Blog Archives

Learning in the Wild

I grew up visiting the national parks with my parents on long road trips across the country. We live in Florida, so getting to see mountains was a rare treat that I always looked forward to. I got away from it in my twenties, but as I got older I felt the pull of the mountains calling me back. One of my friends has recently declared his life’s quest to be visiting every national park, so we took the chance to tick Bryce Canyon off his list in the days following this year’s Devlearn. Bryce isn’t quite as imposing as Yosemite, nor as famous as Yellowstone, but I’ve always been curious to see the bizarre little spires (the famous “hoodoos”) ever since I first saw pictures of them.

And they don’t disappoint. The rim of the canyon is on a bit of an incline, so as you approach it from the west, all you see is a fairly unremarkable forest (though if you’re lucky, you’ll spot a few deer).

Looking at some deer as we walk towards the canyon

Cresting the hill brings you to this view…

The Bryce Canyon Amphitheatre

And it’s hard not to have your breath taken away.

My friend and I immediately started searching for the trailhead, ready to dive headfirst into that beautiful canyon.

Another friend took one look and decided that an afternoon of reading and drinking hot chocolate in the lodge was preferable to anything that could happen in that canyon (in her defense, it was bitterly cold, about to snow, and the hike ended up being incredibly challenging – her choice was probably the rational one).

It’s amazing this place could contain such a variety of experiences. You can dive into an intense day hike or bum around and relax by the fire. There are deep wilderness backcountry trails that take days to traverse… or you can hire a tour bus from Las Vegas and get driven straight up to a paved overlook path.

If the excitement of being in this beautiful place isn’t enough, you can even get an extrinsic reward by playing the “Hike the Hoodoos” scavenger hunt.

Photo by Maria Andersen

Photo by Maria Andersen

After giving it some thought, I realized how the act of building and curating these experiences feel oddly parallel to what L&D professionals do in the workplace.

Performing well at work is wild. It is complex. It is no longer “show up and push this lever for eight hours.” It’s more like, “here’s a problem we don’t know how to fix – please solve it.” During his keynote, Neil Degrasse-Tyson spoke about the irrelevance of knowledge. The people that will succeed in our new economy aren’t those who remember the most, but those who can solve the most problems and create the best new ideas.

It’s an amazingly big ask for our learners, but trying to contain this challenge and complexity, dumb it down somehow, would take away everything beautiful and exciting about it. Instead we must provide the appropriate experiences within that wildness for each person. In the same way we can’t let a bus load of sedentary sightseers try to tackle the “Under the Rim” trail (23 miles one way), we can’t let an inexperienced new hire tackle a complex project without the necessary guidance and resources. The same way we can’t hold back an experienced hiker or ultrarunner by building only easy paved trails, we shouldn’t prevent the experts from achieving all that they can.

In one of the conference breakout sessions, Marc Rosenberg and Steve Foreman laid out the case (based on a recently released a white paper) for just how such a learning ecosystem might look. Clark Quinn’s book, Revolutionize Learning & Development, offers up a similar vision. It’s a big shift in thinking, and involves not just considering the singular learning experience (through an event or performance support tool) but all the things before, after, and two years down the line.

Building an ecosystem isn’t easy, and it isn’t something that can be accomplished in an afternoon. We’ve been discussing it at my company for some time, and it’s going to take a while before all the disparate pieces come together and all the audiences have what they need to thrive.

But that’s what it’s going to take to start learning in the wild.

As for the conference itself: I cannot thank enough the eLearning Guild and my company, who gave me the opportunity to speak and give back to a community that has given me so much. A big thank you to everyone who showed up and added to the conversation! Please contact me should you have any additional questions or would like to chat further.

Godzilla vs. DemoFest

After attending my second DevLearn, it was only inevitable that my face would eventually end up as promotional fodder for the eLearning Guild. It’s a wonderful picture! </sarcasm>

But thank goodness Bianca Woods was there to save me from my self-consciousness:

Inspired by the Dinosaur Comics presented in her session, I came up with some captions! If you’ve got  your own Godzilla quotes, make sure to add them in the comments.

"I think your next button needs more green."

"Does the text to speech handle Japanese?"

"But can I use the webcam to see if they're not paying attention?"

*Actual product. Complete madness.

