Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Free teleseminars

I received the following press release:

In an effort to help plan the coming months, we offer this handy reference for the 2nd Quarter 2005 One Person Training Department FREE teleseminars.

You might want to print this out and tack it up in your office.

You’ll definitely want to pencil these dates in to your calendar NOW.

= = = = = = = = = =

All calls occur on Tuesdays from 1:00 – 2:00 pm Eastern.

Just call in!

The call-in number for ALL teleseminars listed below is:

1-805-620-4000 and the passcode is: 58543

= = = = = = = = = =

The 2005 schedule (2nd quarter) of speakers includes

Date Guest Expert & Topic

4/26/2005 Bill Walton

Strategies for Teaching Adults: The Making of a Maestro in the Classroom

5/24/2005 Lenn Millbower

Razzle Dazzle Design: Developing Training for 21st Century Learners

6/28/2005 Carolyn Balling

Managing the One Person Training Department

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Out the rest of the week

There will be no best-you-might've-missed this week, as I will be out of the office spending time with a Marine friend who just arrived safely back from Iraq. (Yay!)

Have a great weekend, all!
Customer service training that worked

(Commentary alert!)

Those of you who read my Intelligence column in T+D might have guessed that customer service is a bit of a pet peeve for me.

I've written on the topic quite a few times--most recently the column "Unbelievable Service" in August 2004 and a two-part series "Just One Thing" and "Strategic Service" in October and November 2003.

I'm always on the lookout for good customer service, and I had an experience over the weekend that I'd like to share with everyone.

I had gone to a restaurant in my neighborhood for a nice brunch with a couple of friends. After ordering, we sat there for about a half an hour without any food. I noticed, but didn't think much of it, as the restaurant was quite crowded and I remembered waiting a while last time I was there for brunch. I figured it was just the price we had to pay for eating at this popular restaurant at a popular time.

However, all of a sudden a man appeared at our table. "I'm the manager," he said, "and I want to apologize for your food taking so long. Frankly, we dropped the ball. I want to you to know that your food will be out shortly, and the meal is on us."

The waitress came over about 10 minutes later with the food and explained that there was some mixup in the kitchen and the cooks thought they had made it when they hadn't.

I was impressed. Although the principles of take responsibility, apologize, fix the problem, and go above and beyond aren't hard ones to understand or master, it seems rare that an organization follows them these days. But the manager's words were magic. Any irritation I had at being left waiting melted away in the face of his speech.

I might've thought that we had just encountered a particular good manager, except that my friend said, "That's great. The only other time that happened to me was in this other restaurant" that's in a neighboring town.

I said, "As a matter of fact, they're owned by the same people." So it became apparent that this type of service for mess-ups was a company-wide policy that managers were trained to enact.

A round of applause. It did my customer-service-hunting heart good.
Free webinar on outsourcing

TrainingOutsourcing.com presents a Webinar on Identifying and Driving Value Through Key Learning Indicators and Outsourcing next Wednesday, March 30th from 1 to 2 pm EST.

"This interactive e-Intelligence Webinar will look at how new models for assessing and measuring the value of learning in the enterprise are emerging. This executive webinar probes the challenges corporate learning executives face when trying to show the impact of learning and presents concepts that help determine if outsourcing training is right for their organization.

Chris Moore, President of Zeroed-In Technologies, introduces key learning indicators, a component of performance-based measurement for learning, as a means of measuring and predicting value. Dan Cantwell, Vice President of Performance Solutions at RWD Technologies, follows with an assessment model that gathers and assesses key measurement areas to determine the effectiveness of your learning organization and your candidacy for improving value through outsourcing."

Monday, March 21, 2005

New T+D managing editor

Congratulations to Sabrina Hicks, former senior associate editor of T+D, who was just promoted to managing editor!

Sabrina's eagle-eye and attention to detail keeps us all on track.

If you have any comments about the magazine (especially the redesign), feel free to contact her at shicks@astd.org.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Write a chapter in book on learning objects?

I received a press release the other day inviting me (and others) to submit an abstract for a book chapter. The book will be Principles and Practices of the Effective Use of Learning Objects.

I won't be submitting, but here's the info if you're interested:

You are invited to submit a 500-word abstract (the initial proposal) to write a chapter (theory & practice) on one of the following topics:

1. Learning Object Architecture
2. Learning Object Standards
3. Syntax and Semantics of Learning Object Metadata *
4. Learning Object Repositories *
5. Learning Content Management System (LCMS) *
6. Historical & Philosophical Foundations of Learning Objects
7. E-Learning & Learning Objects
8. Instructional Theories and Principles
9. Instructional Design of Learning Objects *
10. Learning Objects’ User Interface *
11. Granularity & Reusability of Learning Objects *
12. Multimedia & Learning Object
13. Learning Object Overview
14. Creating Learning Objects
15. The Future of Learning Objects *
16. Open Source & Learning Objects

(* Needed most)

The mission of the book is to inform clients of the above topics emphasizing their implications to learning.

