ATDChi News
1.5K views | +0 today
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today
onto ATDChi News!

Accounting Came Alive for Learning and Development Professionals at ATDChi | February 16 Event Recap  

Accounting Came Alive for Learning and Development Professionals at ATDChi | February 16 Event Recap   | ATDChi News |
By Anatasia Widmer 
VP, Programming, ATDChi 

ATDChi had yet another successful networking event and clinic in February when Mark Robilliard from Color Accounting International presented quick and easy-to-follow instructions on how to read organizational financial statements and how to convert financial information into a business story. Color Accounting International is a publishing company and training provider, which develops and distributes the Color Accounting learning system. The system uses a graphical representation of the Balance Sheet and Income Statement - the BaSIS Framework™ - to present financial information. “Seeing” how accounting works makes it much easier to understand. Color Accounting International also emphasizes language: it defines important concepts with simple words that make sense. 

The beauty of this particular event was the fact that it allowed us to learn a skill and gain knowledge outside of our immediate professional scope. However, it is a skill that affords us a seat at the table with decision makers. Here are a few key messages from Mark’s presentation: 

• We often confuse equity with assets. As a result, some business owners fail to see themselves as separate entities from their companies. It is important that we see equity as an obligation to the owner when we look at our business from the company’s point of view, and not the owner. 

• Income generates value, but it is NOT a value on its own. 

• Generated equity becomes a profit; it is the “good” obligation to owners that the business wants to grow. 

• We often overlook the intangible assets – such as employees’ knowledge, experience, or service. These intangible assets are the ones whose value needs to be clearly seen, estimated, measured and communicated to by the L&D professionals at the table. 

Overall, this session was an eye-opening experience. We looked at the structure of organizations and their finances from the position of a stakeholder, which many of us in the L&D profession may not necessarily realize we hold. Mark Robilliard was diligent in making sure we understood and remembered the key financial language. We now can appropriately utilize the key concepts in conversations about finances with the decision makers in our organizations. 

Mark’s fantastic presentation was accompanied by great catering services provided by our new partner Loyola University Water Tower Campus, located in the gorgeous historical Water Tower district of Downtown Chicago.
No comment yet.
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Turning Training Into Targeted Performance-Based Training | November 2, 2017 Event Recap 

By Susan Camberis

Editor, Training Today


ATDChi’s November Dinner Networking Event focused on a topic fundamental to training design, but not one that all Talent Development professionals interact with regularly: Job Task Analysis.


During her presentation entitled “Turning Training Into Targeted Performance-Based Training,” Stefanie Pressl, President of Quality Training Systems, shared lessons learned from completing nearly 200 job task analyses and building training programs from the ground up for the highly-regulated utility industry – where organizations are audited on a 3-year basis and failures to train properly can cost millions in fines. According to Stefanie, it all starts with a task list.


What is performance-based training?


According to Pressl, performance-based training is task-based, where enabling objectives always have line-of-sight to the tasks. Performance goals are tied directly to tasks, and training has line-of-sight to terminal learning objectives. At its core, performance-based training is training where you can measure the outcome.


If you have not thought about Job Task Analysis (JTA) in a while, here are three actions to consider before you build your next training program:


  1. Talk with two types of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Identifying duty areas for a position begins with talking with SMEs. When completing a JTA, Pressl and her team usually schedule a day and request to speak with two types of SMEs – individuals who have been fully qualified for a role for 1-2 years and individuals who have more significant experience in a role. They usually start with a simple statement: Tell me what you do.
  2. Know what you need to collect. There are four types of data you need to develop performance-based training: Task; Task Details (procedures, tools, conditions, and criteria); Steps; and Skills and Knowledge. When Pressl works with SMEs, she lets them share data in whatever order they would like. Pressl has noticed that SMEs often provide information in the reverse order of what is needed. Pressl collects it all and then begins to organize.
  3. Know what a good task statement looks like.   According to Pressl, a good task statement is similar to a fortune cookie – it is brief and action-oriented. Good task statements include at least one action verb. They usually have an explicit or implied starting point and an ending point that defines an achieved result or status. Task statements should represent meaningful units of work and contribute to an operational goal. They usually include more than one discrete step an implied or explicitly stated standard.


One important tip that Pressl shared was to keep moving through the JTA process. According to Pressl, resist the temptation to get bogged down in the data – “…the task list will clean itself up.” The process is iterative and is not an exact science.


Learn more about Stefanie and Quality Training Systems at  

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Make Plans Now to Attend ATDChi’s 2017 Holiday and Volunteer Recognition Party 

By Susan Camberis

Editor, Training Today


As we approach the end of 2017, it is a natural time to reflect and celebrate our chapter’s accomplishments and our wonderful volunteers.


