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  • August 27, 2018 1:33 PM | Anonymous
    By Eileen Terrell, VP, Communications and 2018 ATDChi President Elect
    Dejuan Johnson, Statistician with the Membership Team
    Susan Camberis, Editor, Training Today

    The 11th annual Chicago eLearning and Technology Showcase (CETS) was held at Northern Illinois University’s Naperville campus on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.  Co-hosted by ATDChi and STC Chicago, this year’s event was a well-attended exploration of eLearning and how people interact with technology. 

    Sessions discussed a range of topics from designing eLearning and ways of making it more engaging to using different (less traditional/ less obvious/ emerging) technologies in eLearning. There were also learning spark sessions, in which speakers had a very limited amount of time to present with timed slides!

    “I sat in on a session entitled ‘A First-Timer’s Guide to Building eLearning.’ It was an appropriate session for me considering that I’ve never completed an eLearning project. I left the class with a better sense of how to plan out an eLearning project, and [am] pretty excited to do so,” said Dejuan Johnson. 

    One of the day’s highlights was the keynote address by David Kelly entitled “The Now & Next of Learning & Technology,” during which Kelly discussed the importance of looking at innovations in technology and in our lives so that we can understand how we learn with technology.  According to Eileen Terrell, “The key takeaway was to look outside of the L&D world at other industries to expand how one thinks about how technology can be used…what I am doing differently is seeking to understand how others are using technology. For example, I am asking questions from my Marketing and Healthcare friends to learn more about what type of technology they are exposed to, and how.” 

    According to Terrell, “[One of] my other favorite sessions was ‘Podcasting, the On-Again Trend in Audio Content: Tips, Tricks & Techniques’ with Nancy Munro.  [Nancy] really made it simple to understand the process for creating a podcast and shared a variety of interesting ways that podcasting can be used. I am now looking for opportunities to create podcasts, for the sales organization, since they spend a lot of time driving.”

    CETS will return in 2019, location and date yet to be finalized.

  • August 25, 2018 7:39 PM | Anonymous

    By Susan Camberis, Editor, Training Today

    ATDChi held its 3rdannual Mega-Networking Party on Thursday, August 2nd.  Sponsored by TrainingPros, this year’s party featured three networking events happening across Chicagoland simultaneously.  

    The west suburban event was held at Granite City Brewery in Naperville.  “It was a terrific opportunity to re-connect with existing ATDChi friends and make new ones in a fun and relaxed venue.  One of the evening’s highlights for me with having the opportunity to meet a member in person whom I connected with earlier this year by phone,” said Camberis.  

    ATDChi colleagues from the northern suburbs gathered at Francesca's North in Northbrook.  

    The events truly demonstrated the power of networking.  According to Polyakova, “I established a connection with a potential vendor, connected with another L&D analytics expert, and was fascinated by the power of networking at its best. Less than a month after the ATDChi Mega Networking Party one of the participants, Luveta Hill, started a new job that she learned about at the event – by connecting with the hiring manager also in attendance. How amazing is that?”

  • July 29, 2018 8:37 PM | Anonymous

    By Anthony Dudek, MS, CPLP
    President 2018
    Chicagoland Chapter ATD

    What a great year it’s been and it’s really only half over! We had a great opening night in January with Stephanie Leese Emrich followed by a very well-attended event in February on Subject Matter Experts facilitated by Dale Ludwig and Greg Owen-Boger.

    The workshop at Benedictine University with Megan Torrance in March was very successful and many came away with increased knowledge about Instructional Design. 

    Followed in April with another sellout all-day workshop on e-learning with Diane Elkins where Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate went head-to-head. many came away with the request for more from this Speaker.

    The we had our Talent Development Leadership Forum at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in which our community members got to hear from senior learning managers in the Chicago area. To bring it about required a key collaboration with CARA, a learning services provider in the Chicago area and a key sponsor of ours for many years now.

    We recently offered our scholarship for both the CPLP and the APTD aspirants in our community again in partnership with CARA.

