A Tools Faceoff! Google Slides VS Microsoft Powerpoint-Which is Best for Closed Captioning?

Did you know that Microsoft Powerpoint and Google Slides do live closed captioning during presentations? Last year was the first time I used the feature in a presentation and I’ve been hooked on using it ever since. Why?

  1. I talk fast sometimes.
  2. My southern accent comes out on certain words (pen, roof, pain). My husband’s favorite words to hear me say are “hill” and “ten”.
  3. Often times people may not be able to hear and miss out on key points.
  4. It’s helpful for English language learners to see subtitles.
  5. It can provide a more accessible experience for attendees
  6. It can provide a way for folks on a webinar to watch without audio.
  7. I think it makes me a better presenter as I’m not as likely to say silly things or sailor words while I have closed captioning on.

There are other benefits as well but those are some of the reasons I like to use it. I’ll never forget the magic of the first time I used this technique. Attendees wanted to know how I was doing the live closed captioning so, of course, I shared how I use Google Slides.

More About Google Slides Live Closed Captioning

I first became aware of Google Slides live closed-captioning in October of 2018. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to try it. Google Slides works on any type of system since it’s cloud-based. I also love the fact that it takes just two clicks to get it active. See it in action in the video below:

If you’d like to try it for yourself, here is a Google slides presentation for you.

Pros and Cons of Google Slides

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Device agnostic
  • Keeps up with speaker pace for captioning

Cons:

  • Only captions in English
  • Cannot save .txt file of captions
  • Audience cannot control the translation language

More About Microsoft Powerpoint Live Closed Captioning

Soon after I became aware of Google Slides closed-captioning, I learned about Microsoft Powerpoint offering the same service. Powerpoint offered new options such as letting the audience control the language they see and allowed presenters to download a text file of the captions. To use this, you have to use Microsoft 365 Powerpoint and download a plug-in that you must configure before you use. For a while, this only worked on a PC and didn’t work on a Mac. A few months ago they rolled it out to Macs too.

Once configured, you can choose from a few different languages it will live closed-caption including English, Spanish, and Chinese. Here’s where it gets a little bit complicated. Each presentation you use this on, you are given a code that is displayed as a URL in the presentation that audience attendees can go to and select the language they want to receive captioning in. I admit this feature is pretty robust as it supports more than 60 languages. This takes a bit of education on the part of the speaker for the audience to understand how to use it. Also, it requires the audience member to have a device in their hand to watch the closed-captions on. The presentation only supports one language closed captioning during the presentation (from the presenter’s screen).

Here is an example of how the subtitles look in presentation mode on a PC. You can see in the upper right-hand corner the URL to access local control of the subtitles.

It also looks different on a PC vs a Mac. Here are some screenshots I took from my PC:

Once the plug-in is enabled, you will access the captioning feature under the “Slide Show” option on the ribbon.
You have the option on PC to have this go in front of your title slide to encourage audience members to have control of the language captions on their own device. I did not see this option for a slide on the Mac version.
Here are some of the options for the way the closed captioning will be displayed in Powerpoint.

Want to see this in action on a Mac? Check it out!

Want to try it? Don’t forget you have to install this plug-in and be using Microsoft Office 365 Powerpoint. Here is a Powerpoint presentation for you to test it out.

Pros and Cons of Microsoft Powerpoint

Pros:

  • Provides an option to mute the audience so it is only picking up primary speaker
  • Supports multiple languages for captioning
  • Saves captions as a text file for future captioning use

Cons:

  • Doesn’t keep up with the speaker’s voice as quickly as Google Slides (in my experience)
  • Takes extra time to educate the audience about set-up and usage
  • Must install an extra plug-in, it isn’t native to the software.

Who wins the face-off? Ultimately it is up to you to determine which best fits your needs. I’m biased towards Google Slides but I appreciate the additional features in Powerpoint.

So there you have it, two tools you can use for live closed-captioning. Let me know if you’ve used these features before in the comments below.

