Thoughts about the first eLearning Guild Academy offering and my sad life ; )

August 2, 2013

If I had known that Magic Mike was on HBO at 11 PM, I would have made plans to be there. But I actually had stumbled upon it quite by accident.

“Cool. Magic Mike is just starting.”

I actually said that. I was alone. The only thing more sad than saying that would be saying that while looking up from reading 50 Shades of Grey. Not that I was. I was, in fact, settling into my room at an airport hotel near SFO to catch an early flight the next day. I was at the end of a heavy travel schedule – 40 nights away from home in the past three months – and this movie was one I wouldn’t expect my husband would want to watch with me. First, I don’t subscribe to HBO (because I can’t stomach sending any more money to my cable company), second it’s not on Netflix yet and third…

magic mike

So again, COOL. This is like old time scheduled TV I thought. You know…quiet everyone…it’s starting.

Scheduled TV viewing is dying. More people are accessing on-demand entertainment from a streaming service or web TV. Even LIVE TV sporting events (which are scheduled) are changing because more people are watching these events while using a second or third screen. These are the same challenges we face in L&D where we have traditionally scheduled courses, classes, programs, and event where you pretty much have someone’s attention.

Some folks would suggest that you don’t need to schedule anything anymore and that you can train yourself to do anything – like learn new software or critical thinking – simply by firing up a browser and viewing a series of short videos (or maybe entering code and having it auto graded). Is that enough? If it is, I guess we don’t need any more instructors or trainers. EVER. Ha! Ha! Good one.

At the eLearning Guild Academy, our goal is to help build mastery so an on-demand video library would only be part of any solution we offered.  Same for discussions and live ILT – part of the solution. I personally love video and use it for things quick things like fixing a zipper on my laptop bag.

So, the first Guild Academy offering was a 30-day software training  course on Articulate Storyline held last month. We ran it as a pilot course. The training involved four live, interactive two-hour sessions (via Adobe Connect) led by a top-notch instructor who is also a Storyline SME and practitioner (the amazing Ron Price at Yukon Learning). It included a host/producer. I chose not to record the live sessions because we felt it was important for people to be able to experience live feedback while they are actually DOING something with the software. My experience is that people are too busy and many will opt for watching a recording later (or not). Temptation gone.

We also used a cloud-based knowledge sharing platform (Bloomfire) that plays well on mobile devices and that also has social elements necessary for people to share, discuss, ask or answer a question, and access resources at any time from anywhere . Resources included recorded video tutorials the instructor posted after the live sessions along with assignments where you could focus on application. There were also many job aids and actual Storyline files containing examples which helped me a great deal in comparing my work.

Imagine then my reaction to this email which came from an email about the course:

I think your prices are way too high. I’ll wait for the training to come out on .

Hey dude. You get what you pay for. Maybe a couple hours of video tutorials is good enough for you. I don’t think it’s going to get most people to the mastery level. And you know what? The pilot course ended weeks ago but the conversations continue in Bloomfire. I feel good about how this pilot turned out and am excited about the next. We are adding Cameo, a reinforcement technology tool to the mix for the next course.

There are just a couple of spots left for the next Basic session. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how people master new software at your organization. Next up is a pilot for our Advanced Storyline offering.

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