Transforming your staff's potential

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Complex Problem-Solving Infographic

This multi-layered infographic on problem-solving by Idiagram is a great example of how to communicate a complex mental-model through discovery learning. You start with a graphic of the problem-solving process and text links highlighting elements of the model. As you float your cursor over the links or parts of the graphic, more in-depth information is shared on that element of the model.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


David McCandless at has created a visualization on good information design that walks its talk.

His post "What Makes Good Information Design" discusses and illustrates the four elements that he posits are the foundation to meaningful and effective blending of information and design into data visualization:
  • Form
  • Function
  • Integrity
  • Interestingness
His model is persuasive.

Via Information Aesthetics

Saturday, November 20, 2010

delicious tidbits: Professional Organizations in the Learning Field

The following are links to professional organizations in the learning field. They are listed in my Delicious library under the tag "organization." Each description is an edited version of the organizations' own profile.

The Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research - CIDER - is a research initiative coordinated from the Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University - Canada's Open University. The CIDER Website is an online self-managed research community with a shared domain of interest in distance education research. Within this research community, members have the opportunity to engage in debates, explore research areas of interest, and disseminate research related to distance education.

, Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching, is a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy. MERLOT is a leading edge, user-centered, collection of peer reviewed higher education, online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services.

The eLearning Guild is a source of information, networking, and community for e-Learning Professionals. As a member-driven organization, the Guild produces conferences, online events, e-books, research reports, and Learning Solutions Magazine—all devoted to the idea that the people who know the most about making e-Learning successful, are the people who produce e-Learning every day in corporate, government, and academic settings. Their goal is to create a place where e-Learning professionals can share their knowledge, expertise, and ideas to build a better industry—and better learning experiences—for everyone.

Illinois Online Network
is a faculty development initiative that provides comprehensive professional development opportunities in the area of online teaching and learning to faculty and staff from higher education institutions in Illinois and beyond.

mWomen Connect
is an online community for those interested in increasing mobile access to women in the developing world for their socio-economic advancement.

The site curates research and information on women using mobile technology, the learnings of the pioneers and experts in this field both from the GSMA’s mWomen team and a number of other sources.

The New Learning Institute is dedicated to bringing next-generation educational experiences to young people wherever they are ready to learn: in schools, community programs, libraries, and museums – even the city streets. Much of the focus is digital media.

Public Agenda
, a public opinion research and public engagement organization, works to strengthen democracy's capacity to tackle tough public policy issues. Their efforts – online, through, issue guides and Citizen's Survival Kit,, and on social networks - and in communities around the country, and through their academic arm, the Center for Advances in Public Engagement (CAPE), are all focused on ensuring that the public's views are represented in decision-making.
serves as a neutral collaboration point for anyone involved in Teaching Open Source, to:

* Work out Open Source educational models, support and funding schemes, community relationships, and other issues.
* Advocate for the changes that are necessary to further the goal of teaching Open Source.

ALADIN (Adult Literacy Documentation and Information Network) is a well developed, defined and lasting follow-up initiative of CONFINTEA V (Fifth International Conference on Adult Education) in 1997. This global network was brought to life by the UNESCO Institute for Education (since July 2006 called UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning) and the efforts of many adult learning documentation and information centres.

ALADIN has a clear mandate of UNESCO, CONFINTEA V and the UIL Governing Board. Its various activities are co-ordinated by Lisa Krolak, Head of Documentation at the UIL in Hamburg, in close co-operation with the ALADIN Task Force.

The Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) is coordinated by the world bank and is a partnership of over 120 recognized global institutions (Affiliates) in over 80 countries that collaborates in the design of customized learning solutions for individuals and organizations working in development. Affiliates are as diverse as the Asian Institute of Management, the Ethiopian Civil Service College, the Islamic Development Bank, and Pontifícia Universidad Católica of Peru.

The International Commission on Workforce Development
(“ICWFD”) is a California based Non-Profit that is enabling the workforce of G77 Developing Countries and disadvantaged sectors of countries with developed economies to compete in the current and future global economy. It is run by a committed Board, staff and volunteers who are passionate about bridging the digital divide and providing access to 21st. century employability skills.

