Application of the
Thiagi Four-Door Model
eLearning Guild Online Forum
29 January 2010




Russ Powell
Sun Learning Servic...
Contents
Background ................................................................................................. 1
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Sun Learning Services                                             Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model


“A drawback:...
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Sun Learning Services                                          Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model


“An extremely e...
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Sun Microsystems, Inc. 4150 Network Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA Phone 1-650-960-1300 or 1-800-555-9SUN (9786) Web su...
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White Paper - Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model

  1. 1. Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model eLearning Guild Online Forum 29 January 2010 Russ Powell Sun Learning Services, Sun Microsystems, Inc. Brandon Carson NetApp University, NetApp, Inc. 22 Jan 2010, v1.2
  2. 2. Contents Background ................................................................................................. 1 Overview of the 4D Model............................................................................ 2 Library ..................................................................................................... 3 Playground .............................................................................................. 4 Café ........................................................................................................ 5 Evaluation Center .................................................................................... 6 Why Is This Important? ................................................................................ 7 Pros and Cons of the 4D Model ................................................................... 9 Sun's Experience with the 4D Model .......................................................... 11 Designing Sales Training ....................................................................... 11 Design Issues ........................................................................................ 12 Technical Issues .................................................................................... 14 Success................................................................................................. 14 Useful Feedback on the Model .................................................................. 15 Anecdotal Pilot Feedback ...................................................................... 15 Feedback from Reviewers at Brandon Hall Research ............................. 16 Top Five Recommendations/Lessons Learned........................................... 19 Where Can I Learn More? ......................................................................... 20 Presenter Biographies ............................................................................... 21
  3. 3. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Background The Four-Door eLearning Sun has a global Sales operation with over 3,000 Sales Managers. Each model helps training and non- Sales Manager is responsible for a team of Account Managers whose training professionals build primary job is to find, win, and grow new customers. The Sales organization interactive eLearning uses a specific sales methodology, but noticed that the sales teams are not programs that address the performing in a consistent manner with proper documentation across all needs of many types of phases of the sales process as prescribed by the methodology. learners relatively quickly and cheaply. Each Sales Manager, although responsible for the performance of his or her own team, also works as a sales person themselves. In fact, many Sales Managers are top performers, and may have obtained their position because they land in the top 10 percent of sales volume (they are often referred to as the “Elite Sales Force”). This affords them little time to coach and mentor their Account Managers, or even to follow closely the behavior and performance of each Account Manager in their own day-to-day work. The Sales organization brokers training through a vendor that also provides the sales methodology. The training is offered periodically in classroom settings. After spending significant sums of money and investing time to send staff to class, the organization is not seeing increased performance in sales, and/or increased accuracy in documentation. Frustrated, the Sales organization asked Sun Learning Services to conduct a performance analysis to try and uncover the root cause of the performance problem and identify how to help increase performance while reducing the cost of the classroom training. The Four-Door eLearning In 2008, the Director of Sun Learning Service's Employee Training was model was developed by Dr. introduced to Thiagi's 4-Door eLearning model. He felt this design model Sivasailam “Thiagi” would help bridge the gap between the high cost of classroom training and Thiagarajan. the lack of performance improvement that the business was suffering. In this paper, we present a discussion of our application of the four-door model—an application that has met with much initial success including kudos from all major stakeholders, and requests to have more courses designed in this format—as well as lessons learned and recommendations for enhancements for future users. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 1 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  4. 4. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Overview of the 4D Model The Four-Door (4D) eLearning model, developed over the last few years by Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan, is a simple instructional design model that helps training and non-training professionals build eLearning programs that address the needs of many types of learners relatively quickly and cheaply. The “four doors” represent four different areas or components of the learning environment: • Library • Playground • Café • Evaluation Center (a.k.a. Torture Chamber) Sun Microsystems, Inc. 2 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  5. 5. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Library This area contains the content of the course or module—the information required to master the learning objectives and to successfully complete the final performance test. It typically contains pre-built or existing content: videos, documents, slideshows, photos, audio files, etc. Learners are invited to study the content in any sized chunks that they prefer. Figure 1: Screenshot of the Library Sun Microsystems, Inc. 3 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  6. 6. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Playground This area contains fast-paced frame-games that provide practice in recalling and applying the content from the library. The frame-games typically require the learner to type or choose short answers. Learners can play each frame- game repeatedly at up to three levels of difficulty to increase fluency. Figure 2: Screenshot of a Hangman game in the Playground Sun Microsystems, Inc. 4 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  7. 7. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Café This area contains social learning activities. One common activity is the open-question game which uses open-ended questions to encourage the learner to reflect on the content presented in the library. Learners respond to each question by typing an answer in a text box. When complete, the learner can review the answers given by experts and fellow participants. The café may also include other social-learning components such as wikis, blogs, message boards, etc. Figure 3: Screenshot of the Café Sun Microsystems, Inc. 5 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  8. 8. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Eva Evaluation Center This area, sometimes affectionately referred to as the Torture Chamber, contains the performance test. Typically, instead of using multiple-choice questions, the evaluation asks the learner to complete or participate in an actual job-related assignment. Figure 4: Screenshot of the Evaluation Center Sun Microsystems, Inc. 6 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  9. 9. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Why Is This Important? In 2008, U.S. Companies spent Training professionals are looking for, and learners are demanding, $56.2 billion on training alternatives to what has become a traditional eLearning format—PowerPoint (Bersin). slideware souped up with an audio component. These programs are typically rather linear and do not offer much control to the learner. Audiences grow bored quickly with this form of passive “learning by listening” which leads to the already high eLearning attrition rate. In today’s economic situation with severe fiscal constraints, businesses are seeking more flexible learning options to help cut costs, but are also providing opportunities for higher levels of engagement. Thiagi’s 4D approach offers a fresh and relatively inexpensive alternative that can be very effective. The model, depending on how it is implemented, offers almost total control to the learner. They get to choose how they learn based on their preferences. According to Thiagi, “If you... • ...are a law-abiding type of participant, you may begin at the library and proceed through the playground and the café to the torture chamber. • ...are a wild and impulsive participant, you may hop, skip, and jump your way among the modules and sections. You may go to the playground first, get trounced, find out what types of questions are asked, and then work your way through the library. • ...feel lucky (or have a bloated sense of self-esteem), you may skip all of the studying, go directly to the torture chamber, and complete the assignment. • ...are a grasshopper, you may skim through the library, jump to the café, enjoy the frame-games in the playground, and then return to library for some serious studying.” The frame-games in the playground provide review and practice opportunities. The frame-games may not be sexy, but they offer the designer an easy way to help learners engage with the content, and the learner an addictive way to test their knowledge of the content. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 7 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  10. 10. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Well-crafted game items help learners to, among other possibilities: • Recall and organize factual information • Associate components with different stages and steps • Emphasize critical features • Identify major differences among concept classes • Gain fluency in recalling information Well-crafted game items help The café approaches Learning 2.0 in its purest form, learning through social learners recall and organize interaction. and is more and more what Gen Y and the Millennials are factual information, identify demanding. They tend to see this as the most profitable educational major differences among experience, especially since most people learn by sharing. concept classes, and gain fluency in recalling The evaluation center contains the assessment instrument. For the learner it information. provides a final opportunity to test their knowledge of the library’s content. In an ideal situation the assessment simulates the real life scenario the learning is based on. To summarize, the 4D model combines the effective organization of online documents (in the library), with the motivational impact of frame-games (in the playground), the power of collaborative learning (in the café), and authentic performance tests (in the assessment center). Sun Microsystems, Inc. 8 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  11. 11. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Pros and Cons of the 4D Model Pros In any given instructional • It is faster and cheaper than traditional models. One of the best project the person who learns things about this model is that, with the right tools in place (i.e., a the most is not the student good game generator, Web 2.0 tools such as blogs and chat rooms, but the instructional designer. etc.), training professionals can put together instructionally savvy In a course built using the eLearning programs quickly and inexpensively. It provides a lot of four-door model, instead of bang for the buck and gives learners a great deal of control over how the instructional designer they learn. chopping up the content into • Students engage with the content more directly, more closely appropriate chunks optimized simulating content-interactions in the real world. There is an old for a mythical average learner adage that suggests that in any given instructional project the person and disrupting the flow with who learns the most is not the student but the instructional questions of trivial value, the designer—the person who combs through the content, parsing and learners are permitted to read sorting as they go. In this model, instead of the instructional designer the content in any sized chopping up the content into appropriate chunks optimized for a chunks that they prefer. mythical average learner and disrupting the flow with questions of trivial value, the learners are permitted to read the content in any sized chunks that they prefer. • The playground, for Gen X and Gen Y who grew up on Nintendo and Playstation, offers a way to learn though the channels programmed since childhood. • Allows trainers and subject-matter experts to design, develop, and deliver frame-games in a matter of minutes without any complex programming requirements. • The model in its simplicity offers a great deal of flexibility for how it is applied. Cons If not planned well, the 4D Many of the drawbacks to the approach are merely the flip-side of some of learner environment can be a the advantages. Some of the drawbacks include the following: challenge to navigate. • If not planned well, the 4D learner environment can be a challenge to navigate. The learner may need to learn the user interface in order to figure out where to begin. If the content in the library is extensive, navigation and search components should be added. • The frame-games reinforce basic knowledge components (the cognitive domain of Bloom’s taxonomy). They do not provide a high- level of simulation. Typically they should be paired with a simulation Sun Microsystems, Inc. 9 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  12. 12. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model that more closely approximates real life (field-level work) with a well- planned final activity in the Evaluation Center. • If you do not have a game generator, or the game generator is limited (e.g., it produces only closed question items, and not open- question items), you may need to invest in game development efforts. • At first glance, simple models of the 4D approach are not well received by audiences used to more glitz and glamour in their online experiences. And it often costs a little extra to make the approach look and feel attractive to users. The instructional approach may be sound, but if it does not look good and function well, it may be tough to get learners to participate. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 10 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  13. 13. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Sun's Experience with the 4D Model Designing Sales Training As we stated above, our primary goal was to deliver online training that provided the learner with an enriching self-paced experience adaptable to their specific skills and learning preference. Since this model had not been delivered to this audience before, and since most of the target audience were used to classroom training, we wanted to roll-out a pilot program first. When deciding to use the 4D model, one of the biggest challenges is to determine the learning environment in which to disseminate the content. We were constrained by not having access to a regular web server, and by needing to track learner completion in the company LMS. Without a web server to build the course with, we decided to use Flash to produce self- contained course modules. At the time we were designing the pilot, we were not sure if there would be multiple courses using the same interface, but we did want the design to be as reusable as possible. There are pros and cons to using a Flash-based design approach in our environment: Pros Cons • The Flash web player is • It's more difficult to customize the present on 98% of the “page types”. For example, if an ID operating systems in the wants to have on screen objects world. animate, it has to be authored in • Flash enables rich and Flash, which may require authoring dynamic interaction. tool expertise. • Flash makes it easier to • To successfully integrate social enable branching within networking and game content objects. leaderboards, you may need a database, and advanced Flash • With an “engine-based” authoring skills. In wiki platforms, system, some content social networking is usually built in objects can be updated by default. without having to go into the Flash authoring environment. • Flash content by default is not SCORM-compliant, which some organizations require. • It may take more time to modify and/or maintain content embedded into authoring environments such as Flash (however, the same can be said for PowerPoint as well). Sun Microsystems, Inc. 11 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  14. 14. