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ATDChi | Value: How Are You Demonstrating It? | March 10th Event Recap

By Susan Camberis, Editor, Training Today 

Communicating our value as talent developers is an important skill – whether we’re happily employed or seeking new opportunities. 

“What we do matters, but we’ve not been very good at telling the story,” according to Judith (Judy) Hale, long-time friend of ATDChi and this month’s Networking Dinner speaker. In her work as CEO of The Institute for Performance Improvement ( and Principal with Hale Associates (, Hale has developed or redesigned dozens of certification programs across industries and around the world. 

Hale’s interactive session enhanced attendees’ abilities to define and frame value in measurable ways that resonate with internal and external clients. 

Here are 5 smart tips to demonstrate value: 

1. Focus on what matters to your customers. When you talk about your work, do so in a way that creates benefit for your customers or clients, according to Hale. Ask yourself: What do you do, and why does it matter? People look for solutions. What problems are you solving? What solutions do you provide? Build your story from here. Quoting her long-time business partner Deb Page, Hale shared: “If you can’t tell it, you can’t sell it!” 

2. Create value that’s Definable, Detectable, and Different. What puts you outside the norm? Do you differentiate yourself through your scope of work (do you do “A to Z” or just “A & B”), quality of work, efficiency, practices, or all of the above? 

Knowledge and expertise are two ways to create value. Consider: What do you know that others don’t? What unique expertise do you have? How can you help your organization or prospective clients solve their problems? 

You can also create value through your skills and resources. What can you do that others can’t, don’t, or won’t? “Many times we belittle our own access to resources,” according to Hale. Can you access resources that others cannot? “Companies are now anorexic. People’s plates are stacked so high; you can bring attention to something they cannot do,” according to Hale. What can you relieve people of – something they can’t get to? This is another path to differentiation. 

3. Ask questions that help define what success looks like. Rather than ask “why” questions, Hale prefers to focus on “what” questions, such as: What do you have to see to know that this project is making a difference? What are the little things that you want to see change that you’re not seeing now, or you want to see more of? What do you want to see that’s different at the end of this process that you’re not seeing now? “What” questions tend to be less threatening while providing actionable insights. 

4. Demonstrate quick wins with leading indicators. One of the most important ways you can demonstrate value is by helping others correlate your work with changes in key metrics. Help others see gains and improvements more quickly by identifying leading indicators, or interim behaviors, that show progress. 

5. Use value creation to build brand. “Brand is the outcome of value creation,” according to Hale. In the case of Hale’s own organizations, she’s sought to “touch the world in ways that matter.” By consistently doing this, her brands have attracted clients that are looking to do the same. Hale also recommends reminding people of your value; people are busy and have short attention spans. Brand can help with this too. 

To have a greater impact, define what makes you different, frame your work in ways that can be measured and create an image that makes the value of your solutions more apparent. Tell a story of value creation, and you’ll develop a brand that others want to follow.
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ATDChi | Think Outside the Class: Restock Your Toolbox with Social Learning | February 11th Event Recap

ATDChi | Think Outside the Class:  Restock Your Toolbox with Social Learning | February 11th Event Recap | ATDChi News |

Attendees Robert Heimdal and Alicia Raff with presenter, Shannon Tipton.  Image by Bruce DeViller 


By Susan Camberis

Event Date:  Thursday, February 11, 2016

Organization:  ATDChi


Keeping up with rapidly changing social technology can be a challenge, but Shannon Tipton, Chief Learning Rebel with L&D consultancy Learning Rebels, aims to keeps the challenge fun and interesting for talent developers.


At last week’s engaging and interactive networking dinner meeting “The 21st Century Toolbox: Restock It With Social Learning,” Tipton shared insights, tips, and strategies for enhancing learner connectivity. 


According to Tipton, “Social learning is being treated as a new concept, but it’s been with us since the beginning of time.”  Social learning happens “when we all come together and figure stuff out.”  In the age of Google, employees don’t need Learning & Development professionals in the same way they used to.  The question becomes, “How do we make sure our toolboxes are aligned with what people need today?”


Before getting started, talent developers should consider a few key questions:  Is your organization ready for this?  What’s the plan?  What goal are you trying to achieve?


There are a lot of tools available (many are free), and you don’t have to use them all.  According to Tipton, talent developers should use social learning tools to do 3 important things:  Curate, Communicate, and Collaborate.




Tipton defines curation as finding information, making sure it’s fit for purpose, and sharing it.  According to Tipton, “Not everything is about learning.  It’s about creating accessibility to information.”


There are a host of tools and resources that can be used to find, contribute, reflect, and share information.  Here are several good ones to be aware of:


Diigo: Akin to a “roaming library,” Diigo allows you to collect and share links with specific groups of learners. 


Evernote:  Allows you to create, collaborate, and organize virtual notes (and notebooks).  According to Tipton, she wrote an entire book using Evernote.


feedly:  A helpful tool for organizing and keeping up with blogs and other sources of information. 


Flipboard:  Shannon takes a lot of pictures of the sessions she facilitates and uses Flipboard to share pictures back with her clients.  She also uses Flipboard to orient people to upcoming sessions, sharing pictures of the facilities and links to relevant articles. 


Pinterest:  While you might think you know Pinterest, have you considered how you might use it from an L&D perspective?  Pinterest can be a useful tool for group curation (for example, to research and share ideas on a particular topic).




“The whole purpose of communication is evoking emotion,” according to Tipton.  When you create and disseminate meaningful content, you add intrinsic value.  Communication tools help you connect with learners by sharing information; this includes writing, being visual, and talking out loud. 


Before you get started, consider:  What’s your goal?  What’s your unique point of view?  What’s your philosophy?


Tools in this category include:


Blogs:  “Blogs don’t have to be ‘teachy,’” according to Tipton, “they just have to be interesting.”  This requires that you know your audience, and “write interesting stuff.” Wordpress allows you to measure who’s reading and for how long; Tumblr is great for short-form blogging.  Keep stories visual by using images from sources like Canva and Pixabay.


Video:  If you have a Smartphone, you have a video studio in the palm of your hand.  Download iMovie for editing and upload anytime to your private YouTube channel.  Powtoon and Videoscribe are great applications for creating animated presentations and whiteboard videos.


Podcasts are another great way to connect with learners.  Tipton believes they’re underutilized, but gaining in popularity.  Keep podcasts concise (15 minutes max).  One of last week’s attendees shared a helpful rule of thumb when working with scripts:  115 words of text equals approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds of content. 


Newsletters can also be very effective communication vehicles.  For example, if you’ve just facilitated a class, a newsletter can help extend the learning.  Keep newsletters simple and use catchy titles.  MailChimp and Constant Contact are popular newsletter services.  To maximize learning, consider using a newsletter to share a lesson, a video, and a worksheet.  Then, repeat, repeat, repeat! 


An equally important aspect of communication is creating opportunities for conversation.  It’s more important to be interesting and invite participation than to over-moderate.  Skype, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yammer, Facebook Groups, Google+, and Slack, can all be used to engage learners in conversation. 




Collaboration is sharing to encourage deeper thinking. 


Collaboration tools like Google Docs, can be used to share pre-work before a training session, and allow participants to collaborate with one another. 


Basic collaboration tools include:  OneDrive, OneNote, SharePoint, Dropbox, Evernote, iCloud, and Google Docs.


In closing, Tipton encouraged all attendees to:  Know the tools.  Pick 1 or 2 things you’re already working where you can pilot a new technology.  Make things happen!


For more insights from Shannon, visit Learning Rebels (, follow Shannon on Twitter at @stipton, and follow the conversation at #LetsDoThis. 

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ATDChi | What Learners Need to Succeed | January 14th Event Recap

ATDChi | What Learners Need to Succeed | January 14th Event Recap | ATDChi News |

By Susan Camberis

Event Date:  Thursday, January 14, 2016

Organization:  ATDChi


ATDChi’s 2016 Kick-off event gave attendees a new perspective on a familiar topic:  learning agility. 


The evening featured three local learning leaders.  Pamela Meyer, Ph.D. (@pmeyerphd), author of the new book, The Agility Shift, and Catherine Marienau, Ph.D., co-author of forthcoming book, Facilitating Learning with the Adult Brain in Mind, joined from DePaul’s School of New Learning & Center to Advance Education for Adults (‪@SNLDePaul‪).  Kathryn Wozniak, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Leader of Instructional Design and Technology at Concordia University Chicago also joined the panel.  ATDChi’s 2016 President, Matt Elwell, CPLP moderated the discussion. 


“Significant disruption and change in role require learning agility,” according to Dr. Pamela Meyer.  Learning agility includes both learning in action (learning “on our feet”) and transferable learning (which derives from training and prior life experience).  Learning agility is especially important when you consider that research has shown that fewer than 30% of high performers have the potential to succeed in broader, senior-level, critical positions. 


Here are 7 ideas to enhance learning agility in your organization:


1.  Use a blended approach.  Dr. Wozniak’s doctoral research asked 120 participants what type of learning they preferred (classroom, online, or a blended approach) – a question she also posed to kick-off event attendees.  Today’s learners prefer a blended approach, and what they really need to succeed is help managing and curating information.  Learners also desire regular, meaningful evaluation (feedback).


2.  Think about thinking.  Based on her research, Dr. Wozniak developed a model grounded in the idea of metacognition, or thinking about thinking.   She used the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory.  Here’s a link where you can learn more:


3.  Activate the “curious brain”.  Recent neuroscience research suggests that we’re taxing learners’ brains.  “Our brains want to be efficient, fast, and right,” according to Dr. Catherine Marienau.   When given a choice between the familiar and the unknown, our brains will seek the familiar.  As talent developers, we want people to choose new ways of doing things, but this requires support.  “Applaud accomplishments, and withhold judgments,” according to Dr. Marienau.  We all have our favorite ways to think.  What we’re striving for with training is to active the “curious brain,” the part of the brain that is open to new possibilities. 


4.  Engage the C-Suite with data.  According to Dr. Wozniak, one way to engage senior leaders is using data to show how learning improves efficiency and effectiveness.  Look for ways to involve leaders with the learning agenda through direct experience, and tie learning agility to organizational agility – the ability to respond to the unexpected and unplanned.   


5.  Build organizational agility with the “relational web.”  As described in her recent book, The Agility Shift (, the relational web is the space people create with their colleagues that allows for organizational agility.  The relational web is:  responsive, resilient, resourceful, reflective, and relevant.  It takes advantage of the fact that 70-80% of learning is informal.  Given this, TD professionals should seek to create more opportunities for intentional informal learning.


6.  Give learners time to process.  “I think we know the best practices to make the brain more curious,” according to Dr. Catherine Marienau.  "We do not learn without other people.”  We need to make sure we’re giving people time to process, and to question. 


7.  Help learners make meaning.  “We’re all listening to the same channel: WIIFM (What’s In It For Me),” according to Dr. Pamela Meyer.  We need to be able to make meaning from what we’re learning.  As a TD professional, don’t assume that learning will be applied in the way you anticipate.  Instead, design learning activities for adaptive responses.  


The kick-off event was an exciting start to what is sure to be a great year for ATDChi.   


If you’d like to learn more about the latest thinking in learning agility, watch for upcoming learning opportunities from DePaul’s Learning Innovation Institute:

ATDChi Training Today's insight:

How did we do capturing key insights from this event?  What else did you take away?  

