My recap of the whole conference is summarized in the title. I attended great presentations on 70:20:10, agile development, mobile (TinCan), serious elearning, performance support and learning ecosystems, but the gap with the audience was huge. When we were just talking before the start of a session, someone said: “I get all this and I want to do it, but I’m also getting frustrated because my clients want 1990 eLearning and not 70:20:10”. That really says it for me. We do have to move away from courses and into performance support, we have to grow ecosystems and the the formal learning that we create must be of a higher quality (applying the 22 rules of the serious eLearning manifesto). Read more »
I was not able to attend a lot of the sessions I wanted because I had a lot of one-on-one appointments today. I did catch a few sessions for you:
Big data demystified
The first session was today’s keynote, by Douglass Merrill. He is the author of “Getting organized in the Google era”. He didn’t do it for me. His main message was that Big data is not real and that you can not trust the outcome of Big Data queries very often. We collect the wrong data, apply the wrong math and end up with wrong results. He did had a cool story about someone collecting log books on a new trade route because he was wondering why these ships had very different sailing times but took (more or less) the same route. he ended up with discovering the trade wind, based on the data he analyzed. For me that was the highlight of the presentation, although I read on the internet that Columbus discovered them.
When to switch eLearning tools by Joe Ganci.
I love Joe, his knowledge on authoring tools is unique. He knows them all. He started out by saying that it should not be the tool that determines the elearning, but the learner, the context and the goal. Based on that analysis you can design an eLearning solution and then you select the appropriate tool. He went over all the major tools and compared them for us, the pro’s and con’s and he demonstrated a view of them. He even allowed me to show the coolest of all elearning software: Easygenerator’s new web edition! Thanks Joe, I appreciate this.
Learning performance analysis. Aligning the eco system with the business.
By far the best presentation so far of the whole conference by Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson. You probably have heard of the 70:20:10 (70 experience, 20 Coaching & feedback, 10 formal learning). It has become a sort of a buzzword, but until know I never heard a story that describes a framework and a methodology to implement an environment that supports this in a good way. They have it. They passed on a lot of information, with a lot of images and I could not capture it all. They run a community (www.applysynergies.com) based on their approach. I will give you the highlights. I will research this more in-depth and write about it later in more detail.
“It is the only way an organization can enable peak performance at every changing moment”
Image from http://www.applysynergies.com/
This image is one of the key elements of their approach. The first green peak is the formal learning (10%). Than you have the transfer to competence and the continuous improvement after that. The last two phases are the 70 and 20, or in fact the 90 because the will merge very often. During the sustain phase you have the 5 moments of learning needs:
- When you need to learn something new
- When you need to know more
- When things change
- And when you have to solve something
- And last but not least, when you have to apply all this
They had a lot more on the ecosystem, but I will keep that for later. I will end this session description with: You have to cultivate dynamic learners that can learn at the speed of change. Love that.
More on this topic later in this blog and more on LSCon tomorrow.
Here is my recap of LSCon day 1.
I kicked the day and the conference of with a morning buzz session. These sessions are not presentations but an opportunity to talk/discuss/share experiences on a certain topic. We talked about agile development under the guidance of Don Bolen. We had a very good attendance (about 25 people) and had a nice conversation. My best recap is:
- All the attendees do see the problems and limitations of the current working methodology (ADDIE or other waterfall models)
- They have heard of agile (thanks to Michael Allen)
- They know they have to change
- And they took their first sniff at agile.
After this we had the formal opening (1500 attendees, 30% up from last year) by David Kelly and the Keynote from Soren Kaplan about Leapfrogging to learning breakthroughs and innovation. The essence of his story is that good breakthrough business ideas always have a form of surprise in them. He had an example of a café in Paris that is regarded the number one place (from 30,000 competitors) to be. He found to his surprise that is was a café, that the owner bought all her beans directly from the farmers. That she had made a whole business of selling these beans and that she had an academy where she was training people from all over the world to learn her concept. Not something you would expect in a café. This sparked the idea of surprise that he investigated more. Other examples are a clothing shop that sells cloth by the pound, a cinema that sells monthly subscriptions et cetera. His conclusion ‘Surprise is essential for all breakthroughs. And you will find that surprise outside your normal comfort zone. He gave a number of nice tips:
- Fall in love with problems not solutions
- People love innovation but they hate surprises
- Rethink your role (what is your added value)
- Learn to live with uncertainty
- Look outside your own culture
- Get your customers inside your processes
- What is your business really about?