Day Three at DevLearn 2013

The final day of DevLearn had me sitting in sessions led by Clark Quinn, Conrad Gottfredsson and Neil Lasher. Since there were so many overlapping concepts, I’ll just cover them based on the two overriding themes I saw rather than by session.

Start at “apply”

The problem that instructional design seems to face is that requestors bring us in to situations that don’t always require instruction. So instead of creating unnecessary instruction, start design by trying to understand what the end user needs to do to perform a behavior. If the design demands the introduction of new knowledge, introduce that knowledge within the relevant context, then provide the ability to apply that knowledge in practice and offer appropriate feedback. But if performing doesn’t require instruction, don’t force it. As Clark Quinn mentioned earlier in the panel discussion, “build knowledge into the world, not in the head.”

In terms of deciding what needs instruction and what doesn’t, Conrad Gottfredson presented a beautifully simple system for sorting it out. While performing your task analysis, determine the negative consequences your learners face should they fail and rate it on a scale of 1 to 7, 1 being no effect, 7 being catastrophic (I would probably add a level 8, just in case failure leads to a zombie apocalypse). Anything rated 5 or higher gets the most instructional attention, anything rated a 3 or lower gets mostly performance support. It’s so simple, but it’s a brilliant way to make sure our end users get the support and practice they need to perform (and not cause a zombie apocalypse).

I like the emphasis at this conference on building smaller bits of content as performance support instead of courses. I never went to school intending to become a technical writer, but somehow when I landed my current role as one, it seemed to be a pretty natural fit. I think if instructional designers better understood the things technical writers produce (help systems, job aids, documentation) and if technical writers understood the skills that instructional designers can leverage (user centered analysis and design, multimedia instruction) both professions would be in a better place.

I think since my department has a history of delivering on these things, most of our requestors are willing to be talked into performance support solutions, even if their initial inclination is to request training. There are other challenges, of course, namely how do we respond to requesters demanding a small forest’s worth of printed documentation (destined to go out of date almost as soon as the training ends)? And how do we optimize documentation so that it covers everything that needs to be covered while being attractive and not intimidating for the user?

Then there’s problem of managing and tying all of these things together, which leads us to…

Build an ecosystem

When it comes to supporting performance, elearning is just the start. As Art Kohn mentioned on the first day of DevLearn, nothing can be taught in one pass, as the learner will almost immediately forget it. Instead the goal should be to build an ecosystem of learning and support by using all of the tools at our disposal. This means EPSSs, job aids, pocket cards to support performance as well as mobile delivery and context to support instruction. Additionally, managing it requires content governance to ensure the most relevant things are easily discoverable and not lost beneath a mountain of outdated content.

Neil Lasher displayed a brilliant example that tied in some of the transmedia storytelling ideas in Lee Lindsey’s session on day one. He presented a simple scenario of a top sales employee at a retail outlet angrily tossing a customer out. You’re then presented with several options:

  • Verbal Warning
  • Written Warning
  • Suspension
  • Firing

Making the wrong choice (in this example, a written warning) causes the employee to storm out and quit. Later on, you’ll receive an email or SMS offering additional information and coaching. A couple days later you’ll get another SMS, saying there’s a situation developing with another one of your employees. It leads you into another scenario where you have to deal with an employee causing problems because they saw the other employee quit angrily a couple days ago.

It’s a real time scenario. Like Animal Crossing for new managers! 🙂

As more scenarios are developed and new content is required, more pieces to the ecosystem (both instructional and performance support) are added. It’s important to note that at no point is any “score” information provided, as simply receiving feedback from the scenario is enough. Score data is only used on the backend to calculate what the system should send the user to next.

Keynote: Talent Anarchy

Though I found the Talent Anarchy keynote on hacking to be a useful tool that I’ll be implementing on an almost daily basis, I don’t know how much I can add to the conversation around it. Instead, I defer to Bianca Woods and Cammy Bean who have posted excellent recaps from the session.

And that’s it!

I want to thank everyone for another great DevLearn where I learned new things, gained tons of inspiration and met people doing some very exciting work. Rather than being an end, DevLearn last year was a real kicking off point. Many of the things I’m only just putting into practice were inspired by those sessions, and I suspect it’ll be similar this year.

Day Two at DevLearn 2013


While Day One of a conference is a sudden, brilliant dose of energy, Day Two has me dragging a little.