The National Association of Workforce Development Professionals is an organization committed to be the national voice for the profession and meet the individual professional development needs of the membership.

LIFE Center(Learning in Informal and Formal Environments) is a multi-institution NSF Science of Learning Center hosted at the University of Washington in partnership with Stanford University and SRI International. The LIFE Center seeks to develop and test principles about the social foundations of human learning in informal and formal environments with the goal of enhancing human learning from infancy to adulthood.

The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. Its hundreds of member institutions constitute an elite list of the most highly regarded colleges and universities in the world, as well as leading museums, key research centers, and some of the world's most forward-thinking companies. For more than 15 years, the consortium and its members have dedicated themselves to exploring and developing potential applications of emerging technologies for learning, research, and creative inquiry.

PROLEARN is a 'Network of Excellence' financed by the IST (Information Society Technology - Contract number 507310) programme of the European commission dealing with technology enhanced professional learning. Our mission is to bring together the most important research groups in the area of professional learning and training, as well as other key organisations and industrial partners, thus bridging the currently existing gap between research and education at universities and similar organisations and training and continuous education that is provided for and within companies.

The Coalition for Self-Learning
envisions and co-creates a world of cooperative life-long learning communities. The Coalition is a matrix of individuals and groups, networking freely and acting in concert in mutual support of the Mission Statement.

ISPI's vision is that members have the proficiency and insight to customize Human Performance Technology to meet the needs and goals of their organizations and clients, so that the members are recognized as valued assets.

's (International Society for Performance Improvement) mission is to develop and recognize the proficiency of its members and advocate the use of Human Performance Technology.

JISC CETIS, the Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards, provides advice to the UK Higher and Post-16 Education sectors on educational technology and standards. This web site brings together educational technology news, comment and analysis, as well as information on our community events. Our aim is to contribute to current debates and future thinking in this rapidly growing and changing field.
offers nonprofits a one-stop resource for technology needs by providing free information, resources, and support. In addition to online information and resources, they offer a product philanthropy service called TechSoup Stock. Here, nonprofits can access donated and discounted technology products, generously provided by corporate and nonprofit technology partners.

National Council for Workforce Education
meets its mission through five goals.

* Provide a national forum for faculty, staff and administrators in workforce education to network and share promising practices.
* Support NCWE member community colleges in their efforts to expand workforce education in their communities through programs and services of highest quality.
* Engage in synergistic partnerships with organizations, business, labor, government and the military for collaborative projects across all areas of workforce education.
* Serve as an advocate and a resource for legislation and policy that enhances and supports student success in workforce education including adult and basic skills education.
* Provide leadership through national and regional research studies, projects, the NCWE Annual Conference, and the NCWE website.

The MASIE Center
is an international ThinkTank focused on the changing workforce and how they will learn and perform.

Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies
(C4LPT) is a major resource site about Social Learning (ie the use of social media for learning) for those in Schools, Colleges, Universities and Business profit- and non-profit making organisations).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Visualization x Storytelling + Interactivity = GREAT eLearning

Here is a site that will take your breath away, both by how the elegant simplicity and combination of elements creates impactful learning, and by the powerful data it brings to life.

"Products of Slavery is an online visualization that takes the data from a report of the U.S. Department of Labor on child and forced labor worldwide, and makes it open and accessible. Investigations show that more than 122 different products are made using child or forced labor in more than 58 countries." (Via Information Aesthetics)

Products of Slavery was created by Anti-Slavery International, the oldest human rights organization in the world. They work at local, national and international levels to eliminate all forms of slavery around the world.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finds: Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms

RSA Animate animates Sir Ken Robinson speaking on the needed revolution on our approach to K-12 education. It speaks for itself in so many ways....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NYT Weekly Health Quiz:

The Weekly Health Quiz is another great interactive learning tool from the New York Times. The quiz is used more to spark curiosity and lead readers to learning rather than assess.

Answer each question, then click on the “Submit Answer” button to see if you are correct. After you answer the last question, click on “Results” to see your score. At any time, you may click the link on the right to see the article related to the question.

The School of Life: Helping people frame life's experiences

The School of Life is a small, storefront school in London focusing on life enrichment programs. It's an interesting mix of services and an interesting mix of educational forms: workshops, classes, resources, "sermons", etc.

