Thursday, February 27, 2014

Conference Call Hell

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece on Surviving a Conference Call that covers the bad habits anyone who has attended a conference call has exhibited from time to time and suggests means to escape them. Sue Shellenbarger, the author, recommends the following to improve the productivity of these meetings.

  • PJ-BT474A_WORKF_G_20140225234514[1]Establish a clear and explicit set of goals and agenda for the meeting. “’You need to script them more tightly’ to keep people’s attention from wandering, says Daniel Mittleman, an associate professor in computing and digital media at DePaul University.”
  • Build relationships. When attendees introduce themselves, have them explain their roles and what they want out of the meeting.
  • Conference leaders should prepare in advance questions to ask participants and use a form to record responses.
  • Conference leaders should make sure everyone is contributing and have not “checked out” by posing questions, especially to those people who are not actively participating.
  • A volunteer/moderator can be charged with keeping people on-topic and sticking to time limits.

The author also speaks about  the future of video conferencing and the challenges associated with it. And before leaving, if you go and read the actual Wall Street Journal article, here’s the YouTube video it references. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Post-training Blues

The eLearning Guild posted a tremendous article by Marc Rosenberg about the value of performance support after a training event. His point is neatly summed up by thisparagraph.

Training no longer works in isolation. The transition from classroom (or an online experience) to the workplace must be seamless. This adds design decisions that transcend instruction. What will learners do after training? How will their new knowledge and skill be supported on the job? No training program should be developed without also answering questions like these.

His point is that for training to work it must be “reinforced and supported in the workplace.” This support he says can take the form of coaching, knowledge bases, and actual redesign of either work to align with “the processes and practices taught in training” or the training to align with how work is actually performed.

Marc My Words: The Training to Competence Myth