The eLearn Podcast

Stephen Ladek, Principal eLearning Advocacy, Open LMS

The eLearn Podcast is your go-to resource for creating successful learner outcomes. Whether you’re an instructor, an eLearner, a parent supporting an eLearner, a content creator or just an eLearning enthusiast, our episodes provide the latest strategies, practices and technologies for supporting, engaging and retaining students... both on and off line! Learn more at https://www.lmspulse.com/elp

Start Here
eLearning Design V. Complexity with Julie Dirksen
4d ago
eLearning Design V. Complexity with Julie Dirksen
Julie Dirksen, Usable LearningJulie Dirksen is an instructional designer who has been an expert in the field for many years. She's probably best known for her groundbreaking 2011 book  titled, "Design for How People Learn," which still holds up as one of those first books you should read if you're getting started in instructional design. The second edition was published in 2015. She is also the founder and curator of UsableLearning.com.In this super practical and sometimes complex conversation, Julie and I talk about:🎨 The distinction between Instructional Design and other forms of design, and why it is important to know the differences, especially when connecting desired learning outcomes to learning strategies👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 How to decide what to train on, or said another way: What are people going to do with the information you're about to give them? We also discuss how this differs in different contexts and with different skill levels among individuals🔂 Why feedback is crucial to learning, and yet is one of the things we often neglect to give to learners; and why feedback is also one of the most challenging things to scale🎨 How one of the big blind spots in instructional design is how do you design good practice for learners, and how practice is neglected in so many areas of professional growth⚠ What we need to do when we've found all of the treasures in the game of adult learning —hat tip to a common problem with gamers— and the difference between getting bored, topping out and plateauing.✔ When and why you should use the Cynefin Framework to think through complex organizational problems, and the role it plays in picking the sex of baby chickens (you'll have to listen to figure this one out!)🔋 We end our conversation discussing why it’s worth it for everyone to lean into their superpowers, and make sure that you're always doing things that give you energy.~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
eLearning Design V. Complexity with Julie Dirksen
4d ago
eLearning Design V. Complexity with Julie Dirksen
Julie Dirksen, Usable LearningJulie Dirksen is an instructional designer who has been an expert in the field for many years. She's probably best known for her groundbreaking 2011 book  titled, "Design for How People Learn," which still holds up as one of those first books you should read if you're getting started in instructional design. The second edition was published in 2015. She is also the founder and curator of UsableLearning.com.In this super practical and sometimes complex conversation, Julie and I talk about:🎨 The distinction between Instructional Design and other forms of design, and why it is important to know the differences, especially when connecting desired learning outcomes to learning strategies👨‍👩‍👧‍👧 How to decide what to train on, or said another way: What are people going to do with the information you're about to give them? We also discuss how this differs in different contexts and with different skill levels among individuals🔂 Why feedback is crucial to learning, and yet is one of the things we often neglect to give to learners; and why feedback is also one of the most challenging things to scale🎨 How one of the big blind spots in instructional design is how do you design good practice for learners, and how practice is neglected in so many areas of professional growth⚠ What we need to do when we've found all of the treasures in the game of adult learning —hat tip to a common problem with gamers— and the difference between getting bored, topping out and plateauing.✔ When and why you should use the Cynefin Framework to think through complex organizational problems, and the role it plays in picking the sex of baby chickens (you'll have to listen to figure this one out!)🔋 We end our conversation discussing why it’s worth it for everyone to lean into their superpowers, and make sure that you're always doing things that give you energy.~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
Driving the Growth of an EdTech Startup Turned Unicorn with Laura Warnier, GoStudent
Aug 4 2022
Driving the Growth of an EdTech Startup Turned Unicorn with Laura Warnier, GoStudent