    We have expanded our membership and reached out to area colleges and universities. We have done our research into how today’s learners want to connect with us and with our content. More on that later, but you should start seeing signs that we are listening and that we are changing the format of some of our content offerings.

    We’re facing the largest Mega-Networking Event on August 2ndand I hope all of you are making plans to be there at one of the three locations. I’ll be at the downtown location.

    This fall season will again feature our Workplace Learning and Performance Institute, which has always been a great way for people new to the profession to learn from some of the very best talent development all-stars in the Chicago area. Come see what all the buzz is about and look into attending the entire series of 7 sessions or only the session(s) you need.

    October will feature a very large, all-day event with Trish Uhl on Learning Analytics, sure to be a sellout, better complete your registration early.

    And of course, we’re looking at our grand celebration on December 6thto celebrate our 75thanniversary as a professional association dedicated to the learning community in the Chicago area.

    The state of the Chapter at this mid-year point is that we are financially sound, we are developing relevant content, we are connecting with more Chicago area talent development professionals than ever before, and we have tons of energy and drive to move the Chapter into new areas.

    Our compass is Advance, Build, Connect, and Engage and this is how we continue to live that in the remainder of the year. 

    We will continue our work in advancing the science and the art of talent development in the Chicago area. That’s really at the core of what we do. Ensuring that ATD’s Competency Model and its Areas of Expertise is widely understood and used in the Chicago area is a multi-year mission of our Chapter. See our CPLP Scholarship that we offer every year.

    We reach out to the larger community in the Chicago area building relationships with companies, our sponsors, our fellow associations through the Chicago Alliance, and of course the universities that we partner with to bring the message home to Chicago’s students. 

    We connect on a personal level with our members through a variety of methods. Connecting our Members to ATD national in dual membership, known as Power Membership, is a great way for our members to experience the rich content that ATD national has to offer. If you come out to one of our events this year make sure that you meet our very active Board Members who want to hear about your ideas and needs for our Chapter and for our profession. See Mega-Networking Event coming in August.

    We will engage with our membership and with the larger Talent Development Community by our activities we promote: our Mentoring program, the Events that we design, and the Workplace Learning and Performance Institute.

    I have never had the chance to lead such a dedicated group of talent development professionals such as this year’s Board of Directors and the volunteers that make it happen year after year. A fact for which I will always be honored and grateful to have had the chance.

    Our goal is to be the Chicago area’s one-stop shop for all things talent development. How are we doing in helping you to achieve your dreams? Drop me a line and let me know what you need from your Chapter: Anthony.Dudek@gmail.com

    All the best,
    Anthony Dudek, MS, CPLP
    President 2018
    Chicagoland Chapter ATD

  • July 03, 2018 12:46 PM | Anonymous
    By Eileen Terrell, VP, Communications and 2018 ATDChi President Elect
    with Susan Camberis, Editor, Training Today

    The Center to Advance Education for Adults (CAEA) at DePaul University hosted the School for New Learning (SNL) Graduates’ Showcase on June 21. 

    This annual event features graduate students’ final projects in the Master of Arts in Educating Adults and the Master of Arts in Applied Professional Studies programs.

    SNL students combine the practical and imaginative to satisfy their goals and dreams in an education that is self-directed. During the showcase, students share presentations/posters representing the outcomes of their final projects.  They also explain how their class work helped them to select and complete their final projects.  

    This year’s presenters and final projects included:

    • Eddie Jackson:  Improving Travel Professionals Working with Multi-Generations
    • Vincent Stokes:  Self-efficacy and the Future Selves Construct Strategies in Support of Adult Learners Academic Performance at DePaul University’s School for New Learning
    • Carolyn Webster:  Conscientizacao! Narrative Reflection on Becoming an Adult Educator with Focus on Popular Education and the Teachings of Paulo Freire
    • Abigail Baker – Escape to Clown Town- Fantasy Fiction Book
    • Theodore Foggy – A Sustainable Development Plan for Bronzeville Terrace
    • Jeanne Towns – The Breast Chronicles – Women’s Relationships with Their Bodies

    ATDChi leaders Eileen Terrell and Tamara Lewis, ATDChi Director of Alliance Relationships, met briefly with each student to discuss and share reflections on their final projects.  One common theme was the self-discovery process that each student went through while completing his/her project.

