5 reasons to deliver training through a LMS or VLE

LMS pageMost people would accept that some aspect of their training is suitable for on-line delivery, but it can take another step to see the full benefits of a learning management system (LMS) or virtual learning environment (VLE). What are the benefits of using an LMS such as Moodle, Canvas, or TalentLMS over a standard website, or other electronic delivery?

An LMS will not only contain the training, but will also handle enrolment, scheduling, learning goals, set and assess competencies… the list goes on. Course content can be simple to include and devolved to subject specialists, and you just need someone to take on site administration responsibilities to deal with the logistics.

Here are my top 5 reasons for investing in an LMS:

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Writing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

standard operating procedureA standard operating procedure (SOP) is something I’ve been asked to communicate a number of times. Usually the SOP is already written, but needs further communicating as people don’t seem to be following what it says. It sometimes turns out that further communication is an issue, but not the only issue.

An SOP is supposed to achieve consistent results by consistency of action. It isn’t just about a prescribed process; it can also include a basis for assessment such as a decision tree. The whole SOP should work as a flowchart with identifiable stages, logical procedures, and clear rationale for decision points.

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Training versus Learning

learning

I have noticed a number of corporate training teams are renamed to ‘learning development’. Is this more than just a name change? And what difference could there be?

Traditional Training

Training was a trainer going around an organisation arranging sessions where people would give up part of their work day to attend. That might have been the end of the process, but most training programmes would include some sort of site visit assessment at a later date to see how well the training has been implemented. Does this model still work?

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Directed video versus event video

 

videoI video a number of things, and they broadly split into two:
1-An event that happens at its own pace, and I capture the required bits

2-Directed scenes or interviews to be edited into a final programme

What is the main difference when filming? As a video producer, in the former I can only choose what to cover, and in the second I can actually control what happens and when. Seems obvious and straightforward, so why am I writing about it?

Think of a novel. Some bits will be in real-time, such as dialogue exchanges between characters, and other parts of the novel will be condensed, perhaps a narrative description of a train journey where nothing much happens so it only takes up a paragraph.

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Good versus bad scenarios in organisational training

learning training

Behaviour training is very common for customer interactions, health and safety, or many procedure based activities. When I moved from education to business and organisational communications, I was surprised how common presenting ‘bad’ behaviours followed by the required ‘good’ behaviours was in training materials.

Only occasionally does bad v. good occur in education. Would you expect a maths teacher to spend a lot of time showing you the wrong way to arrive at a solution, before showing you the right way? Would you expect a science teacher to show you the wrong chemistry procedure, before showing you the right one? Probably not, so why is there a difference in organisational training?

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Writing persuasive scripts and copy

writingThere are a few simple rhetorical devices that I have found really useful for persuasive writing. When you write a script for a video or presentation, or produce copy for a communication, it really helps to start with some sort of guide to structure the form of your content. By using some of these tried and tested rhetorical themes you can help your writing be more engaging and more persuasive.

There are a number of theories, from Aristotle to Derrida, why particular language forms work well in particular cultures. What is certain is that these devices have stood the test of time, from ancient Greek and Latin discourse to American presidential speeches, they can add power to your language. Continue Reading

8 essentials to communicate change management

change managementThe perspective I have of change management is through creating communications to engage and inform about reasons for change and the corresponding new vision. Following from this there are usually some specific communications revolving around roles and the implications of change.

What is the communications issue? Most organisations are built to serve particular customer profiles. While customers change, a customer profile and the practices to serve this customer can become solidified within an organisation’s roles and hierarchy. Even in the face of convincing evidence of a changing market environment, perspectives and practices can be quite resilient. This is why the situation, and therefore the communication can’t be considered as business as usual.

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Developing confidence for a presentation

confidence presentationConfidence is important to present effectively. Would you feel confident if someone said: “And now we’re going to have a short presentation from (YOU) about the latest project,” and everyone looks at you as you stand up and move to the front of the room? The good news is that you don’t have to be a ‘natural’ to give a good presentation. Effective preparation will give you the confidence to do a good job. So what is effective preparation?

If you are new to presenting, a good strategy is to get used to talking out loud by practising with a number of short 60 second presentations. The reason for this is that you can easily hold the whole amount of content in your head, and see how a small amount of simple information can turn into a presentation.

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How to plan a 10 minute presentation

presentationGiving a short presentation is a fairly typical thing to do in most organisations, so being able to quickly create a presentation and confidently present to a small audience is a really useful skill. You do not need to be ‘a natural’ you just need to prepare in a simple and structured way.  I have used this method with a number of groups, and it should give you a good start into finding what style suits you best.

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Four ingredients of a learning programme

Designing and implementing a learning programme is part of every large organisation’s activity. Having worked in education and then moving to the commercial world, I  notice some difference in the way learning programmes are approached.

learningGenerally in commercial organisations, a new method of working is broken down into a procedure, and then this is presented as stage by stage behaviours to learn, maybe with exercises to embed each stage. This sounds fine, but as budgets and resources vary, even within the same organisation, results can be inconsistent. By creating a basic scheme for all learning you should be able to achieve some consistency even if available resources are unevenly distributed, and not have to go to ‘square one’ for each initiative.

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