One way we do this at ATDChi is through our annual Holiday and Volunteer Recognition Party. This year’s celebration will take place on Thursday, December 7 from 5:30 – 8:30 PM at the gorgeous Schreiber Center at Loyola University’s Water Tower Campus in downtown Chicago!


If you’re new to ATDChi, the Holiday Party is an excellent way to meet other members in a relaxed and festive atmosphere. The evening begins with an hour of vibrant conversation, welcoming newcomers and greeting long-time colleagues. We’ll then sit down to a delectable plated 3-course dinner while continuing to exchange thoughts and socializing in a more intimate gathering. Over dessert, we will collectively applaud those who continue to advance our great chapter year after year.

Be there to experience the excitement of two honorable awards presentations: ATDChi's Volunteer of the Year and The Dr. Deborah Colky awards. 


To learn more and register, visit To take advantage of early registration, register on or before November 24.

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Innovations and Applications in Learning and Development | June 13, 2017 Event Recap 

Innovations and Applications in Learning and Development | June 13, 2017 Event Recap  | ATDChi News |

Ana Widmer and Pamela Meyer engaged in conversation.


By Mary Hauser

ATDChi Student Ambassador


ATDChi’s Learning and Networking event and DePaul’s School for New Learning Graduates’ showcase on June 13 was a great opportunity for someone new to the field of Talent Development to learn more about the field from student projects and from experienced professionals in the Chicago area.


The evening started off with refreshments, as we were invited to engage with and view three graduating MAEA (Master of Arts in Educating Adults) students’ applied inquiry projects. The projects centered on topics such as the neuroscience of learning, applied adult learning theories, and disability training. Projects were based on applied research conducted by the students in their own work environments in conjunction with classes they were taking. It was enlightening to see how what is learned in the classroom can be directly applied in “real life”, especially learning theories, which can be quite abstract until put into practice. With each project, one could see how the students’ knowledge developed as they put research into practice – directly and immediately impacting their respective work environments.


A very informative panel discussion followed the student presentations. Panelists included: Sarah Vetter, Education Coordinator, Division of Rehabilitative Services with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago; Barbara Lewis, HR Manager at John Wiley & Sons; Marcus Potter, Senior Training Consultant, Curriculum Design with CVS Caremark; and Gloria Batey, Practice Area Director, Organizational Change Management/Training with the William Everett Group and Community Learning Leader. Below are some key takeaways from the discussion:


  • Our learners impact the next generation of learners: What and how we train our learners affects how they train their learners.  If we do a good job of training the trainer, the quality of their training will be of high quality, too, which translates into overall better results.
  • Traditional learning is not working: learning practitioners are moving away from content-focused to learner-focused sessions, where they see the most transfer and retention of knowledge. Practitioners are also moving away from PowerPoint type training.
  • It’s essential to get out of one’s comfort zone and be open to what is new, and what works.
  • In this day and age, many courses already are in existence, and there is no need to recreate the wheel. Instead of asking “What can I create?” instead ask “What can I make better?”
  • Knowledge manager roles are becoming more popular.


The discussion then turned to innovations important to the TD field. According to the panelists, they’re seeing new innovation happening around the following topics:

  • Curation
  • Neuroscience
  • Mindfulness of the company’s expectation of your role: Always be aware of what is expected of your performance and outcomes of your work from your boss, coworkers and your teammates and work to meet those expectations.
  • Time & Distance learning: Online learning can be dynamic and innovative when thought and good design go into it.
  • Proving ROI to a company and stakeholders.
  • Success Case Model: having the ability to see the overall business impact.


The last part of the event included networking with other students, program faculty, professionals and recruiters from local organizations. I was able to learn more about what skills recruiters are seeking in new graduates, what skills I might need to work on to make myself more marketable, and what types of organizations I might be interested in working with in the future.


I walked away inspired to learn and do more, and I look forward to future ATDChi learning and networking events.

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

How to Achieve Learning Agility and Performance Support in a Rapidly Changing World | April 6 Event Recap  

How to Achieve Learning Agility and Performance Support in a Rapidly Changing World | April 6 Event Recap   | ATDChi News |

By Susan Camberis

Editor, Training Today


ATDChi’s April Networking Dinner featured an industry briefing by ATDChi’s silver sponsor, Assima.


Assima helps organizations realize greater value from enterprise application implementations. Using their unique “ThinClone” technology, Assima creates virtual, training environments where users can learn while their systems are being built - allowing them to “hit the ground running” at go-live.  