    Following the student presentations, Morris Fiddler, Professor Emeritus for DePaul’s SNL, led a panel discussion with program alums Cortney Sigilai, Sultana Perez, and Paddy Homan.  Alums are using their degrees in their professional lives to create their own businesses, to advance social causes, and to help with community initiatives.  They are leveraging what they have learned about educating adults and applying it to business ventures, community projects, and business challenges.


    To learn more about the SNL graduate program, visit: https://snl.depaul.edu/about/Pages/default.aspx

  • July 03, 2018 12:43 PM | Anonymous
    By Thomas H. West, CPLP
    2017 ATDChi President & former Co-Director, WLPI

    My initiation in the full science and art of good training came as a result of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant accident of 1979. I began working as a trainer with Westinghouse Nuclear Services when the “learnings” from that accident were being implemented throughout the industry, including change to the training of power plant operators.

    The operators on duty at Three Mile Island when the accident happened understood the operation of the nuclear reactor, but they did not understand basic thermodynamics and fluid flow. It was their misinterpretation of these the lead them to take actions leading to the accident. The training department  had not included these topics in the training program, and government regulators had not included these topics in licensing tests.

    The nuclear industry recognized that to have effective training, it was necessary to look more analytically at the job of reactor operator, to create clear linkages from the tasks a reactor operator does, to the knowledge and skill taught in the classroom and on the job, and finally to evaluations conducted during and after training. The methods selected to do this were found in Instructional System Design (ISD), the forerunner of the ADDIE model, and it was from this that I learned the full scope of what it means to be a training professional.

    Luckily, it is no longer necessary to have a nuclear accident to learn the importance of a systematic approach to training. WLPI was created by “old hands” in the industry to show new and experienced trainers alike the full scope of the employee training process and how to ensure that each individual training event is connected to actual job needs and supports documentable performance improvement—for the business, as well as for the employee. 

    The Fall 2018 WLPI begins on Oct 13, 2018 and consists of seven sessions.  Learn more here: https://atdchi.org/WLPI

  • July 03, 2018 12:36 PM | Anonymous
    By Susan Camberis
    Editor, Training Today

    ATDChi’s June Networking Dinner and Clinic featured a panel discussion of local TD professionals sharing their certification experiences. 

    The Association for Talent Development’s Certification Institute (ATD CI) offers two certifications based on the ATD competency model:

    • The Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) is broad-based, covering 10 areas of expertise (or AOEs).  It consists of a three-hour knowledge exam and a three-hour skills application exam.

    • The Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) covers three primary AOEs as defined by the ATD competency model:  instructional design, training delivery, and learning technologies.  It consists of one two-hour exam. 

    Bill Cupuro, CPLP, and ATDChi’s Director of CPLP, moderated a discussion entitled “Exploring the CPLP and APTD:  Should It Be in Your Career Plan?”  Panelists included:  Anthony Dudek, CPLP, 2018 ATDChi President; Dave Lee, CPLP, Learning Strategist; Eileen Terrell, CPLP, ATDChi Vice President of Communications and 2018 President-Elect; Kirsten Walker, APTD, ATDChi Director of Event Management; and Tom West, CPLP, 2017 ATDChi President. 


    If you are thinking about certification, here are 5 expert tips to consider: 


    1. Know your “why”.  Motivation matters – especially when considering certification.  For Anthony Dudek, certification was about the joy of learning and expanding his professional knowledge base.  Eileen Terrell saw the CPLP as a natural progression.  After completing ATDChi’s WLPI program (https://atdchi.org/WLPI), Terrell viewed the CPLP as an opportunity to “go wider” – broadening her TD thinking in a more integrated way.  Kirsten Walker chose to purse the APTD during its 2017 pilot period.  As a self-described “accidental trainer”, Walker wanted a way to learn and share knowledge with her company.