Your abstract must contain an explanation about the topic you have chosen from the list above. It should summarize what it is that you are proposing to write. Please be concise (a maximum of 500 words), clear, and persuasive. Once the abstracts are accepted the authors will have 90 days to complete their chapter.

The deadline for submitting the abstracts is March 30, 2005. Once your abstract is accepted you will be receiving the author’s guideline and will be given thorough instruction for writing your chapter.

Look forward to hearing from you. Please reply to ijkloeditor@ijklo.org.

Best wishes.

Alex Koohang
Editor-in-Chief, IJKLO

Keith Harman
Editor, IJKLO

Alex Koohang
Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects
Best you might've missed

Happy weekend, all. Here are the best articles and resources I came across this week. (A shorter list--I'm busy and a bit behind on reading.)

Learning theory

What is Learning? A good breakdown of the differences between data, information, knowledge, and learning.

Emergent learning/collaboration

Simulations and the Future of Learning. If you've meaning to try out this podcasting phenomenon, here's a good 'cast to download and listen to, from Clark Aldrich.

Microsoft, Groove Networks to Combine Forces to Create Anytime, Anywhere Collaboration. A not-unbiased press release from Microsoft, but it includes an interview with Groove founder Ray Ozzie. Read unbiased opinions here and here and here.

"Blogging Clicks with Colleges." Discusses how blogs and wikis are being used in higher education.


More Real Dirt on eLearning (replay). Jay Cross links to the archived version of his recent presentation.

Business/organizational behavior

CEO Skill and Excessive Pay: A Breakdown in Corporate Governance? "What do Disney, AT&T, Exxon, and Verizon have in common?...a new academic study argues that all these firms were headed by CEOs who were paid too much."

Can Pessimists Ever Be Great Leaders? A good question and an answer, from the Fast Company blog.

Reinforcing Values: A Public Dressing Down. "Often the hardest part of a turnaround is improving bad interpersonal behavior in the organization. A Harvard Business Review excerpt by professors David Garvin and Michael Roberto."

Differentiating Your Workforce Strategy. "Even the best managers often forget to craft a workforce strategy along with their overall company strategy, but the two really need to be linked. An excerpt from the new book, The Workforce Scorecard."


Find Similar Items with Google Sets. Lifehacker points out a pretty cool tool.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Free tips on selecting an authoring tool

Brandon-hall.com is offering a free PDF excerpt from the company's "Authoring Tool KnowledgeBase: A Buyer's Guide to the Best E-Learning Content Development Applications."

Register here to download "Tips on Choosing an Authoring Tool."
More free Webinars

From Interwise and CLO magazine:

Managing Human Capital for Strategic Advantages

March 16 , 2005
at 2 pm Eastern / 11 am Pacific
Presented by: Carolyn Koenig, SVP of Human Resources, MasterCard International and Curt Lockton, VP Marketing & Business Development, Success Factors

"This Chief Learning Officer e-seminar, powered by Interwise, will offer a lively, interactive discussion that will show you how organizations invest in learning technology because of the value of the data the technology provides and the dramatic impact it has on driving strategic decisions. Panelists will discuss their views on the business impact and outcomes of learning technology implementation within organizations."

Leveraging Executive Development to Drive Corporate Strategy

March 31, 2005
at 11 am Eastern / 8 am Pacific
Presented by: Albert Vicere, President, Vicere Associates Inc.

"In this presentation, Al Vicere, a well-known expert, author, and professor in the field of individual and organizational development, discusses how to blend executive development with strategy formulation and execution, using both innovative frameworks as well as examples from working with dozens of executives from Fortune 500 organizations. Al will also reflect on his recent book, Many Facets of Leadership, which was written with Marshall Goldsmith among others."

The CLO Position: Critical Issues and Changing Roles

April 13 , 2005
at 2 pm Eastern / 11 am Pacific
Presented by: Jim L'Allier, Chief Learning Officer and Vice President, research and development, NETg, a Thomson Learning Company and Susan Resner, Vice President, ITG Competency Group

"In addition to reviewing results of a CLO survey on the future of learning, this highly interactive e-seminar will help learning professionals benchmark their own skills, qualifications and career objectives against their corporate peers. Working interactively with audience members, panelists will define specific competencies and a job description for the successful CLO."
Training among 20 fastest-growing jobs

In the March 21st edition of Fortune, an article entitled "Hot Careers for the Next 10 Years" names training and development as one of the 20 fastest-growing professional jobs.

