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Blended Learning: Rethinking "Go Green"

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Applying the concept of the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) to your training projects. We’ll explore how to whittle down the content in your next training project while minimizing your training …

Applying the concept of the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) to your training projects. We’ll explore how to whittle down the content in your next training project while minimizing your training waste.

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  • 1. B L E N D E D L E A R N I N G : R E T H I N K G R E E N F O R G R E AT E R I M PA C T
  • 2. B LEND ED L EARNING: RETHINK IN G GREEN ~ Share This! ~ Post this to your blog, Twitter™, LinkedIn® or Delicious™ accounts or email this to someone who might enjoy it. Share Remix Attribute Share Alike 11639 E. Wethersfield Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85259 USA www.michaelsandassoc.com Toll-free: 877-614-84402 © 2009 by Michaels & Associates Docntrain, Ltd. dba Michaels & AssociatesPage Copyright holder is licensing this under the Creative Commons License, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. For more information, check out http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/
  • 3. B LENDED LEARNING: R ETH IN KING GREENR E T H I N K I N G “ G O G R E E N ” , T H E T R A I N I N G WAYIt seems like everyone is interested in ―going green‖ these days. Leaving a smallercarbon footprint is a hot (and important) topic of discussion around the world. However,at Michaels & Associates, we like to take a slightly offbeat, unconventional look atcurrent trends and consider how they can help our own little world—the world ofinstructional design. So let’s rethink ―go green‖, the training way! 3 Page
  • 4. B LEND ED L EARNING: RETHINK IN G GREEN The Three R’s What’s the first thing you think of when you hear ―go green‖? Of course! It’s Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. The 3 R’s icon represents the need for ―waste minimization.‖ The goal of the 3 R’s is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste. You probably know how to reduce your personal carbon footprint, but by applying the concept of the 3 R’s to your training projects, you’ll see how to reduce your training footprint as well. Let’s think about the 3 R’s as they impact training: Reduce In a few easy steps, you can reduce your workload for your next training project by taking what you have, organizing the content and paring things down to just the key elements. Reducing your material helps you extract the maximum practical benefit from the available information. Reuse It’s simple to identify the training content ―keepers‖ to reuse in your next training development cycle – determine which portions are current, repurpose existing development templates and take advantage of tried-and-true techniques. Reusing your material and processes is another great way to extract the maximum practical benefit from the available information. It reduces costs, and that has to improve your standing in the corporate budget process. Recycle Post-training, use the lessons learned process to figure out what worked. Then recycle the winning ideas and techniques to incorporate in your next training project. Recycling your best practices helps you generate the minimum amount of waste in your training.4Page
  • 5. B LENDED LEARNING: R ETH IN KING GREENHow Green is Your Training, Really?Before you begin the greening process on your training, get a feel for where you’re at right now. How much effort doyou currently invest in applying the 3 R’s to your existing content, ideas and techniques prior to starting a new project?If you’re already on track, chances are your training development projects are similarly streamlined and ultra-effective—ecologically effective, so to speak. If your training is unkempt and could use a little greening up, considerthese ideas and what you can do right now to go green!1. Reduce Your Information Overload In the world of training—and the world in general, too—information overload tends to stress people out. When you go green by weeding out excess content, you’re simultaneously creating environmentally friendly training! The most effective way to reduce content is to pare down the pile of extraneous facts to the ―golden nuggets‖ of essential information.How can you implement this strategy most effectively? First, perform an in-depth needs analysis to assess what isrelevant and current. Next, roll up your sleeves and get to work tossing out anything that seems outdated andunnecessary based on the analysis. Some other tips for your cleaning up your training include:Reduce content by ―chunking‖ information into digestible bits that learners can easily take in. You can do this byconcentrating on small chunks of information that contain only the pertinent data.Reduce the amount of onscreen and printed text, and look for pictures that paint a thousand words. This easy stepaids visual learners as well as kinesthetic and intellectual learners; these learners both tend to be more engaged ingraphics, illustrations or charts. 5 Page
  • 6. B LEND ED L EARNING: RETHINK IN G GREEN REDUCE: In a Nutshell Reduce boredom by decreasing audio or lecture and increasing interactivity. This makes your training more engaging and draws learners into the learning process. These content reduction techniques seem simplistic, but they work. Try them in your next training session, and you may see that you Reduce restrictions on how the training is approached. Allowing more user-generated content (such as blogs, wikis really can have too much of a and forums) and self-exploration (such as online scavenger hunts and case studies to solve) is one way to achieve good thing! Some courses are this goal. Assist participants to develop peer or mentor packed with more content relationships on the pathway toward more informal than they really need, and learning, too. learners may be overwhelmed with too much knowledge. Weed out the excess content and text to make your training short, sweet and interactive and you’ll create a charged learning environment with genuinely engaged learners.6Page