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Two Things You Should Know About Recent Research in Behavior-Change

I’ve been on the road a lot lately, making frequent trips out of state to visit family.  These long multi-hour drives can get boring but thank goodness for podcasts. One of my favorite podcasts is Freakonomics.  The reason I love Freakonomics so much is that they often take the most pedestrian topic and make it interesting.  A recent episode, titled How Goes the Behavior-Change Revolution? (Ep. 382) was quite interesting and featured some of the brightest minds in psychology to explore humans and behavior change. No matter what your occupation, you have to deal with people in some capacity.  Here are two takeaways I had from recent research and how you can apply it to learning and development.

Making the simple too complex

No bones about it, Laurie Santos loves dogs.  Santos says dogs are like humans because we have socialized them to be like us.  Let’s explore her study, Dogs do not demonstrate a human-like bias to defer to communicative cues.  Here’s what she had to say: 

"In one study we focused on a particular phenomenon that researchers call “overimitation,” which as you might guess is imitating too much. Here’s the phenomenon in humans. Imagine I show you some crazy puzzle box, you don’t know how it works. And I say, “I’m going to explain to you how it works.” I’m going to tap this thing on the top. I’m going to do all these steps and I open the puzzle box and I give it to you. If it was some hard-to-figure-out puzzle box, you might just copy me.
But imagine I give you a really easy puzzle box, just a completely transparent box. Nothing on it. It just had a door that you could open to get food out. But you watch me do all these crazy steps, I tap on the side, I spin it around a few times, I do all these things. You might hope that humans are smart enough to say, “That was a really dumb way to open the box. Give it to me, I’m going to open the door.”
But it turns out that’s not what humans do. Humans will follow slavishly all these dumb steps that they see someone else do, just in case. And we thought the same dumb copying behaviors that we see humans do, we should probably see in dogs as well.
Here’s how we set it up. We made a dog-friendly puzzle box, easy enough for the dogs to understand. So it was a transparent box with a lid that was really obvious, and if you flip the lid up you could get inside and get a piece of food. But we added this extraneous lever on the side of the box, and we showed dogs, “Hey here’s how you open it.” You have to move the lever back and forth, it takes a really long time, lever, lever, lever, lever, and then at that point you can open the box. Now in theory if we did this with a human they would say, “I don’t really understand.” Then lever, lever, lever, lever, lever, lever, open the box. That’s actually what humans four-year-olds do, there’s some wonderful videos online where you can see this. And what do the dogs do? Ran over, lifted the lid, and got the food. What this is telling us is that we’ve created this species that learns from us a ton. They follow our cues all the time. But they’re actually smarter at learning from us than we are at learning from ourselves."

What Does This Mean for Us in Learning and Development?

How often have you evaluated your own department’s processes and “tribal knowledge”?  Do you go through all these complicated steps in order to build a learning product?  Do you assume everything is supposed to be an eLearning?  

It’s easy to fall into these pitfalls, especially when you are new or have a “Sarge in charge” kind of manager or culture that doesn’t embrace innovation.  Yes those managers and workplaces are out there so if you don’t work in one of these situations, count your blessings.  How can you check to see that the way you manage your projects is effective?  How do you know your process is right?  The answer is experimentation.  Try something new, measure the effectiveness, and learn and grow.  

Taruna Goel shared this gem on Twitter about the importance of *gasp* focusing on the end user.  If we create clunkly learning products that are cumbersome for the end user, we are part of the problem.  To do clean and simple correctly IS difficult for a reason, we WANT to overcomplicate things.  Resist the tempatation!

The Opposite of Nudge is Sludge

Richard Thaler defines a nudge as some small — possibly small — feature of the environment that influences our choices but still allows us to do anything we want.”  That’s easy enough to understand, so what is sludge?  Here is how he explained it: 

"Nudges typically work by making something easy, like automatically signing you up for the retirement plan. Sludge is the gunk that comes out as a byproduct. And I’m using it for stuff that slows you down in ways that make you worse off. So for example, suppose that there is a subscription and, they automatically renew your subscription. But to unsubscribe you have to call. And I had this experience. The first review of my book Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics came out in the Times of London. My editor sent me an email excitedly telling me this and sending me the link. And I log on and there’s this paywall. And I said, “Oh, I can’t read it.” But there’s a trial subscription for one pound for a month. And I said, “Oh well, I’m willing to pay a pound to read the first review of my book.” But then I start reading the fine print and in order to quit, you have to call London, during London business hours, not on a toll-free line, and you have to give them two weeks’ notice. That is sludge."

