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  • 1. June 22, 2009 The eLearning Guild’s SM Practical Applications of Technology for Learning THIS WEEK: Management Strategies Nobody likes recessions or down- Fifteen Questions: Driving Next turns, but there is a silver lining in Year’s e-Learning Sales Revenue them – the upturn when they are over! If you are a CEO or VP of By Margot Finley-Aguilera Sales, this is the time to get your team in shape. Don’t wait until T he silver lining in this uncertain time is that talent, especially potent revenue-driving sales talent, is 2010 to start. Begin today to seek answers to the insightful questions open to considering new opportunities. If you are a this week’s expert offers! CEO, this is a good time to review your current sales team A publication of as economic indicators are on the upswing. You need to be poised to accrue all of the clients you can support! The important questions to ask yourself These questions should give you a head start on this strategic initiative. 1. Were some members of your sales team hired during stronger economic Page 4 times? Many companies, in those better days, had to hire whomever they could hire, possibly including staff who were not “the perfect candidate.” Book Review 2. Has your business grown or changed? Could your organization benefit from a e-Learning 2.0: Proven Practices and re-assessment of the ideal salesperson profile? 3. Is each member of your sales team nearly reaching, reaching, or surpassing Emerging Technologies to Achieve quota? If someone is not keeping up now, how will they fare when the com- Real Results by Anita Rosen pany wants to add many clients quickly? 4. Is it time for you, the CEO, along with the VP of Sales, to step back and re- flect on the ideal traits, skills, background, and industry expertise that would make someone ideal to present your solution to potential clients? Page 6 5. How important could it be for an Account Executive to arrive at work with your Extra Insights company on Day One possessing a history and relationships with key con- tacts built up through a career of integrity? Dispatch from the Digitial 6. What is the best level of contacts for your account executive to have? Chief Frontlines: Is a Kindle DX and a Learning Officers? Directors of IT? Training Directors? VPs of Human Re- sources? CTOs? government grant in your future? 7. In your experience, would your Account Executives have been more success-
  • 2. LEARNING SOLUTIONS | June 22, 2009 2 Management Strategies ful if they had prior experience selling in the HR 15. To reach your overall direct sales revenue targets “Business as usual” Technology space? Assessment, or LMS? LCMS? for 2010, what quota must each Account Exec- utive bring in? Can you do it with fewer sales too often spells “out Simulations? Soft skills? 8. In more robust times, did you have success hiring champions who can carry higher numbers? Or of business” for com- the best talent in your local market and bringing larger territories? Or vice versa? panies that do not them up to speed on the specifics of your industry? Remember these key points when inter- take a hard look at 9. Does that still work today? (For some vendors, the viewing each contributor role answer will be, “Yes.” For others, it will be, “No.” Other things to remember when recruiting and hiring Only you know.) in the sales organiza- 10. Have you focused your sales team geographically, Sales Athletes: • Remember the culture and size of your organization, tion. There has never vertically, or both? 11. Have you felt the need in the past to have all and be sure the person you hire has proven success been a better time to working in a similar organization. members of the sales team working out of the cor- upgrade your sales porate office? Do you now feel ready to expand, • Explore the freedom you allow to Sales Athletes. The nation’s top producers will succeed only with autono- team. and to hire remote virtual salespeople in other major markets in order to have them closer to cus- my, and the effective sales manager for this type will tomers? serve primarily by removing any roadblocks in the 12. Would it decrease the sales cycle if your Account way of the sale, not by micromanaging. Executives had direct experience, either working in • Be sure to hire based on a person’s ability to do the the vertical target industry (i.e. transportation, phar- job, and based on a track record of consistent suc- maceutical), or proven experience selling into cess, demonstrated by consistently attaining goals. these verticals or others? Despite the fact that job seekers who need a job will 13. What is your current average sales cycle? Target be behaving one way, remember that the top 5% of sales sales cycle? Do you hire reps accustomed to producers in your sector will likely not behave the same working within that time frame? way in an interview situation, and above all, please re- 14. Is your solution best suited for the Enterprise member these Salespeople are not “applicants” or “job accounts? Or mid-market prospects? Did you (or seekers.” They represent REVENUE to you and need and would you) like to hire candidates who are proven deserve TLC (Tender Loving Care), romancing, and woo- in that market? ing, or