From the website
The School of Life is a new social enterprise offering good ideas for everyday living.

We are based in a small shop in Central London where we offer a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well.

We address such questions as why work is often unfulfilling, why relationships can be so challenging, why it’s ever harder to stay calm and what one could do to try to change the world for the better.

The School of Life is a place to step back and think intelligently about these and other concerns. You will not be cornered by any dogma, but directed towards a variety of ideas - from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts – that tickle, exercise and expand your mind. You’ll meet other curious, sociable and open-minded people in an atmosphere of exploration and enjoyment.

Via Swiss Miss

Visual learning and discovery learning blended

Lunch Line Redesign from a recent New York Times opinion piece is a wonderfully simple application of discovery learning theory. Learning is led by curiosity, and information is shared in small, digestible bites. The graphic contextualizes and illustrates the information.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Delicious tidbits: Persuasive Design

The following are articles in my Delicious library that include the tag "PersuasiveDesign."

From Forbes Magazine, " Jon Kolko On Design That Changes Human Behavior," An interview with Mr. Kolko, who is the associate creative director at Frog Design, a global innovation and design firm, and founder of the Austin Center for Design, a school devoted to using design as a means of social change.

From The Design Observer Group, "Design with Intent: How Designers can Influence Behavior." This article questions user-centric design and suggests new design practices that go beyond ease-of-use to a place where design the design fits "so well with user needs and expectations that it 'dissolves into behavior'."

CNNHealth's article "Self-help treatment effective for binge eating, researchers say," provides an example of persuasive design.

From Shelly's Pybop: "The Big Picture: End-to-End Content Strategy." I believe her approach is a big piece of creating persuasive design.

From UX Matters, "Three Reasons Why Persuasive Design Isn’t Enough to Influence Change." This article discusses the limits of design to affect behavior change.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Visualization: using context and comparison to make meaning

David McCandless, speaking at the TED 2010 conference, provides examples of how much more accurate, useful, and powerful information is when seen in context and not in a vacuum. Viewing data graphically and in relation to other data, rather than in absolute form, provides meaning and supports understanding.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Delicious tidbits: The Semantic Web (or Web 3.0)

The following are articles in my Delicious library that include the tag "Web3.0."

From Digital Inspiration: A post on, "Web 3.0 Concepts Explained in Plain English." It includes a comparison of the three "versions" of the web and a presentation on the evolution of Web 3.0.

From Harold Jarche: A post on, "The Evolution of Web 3.0". It includes his comparison of "the three webs" as well as a link to his Delicious collection of articles tagged "web3.0."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Clay Shirky on Social Media & Social Change

At last year's TED conference, Clay Shirky presented on the power of social media as, and for, social activism and change. Very inspiring. This applies to learning as well as advocacy. How do we as instructional designers and teachers/trainers best harness this new model to effectively and efficiently facilitate learning?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Delicious Tidbits: Learning Organization

The following are articles in my Delicious library that include the tag "LearningOrganization."

From Harold Jarche, a blog post on The Networked Enterprise and Learning Support. In it he argues that training is often a solution in search of a problem, and that we need to understand, encourage and support social learning in the enterprise.

From Bersin & Associates' blog, "The Business of Talent," comes a post visualizing a model for modernize corporate training:an Enterprise Learning Framework.

From Eric Davidove, a video on YouTube, entitled "Phenomenal Learning," describing how Web 2.0 technologies can help develop a learning organization. He says, "Web 2.0 technologies enable the development and delivery of phenomenal learning. Learning is naturally a social experience and comes about primarily from discussion, collaboration, sharing, practicing, and feedback. Watch this podcast to understand what I mean by Phenomenal Learning and a way in which we can employ Web 2.0 technologies to the learning experience."

In this blog post, Michelle Martin of The Bamboo Project asks and answers the question: "How Do You Create a Culture of Sharing?"

Edward Volchok looks at the topic a bit differently in his article for eLearn Magazine, entitled "Virtual Teams: Making the Online Classroom a Learning Organization."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cultural Concepts of Choice and Their Impact on Learning and Life

I have always appreciated the adage, "somebody discovered water, but it wasn't a fish." There are so many forces that form how we perceive the world without us even being aware of them, because we are so completely and forever surrounded by them. Language is one. Another is cultural norm. Here is a great presentation on cultural concepts of choice and how they impact our lives.