OK, maybe a lot. I wasn’t quite as diligent about taking notes during sessions today, so things might be a little incomplete or remembered incorrectly.

Morning Buzz: Adam Weisblatt

My morning started out great when I managed to cut myself shaving. This has nothing to do with this session, but does explain why I was late and feeling not quite ready for the day (most likely due to blood loss and lack of caffeine). What part of the conversation I did catch dealt with the issues faced in managing technology and data within learning organizations. Often we have solutions (like an LMS) that have to plug in and talk to other solutions. A lot of the process can be simplified and automated by having APIs and ensuring IT is involved in the process.

One person made the point that you should never look to your LMS (or really, any technology solution) as a permanent fix. You always need to think about how you’re going to extract your data and content when you’ve outgrown the current solution.

Keynote: Eli Pariser

I honestly came into this keynote slightly skeptical, because quite frankly, I get great recommendations from services like Amazon.


As you can see, the algorithm really knows me.

Pariser started out by discussing his attempt to expand his worldview but was stymied by Facebook’s newsfeed filter. As one of the founders of, he obviously leans to the left politically, but befriends people with other mindsets to try and understand their perspective as well. Unfortunately Facebook’s algorithm filters out content from his conservative friends, because it knows he is less likely to hit “like” on articles posted by them (there was an audible gasp when his mockup news feed removed his conservative friends’ posts, which may or may not be an indicator of how many conservatives were in the audience).

One of the challenges this filtering causes is what danah boyd calls “psychological obesity.” We have both an impulsive self and an aspirational self, but the content most likely to be fed to us by algorithms are things that appeal to our impulsive selves. In this way, we’re only getting the candy and junk food (Justin Bieber and lolcats) instead of intense things that might be difficult (investigative journalism and stories on Afghanistan).

The problem for educators is that education IS challenge. He referenced a quote from Siva Vaidhyanathan that learning is “by definition an encounter with what you don’t know, what you haven’t thought of, what you couldn’t conceive.” By filtering out the challenging things, how will we ever grow and learn?

While I’m still not entirely convinced by Pariser, I think the points he makes are worth considering. But when content on the internet grows more in two days than all of human history prior to 2010, how can human curators possibly sift through it all? We need the algorithms to bring things to the surface, because there’s a level of personalization algorithms offer that no human curator can possibly reach.

The solutions Pariser offers also seem rather simplistic. Teach “filter literacy” by opening up a separate tab in incognito mode to compare the results? You’ll still see content filtered by your location, browser or computer (Pariser himself mentioned that there are 57 different signals Google can use to personalize results, even on a brand new computer). I think filter literacy needs to be part of a broader discussion about how people perceive media online. Simply because we use filtered systems to find media doesn’t stop us from reaching out to people or consuming content from curated resources. Most likely we use both equally without even thinking about it.

Session: Is elearning broken? Panel discussion

Attention grabbing and provocative title! I’m not a fan of such things generally but went into this session knowing that many of the panel participants would have insights that would prove valuable. I didn’t take notes (it’s hard to type while you’re standing), so there’s not many specifics that I took from this session. If nothing else, it only reiterates the need for people in this industry to continue to innovate and fight the urge to simply go along with a request for training or build a context free page turner. Instead of attempting to recreate the analog world of the classroom in an elearning project, why not use some of the affordances of the technology? Why attempt to put knowledge into the learners’ heads (through a knowledge dump) when it is far easier to put knowledge into the world (a performance support solution)?

Session: Comics for Learning with Bianca Woods

After such a heady and theoretical start to the day, it’s great to step into a session about the actual act of building things. An excellent case can be made for long-form comics to tell extremely powerful stories or take complex ideas and make them more digestible. Best practice design in comics forces learning designers to move towards better instructional practices – clearer and more dynamic visuals, minimal text, and better stories.

As I wandered through DemoFest later that night, I couldn’t help but think about how much of elearning design has already pulled from comics. All you need to do is look at any project created with Storyline using the bundled characters and their accompanying dialogue surrounded by speech bubbles.


And then you can vomit, because they are absolutely disgusting. Why does anyone use them? I have a feeling they get used because they came free with the program and most instructional designers don’t have the time, money, or the desire to make anything better. If we’re going to take inspiration from things in other industries (like comics), why do we accept these half-measures?

