aLearning Blog

Online Learning for Trade Associations

Archive for September, 2010

Even More Quick Clicks

Posted by Ellen on September 29, 2010

As always, aLearning is eager to help save you time and energy by passing along some links you might find of interest and assistance…


Learning Solutions magazine features Jessica Athey’s article, “Check It Once, Check It Twice: Your Guide to Choosing the Right LMS.”

Instructional Design and eLearning Design:

Looking for more instructional design and elearning blogs to follow? Christy Tucker’s list at “Experiencing E-Learning” will keep you busy for awhile.
Struggling to move instructor-led training to elearning? Check out: “Don’t Convert! Redesign Instructor-Led Training for eLearning.”

Online Conferences:

Tony Karrer’s eLearning Technology blog has a great checklist in his post, “19 Tips for Effective Online Conferences: eLearning Technology.”

Formal and Informal Learning:

At Karl M. Kapp’s Kapp Notes blog see “Formal Learning All the Way, Baby…” and the comments for an excellent post and discussion about the value of formal “courses” and the role informal learning can play with it.

More Evidence That Learning Styles Are Bunk:

Cathy Moore on a new study concluding what many of us already knew: learning styles are bunk. Her post at “Making Change” summarizes the study (and another one worth reading about) in her post: “Learning Styles: Worth Your Time?”

Is it a speech, presentation, or something else?

A tussle revolving around the notion of speeches, orations, presentations, discussions, and what audiences want and expect waged briefly between David Murray at Vital Speeches of the Day (see the post and comments here) and Olivia Mitchell at Speaking About Presenting, whose original post about what she calls the “third era in presenting” started the ball rolling.

eLearning Library

Every now and then members would call me up and ask if I could refer them to an online course on a certain topic that we as an organization didn’t offer but they needed. If you get similar requests for leads and have almost no time for hunting such courses down, take a look at the OnlineCourses Web site. Though the focus is primarily on academic degree programs, start with their “personal development” page for some ideas on topics that might be relevant to your organization. [Update: 5/31/13. Links removed at the request of the Online Courses administrator.]

Types of Online Educational Simulations

Looking for an easy to read and follow summary of the various types of educational simulations? Karl Kapp’s Kapp Notes post, “Different Types of Educational Simulations,” is just what you need.

Posted in aLearning Strategies, aLearning Trends, Blogroll, Conferences, eLearning Resources, Learning in General, LMS, Online Learning in General | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Just a Few Days Left to Add Your Voice…

Posted by Ellen on September 27, 2010

Some of the results are coming in on the aLearning Association Vendor Survey…  here’s a sneak peek at some of what’s being shared by the association learning vendors who have responded so far:

Most respondents — at this point — are small organizations of ten or fewer employees (77%) primarily serving professional associations, societies and/or institutes (70%).

Very few (just 10%) expect their customers’ budgets to decrease next year, which is good news for all of us.

Some of the challenges associations and other non-profits pose for our sometimes under-appreciated vendors?

  • Organizations are reluctant to stick their necks out in order to move forward
  • The lack of hands-on experience with recent technology makes it difficult for association clients to understand the options that are available
  • A misunderstanding about what various vendors offer and where their expertise lies

aLearning will share more results from this brief — but eye-opening — survey after it closes.

If you’re an association learning provider (consultant, or representative from an LMS, LCMS, Web Conferencing, Custom Content, Custom Development, or other company) and you haven’t yet added your voice to this important dialogue, please submit your survey response TODAY! It will only take a few minutes to answer the survey’s ten questions.

The survey will close at the end of THIS WEEK and can be found here. Don’t delay and miss having your opinion included!

Posted in aLearning Strategies, aLearning Surveys, aLearning Trends, LMS | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Deciding Not to Learn at Conferences?

Posted by Ellen on September 24, 2010

Remember awhile back when I posted on ASAE’s “Associations and CEOs: A Report on Two Studies During a Down Economy.” [“Why ANY Revenue Increase is a Good Thing”]? It got some followup (and needed correction on an interpretation of the data) from ASAE and — for the record — I’m still convinced the report made some faulty cause-and-effect conclusions.

