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9 Tips for Planning for and Managing New Instructional Technology

Submitted by on July 10, 2014 – 8:14 amNo Comment

eLearning Guild


The eLearning Guild recently released the free e-book, 84 Tips on New Instructional Design for New Instructional Technology so we are going to share some of these tips we learned over the next couple weeks. The first of this series is Twenty-one Tips for Putting Learning Goals and Learners Before Technology.

For this eBook, the eLearning Guild asked 21 learning professionals who have successfully melded new instruc­tional design with new instructional technologies to give their best tips; they have highlighted the tips from their featured contributors, and you can learn more about them at the bottom of this post. Click here to access the entire free e-book.

9 Tips for Planning for and Managing New Instructional Technology

Avoid buzzwords at all costs. The two latest are “gamification” and “learnification.” Training is a serious business and we look for serious results; treat it that way at all times. Not everything needs to be a game, unless your audience is under eight years old! Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems. Sudoku, hangman, and tic-tac-toe do not fall into this category, even if your development-tool designer supplied them. –Neil Lasher


Plan, plan, plan everything. Understand your students and their expectations, and create not only your objectives but the learning outcomes they will achieve. Write concise lesson plans and map any assessment to the course. Then, and only then, start to create a storyboard. –Neil Lasher


Set a delivery date at day one. If you were delivering in a classroom, you would know the day the students were going to be sitting at desks. Treat eLearning or mLearning in exactly the same way. Slippage is not an option. –Neil Lasher


With responsive design, it’s more important than ever to bring the graphic de­signer and developers into the design conversations early. –Tracy Bissette & Ian Huckabee


Experiment. Try out innovative technologies for a piece of a learning solution or a low-risk initiative first. See what works for your learners, your culture, and your IT department. –Tracy Bissette & Ian Huckabee


Not every technology will stick, but if you wait to see what has staying power, you’ll be behind the curve. Research what’s here and what’s coming on a regular basis so you can make informed decisions about which technologies to adopt. –Tracy Bissette & Ian Huckabee


Involve stakeholders early on, and get a really good feel for their expectations for any performance-improvement solution. –Michael Schreiner, VectorLearning


Once you have a plan to increase performance (formal training plan, business-process improvement or reengineering, clarifying roles and responsibilities), don’t be afraid to deviate from that plan as you learn more. Just make sure you involve stakeholders in any strong deviations from your plan. –Michael Schreiner, VectorLearning


If you build it they will come – NOT. Just because you have a lot of whiz-bang features in the learning solution (for example, wikis, QR codes), unless the learners are ready for it, they’ll either not use it, or not use it effectively. Buddy up with the change, communications, and marketing personnel to get the learners ready for the new learning technology and how it benefits them. Just sending a link to the wiki and saying “add to it” is a recipe for disaster. –Adrienne Gross, Beyond the Red Pen

About the Featured Tipsters

Neil LasherNeil Lasher , Senior Instructional Designer, FireEye

Neil Lasher, the senior instructional designer for FireEye, is a Fellow of the UK Learn­ing and Performance Institute. Over the last 25 years, Neil has assisted hundreds of companies of all sizes with their learning design and strategy. In 2012 Neil worked for the organizing committee of the London 2012 Olympics, helping to roll out one million hours of learning to 200,000 contractors and volunteers. A recognized expert and thought leader in instructional design and workplace analytics for using technology in learning, Neil is now part of a team of experts delivering learning at FireEye, which is ranked fourth on the Deloitte 2012 Technology Fast 500.


Tracy BisetteTracy Bissette , Co-founder and President, Weejee Learning

In her current role, Tracy Bissette, MEd, has created enterprise-wide learning solu­tions for Fortune 500 companies including DaVita, Cisco, and Abbott Labs. Prior to co-founding Weejee Learning, she was Vice President of MindWorks Multimedia, where she created and guided the growth of an eLearning division. Tracy was se­lected by Triangle Business Journal as one of Research Triangle Park’s 2012 Top 40 under 40 Business Leaders, and has been recognized in Training Magazine’s Top 125. She speaks regularly at industry conferences on topics of best practices, emerging trends, and effective instructional-design techniques, and shares her ideas in indus­try magazines and journals.


Ian HuckabeeIan Huckabee , Co-founder and CEO, Weejee Learning

Ian Huckabee has more than 20 years of operations-management experience in communication-technology industries. Ian is a digital strategist and technologist specializing in social media and training, and has formed partnerships with leading technology companies in the learning and social-media spaces. Prior to co-founding Weejee Learning, he was Vice President of Audio Operations and Marketing for Sony Music Entertainment in New York. Ian served on the board of directors of the Consumer Electronics Association’s TechHome division, representing the wired-home channel. He currently shares his thoughts about communication trends through Weejee Learning, various online publications, and speaking engagements.

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