Laura Warnier, GoStudentMy guest for today is Laura Warnier, the Chief Growth Officer for the online tutoring platform GoStudent, which is (as of this recording) the only EdTech unicorn in Europe. She oversees partnerships, marketing, international expansion and breaking down silos while boosting collaboration for the company.In this fast-paced conversation, Laura and I discuss:👨‍👩‍👧 How, just over 3 years ago, she became the second fulltime employee of a company that is currently valued at more than 3 Billion (with a B) Euros; and the surprising truth about parents’ willingness to use online tutoring leading up to a pandemic.🎓 The challenges of growing and operating in the fast paced, creatively destructive and high-growth startup universe as a part of the usually slow, methodical and very traditional education space.💹 How Laura and her team have approached solving the growth problem faced by every startup that needs to penetrate and earn market share—and how they have helped create legitimacy and professional consistency in a service that is traditionally served by a “shadow” market.⚖ How GoStudent found the right balance between price, quality and availability and has successfully overcome the argument that “if it isn’t expensive, it can’t be high quality”, We also touch on how this works in terms of paying and rewarding tutors.🛎 The decentralized nature and structure of the company and how this allows them to be extremely local in terms of service, sales pitch and pricing, in more than 25 countries.📶 How the online tutoring company has positioned their service to eliminate any connection with stigma or shame, and actually reposition tutoring as something for solving problems, achieving more and becoming a regular part of education.🕑 The importance of partnerships with schools, governments and businesses and how GoStudent is currently approaching this, with the acknowledgement that things are still very early days.📈 Examples of where GoStudent has faced challenges and completely failed, but have used these as opportunities for continued growth and success.👨‍💼 What hypergrowth actually is, and how Laura defines it and, ultimately manages and finds flow within it.~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
Listen to Your Inner Leader with Rick Lozano (Live Performance)
Jul 28 2022
Listen to Your Inner Leader with Rick Lozano (Live Performance)
Rick Lozano, ricklozano.comMy guest for today is Rick Lozano, a leadership consultant, keynote speaker and author of the book, “Acoustic Leadership: Develop A Leadership Culture That Resonates.” Rick uses music as his primary mode of communicating and helping others to grow.In this musical conversation, Rick and I discuss:👑 Why leadership in the L&D space matters. Whether you have “leader” in your title or not, your learners will still see you in a leadership role.👔 Why leadership doesn’t have to be a big, formal, “scary” thing… And how we can shift from “fixing” others to helping them “focus” and be more effective.❌ How Rick proposes we all “rewrite the rituals” in our institutions and our lives to remove the “muck” (or dinosaurs) and respond to the actual challenges of today.🕡 The illusion of time scarcity and how we play into this every day by catering to distractions and misaligned expectations.🎓 The reality of “how we learn” today and how this translates into learner expectations in school and work.💗 The growing problem of false competency and the gap between concept vs. application as well as missing feedback loops.⏳ How we can “RIFF”: Rewrite, Integrate, Focus and Flow our way to better learning, and why we should all rethink performance reviews!🐇 We round out our conversation by discussing how you can discover your PFM (or Pure Fricken’ Magic)… And stay tuned for a live performance. That’s right!~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
David Kelly from the The Learning Guild on the eLearn Podcast
Jul 21 2022
David Kelly from the The Learning Guild on the eLearn Podcast
David Kelly, The Learning GuildMy guest for today is David Kelly, the CEO of The Learning Guild, one of the largest communities of professionals who support the design, development, strategy, and management of organizational learning. They publish numerous titles you’re probably already aware of and they are also the conveners of DevLearn, one of the most popular learning conferences out there.In this forward looking conversation, David and I discuss:🗂 What it’s like to organize and guide a membership organization with more than 68,000 members and how this necessarily requires a lot of self-organization.🏋 How David found his way into training and then eventually  becoming a leader in the learning space, from his origins as a banker.💹 What is the #1 trend everyone is following in 2022. (Hint: it's not a learning trend, but a workplace trend.) And what David has seen in terms of adaptation and innovation around this trend.👭 What “hybrid” means, how organizations and their people are evolving to accommodate this reality, and how the jury is still out about what “hybrid” will actually look like —and, indeed, the organizations themselves— when the dust finally settles.⏩ What is, and will continue to be, creating the most impact among the learning development professional community, in both the near and long-term; and how we’re graded on our performance in the moment, rather than how we got here.💻 What excites David, both in terms of his personal passions, and what he thinks will make waves across the learning industry for the future. Hold onto your seat for a discussion around AI, VR and much more.~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