Here are 5 key take-aways from the evening’s discussion:


  1. Define Learning Agility. ATDChi’s Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) Director, Bill Cupuro, shared a useful definition for learning agility during the group discussion – “Just in time, just enough, just for me.” Thanks, Bill, for a great working definition we can all put into action.
  2. Ask two powerful questions to improve performance support. As TD professionals, we know that training is not always the answer. When designing performance support, it’s important to think about performance support from the user’s point of view: In what circumstances does the user get stuck? How will the user apply what they’re learning back at their job?
  3. Design learning analytics to drive a results-driven culture. TD professionals need to constantly be asking: What’s the story we’re trying to tell with data and analytics?
  4. Every business is a people business. Assima reflected that regardless of business purpose, every business today is really a people business.  
  5. Become a value creation function. When learning agility and performance support are successfully combined, TD can begin to move from being a cost center to being a value creation center.


Today’s TD professionals need to be as agile as the learners we collectively serve.


Focusing on the key take-aways above can help all of us get better at performance support.


April’s Networking dinner was held at Loyola University’s beautiful Water Tower Campus - Schreiber Center. This location is a “must-see” and will be the venue for ATDChi’s annual holiday party this December 7th.

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Accounting Came Alive for Learning and Development Professionals at ATDChi | February 16 Event Recap  

Accounting Came Alive for Learning and Development Professionals at ATDChi | February 16 Event Recap   | ATDChi News |
By Anatasia Widmer 
VP, Programming, ATDChi 

ATDChi had yet another successful networking event and clinic in February when Mark Robilliard from Color Accounting International presented quick and easy-to-follow instructions on how to read organizational financial statements and how to convert financial information into a business story. Color Accounting International is a publishing company and training provider, which develops and distributes the Color Accounting learning system. The system uses a graphical representation of the Balance Sheet and Income Statement - the BaSIS Framework™ - to present financial information. “Seeing” how accounting works makes it much easier to understand. Color Accounting International also emphasizes language: it defines important concepts with simple words that make sense. 

The beauty of this particular event was the fact that it allowed us to learn a skill and gain knowledge outside of our immediate professional scope. However, it is a skill that affords us a seat at the table with decision makers. Here are a few key messages from Mark’s presentation: 

• We often confuse equity with assets. As a result, some business owners fail to see themselves as separate entities from their companies. It is important that we see equity as an obligation to the owner when we look at our business from the company’s point of view, and not the owner. 

• Income generates value, but it is NOT a value on its own. 

• Generated equity becomes a profit; it is the “good” obligation to owners that the business wants to grow. 

• We often overlook the intangible assets – such as employees’ knowledge, experience, or service. These intangible assets are the ones whose value needs to be clearly seen, estimated, measured and communicated to by the L&D professionals at the table. 

Overall, this session was an eye-opening experience. We looked at the structure of organizations and their finances from the position of a stakeholder, which many of us in the L&D profession may not necessarily realize we hold. Mark Robilliard was diligent in making sure we understood and remembered the key financial language. We now can appropriately utilize the key concepts in conversations about finances with the decision makers in our organizations. 

Mark’s fantastic presentation was accompanied by great catering services provided by our new partner Loyola University Water Tower Campus, located in the gorgeous historical Water Tower district of Downtown Chicago.
No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Build and Manage Successful Relationships with SMEs Using Joie Marshall’s Guide | October 20 Event Recap

By Anastasia Widmer 
Director, Event Management, ATDChi 

An informative presentation and discussion, which validates one’s ideas, doubts, and approaches and provides answers to important questions, is a recipe for a productive professional development event. ATDChi is proud to offer these kinds of events on a regular basis, and last month’s networking event, which included a state-of-the-art presentation and facilitated discussion by Joie Marshall, was no exception. 

We all know that a great training session is one that is not only challenging, but also encouraging for the learners, and even therapeutic in a way. Joie Marshall, Learning Solutions Manager at Caveo Learning, not only shared some great insights on how to tackle often-uneasy relationships with SMEs, but also made sure everyone in the room had a chance to share their success stories. She created an atmosphere in which everyone was comfortable asking questions, voicing their uncertainties, and seeking help with their challenges building working relationships with their SMEs. Both the questions asked and the answers generated by the speaker and the participants created a tremendous opportunity for everyone to learn from the best practices. The materials shared by the presenter made me think outside of the box and encouraged new approaches to deal with challenges at work. The session was broken down into three parts, each of which discussed one of the pillars of how to build and manage collaborative relationships with SMEs. In short, according to Joie Marshall, the three pillars for successful SME relationships are: 

1.  Being a guide for a SME by providing direction, identifying timing and setting up a list of common expectations; 

2.  Being adaptable to a SME’s needs by and working on constant improvement of communication with your SME; and 

3.  Being helpful to a SME by practicing patience and exercising problem solving skills. 

The key to Joie’s approach is to see your role in the process of developing training as one of service to others. She encouraged participants to stop and reflect as much as possible by constantly asking the question: “What can I do to get my SME on board with the process?” This approach reflects a deep understanding what successful communication requires: Communication should be less about us and more about others - their needs, their perceptions, and their expectations. Joie reminded us once again about the importance of developing good listening and self-awareness skills, if we want to build strong collaborative relationships with our SMEs. Clarification seemed to be a central element in each of Joie’s three pillars for better SME relationships. 

