March 2010 Speaking Events
 
If you want to see me speak, there are lots of opportunities in March. Also, I've got a screen cast you can watch below introducing my four sessions at the eLearning Guild Learning Solutions Conference.
 

Tuesday, March 2
ISPI Massachusetts Chapter
Newton, Massachusetts
TITLE: Learning Measurement: Overcoming Myths, Research Wisdom, and Full-Source Evaluation
LINK: http://www.mass-ispi.org/public/event-details.asp?ID=180

Tuesday and Wednesday March 23 and 24th
eLearning Guild, Learning Solutions Conference

Orlando, Florida

SESSION (FOUNDATION INTENSIVE): Research Answers: What is the Value of e-Learning? What Designs Work Best? Tuesday, March 23, 11:30a-12:15p
 
SESSION (ID ZONE):  Nine Biggest Mistakes in Learning Measurement. Wednesday March 24, 11:45-12:30 at the ID Zone.
 
SESSION 203: Assessing e-Learning Results: Fundamentals, Myths, and Special Opportunities. Wednesday March 24, 1:00p – 2:00p
 
SESSION 302: Improving Systems Training by Adding Informal Learning to the Blend. Wednesday March 24, 2:30p – 3:30p
 
SESSION (Free Consulting and Question-Asking at Speaker Clinic):  Wednesday March 24, 4:00p – 5:00p

Watch my brief (3 minute) introduction: http://screenr.com/5Vx

Sign up to attend the conference: http://tinyurl.com/ydyzn9o

It’s not every day that a valued client “retires” from a
company to which she has devoted a good part of her career. I’ve known Annie
Laures for almost half a decade in my role as an outside consultant and
work-learning auditor. I’d like to take a moment and acknowledge her work at
Walgreens—and wish her well as she begins a new adventure as a consultant to
chief learning officers, training directors, and learning professionals.

Annie retired as Walgreens Director of Learning Services
after a 32-year career helping Walgreens’ pharmacists, store managers, service
clerks, corporate managers and others learn and succeed in their jobs. 

Here's Annie's picture from a relaxed informal moment.

AnnieLaures

Annie’s accomplishments are too many and varied to recite
here. Here’s a short list. In her learning-executive role heading up learning
services, Annie directed the overall learning strategy for Walgreens, led
multiple teams and units of learning professionals, and worked closely with
business management and operations. Annie has also led the Performance
Development and Training and Development units at Walgreens. She’s led
leadership development. She led the transition from classroom-only training to
an integrated e-learning system. She’s created customer-service initiatives, developed
videos, done executive coaching, managed instructional design, built 360-degree
instruments, and helped Walgreens as it merged with other corporations.

Annie has long been active in the International Society of
Performance Improvement, won an award, and earned her Certified Performance
Technology designation. Annie has presented at various industry conferences,
including a presentation she and I did together titled “Is Your Learning Organization Healthy?”

Annie’s colleagues remember her as a person of integrity,
wisdom, and a deep and practical knowledge of learning. They also remember her
as someone with a quirky sense of humor. “Often
she would tell you a story that was off-the-wall but she would do it with such
a straight face that you believe her. One time she mentioned that the new hire
missed her dog so much that we agreed she could take it to work.

For me, Annie represented the best kind of client. She
wanted to do the right thing and create learning interventions that really
worked. She was politically savvy enough know what would fly and what would be
derailed by management. She worked within the system to get the best results
possible. Annie was also just a joy to work with—friendly, open, direct, personable,
and caring. She also had great instincts about learning and performance. Her
recommendations and thinking were almost always aligned with research and best
practices. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about Annie was her
willingness to be open to new ideas and improvement in learning-and-performance
design. Her inquisitive non-defensive nature helped her and Walgreens Learning
to continue moving forward in continuing cycles of improvement. Annie just
seemed to want to do what was right for the learners of Walgreens. It never
appeared to be about her.

When a person has a passion to make things better, when they
are focused on the general good (and not themselves so much), when they are
skilled at getting things done, and when they are open—truly open—to learning,
the world will become a better place because of their actions. To me, that
seems the story of Annie Laures career at Walgreens.

I want to acknowledge Annie’s Walgreens work and also thank
Annie for hiring me when my research-and-consulting practice really needed the
work. I also want to wish Annie the best as she opens up her consulting
practice. If you’d like to inquire about Annie’s consulting services, contact
her at this email.

Thanks Annie!!

Searching for "learning research," Work-Learning Research is fairly highly rated.

Google: #4

Bing: #4

Yahoo: #6

I'm honored and want to thank all the fans who make it so.