What Does This Mean for us in Learning and Development?

Sometimes I feel like we are sludge factories.  We create all of these learning products but then hide them behind systems where you have to log in via two-factor authetnications.  Or we create things that aren’t optimized for tablets and phones.  Or we make people contact us for a certificate of completion (this too still happens)!  Mike Taylor asked during one of his keynotes hw many people log into their LMS daily to see what new offerings there are.  In a room full of learning and development professionals, not a single hand raised.  

Regardless of how you got into this profession, I know and you know you did it for the nudge and not the sludge.  You enjoy seeing someone win at work, you enjoy seeing the “lightbulbs” pop up above folk’s heads, you just enjoy being part of helping people do their jobs better and grow.  Sludge doesn’t do this.  Sludge is why so many people hate eLearning, presentations, all of it.  Fight the sludge, advocate for the end users!

So what about you?  Do you listen to podcasts outside of L&D that provide some food for thought?  Share them in the comments below.  Also if you’d like to listen to this full episode (which I highly recommend), you can find it here:

 

According
to
the
Occupational
Outlook
Handbook,
the
job
outlook
for
learning
and
developmen
t
specialists
will
grow
by
11%
from
2016-2026
Click
HERE
to
view
source
(US
Bureau
of
Labor
Statistics,
2018)
.
With
training
being
a
constan
t
scapegoa
t
to
corporate
disasters
and
poor
behavior,
it
is
clear
that
instruc
tional
designers
are
high
in
demand
for
many
reasons.
Many
companies
turn
to
training
programs
for
legal
defensibili
ty
in
some
situations
and
others
use
it
as
a
punitive
option
for
bad
behavior
on
the
job.
Regardless
of
the
reason,
there
are
many
job
openings
in
corporate
learning and de
velopmen
t that require a vast arr
ay of skills.
To
organize
this
analysis
of
corporate
job
postings,
we
used
the
Associa
tion
for
Talent
and
Developmen
t’s
(ATD)
training
and
developmen
t
competency
model
and
its
componen
ts
to
classif
y
each
job
posting.
The
Associa
tion
for
Talent
and
Developmen
t
is
a
professional
developmen
t
organiza
tion
for
learning
and
developmen
t
professionals.
In
addition
to
the
national
chapter
and
local
chapters,
the
organiza
tion
also
has
a
credentialing
body
where
learning
and
developmen
t
professionals
can
become
a
Certified
Professional
in
Learning
Performanc
e
(CPLP).
The
knowledge
test
for
the
CPLP
is
made
up
of
questions
from
each
area
of
the
ATD
Compe
tency
Model
Figure
1.1.
Each
portion
of
the
competency
model
has
substa
tes
that
explain
more
about
the
piece
of
the
model.
The
pieces
of
the
model
are
performanc
e
improvement,
change
managemen
t,
knowledge
managemen
t,
coaching,
integrated
talent
managemen
t,
manag
ing
learning
programs,
evaluating
learning
impac
t,
learning
technolog
ies,
training
delivery,
and
instruc
tional
design.
The
founda
tional
competencies
of
the
model
will
also
be
explored but w
ere not a driving f
orce of this anal
ysis

 