In summary, the session was rich with new knowledge, ideas, and approaches to tackle the challenges we all face in the process of developing a new training and getting SMEs on board with the process. It was a great professional development event that left me with renewed confidence and a greater understanding of how to be successful in building training that can transform an organization while helping people grow and prosper. Moreover, it reinforced the feeling that we have a community of great people in ATDChi, a great network of professionals, who are there to support each other by sharing their own expertise and insights.
No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

6 Tweet-Worthy Insights about Modern Mentoring | April 14th Event Recap

By Susan Camberis
Editor, Training Today, ATDChi
“Mentoring has always been the same,” according to Randy Emelo, Chief Strategist and Founder of River, but how mentors and mentees connect and create learning networks has evolved. 

Emelo shared his unique perspective based on a career that’s included military and non-governmental service, as well as consulting with some of today’s most progressive companies, during ATDChi’s April dinner and networking event entitled Modern Mentoring: Building Your Learning Network. 

According to Emelo, “Mentoring is learning through the experience of others.” And while it still includes paired (1-to-1 engagements), today’s mentoring and learning networks also include group, situational, peer and reverse mentoring. 

Here are 6 insights to expand how you think about modern mentoring and learning: 

1. “Implicit knowledge becomes explicit when you have to give it away.” When we share our knowledge with others, we consciously re-connect with what we’ve already learned, while enhancing social connections. The quicker you share something new you’ve learned with someone else, the more likely it is that you’ll retain that new knowledge yourself. 

2. “Knowledge churn in most organizations is 18 months or less.” The rate of knowledge decay is accelerating. Modern mentoring supports learners and advisors in soliciting and sharing knowledge, and helps organizations stay ahead of the learning curve. 

3. “1 to 2 steps ahead of you on the development curve is where the best opportunity for mentoring occurs.” Traditional mentoring relationships paired very senior and very junior employees and hoped for effective knowledge transfer. According to Emelo, “On the expertise continuum [of beginner, practitioner and expert], we all start at the same point.” Pairing experts and beginners frequently leads to a critical fail. Instead, pair beginners with practitioners. This creates “generative [positive] tension,” which accelerates learning. 

4. “75% of Millennials would like to have a mentor.” And 89% think it’s important to be constantly learning on the job, according to MTV Research’s 2012 “No Collar Workers” study. In terms of generational differences, Millennials see mentoring as a way to increase learning connections, while Gen Xers see mentoring as a collaboration tool to increase productivity, and Baby Boomers generally see mentoring as a way to get ahead. 

5. “Only 8 to 12% of adults are ‘active learners.’” According to Emelo, most of us listen with the intent to understand, versus take action – we’re “passive” learners. We’ve become ravenous “consumers of information” and readily change our language, but not our behavior. When setting mentoring goals, keep them “active” by focusing on discovery and experimentation. 

6. “To make a proof case, you need to solve a wicked problem.” The best way to make a business case for modern mentoring is to demonstrate how it impacts the bottom line. Using mentoring to reduce “time to competency” is an excellent way to do this. 

To become an even more effective learner and advisor, expand how you think about modern mentoring and learning. 

To learn more about Randy Emelo and River, visit:
No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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.
No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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!

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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: 

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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.

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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!

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Changing the Conversation about Talent Reporting | September 20, 2017 Event Recap 

By Susan Camberis

Editor, Training Today


September’s Networking Dinner Event featured Dave Vance, Executive Director of the Center for Talent Reporting and author of The Business of Learning. The event served as a preview for the September 21 workshop on Talent Development Reporting Principles (or TDRp).


The Center for Talent Reporting ( is a grass-roots, industry-led initiative created to develop measurement standards for the Talent Development profession – akin to the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) that apply to how companies compile financial statements.


As background, Vance described how the valuation of organizations has fundamentally shifted over the last 40 years. According to Vance, in 1975 you could explain 83% of valuation on the balance sheet by tangible assets (e.g. machinery, buildings, land, and inventory). In 2015, 84% of valuation on the balance sheet was attributable to intangible assets (e.g. intellectual property, goodwill and brand recognition).


Additionally, Jack and Patti Phillips’ research on how CEOs view learning success indicates that CEOs want to see the application of the learning, the impact, and the ROI ( “The world has come to us,” said Vance, “and it’s all about human capital.”