As an instructional designer, I also wonder how providing choice in learning impacts effectiveness and quality (not only "good vs bad" quality, but the perceived "personality" - for lack of a better term - of the learning experience and the newly acquired knowledge/value/skill.)

Who chooses? How many choices? How do we discern options? Should we always accept the opportunity to choose? Knowing our learners is so important to best facilitating the learning process and understanding the impact.

So many questions to ask ourselves, and so many questions we may not even realize exist to be asked!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Learning from the Movie Maestros, "Anatomy of a Scene"

From the New York Times, Anatomy of a Scene is a great example of self-directed, learner-controlled elearning. Viewers are provided a palette of scenes from a range of films. Each is voiced over with the movie directer discussing ideas and techniques behind scenes in the film. Viewers can adjust the audio levels between the scene and the director's commentary.

You will likely need a NYT account to view, but it is free.

For a film-buff like me, this is a candy store.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Idea that Resonates, and its Implications for Presentations (and Training)

From the Duarte Blog comes a great analogy and concept to improve training and presentations. He asks the question: "What Does It Mean to Resonate?"

Please read his post for the full story on this great video and his conclusions for its implications for presentations. However, I will share two excerpts:

"But what does it mean to truly resonate with someone? While doing research for Resonate, I learned about lovely phenomenon in physics. If you know an object’s natural rate of vibration, you can make it vibrate without touching it. Resonance occurs when an object’s natural vibration frequency responds to an external stimulus of the same frequency."

And, his conclusion...

"The audience does not need to tune themselves to you—you need to tune your message to them. Skilled presenting requires you to understand their hearts and minds and create a message to resonate with what’s already there. Your audience will be significantly moved if you send a message that is tuned to their needs and desires. They might even quiver with enthusiasm and act in concert to create beautiful results."

Creating the right context to best facilitate learning. Or, through the prism of behavior change (which requires motivation, self-efficacy, and skills), infusing the reason for motivation in the presentation.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A visualization debate - Traffic Light Food Labeling

A proposed visual learning "job" aid for healthy eating is debated in Europe. Information Aesthetics posted this article on the EU's proposed "Traffic Light" food labeling job aid.

My natural instinct is to distrust the industrial food industry, but they do have some good points here. This is a great example of weighing the pro's and con's that come with simplifying complex information into an "at-a-glance" graphic form.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Finds: "Analog" Presentation Visual Aids a la Ikea

As Hans Rosling presents on global population growth at TED, he uses what he calls "new, analog" visual aids alongside the "old, digital" kind. It's a great one-two punch.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Finds: Games for Change

Here's a double win: elearning games for social change.

From their website:
Games for Change (G4C) is a non-profit which seeks to harness the extraordinary power of video games to address the most pressing issues of our day, including poverty, education, human rights, global conflict and climate change. G4C acts as a voice for the transformative power of games, bringing together organizations and individuals from the nonprofit sector, government, journalism, academia, industry and the arts, to grow the sector and provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and resources. Through this work, Games for Change promotes new kinds of games that engage contemporary social issues in meaningful ways to foster a more just, equitable and tolerant society.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 Tidbits: Project-Based Learning

The following are articles in my favorites list that include the tag "Project-Based Learning."

Project-Based Learning Online is a resource for all things PBL.

Reinventing PBL is another online project-based learning resource, this one on a wiki.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Finds: The Semantic Web - Making Meaning of Data

Appropriately, as this is a rare 2nd post of the day, this video describes the problem of information overload on the internet. It is a mini-documentary on the Semantic Web, its potential to give meaning to information by overlaying context, and the raging debate over how it should be developed.

Web 3.0 from Kate Ray on Vimeo.

Finds: David Byrne on how Architecture Helped Evolve Music

A bit of a stretch on the surface, but there are implications here for ID: Creating the art to fit the context. To ensure optimal learning, what we design and how it is delivered needs to be informed by the venue/context/vessel in-which it is experienced.