Growth is estimated at 22.3 percent, from Bureau of Labor Statistics projections.

This is good news for t+d practitioners. Ready to jump-start your career? Check out the ASTD Career Center and Job Bank (free for job seekers), with these added features.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Best you might've missed

A slightly shorter list this week, but maybe that's best. Trying to find the best balance between too many and too few!

Emergent learning

Bioteaming: A Manifesto For Networked Business Teams. "Virtual, networked business teams gradually emerge as the wave of the future."

Educating The Net Generation. An e-book from Educause.


Taking E-Learning on the Road. How to globalize your e-learning offerings.

Current Trends in E-Learning Research Report. Analysis and commentary from the eLearning Guild.

Mark Rosenberg is Postive About the Future. Ryann Ellis, editor of ASTD's e-learning Webzine, interviews the management consultant, educator, and leading learning expert.

Traditional training/learning

Training 2005. All the handouts from the recent conference are now free online.

"Skills Availability and Finding Qualified, Appropriate Talent." A good primer for what's coming down the pike. The lead item in my April Intelligence column covers this issue--coming soon.

"'Old School,' 'New School:' Changing Workforce Retention Rules." "As different as are children from adults and schools from the workplace, so are the rules regulating workforce retention in the 21st versus the 20th century."

Questions for Success. "Powerful questions have the ability to shake people out of stale ways of thinking and critically reflect on faulty assumptions. Wise leaders know this."


20 Ways to Say No. Have too much on your plate? Here are ways to politely avoid taking on more tasks. (Thanks, Lifehacker.)

Mixing Friendship with Business is a Mixed Blessing. Examines what can happen when your customers are also your friends.

Top Corporate Hate Websites. A good lesson for any company: Bad customer service can lead to a Website all about how horrible your company is.

Blogging is good for your career. Despite what the news may tell you.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Bersin & Associates LMS study

Bersin & Associates, a research and advisory firm focused on enterprise learning, recently released a study on customer satisfaction with learning management systems.

"LMS Customer Satisfaction 2005: An Industry Analysis of the Customer Experience" is the result of input from 660 system administrators, training managers, and executives on 24 satisfaction criteria across 15 LMS offerings.

A few findings from the press release:

--Externally hosted LMS customers are significantly more satisfied than those who run LMSs internally. Outsourced LMS systems reduce cost, complexity, and resource requirements and are much more likely to be completed on schedule and within predicted budgets.

--The LMS market is in a high state of churn. Approximately 15% of organizations are planning on switching LMS vendors or replacing their systems.

--The LMS market is growing fast and still very fragmented. Although the LMS market encompasses more than 70 vendors, the largest has only 15% market share. Forty-five percent of respondents installed their systems within the last two years.

--Older customers are less satisfied then new customers. The study shows that customers with systems more than four years old are most likely to plan on switching vendors. This finding is likely related to the fact that many older implementations are running on old technology platforms or are using outdated software versions (80% of all LMSs in use are at least one version behind and 60% are two major versions behind).

--Overall satisfaction is highly correlated with a vendor's implementation and support services - and far less correlated with satisfaction with product features. Of those respondents who are highly satisfied with their LMSs, 83% are highly satisfied with their vendors' implementation services and 82% are highly satisfied with their vendors' support services.

--Of all products areas evaluated, reporting and analysis received the lowest average satisfaction rating (5.97 out of 10). Reporting is a notoriously difficult area for LMS vendors because of the wide range of data and varied needs of report users. Other areas of customer dissatisfaction are customization, system upgrades, and HR/ERP integration.

The study also rates vendors. For more info, see the press release.
Webinars galore!

These are all free to the best of my knowledge.

--Demonstration of Horizon Wimba's New PowerLink for WebCT Vista
Aaron Bond & Matt Wasowski, Horizon Wimba
Thursday, March 10, 2005 at 3 pm EST

--The Real Dirt on E-Learning
Jay Cross, Internet Time Group
Friday, March 11th at 2 pm to 3 pm EST

--Building Community Among Educators
Vance Stevens, Petroleum Institutue (Abu Dhabi)
Tuesday, March 15, 2005 at 12 pm EST

--Referral Marketing: Get Your Customers and Colleagues to Grow Your Business
Presentation Excellence
Wednesday, March 16th at 1 pm to 2 pm EST

--Benefits of Using Voice in Online Courses
*Presented IN FRENCH
Professor Bernard Curzi, EDHEC
Pier Giovanni Fontana, Horizon Wimba
Friday, March 18, 2005 at 10 am EST

--Experience Macromedia Breeze
Macromedia and Binatech System Solutions
Wednesday March 23rd, March 30th, April 6th, April 13th, April 27th at
2 pm EST

--Adding Oral Assessments into Questionmark Perception
Donovan Lytle, Horizon Wimba
Tuesday, March 29, 2005 at 2 pm EST

--Demonstration of Horizon Wimba's Blackboard Building Blocks
Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 3 pm EST

Friday, March 04, 2005

Best you might've missed

Happy Friday, everyone. Here are the articles and resources I found most interesting this week.