whatever you prefer to call it. They deserve to ASK Learning Solutions e-Magazine™ is designed to serve as a catalyst for innovation and as a vehicle for the dissemination of new and practical strategies, techniques, and best practices for e-Learning design, devel- opment and management professionals. It is not intended to be THE definitive authority ... rather, it is intended to be a medium through which Publisher David Holcombe e-Learning professionals can share their knowledge, expertise, and expe- Editorial Director Heidi Fisk rience. As in any profession, there are many different ways to accomplish Editor Bill Brandon Copy Editor Charles Holcombe a specific objective. Learning Solutions will share many different per- Design Director Nancy Marland Wolinski spectives and does not position any one as “the right way,” but rather The eLearning Guild™ Advisory Board we position each article as “one of the right ways” for accomplishing an Ruth Clark, Lance Dublin, Conrad Gottfredson, objective. We assume that readers will evaluate the merits of each article Bill Horton, Bob Mosher, Marc Rosenberg, Allison Rossett and use the ideas they contain in a manner appropriate for their specific Copyright 2002 to 2009. situation. Learning Solutions e-Magazine™ (formerly The The articles in Learning Solutions are all written by people who are eLearning Developers’ Journal™). Compilation copy- right by The eLearning Guild. All rights reserved. Please actively engaged in this profession — not by journalists or freelance writ- contact The eLearning Guild for reprint permission. ers. Submissions are always welcome, as are suggestions for future top- Learning Solutions e-Magazine™ is published weekly for members of The eLearning Guild, 375 E Street, ics. To learn more about how to submit articles and/or ideas, please visit Suite 200, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Phone: our Web site at www.eLearningGuild.com. +1.707.566.8990. www.eLearningGuild.com
  • 3. LEARNING SOLUTIONS | June 22, 2009 3 Management Strategies a lot of questions about the company. Referrals are great, but even then, you are hiring the These salespeople want to probe potential employers best of what you see, friends of friends, and past co- Discuss these articles in the “Talk Back to the Authors” Forum of so that they know the real truth about the company they workers of co-workers. Yes, this can be a good way to Community Connections (http: // are joining, warts and all. Is it product weakness? Is it dis- get strong people. But be realistic on how far out your www.elearningguild. com/communi- gruntled customers? Is it funding? Is it that the company network goes. Does it go out far enough that you can be ty_connections/forum/categories. cannot support the sheer volume that the person can actu- sure there isn’t someone stronger that perhaps isn’t cfm? catid= 17&entercat =y). You ally sell? Generic “company speak” answers usually and known by someone in your network? can address your comments to the author(s) of each week’s article, or understandably portray everything as hunky dory but this It can be a costly mistake not to expand your pool of you can make a general comment won’t be taken at face value by the savvy salesperson. candidates by utilizing a professional recruiter. to other readers. Every company has weaknesses. We all know it. These “Business as usual” too often spells “out of business” salespeople just want to make sure they know what it is, for companies that do not take a hard look at each con- Additional information on the top- upfront, so they can determine, personally, if it bothers tributor role in the sales organization. There has never ics covered in these articles is also listed in the Guild Resource them enough wherein they believe it could hinder their been a better time to upgrade your sales team than to- Directory. sales success there or not. It is far worth it for you to risk day, and not doing so could be a significant handicap losing that salesperson in the discovery process prior to going into next year. hire. The more likely scenario is that you will win a compa- ny champion who trusts you and your candor. Author contact Margot has been recruiting and placing Where will you find them? salespeople and sales leaders for Train- How do you find this top sales talent, now so ripe for ing and Technology companies for four- the picking? teen years. She enjoys working with her Job boards are risky and time consuming, but can clients and sales candidates in her spe- yield talent. You risk losing time as you comb through cialty areas which include Training, thousands of resumes. You risk hiring salespeople who E-Learning, Saas, Higher Education, Game Based are not making quota, and those who suspect they are Learning, Immersive Learning Simulations, Social Network- about to be released. You may encounter those who are ing and Learning, Virtual Worlds / Second Life, Content chronically dissatisfied in their jobs. The very best sales Management, Mass Collaboration, Gaming, Digital/Mobile talent you are seeking is likely so successful they would Learning, Human Capital, Web 2.0 and more. not dare let it leak out into the industry that they are open Previously, as Director of Operations at Humana Exec- to hearing about new opportunities. utive Search in London, she helped create and expand Super Early Bird Registration Register before Sept. 25 and save $100! Go to: www.DevLearn2009.com