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ATDChi | Road Show at McDonald's Hamburger U - Event Recap

ATDChi | Road Show at McDonald's Hamburger U - Event Recap | ATDChi News |

McDonald’s Road Show Hamburger U Event Recap

By Sue Weller, CPLP, ATDChi Interim Director, Programming

Organization: ATDChi

Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2015


On Tuesday, October 27, ATDChi was pleased to host “An Intimate Evening at McDonald’s Hamburger U” with our special guest speaker, McDonald’s Chief Learning Officer (CLO), Rob Lauber.


I probably need to start out by saying it was a fabulous night, but intimate, it was not. It was huge! In fact, this event was the largest dinner event in the history of ATDChi with over 140 people registering for the event. However, because there were so many opportunities to network, talk, laugh and share a drink, it never felt like it was too big.


We started with some small group tours where we had opportunities to see Hamburger U’s new full kitchen simulation and to learn about how McDonald’s so consistently and excellently trains the individuals running the McDonald’s restaurants globally. We also were able to view their state-of-the-art smart rooms where the learners interacts in a pod-environment and there is no “front of the room” for the facilitator. It was awe inspiring.


One of my favorite parts of the evening was being able to walk through McDonald’s history exhibit. It certainly brought back a lot of memories as I looked at advertising, uniforms and Happy Meal toys from back when I was a child. There were a fair number of photo opportunities as you see in the picture above. (Yes, that is three of the ATDChi board members standing next to a psychedelic fry box.)


After dinner and desert, we heard from McDonald’s very personable and down-to-earth CLO. He gave us the opportunity to walk in the CLOs shoes as he provided us with a real-world training situation McDonald’s is currently facing. Each table was highly engaged as they attempted to help Rob solve current problems and create a better training environment for the future. Rob, we can’t wait to see how our suggestions and recommendations will be implemented!


My only complaint of the night was that there were no McDonald’s hamburgers provided. A few of us joked about stopping at a McDonald’s drive-thru on the way home for a Happy Meal. I won’t say if I did or didn’t, but I’m playing with a purple My Little Pony Happy Meal toy as I speak.


This fabulous event was hosted by one of ATDChi’s long-time sponsors, Caveo Learning. Although I personally did not win any of the door prizes, including the two $100 gift certificates that Caveo raffled off, I still had a great evening, learned a lot about how McDonald’s runs their training business and, as always, renewed some old friendships and made some new ones.

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ATDChi NEWS Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase 2015 Event Recap

Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase 2015 Event Recap

Recap provided by Joie Marshall, Training Today Editor

Organizations: ATDChi, Chicago ISP, and STC Chicago

Date: August 18, 2015


Just last week, many local L&D practitioners came together to share information, learn new things, and network with others. As it has been in past years, the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase (CETS) was a robust event.


Held in the heart of Chicago at Northwestern University’s School of Law, volunteers from three professional organizations came together to plan, organize, and deliver a high-quality event. ATDChi, Chicago ISPI, and STC Chicago once again delivered a “cutting-edge exploration of new media and interactive elearning tools.” In its eighth year, this year’s event did not disappoint.


To kick things off, Trish Uhl from Owl’s Ledge LLC, inspired us to take ownership of our own professional development in her key-note aptly titled “Trigger Your Transformation: 5 Steps for Getting Your Professional Development on Track and Keeping Up with Evolving Learning Tech.” Trish provided us helpful steps to identify our path to further our own professional growth, instead of passively allowing that path to be created for us, or worse – a missed opportunity. Trish identified key competencies and supportive models to use that can help us make conscious choices to further our own development. It’s our own professional future; we should own it.


As in the past eight years, CETS was filled with engaging sessions across various tracts (design, strategy, learning technologies, and development). Some of the sessions available included:

- Cheap & Easy Instructional Characters for eLearning

- Why Does Tin Can/xAPI Matter & How Do I get Started?

- Supercharging eLearning Design

- Leveraging Technology for Learning & Doing

- Starting with Questions First: Using the Latest Brain Science to Build Adaptive eLearning That Increases Retention

To see a full list of the conference’s sessions, go to:


As in years before, the conference presented opportune times for participants to engage with exhibitors and the host organizations for more details.


One new session format included in this year’s event was the Learning Spark. Learning Sparks, inspired by the Chicago Ignite presentation format, were short five-minute presentations on a specific topic. Learning Spark presenters prepared 20 slides and set them to auto-advance at 15-second intervals. This new format at CETS offered up a wide variety of presentation topics that ranged from “Cheap & Cheerful eLearning,” “To Gamify or Not? What Corporate Learning Experts Should Know,” “Engaging Millennials,” among others. Learning Sparks were challenging to deliver, but the inaugural group of presenters did a fantastic job.


Another great add to this year’s CETS was the Showcase Mobile App. This little application was simple to download and even easier to use right away. The Showcase Mobile App allowed participants to review session and speaker information, complete polls, learn about exhibitors and host organizations, and post to Twitter. Check out the Twitter back-channel by searching #CETS15. Also, the app allowed attendees to quickly complete a session evaluation within the app. Talk about effective and efficient!


Thank you to the many volunteers who offered up their talents, expertise, and time to deliver this value-added event once again!


For a one-day, local event, the 2015 Chicago eLearning Technology Showcase offered a huge impact for the registration fee. It surely is the must-attend event in the Chicagoland area for anyone involved in eLearning.

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9 ATDChi members to speak at 2015 Chicagoland eLearning & Technology Showcase

9 ATDChi members to speak at 2015 Chicagoland eLearning & Technology Showcase | ATDChi News |

Nine ATDChi members are among the 33 speakers slated to present at the 2015 Chicagoland eLearning & Technology Showcase (, to be held Tuesday, August 18, at Northwestern University’s Chicago Campus.


