About the importance of visualization

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In a recent on-line survey among colleagues on learning and training methodologies the need for more presentation and visualization techniques was expressed. Techniques in a nutshell that could be used in their daily learning and training. Last year we had a blogpost on learning and training in an audiovisual world and this post aims to add some other interesting and useful audiovisual ideas.

1. You might know already about the periodic table of visualization methods but maybe you could use some visual thinking guides in order to explore some more arguments in your discussion.

2. Mindmapping is widely used in training, collaborative mindmapping less. CmapTools is pretty handy in order to structure the key concepts while making a mindmap. Do you want to see some samples of mindmaps go to the overall Mappio database.   While reviewing this database we thought it might be handy to make a mindmap of every useful training method or technology. The idea came up when reviewing the mindmap of the Six Thinking Hats of De Bono .

3. Use relevant videos in your training. Recently we integrated fragments of the EPAs from EU-tube in a training programme. Lot of colleagues think it is difficult to find relevant videos on the net but we do invite them to double check «80 signs of intelligent life on YouTube» .

Any other audiovisual tips for this blog?  Feel free to add them in the comment section.


Facilitate a Fishbowl Discussion

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I. What is it about?

A fishbowl conversation is a form of dialogue that can be used when discussing topics within large groups.

Fishbowls involve a small group of people seated in circle and having a conversation (fish). They are surrounded by a larger group of observers, seated in an outer circle (bowl). The facilitator or subject matter expert gives a short input of 5-10 minutes which sets out the general outline of the discussion and after that the inner circle starts to discuss. The outer circle usually listens and observes. Whenever someone wants to participate and move to the inner circle, a participant from the fishbowl must free a chair and move to the outer circle.


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The ADDIE Instructional Design

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Needs analysis, training evaluation, designing a training session, selecting training methodologies and tools, facilitating a training….etc. Have you heard those expressions lately? Do you wonder what they imply and how they fit together into an integrated process? The ADDIE instructional design model provides a step-by-step process that helps training specialists plan and create training programs. The ADDIE design model revolves around the following five components:

· Analysis

· Design

· Development

· Implementation

· Evaluation

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L&T blog over 30 articles and 2000 visitors

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The L&T blog continues in 2009 to blog about new developments at ITC-ILO related to innovative learning methodology and learning technology. This knowledge sharing excercise has lead so far to more than 30 in-house  articles read by more than 2000 people. We have scanned them to discover the main concepts and this leads to the following visual overview. Click on it to see the large version.
ITC-ILO blog

Knowledge sharing among employers

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Organizations recognize that knowledge (information, skills, expertise) constitutes a valuable asset for creating and sustaining competitive advantages. The creating of knowledge sharing platforms supports this process.  As a sample we would like to share with you LEMPNET, the Learning Employers Network, launched by the programme for Employer’s activities with technical support and advise from DELTA.

Lempnet (http://lempnet.itcilo.org) is an Internet platform dedicated to the employer organisations’ community around the world. Lempnet is a tool for knowledge sharing and learning amongst employers.
The objectives of Lempnet are first to provide information on training opportunities for employers and secondly to strengthen the worldwide network of employer representatives and experts.



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Self guided e-learning ?

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Due to economic pressure training organizations are reducing their training budgets.  Demand in self-directed e-learning is increasing. DELTA recently got a lot of requests to design and development some of these self-guided e-learning. What are some of  the possibilities?

Rapid E-Learning

To understand what it is about, let’s look at a definition of Rapid E-Learning according to the e-learning guild:

It is about:
* Courseware which can be developed in less than three weeks
* Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) act as the primary resource for development
* A well-known tool (e.g. PowerPoint) or user-friendly templates form the starting point for courseware
* Simple assessment, feedback and tracking are usually provided
* Media elements which enhance learning but do not create technology barriers may be included (e.g. voice)
* Learning modules can be taken in one hour or less, often in less than 30 minutes.
* Synchronous (scheduled or live) and asynchronous (self-paced) models may be utilized.

Important is to position this modules in the framework of the overall training. They are certainly not going to replace your F2F training, rather enrich it in a blended format as pre- or post-activities of a training.


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Instructional video

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Explaining concepts in clear instructional language is often a challenge. During one of the Lifelong E-learning sessions last week at the Campus we experimented with the «In Plain English» technique. This technique tries to fight complexity with simple tools and plain language.  For example: you want to know more about ‘social bookmarking’ to improve your online knowledge management. Check out this instructional video:


Instructional video’s can be a powerful visual tool to introduce you to a specific topic. The difficult thing is to find the right video’s for the right topic. The article ‘70 signs of Intelligent Life at YouTube‘ can be your first help in search of valuable learning and training content.

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This blog reflected a while ago on the importance of informal learning. A relative new concept called ‘microtraining‘ might be a concrete answer to integrate informal learning in the learning structure of your organization. It is about a learning arrangement of more or less 15 minutes for each learning occasion. An e-learning paper from De Vries & Brali defines the microtraining as a learning arrangement of about 15 minutes for each learning occasion. Each session contains elements like an active start, demo or exercise, feedback or discussion and a shared view on how to proceed. The delivery of a micro-training can be blended combining face-to-face and on-line.

The concept of the microtraining is now part of a European Leonardo Da Vinci project. To understand the concept better we highlight their project case:

Due to day-to-day work demands companies are often unable to free up time for knowledge transfer. This is a problem. Because knowledge transfer on the shop floor is key to promoting sustainable development the environment and safety. Within this project the current situation in the construction, chemical and machine-building sectors is being analyzed in order to develop a Microtraining Support System that helps companies to put this training method into practice. The project is particularly aimed at the further development of the existing method and the evaluation of its effectiveness.

If you want to know more about microtraining, click here. After reading the entire article you might be able to answer our poll whether microtraining could be valuable in your learning and training activities. Let us know what it could mean for you.

[polldaddy poll=1153829]

Educational objectives

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In the beginning of the learning cycle you start to formulate your learning objectives as you know. The taxonomy of educational objectives of Benjamin Bloom has always been a good guideline to classify the different objectives you want to reach through learning and training. Bloom developed his taxonomy of cognitive domains and objectives according to three areas of learning:

  • Psychomotoric – manipulative or Physical skills
  • Affective – Attitudes and emotions
  • Cognitive – processing information

We are most used with the latter one which is subdivided in six different categories (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation). For a more in-depth explanation you can click here. In this blogpost we want to show the revised taxonomy to account for the new behaviors emerging as technology advances and becomes more and more omnipresent. The introduction of new technologies in learning and training request a revision of the objectives.


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E-mail management

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After two short on-line surveys on communication for the upcoming Lifelong E-Learning course it seems that for the majority of people e-mail is still the most important communication tool. At the same time I hear a lot of colleagues complaining about e-mail overload. For that reason, the L&T blog has assembled this list of eight email management tips to help you reduce inbox congestion and frustration:

– spend less time and get more done; instead of visiting every message two or three times, turn off automatic mail checking and turn to email when it suits you best. Don’t answer your email at your most productive time of day.
– write short messages in the Subject Only
– learn really how to use your email program.
– keep your inbox manageable (delete)
– maximize the use of folders (archive) In order to keep things organized, it’s critical to set up folders to archive your messages. Choose the right variables that reflect the daily base on which you operate.
– respond immediately or generate an action from it
– keep e-mails short
– Set a Reminder/ Add to Calendar. If the email requires action at a later date, set a reminder – or if the action has to occur at a specific time of the day, add the event to your calendar

The critical point, as ever, is to focus on action and not on the administration and housekeeping.


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