  • 4. LEARNING SOLUTIONS | June 22, 2009 4 BOOK R EVI EW e-Learning 2.0: Proven Practices and Emerging Technologies to Achieve Real Results Reviewed by Bill Brandon T here is a lot to be said for keeping things simple, and Anita Rosen’s e-Learning 2.0: Proven Practices and Emerging Technologies to Achieve Real Results certainly achieves that objective. While this isn’t Sometimes, if you a definitive textbook on the design, development, and management of e-Learn- are just starting out ing, it provides some of the fundamentals. There are many more things it could in e-Learning, or if have covered, or covered better, but on the other hand, that would have made you want to keep it a totally different kind of book. projects simple (because your world Here’s my quick review of what this book does, what it e-Learning 2.0, especially if that person has a more does well, and what it doesn’t do. experienced practitioner that they can call on for help is already complicat- and explanation. ed enough), all you An overview of e-Learning The target audience for Rosen seems to have been Anita Rosen is the president of ReadyGo, Inc., which managers, designers, and teams whose focus is on need is a little basic offers an authoring tool of the same name. She has spo- asynchronous, “course-based,” linear e-Learning. She guidance. If that ken many times at The eLearning Guild’s events, and does a good job of showing how to adapt or convert brings a combination of entrepreneurial and management existing classroom courses, content, and media to “Web describes your situa- experience, knowledge of technology, and a background courses.” At the same time, she avoids the trap of model- tion, this is the book that includes e-Learning and project management. This ing the Web courses on traditional classroom practice. experience shows in the way her book is put together. The first five chapters are a very fast briefing on the for you! Her intent is to help e-Learning practitioners avoid two business aspects of e-Learning, on e-Learning strategies problems that unfortunately are common events: and types, and on Web 2.0, its technologies, and trends. • spending a lot of money without getting the desired I would have to say that, while a great deal more could results; and have been said about all of these, Rosen isn’t teaching a • failing to obtain the benefits of e-Learning because of graduate course in business here, and the level of detail using the wrong model. was appropriate for a busy reader. To do this, Rosen put together a practical guide to The most useful part of e-Learning 2.0 is probably in defining an e-Learning strategy that is integrated with four of the last five chapters, namely Chapters 6 through 9. business direction and goals, identifying the correct tech- In Chapter 6, Rosen discusses some strategic deci- nologies to implement that strategy, and managing often- sions that a course producer will have to make. The most complicated e-Learning initiatives. In addition, she pro- significant of these discussions deals with the uses and vides suggestions intended to help the person in charge limitations of smartphones as delivery platforms, author- of the initiative to get buy-in from management, trainers, ing and formatting e-Learning content for these devices, and learners, and to measure and evaluate the results and testing learners who take a course via such a mobile achieved by e-Learning. Finally, she supports these aims delivery system. Although the discussion of smartphone with a number of case studies, some long and some that operating systems is already outdated, her quick survey are simply to the point. of what was available in 2008 will give new developers a good idea of the challenging diversity that their solutions The strengths of the book will have to address. I would describe the resulting content as a high-level The topic of Chapter 7 is “Components of an Effective run through some of the major things a new, would-be Course. This is a good tutorial on one way to design an ” practitioner or manager of e-Learning needs to know. In asynchronous e-Learning application. It will be most useful places, it dips down closer to the detail level. A new proj- for readers who use Rosen’s proprietary authoring tool ect manager, or a student, would also benefit from
