21st December 2009

Neon Elephant Award Announcement

Dr. Will Thalheimer, President of Work-Learning Research, announces the winner of the 2009 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Ruth Clark for her many years in leading the workplace learning-and-performance field with research-based insights and recommendations, and—by so doing—helping to professionalize our field.

Click here to learn more about the Neon Elephant Award…

 

2009 Award Winner – Ruth Clark

Ruth Clark, EdD, a recognized specialist in instructional design and technical training, holds a doctorate in Educational Psychology and Instructional Technology from the University of Southern California. Prior to founding CLARK Training & Consulting, Dr. Clark served as training manager for Southern California Edison. She is past president of the International Society for Performance Improvement and author of six books and numerous articles. Dr. Clark is the 2006 recipient of the Thomas F. Gilbert Distinguished Professional Achievement Award from ISPI. Ruth is the author of numerous books, searchable at Amazon.com under her full name Ruth Colvin Clark, including:

  • The New Virtual Classroom: Evidence-based Guidelines for Synchronous e-Learning,
  • Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load,
  • e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning,
  • Graphics for Learning: Proven Guidelines for Planning, Designing, and Evaluating Visuals in Training Materials,
  • Developing Technical Training: A Structured Approach for Developing Classroom and Computer-based Instructional Materials,
  • Building Expertise: Cognitive Methods for Training and Performance Improvement. Click to purchase it here: Building Expertise: Cognitive Methods for Training and Performance Improvement

In addition to her lifetime of work, she is honored this year for the 3rd edition of her excellent book, published just a little over a year ago, Building Expertise: Cognitive Methods for Training and Performance Improvement. Although this is said to be the 3rd edition, the research cited is fresh and up-to-date. This book may be Ruth’s masterwork. It covers a wide swath of the learning research. It’s written by a research translator at the height of her powers. It’s a must-read (and must-study) for everyone in the field of workplace learning-and-performance.

It’s not easy to examine learning research from refereed scientific journals and compile it so that it is practical for others. The time commitment is incredible, the research skills must be of the highest caliber—and it requires guts and gusto. Some of what the research reveals cuts against the common wisdom. Sometimes it chaffs and brings angst and heat. Ruth’s continuing perseverance over the last three decades is testament to her passion and tenacity. Her work itself is testament to her integrity and skills.

I would imagine that over the last two decades there is no one in our field who has improved the work of as many instructional designers, trainers, and e-learning developers as Ruth Clark. For me, she continues to be a beacon—proof that research-based work is valued by our profession. For our field, Ruth’s work is simply indispensible.

Using evidence-based reasoning and recommendations is not just useful in practice. It is what respected, successful professions are based on. We owe Ruth Clark our most grateful thanks.

 

Click here to learn more about the Neon Elephant Award…

 

 

20th December 2008

Neon Elephant Award Announcement

Dr. Will Thalheimer, President of Work-Learning Research, announces the winner of the 2008 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Robert Brinkerhoff for developing the Success Case evaluation method and for advocating that learning professionals play a more “courageous” role in their organizations.

Click here to learn more about the Neon Elephant Award…

2008 Award Winner – Robert Brinkerhoff

Robert O. Brinkerhoff, EdD, professor emeritus, Western Michigan University is planning his retirement from his full-time work as a principal consultant and partner at Advantage Performance Group, where he has worked since 2005. His clients include Anglo-American Corp., Bank of America, Pitney Bowes, the Federal Aviation Administration, Dell, and the World Bank. He is the author of numerous books, including Courageous Training (with Tim Mooney), Success Case Method, High Impact Learning, and Telling Training’s Story.

In addition to his lifetime of work, he is honored this year for the development of the Success-Case Method and for his advocacy that learning professionals play a more “courageous” and integral part in organizational performance. Too many of us play order-taker roles when we should be partners in helping our organization/business get results. Brinkerhoff’s insight that overly-complex methodologies are generally ineffective because they can’t be understood easily by stakeholders is one that more thought leaders should embrace.

