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Archive for January, 2010

by Dawn Francis and Sherry Engel

  1. Establish common ground. What business-relevant goals do you and your client have in common? Start by acknowledging a shared interest.
  2. Focus on results, not emotion. What are the action steps necessary to accomplish the business and performance results that both you and client can agree upon? Rather than becoming angry or exasperated, simply think about the end result and how to accomplish it. Then, you won’t have time for emotions.
  3. Influence through reciprocity. What might this client want that you can provide? Reciprocity helps you to influence your clients. If they, for example, afford you the time to conduct a thorough needs analysis, you could reciprocate by providing them with the statistics that help them sell their ideas more effectively to their manager.
  4. Inquire and Listen.  Never put words in another person’s mouth.  Ask their thoughts.  Listen to their concerns.
  5. Attune and Facilitate.  Step into the other persons shoes and imagine what it may be like to be in their position.  After you “see from their eyes”, facilitate a problem-solving discussion.  State your understanding of the other’s concerns and move towards a resolution.
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by Dawn Francis, Ed.D.

In his book Relationship Economics, David Nour urges us to think strategically about our business relationships. A significant component of that strategy, he says, is for us to know our purpose. As a Performance Consultant, our purpose is to serve our clients as a Strategic Business Partner. But how do we do that if our clients keep labeling us as simply a Learning Support Provider? Here are some ideas.

According to Dana Gaines Robinson, we can become a Strategic Business Partner to our clients by:

  • Gaining Access
  • Building Credibility
  • Fostering Trust

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by Rich Mesch

I was so excited when Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll invited me aboard the blog tour, I took the liberty of inviting some friends to the party. So today, you get 4 for the price of 1, as we have multiple perspectives on Karl and Tony’s book, Learning in 3D. Joining the conversation today are regular contributors Dr. Dawn Francis and Sherry Engel, as well as a guest contributor, ace instructional designer Robin Harmony.

I’m grateful to Karl and Tony for beginning to define what has largely been an undefined learning space. Much as Clark Aldrich did years ago for the crazy-quilt space that was Simulation, Karl and Tony have begun the process of transforming 3D learning from “emerging technology” to “learning strategy.” Good, good stuff and I’m thrilled to be part of the process.

Click this link to purchase the book at a 20% discount using code L3D1. No financial interest for me or my organization, but why shouldn’t you save some money?

On to the posts!

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by Rich Mesch

I’m an excitable boy; I admit that. I’m so fascinated by the possibilities of new tools and technologies for learning, that I ponder why everybody doesn’t just jump on the bandwagon. And that’s why, when I read Karl and Tony’s book, I naturally gravitated towards the sections about adoption of new technology. Learning in 3D covers a lot of ground, but I appreciate the pragmatism of the authors to consider the inevitable question: now that we’ve established the effectiveness of the approach, how do we actually get people to do this?

I know of one large company that attempted to implement a Virtual Immersive Environment (VIE) strategy—very smart people doing very smart things. But despite that, their first effort was rocky. Why? Well, in brief, because they tried to do everything all at once. The audience had difficulty coming up to speed so quickly (What’s an avatar? Why do I have one? How do I get in the room? How do I sit in this chair? Why can’t I hear the presenter?), got confused, and frustrated. The fact that the software hit some technical snags didn’t help.

The nice thing about the book is that it’s sort of a “Radical’s Handbook”—if you read it carefully, it’s all about overthrowing the status quo and putting a new learning regime in place. Well, okay, that’s a bit extreme; in fact, a lot of what I like about it is that it recommends a sane, rational, structured way to adopting a new approach—the kind that won’t make people run screaming.

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by Dawn Francis, Ed.D.

If you’re a Learning Manager or Training Manager for a corporation, the following scenario may strike you.

You’re at your desk and the phone rings. The caller says, “I need your help. My employees need training on teamwork. They operate as lone agents and prefer to work in silos. Often, they duplicate efforts and we have a real loss of productivity here. Do you have a course on teamwork? It has to be web-based because we’re too busy and dispersed to meet together in-person.”

Sound familiar? If so, it’s likely that:

  • The caller mistakenly perceives you as an order taker who will satisfy his request through a transactional exchange.
  • The caller mistakenly perceives your learning organization as the Wal-mart for Training Needs.

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by Robin Harmony

The first time I entered a virtual immersive environment (VIE), I was startled by flying people! My reaction? Wow…I can fly in here? That’s cool, but what happens if I bump into someone while in the air? Will I fall? Why are people flying?

My immersion was immediate—it happened fast. I didn’t have to think about it. My questions were all about me. If I fly, where can I go? What can I do? How do I learn to fly? My new environment drew me in and I wanted to know more about what was going on around me.

The chapter, Escaping Flatland, in Karl Kapp and Tony O’Driscoll’s new book, Learning in 3D, speaks to how immersion in a 3D learning environment (3DLE) works:

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by Sherry Engel

As most of my colleagues know, evaluation and metrics is a topic I love to discuss and debate. So when chatting with author Karl Kapp about Learning in 3D, our conversation immediately went to how evaluation may differ with Learning in 3D. Let’s take a look at a few of the things we discussed.

Level 1 – “Smiley sheets” provide input on many of the reactions of the learners. I’d like to examine just one aspect….learner’s confidence in applying the skills after participating in the learning event. My initial reaction is that learners should have a higher level of confidence after participating in a 3D learning experience than if they participated in a 2D learning experience.  Interesting enough, Karl and I had a great discussion about a study that was done on learners in a 2D environment vs. 3D environment and their confidence level related to applying the skills after completing the learning.  Which audience do you think was more confident? Well, to my surprise, it was the learners in the 2D environment. I sat back and began analyzing why this may be the case. As Robin’s previous blog indicated (and quoted from Karl and Tony’s book), when learning in a 3D environment, “The person becomes emotionally involved and behaves and acts as he or she would in the actual situation.”  Think back to your past learning experiences. Are you more confident in the classroom or once on the job? Since learning in 3D provides that emotional connection, as it would on the job, learners are more apt to experience the feelings of self-doubt during learning. Is that a bad thing though? Wouldn’t you rather those feelings occur during learning rather than once on the job?

Level 2 – Learning can be measured in so many ways, however, too often we approach Level 2’s with simple “true/false, multiple choice” tests. Is that type of evaluation conducive to a 3D environment? Karl and I had a great discussion on this one as well. He shared a story with me about an individual that compared test scores from students that participated in a 2D learning environment and those that participated in a 3D learning environment. Which do you think were higher? Don’t let this one shock you…but it was the scores from the 2D environment. We began to discuss why that might occur. Well, as typical with most organizations, this organization did their level 2 testing with a simple “true/false, multiple choice” test. What type of learning does that test? In most cases its factual/knowledge-based learning. I’d like to challenge this organization to change up their evaluation to test application of behaviors in the learning environment. I’ll bet you see the students from the 3D environment testing better on that one!

Level 3 – As you know Level 3 is all about measuring application of behaviors on the job. I’m not going to go into great detail about this one, but naturally, the more we can replicate in the learning the actual environment in which the learner will be applying the skills, the higher chance of success for transfer of this behavior on the job.

Level 4 – Well, with level 4, it’s all about alignment to the business goals and objectives. Karl and Tony’s book nicely captures how learning in 3D isn’t just about the technology but how we can meet specific business needs with this type of learning environment. As with any type of learning–classroom, e-learning, simulation, 3D–upfront analysis of the performance that will be impacted and how that aligns to company business goals and objectives is crucial for true business impact to occur.

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