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A little old - from 2001 - but this report about the US Navy's Revolution in Training is interesting reading. It's frank and critical. The training they provide isn't (wasn't?) the best, it didn't deal with the skills sailors needed, sailors didn't feel valued as individuals, sailors didn't get to develop skills and knowledge areas the way they wanted. 

The Chief Petty Officer becomes more important in making sure the sailors in their charge learn what they need. The report suggests that the 2nd in command of each unit be designated the Learning Officer.

An interesting recommendation for a step to take immediately - create and distribute an online course about personal finances and budgeting.

The URL below looks a little skeezy and I'm not sure why. Here is the link to the article in case you don't trust the link below.

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This could be interesting - a free virtual seminar on 4 December. 4 sessions on learning and how to make training better.

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Wish I was going here! Maybe next year.

They do have up the best papers and their presentations from last year  and the slides from the best tutorial (in the left hand menu, under publications) 

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It started with a discussion of military training in science fiction. And we noticed that the trainees fail - a lot. The system is set up to push them to the breaking point, to put them into chaotic situations where creative thinking is the only way to survive.

This lead us to consider the idea of war games and simulations as training tools, since we don't have a holodeck. There are thousands of low-tech war games and simulations. And books and classes about developing your own battle simulations - like this one from Philip Sabin from the War Studies department at King's College in London.

The question for us - would these games be useful for encouraging creative problem solving, build group cohesion, and improve performance in the field? And how do you measure the effect of such "training" We think they would be useful. And measurement could start with how many times do they "win" but maybe what's more interesting is how many times did they fail and come back to try again, how many different solutions did they try.

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A short article about a complex topic. I was interested in the author's suggestion to give the learner control over some aspects of the course to increase engagement. ELearning is usually very linear the author says. That seems strange to me since interactivity is sort of the reason to use computers.  I guess interactivity could just be "click here to continue" - and yep, that would lead to a very linear, but not very engaging, experience.

I went to a webinar today about the Kirkpatrick model. The Kirkpatrick's were the speakers which made it special.

They have a new model - the "New World Model" - that gives more details about doing level 3 & 4 evaluation. 

A couple of cool points
- training is not a magic bullet and by itself can't cure all ills in an organization
- trainers have to work with the stake holders to identify measurable outcomes and identify leading indicators for those outcomes (that's level 4)
- then they have to figure out the "required drivers" to get to those desired outcomes. They identify 3 steps - need to support the learner, reinforce the learning, hold them accountable
and they have to do those 2 things BEFORE doing any training development

THey had some examples of required drivers, which i have to admit I could never figure out from reading some of the articles about the new model.
- meeting notes, performance plan documentation
- peer forums & coaching sessions
- job aids so you don't have to remember everything from class, on demand refresher modules, technical help desk
- formal and and informal recognition of jobs well done

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A free webinar. Level 3 & 4 evaluation seems to elude most organizations so I am very much looking forward to this presentation.
Join’s Executive Seminar Series on 11/5 for "Delivering Real Value: Kirkpatrick Levels 3 & 4" with Don, Jim, and Wendy Kirkpatrick.

Register here,

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I'm working on a project involving how to evaluate training. However, maybe the real question is how do you evaluate learning, which happens many places than in a classroom. The blog post by +Jane Hart   linked below makes a couple of points that resonated with me in terms of this project.

First, learning is different from training. Learning is what happens in the person while training is something done to them (that hopefully results in learning, but doesn't always).

Second, since learning happens in the person, individual differences become important. And in this time of quickly changing technology and processes and business, individuals need characteristics like taking initiative and being responsible for their own learning if they want to succeed. That raises questions for organizations such as how do you find those people and can you help your employees develop those characteristics.

Third, she asks a key question "But how can you demonstrate the value of  this?" where this is the learning that occurs informally during each and every day and the professional development you undertake by being actively involved in networks related to your field. She suggests reflecting on the learning, not just a one liner like i learned to unjam the printer today or I talked to so and so. Reflection came up in a piece of research I read where they were talking about Schon's The Reflective Practitioner. She mentions reflecting on what you learn even from your failures, which seems so important to me if we're going to give people permission to fail in order to encourage them to experiment.

Fourth, and here's the evaluation bit I need to consider for my report, she suggests keeping a learning portfolio, like designers and artists do. Links to things you produce, journaled thoughts, recommendations/references from other people about how you've used what you've learned. You are responsible for your learning so you should be responsible for evaluating it, organizing evidence of it as you grow in your career. Colleges are implementing portfolio's for students that are online collections of assignments, references, and reflections with tools to help students organize and present what they have learned. Jane points out, such a portfolio lets you show the employer you are ready to do the job from day one without a lot of hand holding or additional training.

Like a lot of tools and ideas about evaluating learning this one might not be feasible in all cases. But if all the cards are on the table about evaluation, then this needs to be in the mix. Portfolios don't preclude formal learning. In fact those experience should be reflected upon to help reinforce the things taught in the class and integrate them more deeply with what was known already. They don't have to be elaborate productions, but can be created with simple to use tools that the person is already familiar with; an accountant might set up a spreadsheet, others might use a web page. The thoughtfulness of the content is more important than the appearance. 

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Adult Learners in the 21st Century by Fred Irving Williams

As a Training specialist working in the Metropolitan Detroit region, it has been my experience that Adult learners bring a lot more to the table than the need for entry level skills development. Trainers are being introduced to a trainee population who come from a variety of backgrounds, faced with multiple challenges of equal importance. 

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wow..looks like snow!
Strange weather..This is not snow, it's sea foam.

"High winds blow sea foam into the air as a person walks across Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head, N.C."

#sandy   #frankenstorm
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