    2. Decide which certification is right for you.  The CPLP is designed for professionals with five or more years of experience, or four years experience with one year of schooling.  The APTD is designed for professionals with at least three years of experience in talent development or a related field, or at least two years experience plus one year of schooling.

    3. Make time to study.  Both exams require time to prepare, so making sure you have the bandwidth is critical. Terrell studied for approximately five months for the CPLP knowledge exam.  Once she passed it, she then studied for approximately three more months before taking the skills application exam.

    4. Have a study plan.  While panelists’ test preparation methods varied, everyone agreed that having a study plan is a “must.” Dave Lee found the Rocky Mountain online study group (https://www.atdrmc.org/CPLP-Study-Group) helpful with “pacing” the content.  Sessions are facilitated by participants and cover one AOE each week for 12 weeks.  All panelists used study materials available through ATD CI and some use accountability partners or “study buddies”.

    5. Once you’ve earned it, keep your certification up-to-date.  To keep CPLP and APTD credentials “current,” professionals must re-certify every three years.   Both re-certification processes are points-based.  CPLPs need at least 60 points during each three-year cycle, and APTDs need at least 40 points.  Tom West explained that points can be earned through continuing education, speaking and instructing, ATDChi board membership, ATD membership, research and publishing, and on-the job experience. 


    With the assistance of ATDChi’s Gold Sponsor, CARA Group, ATDChi has established a CPLP and APTD scholarship program to assist deserving individuals with the costs of achieving certification.  To qualify, you must be a full-time resident of the geographic region served by the ATD, Chicagoland Chapter and meet the criteria to apply for the CPLP or APTD credentials.  The deadline to submit an application for the 2018 scholarships is Friday, July 7, 2018.  To learn more and to submit an application, visit: https://atdchi.org/ATDChi-CPLP-APTD-Scholarship-Application


    For questions or to learn more certification, contact ATDChi's Director of CPLP, Bill Cupuro, CPLP

  • June 04, 2018 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    By Susan Camberis
    Editor, Training Today


    ATDChi’s May event was the Chicagoland Talent Development Leadership Forum. 

    Featuring some of our region’s top learning leaders, the event centered around a panel discussion entitled, Learning and Development Today:  How are Learning Leaders Preparing for the Future of Learning?  The event was co-sponsored by ATDChi, The CARA Group, and Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, and was held at LFGSM’s Schaumburg campus. 

    Michelle Reid-Powell, VP of Talent Management and OE with The Cara Group, shared opening remarks and moderated the panel discussion.  Panelists included:  Jenny Massoni, Director, Global Lead for Learning and Change Enablement with Astellas; Teri Hart, Sr. Director of Learning Strategy with Discover Financial Services; Don Stanley, Director of Leadership Development with W.W. Grainger; Peggy Degnan, Director of Leadership Development with AJ Gallagher; and Mary Clare Healy, Global Director of Learning and Development with Informa. 

    Before the panelists shared their perspectives, Reid-Powell highlighted key trends and CARA’s own market research on Learning and Development (L&D).    

    The evolution of L&D has happened blindingly fast – moving quickly from Talent Management to Digital Learning and heading for Intelligent Learning (i.e. intelligent, personalized, machine-driven), according to Bersin by Deloitte.

    CARA’s client research has found that companies are innovating their approaches from event-based design to learner-centric design and are utilizing different ways to access content (e.g. interactive PDFs, YouTube channels).  Many are considering learners as “consumers”, adapting “customer experience” and “design thinking” approaches to learning (e.g. mapping the learning journey, focusing on moments of truth, using net promoter scores to rate learning departments).  Micro learning remains in high demand and is usually part of a blended learning approach. 