  • 7. B LENDED LEARNING: R ETH IN KING GREEN2. Reuse Your Information “Gems”Once you’ve reduced the quantity of information, think about how you can reuse the good stuff. When you go green with your training, you’ll probablybe able to reuse a sizable portion of your existing materials. Skim off the ―best of the best‖ from prior projects and consider different presentationapproaches. What you don’t want is a small project that ―grows‖ on you—increasing your training footprint.Some workable reuse techniques involve performing a detailed task analysis to keep training goals on track and tapping into the skills of yourcoworkers. By enlisting the help of a coworker to perform quick ―sizing‖ checkups along the way, you’ll ensure your material isn’t growing out ofproportion. Here are some other tips and tricks: Reuse shared objects from a content management system. Even if your system is informal, you can probably find some content to draw from. Reuse user-generated content. This information may be locked in someone’s head—but it’s very important to pick these experts’ brains and pull out the good stuff. After sifting through what you find, identify what’s pertinent and distribute it through mentorships and forums. To beef up the instructional side even further, add links in the training that point back to new content found on internal forums, wikis, blogs, discussion boards and other company forums for information exchange. 7 Page
  • 8. B LEND ED L EARNING: RETHINK IN G GREEN REUSE: In a Nutshell Reuse the available templates. Not sure whether templates exist? Ask around. Some of your industrious employees and coworkers may have already created something that suits your needs. Creating new training does not imply that everything needs to be done from scratch. You may have Reuse any formal reporting generated by previous terrific, high-quality content training through the ―lessons learned‖ process to right under your nose! help refine the next training project. You may Sometimes, you can actually find that an entire topic can be restructured as a eliminate the need to job aid or self-paced activity. recreate or redesign your training by repurposing content wisely. Identify Reuse facilitators and SMEs as high-performance experts that can boost participant what’s appropriate for your learning experiences by delivering advanced training topics. If you’re developing needs and then reuse as much facilitator-led training for these types of topics, you may be able as possible. Include shared to skip the basics by teaching them online or via job aids, content, user-generated freeing up valuable class time to focus on the advanced content, templates and your subjects. SMEs as part of your effort to go green. Reuse icons and other graphics from similar training projects for your new project. There’s no use reinventing (or redrawing, in this case) the wheel if you have perfectly good graphics to choose from. To make this reuse possible, consider building an online graphic library with thumbnails of the graphics.8Page
  • 9. B LENDED LEARNING: R ETH IN KING GREEN3. Recycle Your Ideas and TechniquesWhen your project is complete, it’s time for the acid test: Did the training pass its intended purpose? Evaluatingtraining is a great way to find out what worked—and what didn’t. Recycle the ideas and techniques that worked wellin your next green training project! Here are some other techniques for recycling your training: Recycle by repackaging. It’s fun and easy to put together a cleverly wrapped gift for a friend using recycled paper and packaging, but did you know it’s just as easy to repackage your training? Consider taking the original content and recreating it with new formats or new training techniques to generate enthusiasm and spark new ideas. For example, in just a few hours, you can take a PowerPoint presentation from a facilitator-led course and turn it into e-learning using a product such as Captivate or Articulate. Training delivery methods are evolving, so don’t be scared to try something new as part of your repackaging effort. There’s always a new media around the corner that may catch and hold your learners’ interest. Recycle the role of the learner by allowing them to become more actively involved in the training experience. For example, survey learners for overall training goals and ask what they really want out of the training. Engage learners in the process of generating assessment techniques, and have them participate in peer reviews as well. Then, when training is over, allow the learners to evaluate the course and provide feedback on how it can be improved for other learners. 9 Page
  • 10. B LEND ED L EARNING: RETHINK IN G GREEN Recycle ILT as a recorded webinar or podcast. This recycling technique works particularly RECYCLE: In a Nutshell well for auditory learners. It also results in portable content—you can extract some of the ―gold Recycling is one of the fastest nuggets‖ from the recording and post them on company forums. and easiest ways to green your training, and it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or Recycle your static corporate websites or Learning Management System (LMS) costly, either. Repackaging is to become more community-based. one method to consider, but As examples: look at recycling learner  Use document sharing and community building tools to strengthen and roles as well. Make sure that reinforce training. you use company websites,  Create website portals for informal learning that can be incorporated wikis, blogs and other forums in training exercises. for information exchange to  Use forums, wikis, blogs or FAQs where learners can turn for help. augment and reinforce your training. Recycle employee ideas and interests. Your company’s next innovative idea for training development and delivery may be sitting in the cubicle next door! Along the same lines, solutions to your next training challenge could come from a hobby or interest outside of work. Relating tasks to your learners’ fields of interest results in learners who readily ―tune in‖ to your training. Recycle knowledge by asking learners to contribute to class blogs, discussion boards or other communication forums. Learners in the future can benefit from this knowledge and continue building up the ―knowledge bank‖ once it’s established.10Page
  • 11. B LENDED LEARNING: R ETH IN KING GREENRemember the Three RsBy going green, you’ll have more effective training—and more satisfied learners. Just remember to reduce, reuse and recycle when you want to createecologically effective training! If you would like to know more, contact us. We’re here to help!Michaels & Associates – We’ll make your competition green with envy. marketing@michaelsandassoc.com michaelsandassoc.com toll-free: 877-614-8440 11Page