According
to
the
Occupational
Outlook
Handbook,
the
job
outlook
for
learning
and
developmen
t
specialists
will
grow
by
11%
from
2016-2026
Click
HERE
to
view
source
(US
Bureau
of
Labor
Statistics,
2018)
.
With
training
being
a
constan
t
scapegoa
t
to
corporate
disasters
and
poor
behavior,
it
is
clear
that
instruc
tional
designers
are
high
in
demand
for
many
reasons.
Many
companies
turn
to
training
programs
for
legal
defensibili
ty
in
some
situations
and
others
use
it
as
a
punitive
option
for
bad
behavior
on
the
job.
Regardless
of
the
reason,
there
are
many
job
openings
in
corporate
learning and de
velopmen
t that require a vast arr
ay of skills.
To
organize
this
analysis
of
corporate
job
postings,
we
used
the
Associa
tion
for
Talent
and
Developmen
t’s
(ATD)
training
and
developmen
t
competency
model
and
its
componen
ts
to
classif
y
each
job
posting.
The
Associa
tion
for
Talent
and
Developmen
t
is
a
professional
developmen
t
organiza
tion
for
learning
and
developmen
t
professionals.
In
addition
to
the
national
chapter
and
local
chapters,
the
organiza
tion
also
has
a
credentialing
body
where
learning
and
developmen
t
professionals
can
become
a
Certified
Professional
in
Learning
Performanc
e
(CPLP).
The
knowledge
test
for
the
CPLP
is
made
up
of
questions
from
each
area
of
the
ATD
Compe
tency
Model
Figure
1.1.
Each
portion
of
the
competency
model
has
substa
tes
that
explain
more
about
the
piece
of
the
model.
The
pieces
of
the
model
are
performanc
e
improvement,
change
managemen
t,
knowledge
managemen
t,
coaching,
integrated
talent
managemen
t,
manag
ing
learning
programs,
evaluating
learning
impac
t,
learning
technolog
ies,
training
delivery,
and
instruc
tional
design.
The
founda
tional
competencies
of
the
model
will
also
be
explored but w
ere not a driving f
orce of this anal
ysis

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It Started With A Tweet (#ISWAT) How to be more representative in stock art

I love social media, especially Twitter. I was a relatively late adopter but joined Twitter in 2016 after attending a session for Central Ohio ATD by Mike Taylor. In this session, Mike talked about the value of Twitter for professional development. Fast forward to today and Twitter has helped me grow my network and gain knowledge and skills to make me a better L&D professional. For me, Twitter is my version of golfing, having coffee, and going out to lunch with my peers. Twitter gives me instant access to learning and development professionals all around the world. I’m able to ask questions and learn from them and with them.

This kicks off a series I’ll be publishing on Wednesdays called It Started With a Tweet or #ISWAT. I hope to share the conversation and some additional tips and resources. In this inaugural blog, I am going to dive into a huge problem: lack of diversity in stock art for design.

It Started With a Tweet…

I posted this out of frustration as I looked for a photo of leadership. All I saw were men. Smiling white men. I thought I couldn’t be the only person who had this problem so here is how the conversation unfolded.

Joe has a great point here. It reminds me of a situation that Sean Hickey and I had a few years ago where a stakeholder told us that using diverse names can confuse test takers. Luckily, someone else fought that battle for us.

I’ve sent a direct message to both Tricia and Judy to see if they have any resources posted I can link to from their session.

There are so many jokes I could make here but I’ll let someone else do that for me.

Stop what you are doing right now and connect with Amy. I met her at the Association for Education Communications and Technology conference last year and I have learned so much from her. She shares great resources about accessibility and inclusiveness. She also has a great point here, why do so many stock art examples not show real life?

Yes, yes, and YES!!!!

These photos have a Creative Commons license and I love this snippet from their website:

Stock photos that accompany articles do more than illustrate subject matter. They have the power to shape perceptions of entire communities. When used critically, they can chip away at harmful stereotypes, pushing more accurate perceptions and understandings to the fore.

https://broadlygenderphotos.vice.com

YES! We should be having these conversations and asking vendors to be more inclusive. In this conversation, there was a vendor that someone else called out for their lack of diversity in their stock art. The vendor responded by acknowleding the issue and sharing their committment to resolve it.

