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Back to Basics at LearnX 2011

By Ryan Tracey / October 2011

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Earlier this month, I attended LearnX Asia Pacific 2011 in sunny Brisbane, Australia.nI've been attending this event for several years in a row, and this time around I noticed a distinct lack of the usual suspects—rapid development, mobile learning, and social media.

While these themes were still present in many of the speaker sessions, I detected a conspicuous undercurrent of "back to basics" thinking—particularly in terms of learning strategy, learner engagement, and stakeholder management.

Here are some of the key messages that I gleaned from the speakers over the two days:

  • Lance Dublin—An organization needs an integrated learning strategy and architecture to keep pace with its learners' ever-changing needs.

  • Ben Willis—An online social network augments the learning experience beyond the classroom.

  • Akshay Bharadwaj—m-Learning is seamless when it's on the device you love.

  • Noelani Morrell—The challenges faced by in-house eLearning professionals are universal.

  • Ainslie Hunter—Engagement is students and teachers working together, especially when the course is delivered online.

  • Sue Collaro—To achieve effective behavioral change, the learner must tap into their subconscious habit, examine it, compare it to others, and then make the necessary change.

  • Peter Hall—eLearning can provide a cost-effective means of supporting the well-being of employees, which leads to increased engagement, retention and productivity.

  • Robin Petterd—The availability of high speed connectivity via the National Broadband Network will drive eLearning innovation in Australia.

  • Bruce Hillard—The attention a learner gives to e-learning content increases as its complexity increases, until it reaches the "boggle cliff"—after which the learner shuts down.

  • Arndria Seymour—An organization's learning agenda must continue to evolve to contribute to the bottom line.

  • Rob Stowell—E-Assessment is more than just online quizzing.

  • David Falck—School taught us there is only one answer and it's in the back of the book. They lied.

  • Jeevan Joshi—Sustainable learning innovation requires sound instructional design, careful media selection, IT support, and stakeholder support.

  • Roger Courville—One of the deadly sins of live online training is forgetting your audience's WIIFM [what's in it for me] factor.

  • David Falck—Successful e-learning is more than just e-reading.

  • Glenn Nott—The impact of learning rests largely on the shoulders of middle management.

  • Akshay Bharadwaj—Adobe is launching a Captivate-to-HTML5 converter to enable publishing for the iPad.

  • Bruce Hillard—Yellow immediately attracts the eye; warm colors are perceived rapidly but can overload neural pathways; the eye likes to settle on cool colors.

Of course these one-liners don't comprise an indepth synopsis of the conference, but I hope they provide you with the flavor of the proceedings and perhaps some food for thought.

I am happy to discuss them further, so feel free to ask a question or make a comment...

About the Author

Ryan Tracey is the E-Learning Manager at AMP, a financial services organization based in Sydney, Australia. His work focuses on adult learning in the corporate sector, and he maintains a particular interest in blended learning, informal learning and social media. Tracey has worked in the eLearning field for several years in the finance industry, following several more years in the higher education market. He holds a master's degree in Learning Sciences and Technology from the University of Sydney. He is a regular contributor to various industry magazines, and he has won several training awards in the Asia-Pacific region. He blogs as the E-Learning Provocateur and can be found on Twitter @ryantracey.


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