Besides, it's David Byrne presenting on the evolution of music. A great experience no matter the parallels.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Finds: Behavioral Economics and the logic of the small solution

Rory Sutherland at TED.

From the TED site:
"It may seem that big problems require big solutions, but ad man Rory Sutherland says many flashy, expensive fixes are just obscuring better, simpler answers. To illustrate, he uses behavioral economics and hilarious examples."

There is great fodder for thought here vis-a-vis performance improvement. The big solutions are not always the best (e.g. training is often not the best solution to a performance challenge). Good front-end analysis and a presumption of no budget creates an opportunity for creative problem-solving and good design. Learner control over the process (unlock those navigation controls!), immediate & private micro-feedback (automated?), and an eye to behavior change science (motivation, skill, confidence as pillars) are thoughts that flashed across my mind as I watched this presentation.

Forewarning: The beginning doesn't seem particularly relevant, but when you get to the "lentil" story, you've hit the sweet spot of the presentation.

Friday, June 4, 2010 Tidbits: Backchannel

Here is the periodic sampling from my favorites list. This time I chose the tag "Backchannel."

In training and presentation settings, a backchannel is a tool (or tools) or other established process for supporting real-time conversation (generally now online) alongside live spoken remarks. Backchannels have become commonplace in many industries during conferences, classes and other learning/informational events as a way for the learners to deepen/expand their experience and learning by communicating with those around them.

From the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies' Social Learning Academy: How to use Twitter for Social Learning - Incorporating the Twitter back channel in a presentation

From the Free Technology for Teachers blog: Five Platforms for a Classroom Back-channel Chat

From the Ruminate blog: Understanding the Backchannel

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Finds: Connect with Haji Kamal

Connect with Haji Kamal is a brilliantly conceived e-learning simulation that teaches sophisticated cultural awareness training in a combat setting. Blending complex branching, graphic novel illustrations, realistic scripting and dialogue, this training is a great example of e-learning done very well:

Hat tip to Cathy Moore at Making Change

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finds: Sir Ken Robinson on matching education to talent

This witty and compelling essay proposes a complete restructuring and repurposing of K-12 education. I believe it is also very applicable to adult learning, even in the workforce arena. Think: professional development, informal learning, and succession planning.

Sir Robinson argues for building on individual strengths and passions and customizing learning. He posits that this approach will, by far, more fully develop individual talent and human capacity.

Sunday, May 16, 2010 Tidbits: Empowerment

For most adults, learning can have high stakes: professionally, personally and emotionally. Empowerment is key to learning process. Learners must feel confident in their capacity to learn and become proficient in their new skills and knowledge to have the courage to risk the learning process.

Here are the articles I found in my favorites list that include the tag "Empowerment."

From the "Making Change" blog: Four ways to move your learners from clueless to confident

From the "Leading as Enabling" blog :
Learning versus thinking hard

By Andy Hargreaves of Boston College: Seven Principles of Sustainable Leadership

Friday, May 7, 2010

Finds: Performance Gap Analysis - CEO pay vs stockholder returns

Smart research, powerful tool, depressing (although not surprising) news....

From the Bloomberg site:

For the full, interactive tool, CLICK HERE.

via eLearning Examples

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Finds: Wheel of Nutrition "job" aid

A fun, visual reminder that promotes healthy eating. Although the pie chart is more conceptual than functional with regard to portion size, it does provide a nice guide to relative proportion of each food group to consume at a meal. It is also nice that the plate itself is moderately sized... not the charger size dinner plate we've been seeing in recent years!

They were designed by Hafsteinn Juliusson, an Industrial/Interior designer from Reykjavik,
Iceland living and working in Milano, Italy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Finds: E-Learning Examples

OK, so maybe I'm beyond fashionably late to this party, but I just discovered the E-Learning Examples blog. It is chock-a-block full of samples from a range of sources for a range of uses. From customer education and marketing to journalism, from personal development to corporate training. You can browse by e-learning category (e.g. audio slideshow, game, multimedia storytelling), by industry (e.g.automotive, real estate, medical, etc.), by tags, by keyword search and other tools.

Click here to view a great training course on CPR that I found on the site.

