Road Blocks (To Mobile Learning)

PRELUDE

Like most anything in life if you want to do something right you have to know what you’re doing. Thankfully these days I’m part of a well informed and motivated PLN (Personal Learning Network) so there’s no shortage of ideas or places to look to help.

CREDIBLE

It helps to consult credible sources of information before beginning a learning and development project. With the pace of change in instructional strategies and educational technology I’ve learned research is an important first step towards achieving learning efficacy.

Sketch of three things that an instructional designer needs to design mobile learning experiences
I think based on my experience, education, and conversations with other educators instructional designers have to want to do what they do to ensure a good outcome. It has to have meaning (Roth, 2015, Location 674 of 3773) to you beyond a paycheck. It takes a lot of time, creativity, and effort to stay the course.
Design thinking offers a simple humanistic approach to connect with learners and the subject matter experts I often depend on. How learners will interact with the learning experience that gets created matters greatly (Buff, 2013). I usually ask learners directly what they prefer and then confirm it through prototyping and observations.
Much of what passes for elearning is boring and mostly disengages, rather than draws in, learners (Quinn, 2005, p2). Believing in your project, getting to know as much as you can about learners and how they will experience the learning offers the best chance of achieving your learning objectives.

EPILOGUE

I like drawing out my ideas. I usually figure out what to present to customers by telling stories. Here’s the story I produced on the way to writing this post.

Images of a zombie instructional designer hunting brains

REFERENCES
  • Buff, T. (2013). Top 5 Design Considerations for Creating Mobile Learning. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1I3jJBt
  • Tipton, S. (2015). Lesson from Edutech Australia? Planned Failure. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1JadukA
  • Quinn, C.N. (2005). The Seven Step Program. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/1HDkKTA
  • Roth, B. (2015). The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, And Take Command Of Your Life. [Kindle iOS Edition]. Retrieved from Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MRPtA Draft 00

PROLOGUE

“Every picture tells a story, don't it?” — Rod Stewart

MRPtA

My mLearnCon proposal was accepted by the eLearning Guild: Yea! So now the work begins.

Screen capture of mLearn conference agenda
 

DRAFT 00

I had thought to do my talk on a case study but during a chat on Twitter someone suggested a different spin.

Screen capture of a tweet suggesting my talk be done workshop style.
EPILOGUE

So that's where I'm at now, ideating how it might work. Good things happen, I've found, when you throw ideas out there.

 

 

 

Squiggle Cycle

PROLOGUE

“Perception is everything.” — a perceptive someone.

SQUIGGLES

Last night's #caedchat was fun. Q5 piqued my curiosity: What are my professional New Year resolutions? First pass, whatever it is share it with others to increase the chance it'll get done.

Sketch of the cycle of learning and sharing

Learn>Share>Squiggle cycle

@AustinKleon in Show Your Work! describes a learn>teach cycle. I think it should be more about sharing then remaining in contact through the squiggles. Squiggles are the trial and error we experience (orange in image above) on the way to mastery.
CYCLE
Ideally there are two squiggle moments per Learn>Share cycle: yours just after a learning event and the one others have after you share your know-how. 2015 will be different because of new modes of relationship building.

EPILOGUE

Here's the idea:

  1. Learn then share through the squiggles.
  2. Collaborate via social media and professional associations to learn from diverse perspectives.

 

 

 

Read Tread

PROLOGUE

“Academic success does not come from how smart or motivated students are. It comes from how they feel about their mistakes.” — Hunter Maats and Katie O’Brien in Edutopia

READ

Ever read something, not get it, then read it again? I felt it today reading @quinnovator’s Learnlets blog: Why L&D? The part I didn’t get: service thinking. I need more tread on the idea to get traction with it.

Sketch of a worn out tire contacting a road

Reading for traction: Check the tread.

 

TREAD

I’m a big fan of design thinking, a people-centric analysis and problem solving process. Empathy for others gets it rolling. Service science and service thinking: that lack of traction again. If there’s a problem with L&D (Learning and Development) it’s too systems and tools heavy. Solutions tend to focus on tools first then people.

EPILOGUE

It’ll take a few mistakes with service thinking before experiencing that golden “Aha!” moment.

 

 

 

Gap-Toothed Training

PROLOGUE

“Do you mind if I put you on hold for a moment whilst I research that? Thank you.” Click.

 

GAP-TOOTHED

A challenge instructional designers face is when there’s a gap of some time between when a training program is rolled out and when the skills workers learned are put to use. I call this gap-toothed training. Websters’ defines gap-toothed as a space between two teeth. It’s seems an apt metaphor

Sketch of a school house and a factory separated by a gap

TRAINING

Some years ago I was brought in to help with a problem. Initial sales of a telecommunications product were initially high; sales dropped precipitously a few weeks after product launch. Root cause: gap-toothed training.

 

EPILOGUE

I got an RFP that looks gap-toothed. Facilitated blogging seems a good solution. Tell a story about a potential problem and have workers blog solutions. It should keep the training alive and vital.

 

 

 

 

 

Comic AL Blogging

PROLOGUE

He stared, glassy-eyed, at the clock willing the seconds to tick more rapidly.

Comic of a character suggestion meetings that make things

COMIC

Some days it's one meeting after another. An Intel effective meetings class introduced me to meeting types.

  • Process
  • Mission
  • One-on-one
Comic depicting a long unproductive meeting

Maybe there's another way we can do this?

AL (ALternatives)

A recent tweet from @nyff made me aware of Boyle's Law for meetings. Want one? Bring a prototype with you. Prototypes are something tangible meeting participants can relate to and tinker with.

Comic describing alternative meeting possibilities including blogs and podcasts

Podcast anyone?

There are other alternatives, too. For meetings on status of projects for example, how about meeting participants blogging or tweeting them? In a typical 60 minute meeting I'm talking maybe two or three minutes tops. That's a long tweet or short blog. Maybe even podcast your bit?

EPILOGUE

Substituting blogs or podcasts (Voxer?) offer at least one other benefit: transparency. They are accessible all and can be designed to encourage feedback.


 

 

Loco Motive Learning

PROLOGUE

I like trains and training. Both make the earth move for me.

Sketch of a signal lamp next to a passing train

LOCOS

I grew up near a railroad switching yard. The rumble of diesel engines highballing through the yard, green-lit: Wow! Learning felt like that sometimes: earthshaking and exciting. Sadly as I got older learning grew boring. School didn’t rumble much after 5th grade.

MOTIVES

I love taking fresh instructional strategies out for a spin. More than once a customer has flashed that look. You know the one: You loco? What were you thinking with that prototype? More often than not it leads to something amazing. My current prototypes: speed dating, things that suck, design like a pirate.

EPILOGUE
Want something different to happen? Try something different. Prototypes are a great way to learn. My best career successes have been the direct result of being a little crazy.