Trish Uhl, a past president of ATDChi, has been tapped to deliver the keynote speech. The title of her presentation is: "Trigger Your Transformation: 5 Steps for Getting Your Professional Development on Track & Keeping Up with Evolving Learning Tech.”


Four other ATDChi members have been selected to present at the showcase:

·         Ralph Gaillard (Captivating Today’s Learners in the Online Classroom)

·         Dennis Glenn (The Path to Mastery Using Serious Games)

·         Shannon Tipton (The 21st Century Learning Toolbox)

·         Sue Weller (Cheap & Easy Instructional Characters for eLearning)


In addition, four ATDChi members will present “Learning Sparks,” short TED-style talks:

·         Jackie Bauer (Why Managers & Learners Dread eLearning)

·         Jann Iaco (Cheap & Cheerful eLearning)

·         Adam Kirby (Ugh, #Millennials. Amirite?)

·         Joie Marshall (We’re the Servants, Not the Masters)


CETS is co-hosted by ATDChi, Chicago ISPI, and STC Chicago.

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ATDChi May 12, 2015 Roadshow Event Recap

ATDChi May 12, 2015 Roadshow Event Recap | ATDChi News |

Lurie Children’s Hospital Roadshow - Event Recap, May 12, 2015

Recap provided by Meighan Newhouse, VP Membership

Organization: ATDChi
Event Date: 


Those of us who attended the ATD Leader’s Conference in Arlington, VA last fall walked away very excited about the same idea: The Road Show. The concept is simple yet brilliant; the local chapter partners with a local business to gain “insider access” to their training department. The benefit to the business is exposure to the area’s best learning professionals, and the benefit to the attendees is exposure to different ways of thinking and executing in the profession.


ATDChi premiered our first Roadshow with Lurie Children’s Hospital last night, and I think it’s safe to say that it was a smashing success.


Over 40 professionals joined us at Lurie’s, where they began the evening with an insider’s tour of the gorgeous facility, which opened in its new Loop location in June 2012. Team members from various departments at the hospital led the tours. Later in the evening, we learned more about these team members who were comprised of a cross-functional project team.


After their tour, attendees networked in the bright Conference Center. The room, located on the 11th floor of the building, provided stunning 180-degree views of the city and Lake Michigan. Heavy hors d'oeuvres and an open bar were the perfect addition to this part of the evening.


ATDChi’s President, Greg Owen-Boeger, kicked off the program by welcoming our participants, as well as the event’s sponsor, Silk Road ( After brief introductions, the main event began.


Led by Diana Halfer and Julia Hooper from the Lurie’s learning team, The Fishbowl brought our tour leaders together into their cross-functional team to share with the participants a project on which they have been working. This project concept will be presented to executive staff in July, and the team was looking for event participants to provide feedback. They thoroughly and deliberately shared the background, business needs, and approach. At three distinct points in the discussion, the team “froze” and the participants were able to ask questions. Questions were used both for clarification as well as to challenge the team to think of anything that may be missing to help them prepare for their July presentation.


After an incredibly robust discussion from nearly all of the participants, the evening closed with several giveaways and a promise to hold another of these Roadshows, and soon (July 16th, 2015 to be exact).

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ATDChi Thursday March 19, 2015 Event Recap

ATDChi Thursday March 19, 2015 Event Recap

Recap provided by Tamara Lewis, ATDChi, Director of Alliance Relations


Organization: ATDChi

Event: Skills Seminar: "Dinner with Thiagi"

Date: Thursday, March 19, 2015


Thiagi’s wonderful sense of humor and improv skills supplied ATDChi members and guests an engaging, fun-filled dinner event.  After his two-day workshop, Thiagi started his talk Thursday evening by demonstrating a card trick involving a “psychic” member of the audience. He did this without an actual deck of cards. We were amazed when another well know ATDChi member stood up and presented the final card. It was a great way to start his engaging talk.


He then gave each table an opportunity to come up with questions to ask him. He described his listening to the questions as a needs analysis. The questions were as follows:

1.  How do get an adult to perform when they don’t want to?

2.  When will our profession become obsolete?

3.  How did you really do that trick?

4.  Is ADDIE dead?

5.  What is the one best practice for doing rapid design?

6.  Where is the direction of training headed?

7.  Will MOOCs make a college degree obsolete?

8.  How do you make non-learning professionals understand what we do?


With never ending wit and intelligence, Thiagi answered each question. Yes, he even explained the card game!  There was also a question concerning what we can do when a client says they need a learning solution, but they really need a cultural solution. He replied that culture takes five generations to change. If you can accelerate it, it’s not cultural training.


Here are some key takeaways from the evening:

> Trust your participants

> Let the inmates run the asylum

> He’s into an Agile model. He also called it the mashed potatoes model

> Design in front of people – mash the design and the delivery 


The evening wrapped up with a raffle for a copy of Thiagi’s book and an opportunity to take photos and speak to Thiagi.


I think it’s safe to say that Thiagi’s talk brought us to our feet, opened our eyes, turned us completely around, and touched our hearts.  In other words, an evening that was entertaining and well spent.

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Tamara’s Takeaways | CODIC January 10, 2015 event

Recap by Tamara Lewis, ATDChi Director of Alliance Relations and CETS Liaison


As ATDChi’s Director of Alliance Relations, I will be visiting the Alliance organizations each month and using this column to report back on my takeaways after my visits.  If you aren’t aware of the Alliance, please refer to the end of this post and please consider taking advantage the Alliance discount offered to you as an ATDChi member.


On Saturday, January 10, 2015, I had the pleasure of attending CODIC’s event, High-Performance Teams and Change.


Angie Keister, an Organization Effectiveness Manager at Allstate Insurance Company and PhD in Organization Development presented the research for her paper, “Thriving Teams and Change Agility: Leveraging a Collective State to Create Organization Agility”.


