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Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

I just returned from San Jose, where I was in attendance at Brandon Hall’s Innovations in Learning Conference. I had a great time, connected with some of our clients, and also gave a presentation. I think that training folk are sort of a tough crowd—many of them have teaching and facilitating backgrounds so it can be a little daunting. I talked about remixing instructional design. We played mashups from DJ Clivester and DJ Schmolli. I even threatened to do an Ellen-DeGeneres-style dance routine. Mostly, I spoke about some of the consulting work that Allen has been doing related to 2.0 technologies and how to bring them into the overall mix of instructional strategies that we use with our learners. We talked about the need to mix at two levels—both at the level of learners and at the level of designers. Learners need to be able to create more robust profiles and set up detailed preferences in the company’s learning management system. They need to have ownership over their own training plan and not (just) receive a pre-determined curriculum defined by their current role. The plan itself needs to be more robust—it needs to recommend RSS feeds, help them join a learning network, determine which types of offerings are best suited to their interests and goals, etc. As for designers, I think that we need to look across a broader range of learner activities as we design a curriculum. Some portions of the curriculum need to be made available in multiple formats, and they may even need to shift their role, taking on additional responsibilities as learning content managers and not just as designers. If you’re interested, you can learn more in the handouts from the session . Of course, I’ve stripped out some of the client-proprietary examples but you’ll still get the idea.