I can’t stop thinking about the comment from Ian Bogost about deepening the experience of work and making our creations move towards this goal. If we’re going to invest all this time in building extensive elearning interventions, why can’t they approach the level of experience we get from a great graphic novel or short film or documentary?

Day One at DevLearn 2013

Going to a conference is equal parts inspiration, excitement and complete utter exhaustion. But before it all disappears from my mind, here’s some bits and pieces that I found most relevant from the things I saw today.

Morning Buzz: Immersive Learning, Koreen Pagano

Starting things off was a session with Koreen Pagano on immersive learning that brought up themes reiterated in other sessions later on. Apprenticeship, an idea I became fascinated with at last year’s DevLearn, is an incredibly powerful training method that enables learning through practice, skill improvement and context. While it’s been used successfully for hundreds of years, it isn’t scalable without technology-based solutions.

One of the tactics for immersive learning design included a “scared straight” method to allow your learners to fail right off the bat. By throwing the user straight in the deep end, you make the user immediately aware of either their abilities or their failings for a particular topic.

Another tactic was wrapping training around a real-world task. For instance, if you’re providing information on how to fill out a form, the user doesn’t access training until they have a form to fill out. In this way, training is delivered directly at the point of need and doesn’t waste the user’s time.

Keynote: Jeremy Gutsche

Jeremy Gutsche is an extremely energetic presenter but like most of the keynotes I’ve seen at DevLearn, it was more of a general business tips presentation rather than something directly applicable to the development of learning.

His presentation revolved around moving away from the “farmer” mode of thinking where we work our plot of land over and over again, constantly optimizing production at the same time we protect that plot of land against any and all threats. Success makes us complacent, and if we’re not willing to embrace chaos we’re destined to become the next Blockbuster, Encarta, or Smith Corona. Above all, we must become “relentlessly obsessed” with our customers, communicating with them instead of at them and in their language.

Featured Session: Mobile Learning in Museums with Nancy Proctor

I love museums, and this session really caught my eye as soon as I saw it. Unfortunately, what I do and what museums do don’t overlap terribly much, so there’s not a whole lot that I can go back and apply straight away.

Audio tours have been in place in museums for more than half a century, with only a few upgrades here and there technologically to present audio non-linearly and on demand. While they provide affordances like offering background information, audio tours can be a passive experience that doesn’t engage the visitor. So the Smithsonian embarked on an effort to “recruit the world” by listening as well as speaking; connecting as well as broadcasting.

One particularly exciting example she showed off was a location-based audio installation called “Scapes.” As you wander the Scapes environment, you hear music based on your location and can both listen to audio recorded by previous visitors as well as record your own. In this way, the environment facilitates a conversation between people existing in the same space at different times.

Session: Transmedia Storytelling with Lee Lindsey

Sometimes I wonder if getting a degree in creative writing might have been just as helpful as my Master’s in instructional technology. So much of elearning design is the implanting of lessons within stories, simply because humans are hard-wired to learn this way. Transmedia storytelling goes along with this tradition, but with the idea that the story is spread across multiple forms of media. The goal is to make the story independent enough to stand on it’s own regardless of how it’s delivered, but capable of taking advantage of the affordances in each medium.

One of the examples discussed was the use of transmedia storytelling in information security training. In this, clues about a secret hacker organization lead into an alternate reality game where learners attempt to find out who is in charge of this secret organization trying to hack into the company. Along the way they learn about hacking organizations and what motivates them.

He also showed a really cool demo using both Storyline and Twilio, a service that enables you to send SMS messages on command. In the example, the user inputs their mobile number into the presentation and then gets a text from a character telling them to call another “agent.” That phone number leads to a voicemail box that introduces a character and provides next steps for the learner.

Also briefly touched on was Conductrr, a program that facilitates the writing and publishing of a transmedia story.

Session: Lasting Behavior Change with Art Kohn

Unquestionably the surprise of the day was this session, something I was not expecting based on the title. Art Kohn is a truly engaging speaker and storyteller, which is probably why I’m able to forgive the fact that he started the session with an extremely provocative statement that he later took back: “the only goal of training is to change behavior.” Teaching for knowledge is not important. Of course, this comes out of his experience working with the CDC in Zimbabwe to fight AIDS. When the CDC first went in, the goal was to educate people about the virus and risk factors for AIDS. The result? Nothing, except now everyone in Zimbabwe knows a lot about the virus and risk factors. The training did nothing to affect change. Changing tactics, the CDC moved to social modeling through the use of radio soap operas. While the rates of infection have more or less remained the same, the radio drama managed to at least get people in Zimbabwe talking about the virus through the decisions of the soap’s characters.