The good news is that the new report, “Decision to Learn,” seems to clarify things.

According to Lillie R. Albert and Monica Dignam, writing in “Exploring the Decision to Learn,” from the August 2010 issue of Associations Now :

Though face-to face learning is a major preference, it is clear adult learners will participate in distance-learning formats as well. The current abundance of research and experimentation into distance learning by learning providers of all types, from the smallest association to graduate-level academic programs, suggests we are in a period of significant innovation as it applies how learning is delivered. Distance-learning offerings on topics that are easily applied to current problems and needs, are personalized and adapted to the individual learner’s learning style, and readily available and cost-effective will continue to grow.

Leaving aside the reference to “the individual learner’s learning style” as a topic worthy of its own post (when will ASAE finally accept what others are coming to realize, which is that the concept of learning styles is a myth?!?), at least this “Decision to Learn” summary admits that while learners might prefer face-to-face learning, the reality is that they are accessing online learning as well. The report’s own data support this notion: over 51% of respondents reported they attended face-to-face and “distance” learning events in the past year.

But that’s not the startling thing in this report, at least as noted in this summary article. Here’s the sentence that should make people sit up and take notice:

The preferred education format is in person, led by an instructor or presenter but not at a conference, tradeshow, or convention.

Whoa! Think of all those dollars you’re investing in the education sessions at conferences when it’s not the preferred face-to-face learning environment! What will you do about that?

What’s that you say? You’re going to leave your conference with its education sessions alone, despite what the report says? There’s so much other value that members get from it, you say? Too many better reasons to continue to offer it than to abandon it because of some report?

So here’s my conclusion from this report:

  • We’ve been doing conferences for years and years, are still trying to figure out the best ways to deliver effective learning via this type of event, and will not give it up.
  • We’ve been doing online learning for a very short period of time, are still trying to figure out the best ways to deliver it effectively, and should not give it up, either.

And forgive me, but I can’t help noticing that the two Web ads appearing on the page describing the report are for a major city’s convention and visitors bureau and a major hotel chain, while the Associations Now article Web page has two destination city ads.


Anyway, I applaud ASAE — especially the volunteers who worked behind the scenes on the report — for examining learning in associations. There’s great ammunition here for beleaguered association learning leaders who need something to point to when justifying the value of the educational programs they offer.

But it’s just a start. Now that ASAE has put some real data behind the generally held believe that members find educational events to be a key factor in their affiliation with an association, it makes sense that they provide more support when it comes to professional development.

Maybe an ASAE PD Conference? Oh — wait — people don’t prefer conferences for learning….

What do you think? What was your reaction to the report? Where do you think ASAE should go from here? Where should we go from here?

Posted in aLearning Strategies, eLearning Resources, Justifying aLearning | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Calling All Providers of Association Learning Services and Products!

Posted by Ellen on September 16, 2010

If you provide education products or services to associations and/or non-profits, please take a few minutes to participate in this brief aLearning survey.  This short survey asks your opinions on the biggest challenges and greatest opportunities in this unique market sector.  

All responses will remain anonymous; aggregated results will be posted in an upcoming aLearning Blog post. Your candid responses are welcome and will serve to open discussion with association and non-profit learning leaders.

Survey will remain open through the end of the month. Share your insights TODAY — click here to take the survey!

Posted in aLearning Surveys, aLearning Trends, LMS, Online Learning in General | Leave a Comment »

Please Eavesdrop

Posted by Ellen on September 3, 2010

… on Jeff Cobb and me as we cover topics ranging from the current status of elearning in associations to what we think about innovation in the sector these days. What does “cautious flux” mean, anyway?

You can access the two podcasts Jeff created on his Tagoras Web site (yes, we had that much to talk about!):

Here’s the link to the link of the first segment:

And here’s where you can find the link to the second segment:

My sincere thanks to Jeff for inviting me to have this conversation, and for making it available for others!

Posted in aLearning Strategies, aLearning Trends, eLearning Resources, Justifying aLearning, Social Learning | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »