Supporting Your Support Personnel

Prepare yourselves, because this is going to be a venting post. Whether you’re in HR, Training, Learning, or some other type of support personnel, this post is for you. I speak from experience, having spent over 20 years of my professional life in various support roles. Far too often, support personnel are expected to continually justify their own existence in the organization. In some cases, this is a good thing, as I’ve written about in terms of showing the business impact of eLearning (see eLearning as a Profit Center). But for all of you who find yourselves frustrated by that constant sense of being made to feel like you’re a drain on the organization, enjoy the venting. Continue reading

The Challenges of Train-the-Trainer Approaches

Train-the-Trainer is an important philosophy and methodology to spread learning throughout an organization. The idea is each one teach one. I’ve written previously about this approach, mostly as an internal word-of-mouth way to market eLearning courses and modules in your organization (see Using Peer-to-Peer Approaches to Extend eLearning’s Reach). The real power of train-the-trainer, however, is when people learning something then become the trainers for others. It’s an idea that makes perfect sense, and yet there are some ways that it can go wrong. Continue reading

eLearning Career Guide #7: Education or Experience?

In the last several articles, I’ve listed out examples of undergraduate eLearning degrees, graduate certificate programs, and master’s degrees focused on eLearning. There are those, however, who question whether or not you even need a degree in instructional design of any kind to be a great eLearning course builder. The answer to that is, of course, NO. There are plenty of top-notch eLearning professionals out there without instructional design degrees. But here’s the catch: You DO need the degree if you want to break into the job market. Continue reading

eLearning Career Guide #6: Graduate Degrees

If you’re planning to go far in your career as an eLearning professional, you should consider graduate education such as a Master’s degree. Most of the programs out there are general instructional design degrees, man of which will have an eLearning component built into them. In this article, I’m going to specifically list the ones that have eLearning as a primary focus. Continue reading

Play at Work: Learning from Commercial Game Design

From the training of surgeons to pilots to educators, video games continue to appear in classrooms and often in lieu of classrooms. But are we ready for this serious play? The idea of using video games for education and training remains difficult for many people to accept. After all, when most people think about video games, the first thing they imagine is a teenager addicted to World of Warcraft. Beyond the negative stereotypes, however, some educational theorists insist that games have much to offer children, teens and adults in educational and training contexts alike. More surprising, however, is that increasingly educators are looking to commercial video game producers for design solutions. Continue reading

Training Change Managers and Change Leaders

In the past, tradition often trumped change. In most professions, people chose a career at a young age, entered their chosen profession and often stayed with a single employer for life. In the 21st century, fewer workers than ever before work for a single employer throughout their career and fewer organizations believe that tradition is necessarily better than change. Continue reading

Training the Interviewer

While many job candidates do mock interviews to prepare for the “real thing,” few managers charged with hiring have ever done a mock interview to prepare to conduct an interview. Indeed, it is often assumed that anyone who has gone through an interview is already qualified to interview job candidates, but this is by no means the reality. Not surprisingly, then, stories of job interviews gone wrong are not difficult to find, and bad and even disastrous job interviews are a phenomenon that appears to cut across nearly every type of organization and industry imaginable. Continue reading

Leadership in Creative Industries

Historically, creativity and industry were rarely words uttered in the same breath. Creativity has even been seen as the antithesis to industry. In the 21st century, however, the concepts of the “creative class,” “creative economy” and “creative industries”—in large part due to the influence of business leaders, like Richard Florida and Richard E. Caves—continue to gain currency both in and outside the business world. While some members of the so-called “creative class” are artists in the traditional sense, many others are people whose work is simply contingent on being creative thinkers and in this respect, creative industry workers include everyone from designers to engineers to educators. But with the rise of creative industries and the creative class, leadership models are also evolving. Continue reading

eLearning Career Guide #5: Graduate Certificates

If you want to really nail down the best credentials to launch or enhance your career as an eLearning professional, you’ll want to get either a graduate certificate or master’s degree in instructional design and technology. Not all of the programs out there with those words in their titles have as much of a focus on eLearning as you want, and there are some other things to keep in mind when choosing a program. The focus in this article will specifically be on certificate programs. Continue reading