The Success Case Method, while it can’t provide a complete picture of the training-impact landscape, is an important tool in any training-evaluation toolkit. It embodies two key insights. First, training doesn’t have to prompt all trainees to utilize training successfully to have a major impact on the organization. If one person implements one insight that nets the organization millions of dollars, the overall impact of the training may hinge on that one result—not the average or median result from all the learners. The second key insight embodied in the Success Case Method is the understanding that we ought to be diagnosing the cause of training failures and then working to fix those failures. By diving into deep case analyses of failure instances, we can uncover obstacles and forces that are limiting training impact. To learn about the Success Case Method, see Brinkerhoff’s book “Telling Training’s Story: Evaluation Made Simple, Credible, and Effective.” You can purchase it by clicking here: Telling Training’s Story: Evaluation Made Simple, Credible, and Effective

Brinkerhoff’s latest book, entitled “Courageous Training: Bold Actions for Business Results,” and written with Tim Mooney, build’s on Brinkerhoff’s years of experience in evaluating learning. He has seen how training succeeds and how it fails. He uses wisdom gained from these evaluations to lay out a comprehensive and practical process for going from needs-identification to results. Mooney and Brinkerhoff’s book challenges us as learning professionals to go outside our comfort zones to make true performance impacts. It is an important book in the mold of Wick, Pollock, Jefferson, and Flanagan’s “Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning.” You can purchase it by clicking here: Courageous Training: Bold Actions for Business Results (Bk Business)

 

Click here to learn more about the Neon Elephant Award…

 

 

22nd December 2007

Neon Elephant Award Announcement

Dr. Will Thalheimer, President of Work-Learning Research, announces the winners of the 2007 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Sharon Shrock and Bill Coscarelli for advocating against the use of memorization-level questions in learning measurement and for the use of authentic assessment items, including scenario-based questions, simulations, and real-world skills tests.

Click here to learn more about the Neon Elephant Award…

 

2007 Award Winners – Sharon Shrock, Bill Coscarelli

Sharon Shrock and Bill Coscarelli have worked together for over 25 years building world-class expertise in the area of learning measurement and criterion-referenced test development. Their lifetime of work embodies the values of the Neon Elephant Award.

The third edition of their book Criterion-Referenced Test Development: Technical and Legal Guidelines for Corporate Training, released late this year, is a standard reference in the learning-and-performance field, having won two professional society awards as the year’s outstanding publication. Their workshops and consulting on Level 2 Assessment and Certification are based on sound methodology and real-world expertise.

In addition to their lifetime of work, they are honored this year for their paradigm-altering recommendation that memorization-level questions are inadequate for use in measuring learning as it relates to workplace competence. This recommendation is absolutely stunning given that current practice in evaluating learning relies, almost without exception, on memorization-level questions. That the most highly-regarded text on criterion-referenced testing advocates for this change—especially given its focus on legal liabilities—should send shockwaves through our industry.

Bios and more information about Sharon and Bill can be found on their website at www.shrockandcoscarelli.com.

You can read a review of Sharon and Bill’s book on Will Thalheimer’s blog at this link.

You can purchase their book through Amazon.com by clicking on this link: Criterion-referenced Test Development: Technical and Legal Guidelines for Corporate Training

 

Click here to learn more about the Neon Elephant Award…

 

 

22nd December 2006

Neon Elephant Award Announcement

Dr. Will Thalheimer, President of Work-Learning Research, announces the inaugural edition of the Neon Elephant Award, awarded for 2006 to Cal Wick of the Fort Hill Company for leading the development of the first commercially-viable training-follow-through e-learning software and his work as co-author of the book, The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development into Business Results.