So what are some ways you can be part of the solution to make learning and development artifacts more inclusive?  Here are some tips:

Use ROYGBIV for skin colors:

ROYGBIV is an easy way to remember the colors in a spectrum. It’s also a fun and easy way to take the emphasis off of race of characters. You are more likely to do this with vector images. My pal Jonathan Rock and co-worker Casey Rinehart have done this successfully in recent eLearning. Casey created a lunchroom scene where the kids had green, purple, and pink skin. It was well done and didn’t distract from the content of the module.

Create your own stock art/library:

I know this can be hard to do on a limited clock and budget but hear me out. If you take the time to re-work a vector to have different skin color or if you find a free-use stock image that is representative, hoard it! Treasure it. SHARE IT WITH THE COMMUNITY! We all have a responsibility to be part of the solution here and I know I’m not the only L&D Gollum scooping all those links and resources shared on social media.

(MY PRECIOUS STOCK ART)

I actually mentioned this idea at Learning Solutions in March this year during the Guild for Good meeting as something that would be a great project for the community. It’s that important that if we all do a little, we can make a big impact

Know where to go:

Here are some great places not mentioned yet to get started:

Nappy, Beautiful, high-res photos of black and brown people.

Women of Color in Tech,Images of women and non-binary people of color in tech that are free for use with proper attribution (#WOCinTechChat)

Lean In Collection, a library of images devoted to the powerful depiction of women, girls and the people who support them

Hexatar, a flat icon avatar maker

If you found value in this post and/or you’d like to add some resources, feel free to leave a comment below or share using the #ISWAT. Let’s continue the conversation and continue to grow as a community.


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Do Job Postings Align with the ATD Competency Model?

Credit: Unsplash

Last semester, I worked on a group project where I wrote a book chapter with a few of my peers. This book was self published within a platform called Pressbooks and was an end of course assignment. With all the talk about what instructional designers do or should call themselves, I thought I could share an excerpt of the chapter I wrote.  Each group member took a different setting for instructional designers: higher education, educational corportations (publishing/software), corporate learning and development, and global positions.  For each section, we then set inclusion/exclusion requirements and analysized them according to a schema of our choosing.  My section I decided to compare 25 job postings in corporate L&D to the ATD Competency Model. To code and analyze, I copied and pasted the selected job descriptions and then used the descriptive text for each part of the model to determine if the job description included matching information.  For example, the ATD Competency Model has a Performance Improvement component, so I’d look through the job descriptions to see if they mentioned human performance model in the description.  You can see the coding and all 25 page job descriptions here.  Since this was part of a class project, I want to be respectful of my classmates and only publish my portion as they may/may not want to share. Here is my portion of the chapter: e

managemen
t,
knowledge
managemen
t,
coaching,
integrated
talent
managemen
t,
manag
ing
learning
programs,
evaluating
learning
impac
t,
learning
technolog
ies,
training
delivery,
and
instruc
tional
design.
The
founda
tional
competencies
of
the
model
will
also
be
explored but w
ere not a driving f
orce of this anal
ysis

 

The Diverse Field of Instructional design

The Requirements of learning designers and how instructional design is operationalized in various industries

Bowman, M., Ely, J., North,C.A., & Shortt, M.

Corporate Learning and Development (L&D) Jobs

     According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the job outlook for learning and development specialists will grow by 11% from 2016-2026.  With learning and development being a constant scapegoat to corporate disasters and poor behavior, it’s clear that instructional designers are high in demand for many reasons.  Many companies turn to learning programs for legal defensibility in some situations and others use it as a punitive option for bad behavior on the job. Regardless of the reason, there are many job openings in corporate learning and development that require a vast array of skills.

     To organize this analysis of corporate job postings, we used the Association for Talent and Development’s (ATD) training and development competency model and its components to classify each job posting.  The Association for Talent and Development is a professional development organization for learning and development professionals. In addition to the national chapter and local chapters, the organization also has a credentialing body where learning and development professionals can become a Certified Professional in Learning Performance (CPLP).  The knowledge test for the CPLP is made up of questions from each area of the ATD Competency Model. Each portion of the competency model has substates that explain more about the piece of the model. The pieces of the model are performance improvement, change management, knowledge management, coaching, integrated talent management, managing learning programs, evaluating learning impact, learning technologies, training delivery, and instructional design. The foundational competencies of the model will also be explored but were not a driving force of this analysis. 

Analysis of the job postings

     In order to compare and analyze corporate learning and development jobs, I set criteria for inclusion and exclusion for the analysis. Here are my main inclusion criteria :

  • Must be full-time job
  • Must use the term “instructional design” somewhere within the job advertisement
  • Must be located in the United States or the United States remote work
  • Must list at least 5 job duties
  • Must have preferred and required qualifications

     We searched on Indeed.com and used the full-time job and United States filter and used the term “instructional designer”.  By doing this it removed about 339 jobs from the first search using “instructional designer”. This yielded 2,068 total jobs and of these jobs, we included the first 25 job postings that used these five criteria.  We then copied the text of each job description into a word processing document to easily use the seek function to find commonalities. We compared the job postings to the ATD Competency model to see how much of the model can be found in the selected sample and which competencies were dominant in the postings.

Performance Improvement

     According to the ATD Competency Model, performance improvement is defined as being able to “apply a systematic process for analyzing human performance gaps and for closing them.”  This is a critical function of many learning and development jobs and also a key component for sharing information to management about behavior change. An example of a performance improvement campaign would be a learning experience focused on a population creating more widgets to raise the outputs at a factory.  

     For this category, the key terms searched throughout the job postings included “gap analysis” and “human performance models”. By doing so, fourteen of the 25 job postings mentioned the need for an instructional designer to have a level of understanding of this competency. A common way this was displayed on a job posting was by using the term “performance support”.  One job posting described it “… staff development to enhance the effectiveness of employee performance in achieving the goals and objectives of the company.” This function was present in associate, mid-level, and senior instructional design roles as well as management.  

Change Management

     Change management was further defined by the ATD Competency Model by “applying a systematic  process to shift individuals, teams, and organizations from current state to the desired state.” In other words, how does the instructional designer facilitate planning for change and support the intervention?  On the job, this can look like a learning campaign focused on a new policy from a company acquisition becoming a core value of the current company. 

     To analyze job postings for components of change management, the key term searched throughout was “change.” Nine of the 25 selected job postings mentioned the need for an instructional designer to have a level of understanding of this competency. One job posting made it clear that the organization’s culture valued change and embraced it. Another job posting shared that change was important for their learning strategy that the instructional designer must create a change management plan to help evaluate the maintenance and lifecycle of learning campaigns. 

Knowledge Management

     Knowledge Management is defined by ATD as “the capture, distribute, and archive intellectual capital to encourage knowledge-sharing and collaboration.” Other components of knowledge management include benchmarking knowledge management best practices and lessons learned, supporting the development of a knowledge management infrastructure, and transforming knowledge into learning. Based on this definition, an example of this includes creating templates for subject-matter experts to share institutional knowledge to create a learning campaign. 

     To analyze job posting for components of knowledge management, we searched for key terms throughout including “knowledge” and “transfer”. Surprisingly, only nine of the 25 selected job positions mentioned the need for an instructional designer to have a level of understanding of this competency. Ways this showed up in the job postings included “transferring knowledge into learning” as an essential job function and “creating a culture of learning”.  

Coaching

     According to the ATD Competency model, a learning and development professional uses coaching by “applying a systematic process to improve others’ ability to set goals, take action, and maximize strengths.”  Some components of coaching include managing progress and accountability, displaying a coaching presence, and asking powerful questions. The coaching function for instructional designers can vary from organization to organization, however, coaching skills can be leveraged when working with subject matter experts.  For example, as an instructional designer you will work with at least one difficult subject matter expert throughout your career. This subject matter expert may be difficult for a number of reasons but often it is because they do not want to share institutional data with you for fear of losing their job. An instructional designer well versed in coaching can help the subject matter expert understand the project better and leverage their knowledge as a strength to help others improve throughout the organization.  