Talent Development Report Principles are designed to run L&D and HR with business-like discipline. The framework centers on Planning, Measurement, Reporting, and Execution. Key measures include:

  • Effectiveness: Quality of training;
  • Efficiency: Participants, courses, utilization rates, cycle times, investments; and
  • Outcomes: Impact on company goals.


In his former role as founding President of Caterpillar University, Vance aligned all of Caterpillar University’s goals to the CEO’s goals in order of priority. He was able to show how each function would contribute, and outlined a plan to achieve each goal. This work became the premise for much of Vance’s later work with TDRp.


TDRp recommends three different reports for different audiences: a Summary report for CEOs; an Operations report for business partners; and a Program report for L&D and HR teams.


If you’re interested in taking steps toward TDRp in your organization, here are a few smart suggestions to get started:

  1. Start where you are. Pick a few things you want to work on next year, set a goal, and make a plan.
  2. Start talking about the three measures (effectiveness, efficiency, and outcomes). Using the language doesn’t cost anything and will start you in the right direction.
  3. Start with a pilot. Pick a project where you have a friendly audience where you can start to apply some of the key concepts. “The process and forming strategic relationships with goal owners is more important than the mechanics,” according to Vance.


TDRp is not just about measurement strategy; it’s about changing the process of managing the business.


If you want to have a bigger impact as a TD professional, start changing the conversation.

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Using Brain-Aware Approaches for Optimal Learning | May 17 Event Recap  

Using Brain-Aware Approaches for Optimal Learning | May 17 Event Recap   | ATDChi News |

By Susan Camberis

Editor, Training Today


Most TD professionals intuitively understood the key underpinnings of brain-aware approaches, even before the neuroscience was there to back it up.


The brain constantly vacillates between being curious and anxious.


The brain likes to construct stories and always strives to be efficient.


The brain creates and utilizes default networks that sometimes limit creativity.


Kathleen Taylor and Catherine Marienau, facilitators for the May 17 event and professors at Saint Mary’s College of California and DePaul’s School of New Learning respectively, understood these principles too. They expected the book they published last year, Facilitating Learning with the Adult Brian in Mind (Jossey-Bass, 2016), to be a review of the current brain science and how TD professionals could apply these principles to their practices. What they learned along the way was that recent brain science had discovered some new things.


Here are two new principles they shared, including implications for TD professionals:


1.  The brain is never just a brain – it is embodied.


Trainers have long known that temperature, lighting, and ventilation, are important to creating an environment that’s conducive to learning. Science is now finding that body stasis is essential to learning.


Adults tend to feel a sense of anxiety in any new learning situation. When the brain experiences anxiety, the body can experience tightness and even physical discomfort. In order to reduce this natural anxiety, the brain requires context. It needs to understand the “why”.


To demonstrate this idea during the workshop, Taylor and Marienau asked participants to read a passage. The passage didn’t have a name and no additional context was provided. It seemed to be a list of disparate ideas, with no obvious connection between them.


When asked about the how reading the passage made participants feel, many reported feeling anxious, unsure, and some experienced physical tightness in their bodies. Taylor and Marienau then provided context for the passage, which instantly clarified the group’s shared understanding of the passage. Participants reported an immediate reduction in anxiety.


The key takeaway for TD professionals relates to context. Sharing the “why” is not just a “nice to have”, it is critical for learning to occur. When the brain has context, the brain and body can relax, allowing the learner to pay attention and learn more easily.


2.  The brain makes meaning through metaphorical association.


Most trainers naturally use stories and metaphors to impart information, but the extent to which the brain reflexively thinks in metaphors has not been well understood…until now.


Recent research suggests that the brain makes meaning primarily through metaphorical and analogical association, not through words. According to author and scientist James Geary, the brain utters about six metaphors per minute. Taylor and Marienau believe that words are like the “caboose” that follows the engine – not the engine itself.


Think for a moment about the training you lead today.


How much of it is primarily focused on words versus images, metaphors, and analogical associations?


TD professionals wanting to leverage the latest brain science may want to reflect on the “what” and the “how” of training.  


During the workshop, Taylor and Marienau put this into practice with a synthesis activity. Rather than simply ask participants to recount, discuss, and flipchart their key learning’s, they asked participants work in small groups, offered them various supplies (e.g. images from magazines, pipe cleaners, stickers, colored tape). Each team was asked to create a visual metaphor that spoke to their key learnings. One of the team’s creations is included with this post.


Asking participants to engage their “right” and “left” brains during training is not new, but fully applying this concept goes a step further – placing metaphorical association at the center of learning activities.


One participant described how their organization has already started to embrace this idea by completely re-thinking their approach to presentations. They now constantly ask, “What is the gist of what we’re trying to communicate?” From there, they work to identify images, symbols, analogies to communicate key messages and ideas.


How much more effective could TD – and more broadly, organizational communication practices – become if we consistently aligned our approach with how the brain naturally operates?


