

Audience ideas
- "Foursquare" location - your training rooms
- Tweet content with launcher
- Shoot short video of your SMEs (3-5 minutes)
+ Mobile
+ Knowledge management
+ Focus on short tips

Integrate SkillSoft - meets requirement for flexibility
- Rebrand and make SkillSoft / SkillPort invisible
- Support
+ Executive summaries
+ Online courses / video
- Research (the training dept can help with that too!)
+ Books 24/7
+ Knowledge Centers
- Certify
+ Knowledge Centers

Transfer the knowledge
- Still working on ways to transfer organizational knowledge from the traditionalists / boomers to the Gen X/Y folks

Chesapeake uses a SharePoint Portal page as their front end, masked so it doesn't look like SharePoint. Integrated with SkillPort.
-------------
Sorry all - this presentation left me cold. Wasn't certain where he was headed with this. Particularly discussions around his company's fabulous wellness program and what our own companies are doing.

Maybe I'm just cranky.

#skillsoft Marketing Strategies Part 1

I should be at the welcome reception right now. Networking, schmoozing, etc. What I had hoped was allergies has turned into a full blown head cold.

Since I seriously doubt my employers will allow me to expense NyQuil and hard candies as a meal, I am eating some soup, some Corn Nuts and some Arizona Green tea.

The brunette in the ponytail and glasses coughing near the power outlets. That's me. Hopefully some rest and lots of chicken soup will knock this thing out.
-------------------
Brecken Pitts, Victoria Shelves - SkillSoft

1) Effective marketing depends on what happens BEFORE the creative work begins
- Talk to your learning consultant for help planning

2) Think of your audience
- Who is your target audience?
- Why would they be interested?
- Use language they would use
- Create "Personas"
+ What is that audience's greatest issue? Time to do the tutorials? Technology barrier? "I learn better in a classroom?"

3) Focus on a SINGLE message
- One strong value proposition can have a tremendous impact
- Put message in headline
- Make sure elements (graphics etc) support value proposition

4) Keep visual design clean and simple
- Learn to love white space
- Use proven layout (borrow stuff)
- Think about production
+ The simpler the design = cheaper and less prone to problems
- For web - keep the important stuff above the scroll

5) Make copy easy to read
- Avoid white print on dark background
- Avoid print on patterns
- Don't center justify long blocks. Use left justified
- Use bubbles and captions
- No funny fonts. Arial is still the most readable.

6) Don't forget the call to action
- Make it prominent
- URL or Clickable graphic
- Reward for action NOW
- Action words

7) Choose your media carefully
- Reach in office
- Remind on desk ("desk drop")
- Email - timing is everything
+ Afternoons - Tues, Wed or Thursday best
+ [How can we implement this outside of that pesky Infomail spam?]

8) Start a conversation
- Invite participation / interaction
- Remember the Publisher's Clearinghouse Stickers? More buy-in if they interact.
- Ask a question
- Contest / Quiz
+ Most courses completed? Hours per month? 1st 10 to finish x?
- Newsletter
+ What's new, tips, suggested searches
+ Quarterly or monthly (at most)
- Blogs and forums (if have established social media presence)

9) Design for measurability
- Set measurable goals!
+ Increase usage of ___ by ____ in ____ time period
- Remember: direct mail only sees 2% jump in sales. Set realistic goals
- Test efforts - A/B test
+ Create one thing (like an email)
+ Send out 2 types - changing one minor thing (like the subject)
+ What gives best return?
- Advertising only a PART of your marketing
+ Add online courses to ILT for blended learning
+ Incorporate online courses into Performance Mgmt program
+ Mention in meetings

10) Optimize over time (lather, rinse and repeat)
- Results fade over time
- Continually market
+ Always new stuff (implementations, feature topics, etc)
- Remember: not all problems solved by marketing

Hello World (again)

Hello. Long time no blog (since November 2010).

If you want to know what I have been up to (at least personally) in the interim,
look here.

Let's just say Wendy is focusing on her own learning in a different realm.

I'll summarize what I've learned in the past 7 months in the near future.
Maybe.
------------------
Professionally - I've been focused on work projects. All of my creativity has pretty much gone towards the following activities:

- Creating a mess of new tutorials on topics ranging from new email systems to compliance training + lots and lots of conversions for other groups.

- A major LMS upgrade (that I decided to not write about because it looked like all of the other upgrades I've done. Nothing new there).

- With a lot of help, attempting to fix a couple features broken by the major LMS upgrade.

- Other projects (that I also decided not to write about because it looked like all of the other projects I've done. Nothing new there either.)

- Getting ITIL certified. I can now certifiably destroy an IT department! Hooray!

- The beginning stages of designing a reporting system using the LMS, some of our enterprise systems and anything else that might seem useful. As in very beginning stages. I may write about this once I get a bit more traction.

- The usual operational emergencies. There seemed to be an unusual number of them over the past 7 months.

I also didn't feel like I had all that much to contribute to the conversation that I hadn't said before.

--------------
Thank goodness for conferences!

I am currently in Orlando for SkillSoft Perspectives 2011. I've decided to blog this conference.

Also blogging Innovations in eLearning 2011 again this year.

I hope, between these 2 events, I will finally get some of my professional blogging mojo back.