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Posts Tagged ‘training and development’

What’s in Your Technology-Enabled Learning Toolbox?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 23, 2015 No Comments

Toolbox. Toolbox, Construction, Home Improvement, Repair Tools, - Isolated

Last week, we looked at the building blocks of technology-enabled learning, from elements like learning objectives that are common across all training formats to those that are specific to digital formats, like content authoring tools. This blog will explore more than 60 tools and technologies for successfully implementing each of these elements in your technology-enabled training program.

Learning objectives

All training courses and programs should have learning objectives. This may seem obvious, but a lack of clearly defined objectives, or sometimes having the wrong objectives altogether, is a main reason why some training fails.

The first step in writing learning objectives for online training is to identify what type of course it is. As Tom Kuhlmann wrote on The Rapid E-Learning Blog, online courses usually fall into one of two categories: information or performance. Kuhlmann likens an information-based online course to a multimedia textbook: its doesn’t teach performance, it supports performance. Therefore, the objective of an information-based course is performance support. Performance-based courses do teach performance, and their goal is to change learner behavior. The category your online course falls into will determine how you present content and assess learning. (more…)



Is the Training You’re Providing the Training Your Employees Want?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On April 9, 2015 No Comments

Head in HandsBefore you read this article, try an experiment:

Go to Google (or your favorite search engine) and type in “why employees love training.” Take a quick scroll through the results. Now type in “why employees hate training.” Notice the difference? Pages upon pages of articles about why people hate training, but on the love side, nada. Only advice on how to get employees to love your training. The assumption is very clearly that they don’t love it already.

The conundrum here is that employees want training. For a 2013 CareerBuilder survey, 35% of respondents said that increased training and learning opportunities would motivate them to stay with a company. Training helps employees do their jobs better, it helps them fit better into the company, and it provides the knowledge and skills they need for advancement. So why do they hate it? (more…)



Your Learning Culture is Killing Your Company

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 11, 2015 No Comments

learn-64058_640In 2010, Bersin by Deloitte published a massive research report analyzing human resources and corporate training practices. The goal was to identify “which practices, processes, structures, and systems drive the greatest business impact.” What did they identify was the most significant element driving business impact, out of the 100+ they studied? Learning culture.

Now keep in mind, that was five years ago — before BYOD, before lifelong learning was being called a trend, before MOOCs and the countless other learning technologies that have fundamentally changed how we view education, not just in the training world but in society as a whole. Even back then, the number one factor was “the strength of the organization’s learning culture.” Today, as the training world is adapting to these changes, having a strong learning culture is even more important for companies’ success.

But the opposite is also true — the lack of a strong learning culture can actively harm companies. This post explores what a learning culture is and several different ways not having one can spell an organization’s demise. (more…)



3 Reasons You Need to Reinvent Your Corporate Training Program

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 5, 2015 No Comments

dollar-544956_640Spending on corporate training is rising rapidly. According to Bersin by Deloitte, corporate training spending increased 10% in 2011, 12% in 2012, and 15% in 2013. The numbers for 2014 aren’t out yet, but they were probably even higher. Wouldn’t you hate to find out that you are wasting your money or your time, or both?

It isn’t much talked about in anything more than a whisper, but corporate training fails quite a lot of the time. It fails to engage; it fails to enhance employees’ knowledge and skills; it fails to provide meaningful learning experiences. There are many, many reasons corporate training fails. Here are some of the most common:

  • There are no defined learning objectives, or the learning objectives aren’t aligned with your business goals.
  • Employees do not have the opportunity to apply what they learn to real-world problems and situations.
  • Training effectiveness is not being measured in a valid way (happy sheets are not a valid measurement of training effectiveness).
  • It’s boring!

Whatever the reason your training isn’t effective isn’t important (well, it is, but that is for another article). What is important is that you fix it. If you’ve been dragging your feet about revamping your training, now is the time to get going. With the pace of change in business today, companies that don’t move forward will quickly find themselves far behind. (more…)



5 Corporate Training Trends You Can’t Afford to Ignore

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On January 14, 2015 No Comments

blackboard-573023_640Last week, we looked at seven predictions for how technology will affect training and development in 2015. This week, we’ll look more broadly at a handful of corporate training trends—still mostly technology driven—that organizations can no longer afford to ignore.