    Here are 6 smart insights from the evening’s discussion:

    1. It’s not “Field of Dreams.”  When discussing learning challenges, Don Stanley shared that business transformation can put added stress on organizations.  His team’s approach at W.W. Grainger has been to look for ways to encourage front-line leaders and team members to “pull” on development – to utilize the resources available.  According to Stanley, “It’s not field of dreams.”  The organization has to perceive a business need before it will build a new solution.
    2. Less is more.  “Helping different teams and vendors to curate is key when it comes to content,” according to Mary Clare Healy.  At Informa, Mary’s team seeks to offer content that can be consumed in 5 minutes or less.  According to Healy, “People won’t click onto Lynda.com to search.”  In line with this reflection, Reid-Powell shared a 2016 Microsoft study that found the human attention span is now less than 8 seconds (= less than that of a goldfish). 
    3. Micro learning is not always the right solution.  Despite the trends regarding attention span, “deep” learning is still important when it comes to developing capabilities, according to Teri Hart.  At Discover, Hart and her team are discussing the trends in micro learning and developing learning strategies that balance the need to be efficient with the need to ensure Discover is developing the capabilities required to drive the business. 
    4. Ask the right questions.  Reflecting on the critical skills that L&D team members need now and will need in the future, Jenny Massoni shared that she is trying to cultivate a “performance consultant” mindset with her team.  “You have to have effective questioning skills,” said Massoni. 
    5. Flexibility is key.  Discussing the impact of learning trends on teams and approach, Peggy Degnan shared that AJ Gallagher is moving towards a shared service model.  The organization’s desire is to have team members (e.g. designers and facilitators) that can be leveraged across the organization – as a way to maximize flexibility.  This includes having a pool of resources to support leadership development.
    6. Packaging matters.  According to Reid-Powell, “look and feel” is becoming as important as content itself.  For this reason, many L&D departments are shifting towards a marketing communications approach vs. a pure instructional design approach. 

    With investment and C-level support for learning on the rise, it remains a great time to be in learning and development. 

    And, while the landscape will continue to evolve and present new challenges, today’s learning leaders are up to the challenge. 


    How are you preparing for the future of learning? 


  • April 28, 2018 6:11 PM | Anonymous

    By Susan Camberis
    Editor, Training Today

    ATDChi’s April all-day workshop featured Diane Elkins, author of E‑Learning Uncovered and co-owner of Artisan E-Learning (www.artisanlearning.com). Diane has built a reputation as a national e‑learning expert by being a frequent speaker at major industry events such as ATD ICE, ATD TechKnowledge, DevLearn, and Learning Solutions.  She shared her expertise at this sold-out event, helping participants compare Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate.

    The workshop was truly a “test drive” – providing attendees with a valuable first-hand perspective of what it’s really like to work in the two tools.  One of the goals of the workshop was to enable participants to make better decisions about tool choice in the future, rather than having to rely on marketing data or articles.  

    “Which tool is best?” Diane asked of workshop participants.  The answer is “Yes!”  

    Both tools have great features and raving fans…and, both tools also have “quirks” and critics.  According to Diane, Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate are about 85% the same, but sometimes the 15% is really important. 

    • 1. Business model.  Price points and how the two companies handle upgrades vary.  A perpetual (i.e. “own it forever”) license for Storyline3 runs $1,398 and you’ll pay 50% of this price to upgrade. Storyline can also be purchased through Articulate360, a suite of products available for a subscription price of $995/year.  With Articulate360 “bells and whistles” are coming all the time, as on-going improvements are made.  A team subscription is available, but licenses become more expense.  If you create a file in Storyline3, it cannot be opened in Storyline2.
    • 2. Ease of use (i.e. Learning Curve).  If you’re familiar with PowerPoint, you will immediately notice a familiar look and feel when using Storyline.  Because of this, according to Diane, “You can figure out 40% pretty easily.”  If you’re more accustomed to working in Windows, you can expect to have a steeper learning curve upfront with Captivate.
    • 3. Time Savers.  Articulate360 includes an extensive content library, making it easy to find images and videos, including interactions.  Character options are more limited (~30).  Articulate Storyline also has a very active user community (625K users) called E-Learning Heroes(https://community.articulate.com), which can help you expand your knowledge, connect with other users, and download templates.  This can be a helpful resource to check out, whether or not you choose to purchase from Articulate.    
    • 4. Interactions.  Both systems use “variables” to create content.  Storyline is a generally a better choice for training with fewer variables.  “And/or” logic is easier to set up in Captivate – for example if you need supervisors and front-line employees to see different training content, and different content depending on location, etc.  “Click to reveal” content is generally more challenging to set up in Captivate, as is having buttons that have more than one function.
    • 5. Mobile design. Elkins also discussed the difference between “mobile first” and “mobile responsive” design.  “Mobile first” is when you design first for mobile devices (i.e. phones, tablets) versus desktops.  “Mobile responsive” is when a website automatically adjusts to any device.  If you need training to be truly mobile responsive, Captivate is a generally better choice.   NOTE: Articulate360 includes access to RISE – an easy-to-use, rapid design eLearning tool that is great for smartphones.   

