Learning Pool Live 2016

Learning Pool Live was another ‘roaring success‘ for the company – even in its enlarged form having incorporated the MindClick user base as well all the ‘potential’ customers like me.

The event was, as in previous years, full of energy and good sessions.  Unfortunately I was feeling very rough so didn’t take as much out of it as I might have previously – I skipped the closing keynote to get some air – which is possibly why its taken me so long to reflect and make some notes!

David Meade

Like last year – a really invigorating start to the day.  The humour he brings stops this being too cheesy and it is a great start point for thinking how we can make eLearning as engaging as his activities/presentation.

I’d agree that, with the right establishment of environments and mindsets, change is possible.

Deborah Frances White

Another presenter I’ve seen before who is also always very engaging – including on her recent RHLSTP appearance.

The focus of this session was on some of the tweaks you can make to be better at communication, especially presentations, largely common sense but certainly some ‘ah yes’ moments:

  • not some kind of magic, most people are coached to be better – even the most polished communicators have developed their skills and charisma
  • can learn from the comedy circuit, new talent night is full of people who develop self confidence over time
  • if you want to develop your confidence do an open mic night, or karaoke…SOBER
  • corporate world presentations set a very low bar, can be relatively good quite easily!
  • weight on front foot for posture, avoid being ‘prey’. Act like the hunter: purposeful movement, decisive, don’t hide behind lecterns or furniture, etc.
  • PowerPoint should not be used to distract from you or the message
  • yes, be authentic, but not if that means being crap – be your best self
  • think how you want people to FEEL by turning up to a session
  • you are Lady Gaga – slides are back up dancers.

Cathy Moore

Anyone with an Instructional Design (ID) background will know Cathy’s work, indeed I used to reference her in my MSc papers.

Lots of valid points made, albeit that I’m more than aware I fall down on implementing this best practice [why included as sub bullets]:

  • design activities not information, activities to fix a real world challenge and use information as the evidence
    • I’d say the issue here is that SMEs often think it terms of chunks of knowledge dumps – whilst you sometimes get to the bottom of issues through performance consulting too often people struggle to articulate what they really do or how they need other people to change
  • if quizzing you’ll be encouraging short term memory for people to pass the test
    • yep, I tend to avoid this as much as possible.  However, it is one approach to ensure key messages are actually being picked up and I find is useful to check that someone going through a branching exercise still sees the bigger picture.  Also, pretesting is, of course, very valuable in relation to compliance and the like.
  • feedback in eLearning can be presented as from HR or another character – not just a ‘god’ type voice
    • yes, one of the best outcomes I’ve had working with a vendor on a bespoke project was where an ex-boss character acted as a coach throughout, effectively introducing models and information via feedback.
  • shift from ‘what they need to know’ to ‘what do they need to do’
    • I normally always try the second question but the challenge is moving sponsors away from the first position.
  • space the activities, with rising challenge if possible. Can cap off with live chat if needed to allow for discussion and reflection
    • I’m always keen to break things on an LMS but mobile is realistically the only way try spacing is going to work.
  • her action mapping is one approach to changing this, use with SME to ask questions. First question is ‘what is the goal?’ then ‘what they need to do’, ‘why aren’t they doing it’, etc.

e-Learning for Healthcare

Into the client case studies and examples with this one…

They have 20,000 learning objects but this focused on a particular project (MindEd) where the audience was less clear than some other pieces of content.  This led to a pretty exemplar ID project including bringing in a wide variety of stakeholders to the design process.  One advantage of this was to capture stories from people directly impacted by the issues and these testimonials became valuable narrative for the learning.  The end product was also more visual and designed for mobile, with rich graphic design, compared to previous work.  This won Adapt project of the year in the day’s award ceremony.


The particular learning team presenting realised they needed to accelerate innovation to avoid extinction.

Mindclick were also facing a challenge from digital agencies moving into learning – challenge to up their game around fantastic design.  Started to think of ‘players’ not ‘learners’ – create exploration where rules are clear and failure accepted.

Barclays UK academy set out their six user experience principles, meeting different profiles of learner they’d identified, and started working in more agile (less waterfall) kinds of ways.  One outcome of this is a secondary gamification platform that sits outside of their firewall but leverages the LMS.

Summary and link to slides: evolve to survive.

MindClick Gamification

Mostly another look at their Boots game – challenging the knowledge retention issues of traditional learning.

Summary: give choice, add element of risk, encourage healthy competition.  Keep it relevant though and learn through failure.

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader (I.gardner.gb) and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

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