Magna Publications invited me to speak to its members about Situation-Based Learning Design. We had a great discussion in an online webinar. While the participants came because they were college professors/instructors interested in online learning, I emphasized the general application of the principles and concepts.

I even gave an example of how teaching poetry could be situation-based.

Magna was so pleased with the results that they are now selling CD's of my webinar presentation.

Click to learn more…

Tomorrow (Friday January 23rd, 2009), I'm holding a webinar on the Myths the Business Side Has About Learning.

I've gathered a list of myths from learning professionals (folks on LinkedIn, clients, books, me), have done a card sort on the myths, and I'd like to share those myths with you and get your additional thoughts. I hope also to have time for a discussion regarding what WE (as learning professionals) need to do to overcome these perceptions. What responsibility should we take?

I got started on this because a client has asked me to build a course to teach the business side about learning and their role in supporting learning, both formal and informal. Confronting myths directly is one thing I'll need to do in my course design.

You can sign up for the webinar by clicking here.

FREE Webinosh on Instructional Objectives

This Friday January 9th, 2009, I will talk about Instructional Objectives, and some research, thereof.

Instructional Objectives:

  • Do they produce learning results?
  • Are they all the same?
  • Do we have to use them?
  • Do prequestions work just as well?
  • How specifically do they have to be worded?
  • Can I use the word “Understand”? Answer: In some of them, but not others.
  • Hey Will, do you have a new taxonomy for us?

Click to Sign Up:

EVENT IS IN THE PAST

I’ve been busy again thinking about the nexus between LEARNING and LEARNING MEASUREMENT.

You can peruse some of my previous thoughts on learning measurement by clicking here.

Here is a brand new article that I wrote for the eLearning Guild on how to evaluate Learning 2.0 stuff. Note: Learning 2.0 is defined (by the eLearning Guild) as: The idea of learning through digital connections and peer collaboration, enhanced by technologies driving Web 2.0. Users/Learners are empowered
to search, create, and collaborate, in order to fulfill intrinsic needs to learn new information.
Evaluating Learning 2.0 differs from evaluating traditional Learning 1.0 training for many reasons, one of which is that Learning 2.0 enables (encourages) learners to create their own content.

Steve Wexler, Director of Research and Emerging Technologies at the eLearning Guild, and I are leading a Webinar on Thursday September 4th on the current state of eLearning Measurement. We’ve got some new data that we’re hot to share.

Finally, Roy Pollock, one of the authors of the classic book, Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning, and I are leading a one-day symposium on measuring learning at the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn 2008 conference in November. It’s a great chance to go to one of the best eLearning conferences around while working with Roy and I in a fairly intimate workshop, wrangling with the newest thinking in how to measure learning. Choose Symposium S-4. Note that it may not show Roy’s information there yet–the Guild is still working on the webpage–but let me assure you that Roy and I are equal partners in this one.

Questioning Strategies for
Audience Response Systems:
How to Use Questions to Maximize
Learning, Engagement, and Satisfaction

by Dr. Will Thalheimer

Introduction

The buzz in the learning industry is focused on e-learning, m-learning, wikis, and blogs; but one of the most powerful learning technologies is being overlooked, probably because it’s an in-the-classroom technology—audience response systems. In this research-to-practice white paper I offer a blueprint for how to use audience response systems to maximize higher-order learning in the classroom and beyond.

What One Reader Wrote to Me

Dr. Thalheimer,

Just wanted to drop you a little note this morning to express my gratitude for your paper "Questioning Strategies for Audience Response Systems: How to Use Questions to Maximize Learning, Engagement, and Satisfaction."

A friend recommended that I read it to prepare for a Higher Order Questioning staff development class that she and I are teaching together (in conjunction with some CPS [audience response] training we’re offering). To tell you the truth, I really wasn’t looking forward to reading it because I expected it to be dry and full of boring I’m-trying-to-sound-snobbily-intellectual writing, but I LOVED it. 🙂

I enjoyed your approachable style and dry sense of humor so much I read all the way through (including the endnotes!) and had many a good laugh along the way. In addition to being a blast to read, the paper challenged and inspired me to find new ways to push my questioning skills to a higher level for the next school year.

Thanks again, for the inspiration and for the great read. I’ll be checking out your website later today and hope to find that equally enjoyable.

Sincerely,

Liz Walhof

Spanish Teacher
Colorado

From the Paper’s Introduction

"Audience response systems have enormous potential for transforming lectures from dry recitals into rich jam sessions of deeply resonant learning. The technology is widely available, but the key to success is not in the technology; it’s in the instruction. To maximize meaningful learning, instructors must become adept in using questioning and discussion techniques. Unfortunately, some of us may come to believe that we can simply sprinkle our lectures with a few multiple-choice questions. This approach is emphatically inadequate, and is simply not worthy of our profession.

