Light Bulb & AH-HA Moments
Confessions of CHART’s Training Competencies Instructional Design (ID) Master Class, held in Nashville on Saturday, July 27.
Nine strangers gather in a room; all looking for some insight on training projects. All had completely different learning styles. Yet somehow, after 8 hours of crazy ideas being thrown around and people slapping various “ah-ha” Post-Its on each other’s boards, true progress emerged. Through the help of their peers, they were able to turn ideas upside down, look at them from different perspectives and learning styles, and leave with a plan that took them steps closer to launching an effective new app or training program.
It’s important to note that content designers are playing a bigger role in today’s Instructional Design and bring a high level of production IQ to the party. It makes us wonder how it would be to pair a traditional ID specialist together with a Content/Production specialist? We’re guessing unstoppable. Here’s a recap of what some of the participants thought about this most recent MasterClass.
Best Western Hotels and Resorts, Senior Manager of Guest Feedback and Brand Management Administration
Project: How to write technical certification for global staff?
WOW! What a great day of conversation with industry experts. Everyone brought their insights and helped give feedback. We went beyond focusing on results from our industry to understanding and finding processes that work. Throughout the day, the other attendees brought up so many things I had never considered. Listening to people tear down a problem and build it back up was amazing. Everyone asked so many intelligent questions understanding the problem. Numerous times, I said to myself, “WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT?” My project had 11 post-it notes on how to design & execute technical certification for global staff. The different lenses looking at it brought huge ideas and my synapses were firing. One idea is that we should be basing this around stories and case studies. These little sessions are so valuable to help us change our mindset and see projects we’re close to from different perspectives. It feels good to be a training gangster! Brain hurts… thinking hard… too many thoughts… need chocolate & coffee…
“We work more effectively and design more effectively when we are aware of and adapt our style to the style others have.”
– Colby Hutchinson
InTown Suites & Uptown Suites, Director of Training and Development
Project: Converting classroom training to an online training format
We have a 3-day training class held at our corporate office. The training is advanced and focuses on building and strengthening skills. Currently, I am in the process of moving this classroom training to an online format. My challenge is how do we share in-person ideas and stories and learn from each other while keeping this interactive. Having the ability to present my project to my peers allowed me to see I was overthinking the project and gain valuable feedback and ideas from others in the room. I had all of the pieces to the puzzle to get the project completed… this class helped me put the puzzle together. Each of the participants had a different idea or approach to my project which was very helpful for me to break out of the box that I was currently stuck in and allow me to think about the project differently.
This is probably the best class I’ve ever had with CHART. The class size was under 10 which really allowed a lot of sharing, caring, and growing – specifically to real-world projects. The collaboration piece of this was huge. Everyone had great ideas that were specific to you and your project and you were able to help them with their project. Truly a win-win for everyone in the room. The ongoing support after the class has also been very helpful. I would recommend this class to anyone. CHART should incorporate more of these types of classes into the conferences. Truly valuable stuff!
“I had all of the pieces to the puzzle to get the project completed… this class helped me put the puzzle together.”
– Matt Kubarek
Cecilia A. Kramer
Taco John’s International, Inc., Training Manager
Project: Building a 5-module “Train the Trainer” course that helps in-restaurant team members on their career path.
There is nothing more important than brainstorming together. Having other brilliant minds in the same field work on your project helped me to “think outside the box” so I could better myself and my project. Some of my ah-ha moments were: 1) Flipping the order of two modules provided a better flow for our audience, 2) I should bring in the human element with real life scenarios, and 3) Simplify the learning style… avoiding big words so it easy for our team members to understand. Better planning and execution will make this far more detailed than what is currently up on the LMS.
“Having other brilliant minds in the same field work on your project helped me to ‘think outside the box’ so I could better myself and my project.”
– Cecilia A. Kramer
Del Taco, Instructional Designer
Project: How do we take monthly e-learning LTO sessions and make them more interactive?
The course I presented was an example of the Promotional course given to team members in our stores. The course contains product build videos, interactive “build games”, ingredient prep videos and prep cards, and games to arrange the steps of the prep in the correct order. During the MasterClass, they suggested we make the courses a little more personable by include images and stories from the field teams… and we plan on making this change. While many of us are content to work in our own “little world” and think our learning issues are only related to our company, all of us in the training world share the same issues. This class helped me learn about others in the training field and hear their stories. We all have similar issues and experiences in training. It’s refreshing and great to hear how we in the training world can have a forum to share our experiences.
“While many of us are content to work in our own “little world” and think our learning issues are only regulated to our company, all of us in the training world share the same issues.”
– James Lee
Bonefish Grill, Instructional Designer
Project: Digital Playbook/Operations Guide
The playbook is utilized by our restaurants to train all levels of team members and provide a plan for the execution and roll out of our new LTOs (limited time offers). Learning from my peers in the MasterClass sparked great insights on how to continue my journey in building more digital training, especially components that can assist in validating the knowledge of the learner. Receiving feedback from others in roles similar to mine allowed me to step back and look at my work and path forward in a different light. We were able to collaborate on how to improve my next steps and build a vast network of resources to reach out to in the future. The feedback allowed me to look at my work through the eyes of others and elevate components of my materials to be more impactful for the end user. This MasterClass was an excellent opportunity to work with others in a smaller group setting and share perspectives, hurdles, and best practices. The environment is also perfect for sharing, peer collaboration, and networking on a more personal level.
“Learning from my peers in the MasterClass sparked great insights on how to continue my journey in building more digital training, especially components that can assist in validating the knowledge of the learner.”
– Angelina Sabatini
PCH Hotels & Resorts, Corporate Director of Learning & Development
Project: PCH LX (LX = Leadership Execution)
Using our core values (trust, respect, integrity, collaboration, innovation, accountability, and execution), we are working on creating a course that will show our leaders how to execute their strategic goals. The biggest “ah-ha” moment I had from peers in the class was how to execute the program. They suggested starting with GMs and a “project execution support person” then deploying to our other leaders within each of our properties. This allows GMs to assist in the program facilitation and garner buy-in from the other property leaders. This course will be launched starting in January 2020. However, we now have a better plan to cascade the learning throughout the company! I would strongly encourage others to participate in this MasterClass.
“Often, as content/instructional design developers, we don’t have an opportunity to share ideas or garner feedback from others – particularly when your training department consists of one person or a small team that specializes in particular areas of focus. Getting feedback from others in my profession was extremely helpful!”
– Kathy Harris