Knowledge, of course, is a prerequisite to behavior change, and he later acknowledged this point. Knowledge transfer, however, is not something that can occur in one pass. The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve is evidence of this, as 90% of the things we learn are forgotten within a week. By forcing learners to retrieve information (instead of just encoding) at certain points after training, much of this can be overcome. Key interventions come 2 days (quick quizzes), 2 weeks (short answers where the learner visualizes using the knowledge) and 2 months (longer answers where the learner describes how they applied the knowledge). The longer answers at 2 months can also be used as testimonials by L&D departments to demonstrate ROI for the organization.

Keynote: Ian Bogost

The final session of the day was an analysis of the difference between the trendy “gamification” so frequently tossed around and actual game design. This was an intense keynote, one with tons of information that breaks through a lot of the hype so frequently discussed in the elearning community. More than anything, instructional designers need to understand that the magic of games cannot be easily “sprinkled” into elearning by throwing PBLs (points, badges, leaderboards) on it. It sugar coats work, when really we need to deepen the experience of work. People want to do meaningful things.


I’ll be thinking about the lessons of this keynote for a long time and I’ll probably follow-up with additional thoughts in a later post.

Also, I’m tired.

DevLearn 2013

It’s late October again and you know what that means… I’m headed to Vegas!

View from the Aria

Whereas last year was a desperate attempt to capture every bit of knowledge from every session I attended, my goal this year is to absorb the things that I see and hear and actually create something that’s a little more coherent. Things have been a little hectic of late, and I haven’t had as much writing or reflection time as I’d like. Leaving work to focus on my own learning and development offers up the chance to spend some time doing just that.

And let’s be honest, no city inspires quiet reflection like Las Vegas 🙂

If you’re not attending (or attending and sitting in other sessions), stay tuned to this site or my twitter for the information deluge (as well as the conference backchannel!). My tentative session schedule for the conference looks like this:

    How Museums Use Mobile Technologies to Shape User Experiences – Nancy Proctor
    Transmedia Storytelling: A New Strategy for Learning – Lee Lindsey
    Transfer Learning and Become More Profitable: The Science of Behavior Change – Art Kohn
    Is eLearning Broken? Challenges for Innovation – panel
    Not Just for Superheroes: Exploring Learning Through Comics – Bianca Woods
    Portfolios As Tools for Professional Learning – Sylwia Bielec, Thomas Stenzel
    AGILE Instructional Design: Keeping Pace with the Speed of Change – Conrad Gottfredson
    How to Deliver Measurable Behavioral Change Using Technology – Neil Lasher

With so many interesting sessions, it’s been a lot harder to narrow things down this year so, as always, it’s all subject to change.

Notes from Dayna Steele’s DevLearn keynote

Rockstar is someone who is at the top, doing what they love and doing it on their terms
Cocky, confident, trying new things and believing in themselves
“Life is too short to not have any delusional notions of yourself”
Gives you the passion to try, fail and keep going
Implement the new ideas, some will work some won’t
Constantly change, but know the passions of their audience
Mick Jagger loves jazz, but nobody sees him to play jazz
Did she seriously just say she worked for KLOL? LOL.
Babysitting course – original was a corporate site; they changed it to fit their audience
Just listen
Find the smallest person in the room and bring them to the front; this made the Rolling Stones look taller in pictures than they really were
Do your homework
Sammy Haggar was always prepared for interviews, he watched local news and newspapers
When the interview was interesting, the audience stayed engaged
Continue to read
Keep up with everything
Gene Simmons attributed his success to reading, everything he could get his hands on
Don’t stay in your own world, read other worlds
Pick up a magazine you know nothing about, or a subject you don’t like
She doesn’t like NASCAR, but learned a lot about marketing
Read the news before you do anything
Cites the NRA tweeter who tweeted about shooting after the Aurora shootings
Do things for other people w/o expecting anything in return
David Crosby who got out of prison after 9 months; she helped him w/o requesting an exclusive interview – it was the first time he had been sober since he was 12
A year later CS&N went on a tour for the first time, David Crosby helped introduce her to her husband
Went out and asked for a dollar
Networking – got right to the point “give me a dollar”
Just ask and people will help with no questions asked
Keep it brief and relevant
Success in networking is not for sissies
Appreciation – remember to say thank you to those help us
Thank everybody, above below sideways
Keep a bowl of candy on your desk; people will stop by and talk
Do nice little things for people
Do things because you know in your heart it is the right thing to do
Help people, because people will never forget that you helped them
Kevin Hindon, kid with Cystic Fibrosis; his favorite band was Van Halen
So she helped get Van Halen get in touch with him and they made him their special guest for the show
He got sick before the show, and VH abandoned the soundcheck to visit him in the hospital
Your personal brand = your reputation
You gotta let the world know what you want and who you are
Just registered for online classes to finish her degree
Educating + fulfilling dreams

