aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

14 Things We Can Learn from the BEST – Part 1

Posted by Ellen on January 3, 2010

Who doesn’t have the goal of being even better in 2010? Sure, we have our internal goals, but what haven’t we thought of? Are there other opportunities out there we haven’t thought of?

What can we learn from those considered the BEST in education and training? What can the award-winning organizations teach us?

Because we don’t have our own association-specific elearning (or learning or training, or related) awards, we’ll have to make do with those that focus on corporations.

Despite the essential differences between for-profits and non-profits, we can still learn a few things from them (as they could from us, but so far they’re not very interested in that).

What started as a short list grew, so here’s the first of four posts summarizing 14 Things We Can Learn from ASTD’s 2009 BEST Award winners.

1. That the awards are all about employee/staff training is something we should give hard thought to. How much does your association invest in the professional development of your own staff? Not just individually (getting the opportunity to attend a conference, for example) but as a team?

2. The winners have some things in common, despite their wide variances in types of industry, size, and other aspects. They all: 

  •  maintain and implement a clear strategy that aligns with their organizational mission and goals
  • base their strategy, and the curriculum that evolves from it, on careful and comprehensive needs assessments 
  • engender a culture of innovation
  • measure results on individual and organizational levels

use elearning, and some are increasing their online offerings to reduce the cost of classroom-based training
       Is your association modelling these tactics? Why not?
3. Many are making elearning content as modular and nugget-sized as possible, keeping single sessions to 5-10 minutes. 

     How long are you demanding that your members/learners sit at the computer at one time before they learn something? If it’s longer than 10 minutes, what can you do to make the learning chunks smaller?

4. Several companies focused on talent retention — despite the economic situation and high unemployment, replacing high-performing individuals is much more costly than retaining them. 
       Are you helping your members to do the same within their organizations? What programs are you offering that could help them identify and retain talent? (Notice I’m not talking about retaining members; this is something we should already be focused on.)

Next time: 5-8
These are not in any particular order — you might find a shinier gem in the lists to come than you found in these!

4 Responses to “14 Things We Can Learn from the BEST – Part 1”

  1. […] Award winners. It was written primarily for associations, as a way to learn from corporations.  Part 1 covers four points about the length of elearning, alignment, strategy, and retention. Part 2 covers […]

  2. […] 14 Things We Can Learn from the BEST – Part 1 […]

  3. […] 14 Things We Can Learn from the BEST – Part 1 […]

  4. […] 14 Things We Can Learn from the BEST – Part 1 […]

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