     To analyze job posting for components of coaching, we searched for the key term throughout “coaching”. Perhaps the most shocking of all the searches, only one of the 25 job postings mentioned the need for instructional designers to have a level of understanding of this competency. The job posting it was present in listed coaching as a preferred qualification and specifically sought “5+ years demonstrated experience providing coaching and/or feedback to participants, teammates, or associates a plus.” 

 

Integrated Talent Management

     Integrated talent management is defined by ATD as the ability to “build an organization’s culture, capability, capacity, and engagement through people development strategies.”  Some of the essential functions of this competency include coordinating workforce and succession planning, supporting engagement and retention efforts, and aligning talent management to organizational objectives.  An example of how an instructional designer would work within the integrated talent management competency is to create career pathways through training at an organization. For example, if a widget-maker would like to become a senior widget-maker, using skills in the integrated talent management would enable an instructional designer to develop curriculum and learning experiences to help upskill someone to the next level. 

     To analyze job posting for components for talent management, we searched using the key term “talent”.  Three of the 25 job postings mentioned the need for instructional designers to have a level of understanding of this competency.

Managing Learning Programs

     The way that managing learning programs are defined by the ATD is to “provide leadership to execute the organization’s people strategy; implements training projects and activities.”  Some components of this competency include to ensure compliance with legal, ethical, and regulatory requirements, manage and implement projects, and develop and monitor the budget.

     To analyze job postings for components of managing learning programs, we searched for key terms throughout including “budget” and “manage.”  Twelve of the 25 job postings mentioned the need for instructional designers to have a level of understanding of this competency.  For this competency, most of twelve postings (10) had managing learning programs as a preferred qualification.

Evaluating Learning Impact

    Evaluating learning impact is defined by ATD as the ability to “use learning metrics and analytics to measure the impact of learning solutions.”  Some ways instructional designers evaluate learning impact can include selecting appropriate strategies, research design, and measures. The analyze the job postings for components of evaluation learning impact, we search for key terms throughout including “evaluation”, “data”, and “analytics.

     Like managing learning programs, twelve of the 25 job postings mentioned the need for instructional designers to have a level of understanding of this competency.  Once again, ten of the job postings listed this as a preferred qualification.

Learning Technologies

     “Applying a variety of learning technologies to address specific learning needs” is the way that ATD defines learning technologies.  In practice, this can include the ability to use technology effectively across the different areas of expertise and identify when and how to use technology as a learning and development solution. 

     To analyze job postings for components of learning technologies, we searched for key terms throughout including “technology”, “LMS”, and tool.  Fourteen of the 25 mentioned the need for instructional designers to have a level of understanding of this competency. Many of the fourteen named specific software packages including Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, and various names of learning management systems.

Training Delivery

     The term training delivery can make one think of face-to-face training, however, this is not always the case. Training delivery is defined by ATD as the ability to “deliver informal and formal learning solutions in a manner that is both engaging and effective.”  Some specific ways instructional designers perform training delivery can include aligning learning solutions with course objectives and learner needs as well as create learning activities that are engaging.  

     To analyze job postings for components of training delivery, we searched for key terms including “facilitation” and “delivery”.  Six of the 25 job descriptions mentioned the need for instructional designers to have a level of understanding of this competency.  A reason for this could be because, in many of the job postings, instructional designers often are the ones creating digital artifacts.  Interestingly, none of the selected job postings mentioned anything about facilitation in an online environment despite many organizations having virtual classrooms

Instructional Design

     “The design and development of formal and informal learning solutions using a variety of methods” is how instructional design is defined by ATD.  What does that mean in practice? Some examples include identifying appropriate learning approach, designing a curriculum, and developing instructional materials. 

     The keywords used to code for instructional design include “instructional design” and “ADDIE”.  All twenty-five job postings included a mention of instructional design with 7 specifically mentioning ADDIE.

So if you made it this far, here is a TL;DR recap:

I coded 25 job descriptions based on inclusion criteria against the ATD Competency Model.  Parts of the model that had low representation include coaching, integrated talent management, change management, and knowledge management.  Only 7 of the twenty-five job postings mentioned ADDIE, potentially showing a shift away from the waterfall design method and a push for a more agile approach.  