  • 5. LEARNING SOLUTIONS | June 22, 2009 5 Book Review (ReadyGo). Those who choose other tools will have to to convert existing classroom content into a Web-based This book is available at a make adaptations, but it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. format. Again, this is fine, considering the book’s objec- 20% discount to Members of Chapter 8 is a walk through graphics and multimedia. tives, but there are well-known problems that happen The eLearning Guild, through As with much of the rest of the book, the information on when taking shortcuts around the systematic approach our Book and Video Discount graphic file formats will be of most value for new practi- to instructional design. Readers should understand this: tioners. There are short sections on using stock photo- rapid development leaves out important steps. Program. Log in to The Guild graphs, on the basics of copyright law, and guidelines for In my opinion, Guild members will find it very helpful to Web site and see http://www. employing graphics, audio, and multimedia. These latter supplement the contents of the book with articles select- elearningguild.com/content. sections will be of value when you need something basic ed from the Learning Solutions archive. Look for articles cfm? selection=doc.952 . in order to explain the elements of multimedia production that address design strategy, development techniques, to traditional instructional designers, instructors, and and management topics, especially those dealing with You may be interested, as training managers. return on investment (ROI). Chapter 9, on standards and integration, is a high- well, in Michael Allen’s level overview of SCORM, AICC, and the included top- Summary and recommendations e-Learning Annual 2008, and ics of Sharable Content Objects (SCOs) and reusability. If you need to know in detail how to deal with a in a similar collection of state- It also provides a critique of some of the issues around Learning Management System (LMS) as part of your of-the-art papers, Best of The Learning Management Systems (LMS) and ADA/508 implementation, this book is not going to help you. If eLearning Guild's Learning compliance (accessibility standards). These are more you need to find out how to create Flash animations, use social software, or apply any of the more common Solutions: Top Articles from introduction than instruction on these topics, but they will be useful to the book’s target audience. e-Learning 2.0 approaches or technologies (RSS, wikis, the eMagazine's First Five Podcasts, and so on), you are going to need more help Years, both of which are also The down side of the book than this book provides. available through the Book Most books have a down side, and this one is no ex- On the other hand, as books on e-Learning go, espe- and Video Discount Program. ception. In spite of the book’s strengths, there are a few cially those designed for the beginning producer or man- things that I wished the editors had caught, or that the ager, e-Learning 2.0 is adequate to its purpose. It may author had addressed. help to think of what it presents as “e-Learning done First, there are some typos and errors of fact. While Lite.” In spite of the book title, it pretty much stays solidly these are not numerous, some of them will confuse readers in e-Learning 1.0 territory, which means that it will be who are new to e-Learning. For example, Rosen mentions a hard for the reader to go too far astray. This is especially tool that supports adding avatars to Web pages, that is, true for readers who are doing their first project, or a proj- talking cartoon figures that can provide narration. The text ect that must be done quickly (and by people who have identifies this tool as “NOHA. Alas, the correct name is ” not previously done rapid development). In such a case, “NOAH” (a product of NOAHx, which is a unit of TelSim e-Learning 2.0 is a good reference. It’s also a good refer- Software, Inc.). As another example, the text also refers to ence if you are going to use the author’s proprietary “Macromedia’s Flash and Dreamweaver;” these tools have authoring tool, ReadyGo, and if your other main tool is been part of Adobe’s offerings since Adobe purchased PowerPoint. I would even say that, if you are a “one-per- Macromedia in 2005. Knowledgeable readers will have to son e-Learning shop,” this would be an acceptable guide be patient with these errors, and less experienced readers that may help you save time and get a usable product should check much of what the book says about products out the door. There are many e-Learning developers and by looking them up on the Web. organizations that fit this description. I could wish that the book addressed more than course- based, linear e-Learning. E-Learning includes other ap- Bibliographic details proaches, including synchronous e-Learning (which is ad- Rosen, Anita. e-Learning 2.0: Proven Practices and dressed only briefly, and not very well, in my opinion), Emerging Technologies to Achieve Real Results. (2009) games/simulations/immersive applications, and other mod- New York: AMACOM Books. 236 pages. ISBN-13: els, such as collaborative learning. Given that the author 978-0-8144-1073-8. $29.95 Hardcover wanted to keep it simple, to stay focused on the basics, Author Contact and to give priority to the modalities that her proprietary tool supports, this is understandable. But readers should be Bill Brandon is the editor of Learning Solutions. If you are aware that they are not getting “the whole story. ” the author of a book published in the Another wish would be for at least a modest presenta- last 12 months, or of a book that is tion of traditional instructional design models, in addition about to be published, Bill would be to the rapid design model where Rosen concentrates. happy to talk to you about reviewing it in Her paradigm mostly centers on the project flow typical Learning Solutions. Contact him by of Web development, and of projects in which the goal is email to bbrandon@elearningguild.com.
