TrainingPros Learning Highlights

Welcome to the TrainingPros blog, Learning Highlights. Entries from our President, Relationship Managers, learning & development thought leaders, and other guest bloggers can be found across a broad variety of topics such as industry trends, talent management, training delivery methods, eLearning, learning decision making, management systems, reinforcement, metrics, and performance support. If you have a blog topic you’d like to see or would like to contribute as a guest blogger, please contact us and use “Learning Highlights” in the Subject field of our contact form.


As a self-proclaimed creative data geek, I am intrigued by how making assumptions can really twist communication between two people. How we interpret what another says – in other words, what we make it mean – can take us down a path that is very far removed from the truth. A simple example: a friend says, "I don't like black dogs." What I think she means: "Black dogs are bad."

One of the definitions of assumptions states: "something taken for granted; a supposition... Synonyms: presupposition; hypothesis, conjecture, guess, postulate, theory."

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Mobile Learning? I Did That 30 Years Ago!

Yes, folks, it’s true - mLearning or mobile learning, at least in concept, has been around for decades. In fact, I remember learning conversational Spanish by listening to audio tapes on my Sony Walkman (oops, I think I just dated myself) over 30 years ago. Although only somewhat effective and heavily reliant on one’s dedication to repetition, my conversational Spanish on tape was a form of mobile learning.

So what’s the big deal now? Why is it being talked about so much? Why are so many organizations considering this approach? And why do we have conferences and expos that are dedicated to this concept?

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Is ILT Going The Way Of The Rotary Phone?

Is ILT Going the Way of the Rotary Phone? The short answer is no. Instructor-led training (ILT) is here to stay but less and less it will be the training strategy of choice. We will continue to employ face-to-face classroom experiences for smaller audiences where the interplay among the students and with the instructor is critical to the success of the learning experience. However, ILT is now one of a smorgasbord of learning strategies available to L&D organizations. Ten years ago learning delivery options included ILT, web-based training (WBT) and on-the-job training (OJT). Audience size and location were the primary drivers determining which strategy was selected -- large distributed audiences got WBT, smaller local audiences get ILT or OJT, etc. Now, due to new technologies and innovative ideas in the design of learning methods, there is a diner-like menu of training methods available for learning organizations, including: MOOCs, mobile learning, learning bursts, ILT, OJT, Webinars, podcasts, inside-the-firewalls social media collaboration platforms, Google-like EPSS and more. Further complicating the selection of delivery methods is the new layer of criteria organizations now have to consider when determining which methods are most appropriate, including: learning preferences for Millennials v Gen Xers v Gen Yers, corporate culture, regulatory environment (HIPAA), globalization requirements (localization for culture and language), technology infrastructure, audience size, audience turnover and more.

What are the implications of having more learning delivery options available to us and the plethora of organizational drivers impacting which strategies should be employed by an organization?

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Upcoming Events 2Q'14

Mark your calendars for these L&D events taking place in the 2nd quarter 2014:

ASTD 2014 International Conference & Exposition (ICE) in Washington, DCMay 4-7; More Info & RegistrationDuring this signature annual event, TrainingPros will be a major exhibitor! Drop by booth 536 to hear what industry leaders have to say during our live broadcasts on Business RadioX.THE Performance Improvement Conference in Indianapolis, INApril 13-16; More Info & Registration2014 Training Industry Conference & Expo in Raleigh, NCMay 19-21; More Info & RegistrationmLearnCon 2014 Conference & Expo in San Diego, CAJune 24-26; More Info & Registration
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Training Delivery

Like many of you who have been working in this industry a long time, I’ve seen new and exciting training delivery methods evolve over the years. First, we had the rush to computer-based training (CBT). Then we moved to web-based training (WBT) and the rise of synchronous and asynchronous learning events. Then, thank goodness, we moved to the concept of blended learning and the understanding that everything cannot be “online.” Now of course we have mLearning as well as exciting advances in knowledge management systems. I’ve been part of the training delivery evolution from the position of an instructional designer and change management consultant, an internal Learning Services Director, and now as a service provider to my clients.

There are two things I fundamentally believe about training delivery methods today. First and most obviously, we are living in an incredibly interesting time of technology innovation. The creative ideas of 20 years ago that bring learning, performance, and the work place together are becoming more and more possible because of technology. It’s simply easier and less expensive to deploy training using different media and technology platforms. Secondly, there will always be a need for instructor-led or “face to face” learning events. The design of these events will continue to evolve using methods such as “goal-based” learning or the “flipped” classroom. However, I think there will always be valid reasons to bring people together for the purposes of learning, especially in the area of leadership development.

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