This week I attended The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Conference in Orlando, FL and as expected it was a fantastic event! For those who haven’t attended a Learning Solutions conference before, it is usually a 3 day event where practitioners in the industry gather to discuss industry trends, best practices, and tips and tricks. On top of all of that, the guild also offers 2 days of pre-conference workshops for those looking to expand their skills even more.
Overall, I’m a big fan of the guild events – its a great opportunity to connect with others in the industry and see what others are working on. Whenever I attend one of their events, I always come back with a flash of insight that i’m not the only one struggling with the problems I’m encountering and I’m doing a lot better off than I think I am. This trip was no exception! Below are some of the highlights from my trip:
Design Thinking Workshop with Connie Malamad
After fangirling about Connie’s blog for about 6 years or so now, I was so excited to attend her workshop Using Design Thinking to Craft Learning Experiences. It was the perfect workshop to attend given my recent transition into a learning experience role.
Throughout the workshop, she introduced the Standford’s d.school process for design thinking (Empathy, Define, Ideation, Prototype, Test) and gave each group a case study on how to move through the process. Overall, I left the workshop feeling much more confident about all the work I’ve been doing over the past few months and excited about how learning practitioners can incorporate design thinking into their process.
Connie was amazing – she has such a great presence that allows her to quickly connect to everyone and she’s absolutely hilarious! I cant wait to catch up with her at a future event. I definitely recommend one of her sessions for anyone who is able to attend!
Adopting the Performance Support Mindset
One of my personal goals for the year was to get out of my introvert cave and on Tuesday I got to step into the teacher role and share my love for performance support with a group of about 50+ attendees.
The session was an absolute blast! The group had a ton of great questions about how to get started with performance support in their organizations and I was able to share some of the examples we’ve been crafting over the past 2.5 at The Predictive Index.
My slides are available on Slideshare to anyone who missed out on the session.
Overall, I attended about 15+ sessions over a span of 3 days and noticed some trends occurring in the industry:
Learning Practitioners are starting to use design thinking in their practice
There was a lot of talk about using design thinking in learning practices. I am seeing design thinking being used as a tool to become empathetic with learners and gain a greater understanding of their pain points. Once we have this, we’ll be able to design better learning solutions that truly meet their needs. I also am seeing a rise of practitioners using design thinking to create some rapid prototypes so they’re able to easily iterate on their solutions. It’s no longer about getting something out the door as quickly as possible, but revisiting and updating solutions to make solutions are continuing to meet learners needs.
There is a rise of simpler learning platforms
It should come as no surprise that everyone hates their LMS. This Learning Solutions, I heard a lot of talk from practitioners about using simpler technology to get their content out to learners in a more user friendly way. I’ve heard people using everything from WordPress to emailing courses to learners in a “marketing drip campaign” fashion.
Performance support can help learners continue their learning
I also saw a number of sessions and received questions from practitioners curious about how they can ensure learners continue learning once they’ve left the classroom. It’s definitely apparent that people are becoming more aware of the benefits of performance support and how solutions such as job-aids, knowledge bases, checklists, how to’s, etc. can help reinforce learning after the fact.
Overall, Learning Solutions was such a great experience. I am so grateful for the experiences and new friends that I’ve made over the past week. I can also say from the bottom of my heart that I’m very much looking forward to returning back to my introvert cave and cuddling with my cat. Until next time my friends!