Friday, September 11, 2009

Job Aid for Coaching and Feedback

I created the job aid as part of my job application with one of the Fortune 10 companies. Check it out here.  This was one of the steps in the selection process. I moved to the next level.

I must say, I am quite proud of this job aid because I think it creatively blends various management and leadership theories to create a useful tool for the managers. This is four days of stimulating work. I loved it! I even worked through my birthday for this document. 

I did not get the job though. I lost my nerve during my interview with the hiring manager's manager. The sixth and the final round of selection. I guess I tried too hard and balanced too many things that day for a 15 minute call. I honestly believe the decision was unfair, but then who's listening?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Web 2.0 Learning: twitter

Last month, I read with deep interest Time cover story on How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live. In an example, the writer described how twitter's platform lent itself successfully for an open conversation during a conference. This got me thinking how twitter can be used for learning.

Here are some raw ideas at a tactical level:

  • Reminders to complete preassessments. The tweet should have link to the preassessment/prework. It does not matter if the link is behind the firewall. Only authorized users in your organization/clients will be able to access the link.
  • Reminders to complete evaluation questionnaire. Again, the tweet has the survey url.
  • Tip/tool/shortcut of the day.
At a strategic level, twitter can be used to create web2.0 learning, in real terms
  • Attendees define the course content

  1. L&D* creates twitter space for a particular learning program with access restricted to learners
  2. Instructor sends a welcome tweet with a wiki** link to a draft course content
  3. The learners visit the wiki site and collaborate to define the course content for that session
  4. On the specified date, the instructor harvests the inputs to create a customize learning session
  • Attendees seek clarifications
  1. Learners use their restricted learning area on twitter to ask questions
  2. Instructor reviews the question tweets during logical breaks in the course progression. This provides a structure to the question-answer (Q&A) session
  3. Instructor collapses two similar questions, adding further efficiencies to the the Q&A process
  4. Everyone gets a chance to ask a question at any time and when it comes to their mind
  • Attendees complete the course
  1. Instructor sends the wiki location for the next level course (if it exists) content collaboration
  2. Learners tweet for any followup questions
  3. Instructor and learners provide links to white papers and other related content over an extended time period. This provides for more immersive learning
  4. Learners tweet the instructor for any questions while implementing the training solution in real life
  5. Instructor uses the learning space for subsequent sessions and so learners continue to learn from each other, revise the content, and the instructor has wealth of feedback data for enhancing subsequent course structure. Everyone is happy.
These set of ideas should work well for both ILT and virtual learning environment. Think about it!
I liked on this blogpost on the topic:
Twitter: Ephermal Learning Tool
- Focussed on K12 but the ideas are very easily transferred to adult learning.
*L&D= Learning and development team, instructor, coordinator, CEO, CTO, janitor, whoever...**wiki= I prefer wikis for the stated purpose since they are more efficient for online collaboration in this particular case. However, twitter could be used as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's my downtime

Well, so it happened to me as well. Bad global markets, poor financial results, deep budgets cuts, my position ethered (just coined this word. I like the sound of it)! Anyway, so here I am looking for work. While I want the wait to end, the wait has been pretty good...really! A gorgeous son, California spring/summer, camera, and MacBook with its photo and video editing capabilities, need to take their rightful place in this feel good feeling. Stuff I do these days:
  • I catch up on the latest trends in performance consulting, organizational learning and development, and instructional design.
  • I try out new tools for learning solution development.
  • I enjoy blue sky thinking on the merits and application of each tool in an overall learning intervention.
  • Over time, I now recognize learning leaders as people. One leader I admire tremendously follows me on Twitter!! Cool!
  • I sit back, review, and analyze my professional life, and think about the next steps.
  • I hone my selling skills as I get more entrepreneurial.
  • I meet new people, revive old relations, and realize how important others are to my success.
  • I accept that not all people will help me when I need.
  • I have renewed admiration for professionals in corporate America who work, survive this tough market, and still know how to enjoy the not quite welcome times.
  • And finally, I totally get what Obama meant when he said, keep building your body of work - it is never enough.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Competency Development Formats

I have finally uploaded the competency development formats for everyone's access.
Click here to access the files.
Click here for the related blogpost.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Elementary Mobile Learning

We have used mobile learning as just in time learning for our sales team i.e. prior to the ILT on a new product. The learning level was basic i.e. Knowledge in the Bloom's taxonomy. The important design criteria we considered while creating mlearning modules were:
1. Decide the family of devices you will use it for - the platform and technologies for various devices (even within the same brand) are different. So one needs to be very specific about the devices for which the solution is being designed. This turns out to be the biggest challenge for mobile learning solutions.

2. Identify the precise learning objective. What do you want to achieve from the solution? No really, what? considering both elearning and ILT would be more detailed and thorough for the learners.

3. Ensure the images and content elements are light. Obviously! Imagine having to wait for 15 seconds for an interaction download on a small screen!

4. Plan on short learning modules. Maybe 10-12 screens at the most. It is my assumption that the attention span gets shorter as the devises get smaller.

5. End it with a short 1-3 questions which can be reported to the LMS. You want to integrate learning from different media as much as possible.

I believe blended learning solutions work best since each media brings its own unique attributes. The important thing is to repeat key learning points and move up the Bloom's taxonomy.

It is a complex and potentially expensive challenge to integrate mobile learning for all learners because of the large variance in mobile device technologies. One of the solution to consider in such a scenario is to allow mobile users to access information from a web location (rather than download it on their devices). That might work and could be a relatively less expensive.

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Added on May 24, 2009:
Click here for a rich discussion on this topic at Linkedin. You will need to log into your Linkedin account.