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Hanukkah e-Learning Wish List

Hanukkah HarryMy kids are making their wish list for Hanukkah, which inspired me to make my own. I do not necessarily expect to receive any of these things, but if Hanukkah Harry reads this blog, which he may, their is a chance he will grant at least a few.

  1. Adobe CS4 eLearning Suite – I am still working with CS3.
  2. High end microphone – It will come in very handy for adding audio to courses, plus it will look great on my desk.
  3. OutStart Trainer – I am currently using another DHTML editor in which I am not enthralled at all.
  4. The not yet released, possibly mythological, Apple Tablet – It does not exist yet, but I am willing to take a rain check in case it ever does.
  5. m-Learning development tool that produces courses compatible with ALL mobile platforms.
  6. DevLearn 2010 conference –  It has been quite a while since any budget has allowed me to attend a conference.
  7. Supreme knowledge of ActionScript – To know it to a point that there is nothing I cannot do with Flash (that’s on me isn’t it?).
  8. Open access to all social media for the workers of the world – I am lucky to have access to such things as LinkedIn and Twitter, but not all do. Some organizations block social media sites from their staff. I wish this to end.

If you have your own wish list, please share it in the comments section or add a link if it is on your blog.  Of course it does not have to be a Hanukkah list, it can be for whatever holiday you celebrate.

Audience Take-aways From LinkedIn Training

A quick, very informal evaluation of my Online Professional Networking class. Several weeks back I held my last online professional networking class, which focused on using LinkedIn. And due to the bank acquisition and upcoming lay-offs, it had a very strong focus on using LinkedIn as a tool for employment networking.

With less than two weeks left in this bank’s existence, there is no viable need for a course evaluation. However, for the sake of knowing what skills are being applied (level 3 – Behavior) I can peruse the profiles of my attendees, many of whom are connections, and see what learned skills they applied. The class did teach many skills I will not be able to view via their profiles such as writing an effective introduction, searching for business or employment opportunities, actively participating in groups, using LinkedIn as a CRM tool etc. I can see if they are joining groups, completing their profile, using applications, recommendations, status statements, etc. This will be far from a true level 3 evaluation, but it may be helpful to anyone providing a similar training.

The random sampling of 10 attendees are all in the U.S. banking industry and vary in education from high school diploma to advance college degrees. It is also important to note that the vast majority are returning to the job market and attended the class due to this fact.

The number of the 10 sample participants using these features are in parentheses.

  • Joined groups (8)
  • Completed all sections of their profile (6)
  • Utilize LinkedIn status statement (4)
  • Customized their profile URL (4)
  • Received recommendations (4)
  • Used applications (1)

I strongly advocated joining groups in the training. And of the 8 who joined groups, 7 joined multiple groups. So, it is great to see they took my advice. It is also nice to see that people are taking the time to complete their entire profile. 

If time permitted I would have liked to compare these numbers to a control group. And evaluate all aspects of the course, not just what can be measured from looking at an audience’s profiles. Perhaps I will be facilitating some version of this class in the future and then evaluate the class in a more formal manner.

Well, this is my very informal evaluation. Hopeful it provides some insight for any LinkedIn trainers out there.

FYI: In addition to the classroom training, I did create some Captivate sims of my LinkedIn tips. Feel free to give them a try and please feel free to share the link with any LinkedIn users, they are absolutely free. http://www.minutebio.com/LI/PowerTips.htm

What are They Talking About? (LinkedIn e-Learning Groups)

I belong to numerous groups on LinkedIn, some I am active in, some less so. With all the buzz on social media and informal learning, I thought I would take a closer look at my groups and identify the types of discussions that are generating the most activity. This is with the intent of gauging how people are using these groups and perhaps what information is being shared.

Here are the LinkedIn e-learning/ISD groups in which I belong. The number of members are in parentheses.

eLearning Guild  eLearn   e-Learning Network  ISD & eLearning Professionals' GroupInstructioanl Design and eLearning

  • e-Learning Guild (5,611)
  • eLearn (3,416)
  • e-Learning Network (3,178)
  • ISD & e-Learning Professionals’ Group (2,870)
  • Instructional Design and e-Learning (310)
Here are the topics that generated the most discussion in my groups.
  1. Advice on Learning Management Systems (LMS)
  2. Advice / recommendations for e-Learning development tools
  3. e-Learning design / ISD approaches
  4. e-Learning / ID career advice
  5. Career / vendor opportunities
Surprisingly, social media did not make it in the top 5. There was discussion on social media, but it did not generate as much discussion as the above topics. It appears the most popular discussions were on the technical side of e-learning. Hence, the most activity was regarding learning management systems and development tools. Note: The results may have differed if I measured the quantity of specific topics posted instead of identifying the topics that generated the most comments.
 
Have you found similar trends in your e-learning groups?

LinkedIn Power Tips – Sims

I just completed my LinkedIn Power Tips page. The page contains interactive simulations for completing the  following tasks.

  • Using LinkedIn as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool
  • Customizing your public profile URL
  • Filtering connections
  • Checking invitations sent

All the sims were created with Adobe Captivate and include audio. These are “try me” sims, so you will have to make the correct clicks and/or text entries to complete the sims.  Don’t worry, the instructions are very clear.

Here is the Link, http://www.minutebio.com/LI/PowerTips.htm.

li_pwrtps_screen

Online Professional Networking / Linked In Class So Far

LinkedIn logo
Thus far, I have conducted five face-to-face online professional networking classes, which focuses on leveraging Linked In for finding business opportunities and professional development opportunities. Class participants are bankers and/or staff from the bank’s support areas and most are very new to social media. I will highlight what has generated the most interest and discussion among the participants.
Groups

  • Many were not aware of the “groups” feature in Linked In.
  • They were impressed with the number and diversity of groups.
  • They were impressed with the amount and quality of the information available in group discussions.

Events

  • Participants were very interested in using this feature for finding development opportunities.
  • They were impressed with the extent to which they could easily search and find events based on keywords.

Who to connect with and how to find connections

  • I tied this to having a completed profile. This will allow you to easily search for past colleagues and fellow alumni. This also allows Linked In to suggest possible connections using keywords in your profile.
  • Join groups – keeping an eye out for people who have common professional interests or can assist you with reaching your professional goals and/or you can assist them.
  • Participants also wanted coaching on how to introduce themselves to a potential connection. I focused on the fact that they should connect with people they know or people in which they have a common and logical connection. Always personalize the introduction and request to connect, including how you know them or found them and your reason for connecting with them.
This is what my participants had the most questions, concerns and comments about. I did cover applications such as Trip It, Huddle Workspaces, Slide Share, etc. However, interest was low in the applications, aside from Events. I believe they saw these as features for advance users and for now just want to master the basics.