For more check his presentation, you can download it from his website. Interesting reading and he is an entertaining presenter.
Next was a presentation from Marty Rosenheck. He jumped the 70:20:10 bandwagon. Core message the formal learning (10) is served by the LMS what do you do with the 90%? He is really big on apprenticeships and has a nice vision of that (learning in the real world without the bog claim on experienced people so you can make it scalable).
He has created a solution (Trek) based on TinCan that supports this kind of learning.
I attended the serious elearning manifesto session. As expected it was a recap of the launch from last week. I really do support this initiative and I do thing that we should do a better job. At the ame time you hear more and more critical sounds: that the initiative brings nothing new to the table. They made it very clear that their goal is the raise the general level of eLearning in order to make it more effective, it is not about innovation, but about applying the stuff we already know (or should know).
This year there is a second conference next to Learning solutions: Ecosystems 2014. It is more on a strategic level. You have to have a special upgrade in order to attend the sessions, build the guild was kind enough to allow me to party crash a session. The session I attended was about ecosystems and was presented by Lance Dublin. For him the term ecosystem was also new, so he took us on a journey to discover it with him. I got from it that an ecosystem is a living and ever changing thing that enables and facilitates learning. It should contain four elements: Process, people, Technology and content. So it is not an architecture (that is part of the ecosystem) but the whole thing. The reason we have to thing about this is the increasing speed of things, our old ways (LMS learning with courses) do not work anymore. We need something that delivers Performance at the speed of need. He gave s an impressive list of opportunities/changes, developments that should be part of an ecosystem: Mobile, Moocs, Cloud, social learning, serious games, Big data, personalization and much more. He also defined the goal of an ecosystem: Performance. He promised to share his presentation, but is is not available now. I will share it with you when I can.
This was a really nice session although it didn’t bring me what I expected from it. It was presented by Megane Torrance. I did expect her to make the connection between agile and lean. I do know about agile, I wrote a whole bunch of post on it. I know a bit about lean and was curious about the connection. Instead she took us through the eight wastes of lean (Transport, Over-processing, Time & Intelligence, Motion, Waiting, Overproduction, Inventory, Defects) and she challenged us to come up with waste on these topics and solutions for them. Based on the info she gathered she will create an article for the learning solutions magazine. So we sort of crowd sourced an article in an hour. Really inventive and informing.
So this leads up to the conclusion of day 1. As I wrote in the beginning of this post. I have the feeling that change is reaching eLearning. But I see only the first signs of it. People are aware that they need to change and that raises more interest in topics like TinCan, Agile, innovation. But most of them are just investigating, it will take a while before they can act on it.
A Learning Management System (LMS) offers tons of functionality. At the same time it sets strict boundaries for learning, often requiring a substantial investment in time and money which is hard to maintain.
We are proud to offer a modern alternative to the LMS: a flexible best of breed, fully web-based (SaaS) solution created by a unique collaboration of three organizations:
- Aim 4 You
What do we expect from a LMS?
- To deliver content to the learner.
- To track and trace learner results and.
- To create courses and learning content.
Let’s start with authoring courses. Easygenerator offers a completely web-based authoring environment that can be used for free or with a subscription ($19 per month). It allows you to create instructionally sound eLearning courses based on learning objectives. The courses are responsive (they will run one very device) and can be published to the web or an LMS.
The second function is displaying and delivering content to the learner. Aim 4 You offers an unique global eLearning catalog that aggregates learning from all over the world. It allows developers, designers, IDs or anyone to showcase content or courses, invite people to follow it, provide more information and / or sell it directly. Aim 4 You takes care of the back office, so no implementation is required, and you get the benefits. And if you don’t want your learning displayed globally, with one simple click you can secure your content to only invitees. It’s as simple as that. Try our service free of charge.
Saltbox offers tracking and tracing Based on Tin Can (Xapi). It offers a hosted solution for the LRS (the Tin Can database) and it adds reporting to it.
So what did we do?
Each of these three companies is a best in class company in their own field; together we simply joined forces to create a complete and flexible solution: we connected our solutions for you.
How does it work?