Learning theory

Connectivism. A new site from George Siemens on the learning theory he recently developed. Includes a blog, wiki, and discussion forums. Also see his recent presentation.

E-mergent learning/community

"Planning for Neomillennial Learning Styles." A fascinating article on how new technologies are influencing the way young people learn and gather information, and how education should adapt.

"Blogs & Wikis: Technologies for Enterprise Applications?" Examines in-depth the possibilities of using these tools in corporations and compares them with standard content management systems. (Thanks, e-Learning Centre.)

Are Social Networking Sites Useful? Recruiters are starting to use them to fill positions. One blogger poses the question and offers some thoughts from various people.


Elearningeuropa. This packed-with-info site from the European Commission calls itself "a portal about the use of information and communication technologies to improve learning." (Thanks, eLearnopedia.)

"From e-Learning to e-Knowledge." This chapter from Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques focuses on "the growing importance of e-learning as knowledge scaffolding; the emerging significance of knowledge management practice in informing strategic directions for the development of e-learning systems; and, a conceptual framework that brings together these first two ideas..."

"Elements of Effective e-Learning Design." A scholarly article from the International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning that examines six components: activity, scenario, feedback, delivery, context, and influence.

Interview with Frank Russell, CEO and President of GeoLearning. Much of this could be viewed as a PR pitch, but if you're interested in learning more about the company's products, you may find this helpful.

"Meet Me in Cyberspace." "To evaluate how the benefits and disadvantages of virtual meetings stack up in real business situations, Computerworld took a look at how three companies are using virtual meeting software."

Traditional learning/business

The 18 Commandments of Knowledge-Conscious Managers. "I like the idea that Knowledge Management is really about Knowledge Conscious Management," says this blogger, a director of knowledge management.

"Confessing Error: Can a Leader Admit Confusion and Still Lead?" The Wharton Leadership Digest summarizes an article and describes a five-step process for "taking advantage of 'Oh, no!' moments to 'embrace confusion,' open up better lines of communication," and more. (Thanks, Fast Company blog.)

Job Satisfaction Declines in the US, According to New Conference Board Survey. U.S. workers are less happy with their jobs than they were 10 years ago.

Top 10 Business Movies. A list from the Inc. Weblog.

Strategies for Creating a Catchy Business Name. Starting up a consulting business or new training company? Check out these tips from the Wall Street Journal.


How to Read and Digest a Book. A helpful blog post on getting the most out of your reading experience.

"Experiment Shows You Really Should 'Sleep on It.'" Sleep really can help you solve tricky problems, this study showed.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

March (redesigned) T+D online!

Go to the T+D homepage to access articles from our March issue. (After March, go here.)

You'll notice there's less white space, photos rather than illustrations (more real people), a now six-page Intelligence column, a now monthly New Guard column (used to be an annual feature), a new Re:Search column that gives you practical stats you can take to the bosses, and more.

There will be a few more small tweaks in upcoming months. Feel free to email feedback to me at ekaplan at astd.org.

This month's features:

--"The Unnatural Leader," by Peter Cairo, David Dotlich, and Stephen Rhinesmith (free feature)
--"BP Refines Leadership," by Julie Brown, Ryan Eagar, and Paul Lawrence
--"Teach Your Buyers Well," by Kevin Oakes
--"Improving Work Life," by Dan Sussman
--ASTD BEST Award Profile: "Yielding the Best Teachers, Leaders," by T+D senior associate editor Sabrina Hicks


--The Intelligence column (free) starts off with Mother Leads Best, a look at whether motherhood is the ultimate leadership training program, and packs in double the content as previous months
--The new Re:Search column (free) asks and answers, "What do you spend on training? What should you be spending on training?"
--The Books column (free) reviews Malcolm Gladwell's Blink
--Development discusses MBAs for trainers
--and much more!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Win free participation in Virtual Teams and Collaboration conference

Online collaboration expert Robin Good writes, "For three days, March 29-31, participants will come together for online presentations from experts in the field - all focused on how geographically distributed organizations can work together in a virtual work environment to successfully achieve their business goals and objectives."

The conference normally would set you back $199, but he is giving away five free passes to those people who post the best five requirements for a virtual team's success.

Go here to read about the conference and put your ideas into the hat. Good luck!