Angie defined thriving as “a psychological state in which individuals experience both a sense of vitality and a sense of learning at work.”  She went on to explain how change doesn’t create thriving but it’s possible to have a thriving team during change.  She also presented a definition and some research about attunement, a capability that enables us to be aware of our individual state of being.  Her advice was to focus on attunement first, before focusing on the team’s tasks.


She took us through her PhD research propositions and evidence:

High thriving teams see thriving as a result of the team, rely on individual team member strengths to get work done, and create new knowledge together through creativity and innovation. High thriving teams see challenge and opportunity in change and respond intuitively. High thriving teams are more attuned to the team and can identify thriving in multiple ways which are the results of our work, the way we work, the feeling of working together, and the way we think.


A lot of discussion was had about this last point, especially its usage.  In order to determine if a team is thriving, one can ask questions such as “how are we doing” and “what are we learning as a team”.  At this point, Angie had us break into pairs to do an exercise called Synergenesis.  The exercise was a chance to illustrate some of what we had been learning during the session.  After some discussion of the exercise, Angie provided some insights to foster a thriving team environment.  These insights included increasing the following: decision making discretion, broad information sharing, civility, and performance feedback.


It was a great summary to the learning Angie’s audience experienced that morning.  This event was time well spent.  Participants agreed that the information could be put to use immediately in their workplaces.  I look forward to upcoming CODIC events.


About CODIC:
The Community of Organization Development in Chicagoland is an organization dedicated to the exploration, development and dissemination of organization development (OD) knowledge, information and wisdom and is based at Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois.

For more information, go to:


About the Alliance:
The Chicago Alliance is comprised of professionals groups in Chicago related to human development in the workplace.  The Chicago Alliance organizations offer discounts for their events to other Alliance members.  

For more information, go to:

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Introducing ATDChi by Greg Owen-Boger, 2015 President, ATDChi

Introducing ATDChi by Greg Owen-Boger, 2015 President, ATDChi | ATDChi News |

Did you hear the news? In May, ASTD changed its name to the Association for Talent Development (ATD) in order to broaden the organization’s scope and to better reflect the nature of our evolving industry.


Over the next few weeks CCASTD will be doing the same. One of the first things you will notice is the transition to our new name: the Association for Talent Development, Chicagoland Chapter (ATDChi). We’ll also begin rolling out our new brand identity beginning with our new chapter logo. The plan is to be completely transitioned by January 1, 2015.


What’s Not Changing?

While our name may be changing, the ATDChi’s board of directors wants to assure you the local programming, networking, and services you have come to value and enjoy through the chapter will not change, nor will the chapter’s mission and vision. If anything, we have renewed energy and will work tirelessly to maintain or improve the quality of our services. Like national ATD, training and development will remain at the core of our chapter, and we pledge our service and commitment to you is stronger than ever.


We will continue to keep you abreast of our change, and look forward to having you join us on this journey; together, we are creating a world that works better!


For more information and to review ATD’s new name and announcement materials, please visit


A Special Thank You

Thank you to the following ATDChi Enablement Committee members for their help during this transition:

Joe TotaAdam KirbyJenny MassoniJoie MarshallKen PhillipsMary ChannonMatt ElwellSue Weller


All the best,


Greg Owen-Boger

2015 President, ATDChi

ATDChi Enablement Committee Chair

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Are You a Seasoned Articulate Storyline User?

Are You a Seasoned Articulate Storyline User? | ATDChi News |

We are looking for an Articulate Storyline Professional to lead a workshop in Milwaukee.


If you're interested, visit

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CCASTD Achieves 100% CORE from ASTD National!

CCASTD Achieves 100% CORE from ASTD National! | ATDChi News |

From ASTD Chapter Services:


Dear Chicagoland Chapter Board,

Congratulations on achieving 100% CORE! This recognition means your chapter met all 18 elements of CORE in 2013.


Recognition letter from ASTD President & CEO, Tony Bingham: 


April 2014 

Dear Chicagoland Chapter Board,

Congratulations, your chapter is 100 percent CORE achieved for 2013! This means your chapter successfully met all 18 required CORE elements.

I want to personally acknowledge and thank you and the chapter leadership team for your achievement. I value and appreciate your ongoing service, leadership, and commitment to your chapter, national ASTD, and the profession.

ASTD recognizes that the value you provide to your members through well run chapter programs and services and exceptional operations is the result of the individual time, resources, thought, and dedication you and your team contribute.

Thank you for your continued commitment and time in support of ASTD and the entire training and development profession. I look forward to continuing to partner with you and the chapter!

Best regards,
Tony Bingham
President and CEO, ASTD


Again, congratulations on your chapter’s achievement. We look forward to continuing to work with you and your chapter’s board of directors this year and wish you continued success in 2014! Thank you for your time, leadership, and commitment to ASTD!    

Best regards,

Chapter Services, ASTD

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CCASTD Past President Stays Connected to T+D by Volunteering

CCASTD Past President Stays Connected to T+D by Volunteering | ATDChi News |

In November 2011, I was downsized as a Trainer/Instructional Designer and spent the year looking for work (on the CCASTD job bank) and doing some contract work as an Instructional Designer. As the fall of 2012 was approaching, the contract work dwindled. As a Past President of CCASTD in 2009, I understood the value of staying connected to those in the industry. The first thing I did was to check the CCASTD website for volunteer opportunities where I could utilize my skills and showcase my passion for the T&D world. In the “Community Relations” category, I found an opportunity with e-Learning for Kids: e-Learning for Kids is a global, non-profit foundation dedicated to fun and free learning on the Internet for children ages 5-12 years. I discovered that Elliott Masie and Allison Rossett, two prominent Training & Development professionals, serve on the foundation’s Advisory Board.