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Design Issues Instructional and User Interface Issues While we designed the Flash-based content container, we also began a comprehensive audience analysis. Our learner profile included a global audience, so we wanted to compile as much information about our learners as possible to ensure the course would be relevant. To complement the basic sales methodology content, we added authentic case studies to provide real-world examples of how to apply the methodology. The analysis was difficult because access to target audience members was spotty at best, and at times there were competing agendas among some of the participants. Once we complete our analysis, we were confident we had the information we needed, but two factors concerned us: the culture at Sun is one of do-it- yourself, so we were not confident that our best practices would be adhered to, and finally, the global audience had little exposure to eLearning, let alone a new eLearning model. From the user interface standpoint, the most challenging aspect of the 4D model is how to build in an easy-to-understand guidance system for the learner. Since, the model encourages learner autonomy, self-discovery, and investigation, it can be somewhat disconcerting to some individuals who are used to “being instructed on where to start”. We rolled out the pilot with the user interface below (Figure 5), which mimics real-world “doors” that the learner can freely enter in any order (although we thought most North American audiences may go from left to right). Figure 5: Pilot four-door user Interface Sun Microsystems, Inc. 12 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  15. 15. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model In response to initial feedback, we built a more sophisticated user interface (see Figure 6), but after more user testing, we determined that there needed to be more focus on the assessment section since the model allows the learner to immediately “test out” if they are confident of their mastery. Otherwise, the visual design in the third example (Figure 7) is meant to express how each “door” (and you'll notice that there are really FIVE doors in this iteration) reinforces the assessment. Figure 6: Another early four-door interface Figure 7: Revised final user interface Sun Microsystems, Inc. 13 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  16. 16. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Because of the deep analysis, the pilot took three months to complete. Once we went into revision, and the user interface was approved, we were able to complete the first course in less than a month. The time-consuming element is the authentic case studies. Those require more time with subject-matter experts, and more programming time, however, that is a general design issue not related to the 4D model ñ it would take considerable time to produce the case studies regardless of the learning environment. Issues Technical Issues If any type of data tracking is required, be sure to complete a functional specification (regardless of whether you decide to use Flash). Along with an instructional design document, a functional outline of desired features and the technology infrastructure required to facilitate them will serve you well through your design effort. Success After the pilot, and the first course was delivered, we “modularized” how we design subsequent courses using the 4D model: • We built a case-study Flash engine to allow for quicker case study development. • We constructed an instructional design template for 4D designers that enables instructional designers new to the model to get started quicker. • We optimized our Flash engine so that once content storyboards were submitted to production we could have an Alpha-version of the course ready for review within ten business days. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 14 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  17. 17. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Useful Feedback on the Model We thought it might be helpful in this paper to provide some of the most useful raw feedback we received from initial users and reviewers of the program. This section contains feedback from participants in the first rollout 1 of the program and from reviewers at Brandon Hall Research . Anecdotal Pilot Feedback Praise “[The] material is presented in • “This is the first time I had used this non-linear approach to learning. a clear, concise and organized While it takes a while to get used to, I think it is much better for sales manner. I like the way this management, allowing them to pursue the learning they feel they course is set up for different need in the time they need it. Overall the experience was excellent. I types of learners.” was interrupted by calls or meetings twice while taking the course and because of its modularity, was able to easily reenter the course – Anonymous reviewer, Sun Microsystems and my mental learning state quite easily.” • “...very interesting, especially the notes alongside the various documents and the 'Ask-The-Experts' recommendations and best practices. These add a real-life situation that in my mind is important for the adoption of this methodology...” • “Easy to navigate. Quality presentation layout. Organized. Rich in content.” • “Slick user experience, nice aesthetics and graphic elements. The Arcade was a great idea for fun and interaction. The Case Study was by far the most valuable part of the course.” • “[The] material is presented in a clear, concise and organized way to better understand the methodology, and the process for building an account plan. I like the way this course is set up for different types of learners.” • "The Guide Me section is a nice touch." Criticism • “Take into account that a lot of users will be non-English native speakers who will have difficulties with speed, especially in the test center and arcade.” • “For me, I would have liked more visual/organizational/process structure to the resources in the library.” 1 In November of 2009, Brandon Hall Research awarded this program a gold Excellence in Learning award in the category of Best Custom Content. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 15 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  18. 18. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model “A drawback: Is there a way to • “I thought the cafe was going to be more interactive [such as] the know what sections one has ability to ask real questions to real SMEs or other students.” completed? It would be • “Is there a way to know what sections one has completed? There is helpful to [know] that you've so much information spread across different areas, it would be completed a section (closed helpful to [know] that you've completed a section (closed the door if the door if you will).” you will).” – Anonymous reviewer, • “I'd like to see more simulation-like interactions that require some Sun Microsystems use of skills in library.” Feedback from Reviewers at Brandon Hall Research On Navigation “Having seen the Thiagi model • I particularly liked the main page which was clean and well laid out, used I am strongly considering and therefore easy to navigate. this approach for my own • Providing short descriptions before links were clicked was VERY learning courses… It respects helpful, saves a lot of time. the needs of adult learners.” • In the ‘Course Introduction’, it would have been very helpful to have – Anonymous judge, a mute button so learners can just read the text and keep moving. Brandon Hall Research • Great GUI interface, good use of colors and symbols. On Presentation of Content • A nice interpretation of Thiagi’s model that lets the learner determine his or her own learning path. • I found it difficult to actually find the Learning Plans when I first started the course. They seemed to be ‘hidden’ in the Library. • Close caption (CC) narration scripting appears to be absent. • Your flowcharts, demonstrating possible learning paths were an interesting idea. I think the ability to explore, at the learners desire and pace, are particularly effective for this sort of audience. On Use of Media “The use of the learning plans • The graphics were great—mostly ‘decorative’, to use Mayer’s term, outlining different paths but nice all the same. Interesting use of graphics for the two through the material was a speakers in the case study. I presume that approach was used in great way to address one of part to make the file size smaller than if it were a video. That said, the weaknesses in Thiagi’s 4D the case study and the course introduction both took quite a long model.” time to download. You might lose learners here.” – Anonymous judge, • The job aids were well designed. The text and flow chart versions of Brandon Hall Research the Learning Plans were a nice touch. • I found your use of media to be very effective. At first, I wasn't sure about the "outline" figures vs. actual photos; but the deeper I got into your program, the more this made sense to me. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 16 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  19. 19. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model • The media is used for specific and impactful reasons. The quality of the media is high and it gets the point across without boring you. On Interactivity “Across the board, superior! • The games in the Arcade encouraged interaction with the content but Multiple learning paths with did not allow for practice. The vast majority of the material outside of different types of activities the arcade appeared to be either videos to watch or material to read. within each "door" is very There might have been more engagement if there were case studies engaging and effective.” to apply some of the content to or problems to solve. – Anonymous judge, • Across the board, superior! Multiple learning paths with different Brandon Hall Research types of activities within each "door". Very engaging and effective. Having complete flexibility for user generated learning paths multiplies the effectiveness of your interactivity choices. • This course forces you to interact with it in a fun and creative way. I like that the model includes a description. It means the designer accepts that this may be a new approach for the learner but realizes it is a good one if understood. On Engagement “I found myself becoming so • The arcade was a different and fun way to encourage self-check of engaged in the program and concepts and principles. While there appeared to be a lot of games content. It completely grabbed in the arcade, the variety appeared to be limited. and held my attention; so my • Being able to 'design' their own learning path may be motivational to expectation would be similar learners. for someone to whom the content actually applied.” • Titles are catchy. "Arcade" usually equates to fun and self purported competition, appears to be the objective developers intended for this – Anonymous judge, course. "Library" usually associated with where to find abundance of Brandon Hall Research resources. "Ask the Experts" reference to frequently asked questions. "Test Center" indicating up front weighing (using red color) to the importance of content for the course and course objectives. "Case Study" good use of transfer/association of users existing content knowledge to the new applied knowledge. • I found myself becoming so engaged in the program and content. It completely grabbed and held my attention; so my expectation would be similar for someone to whom the content actually applied. On Overall Effectiveness of the Course • Overall, very effective and very well done. Although relies heavily on user audio capabilities. Aesthetically pleasing, interactive, not over the top with whistles and bells, but a professional learning tool that appears to meet most business goals of accruing knowledge building in preparation for a final exam that should be included in course goals. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 17 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  20. 20. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model “An extremely effective entry. • “An extremely effective entry. I am not surprised that Sun is using the The only "gap" that I perceive "four door" approach in other programs. The only "gap" that I is the whether or not it would perceive is the whether or not it would have been possible to enable have been possible to enable this program via a mobile device, to further facilitate the "road this program via a mobile warrior" audience's ability to engage with the program. device, to further facilitate the "road warrior" audience's • Having seen the Thiagi model used I am strongly considering this ability to engage with the approach for my own learning courses. I think this course program.” demonstrates high quality design and development with good looking graphics and information structured in a manner that makes it very – Anonymous judge, easy to access and learn from. It respects the needs of adult Brandon Hall Research learners in general and specifically the learners intended for the original delivery of this course. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 18 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  21. 21. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Top Five Recommendations/Lessons Learned Here is a list of recommendations and lessons learned from our application of the 4D model: • This type of eLearning may be a “paradigm shift” for your organization—a shift in the way eLearning is designed and delivered. In order to have any degree of success with an implementation of this nature, you should have or create organizational buy-in at the executive level. Help the organization learn what is involved, what the costs and the payoffs are. You shouldn’t do this if you don’t have the support. • The first time you implement the 4D model, it may take more time than traditional eLearning design. Be prepared for this. • Early on in the conceptual phase, recruit a technology representative to your design team. Make them fully aware of the model so they can determine how to integrate it into the organization's technology infrastructure. You may need to sell them on the value of this type of program. Work with them to create functional specifications for complex components such as a leaderboard or social networking features. Create a prototype, and test early and often, to ensure the integrity of your data tracking, especially if tracking assessment data is important. • Pay close attention to the design of your guidance system. Use good visual design to assist learners in determining their learning own path. This is a common issue with new 4D learners. A skilled graphic designer and/or web usability consultant can be immensely helpful for addressing this. • The instructional design team must have at least one person who is skilled at creating good game items, they must have good question/test-writing skills. Don’t underestimate the importance of this. The games can be worthless if the game items are written poorly, and hugely valuable (even addictive) if written well. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 19 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  22. 22. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Where Can I Learn More? Use these resources to learn more about the four-door approach to eLearning. • thiagi.com – You can find articles about the 4D approach here. • 4d-elearning.com – Thiagi has posted a basic example at this site. Registration is free. • mlearningworld.blogspot.com/2006/10/choose-right-door.html – Matthew Nehrling provides a nice summary with notes re use with Millennials. • * A Google search for “Thiagi’s four-door approach to eLearning” brings up a host of articles, most of them speaking favorably of the approach. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 20 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  23. 23. Sun Learning Services Application of the Thiagi Four-Door Model Presenter Biographies Russ Powell (russ.powell@sun.com, russ@svn.net, 707/324-3122) Russ is a Lead Instructional Designer for Sun Learning Services, and has been designing, developing and facilitating training programs and other performance improvement interventions for almost 20 years. He has worked with hundreds of managers and dozens of training departments to build learning programs marked by ample amounts of both style and substance—programs that don’t just look and feel good but also deliver impact to the bottom line. Russ joined Sun Microsystems in 2008 and specializes in the building of eLearning courses, job aids, and web-based performance support tools. Over the course of his career, Russ has worked with organizations such as U.S. Coast Guard, Pixar, AT&T, and NASA Space Flight Center, and served on the faculty of Georgia State University and the American Management Association. He’s received numerous outstanding achievement awards for his corporate learning programs. Russ holds degrees in the behavioral sciences from Georgia State University and Loyola University. Russ is also a member of the International Jugglers’ Association (IJA) and continues to perform regularly. Brandon Carson (brandoncarson@gmail.com, 650-867-9289) Brandon is currently managing the Cloud Computing training curriculum for NetApp sales and customer audiences. In this position he architects and implements customized training to help drive awareness and adoption of NetApp's Cloud Computing solution offerings. He brings to his position more than 15 years of instructional technology and education experience. Prior to joining NetApp, Brandon lead Sun Learning Service's efforts around eLearning, and the integration of social media into learning initiatives. He managed the team responsible for media design and also served as the Chief Learning Architect for Cloud Computing. Prior to Sun, Brandon operated a consultancy focused on the design and development of eLearning for various organizations, including Oracle, eBay, Intel, Siemens, and others. Brandon serves on the board of the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA), and is a frequent facilitator and presenter at industry conferences. Brandon holds an M.Ed. in Educational Technology and a B.A. in Business Communications as well as advanced ISPI certification in analysis. He and his family reside in the San Francisco Bay area. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 21 of 21 eLearning Guild Online Forum
  24. 24. Sun Microsystems, Inc. 4150 Network Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA Phone 1-650-960-1300 or 1-800-555-9SUN (9786) Web sun.com

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