Learn and Lead

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Rapid Instructional Design with Thiagi

I came across this video of Thiagi speaking at UMBC Training Forum. This is a longish video, about an hour and 40 minutes, but thoroughly enjoyable. Thiagi is at is irreverent best as always. Definitely worth the time to go through the video fully.

Here’re some of the things he talks about in the video.

What is contextualized learning? Learning that takes place in the real world to achieve objectives with real world relevance. He gives the example of a course with a mid-term evaluation as a non-contextual learning example.

Content is irrelevant. People Google for content now and don’t go to training for content. Essential thing for Instructional Designers is to create ACTIVITIES and not content. An absolutely great example of leadership training. Must go through the video to enjoy the narration. Another great discussion on creating training on preventing sexual harassment courses in the later part of the video.

Consistency is bad. All adult learners have individual difference. So each learner has to be taught differently and to teach each learner consistently in the same manner is stupid. Each learner has to be taught differently. Trainers must be flexible (read inconsistent) while training.

Presentation skills are not the same as training skills. Presentation skills focus on the presenter. Focus should be on the audience.

Resistance is futile. What is “technology” (e.g. Second Life) to us is a way of life to the new generation. Participants today are free agent learners, they will learn on the job, on the go.

The whole baloney about need analysis and various other types of analysis in the ADDIE model is another dysfunctional area. By the time you finish analysis, content is obsolete.

Know your objective. Get your participants involved. Show respect towards your participants. Balance between content and audience.

Design training obsessively compulsively. Time to get ready for today’s session – my entire lifetime.

Tongue in cheek humour: Those who can, do it. Those who cannot, teach. Those who cannot even teach become instructional designers :-P

A four door model approach to elearning. Opening screen has four doors – Library, Playground, CafĂ© and Torture Chamber. Go through any door in any sequence and any number of times, except the Torture Chamber though which the learner can go through only twice. The Torture chamber has real life assignments, e.g. create a real proposal about a new client and get it evaluated by the sales manager. The Library is the content library that contains support articles, case studies, and job aids etc. for the course. Playground contains games that measure your mastery of technical terms and concepts learned in the Library. Cafe has open ended question, chat rooms, ask an expert, various other Web 2.0 tools to collaborate with others.

How does one do rapid elearning design for application training? Use inexpensive tools to take screen shots and add narration. Take a video of a SME coaching a learner on how to use the application. Final test is to ask the learners to use the application.

Most important leadership principle – people don’t what you ask you ask them to do, they do what you do!


Anonymous said...

"Take a video of a SME coaching a learner on how to use the application?"

Lord help us all.

This presumes several things, including that someone's going to watch the video (how much homebrew video are you willing to watch at a sitting?), that the task in question needs to be learned rather than guided via performance support, and that the SME can make good judgments about how to help someone learn what's important that the person doesn't already know.

I think that's an optimistic view of the effectiveness of video and the ability of the SME to guide rather than tell.

A phrase like "application training" covers a lot of ground, from basic use of a spreadsheet to an integrated system I worked with, intended for bank branch personnel (tellers and loan officers), managers, and back-office employees.

I'm not saying you couldn't take screen shots and add narration. I am saying that you benefit from thinking about what work gets done by whom with what systems or processes.

But that's analysis, isn't it?

Doc WIlson said...

Thiagi throws the sme-guiding-a-novice video out as one of several resources that would go in the library. In the same breath he brings up the good old narrated screenshot/animated pointer approach. Your comment misses his larger point, which is that designers focus way too much on clever content when their clients would benefit more from your applying your talents to designing activities.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

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