Chief Disruption With A 'Why' — Valarie Oleinik
Jul 7 2022
Chief Disruption With A 'Why' — Valarie Oleinik
Valarie Oleinik, ValaryWithAWhy.comMy guest for today is Valary Oleinik, who can be found at ValaryWithaWhy.comShe self describes herself as the “Chief Disruptor” wherever she goes to work on gamification, creative problem solving and helping people re-think their learning design challenges.In this snappy conversation, Valary and I discuss:When gamification became a “thing” for her in days past when she was working in corporate learning, and when she proposed a research project about gamification and was told “there isn’t enough out there” to do itThe key reasons why gamification works: like the ongoing challenge, the ability to fail and try again; and why you should consider playing games as a way to build this muscle in your designHow you can move beyond designing things “so that they aren’t unbearable,” to something learners care about and have meaningValary shares some key tips for gamification design success like: Make sure progress is visible in some way, break things into small achievable steps, randomizing questions, resources and rewards, giving choice, and reminding learners where they’ve been (as well as where they are going)Why rewards aren’t all bad (or all good) and how designing for your specific situation or audience (think relevance) makes all the difference in reward effectiveness and how the hallmark of a good scenario is whether or not you want to play more than once~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
Learning & Development Analytics with Elizabeth Dalton, IntelliBoard
Jun 30 2022
Learning & Development Analytics with Elizabeth Dalton, IntelliBoard
Elizabeth Dalton, IntelliBoardMy guest for today is Elizabeth Dalton, Learning & Development Analyst at Intelliboard. She’s kind of a legend in the eLearning universe around data and analytics, formerly working on predictive analytics with Moodle™. Before that she worked as an Instructional Designer at Granite State College in New Hampshire, Sun Microsystems and, let’s just say, she’s definitely someone you want to be listening to.In this detailed conversation, Elizabeth and I discuss:How data is one of the tools we have to improve the quality of education, and how it helps honor the agreements between teachers & learners and institutional outcomes.How her role has changed (or not) when she transitioned from working at Moodle™ to IntelliBoard, and how she’s remained “data first” in what she does.What is “analytics” exactly (as opposed to education statistics, for example) and how does it inform the learning experience… before it’s too late for the learner?How data can help instructors who only grew up with the in-person experience and are now forced to operate online with things like whether or not learner cameras need to be on all the time.What it means to use data to help at-risk students, and what exactly “at-risk” might mean in the various education models we work within different institutions.Digital open badges and how these could significantly support many of the things that we all agree on, in general, like common learning goals in a liberal arts education.How and why we should never assume that the data systems that we have are smarter than the humans they are involved with, and why this is incredibly important for using predictive analytics.We end our conversation with how Elizabeth has some of the most fun looking at the wide variety of experiments happening with data and how we can make solid tools that everyone can use effectively to help learners.~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
Forward, Together with Kenneth Chapman, D2L
Jun 9 2022
Forward, Together with Kenneth Chapman, D2L
