The short window of calm between the holidays and the chaos of returning to work provides a great opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments and lesson of the previous year. Better than most, learning professionals understand how to apply those lessons moving forward into the new year. These lessons and insights are tools we wanted to bring to the entire OpenSesame community.
I often debate with myself if making resolutions are or should be part of my plan or is it more about tradition to randomly come up with a few things that I’m going to change or do differently. If it were part of my plan, I would have started ‘planning’ three months ago in order for these new changes to take effect on Jan 1. As an elearning designer/developer and independent contractor, it’s only smart business to plan in advance and to have a strategy going into a new year.
I have long loved the famous quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” What is it I want to change? The list is long and contains many noble pursuits, but the one I most lament is that here in the US we are not a culture of learners. From our struggles with revamping our national education system as we fall further and further behind other nations academically, to the reductions I see in corporate training budgets, to the meager amounts of time adult students now are willing or able to spend in training, the lack of value we place on learning is staggering.
This year, I read Bruce, a biography of the musician Bruce Springsteen, and Born Standing Up, a memoir by comedian/actor Steve Martin. One thing that both Springsteen and Martin share throughout their careers is a seemingly endless desire to improve their craft and find the right “voice” at different points of their lives.
A while ago a friend of mine, the crazy smart Karl Fast, tweeted:
User experience design is not about right vs. wrong, it's about better vs. worse. Ask yourself "is this better" instead of "is this right."
I talked to him about it further about the distinction.
The volume, velocity, and variety of data available today provides learning professionals unprecedented opportunity to understand our users and impact our business. However, most of our industry’s analytics are still stuck in a mindset of delivering some flavor of "course completion" (scores, time on task, number of attempts, butts-in-seats).
I suppose I should revisit last year’s intentions… “I want to find more ways to do more with less, refer back to, and focus attention on the message, and have that message received. I want to find more ways to strip down and distill and say 1000 words with an image, and find more ways to communicate within existing business relationships.” I feel I met most of these with one change to my course production strategy.
Hello, and welcome to the end of the year! If you’re like me, then you’re already sick of New Year’s resolutions because they never seem to work out the way you want them to. For example, every year I hope to lose weight with the ultimate goal of becoming invisible, but it just hasn’t happened yet. And don’t even get me started on my 2011 resolution to command my very own helicopter army.
Last year, we asked many thought leaders from the elearning industry to share with us their hopes for the coming year. Our Learning Resolutions for 2013 series included the likes of Elliott Masie, Judy Unrein, Bruce Graham and more. This year, we’ve expanded the series to our partners and sellers, asking them to share their reflections from this past year and their insights for 2014.
I declare that I will become more selfish about my own growth and development. That doesn't mean that I won’t be sharing lessons learned or awesome resources, but it does mean (darn it!) that I will make more time for it and I will take advantage of every opportunity to learn and develop during the workday and outside its usual confines.