Matthew Cross & Judy Unrein’s DevLearn session on designing an effective business model for training

Designing an effective business model for training
Business model canvas – template for thinking about your business, customers, what you offer
Business model generation – book by Alex Osterwalder
Mapping out 9 building blocks
Speaking language of business and showing results
Business Model Canvas Explained – Youtube
We get myopic about what we do and not think about the revenue and partners that we need
Need to do this with your team
Generate lots of ideas; and then converge on what you need to do
Brainstorming, design thinking (Ideo) – design thinking toolkit
Reinventing the shopping cart – 60 minutes segment w/ Ideo
It’s not just about the box – Ideation, rolestorming, bodystorming, visual thinking
Gamestorming (book) by Gray, Brown, Macanufo
Post up activity
Everyone writes who your customers are on post it notes and puts it on the wall
will find out you have more customers than you think – customers who are indirectly affected
Or find you get more focused – depends on your purpose
You might have a completely different canvas for each group of customers
Forced Ranking – rank your customers by importance
“they’re all important” – what is the criteria? if this is hard to determine, just make an assumption – this might come up with different lists based on different criteria
Anxiety might surface at this point – if needed have everyone do it individually and then come together
Empathy map – connect with the customer in a more emotional way
Write the person’s name on the map so they actually think about a real person
Get a persona, an actual image of the person you’re designing for
How do we make the learner feel about the rule? How do we make them buy in? Giving technical information doesn’t always result in behavior change, though it may be a componenet of it
Business model alchemist .com
Value proposition designer
Business Model Generation (book)
Business Model YOU (book)

Tin Can API panel at DevLearn

Aaron Silvers; Clark Quinn; Mike Rustici; Stephanie Doll
Much more than next generation of SCORM
Support for mobile; everyone else has been doing it for 5 years
Now have the interoperability
With AICC announcement, they can move forward with AICC to combine resources
Tin Can is one technology in portfolio of learning architecture
CMI5 (AICC’s) will be an extension of Tin Can
Opens up experiences for learners; allows biz to understand gaps in learning
Learning experiences; a shift in the industry, we no longer have to be just a good provider of information, this is going to be increasingly devalued; what is our value proposition if everyone has access to information all the time?
Giving a good feedback loop – where does the learner go next?
Learning is not about connecting to info – about action and reflection
Learning as activity instead of content****
Just registering activity itself is not enough – but sequence of activities is a path to competency and track it that is meaningful
Starts the foundation of where we want to go
IT can be like what a mentor will recommend as a learning path
Tin Can is plumbing; just how we move data around
Where do you start? Start small. We all have something we want to do, but we can’t
Mobile, sharing across systems
About 30 vendors who have already adopted TC
When you do classroom training, you get a lot of feedback immediately
A rich feedback loop for elearning – you can find the content that was ignored, the thing that was clicked wrong
Force vendors to enable TC customization – should not be “you can make 6 TC statements”
Data mining + analytics
Content delivery not the way to develop people, allow them to make choice
How to develop people’s learning in ways that are much richer
Sequence of activities as a curriculum***
We have to space out information dump over time
Are instructional designers no longer going to be part of this, since mentors are now key?
Remove the box we’ve been in for 10 years
Like the plug on the wall
Need to make web service calls – webpage, app
It’s not just about training anymore we can embed TC calls in lots of different systems to give a picture of how a person’s activity ties to performance
Inspired by activity streams – ie Facebook
The vocabulary that was predefined is very limited; you can now extend the vocabulary in lots of ways; there is a registry of verbs
As the complexity increases, new solutions will arise
YOu can find the pieces that aren’t being utilized by learners
Can also find the places where users are having trouble with software; use for usability
YOu can look at a person’s record when they call you for help; so you can see what they’ve done, tried, haven’t tried to optimize what you do for them
You can actually build into the software how users use it
Biz doesn’t care where data comes from; LMS or whatever
Users can also save out the information from a course that they want to keep
ie in Sexual Harrassment you can save out definition of “quid pro quo” and copy it to a job aid
Does both transport and format of the information
Highly structured data
Rest, JSON
Doesn’t define database schema just how it comes in and out
ADL hosts mailing lists; LinkedIn
How do you get IT buy-in? Bypass IT and just do it. Create a business case for doing it
Big Data + Analytics + more information to find out what’s working
Informal learning + performance support
Based on a non-learning specific spec
Vendors can adopt it at different levels – at the lowest they can do it at the SCORM equivalent level
Demand vendors support what you want