Click here to learn more about the Neon Elephant Award…

 

2006 Award Winner – Cal Wick

Cal Wick embodies the values of the Neon Elephant Award. In 1999, he founded the Fort Hill Company because of his frustration with the way typical management-training programs produced virtually no impact when the learners returned to their jobs. Cal’s answer to this problem was the development of Friday5s—an e-learning platform that enables training results to be channeled to on-the-job implementation. By tracking learners’ progress toward goals and connecting the learners’ managers and learning administrators to the progress of implementation, Friday5s enables a revolution in how we think about training. No longer is training about information. No longer is it an event. With an online training-follow-through platform, implementation can become part of the training contract. Since the 1980’s the field has moved from training to performance improvement. Cal and his team’s invention provides a bridge between training and performance. It’s not one or the other. The goal is on-the-job performance. Now training can be outfitted to support that performance.

Cal and his team at the Fort Hill Company do more than create and market their products and services. By utilizing results from both research and practice and by honestly evaluating their own on-the-job results, they have been able to build a continuing cycle of improvement in their own work efforts. They’ve also compiled their own learning in The Six Disciplines book, published this past April (2006), making it easy for the rest of us to improve what we’re doing. In the book, which I’ve previously reviewed as “nothing short of revolutionary,” they’ve laid out a coherent and well-tested system for getting training results. It’s not just about training-follow-through software. It’s about an attitude and a complete methodology for getting business results. To get the 2nd edition of the book, click here: The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development into Business Results (Pfeiffer Essential Resources for Training and HR Professionals)

 

Click here to learn more about the Neon Elephant Award…

 

The Neon Elephant Award

The Neon Elephant Award is awarded to a person, team, or organization exemplifying enlightenment, integrity, and innovation in the field of workplace learning and performance. Announced in December—during the time of year when the northern hemisphere turns away from darkness toward the light and hope of warmer days to come—the Neon Elephant Award honors those who have truly changed the way we think about the practice of learning and performance improvement. Award winners are selected for demonstrated success in pushing the field forward in significant paradigm-altering ways while maintaining the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. 

 

Why “Neon Elephant?”

The elephant represents learning, power, strength, and the importance of nurturing the community. The glow of neon represents enlightenment, illumination, and a spark of something unique and alluring.

 

Selection Methodology

The award is based purely on merit and the criteria detailed above. Proposals are not accepted, nor are any entrance fees solicited or accepted. While advice on the selection is sought from industry thought leaders, Dr. Will Thalheimer of Work-Learning Research is the final arbiter. Awards will only be made in years when exceptional contributions to the workplace learning and performance field are apparent.

 

Winners

The 2018 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Clark Quinn for writing a book debunking the learning myths, Millennials, Goldfish & Other Training Misconceptions: Debunking Learning Myths and Superstitions—and for his many years advocating for research-based practices in the workplace learning field.

The 2017 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Patti Shank for writing and publishing two research-to-practice books this year, Write and Organize for Deeper Learning and Practice and Feedback for Deeper Learning—and for her many years advocating for research-based practices in the workplace learning field.

The 2016 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Pedro De Bruycere, Paul A. Kirschner, and Casper D. Hulshof for their book Urban Myths about Learning and Education—a book that provides a research-based reality check on the myths and misinformation that float around the learning field.

The 2015 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Julie Dirksen for her book, Design for How People Learn—a book that wonderfully conveys practical, research-based wisdom through the authentic voice of an experienced instructional designer and strategist.

The 2014 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel for their book, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning—a book that brilliantly conveys scientific principles of learning in prose that is easy to digest, comprehensive and true in its recommendations, highly-credible, and impossible to ignore or forget.

The 2013 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Gary Klein for his many years doing research and practice in naturalistic decision making, cognitive task analysis, and insight learning–and for reminding us that real-world explorations of human behavior are essential in enabling us to distill key insights.

The 2012 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to K. Anders Ericsson for his many years conducting research on expertise and creating a body of knowledge that has inspired many others to translate his research into recommendations for use by performance-improvement professionals.