  • 6. LEARNING SOLUTIONS | June 22, 2009 6 Extra Insights: Anne Derryberry Dispatch from the Digital Frontlines This Week: The Kindle DX; Workforce Improvement Act In spite of problem with the economy, the prospects for e-Learning continue I t’s pretty tough to be a newspaper publisher these days, what with the greening of the Internet and a lousy economy. In fact, the print medium in general is facing a complete re-think. The problem for where else. … We are entering a halcyon era for state and local government officials. It’s gonna be a great time to be a corrupt politician.” Amazon thinks its new e-reader may be journal- newspapers and magazines – indeed, for any content ism’s salvation. Kindle 2.0 now comes in two form to expand. This provider struggling to find a viable, current business factors; Amazon is touting the larger Kindle DX as week, Anne consid- model – is that content consumers increasingly ex- the ideal device for newspaper readers. I don’t know ers how the Kindle pect to access their content online, and to do so for about that. But I am impressed with the technology, free. So who pays the journalists and reporters who especially since it opens some interesting doors for DX can improve patrol the dusty corners of society to produce the e-Learning. delivery, and whether content we want and need? Turns out, TV doesn’t For starters, the Kindle DX screen is very easy on just rot our minds; its business model rots our capital- the eyes – especially weary, bespectacled ones such government grants ist economy, too. as mine. The device is quite light, and briefcase-size. can point the way to It’s not just capitalism that’s taking a hit, either. It has a keyboard, so you can annotate the text. The Democracy stands to take one on the chin if citizens battery lasts forever (well, two weeks). Should you new opportunities. of democratic societies around the globe have less manage to fill up its capacious memory, you can back visibility into the workings of our governments. David it up to your computer. But wait, there’s more! Simon, reporter for The Baltimore Sun and creator of Here’s what gets me excited (not its exorbitant HBO’s The Wire, summed up the problem during his $489 sticker price): each Kindle DX has a unique, testimony before a U.S. Senate committee hearing on customizable e-mail address, enabling its owner to the Future of Journalism: “High-end journalism is send/receive documents. Compatible file formats dying in America, and unless a new economic model include Microsoft Word, PDF, HTML, TXT, RTF, is achieved, it will not be reborn on the Web or any JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC, and MOBI files. It also June 24 & 25, 2009 Showcase of e-Learning Management Strategies • DISCOVER how other organizations deal with the kinds of problems you face, • EXPLORE different processes for managing the e-Learning function, • EXAMINE proven approaches for managing e-Learning projects and Register Today! +1.707.566.8990 teams, www.eLearningGuild.com • LEARN directly from other successful practitioners, and Hosted by: Technology Sponsor: • ENSURE that the e-Learning you produce is as effective as possible. Anne
  • 7. LEARNING SOLUTIONS | June 22, 2009 7 Extra Insights: Anne Derryberry plays MP3 files. It can read your documents to you Even if your organization isn’t going to seek grant (sorry, not your mom’s voice)! And it has a browser funding, following the government money can be a with any-time Internet access. Sure sounds like a per- good indicator of where you can expect private inter- sonal productivity tool to me – and a likely candidate est to head as well. As an independent contractor, as an e-Learning client device. you may find it useful to affiliate with a social service Amazon is promoting Kindle DX to the higher-ed agen-cy whose interests match those of training grant world, presuming, I suppose, that the university com- programs. Likewise, custom developers and off-the- munity is the ticket to mass adoption (buying decision: shelf content providers may equally discover new 1 backpack x $125, 6 textbooks x $200 vs. 1 Kindle sales channels by staying on top of where the govern- DX x $500, 3 e-texts x $10, 1 backpack x $75, 3 text- ment is spending our reinvestment money. books x $200). My hunch? Creative corporate learn- ing, productivity, and marketing types are going to lead Author Contact the charge in innovative uses, and Kindle corporate Anne Derryberry is an analyst/journalist, learning