Tag Archives: Clive Shepherd

My Top 10 Tweets of 2012

11 Dec

Twitter is such an important part of my PLN that this year I thought it would be a good idea to collate my top 10 tweets of 2012. These tweets are not my own tweets, but tweets that I have either RT or made a favourite.

1. 1

In the year of Storyline and Captivate 6, an interesting observation that shapes my instructional design decisions.

2. 2

I’ve noticed a move away from e-learning and towards video creation. A great blog post explaining why.


3. 3

This video will change your life (well help you explain to your manager the need for an extension to a deadline).


4. 4

Another fantastic observation about a trend in L&D departments this year.

5. 5

Sometimes we need big ideas to inspire. This is a big idea this inspires me about the future of learning.

6. 6

I love tweets that point to great examples of work. Here is an example of how to use Prezi that is just “wow”!


7. 7

Susan Cain’s argument about “the power of introverts” is a revelation for me, especially in the context of working in a North American workplace.


8. 8

This tweet was an eye opener. Time to rethink gender and technology.

9. 9

I don’t get to go to conferences, but hashtags and live-tweeting have made me feel that I have attended several this year.

10. 10

Going to work is like reliving my childhood (sometimes).

And one extra, because sometimes Twitter delivers gems like this:


Out with the New: The return to the “old media”

7 Sep

I was really fascinated to read Clive Shepherd’s blog post on “Why video trumps e-learning” as it touched upon what I’ve been doing recently, returning to the “old media” of comic strips.

In the blog post, Clive makes a very convincing argument on how video is “more engaging, more versatile and less impersonal” than e-learning, pointing out that “we’ll see an even greater use of video in the workplace.” Clive adds that while “there are some niches where e-learning is irreplaceable,” he won’t be unhappy “to see other media come alongside.”

As Clive concludes, the increasing use of video is “just another turn of the circle” in the history of corporate training (video as a medium for training came to prominence in the 1980s/1990s, however, it must be noted that these days it is significantly easier to create training videos). For me, driving this increased use of video is the desire of learners to have quick and easy access to information. This desire is shaping my instructional design decisions.

For example, I was recently tasked with turning some complex call flow diagrams of a communication system into training material. After talking with the staff using the communication system, I found out that they hardly use our intranet to find out information (as one staff member said “the intranet involves too many clicks”). So instead of creating an e-learning module that would never be viewed, I started to think about creating training material that would be quick to find and easy to review.

Oddly, my thoughts on the design of the original e-learning module soon evolved into something more old media, comic strips. I had been inspired by Cathy Moore’s elearning branching example, and was thinking about using a similar model. However, instead of using e-learning, I decided to reject the new media and go old school – a printed comic strip.

The feedback largely has been positive. Staff can quickly grab the printed comic strip and find out the information that they need to know. For me, the process has made me rethink creating training material in the twenty-first century. Perhaps it’s time to return to the old media.

The End of E-Learning?

4 May

My week has been bookended by two thought-provoking blog posts about the future of learning and e-learning in particular, one from Nick Shackleton-Jones and the other by Clive Shepherd. Both made me really think about the future of learning in my organization.

I’ll start with Clive Shepherd’s post “This house believes the only way is e-learning.” In this post, Clive argues that e-learning should be the key focus for learning given the problems currently facing workplace learning. These problems include:

• A scarcity of budget for training
• A scarcity of teacher/trainer time
• A scarcity of time for learner to spend training
• Massive disruption in the employment market as a result of the economic downturn, structural changes caused by technological change and globalisation
• A requirement and a desire to reduce CO2 emissions

Along with these problems, learners have new expectations about learning:

• A demand for learning content and experiences that are highly relevant to current work issues
• A demand for immediate access to learning content and experiences
• A demand for more flexibility in how, when and where these experiences are made available
• Along with a recognition that it is no longer necessary to know everything, but instead to have access on-demand to resources

Clive believes that “traditional training” cannot help us overcome these problems. Instead, he argues that e-learning is “the only way to overcome these obstacles.”

In contrast to Clive Shepherd, Nick Shackleton-Jones doesn’t believe that e-learning is “the only way.” In fact, in “E-Learning is dead. Long live online learing” Nick argues that we are currently witnessing the end of e-learning. Comparing e-learning to the fate of the fax machine, Nick argues the demise of both have similar roots, in that they have been “overtaken by a flurry of smaller, more agile technologies.”

According to Nick, the rise of these “smaller, more agile technologies” (infographics, videos etc … ) has led to a shift away from courses to resources. This in turn has changed how instructional designers approach ADDIE. Rather than the e-learning course, the future focus, in Nick’s opinion “will be on resources and peers.”

For me, Clive and Nick are both right (and wrong) about the future. In my organization, e-learning plays a significant role and will continue to do so in the future because the problems that Clive outlines. However, recently I’ve been doing the type of instructional design work that Nick describes, using “smaller and more agile technologies” to facilitate learning. I can only see this growing more and more in the future.

Saying all this, however, I believe that the future will also include the traditional classroom. Despite the recent development of educational technologies (and theories), in my organization the traditional classroom still holds sway in discussions about training. And while the argument against grows, I don’t think this will change in the near future.