It’s easy. When you create a course in easygenerator, include the Saltbox (Tin Can) settings and credentials. Then when the course is used, it will report automatically to the Saltbox LRS. Next, you can publish the course into the eLearning catalog from Aim 4 You, with a few simple clicks. Done – that’s all there is to do. No installation, no IT, no coding. This can all be set-up on your own in a few minutes.
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Next week is the Learning Solution Conference in Orlando. I will go there for the fourth year in a row. It is probably my most favorite conference (at my least favorite place).
This year it will be extra fun, easygenerator does’t have a booth there (we moved all our marketing online), so I will be able to attend a lot of sessions and blog on them. As part of my preparation I always go through the conference app, and I check out all the sessions and add all possibly interesting sessions to my schedule, I have selected over 30 sessions in the first run! A lot of them will be at the same time slots, so I will not attend all them all. But it is interesting to see what is there, I’m always looking for trends.
As keynotes we have:
- Soren Kaplan – Redefining innovation
- Douglas Merrill – Redefining Data
- Cathy Davidson – Redefining the Mind
Innovation, big data and our mind. Interesting topics and the LSCON has a great record of booking keynote speakers from outside the world of learning that give you new insights. I’m looking forward to all three. Redefining is also interesting. It looks like eLearning has come at a turning point. A lot of things are going on: mobile, TinCan, workplace learning, informal learning, agile development and more. And not at least the initiative about serious eLearning from a number of our thought leaders urging us to do a better job (and they are right, check it out).
If I categorize the sessions I have selected I come to this list:
|Future of learning (including elearning manifesto)||
|Learner in Control||
|Connect to the real world (workplace)||
Interesting. Last year there were hardly any session on TinCan and Agile. Now I have 5 on topics. The topic with the most sessions is about connecting learning to the workplace (or the real world) also an interesting development. I will check them out for you and will report each day from the conference (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) and will finish with a recap of the conference. I will post these reports both on easygenerator and on kasperspiro.com.
And a tip I have to give to you all, if you want to follow the conference, check the conference back channel moderated by David Kelly, who is also is the organizer of the conference. There are already interesting posts there! It is the best way to follow LSCON from a distance!
Today easygenerator launches the first web-based subscription plan of its eLearning authoring tool. The easygenerator Starter Plan is available for $19 (15 Euro) a month per user. The new Starter Plan offers an eLearning alternative to PowerPoint. Easygenerator CEO Kasper Spiro explains:
“PowerPoint was never designed for eLearning. We have all experienced “death by PowerPoint” presentations. More importantly, learning retention from PowerPoint is low. Easygenerator Starter Plan allows authors to create measurable, personalized and high quality eLearning courses at a fraction of the typical cost. Best of all, no technical or instructional design skills are needed .
The Starter Plan comes with many new features that simplify eLearning design to help authors create high quality, and engaging learning experiences for learners. The new enhancements are detailed in the sections below.
Compatibility with Learning Management Systems (LMS)
The new version allows authors to publish responsive courses on the web (using Tin Can for tracking and tracing), and to any LMS using the SCORM 1.2 export.
An interactive image library allows authors to easily manage uploaded image files. Also, all templates can be customized with your logo.
One of the most used features of easygenerator’s Windows Edition – the external review – has also been incorporated in the Web Edition. The external review feature allows authors to invite anyone to review courses without the need for additional licenses. The process is simple and user-friendly. The course author invites a reviewer via e-mail with a link to the course. A reviewer accesses the course using any browser to open a fully functional course that includes a “comments page” for each page in the course. Reviewers add comments directly in the authoring environment, so changes can be easily made based on the feedback given.
In managing and designing courses authors can set the order of learning objectives and questions. Also, using templates for a quiz or a simple course makes it even easier to create interactive personalized eLearning courses with assessments. And, the preview function allows authors to see the course before publishing it, as it will look to the learner.
The Starter Edition is an extension of the Free Web Edition, launched by easygenerator in October 2013. Based on user feedback, many improvements have been made in addition to new and improved features. These improvements have also been made to the free edition.
The launch of the web-based Starter Edition is the first milestone in rolling out easygenerator’s complete suite of authoring tools for the web. A new Plus Edition, targeting instructional designers is planned for release this summer, bringing easygenerator’s full authoring capabilities to the web.
Easygenerator is driven by constant improvement. The next update of the Starter Edition is planned for April 1st 2014.