This report provides a near-exhaustive list of questioning strategies, and a comprehensive guide on using questions to facilitate classroom learning. No other resource exists that is research-based and comprehensive, while also being practical and useful. It has been designed specifically to provide practical guidance for trainers, teachers, and professors so that their learners—whether they are eight, forty-eight, or eighty years old—can experience deep and meaningful learning."

Special thanks to eInstruction for agreeing to license the paper for distribution to their clients. Such underwriting helps move the audience-response field forward and demonstrates an enlightened commitment to effective learning in classrooms of all types throughout the world. Other underwriting opportunities are available for research on audience-response learning. Contact Dr. Thalheimer with inquiries.

Additional Information

  • Number of Pages: 124
  • Number of Research Citations: 54
  • Publication Date: March 2007
  • Available to you Immediately as downloadable Electronic file (PDF).
  • Purchasing utilizes industry-leading security.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed.
  • Cost: $40.00 (US)

Click here to purchase…

I’ve just completed a new research-to-practice white paper. As far as I can tell, it is the first work on learning measurement (assessment and evaluation) that actually takes human learning into consideration. I’d like to thank Questionmark for agreeing to support this work.

Words from the paper’s introduction:

In writing this report on using fundamental learning research to inform assessment  design, I am combining two of my passions—learning and the measurement of learning. As an experienced learner and learning designer, I have come to the belief that those of us responsible for designing, developing, and delivering learning interventions are often left in the dark about our own successes and failures. The measurement techniques we use simply do not provide us with valid feedback about our own performances.

The traditional model of assessment utilizes end-of-learning assessments provided to learners in the context in which they learned. This model is seriously flawed, especially in failing to give us an idea of how well our learning interventions are doing in preparing our learners to retrieve information in future situations—the ultimate goal of training and education. By failing to measure our performance in this regard, we are missing opportunities to provide ourselves with valid feedback. We are also likely failing our institutions and our learners because we are not able to create a practice of continuous improvement to maximize our learning outcomes.

This report is designed to help you improve your assessments in this regard. I certainly won’t claim to have all the answers, nor do I think it is easy to create the perfect assessment, but I do believe very strongly that all of us can improve our assessments substantially, and by so doing improve the practice of education and training.

How to buy the paper:

March 2, 2007

Hello. This is Will Thalheimer.

Today I announce the end of Work-Learning Research as my full-time employment. After nine years of engaging my personal quixotic quest, the pragmatist inside me has ripped control from out of the crusty iron hands of the eternal optimist. To put it simply, the financial return is too meager and unreliable to sustain a sensible family.

It’s been a great journey—from the warm euphoric beginning in the summer 1998 to the harsh winter days of 2007—I’ll never regret taking that first step.

The good news is that I am not yet dead, nor are my ambitions diminished. As of today, Work-Learning Research has become a beloved hobby. I’ll work on it in the dark quiet of night, while my daughter naps, while vacuuming the dirt and debris from the floor, while listening from a distance to the voices of the radio elites. For now, I intend to keep my blog (www.willatworklearning.com) and the Work-Learning Research website (www.work-learning.com) up and running, contributing new information when I can.

My Job Search

My first priority today is to find a great job. If you know of my work and you’re willing to advocate on my behalf, I’d like your help. If you know of an organization that could leverage my talents, let me know or let them know of me. Send me an email.

Here’s what I’m looking for: A senior, high-profile position (in New England, New York, or virtually accessible) with the authority, budget, and thoughtful colleagues to think afresh about learning-and-performance challenges. I’d love a place where I can be entrepreneurial, whether in a small or large organization, building value by combining my multiple backgrounds as a learning expert, researcher, instructional designer, business strategist, manager, marketer, speaker, writer, and visionary. I want to build something that works.

In the next few months as I look for a job, I’ll be finishing research that was previously commissioned. I’ll be speaking at conferences, leading workshops, and completing my commitments to my clients. I’ll also be working to expand on a paper I’ve just written on how to maximize learning with audience response systems—and to build it into a book (a book with great potential to improve classroom learning at all levels by helping instructors use questioning strategies to support higher-level learning).

If you know me well, you’ll know that to put Work-Learning Research on the back burner has not been easy. But it’s done now, and I’m ready to engage the next challenge.

You can access my resume by clicking below.

Download Will_Thalheimer_Resume_2007.pdf