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If You Haven’t Read Telling Ain’t Training, You’re Missing Out

By Harold D. Stolovitch & Erica J. Keeps, with contributions from Marc J. Rosenberg Want to help someone learn? A most engaging and excellent way to find out how is to read this book. If you are new to instructional design, teaching, or training, this is a great book. If you’ve been in the field… Continue Reading

Choosing Names for Your Materials: A Rose Is a Forrest Is a Joy

If you are creating a number of examples, practice items, or test questions where it’s useful to personalize them with first names, it’s helpful to have a ready source of names that help you to make good choices. Here are some choices to avoid: Quirky names (distracting) Unique names of people in the news (distracting)… Continue Reading

Instructional Design Made Easy with KanbanFlow

Let’s say you have a 16-week (or 16-hour) course to plan, and it has a lot of moving pieces: topics, objectives, resources, readings, activities, quizzes, individual and group assignments, etc. And let’s say that you want a flexible way to map it all out as you are figuring out what to do and when. About… Continue Reading

Class Introductions: Save Time & Have Fun with 
Pairs, Segments & Energy

It’s the first class meeting. Most people don’t know each other. Many will work together over the next few days, weeks, or months. Getting to know each other will help. Plus, people often feel uncomfortable without introductions. They want to know at least a little about who else is there. Starting a New Class Sometimes… Continue Reading

Dr. Thalheimer’s New Book About Smile Sheets

Seriously, a whole book? But why? It turns out that traditional student reaction questionnaires, which we’ve all filled out a million times, are (mostly) not worth the paper they’re printed on (or the electrons to display them). Many of the typical questions on these questionnaires do not tell us what we might think they do.… Continue Reading

Who’s on First? Easy Ways to Make Teamwork Easier

One way to avoid general confusion (not to mention social loafing), is to clarify who will do what on a project. I know, this is the most obvious possible thing, but you might be surprised how often even senior people forget to make this happen. When people are working at a distance, on national or… Continue Reading

Context Can Be Everything: Will This Idea Work Here?

Let’s say that you (or someone you know or heard about) implemented a new program in an organization and it worked well. Or you found a helpful-sounding idea in a research article. So now you are considering trying that new idea in your current situation. With the drought, who needs library doors? Would this work… Continue Reading

You Want Me to Learn What? The Rhetoric of the Rationale

Adults especially, (but kids also) want a reason why they should attend to learning something new. The reason we’re learning this is over this way. We use a short rationale at the beginning of a course, a module, a lesson, a key activity, as needed, to help spark motivation for learning. Without motivation, our learners… Continue Reading

Better Grammar | More Impact

Let’s say you are an instructional designer or a performance consultant of one kind or another. Guess what? You are, most likely, also a writer. Better Writing | Fewer Sharp Spines We end up writing a lot. For example: Proposals, project definitions, design documents Training materials, job aids Change management or communication plans Framework descriptions… Continue Reading

Tight Timeline? How to Cope

So, we had this project with a tight timeline. And then the start of it was delayed. However, the end dates did not move, so the timeline was even tighter. On top of that, because of shifting the start date, this project landed right on top of other priorities. Enter a string of long days.… Continue Reading