    Neither tool is particularly good at producing certificates, so certificates may be better handled through an LMS.  

    If you would like to “test drive” either tool for yourself, visitwww.articulate.comto sign-up for a free 60-day trial of Articulate360.  If you have a Mac, sign up for a free 14-day trail for Parallels Desktop 13 (a Windows emulator) at www.paralells.com.  Sign up for a free 30-day trial of Captivate at www.adobe.com/captivate

    To stay up to date on the latest with Diane and Artisan E-Learning, follow @dpelkins and @ArtisanElrng.

  • March 22, 2018 8:54 PM | Anonymous

    By Susan Camberis
    Editor, Training Today

    ATDChi’s March members-only skill building clinic and networking event featured Talent Development (TD) expert Megan Torrance. Megan is the CEO and Founder of TorranceLearning, an award winning consulting firm in Eastern Michigan.

    Sponsored by Benedictine University in Lisle, the event was held in Benedictine’s new Sorensen Hall of Leaders, named for long-time faculty member and TD/OD leader Dr. Peter Sorensen. Before Torrance took the stage, Dr. Sorensen and fellow professor Dr. Therese Yaeger, both long-time friends of ATDChi, welcomed participants and discussed the important connections between TD and Organization Development.

    The clinic highlighted several instructional design tools that Torrance and her team have successfully used with client companies across industries. Megan highlighted the idea that you won’t necessarily use all of the tools in a tool kit for each project, but that it is important to have the right tool when the need arises.

    Here are three actionable learnings from the event:

    1. Align learning objectives to business results. Torrance highlighted Brinkerhoff & Apking's high impact learning map (2001) as one useful way to drive alignment. Brinkerhoff and Apking suggest aligning learning objectives first to critical job tasks, then to key results, then business unit results, and finally to organization goals. This alignment drives the “why”. The “how” comes in the form of helping learners understand how individual learning objectives align to organizational goals and objectives.

    2. Design for “moments of learning need.” Torrance has expanded upon Gottfredson & Mosher’s 5 Moments of Learning Need (New, More, Apply, Problem Solving, and Change), adding four of her own (Before, Prepare, Remember, and Teach). Considering each moment and how training will (or will not) help to address the need can be a valuable exercise when designing learning experiences.

    3. Make MVP your BFF. Given the rapid pace of business today, Torrance is a proponent of the Minimum Viable Product (or MVP). This means cycling more rapidly through the traditional ADDIE model (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate), so that evaluation takes place earlier and more frequently. Megan’s rules for iterations are: it does real work; someone else has to use it; you gather data, and data informs the work in the next iteration.

    For more information about the tools shared in the session, visit: www.torrancelearning.com/toolkit

    To stay up to date on the latest with Megan and TorranceLearning, follow @MMTorrance, @xAPIGnome, and @Tlearning

  • February 28, 2018 11:05 AM | Anonymous

    ATDCHi's 2017 CPLP Scholarship Winners Dave Lee and Eileen Terrell share their experience of becoming CPLPs.

    What was your motivation to pursue CPLP?

    Dave: Honestly, I decided I wanted certification to demonstrate the knowledge and skills I have gained over my career. I chose the CPLP because it seems to have the most visibility among the various certifications. I chose the Managing Learning Programs SAE because my experience has been in managerial positions.

