Seek Research-to-Practice Experts as Your Trusted Advisors

, , ,

I added these words to the sidebar of my blog, and I like them so much that I’m sharing them as a blog post itself.

Please seek wisdom from research-to-practice experts — the dedicated professionals who spend time in two worlds to bring the learning field insights based on science. These folks are my heroes, given their often quixotic efforts to navigate through an incomprehensible jungle of business and research obstacles.

These research-to-practice professionals should be your heroes as well. Not mythological heroes, not heroes etched into the walls of faraway mountains. These heroes should be sought out as our partners, our fellow travelers in learning, as people we hire as trusted advisors to bring us fresh research-based insights.

The business case is clear. Research-to-practice experts not only enlighten and challenge us with ideas we might not have considered — ideas that make our learning efforts more effective in producing business results — research-to-practice professionals also prevent us from engaging in wasted efforts, saving our organizations time and money, all the while enabling us to focus more productively on learning factors that actually matter.

Coordinating Massive Learning Content via Chris Winter

I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Winter today, proprietor at SkillsCrafters.com. He's developed a method over many years enabling him to catalog training content by using a spreadsheet. He's worked with organizations like GM, MillerCoors, The U.S. Navy, and The U.S. Coastguard.

Picture

I don't usually get involved in the nitty-gritty of content compilation, but for huge learning interventions, this must be a massive challenge.

I can handle the vast learning-research literature — and find it fun to do so — but I'm glad there are folks like Chris who have the patience to organize the content.

Check him out at the Skills Crafters website.

Report on Learning Management Systems

, ,

Training Media Review, a hearteningly unbiased source, just releases its 2009 report on Learning Management Systems.

Click to learn more…

Adobe E-Learning Suite

, ,

As predicted, Adobe is on the march to monopolize the e-learning development world.

Their new suite.

Have they really integrated intelligence about human learning in there? Not sure, but I'm skeptical. If you're a competitor, that's probably your only path to success. If you're Adobe, that may be your only weak link.

My services are available.

Review: Online Survey Software

I’ve been a big advocate for learning audits, evaluations, and surveys. To do any of these things well, you need to find a good online survey provider.

For truly sophisticated assessment software–with all the bells and whistles for doing psychometrically-sound learning assessments, the provider to check out is Questionmark, the clear market leader.

For online survey software, I’ve had great success with KeySurvey. When I tried some of the most well-known online survey instruments, they just didn’t have the power and sophistication to do what I wanted. I’ve been completely satisfied with the folks at KeySurvey. Not only is their online software sophisticated and reliable, but their offering is reasonably priced, and the customer-service is phenomenal. You actually get to talk to a real person when you’ve got technical questions. You can certainly check them out online, but if you have questions or want to sign up, contact Jim Hatcher through email or by phone at (817) 491-2450. He’s a great guy and always helpful. Tell him Will Thalheimer of Work-Learning Research sent ya.

Training Media Review

One of our primary goals at Work-Learning Research is to help learning-and-performance professionals improve their learning results. As part of this commitment to practitioners, we like to highlight the work of others who provide valid information with a high-integrity mindset.

One of the best examples of this high-value, high-integrity approach is TMR (Training Media Review), led by Bill Ellet, accompanied by his vast network of insightful professionals. TMR provides third-party reviews of training content, including reviews of e-learning courses, computer-based training, videos, books, training manuals, and more.

TMR is the exclusive provider of media reviews to t+d magazine, published by the American Society for Training and Development.

There are two things that I really like about TMR. The first is that the reviewers are all extremely experienced and well chosen to have the right background to make informed reviews. For example, Patti Shank—one of e-learning industry’s best thinkers—has recently completed a review of authoring-tool products. The second thing I really like about TMR is its mission to provide trusted information. This focus comes from Bill Ellet’s personal insistence that reviews be non-biased and that the information be valid and informative. TMR observes a strict no-conflict-of-interest policy. TMR receives no commissions when it reviews products. Vendors are never charged a fee for getting their products reviewed. TMR reviewers are not allowed to serve as consultants to companies whose products they review.

Those of you experienced in the industry know that many of the reviews produced in the marketplace and awards programs require applicants to pay a fee, biasing the results. What’s worse is that awards always seem to go to programs with sizzle and no substance. Just because a program gets a gold medal in some well-known industry award contest, doesn’t mean it is any good.

TMR separates itself from these pretenders by keeping strict standards and using great reviewers. By being a beacon of value, TMR shines a light for organizations seeking off-the-shelf training media and related products.

In addition to its reviews, TMR also offers discounts to subscribing members on all sorts of great stuff, including books, environmentally-friendly training products, software, and more.

Contact Information for Training Media Review is available at their website.