Thursday afternoon was a full day that ended with SolutionFest 2013. I took the advice of a seasoned LSCON attendee and decided to be strategic. The sessions were located in three major areas of the hotel, for the first afternoon block I decided to stay in the Mezzanine Area.
Patti Shank’s “What Recent Learning Research Says about Designing Synchronous Learning” was my first stop. Before diving in, Patti discussed five key questions to consider when delving into research.
- What was the number of people involved in the study; (n)?
- What was the selection method: a convenience sample or a probability sample?
- What was the methodology? Was it self reporting, observations, or surveys?
- What were the actual questions asked and methods used?
- Who were the individuals involved?
She then led the group through the existing literature on synchronous eLearning. Here are three major takeaways:
- Traits and preferences impact how well synchronous works.
- Asynchronous works better for some instruction; synchronous works better for others.
- Good design makes a difference in outcomes in synchronous instruction.
My next stop was “Partnering to Create Dynamic Organizational Learning Interventions” presented by Belinda Brin and Nancy Priest. Brin is the Senior Organization Development Manager at Nestlé Purina PetCare and Priest is a senior executive at Eagle’s Flight in Creative Training Excellence. Both women led a partnership between the organizations to develop training for 7,000 employees. The spoke extensively on “creating a culture of innovation” and how to be a better corporate partner.
Session 508: “Life after eLearning: Realistic Performance Activities in the Workplace” was led by John Low Chief Creative Officer at Carney Inc. He opened with his thoughts on LSCON. John noted a consistent theme, we were all seeking “alternatives to monolithic learning events.” He then took us through a history of learning and training, touching on the Industrial Revolution, systematized training, learning machines, B.F. Skinner, Norman Crowder, all the way to the present with IBM’s Watson and Google Now. John succinctly and accurately stated, “there is a shift from knowing to knowing how to find.”
Because I hadn’t attended any of the Learning Stage events, I left John’s session a little early to head to the Expo Hall where Clark Quinn was leading a panel discussion on mobile mistakes. Robert Gadd, Chad Udell, and Neil Lasher (an official “eLearning Rockstar“) offered some great insights as they took questions from the audience. I wish I had gotten here earlier; it was a lively, no holds barred conversation. Topics ranged from platforms to security to moving beyond apps.
The evening concluded with SolutionFest 2013, which was an opportunity for attendees to showcase their latest tools, technologies, and projects. My only complaint would be the set-up; perhaps next year it should be held in a bigger space. With lots of interested attendees, it was difficult to hear and see all of the demonstrations. However excitement is a good thing; it’s better to have a large crowd than an empty room!
I am really enjoying this year’s conference and looking forward to DevLearn 2013!