To read the entire story, view Norma's Blog - Norma's Notes - on the CCASTD website.

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ATDChi News | Call for CETS Volunteers and Speakers | Speaker Deadline February 12

ATDChi News | Call for CETS Volunteers and Speakers | Speaker Deadline February 12 | ATDChi News |

By Tamara Lewis, Director of CETS Engagement

Date:  February 2, 2016


This year, on August 16, 2016, ATDChi, Chicago ISPI, and STC Chicago will host the ninth annual Chicago eLearning & Technical Showcase at NIU Naperville.


The Showcase is a full day of presentations with an emphasis on the role of new media and interactive methods in organizational training. Speakers will explore all aspects of elearning—instructional design, development tools, media resources, virtual classrooms, social and interactive applications, mobile learning, rapid elearning, and more.


You can help shape this year's Chicago eLearning & Technology

Showcase by applying to be a speaker or volunteering:


Apply to be a speaker for a 50-minute session or a 5-minute Learning Spark presentation. To learn more, see the Call for Speakers: Keep in mind that applications are due by Friday, February 12.  Or volunteer for a planning committee team.  For more information, see the Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities (PDF) and then complete the volunteer interest form:


The CET Showcase is a great opportunity to network and get involved, on behalf of ATDChi. It would get to have several ATDChi members step up and participate in this great event.


See you at the Showcase!

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10 Free (or Cheap) Tools to Make Your eLearning Amazing with Jackie Zahn - Event Recap

10 Free (or Cheap) Tools to Make Your eLearning Amazing with Jackie Zahn - Event Recap | ATDChi News |

10 Free (or Cheap) Tools to Make Your eLearning Amazing - Event Recap
By Joie Marshall, Editor/Curator, Training Today

Event Date: November 19, 2015

Organization: ATDChi


As usual, Jackie Zahn impressed the room with her robust list of free and cheap tools we can use when design and developing eLearning courses. To keep things simple, the list is below.

 1. Prezi

Jackie used Prezi to display her “slides.”

2. Piktochart

Free (or low cost for premium features) tool to create infographics.

Jackie recommended we use this for eLearning course templates as well. Cool idea!

3. SnagIt / Jing / Camtasia

Many of us are already familiar with SnagIt. Jing is the free version.

Camtasia was the tool of the night (in my opinion). Jackie frequently mentioned how Camtasia can be used to capture anything to then use or add to eLearning. She even recommended using Camtasia to record short demos of your work to use as a portfolio. Another awesome idea!

4. Webcam

Jackie showed the group an inexpensive webcam (about $50).

5. YouTube

Jackie raved about YouTube, stating that more and more organizations are loosening their restrictions on this site. You can upload videos and set the viewing to private allowing only select people to access the video.

6. Audacity / Snowball microphone

Audacity is a tool that helps edit audio files.

Jackie showed us her blue snowball microphone. She shared that this microphone has been the best one she’s used. It has settings on the back for different types of recording (no background noise, background included, etc.).

7. Wondershare

This tool allows you to convert video files (I believe audio too) into other formats. This is needed due to certain eLearning development tools will not allow certain video files to import. Inexpensive at $40.

8. EasyPrompter

When working with a client that needs to read a script for a recorded video, EasyPrompter is a free tool that eases the process. Simply enter in the words that will be spoken and the application shows the text like a prompter for the speaker.

9. PowToon

Animation tool. Jackie shared it’s a little challenging to use.

10. VideoScribe

Another animation tool demonstrated at the session.

Jackie recommended to watch this application’s company – Sparkol. She has seen some cool products from them.


Jackie is the ever-giving L&D professional, always providing valuable information on how we can do our work better, and cheaper too. Check out Jackie’s website at: 

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ATDChi | Lou Russell Project Management Events - Recap

ATDChi | Lou Russell Project Management Events - Recap | ATDChi News |

Lou Russell - Project Management events - Recap

Project Management can be FUN and more PRODUCTIVE!

By Jann Iaco, Director of CPLP, Event Management

Organization: ATDChi

Event dates: September 23rd and 24th, 2015


Thanks to ATDChi for bringing the “Queen” to Chicago!  Queen and CEO, Lou Russell that is of Russell Martin Associates. ATDChi offered two opportunities to see Lou. One was a dinner meeting followed by an all day workshop.  I was fortunate to have attended both. The all day workshop affirmed my hope and prayers that there is a better way to tackle project management in the Learning and Development industry. 


Over the past 10 years I’ve attended two different project management classes. Those classes were dry, boring, where PM software reigned, and the human factor was eliminated. Control freaks need only apply!  Lou’s approach is totally the opposite …delivered with a sense of humor and over 30 years of experience her approach strikes a realistic balance and strengthens your ability to properly manage the resources. For me, one of the big “aha” moments was getting clarity around the start of a project. We’ve all been in ‘launch meetings’ where they range from social ‘meet and greets’ to already dissecting the ‘plan.’ I learned that the first step is to define and an important component of that is making sure everyone of your stakeholders understands the “why.”  So often the context of what a project is about is missing because everyone just wants to know the ‘plan.’ They just want the milestones they need to hit.  Lou suggests that a project manager should spend some time on the project charter. And I learned that that the project charter can be updated at any time! Wow! I had come to believe that was etched in stone.


My second “aha” moment came when Lou took us through a terrific exercise in defining the scope diagram. Sure, you can use some fancy software, but nothing comes more to life than post-it notes on a piece of flip chart paper screaming at you that your inputs and outputs don’t align. And fine tuning the scope can be a breeze. Just add or eliminate a post-it!  Seeing the whole project like that was music to this visual learner’s ears and eyes!


All hail the Queen!  Thank you Lou Russell!