№ 86 Kenneth Chapman, D2LMy guest for today is Kenneth Chapman, who runs the customer advisory program for D2L. As he likes to put it, he was "raised by wolves" in the EdTech business - having done it all over the past 20 year. Today, his work focuses on listening to clients, partners and competitors and reflecting what he learns back to D2L to improve their products.In this insightful conversation, Ken and I discuss:How the pandemic has given D2L confidence and hope for the future as everyone in every part of the education sector has dramatically increased their level of sophistication about things like user centered design, accessibility and data science.The importance of: Going forward, designing accessibility into content, tools and tech; and how D2L is building that into their core products to help clients and learners... especially as this relates to how we think about and interact with videoHow video has become "the standard" for online learning, but that the expectations around production value and general comfortability have evolved dramatically, in favor of thinking about cognitive loadKenneth's thoughts on customization and complexity in learning management systems and how he views this as an opportunity to look at learning design from a project management perspective. Hint: the LMS isn't just seen as a delivery platform for content anymore.Why D2L Wave was created and how this connects the skills a company needs to satisfy in their workforce with providers of the necessary educational content.Kenneth’s excitement around the “Done For You” services and opportunities in the eLearning space, whether that is actually rolling up sleeves and building things, or just contributing by consulting around the art of the possible.We end with a talk around data, analytics and how AI is making its way into learning and EdTech, and how Kenneth really wants to see AI and machine learning progress into areas around context, but also why humans are still super important and more relevant than ever.And… just a note about the format of this episode. I’ve started to move all interviews to a live format so that we can interact with you - our listeners! In this episode you’ll hear Kenneth and I answer questions as they come in via chat messages. I invite you to join us every Thursday on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube!~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
Is Your Executive Functioning? With Jess Corinne, Learnfully
Jun 2 2022
Is Your Executive Functioning? With Jess Corinne, Learnfully
SEASON 2 № 2 Jess Corinne, LearnfullyMy guest for today is Jess Corinne who is Head of Educational Services at Learnfully. Her passion is making sure that instructors have the tools they need to effectively serve learners with special needs.In this wide ranging conversation Jess and I discuss:What it means to be Head of educational services for Learnfully and how her work impacts and oversees all of the organization’s delivery for families and learners.What exactly executive functioning is and how it is the gateway for basically everything that happens in your brain and the three “buckets” these functions fall into.We also have a very detailed conversation - with clear examples - of the 8 component subskills underneath those three major buckets, and why all of us (yes, even if you think you’re entirely “normal”) deal with issues related to executive functioning in one way or another.Why neuroplasticity is “alive and well” and is so important and how our brains shift, mold and strengthen synaptic connections so we can continue to adapt to the world. (And how you can consciously re-train yourself and your brain for new situations).Why we really need to accept that “the goalposts are always changing” in life and learning to enjoy the journey through adapting results in the most fulfillment and satisfaction.We end with Jess’s recommendation for using sensory language with the instructions for your learners and how it can help them to understand how they learn.And… just a note about the format of this episode. I’ve started to move all interviews to a live format so that we can interact with you - our listeners! In this episode you’ll hear Jess and I answer questions as they come in via chat messages. I invite you to join us every Thursday on LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube!~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
New Normal, New Priorities With Al Kingsley On The eLearn Podcast
May 26 2022
New Normal, New Priorities With Al Kingsley On The eLearn Podcast
SEASON 2 PREMIERE№ 1  Al Kingsley, NetSupportMy guest for today is Al Kingsley who is an EdTech thought leader and disruptor, author, and CEO of the company NetSupport, which has been providing technology solutions for education for more than 30 years.In this wide ranging conversation Al and I discuss:What priorities schools should continue to look at as we come out of the pandemic and enter a new normal, including social and mental health issues, implementing what we know works in EdTech, and understanding knowledge vs skills in what we’re delivering for learners.Why priorities and challenges change not only globally, but also from city to city and neighborhood to neighborhood - and why tech is (almost) never the answer and not the main actor on the stage in learning.The ephemeral nature of