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eLearning Producer 2005
Thursday, March 17, 2005
March 15, 2005

The annual eLearning Producer Conference opened to a full house Tuesday morning in San Francisco. David Holcolmbe told us we were here to share with one another. Each of us is a teacher. We are to be aggressive, proactive learners. Hey, that’s why I’m here.


Lance Secretan.

Leadership = teaching = coaching.

secretamThese days we look at the world through a lens of fear. We’ve lost faith in our institutions: medical care, accountants, educators, investment advisors, and politicians. As long as we’re frightened, we have no capacity for inspiration. BTW, when doctors go on strike, death rates go down.

Inspiration is what it takes be a leader. The leader inspires others to grow. It’s for you, not the leader. It means to infuse with an exalting influence or divinity. At the other end of the spectrum from motivation which is me controlling you, to induce, incite, impel.

Lance is dressed entirely in black. His head is shaved. He moves deliberately. His authoritative voice is measured. He is a man with a mission. He reminds me of Alan Watts or Howard Beale (in Network). The rest of the people who will be on stage here are speakers; Lance is a performer.

Each of us must identify our Destiny (why I'm here), our Cause (my magent for passion), and our Calling (the work you love). My destiny is helping people become more effective in their work and happy in their lives. My cause is to change the world by helping people learn. And my calling is to spread the adoption of practical ideas through writing, speaking, and teaching.


Allison Rossett. Big problem. People aren’t engaged.

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In one case, a vendor gave a prospect 400 seats of eLearning. Not one person completed the courses. This isn’t a drop-out problem; it’s a fallout problem.

“I have been having these two parallel dreams about eLearning. One is rosy and rich with possibilities. The other isn’t quite a nightmare, but it has people running down the corridors and bumping into walls.” Allison, in The ASTD eLearning Handbook

We have more and new responsibilities. “An important finding in the education literature is that many students given control over their own learning choose to terminate the experience before mastering the training task.” Ken Brown, 2001

Things have shifted from great teachers to great assets, great learners, experts, great systems, and more. The learner has to make a choice in this model.

Three levers we can use:

1. The assets. The stuff. Confidence boosters, high-value assets. High value = Individual perceives value, relevance, ability to do something at end. Confidence = I can do this. Value x confidence: they must both be present. A tough test can destroy confidence. Scaffolding: Show Me, Assist Me, Leave Me Alone; “Leave me alone” is not available if you don’t have the answer.

2. The organization. Legacy courses placed on the server as is. ”We’ve been teaching time management for seven years and don’t think it’s doing any good, so we’re going to put it online.” DAU is doing this right. Another agency asked to use their stuff and they got a coach, not a course.

3. The eLearners themselves. With relevance to work/life. The Iraq bloggers taking things into their own hands. The ultimate: learning converged with the work. GPS > MapQuest: liked to the task. Coast Guard boarding vessel protocol loaded onto a Palm device. Now they rely on a PDA to inspect and report. Communicate why. Frame the experience in authentic ways with problems, war stories, and vivid examples. Use characters and stories. Make technology human. Encourage learners to be mindful about themselves. Do I know what I need to know?

Altered roles for us: Beyond the podium. >training…many interventions, coaching. Inventory is dead at the hands of customization. From delivery to integration. From teacher to updater, motivator.

Watching Allison teach is a gas. She’s animated, full of stories, lively, continually in motion.

Expanding Your CAUSE Vision, Influence, and Resources

Conrad Gottfredson, Conduit Tecknowedgy
Bob Mosher, Microsoft Learning Evangelist

Content? No, the job is marketing. You’ve got to sell your stuff.

Name your calling. Put it in your signature line.

Internet Time Group:
Helping people become effective in work and happy in life.

Maggie Martinez. Learning dispositions. Learn about it at The Training Place.

’06 for Microsoft is going into the informal learning business.

Spend time studying EPSS, folks. This is what eLearning should have been all along.

Check learning guide by the GLA, the Global Learning Alliance. Part of the Microsoft eLearning Library.

Aligning Training and Business Objectives
Brandon Hall, Sally Crawford, Camille Price

Business mind first; training professional second.

Measure what you can influence.

If things haven't taken hold, you can at least measure progress to-date. What's the evidence for adoption?

If alignment is so important, why do so few do anything about it? For one thiing, it's always an afterthought; you need a baseline from which to demonstrate improvements.

Party, party.

As sessions let out around 5:00, people drifted into the expo area for drinks and conviviality. Schmooze fest. Great party, David and Heidi!!!


Afterward I headed out with a descendent of the Hatfields of the infamous Hatfields vs. McCoys. He’s a co-founder of a workflow learning boutique. We shared a light supper at Kuleto’s and I’m writing this on BART on the way back to Berkeley.

An email that arrived this morning has been lolling around in my head. My friend Meir in Israel was offering feedback on Mark Oehlert’s and my online conversation last Friday. He agreed with what we said but opined that my once-radical opinions were beginning to sound mainstream. Horrors! How can a contrarian live with something like that?

What comes after eLearning? F-Learning.
After lunch, I orchestrated an exploration of the future right after lunch on F-learning (what comes after eLearning). The room was full, the discussion amiable, and several people decided to attend my next session, on placing a value on learning. Joining me a co-conspirators were pals Allison Rossett, Ellen Wagner, Clark Quinn, and David Holcolmbe. We must have set a record for the number of topics covered in a single session.
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to be continued


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