Ignite panel at DevLearn

Big idea, 6 minutes, 20 slides

Robert Gadd
Mobile Learning in the moment of need
Am I sick, I need to make an appt on my phone, hit a speed bump in life
Found out he had cancer; how to balance – chemo radiation or robotic surgery – pick 2!
Used mobile devices and apps to get him through
Social media provided no value in his quest
Other apps ended up being very useful for connection organization education and engagement
Native apps were way better than the browser
Tracking his progress was essential

Judy Unrein
Bill Bauerman, founder of Nike
He spent a lot of time customizing training for athletes for their abilities and goals
One athlete told to run 10 miles after coming back from injury
Ran 10.25 and broke his metatarsal which resulted in the shoe
Manager / Training dept
Is there anyway for us to know our learners in the same way?
Get to know your audience before designing for them
What context? What content is most important? What background knowledge do they have? What inspires them?
Let the learner be self-directed, the coach doesn’t make the athlete, the athlete makes themselves
Get started with learning analytics; not easy

Chad Udell
What happens when Tin Can rules the world?
10 years ago, CSS was going to rule the world, now it does
Bring fire to your organization
YOu can measure any thing; real world results are what really matters
You’ll need to hold on
Gain a new perspective; become a strategist, curator, content specialist
Flexibility, understand business operations and performance
Not a magic bullet, you need to be clear about what you want to get out of it
There will still be issues
“keep your learning stuff out of my software”
You’re going to track everything and some of this will be meaningless
Need to be accountable
Mistake data for information, data is insight into change
There might be conflicts in information; someone might fail a task but succeed in a course
Support from Tin Can spec community

Megan Bowe
People change jobs often, have no way to own the data they have
62% of people leave a job in one year
Changing jobs is how they get ahead
Need to give them easy ways to move from place to place
Degrees and paper doesn’t show what a person has accomplished
Employees must be self sufficient; job titles and descriptions don’t show what someone has done
Top down hierarchy does not let org move fast; let people be self-sufficient at the bottom
We can pull connections more than ever before
If you do something outside your job description, the data of your experience is not shown when you want to leave your job
We have to give people a way to express where they want to go and give them the bits
Take things out of LMS and HR systems so people can own it

Jane Bozarth
What does learning look like – none of the pictures look like a classroom
They look like people doing stuff
Show your work
People are in silos, you don’t know how you overlap – links will subvert the hierarchies
Abstract, formal models
Narrate what you’re doing throughout the day
Not everyone is a writer, narrate, use video
Everyone has a cell phone, take pictures of what you have been doing
Show me what you know
Stop the “tell me what you’re doing” help them show it

Kris Rockwell
Trinity in the Matrix saying she wants to know how to fly a helicopter
But when she disconnects from the Matrix she doesn’t know how to fly it
In Neuromancer, jacking in
by 1999, they had full simulators tracked by an LMS
By 2011, they had static images and next buttons
Developers and designers no longer design for experience, they make it easy and cheap
Sherry Terkle – Alone Together, we focused on e not Learning
Excitement and wonder
Humans are curious
Mobile devices, why mimic what we do on the desktop
Can we use the capabilities of these devices?
These are game pieces on a broader game board?
Why not use analog with an electronic backend?
Need to let designers design and developers develop