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Research Findings on Sleep, Dreaming & Learning Retention

From the BBC:

"Napping after learning something new could help you commit it to memory - as long as you dream, scientists say.

They found people who dream about a new task perform it better on waking than those who do not sleep or do not dream."

The full article is at the link above.

Bodes well for night-school students (as long as they head to bed after class)!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Humor: Riffing on ADDIE

Here's a fun variation on the ADDIE theme, from Jessica Hagy at This Is Indexed:

Finds: Teaching the Critical DOING Skills

In this video, Kevin Roberts reminds us that just about anyone in the developed world can find information on their own. The value of teachers and trainers is helping learners filter that information, apply it to problems and create from it. It also discusses the three most important qualities of effective teaching of higher level thinking stills; tha tthe experience must be: relevant, challenging and engaging.

via Ignatia Webs

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Finds: Riffing on the lessons of improv to co-create with your audience

Liz Danzico explores how these frameworks take hold and what the opportunities are for interaction designers. A great concept for designing environments that support co-created learning.

Liz Danzico-Frames: Notes on Improvisation and Design from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Humor: Meeting ALL learning styles

You've got to love The Onion....


Parents Of Nasal Learners Demand Odor-Based Curriculum

"COLUMBUS, OH–Backed by olfactory-education experts, parents of nasal learners are demanding that U.S. public schools provide odor-based curricula for their academically struggling children. " ...

Thursday, March 18, 2010 Tidbits: Self Directed Learning

Here are the most recent articles and resources I've found in my favorites list that include the tag "SelfDirectedLearning" I include an earlier post of mine on the same topic which provides more links:

Williams Instructional Design: Self-Directed Learning January 2008 post

CappuccinoU: "This e-book is about a new style of learning in which innovative people have combined new information technology with traditional ways of learning to develop a new, personally-driven approach to learning. It happens predominantly in “the third place,” a location that is neither home nor office. The third place is usually a coffee house, one which is designed to serve this particular audience. People gather in their favourite third places to work, relax, visit and learn. They work independently and in groups. Some of them use computers which may or may not be linked to the web. Some are taking courses online; others are writing books
like this one. This is Cappuccino U."

Strong Value of Self-Directed Learning in the Workplace: How Supervisors and Learners Gain Leaps in Learning: From the Free Management Library, a primer for fostering self-directed learning in the workplace.

Mastering healthcare applications: Toronto hospital uses self-directed and computer-based training to meet clinical staff's learning needs
: A case study.

Creating Learning Communities: From A Coalition for Self-Learning, an online resource center.

Beyond Global Collaborative “Units,” on to Real PLN’s: Podcast with Chris Craft: From the Beyond School blog.

The new dynamics of strategy: Sense-making in a complex and complicated world: From Cognitive Edge. From the synopsis:

"In this paper, we challenge the universality of three basic assumptions prevalent in organizational decision support and strategy: assumptions of order, of rational choice, and of intent. We describe the Cynefin framework, a sense-making device we have developed to help people make sense of the complexities made visible by the relaxation of these assumptions. The Cynefin framework is derived from several years of action research into the use of narrative and complexity theory in organizational knowledge exchange, decision-making, strategy, and policy-making. The framework is explained, its conceptual underpinnings are outlined, and its use in group sense-making and discourse is described. Finally, the consequences of relaxing the three basic assumptions, using the Cynefin framework as a mechanism, are considered."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Finds: "Slo-Mo Dogs" Wordless Storytelling & Getting to the Affective

Alright, I admit it. This is an excuse to simply share a lovely dog video in the form of an ad. But... doesn't this micro-story evoke emotion?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Finds: Sam Loman's "Underskin"

Sam Loman has created a great metaphor for illustrating the systems of the body: the NYC subway system. It is a simple and clean communication that differentiates each major system (skeletal, pulmonary, etc.) and organ, showing where they are and how they interact, without the "white noise" detail of classic illustrations. Brilliant.

Click here for a full-size version via Information Aesthetics.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Finds: Temple Grandin on valuing and raising the visual minds

"Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, speaks at a TED conference about how her mind works -- sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids."

As an aside: I have been a fan of Temple Grandin for years for her work to make slaughter houses more humane. This may sound like an oxymoron to some, but any step to reduce suffering is the right one. Hers was a giant leap... and all with ~ or, more accurately, because of her ~ autism.