For more information on upcoming ATDChi events

And for more about Lou Russell

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ATDChi - Dr. Deb Colky Student Award Previous Award Recipients

ATDChi - Dr. Deb Colky Student Award Previous Award Recipients | ATDChi News |

2015 will be the eighth year that the Dr. Deborah Colky Student Award recognizes a student who demonstrates excellent potential in the Workplace Learning and Performance profession.


Award recipients historically exhibit many of Deb’s qualities, including enthusiasm and patience that encourages personal growth and skill development of those around them. In addition, the committee is interested in applicants who are:

- Effective and efficient practitioners

- Passionate about organization development

- People-centric

- Humanistic


Read about each past recipient of this distinguished award and how winning the award impacted their careers.


The deadline for applications for this year is November 13, 2015.

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ATDChi Thursday, June 25, 2015 Event Recap

ATDChi Thursday, June 25, 2015 Event Recap

Recap provided by Mary Channon, ATDChi, Director of Website Management


Organization:  ATDChi and DePaul School for New Learning

Event: Creating and Sustaining a Thriving Career in Learning and Development Networking Event and Panel Discussion

Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015


ATDChi’s recent SOLD-OUT networking event, Creating & Sustaining a Thriving Career in Learning & Development, proved to be yet another engaging evening for adult learning professionals.  Co-Hosted with DePaul’s School for New Learning’s Center to Advance Education for Adults, the event featured a graduate showcase, job fair, networking, and panel discussion – a very full and exciting affair!

The evening started and ended with the graduate showcase for students in the Master of Arts in Educating Adults program.  The exhibits covered a wide range of Applied Inquiry Topics, many focusing on developing, piloting, and evaluating adult learning programs for very specific audiences and goals, for example: Mentors for Nonviolent Women Offenders, and Parents of Elementary School Aged Children Committing to Learning Foreign Languages.  Impressive to say the least, right?   Attendees were encouraged to engage the students in discussion about their chosen topics.


During the showcase, a job fair featuring learning and development organizations – including The Cara Group, Caveo Learning, Walgreens, and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago - offered attendees an opportunity to explore new career possibilities while networking.


When the networking hour ended, the evening was far from over, as the Panel Discussion, moderated by DePaul’s Catherine Marienau, Ph. D. and featuring ATDChi’s very own Jann Iaco, CPLP, began.  Panelists offered advice on entering the Talent Development field and gave practical tips for keeping a seat at the table once there.  Panelists answered questions from the audience, citing real-world solutions they have personally applied to make an impact on Learning & Development within their own organizations.


From a marketing perspective, the most interesting part of the evening was our attempt to live-stream the event.  Adam Kirby VP of Marketing, hosted ATDChi’s first ever livestream of the event using the mobile Periscope app, in conjunction with Twitter.  We hope to do this again and have more participants next time.


Another successful event co-hosted with DePaul’s School for New Learning’s Center ( to Advance Education for Adults – we look forward to more events like this in the coming years!

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ATDChi Wednesday, April 29, 2015 Webinar Recap

ATDChi Wednesday, April 29, 2015 Webinar Recap | ATDChi News |

ATDChi Wednesday, April 29, 2015 Webinar Recap

Recap provided by Joie Marshall, ATDChi, Training Today Editor


Organization:  ATDChi

Event:  How to Effectively Select, Organize, and Evaluate Webinar Content

Date:  Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Patti Schutte provided an interactive and robust webinar for attendees on Wednesday, April 29th. Schutte’s webinar “How to Effectively Select, Organize and Evaluate Webinar Content” highlighted tips and techniques for transferring live training content to a webinar. 


Prior to the start of the webinar, attendees received an email with a link to download a helpful handout that would be referenced during the webinar. I downloaded and printed the handout but had low expectations for “using” it during the webinar. When Schutte started the webinar, she connected the audience to the handout and pointedly stated that we would use the handout during the session. She was right! To my delight, I continually scribbled notes and ideas all over my three-page handout. You can see my handout in the image.


The success of the handout was due to Schutte’s direction and continual redirection to the handout. The bigger impact, in my opinion, was the way the handout was formatted. Schutte took traditional guided notetaking techniques and structured the handout as a road map for the content that was shared. Throughout the webinar, I collected nuggets of information as I completed sentences and filled in blanks with key terms and concepts that were shared. This all spurred me to continue my notes by jotting down ideas that I plan to use in the future.


Outside of the handout, Schutte shared helpful details for generating and collecting ideas, narrowing content, and organizing and structuring topics. She even shared criteria for how to effectively use slides and handouts, and the purpose of each.


All in all, this webinar was one of the most interactive virtual sessions I have participated in quite some time. I am certain I will use the concepts and ideas generated when I deliver a webinar in the future.

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ATDChi February 2015 Event Recap

ATDChi Thursday February 2015 Event Recap

Recap provided by Joie Marshall, ATDChi, Training Today Editor.


Organization: ATDChi

Event: Skills Seminar: "ROI Icebreakers" with Matt Elwell (ATDChi's Pres-Elect)

Date: Thursday, February 19, 2015


Despite the frigid temperatures, ATDChi's skills seminar, "ROI Icebreakers," with Matt Elwell was well attended.  


Right off the bat, Matt had us engaged, interacting, and breaking the ice with others. Each attendee was provided an assignment and number which connected us with other team members. Once I found my team, we jumped right into the exercise and completed our assignment - and got to know each other too! 


The assignment opened the door for us to dialog about terrible icebreakers. Some words and phrases that were shared:

- too personal

- irrelevant

- overly complicated

- disconnected

- and even ... weird

In all the conversation about what we disliked about icebreakers, the room quickly established a framework for what icebreakers should entail. In fact, Pamela Meyer from the DePaul School for New Learning added that we started "building a learning community from the moment we arrived." L&D professionals love this stuff! 