buying programs are just around the corner. designer, and entrepreneur. Her blog is www.imseri- ous.net. She can be reached at anne@imserious.net. * * * It’s long been the case that when times get tough, non-essentials – like training – are the first parts of an organization to get hit. This time around, however, technology-oriented learning professionals are likely to The eLearning Guild’s find themselves in high demand. What’s different now? Today, official unemployment stands at 9.4% in the U.S. When you add in all the people who want a job but have stopped looking, the other official unemploy- Regionals ment rate is 16.4%, which equals one in six members of the civilian workforce. That’s, of course, before you consider the people who have been furloughed, so are in employment limbo. Midwest New England Where are the 25.38 million new American jobs July 9 & 10, 2009 July 23 & 24, 2009 going to come from? How will jobs and job seekers Chicago, IL Boston, MA find each other? Are current job seekers going to be capable of filling the new jobs that are available? How will they gain skills and knowledge to position them- Serious Instructional Design for selves for the new jobs? Serious e-Learning Professionals Enter the Workforce Improvement Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Work with your peers to explore ARRA provides new funds to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand the latest and most practical educational opportunities, preserve and improve af- fordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect design strategies and solutions. those Americans in greatest need. The Workforce Improvement Act focuses specifically on developing Opening Keynote the skills workers will need for the industries and jobs of the 21st century. Mastering e-Learning Instructional Congress has allocated $3.75 billion to be adminis- Design in the 21st Century tered by the Education & Training Administration of the Brent Schlenker Emerging Technologies Analyst, The eLearning Guild Department of Labor; specific programs and grant op- portunities are to be issued this month. While govern- ment funds are frequently designated for distribution Produced by Register Today: +1.707.566.8990 between public and non-profit agencies, this legislation calls for at least $750 million to be made available www.eLearningGuild.com through competitive grants. Check www.doleta.gov/ grants/ for updated information.
  • 8. The eLearning Guild is a global membership organization like no other... A singular focus on the art, science, techno- logy, and business of e-Learning — and the collective knowledge of more than 33,750 members worldwide — are what sets The eLearning Guild apart... How YOU Can Make a Difference... The eLearning Guild is dedicated to meeting the needs of anyone involved in the management, design, and develop- ment of e-Learning. It’s a member-driven Community of Practice and online information center that will equip you with everything you need to ensure that your organization’s e-Learning efforts are successful. “Attending The eLearning Guild’s Annual The Guild offers four levels of individual and group member- Gathering helped me realize the Guild’s honesty ship. Starting at the FREE Associate level, the benefits you and commitment to what e-Learning is all about — can gain from membership will enhance your professional improving performance. Great conference, but experience. At the higher levels, you’ll discover the Guild can even more — great Community of Practice!” be the core of your entire professional development program. DAVID BRAUN, TRAINING & PERFORMANCE SUPPORT SUPERVISOR, SASKPOWER Join Today! Associate Member Member Plus Premium Member I Every Issue of Learning Everything Associates Everything Members Everything Members Plus Solutions e-Magazine receive, and... receive, and... receive, and... I Annual Salary & I Guild Research Reports I Online Forum Participation I One Full Conference Compensation Report I 20% Event Discounts (more than 120 live sessions Registration (The I Social Networking Services in 2009) eLearning Guild Annual I The Guild Job Board I Enhanced Job Board Gathering or DevLearn Access I Online Events Archive I Resource Directory (more than 480 session Conference & Expo) I Discount Programs I Enhanced Discount recordings in all) I One Pre-conference I Online Buyers Guide, Programs Workshop e-Books, and Case Studies Check it Out! Visit www.eLearningGuild.com or call 707.566.8990