content, software and hardware and how Al recommends you create a strategy around this to turn a potential negative into a positive.How technology has not only allow us to reach audiences that were usually not involved in the education process (like unengaged parents) but also presents the challenge of ensuring we keep learners safe.Why you should always push for innovation, but only when you have validation and buy-in for the solution you’re going to implement. And why signposting experts is a great strategy for adoption and success.We end our conversation talking about how the success and failure of teaching, when all is said and done, is still massively dependent upon the relationship between the learners and the teacher… and why we need to focus now more than ever on supporting them.~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
On A “Class” Of Its Own — Ben Lowell, Class on the eLearn Podcast
May 10 2022
On A “Class” Of Its Own — Ben Lowell, Class on the eLearn Podcast
№ 83 Ben Lowell, ClassMy guest for today is Ben Lowell who works on Strategy for Class - a new learning management system or platform from the founder of Blackboard that works on top of Zoom and is built using the Zoom SDK (software development kit).In this energizing conversation Ben and I talk about:The virtues, benefits and pitfalls of both online learning and in person learning, and when it is a good idea to use them (or not) - hint: there is no one right answer and Ben walks us through an example of success from the Utah Jazz.Why in person delivery is important for socialization and the fact that adults are actually more difficult to train (as opposed to kids) because they have experience and perspectives they bring to the table.The importance of learning constructs and pacing, how we are more likely to have “a ha” moments in groups, and why hands-on experience is critical whether your fixing cars or leading teams.Why online learning often gets a bad rap because of poor design by humans. It is rarely the tech: rather its almost always the strategy and the solutions that were designed by people.Why you should never ask the question whether virtual or in-person delivery is better: because the better question is “what’s the best strategy for delivering this content?”Why you should still have in person events - but you need to use them for all the reasons other than training. And, why training, just like eating, is all about a balanced diet.~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
‘NoCode’ Tools Have Come To Your Classroom To Stay, With Mike Taylor
Mar 24 2022
‘NoCode’ Tools Have Come To Your Classroom To Stay, With Mike Taylor
№ 81 Mike TaylorMy guest for today is Mike Taylor, a learning consultant “on a mission to rid the world of ineffectual training.” Over the decades, Mike has had basically every possible job there is in Learning & Development and he regularly shares his expertise with a very large online following.In this episode, Mike and I discuss a particular passion of his: The “No-Code” movement. A way for everyone, including non-tech-savvy educators, to leverage the power of modern technologies to increase productivity, save valuable time and enhance the learning experienceIn this very enthusiastic conversation we talk about:👨‍💻 What “No Code” tools are, how to make the most of software without the need of (any) programming skills, and why Mike loves Zapier so much (PS. This is not a paid endorsement)⚒ We also discuss a couple of examples of automated tools you setup once, then forget about; and the virtues of adopting an “automation mindset” with eLearning tools and apps👫 Of course, we also touch on some important disclaimers, such as small but notable startup investments, like the time it takes to initially set up tools; and the importance of spending a couple minutes here and there testing and iterating.⚒ But finally and overall, why Mike is certain “No Code” tools are here to stay, even in the most conservative corners of academia; why you should join your nearest “100 days of no code” bootcamp, and why it pays to befriend the IT person at your workplace~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
Youth Upskilling and Experience Through Social Innovation with Estefania Fernandez, e-bloom
Mar 10 2022
Youth Upskilling and Experience Through Social Innovation with Estefania Fernandez, e-bloom
