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  • June 06, 2017 9:18 AM | Thomas West (Administrator)

    ATD has produced another successful International Conference and Exposition: ATD 2017 in Atlanta, May 22 through May 25,. The major topic of the conference, as presented in the opening speech by Tony Bingham, ATD's President & CEO, was Microlearning. Modern learners do not want long training sessions presenting large blocks of content in ways controlled by the instructional designer. Wherever possible, instructional designers should breaking content into "bite-sized" chunks requiring at most 10 minutes--4 to 6 minutes is best--and then providing the learner with a learning path suggesting the order the learner might follow through them; but the learner is allowed to control their own flow through the content. 

    Video should be used to the greatest extent possible. The model is YouTube, where the viewer is able to able to find streaming videos on whatever topic they need when they need it.  This is the model established by Linda.com a leader in self-directed learning where a course of study has a recommended playlist of video modules.   

    Of course, the content must be viewable on multiple platforms, mobile phone, tablet and desktop computer.  

    My focus during the conference was on the Science of Learning track. Advances in neuroscience has allowed us to peer inside what used to be the "black box," called our brain. Research presented showed how our the areas of the brain that relate to our physical body are triggered by our emotions; for example. when we perceive unfairness, the part of the brain associated with the physical response of disgust to things like rotten food are activated.  These emotional responses are fast and dominant because the primary focus of our brain and body continues to be, like our ancient ancestors, the ability respond to threat.  The cognitive areas of our brain (the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex) acts as a brake to the emotional response.

    Therefore, instructors and instructional designers support learning by ensuring the cognitive portions of our learners brains are not constantly engaged in "applying the brakes". Among the ways TD professionals can do this is to consider the brain's (the whole brain, emotional and intellectual) preference for consistency, clarity, certainty and no change (the 4C). Of course, learning cannot really occur without disrupting at least one, and probably all of these. It is our challenge to construct instruction that disrupts these 4Cs  and still keep the learner engaged and learning.  

    It has generally believed that high stress is the enemy of our ability to learn.  In fact, high stress has been shown to cause atrophy in the pre-frontal cortex, reducing its ability to control emotional-reactive brain responses.  One of the keynote speakers, Kelly McGonigal of Stanford University, presented her work on how to make stress, even high stress become a positive contributor to learning and to life in general.  First we must change our thinking of stress as good or bad; rather it should be considered necessary and unnecessary.  Unnecessary stress is usually stress we impose on ourselves--we imagine the worst, let our egos become overly sensitive, etc. Recognizing this allows us to "let it go".  

    Then we are ready to address the necessary stress and change our view to seeing it as a challenge. We can apply resiliency, control of our physical response (applying our cognitive "brakes" to the emotional response) and getting social support to produce positive outcomes.  These can be learned and practiced.  

    There were hundreds of other educational sessions, career planning sessions available.  

    Finally, a special thanks to Caveo Learning who, for the fourth year, sponsored the ATDChi Happy Hour.  Attendees from Chicagoland and beyond had a great time.  

  • June 04, 2017 1:29 PM | Russell O'Brien
    Prestigious list highlights ‘strongest providers of content development.’

    Congratulations to ATDChi’s Gold Sponsor, Caveo Learning, a consulting firm providing learning strategies and solutions to the Fortune 500 and other leading organizations, for being named to Training Industry Inc.’s 2017 Top 20 Content Development Companies List.

    Selection to the list is based on the following criteria:

    • Industry visibility, innovation, and impact
    • Ability to develop and deliver multiple types of content
    • Company size and growth potential
    • Depth and breadth of subject matter expertise
    • Quality of clients
    • Geographic reach

    The prestigious list is designed to help organizations search for the right learning content development partner.

    “The content development segment of the corporate training market is one of the most active and sought-after,” says Doug Hayward, CEO of Training Industry Inc. “This list highlights the strongest providers of content development, who are able to transform the learning experience on their proficiency in learning technologies and the depth of their subject matter expertise.”

    Caveo offers the full spectrum of training content solutions, from instructional design services to full creative design and development and custom learning technologies. Modalities include instructor-led training, virtual ILT, digital learning experiences (eLearning), HTML 5, video, simulations, job aids, virtual and augmented reality, and all manner of blended learning.

    To create a more engaging learner experience, Caveo has recently begun taking a fresh, immersive approach to digital training content creation. Gone is “the box”—the default eLearning frame—in favor of a frameless design that uses more of the browser window for better readability and cleaner layouts. “Traditional eLearning places too much emphasis on navigating through the course, rather than focusing on the important content...so we got rid of the Next button,” says Chris Balmes, Caveo’s creative director. “Instead, our courses use intuitive scrolling, pushing users forward as a result of their interactions. By changing our point of view to consider development from the perspective of the end user, we’re able to create an experience that is more engaging and which focuses the learner’s attention squarely where it belongs—on the content.”

    For more information about Caveo Learning, visit www.caveolearning.com.