A key question that Marienau and Taylor posed to participants was: How do we effectively encourage learners to learn – to change their minds – for better performance?


It is a question worth exploring, especially for TD professionals who want to continue to drive toward more optimal development for their learners.


To learn more about Marienau and Taylor’s work and to read an excerpt from Chapter One of Facilitating Learning With the Adult Brain in Mind, visit

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Explore the CPLP: Should It Be in Your Career Plan? | March 16 Event Recap  

By Susan Camberis

Editor, Training Today


Certification can be a valuable way to build and validate your skills as a TD professional. But with numerous options and limited time, knowing which option is right for you and where is start can be a challenge.


ATDChi’s March meeting demystified certification through a lively discussion moderated by Bill Cupuro, ATDChi’s Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) Director.


Bill earned the CPLP in 2011 and believes certification has helped him in his work as a Sales Trainer with Flexera. “Before the CPLP, I didn’t think in the same way,” said Bill. “I have a seat at the table now. I don’t just ask about learning objectives; I ask more questions about the business.”  


Bill and the panel discussed three certification options, depending on level of professional experience and desired time commitment.


For new TD professionals, ATDChi’s Workplace Learning & Performance Institute, or WLPI, is a time- and cost-effective option. WLPI is typically held two times each year (spring and fall), and time commitment is limited to seven Saturdays. ATDChi members can attend one session for $250 or the full institute for $1,000.   For more information, visit ATDChi’s WLPI page at:


The ATD Certification Institute’s newest offering is the Associate Professional in Talent Development, or APTD. The APTD is designed for beginner to intermediate TD professionals and will cover three Areas of Expertise, or AOEs. The APTD will be offered for the first time this fall. For more information, visit:


The CPLP is the highest-level certification for Talent Development professionals. Also offered through the ATD Certification Institute (ATD CI), it is fast becoming a more common requirement for Training Managers. According to ATD, there are currently 4,000 job postings that list CPLP certification as desirable or required, far more than the 2,500 professionals currently certified globally.


Different from a Masters degree, the CPLP measures competency in ten AOEs ranging from Instructional Design and Training Delivery to Coaching and Integrated Talent Management. It can be thought of as a “Swiss Army Knife”, because of the breadth of experience it provides. Certified professionals are essentially ready to “hit the ground running.” The CPLP requires five years of full-time professional work in TD.


Panelist and ATDChi’s Director of Alliance Relations, Anthony Dudek, started his career in engineering and became an “accidental trainer”. He received his CPLP in 2015.


Anthony feels the CPLP has been especially helpful with his work in Human Performance Improvement and Organizational Effectiveness. Anthony took the CPLP because he wanted to move up in TD profession. “I’ve been an educator for most of my 30-year career. For me, [taking the CPLP] was about learning. It was sheer learning. I found the body of knowledge compelling, so it wasn’t a chore,” according to Anthony.


According to ATD CI, more than 80% of CPLPs report that the additional credential has advanced their careers, and greater than 85% of CPLPs report that it has given them an advantage.


The CPLP consists of two exams:

  • The first is a three-hour “Knowledge” exam consisting of 150 questions and covering all ten 10 AOEs. The exam is 75% traditional multiple choice and 25% “testlet” (multiple choice questions with scenarios).   The first exam must be passed with a 70% correct score or better in order to take the second.
  • The second exam is a three-hour “Skills Application” designed to test one’s ability to apply skills to real-world scenarios. It consists of 100 questions, includes four scenarios, and covers three AOEs (Instructional Design, Training Delivery, and Managing Learning Programs).


Jann Iacco, panelist and former ATDChi Board Member, decided to pursue the CPLP when her company announced organizational changes. Just in case she needed to differentiate herself in a competitive job market, she wanted to give herself an edge. The CPLP has proven valuable in her role as an eLearning and Training Specialist at Crate & Barrel, even though Jann didn’t end up needing to enter the job market at that time. According to Jann, “I am much more confident when I’m talking about something I’m going to design or build.” Once the CPLP was complete, Jann also felt she had a seat at the table.


Taking the CPLP requires both financial resources and time to prepare.


In terms of financial commitment, most will spend about $2,000 between test fees, materials and preparation. The testing fee for both exams is $900 for ATD members; non-members will pay $1,200. Fees include exam score reports, certificate and lapel pin.


Exam preparation costs vary. The ATD Learning System costs $300 for ATD members, $400 for non-members. Individual ATD chapters run study groups; costs vary by chapter. ATD also offers in-person, live online, and self-paced study options. Cost is $995 for ATD members; non-member cost is $1,295.