№ 079  Estefania Fernandez, e-bloom My guest for today is Estefania Fernandez, a serial educational entrepreneur, youth leader and polyglot originally from Spain.After relocating to Berlin, Estefania created her “Business Model Republic” Meetup group to connect with others. This group exploded to more than 6 thousand members, and became an obvious launching point for her latest venture: e-bloom. E-bloom is an international community where young business graduates gain skills by participating in social innovation projects.I’m sure you’re be energized listening to this very lively conversation, where Estefania and I talk about:👦 The origin of a simple, yet powerful idea: Match young graduates looking for experience, with NGOs needing help with innovative solutions to social problems- finding the value in both agile methodologies, and empathy along the way💯 Why social innovation is the perfect playground for professionals to put years of project management and innovation theory to the test. You should definitely stay tuned for some of Estefania’s favorite campaigns!👩‍💼 We also talk about making value consistent with both business and social innovation, and the value of the community to ensure sustainable outcomes📞 Why Estefania believes in “learning by helping,” and the many lessons she’s drawn from the intense startup communities across Europe🎓 Finally, Estefania explains how you can join as a graduate, a volunteer, NGO looking for support, a facilitator or even a school or university interested in adding a practical and empathetic element to their learning plansAs a final note, for longtime listeners and newbies alike, you’ll notice that we’re trying out a new format - where we record these conversations LIVE. So, you may hear me ask for your interaction. Even though this is a recording, you can still participate! Just head over to LinkedIn, Facebook or Youtube and place your question in the comments or chat!~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
Interpreters Between Employers Needs And Students’ Dreams With Jodi McPherson, Leah Jewell, UPSKLS On The eLearn Podcast
Feb 24 2022
Interpreters Between Employers Needs And Students’ Dreams With Jodi McPherson, Leah Jewell, UPSKLS On The eLearn Podcast
№ 77 Jodi McPherson & Leah Jewell, UPSKLSMy guests for today are Leah Jewell and Jodi McPherson, the duo behind upskls.com —that’s U-P-S-K-L-S dot com —, a service slash consultancy slash coaching service that aims to fill a very clear gap in the intersection between young students needing experience to join the job market, and employers articulating the skills they actually need, by connecting one another through projects.In this very “upscale” conversation we talk about:🤔 Needs assessment in the educational system; or why it seems easy to find problems, but it’s a real challenge to turn that problem into evidence of a market opportunity investors consider a worthwhile venture .🚼 The changing landscape of the core skills sets of young people: why maybe it’s not changing fast enough, but why discussions on digital badges and “microcredentials” are only expected to accelerate in the coming years.1️⃣ Why a personalized, oneon-one approach to understanding a young professional’s expectations can be a powerful way to unlock their potential—and an amazing source of truth for employers.🎒 Why Jodi and Leah believe there is a place for more “agents” in the educational value chain, to tackle all kinds of critical issues including apprenticeships, career management, mindset and mental health… and even school debt!~💗💍~LMSPulse Media
This No-Nonsense Online Teaching Handbook Will Make You Feel Right with Courtney Ostaff On The eLearn Podcast
Feb 16 2022
This No-Nonsense Online Teaching Handbook Will Make You Feel Right with Courtney Ostaff On The eLearn Podcast
№ 76 Courtney Staff, Author, The Online Teaching HandbookMy guest for today is Courtney Ostaff, a bona fide “classical” teacher who realized that, after seeing so many of her colleagues struggling with teaching online, she had to help bring some clear signals into the noise.The result is her book titled “The Online Teaching Handbook,” a refreshing, no-nonsense guide written by a proven and experienced educator.If you’ve never quite gotten comfortable with the new normal, Courtney has your back. If you are one of the countless teachers who think to themselves before every online session, “I did not sign up for this,” Courtney will be the first one to agree with you.In this “soul-alleviating” conversation we talk about:↩ Why Courtney believes teachers should “take back” their classrooms, by playing to your strengths, even if that means putting live online sessions on the back burner.🗣 We talk about why replicating the faceto-face experience online can be quite frankly impossible; and why it’s worth remembering that live video tech is, well, experimental, relative to established educational practice.💬 We talk about the importance of “boring” for learning outcomes: Clear lists of tasks, Systematic examination and a consistent routine is going to do wonders for your students academically and emotionally. And probably for you as well📩 Courtney shares some tips on keeping track of outcomes and participation, turning parental supervision into family engagement; and ultimately, why great teaching is indifferent to medium, but rich in backand-forth communication and human-focused.~💗💍~LMSPulse Media