Business-centric learning

The idea of business-centric learning came onto many people’s radar last year, after the Brandon Hall Group did a survey showing that about 40% of businesses were developing their learning strategy in alignment with business needs, while the other 60% were focusing on the learners and the content. David Grebow of the Brandon Hall Group offers these characterizations of the three types of learning:

  • Just-in-case learning is content-centric. This is the one-size-fits-all model that made up the training landscape for many years, particularly with the widespread implementation of e-learning. As Grebow notes: “We took the instructor completely out of the picture, and ended up with nothing but content.”
  • Just-in-time learning is learner-centric. Here the learners’ needs are the focus of course development, and learners can access the information when, where, and how they need it.
  • Just-for-me learning is business-centric. Grebow writes: “There is no point in focusing on just-in-case learning when the business case for the learning has not been made. No need to get that content out there just in time if the learner has no time to waste finding an answer to a question with no relationship to the business needs. What makes the most sense strategically, as well as operationally, is to provide the exact information that is just for me, when and where I need it, as long as it supports the business needs of the company.”

(more…)



How MOOCs Are Used in Workplace Training

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 21, 2013 No Comments

trainingOver the past several months, I’ve written about the many advantages of using MOOCs in training programs and given suggestions for how L&D departments can most effectively incorporate this new training format. In this article, we’ll look at some of the MOOCs that have been developed specifically for training purposes and business audiences, as well as how some companies are already using these courses are part of their workplace training and development programs.

MOOCs for Business and Training

Some enterprising startups have recently developed training MOOCs. For now, these are mostly in the technology fields, but the scope is rapidly expanding. In addition, the major MOOC providers now offer a variety of MOOCs targeted toward a business audience. (more…)



Relevance of Learning versus Relevance of Training and Development

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 21, 2009 No Comments

trainingIndexIn today’s environment, training organizations are struggling to prove their worth. They are also struggling to keep programs going on smaller budgets with smaller staffs. One way to get ahead of this fray is to know the difference between learning and training and development – and to understand the relevance of each in terms of your organization’s environment and the overall environment.

First, training managers should understand the difference between learning and “training and development”. Learning, in general, is the absorption of base knowledge about a particular subject, such as an industry. This knowledge will give an individual an understanding of the world around them and how the organization (and the individual) fit together. Training and development, on the other hand, is the act of teaching someone how to do something, such as a job, or teaching them the skills and attitudes that will have a direct impact on job performance, such as operations, human resources policies, or management and leadership. Let’s look at some examples of each before we discuss their relevance. (more…)



Relevance of Learning versus Relevance of Training and Development

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On May 5, 2009 No Comments

Training RelevenceIn today’s environment, training organizations are struggling to prove their worth. They are also struggling to keep programs going on smaller budgets with smaller staffs. One way to get ahead of this fray is to know the difference between learning and training and development – and to understand the relevance of each in terms of your organization’s environment and the overall environment.

First, training managers should understand the difference between learning and “training and development”. Learning, in general, is the absorption of base knowledge about a particular subject, such as an industry. This knowledge will give an individual an understanding of the world around them and how the organization (and the individual) fit together. Training and development, on the other hand, is the act of teaching someone how to do something, such as a job, or teaching them the skills and attitudes that will have a direct impact on job performance, such as operations, human resources policies, or management and leadership. Let’s look at some examples of each before we discuss their relevance.
(more…)



Competency-Based Training

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 1, 2008 No Comments

Competency-based training attempts to utilize knowledge, skills, and abilities from actual job functions in the delivery of training. By following a few broad-based steps, you can implement competency-based training effectively.A competency is a set of knowledge, skills, or abilities (KSA’s) that a worker must use to function on the job.

In recent years, there has been a gradual movement to utilize competencies from job descriptions in training. This competency based training ensures that workers receive only the “need to know” information, versus “nice to know” information. To implement a competency-based approach, it is first necessary to ensure that job descriptions accurately reflect the broad competencies that are expected on the job. Once this foundation is complete, it is much easier to build a competency based training program.

The first step should be to assemble a group of working subject matter experts (SME’s) in the area to be trained. This group should be a mix of high performers, managers, and supervisors. The SME group should then be facilitated into identifying competencies for the group to be trained. Simply put, the SME group can take the business unit as a whole and decide what knowledge, skills, and abilities are needed to function in a particular set of jobs. For example, bank tellers may need competency in basic financial acumen, regulatory knowledge, systems, and customer service. (more…)



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