aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

Effective Learning Basics

Posted by Ellen on May 28, 2007

In her blog entry on “Applied Learning,” Keitha at Association Learning Experiences ( offers some timely guidelines for making sure what happens within four walls is “maximum learning.” Her entry is brief but got my head spinning in many directions:

It’s important for us to remember that no matter where our careers originated, if we are to be effective learning leaders in our organizations, we must know enough about the following to do our learners justice:

  • adult learning theory and successful applications of that theory
  • effective training practices (this certainly overlaps the first point)
  • effective facilitation methodologies (to help our classroom volunteers to succeed)
  • how to identify the dividing line between meeting planning and educational preparation
  • budgeting, politics, strategic planning, and all the other necessary administrative skills…

And there’s probably more — if you notice something I should have mentioned, drop me a note or add a comment.

Keeping butts in seats, as Keitha said, is what we do.  It’s a specialty that requires a mountain of general knowledge — and when you add “online” in front of “learning,” you’re adding a level of special knowledge, with its own list of skills.

Just a partial list can be intimidating:

  • what the online learning options are (synchronous, asychronous, blended) and when each is most appropriate
  • technical choices (LMS, LCMS, Knowledge Management Systems) and how they integrate (or don’t) with membership systems
  • instructional design for online learning (text, audio, images; what works in the learning process and what doesn’t)
  • the development process (in-house development, outsourcing, RFPs, project management)

Here’s where we’ll keep sorting through the many pieces of information and providing as many resources as possible to keep you on top of what can feel like Mount Everest.

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