Sunday, February 21, 2010 Tidbits: Collaboration + Tool

Here are the most recent articles and resources I've found in my favorites list that include the tags "Collaboration" and "Tool." I include an earlier post of mine on the same topic which provides more links:

Williams Instructional Design "Collaboration Tool" post from 2008


From their website -
The Software: Chamilo is a new project that opts for open source in a radical way. It aims at bringing you the best e-learning and collaboration platform in the open source world. At its start it will come in two flavours: Chamilo, the direct successor of Dokeos, and Chamilo 2.0, that has reached the final stages of development, a new taste of e-learning and much more, that will definitely bring fresh and creative tools to you.

The Association: Chamilo is also a brand owned by everybody who is part of the association The trademark is not and will never be owned by a single trademark holder.

Aiming to protect the software and to keep it free and open, an association has been created to watch over the future of Chamilo software.

Key features:
* Easy creation of educational content
* Easy installation on web hosting solutions
* Tracking of users results, allowing for methodology improvements
* Clean interface, letting user focus on learning
* Synchronous and asynchronous communication channels
* Many tools allowing for all learning types (visual, auditive, practical, serious games)
* Extensive documents management

Learning Tools Compendium of Collaboration Tools: From the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, a learning tools directory of stand-alone tools suitable for individuals to work and learn more effectively with others - as well as on their own.

Learning Tools Compendium of Social Networking & Collaboration Spaces
: From the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, a directory of social media platforms that include public social networks as well as tools to create private collaborative, social spaces for groups or communities, as well as enterprise collaboration systems (with multiple groupsites). A free, online tool that provides multi-user whiteboard, live audio, image collaboration, text-chat and more.

Wiggio: From their website... "Wiggio is an online toolkit that makes it easy to work in groups. You can basically make a Wiggio group for any type of group you're in (a team, organization, business, project, social group, etc.) and Wiggio provides you with everything you need to simply communicate and collaborate within the group." The tools include mass messaging (emails, text messages, voicemails), scheduling, file sharing and editing, polling, conference calling, video conferencing, and project management.

Social Media and Learning - Part 3: Collaborative Working & Learning: From the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, the third of a three part article that looks at how key social media tools can be used for learning, development and performance support. Social media tools, support social interactions and connections with people, collaboration and sharing and the creation of user-generated content, and are helping to build a new phase of (e-)learning – often referred to as E-Learning 2.0 or Social Learning.

LucidChart: A free, flowchart/org chart collaboration tool.

Etherpad: A web-based word processor that allows people to work together in real-time.

Dabbleboard: A free online whiteboard collaboration application.

15 free tools for web based collaboration
: From the Six Revisions blog, a review of 15 online tools.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 Tidbits: Behavior Change

The concept of Behavior Change is common to the health care field. Health behavior change counseling and education is used by physicians and other practitioners to promote good health habits in patients. Effective health behavior change requires three components: motivation, knowledge/skills, and self-efficacy. The approach is applied in other areas of education and training as well.

Here are the most recent articles and resources I've found in my favorites list that include the tag "BehaviorChange." I include an earlier post of mine on the same topic which provides more links:

Williams Instructional Design Behavior Change links

Theories of Change: From "Beyond Intractibility," an overview of behavior change theory from the perspective of conflict resolution.

Change your Behavior, Change your Mind: Michele Martin at Bamboo Project re-posts a great TED presentation by A.J. Jacobs and add her own thoughts as to how it applies to social media.

The Performance Chain: From the "Six Boxes" website, a nice model of how behavior produces business results.

The Information Architecture of Behavior Change Websites: From the Journal of Medical Internet Research, using examples and relevant perspectives from multiple disciplines, the article describe a continuum of website IA designs ranging from a matrix design to the tunnel design.

Social Learning: Situation beats instruction: From Theorypedia, a brief description of social learning theory and the importance of behavior modeling.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Humor: Social Media Mullet

Steve Badowski’s Social Media Mullet is all business in the front and a party out back.