In a follow up post, I will share my analysis, some of the limitations of doing this kind of research, and broadly share other conclusions.

What did you think?  Were you surprised by any of this? Let me know!

 

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Picture of three crumbled up balls of yellow paper in a rubbish bin

Channeling energy from rejection

Picture of three crumbled up balls of yellow paper in a rubbish bin
Credit: Steve Johnson/Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/CIbgRsgwunE

Last week I received a blanket rejection email that my speaking proposal was not selected for a conference.  Haha, this isn’t my first rejection letter. This would be the first time I’ve spoken at this conference and I attended it last year. My proposal was about breaking the stereotypes of generations to create inclusive professional development programming.  I wanted to share a replicable program for other organizations to try: Emerging Professional Showcase/Look & Learn event. I thought that this conference would “get it” but when I got the feedback, I was surprised.

“The general feedback was the reviewers have confusion on removing stereotypes but using an alternative term. It was also mentioned this might be a good session to be cofacilitated with people from two different generations.”

*Facepalm*

When I saw that, I thought that maybe I had not done a good job of explaining the program and its purpose.  Maybe that is true.  Then the wheels of doubt started to turn. Maybe this program stinks. Maybe no one cares.

Regardless, when I re-examine the feedback, it tells me that there is still lots of work that needs to be done in this space and for good reason: generational stereotypes are everywhere. 

As a card-carrying millennial, I see it daily on LinkedIn.  HBR may offer advice in managing millennials, an eLearning blog may say that millennials need their training in a certain way, etc. You see it everywhere and there is a ton of misinformation out there.  There are many good folks that are trying to fight the good fight against this including Clark Quinn, author of a book that tackles such myths.  People like Clark and The Debunker Club are fighting the good fight to help us all get on common ground.  Not you, LinkedIn Millennial Expert. Seriously, search millennial expert in LinkedIn.  It’s almost as popular in headlines as ninjas….ALMOST.   

For all of those millennial naysayers, please answer this question:

“How can I have the same experiences as someone who grew up with different values, different gender, different geography—even if we happen to be born on the same day, let alone that same decade?

The bottom line is that millennials are people just like you.  We do not learn differently. We do not have shorter attention spans.  We are people. 

The purpose of the professional development program is to acknowledge EMERGING professionals.  Emerging professionals aren’t typecasted by the year they are born. Emerging professionals can be someone who is going through a career change, someone who went back to school after retiring, or even someone who is a student.  The emphasis is on where they are in their career journey. This program will feature speakers who identify as emerging professionals (student or 5 or fewer years of learning and development experience) to provide them an opportunity to present.  All generations are welcome here. Boomers, Gen X, Gen Z… however old you are IT DOES NOT MATTER! If you are newer to L&D we want YOU! Many students in graduate programs need presentation experience for their CVs and what better way to get some presentation experience under your belt than to do so in a safe and encouraging environment? There will be a panel of coaches who will provide individualized feedback to each presenter (written) for them to have the opportunity to grow.  The thing I’m most excited about though is to see what they talk about. I LOVE being around folks that are newer to L&D because I appreciate their perspectives. It makes me grow as I learn from their experiences too. Isn’t that what professional development should be about?

The Look & Learn component is going to provide everyone an opportunity to show off their work and talk about it.  Bring your best learning artifacts, share your lessons learned, and see how L&D is approached throughout Central Ohio.  I’ve had many L&D peers ask for this event and I wanted to make it happen for them. I’d also like to be able to give some prizes and let people vote for their favorites. 

I am committed, along with the wonderful committee who has been helping (Kara, Michelle, Jane, & Dana) to making the Emerging Professional Showcase/Look&Learn a success.  If you’d like to get involved in this event, it is October 3 at The Ohio State University’s Center on Education and Training for Employment. RFP will be up soon! Please let me know if you’d like to be a part of this inclusive event.  Learning is better when we all have a voice, we all feel like we can contribute, and there are no gatekeepers.

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