Matt then gave us permission to do icebreakers knowing that sometimes we feel "self-indulgent" when we design them into our training events. With that said, he also referenced Mel Silberman's "Active Training" (p. 53), when he directed us to three important goals: 

- Team building

- On-the-spot assessment

- Immediate learning involvement

We used a micro case study to align to each of the above items. 

Then Matt started to walk us through how to demonstrate the value - ROI - of icebreakers by identifying three key elements.

1. Time: Resource demands; What should that resource be earning us?

2. Prevention: What risks are associated with counter-productive elements that may be present?

3. Enablement: What would allow more learners to convert more of the training resource to performance more efficiently? 

As we learned to understand where value could be identified, we used some simple calculations to show the ROI of icebreakers in relation to the training event they initiate. Basically, the value is calculated in relation to the time the icebreaker takes and the cost of the overall program. 

Matt cautioned us that our clients will look to spend their money in the most effective way (in their eyes) possible, in order to get the desired end result. We should help those decision-makers with those choices by providing them useful information. 

Throughout the evening, helpful nuggets were shared related to icebreakers, in general. A few are listed here:

- Don't call them icebreakers. (Lauren Ford, ATDChi's VP of Communications, suggested "lid-openers.")

- Talk about icebreakers as if they are part of the learning event, not a separate element.

- Make sure they are relevant - to the training content and the learners.

It was a robust event. Thanks to Matt for facilitating the engaging activities and lively discussions. 

A very BIG THANK YOU to DePaul's School for New Learning for your partnership and the space for the event. 

We look forward to seeing you in March with Thiagi! Check our website for details on all our upcoming events.

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ATDChi January 15, 2015 Event Recap

Recap by Lauren Ford, ATDChi V.P. of Communications, and Joie Marshall, ATDChi Training Today Editor


Organization: ATDChi

Event: Networking Dinner & Panel Discussion: Earning L&D a Seat at the Decision-Making Table

Date: Thursday, January 15, 2015


To kick-off the event, Greg Own-Boger, ATDChi 2015 President, provided us a brief State-of-the-Chapter report. This report gave us a quick synopsis of ATDChi in relation to the rebranding, membership numbers (>452), our healthy financial status, and the exciting things planned for 2015. The path for 2015 is all about making ATDChi a "best in class" organization. 


Greg then introduced the panel participants for the evening:

>> Pamela Meyer, Ph.D., Director of the Center to Advance Education for Adults and DePaul University School for New Learning. Pamela is also a speaker, consultant and author of "From Workplace to Playspace: Innovating, Learning and Changing Through Dynamic Engagement."

>> Barry Altland, Author and thought leader at Head and Hands Engagement Collective, and Past President of ATD, Central Florida Chapter.

>> Terri Pearce, SPHR, Executive V.P. Human Resources at HSBC North America and board member of ATD National.

>> Deb Pastors, MS, MOB, President of Education Development Growth Enterprises, and Past President of CCASTD.

What an impressive group of L&D professionals to gain insight from!


Greg then handed the microphone over to the moderator for the evening, Dale Ludwig, Ph.D., President of Turpin Communication. Dale led a robust discussion on the all-too-familiar topic of "How do we as L&D professionals gain a seat at the decision-making table?" Below is a recap of a few of the questions posed, and the responses from the panel.


>> What does "seat at the table" mean?

TP: Getting a seat at the table means a seat at every table, not just the "C" level table. Training needs to be a strategic partner and understand the business.

PM: Pay attention to WIIFM with stakeholders. Always determine: "How will we know when we're successful?"

DP: You get a seat at the table by building credibility.

BA: If your phone is ringing, you have a seat at the table.


>> Why are we still asking this question?

DP: This question isn't limited to training, but is a common thread among all support functions. Training groups need to understand the business.

TP: The table changes - CEOs change, economics change...need to be resilient and relevant.

BA: We get in our own way...those at the "table" don't talk about the "table."


The panelists then agreed that the key is to align training with strategic goals.


It was a lively discussion with input from the audience as well.


Did you attend yourself? If so, what element rang true for you?

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Upcoming CCASTD Skills Seminar: Let's Talk e-Learning | June 19, 2014

Join CCASTD for a panel discussion on e-Learning. The panel of e-Learning experts will talk about and answer questions on a variety of related topics, including:

- Rapid authoring tools

- Tips and techniques for e-Learning development

- Development time for e-Learning

- Recommendations for introducing e-Learning into your organization

- How to develop skills for e-Learning

- Managing e-Learning projects

- Assessing learner needs for e-Learning design

- Designing an e-Learning strategy 


Click here to register today:



Take a peek at a few testimonials from our last Skills Seminar on SME Communication Strategies with Jackie Zahn:

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CCASTD Member Renie McClay's Newest Book: The Art of Modern Sales Management

CCASTD Member Renie McClay's Newest Book: The Art of Modern Sales Management | ATDChi News |

Sharing secrets is the fast track to success, so when multiple professionals collaborate to share great information and tools - expect something good to happen. Author Renie McClay has done just that in The Art of Modern Sales Management. Her latest book is a must-have resource for every sales manager.


For more information:

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CCASTD announces NEW Board Member Felicia Levy

CCASTD announces NEW Board Member Felicia Levy | ATDChi News |

CCASTD is proud to introduce Felicia Levy as the 2014 CCASTD Director of Volunteers. 

Please read below about Felicia's industry background:    
Felicia is a corporate training professional with over 10 years progressive experience in full life-cycle training program development and execution within an array of industries. Her strengths include course creation and facilitation, collaboration with leadership, and an ability to engage all course participants. She currently is a Training Director at Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, a nationwide employee assistance provider (EAP).     

Felicia is also one of CCASTD's 2011 Volunteer of the Year award recipients!

Please join us at CCASTD in welcoming Felicia Levy!

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