It made me laugh, then it made me think a bit about so many things related to Social Media, especially its transparency and the implications.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Finds: On Good Clients and How to Serve them Well

Designer Michael Bierut gives a presentation on "Clients." The first part of this (rather lengthy... I fast forwarded some) presentation is about what constitutes "good" and "bad" clients. He makes some insightful points here and exhorts his audience to work hard to vet for good clients. Then, around minute 22, he discusses how to serve those good clients well. I found this the most interesting and instructive portion of the presentation. Although Mr. Bierut is speaking to "physical" designers (e.g. industrial designers, exhibit designers, graphic, etc.), his insights apply well to other professional services.

2010/01 Michael Bierut from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Finds: What Makes Design Seem Intuitive?

This entertaining and informative presentation by Jared spool of User Interface Engineering on, "What Makes Design Seem Intuitive?," addresses web design, but much of his message applies to instructional design as well. Some of the gems of insight include:

  1. Good design is so intuitive it is “invisible,” like the perfect temperature in a room
  2. You know when design is NOT intuitive when:
    a) It’s taking much to much time to figure out
    b) You stop thinking about the thing you’re trying to do and start thinking about the tool you’re trying to do it with. That focus shift disrupts everything
  3. What is intuitive is personal. It is based on what people already know walking into the process: their previous experience with that tool (e.g. learning activities, web forms, etc.) or something similar and their domain knowledge. You need to know who your users are.
  4. Design is an evolutionary process. It happens in stages
  5. This process often evolves resistance to evolution by vested interests of the current status quo
  6. Design is needed to bridge current knowledge (what user already knows) to target knowledge (what user needs to know). A user experience is best is when gap is nil (you eliminate the need to learn the tool) or so small you don’t know you are being trained

MFA Interaction Design Spring Lectures: Jared Spool from MFA Interaction Design on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This Goes for Instructional Designers Too...

I'm not quite sure I completely agree with all 7 rules vis-a-vis instructional designers, I certainly agree with most... especially #1.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Finds: On Being Less Helpful to Support Learning

In this hour-long (and worth the time!) video, Dan Meyer presents to teachers on how to help students develop problem-solving skills by being less immediately and directly helpful and, instead, guiding them through their own critical thinking and helping them be comfortable with ambiguity.


I found this presentation on the Usable Learning Blog:

Computers are dumb – make smarter e-Learning

That takes these concepts and applies them to the elearning context.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Shout-Out to my Readers

Over the past few years, a small community of readers has grown on my site. Some of you subscribe to my feed, some find my site when searching on specific topics regarding instructional design, eLearning, or other training-related topics.

I blog as a way to share the best of what I find on current thought/idea topics in the instructional design and training world. I subscribe to many other blog feeds and save what I feel valuable to my Delicious library. If you find my posts relavent to your work, you may also find value in linking to my Delicious account and subscribing to the Delicious feed to receive a more current source of my finds, and see some of whom I source for information and inspiration.

I would love to get to know you and why you follow my posts or otherwise visit my site. It would be of great value to me to know what value I add to your work and professional development. So, I ask this favor, please post a comment including any or all of the following:

Describe your interest in instructional design, training and related topics
Comment on why you choose to subscribe to my blog... what value do I add?
Make a wish of what you would like to see more of (or less).

Thanks! I look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Finds: Sushi Etiquette Job Aid

Via the Always Looking blog, a fun example of a visual aid / job aid:

Given the immense popularity of the graphic novel form, this is an interesting (and fun!) style option for job aids for some learner groups and topics.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 Tidbits: Social Media Policy

As social media becomes more prevalent in business and learning, the challenge of creating policies guiding its use, to both encourage and ensure appropriate participation, is of growing concern.

Here are the articles I found in my favorites list that include the tags, "SocialMedia" and "Policy."

Social Media Usage Policies: Less Lawyering, More Encouraging: From "The Conversation" blog at the Harvard Business Review, a recommended list of the concepts a social media policy should convey.

A twitterable Twitter policy: From, a nice, concise Twitter use policy example.

Social Media Policies of 113 Organizations: From SocialMediaToday, a substantial list of links to various companies' social media policies.

Corporate Policies on Web 2.0 : eLearning Technology
: Frome the eLearning Technology blog, another link list to corporate social media policies.