Download full release notes here
5 trends leading to the end of the Learning Management System
Amsterdam, February 3, 2014 – Easygenerator CEO and eLearning veteran Kasper Spiro shares his vision of the future of eLearning and learning. Kasper predicts learners will take control of their learning, proactively searching for information when they need it. Learners will also begin to create their own content using smart devices and apps. These developments together with the arrival of TinCan will lead to the downfall of the corporate Learning Management System (LMS).
1. The Learner Takes Control
Learners are beginning to manage their personal and professional development more and more. As learning becomes more pull by the learner, than push by the learning department, the type of content, the planning, the control and even the development method (from ADDIE to agile) will change.
2. Personalized (Adaptive) Learning
Today we are all used to personalized information, and learners will also begin to expect this from learning content. Adaptive learning responds to this demand. Personalized learning is the future – it will be the end of one-size fits all learning tools. Tin Can allows people to track and trace their learning results and experiences in their own personal Learning Record store (the TinCan tracking and tracing system). These will evolve into personal portfolios, making learners even more independent from the corporate learning department.
3. Anywhere, Anytime and Any Device
Thanks to mobile technologies learning is becoming anytime and anywhere. the Bring Your Own Device trend will drive this development along with TinCan (Xperience API) adding to this trend. Learners will not only take control of the learning itself but also when, where and how they learn.
The overall trend of a more independent learner will require the learning department to adapt to a new role. Authors and course designers will become more of a curator. This role will assist the learner in Internet searches by filtering out relevant content that ties to individual needs and curating it.
5. Specialized Learning Material
Large amounts of general information are readily available on the web. There is a need for added value over the ‘generic’ content on the web Content produced by the learning organization will need to build context around it that relates to specific job functions or organizational needs. Many people predict that Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) will have a big impact on universities. I believe they will have a major impact on corporate learning by providing access to general content and information.
These trends will affect the learning organization and the learning software it uses. Kasper Spiro elaborates, “Learning organizations need to make a shift from planning and control to facilitating the individual learner. The current Learning Management Systems are mostly about managing and not about learning. If the learner needs any Learning system in the future it will be a system facilitating his personal development. I predict the LMS, as we know it, will be dead in five years. There might be a chance of survival for the systems that will address the developing eLearning trends. However, I believe the future is mostly in new solutions and not in the current leading Learning Management Systems.”
Read the full article Kasper wrote about the 5 trends here.
Easygenerator is a fast growing software company delivering an eLearning authoring tool from the cloud. As an internet company our marketing and sales activities are mostly online. We are looking for an online marketer who will define and lead our online marketing and PR activities and further build the easy generator community (active users).
Desired Skills and Experience of the online marketeer
- You are experienced in (online) marketing, PR and demand generation activities
- You breathe social media and online advertising
- You thrive in a fast-paced, high-growth software environment
- You love engaging with key stakeholders such as analysts, journalists and thought leaders
- You have experience with and interest in e-Learning
- You have experience in building communities driving active usage and contribution
- English is your native language
- You are (preferably) based in the Netherlands, but if you are in an other country fee free to apply.
- We’ll give you a competitive salary
- You can work from our Rotterdam or Utrecht office, or work from home
Mail to [email protected] (CEO easygenerator)
The new Web version of easygenerator’s e-learning software was successfully launched and announced at the DevLearn conference in Las Vegas last week. There was great interest in both the new Web edition and the existing Windows editions of the product. As a follow-up to DevLearn, we are offering a free webinar in which we will explore both versions. This event will be perfect for those who are evaluating easygenerator as an e-learning development solution.
And we have a special introduction offer for our e-learning software:
Easygenarator also announced new prices at DevLearn. $39 per author per month for the plus edition. Attendees of this webinar will be eligible for a discount, a 12 month subscription to easygenerator for the price of 11 months.
Just click a link and register.
Dates and Times (Eastern):
About the Presenter
Kasper Spiro, CEO of easygenerator, has over 25 years of experience in the field of learning and user performance support. His learning experience ranges from teaching, authoring textbooks, designing and creating e-Learning, knowledge management and user performance support. Kasper’s foundational approach blends together didactical learning principles with output management, agile development, and new learning metaphors to meet business needs.
About the Host
Dan Richards is Vice President of Professional Services with Interactive Advantage Corporation (IAC), a provider of training, consulting and course development services centered on e-learning and a long time easygenerator partner in the United States. Mr. Richards is an e-learning industry thought leader who regularly speaks and instructs on the subject of technology-based learning and process architecture.