Former ATDChi President and improv comedian turned trainer, Matt Elwell, completed his CPLP in 2009. To prepare for the CPLP, Matt participated in a local study group that met once a month for two hours. Matt felt that the accountability and energy of the regular, in-person meetings was really helpful. He also worked independently to complete one ATD Learning System AOE book every few weeks.


ATD generally suggests that candidates plan for an eight-month timeline, from start to finish.


After successfully completing their exams, CPLPs re-certify every three years.


You can take a practice exam and review ATD CI’s CPLP Certification Handbook at: The next ATD CI Knowledge exam window will take place from October 7 – October 28, 2017. The application deadline is August 23, 2017.


For follow-up questions or to learn more about local ATDChi resources for CPLPs, contact Bill Cupuro at

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Stay Current in 2017 with ATDChi | January 19 Event Recap 

By Susan Camberis 
Editor, Training Today, ATDChi 

As a TD professional, you know that the industry is changing quickly and staying current is more critical than ever. 

What do you see on the horizon?  What trends are you following? 

Building on ATD’s recently released 2016 State of the Industry Report, ATDChi’s first Networking Dinner of 2017 discussed industry trends with chapter leaders and members. 

Tom West, ATDChi President, referenced increasing investment in talent development and increasing use of technology – two key findings from ATD’s benchmark report. According the report, “Organizations spent an average of $1,252 per employee on training and development initiatives in 2015, a $23 increase from 2014.” While technology continues to impact training delivery, “…about half of all learning is still delivered live in a traditional classroom,” according to ATD. 

Here are 5 ways to take action on the latest trends, from ATDChi’s 2017 chapter leaders: 

1. Tie analytics to performance. Tiffany Prince, Vice President of Membership and Chief Performance Office at Prince Performance LLC, described how we’re living in the digital age of L&D and analytics. She asked members to consider: “As a true business performance consultant, how do we get people the skills that they need?” She sees organizations shifting from “scalable efficiencies” to “scalable learning”, and TD managers asking questions like: What can associates learn outside the classroom, so that when they arrive for training, they’re truly prepared to learn? 

2. Focus on design, regardless of the modality. “We want micro learning,” is a common refrain from learning consumers today, even though people don’t always know what micro learning is, according to Eileen Terrell, Vice President of Communications and Service Delivery Manager with CARA. Eileen sees a real opportunity for TD professionals to educate SMEs about micro learning – what it is and what it isn’t. Customers are looking for on-the-job performance support, but the foundations of how you design a good course hasn’t changed. Design matters, regardless of modality. 

3. Showcase your expertise. Demetrius Bonin, Vice President of Finance and Instructional Design Consultant, sees more organizations framing the value of training development. Companies are looking for experts, both in terms of the business and what’s expected, according to Bonin. “There are more expectations that you know all of the different areas of TD than before.” Bonin sees TD as a great profession to be involved in these days. 

4. Tailor your content. Michelle Aronson, Vice President of Marketing described how she fell into HR and Training literally, after being in the hospital for a week. As People Experience Officer at Swedish Covenant Hospital, she sees employees expecting more tailored content. During new employee orientation, for example, employees want content customized to them as individuals. She sees companies providing content, and employees accessing that content using the devices they prefer. Three other key trends Aronson sees for 2017 are experiential learning, the science of learning, and predictive analytics. 

5. Consider cultural intelligence. Vice President of Programming, Anastasia (Ana) Widmer, sees organizations starting to place greater emphasis on cultural intelligence, which aligns with the CPLP’s Module 11, Global Mindset. As an educator and President/CEO of CulturallySpeaking Co., Ana teaches PR and organizational communications classes. Employees from other cultures may not read between the lines, according to Widmer, and for many cultures, it’s not possible to share negative feedback in such straightforward ways. Some companies are beginning to train employees in cultural intelligence. For example, Google sent 40,000 employees through cultural intelligence training in 2014, leading to increases in overall communication skills. 

Want to stay current in 2017? ATDChi can help. Check out our upcoming events at:
For highlights from ATD’s 2016 State of the Industry Report, visit:
No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

A New Model for Mentoring | June 22nd Event Recap

By Jann Iaco
VP, Communications, ATDChi 

Kerry Ann Rockquemore, Ph.D. was the featured speaker at DePaul’s Graduates’ Showcase and Networking event with ATDChi in Chicago.

I was excited to attend this event because my company is planning to develop a formal mentoring program. Dr. Rockquemore described how traditional approaches to mentoring frequently fail and how to fundamentally re-think mentoring and mentoring programs. 

Dr. Rockquemore pointed out that we all believe that mentoring is really important; just match people up and the magic will happen, right? Then she outlined what’s missing: mentoring means different things to different people. Without identifying needs, structure and clarity, programs are likely to fail. 

