The Learning Dispatch

This Week in Learning - November 17, 2015

This Week in Learning

Play More Games

Sharron Boller at ATD offers some of the best advice to consider when designing learning games: Play more games!

Grab Attention

Hannah Hunter suggests using solid and proven tips to creating engaging learning.

Speak Elearning

Vocabulary is often an unintentional stumbling block when designing elearning. Karla Gutierrez gives us quick guide for learning professionals—but one that’s helpful when speaking with others, as well.

This Week in Learning - November 10, 2015

This Week in Learning

Meaningless Edits

When we develop learning, we often write. John McIntyre, editor at the Baltimore Sun (to whom I’ve linked before), gives us a short and moving piece on his shift from prescriptivism to a less strict application of traditional rules of grammar. In short, he realized how much of his professional life “has been wasted making meaningless edits.”–20151106-story.html

The Point of a Teacher

Betsy Barre asks us to consider “what is the point of a teacher?” Taking as her starting point a recent piece in the New York Times that defends lectures as an effective method of teaching, Barre suggests that, instead of covering old ground, we should shift the discussion to a “normative debate about what we think we should be providing our students and why.”

Interrobangs, Love Points, and Exclamation Commas

Remember the interrobang? Keith Houston points out how difficult it is to introduce new punctuation marks into the world.

This Week in Learning - November 4, 2015

This Week in Learning

Nothing Left to Take Out

Jane Bozarth urges us to give the learner a fighting chance by eliminating everything that doesn’t add to learning. “Design is done when there’s nothing left to take out.”

Field Guide to Action Mapping

Cathy Moore offers a field guide to action-mapped materials—with an except from her upcoming book!

The Death of Flat Design?

Jerry Cao, Kamil Zieba, and Matt Ellis ask whether flat design will ever die. (Or, is there such a thing as too much reduction?)

This Week in Learning - October 28, 2015

This Week in Learning

Customer Training

Do you train your customers? Steven Boller at Bottom-Line Performance has a nice discussion on the importance of an instructional design approach to customer training. Start with deciding “what needle you are trying to move.”

Naoto Fukasawa on Design

From Fast Company’s Co.Design section, a mind-opening interview with designer Naoto Fukasawa. What is objective design? What is the future of design? (hint on the last: technology will be more invisible). How would Fukasawa’s approach affect learning?

Ultimate Checklist

Nicole Legault’s article on the Ultimate Elearning Design and Development checklist is a great guide.

This Week in Learning - October 22, 2015

This Week in Learning

Transfer of Learning

From, a nice primer on improving the transfer of learning in the workplace.

Formatting Lists

Yes, yes, we all know that elearning should avoid bulleted lists like the plague. They are the death of online training. But when you use them anyway, how do you format them? The Chicago Manual of Style has some suggestions.–6–12426-in-the-spotlight/

Notes from the ACLU Privacy & Technology Conference


Heather Poggi-Mannis, MicroAssist’s information security training product manager, attended the ACLU Privacy and Technology conference at the AT&T Conference Center at the University of Texas Austin. The purpose of the conference was to start conversations about privacy, how technology can be used to violate it and what is being done to protect privacy rights.

This Week in Learning - October 14, 2015

This Week in Learning

Social Media and Learning—For Real, This Time

How many times have we heard that the future of learning is social media? Dena Rezaei at ATD has suggestions on how to make it happen.

Better Review Comments

Tired of getting useless review comments? Ethan Edwards at Allen Interactions has some ideas.

Really Good Kick-Off Meetings

Keven M. Hoffman at A List Apart offers his thoughts as to why and how to have… fantastic kick-off meetings. Just substitute “course/learning” for “website/application.”

This Week in Learning - October 8, 2015

Book Review: The Science of Training and Development in Organizations: What Matters in Practice

Patti Shank concludes her review of Eduardo Salas’ (et al.) essential work, “The Science of Training and Development in Organizations: What Matters in Practice,” by reviewing what research tells us needs to happen after training. Links to the first two posts (on before and during training) and to the source article are in the post.–101-What-Happens-After-Training

Six Examples of Elearning Navigation

The community team at Articulate E-learning Heroes gives us six examples of elearning navigation goodness. As with most examples, it’s less about the tool and more about the concept.

Cathy Moore’s Guide to Writing Multiple-Choice Questions

This is somewhat older, but came up in conversation recently: Cathy Moore’s guide to writing multiple-choice questions. It’s short. It’s fun.

This Week in Learning - September 30, 2015

This Week in Learning

Private Sector and Accessibility

Not to harp on accessibility, but Tom Toombs at SSB BART Group lets us know designing for accessibly is not just for government agencies any more.

Overview and Examples of Micro-Learning

Ellen Burns-Johnson not only gives us an overview of good micro learning, she also links to examples. Wonderful!

Learn a Bit About Exposure Therapy

Speaking of micro learning, take a moment and see how Nicky Case uses an interaction to help us learn about neuroscience, specifically exposure therapy, a well-supported technique of cognitive behavioral therapy.

This Week in Learning - September 23, 2015

This Week in Learning

Annie Murphy Paul on Affirmative Testing

Annie Murphy Paul has emerged from her long, self-imposed exile writing her book to take up the cause of affirmative testing. Retrial practice, deep learning, metacognition, distributed practice, it’s all tied together to create an innovative approach to learning:


Old Editor’s Macro Checklist

John McIntyre brings back his “Old Editor’s macro checklist” for Throwback Thursday. It’s targeted to newspaper editors, but the list of questions has keen relevance to learning (How much better would it be if it were shorter?”)