The 2011 Neon Elephant Award, given this year to Jeroen van Merriënboer for his many years conducting research on learning and translating that research into practical models for use by learning professionals.

The 2010 Neon Elephant Award was awarded to Richard E. Clark for his many years in leading the workplace learning-and-performance field by bridging the gap between academic research and practical application.

The 2009 Neon Elephant Award was awarded to Ruth Clark for her many years in leading the workplace learning-and-performance field with research-based insights and recommendations, and—by so doing—helping to professionalize our field.

The 2008 Neon Elephant Award was awarded to Robert Brinkerhoff for developing the Success Case evaluation method and for advocating that learning professionals play a more “courageous” role in their organizations.

The 2007 Neon Elephant Award was awarded to Sharon Shrock and Bill Coscarelli for advocating against the use of memorization-level questions in learning measurement and for the use of authentic assessment items, including scenario-based questions, simulations, and real-world skills tests.

The 2006 Neon Elephant Award was awarded to Cal Wick of the Fort Hill Company for his work developing methodologies and software to support learning transfer.

Cammy Bean interviews me in regard to the three most important e-learning design flaws in today's e-learning. I discussed three—and then two more!! Five design flaws in all.

How's your e-learning?

Check out the interview here.

You can also download the segments as podcasts.

It has been my pleasure and privilege to co-teach several learning measurement workshops with Dr. Roy Pollock, and to follow the important work that he and his colleagues have done at The Fort Hill Company over the years. I acknowledged their work by awarding Cal Wick, Fort Hill's Founding Father, the Neon Elephant Award back in 2006. I've also reviewed their ground-breaking book, The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning, and have recently reviewed their new book, Getting Your Money's Worth from Training and Development.

Now, I have captured Roy in a video interview, that I think you'll enjoy and learn from.

You can purchase the book by clicking on the Amazon.com link below:

Again, I highly recommend the book. Read my book review to see how much.

Learning professionals (like me) can often gain insights about our industry from people in the field who have different vantage points than our own. I recently talked with Eric Shepherd, CEO of Questionmark, to get a sense of our industry and how it has been affected by the bad economy. Eric has been a good friend and long-time supporter of my research over the years and I’ve come to value his counsel.

Questionmark is the leading provider of assessment software according to a recent eLearning Guild study. I thought from his perch overseeing all-things-assessment, Eric might be able to give us some unique insight into the learning-and-performance field in general.

Check out my interview with him at the recent Guild conference. I divided it into two parts to make viewing easier.

Part 1: What trends do you see that we may be missing? 


Part 2: How is the bad economy affecting the learning assessment marketplace? 

Video Overview:

The following video provides an entertaining and, I hope, enlightening look at the humble job aid.

Featuring:

  • This is only the second video that I shot and edited. See how I did.
      
  • Allison Rossett, co-author of the book, Job Aids and Performance Support (with Lisa Schafer) is interviewed.
      
  • Worldwide public introduction to incredible new talent, the incomparable Alena.
      
  • Brewer the dog has cameo role.
      

Video Notes:

Because of YouTube size restrictions, it is divided into 2 parts.

Enjoy in HD (if your computer can handle it) by:

  1. Starting the Video
  2. Clicking on HD at Lower Right, AND
  3. Clicking on the full-screen display (the box in a box) at Lower Right
  4. IF the audio doesn't track, your computer can't handle HD.



Part 1



Part 2

Purchasing (or learning more about) Allison's Book:

Will Thalheimer interviews Anna Belyaev and Gretchen Hartke of Type A Learning Agency in January of 2006.

This Segment is on journalism and the name Type A.

Questions Asked:

Given the miserable state of journalism in our field, what can we do to get better info to our fellow instructional professionals?

The name of your company is Type A Learning Agency. Who are you and what are you trying to say with that name?


MP3 File

NOTE: The full interview is available for download below the individual segments.