The new mentoring model is focused on the mentee. The mentee is an active part of the process, identifying what she/he needs and who can best support her/his specific needs. I always thought of it the other way around … find a person who has advanced experience and then just pair that person up with a novice. 

Dr. Rockquemore shared a useful matching tool, reminiscent of the mind-mapping tool I use when designing training. The tool helps the mentee prioritize what’s to be strengthened and which mentors are best suited. The tool also contains categories such as “substantive feedback, sponsorship, emotional support and professional development.” 

The first step to taking accountability falls to the mentee, according to Dr. Rockquemore, but mentees should not proceed alone. She showed us the bootcamp program her company uses to usher mentees through a program with coaches, in both group settings and one-on-one’s. 

For more information about Dr. Kerry Ann Rockquemore, Ph.D. visit:
ATDChi Training Today's insight:
If you missed ATDChi's June mentoring event, be sure to read this great recap by ATDChi's Jann Iacco.  
No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

Game On at Sears | ATDChi Road Show Recap | May 12, 2016

By Susan Camberis
Editor, Training Today, ATDChi

ATDChi’s first Road Show event of 2016 showcased Sears Holding Corporation’s (SHC’s) efforts to up their learning and performance game. 

Featuring Dr. Frank Nguyen (Vice President of Learning), Dr. Kami Hanson (Senior Manager, Learning Program Office), Meir Kornfeld (Director of Product Innovation) and Craig Tanner (Manager of Learning Strategy and Innovation), the Sears team shared their experiences and challenged attendees to think differently about gamification. 

Gamification refers to using scores, medals and badges to support learning and performance management. According to Frank Nguyen, gamification at SHC began about two and a half years ago. The original kernel of the idea stemmed from how to best support SHC as an omni-channel retailer. The team started by using gamification for compliance training.

Here are 6 game-changing takeaways: 

1. Think like a game designer. Sears uses a game-designing framework called “MDA” to think through and communicate the purpose of learning games, according to Kami Hanson. “M” refers to “Mechanics” – how a designer builds a game. Mechanics include points, levels, leaderboards, badges and missions. “D” refers to “Dynamics” or choices made within a game, including pacing and reward schedules. “A” refers to “Aesthetics” or how users experience a game. What kind of emotional response is the designer aiming for: curiosity, surprise, satisfaction, delight, trust, envy, pride or connection? To learn more about the framework, see related research by Hunicke, LeBlanc and Zubeck (2004). 

2. Offer a game for every gamer. SHC’s workforce is diverse: 200K+ associates ranging in age from age 16 to 80; full-time and part-time; mostly-U.S. based. According to Kami Hanson, not everyone is motivated by a “leaderboard.” You want something for everyone. Hanson and team shared a variety of games they’ve developed, including “Financial Service Pursuit” (a nostalgic, electronic board game) and “Master Seller” (a pop-culture game with rounds and judges). 

3. Make everyday a learning game. Sears has integrated gamification into every aspect of learning. “Segno” is SHC’s open-learning platform and LMS, according to Craig Tanner. As learners explore content, they earn points. A learner can improve his or her “SegnoScore” by engaging in continuous learning and demonstrating expertise. Bronze, silver, and gold medals recognize increasing levels of expertise in SHC competencies.  Badges recognize focused learning accomplishments. A “SegnoCode” can be assigned to anything, from a compliance poster to a webinar. 

4. Gamify performance. Sears has taken gamification to the next level by integrating gaming into performance management and reputation. According to Meir Kornfeld, “SegnoReputation” makes it easy for users to understand what contributes to their reputation. A SegnoReputation score can vary between 0 and 800 (800 means you’re hitting all key metrics related to your position). SegnoReputation creates accountability, akin to a credit score, and associates can see how their performance is trending over time. 

5. Help everyone get in the game. It’s hard to move leaders from compliance-based to learning-based thinking. In addition to making sure that senior leaders understand the difference between “training” and “learning,” talent leaders should educate middle managers and operational leaders about the business case and benefits of gamification. 

6. Before you get your game on, understand your organization's readiness. According to Frank Nguyen, the associate audience at Sears is approximately 85% Millennials. This combined with a start-up mentality, sales-focus and a desire to connect associate and customer knowledge, made the decision to gamify learning and performance at Sears easier. Before you design a gamification strategy, consider your organization’s readiness, culture and demographics. 

Segno has become a competitive advantage at Sears. All training is now done during slow times and is completely self-driven, so associate engagement is very high. Sears no longer schedules people off the floor, and associates use kiosks to complete all training. 

Gamification has also helped SHC achieve one of their key talent development goals of enabling a career path for anyone in the company. 

Ready to up your learning and performance game?  Start by thinking differently about gamification.
No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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. 

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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?  

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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.

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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.

No comment yet.
Scooped by ATDChi Training Today!

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.

No comment yet.