Wednesday, December 30, 2009

OMG! Control freak much?

I've just finished up the first draft of my latest book, Social Media for Trainers, due out from Pfeiffer in summer 2010. It's pretty much a quick explanation of some Web 2.0 tools (like Twitter & Facebook) with ideas and instructions for conducting specific training activities with each (see the post from November 9).

One weekend I brought home a pile of activities-for-trainers books from the office, intending to do a quick sweep to see if I'd missed anything major (I had. Duh. "Use online technologies to enable learners to interact with an author or expert.")

Seeing the books in the aggregate brought a huge shock, namely, that typically 1/3 to 1/4 of the text is dedicated to "rules for learners". To quote my favorite checkout person at Target, LaQuinta: "OMG" (pronounced "OMG"). There were ground rules for class, ground rules for discussions, ground rules for breakouts, ground rules for role plays, ground rules for ground rules. Team Agreement Templates. Guidelines for participating in online discussions. Procedures for posting responses.

And ironically: Most of the books were also touting "constructivism", "letting learners take over" and "putting learning into the learner's hands". Learner's handcuffs is more like it.

Holy moly. Has anyone else noticed this? Anyone else wondered what effect it has on learning? On learner attitudes toward training? And as an aside: Any thoughts on what this says about the trainer's view of his/her role?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trainer's Evaluation of Workshop

Trainers: My "Instructional Design for the Real World" online session yesterday, hosted by Ray Jimenez and ASTD-Los Angeles, included mention of a trainer's evaluation of his/her own training session. It's something like a reverse smile sheet, and as you can see from contributor Randy Woodward's notes, it can serve as a useful tool for both trainer and management. I put it on slideshare as a downloadable file.