  • May 30, 2017 2:50 PM | Russell O'Brien

    The 10th anniversary of the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase will be Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in Naperville, Illinois.

    Call for Volunteers

    We're planning this year's Showcase and need additional volunteers. If you're available and interested in working this event, review the wide range of volunteer opportunities and then complete the volunteer interest form. In thanks for your contribution, you will be invited to attend the Showcase at a reduced rate. Volunteers will also be invited to the post-Showcase networking event.

    Contact us via e-Mail for more information; or to the website: chicagoelearningshowchase.com

  • May 16, 2017 3:06 PM | Russell O'Brien

    The ATD Certification Institute's Certified Professional in Learning and Performance Certification (CPLP) equips you with the tools to be the best in the field and lets employers know that you have real world, practical expertise that can be readily applied to the current work environment. CPLP gives you the capability, credibility and confidence to be a high performing contributor in your organization.

  • May 14, 2017 12:43 PM | Thomas West (Administrator)

    The Corporate University Professional Development Network (PDN) is excited to announce our May 25 program, Applied Improvisation: A set of tools, skills, and mindsets to enhance leadership development and educate change agents. You will have the opportunity to experience a variety of improvisational exercises and their debriefs.

    This will be an ‘on-your-feet’ session where you will discover how to use applied improvisation to enhance leadership development and change management in your organization or for your clients. This program will be led by Jackie Gnepp of Humanly Possible®.

    In keeping with the PDN’s practice of alternating between downtown and the suburbs, the May program will be in downtown Chicago.

    In a world of accelerating change, leaders cannot be successful doing only what leaders did in the past. Where there is neither script nor playbook, leaders and change agents must improvise and help their organizations to do the same. “Applied improvisation” is a set of tools, skills, and mind-sets that were developed by improvisational theater experts and modified for purposes of application to real-world challenges. Organizational leadership and change leadership are examples of such challenges and the focus of this program.

    The session includes:

    A brief overview of Applied Improvisation.

    A series of 3 to 5 improvisational exercises, including ones useful for teaching creative problem-solving, stakeholder perspective-taking, system dynamics, and other concepts and skills the group deems important for leadership and change.

    A debriefing of the learning outcomes of each activity, in both small and large group discussions.

    Reflection and sharing of how participants might use applied improvisation to help leaders build the capacity to respond to unforeseen challenges in ways that are positive for the organization.

    When: May 25, 2017

    6:00 PM-6:30PM  Networking
    6:30PM-8:15PM   Session


    Elevate Energy, 322 S. Green Street, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60607. Location is between Jackson and Van Buren, one block West of Halsted (Blue Line: UIC-Halsted stop). There is metered street parking and a paid parking lot on Jackson at 230 S. Green 

    To RSVP:

    Naomi Berkove, nberkove@hotmail.com
    (required for security)

  • May 14, 2017 12:42 PM | Thomas West (Administrator)

    Join ATDChi for a special Happy hour Monday evening, May 22 during the ATD International Conference & Exposition in Atlanta GA. This event will be an opportunity to network and meet other ATD members. 

    This is the 4th year that ATDChi hosts the party and, as always, a good time will be had by all!

    Registration is required to attend.
    Registration is limited. ATD Members and Caveo guests have priority. Non-ATD member registration will be opened if space permits.  

    Drinks and Light Appetizers included

    To Register

    Sponsored by

  • May 01, 2017 11:39 AM | Thomas West (Administrator)

    Are you interested in mastering 21st Century learning challenges?

    Learn from Catherine Marienau (PhD) and Kathleen Taylor (PhD), authors of Facilitating Learning with the Adult Brain in Mind, as they answer the questions: "Why are the learning challenges of the 21st Century so difficult?" and "How can these challen

    ges be addressed more effectively with 'brain-aware' strategies?" 

    Gain new insights and best practices, in this full-day workshop that Marienau and Taylor will lead on May 17 in Chicago, which will be co-sponsored by ATDChi and DePaul University's School for New Learning, Center to Advance Education for Adults.

    Register for the May 17 full-day workshop

    In this day-long interactive workshop, stories and analogies will illuminate how the adult brain learns without getting mired in unnecessary details of brain architecture. By understanding why and under what conditions the brain shies away from learning and resists new behaviors, you will discover new approaches for learning and grow

    th. You will also explore ways to stimulate adults’ brains to be curious, to seek new learning and new ways of doing things. This workshop emphasizes brain-aware approaches that incorporate research on the embodied, analogical brain. Through a variety of activities, you will share and build on your current best practices, and you will explore new and expanded approaches to add to your repertoires for fostering optimal learning.

    The following learning objectives determine the outcomes of this workshop: 

    • Understand how the brain learns best
    • Discover why the brain (sometimes) resists new learning
    • Become familiar with new research on learning and the brain
    • Identify and expand effective brain-aware strategies to improve learning  

    Workshop leaders’ latest book Facilitating Learning with the Adult Brain in Mind: A Conceptual and Practical Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2016) will be distributed during the workshop at no additional cost.

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