    Eileen: I decided to pursue the CPLP after speaking with a couple of people that I met in the Fall 2016 Workplace Learning and Performance Institute (WLPI) session. I wasn’t sure how the CPLP would complement my existing education and experience. I have two Master’s Degrees and over 25 years as a Learning Professional. I spoke with several people that had received their CPLP credential and everyone had similar responses. It really enhanced their ability to broaden their conversations with their clientsn. So, I decided to pursue the CPLP to in order to expand my body of knowledge in others areas of Talent Development.

    How did you study for the Knowledge Exam?

    Dave: For me, studying for the KE was a challenge of time management and gauging what I knew and what I needed to learn.  The ATD practice test was vital in setting a baseline, checking me at midway, and final check two weeks before the test.  I also did the virtual study group by ATD Rocky Mountain.

    Eileen: I partnered with one other person and we scheduled ongoing study sessions meeting face-to-face and virtually. We leveraged the ATD Learning System as our primary resource. We completed the quizzes and the practice exams. We also leveraged tips and suggestions mentioned in the book “Mastering the CPLP” by Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP.

    How was your experience taking the Knowledge Exam?

    Eileen: This was straightforward. I made sure that I read each question slowly to understand what was being asked. Most of the questions were definitely written to assess comprehension versus just recall . Different terms were used than what was in The ATD Learning System, so you really needed to know the concept. Waiting for the results was the longest two minutes.

    Dave: The KE was straight forward. Even with reviewing around 30 questions, I finished in 2 hours. My main tactic was to track questions that I “knew” I had correct.  As I worked through the test I could check to see how I was doing toward the 70+/-% passing score.  You can see more detail about my KE experience in One Down, One to Go.

    And what about preparation for the Skills Application Exam?

    Dave: This was far harder than studying for the Knowledge Exam. It took me several frustrating months to come to a process I felt comfortable with. See Keep Calm. Don’t Panic! for details. The key to my success was applying the Key Actions to my experience or creating scenarios where I hadn’t experienced the specific situations.

    Eileen: This was very challenging as the case studies within the ATD Learning system contained the answers, so the value was really in the practice exams. I re-read my selected AOE a few times and reviewed the key actions. I also leveraged materials provided by Tish Uhl. The biggest takeaway is that although you select one AOE to focus on, your approach should be an integrated one. You can’t execute “one” AOE without considering others.

    Tell us about taking the SAE

    Eileen: This was super hard because of the integration of many AOEs at one time. My selected AOE, Instructional Design, still had me thinking about Training delivery, Learning Technologies, Global Mindset, and Evaluations. I really had to divide the time equally between all of the case studies and I used the entire three hours. You can’t focus on one AOE, it is important to consider all of the competencies.

    Dave: Holy moly! This was the hardest test I’ve ever taken. I used all 3 hours. This test is about knowing how we work. It is about experience in the practice of managing learning programs. Best tactic, suggested by a colleague, was writing down target times for each case and each set of questions. Without this, I would likely have not completed the test.

    And finally, how was waiting for and finding out the results?

    Eileen: I tried to not to think about the results waiting for the 10 weeks to fly by. I focused on the experience and glad that I had gone through the process. Whether I had passed the SAE or not, I felt that I could have even better conversations with my clients. I felt 50/50 about passing. I told myself that if I didn’t pass, I would retake it as soon as administratively possible. Then the email came and I looked at it for a few hours because the subject line tells you nothing. I finally got the nerve up to open it, I passed. I now have the CPLP credential and I added those letters to my name with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

    Dave: 10 weeks of wondering if I was done or if I would need to go back to studying. My tactic of tracking questions I had right for the SAE had me expecting I would be right on the pass/fail line. The email that came didn’t give specifics on score. I don’t know how close it was. But I passed. I’m a CPLP.

    Congratulations, Dave and Eileen!

    Consider becoming a CPLP in 2018? Reach out to Bill Cupuro to learn more about the certification, its benefits, and resources available for ATDChi members.

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