Tip #626:  When an Overview is NOT an Overview

On June 20, 2016, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #626:  When an Overview is NOT an Overview

“Once you get the right image, the details aren’t that important.” Abbie Hoffman

According to Cambridge Dictionaries Online, “overview” is defined as “a short description of something that provides general information but no details.” Vocabulary.com further defines “overview” as “a general summary of something. An overview gives the big picture, while leaving out the minor details.”

I am currently revising a three-hour lesson plan for a client that they have termed an “overview.” The content is studded with details that range from general procedures to specific forms, time frames and deadlines.

The client wants new hires to be aware of program activities that occur upstream of their job assignments. The new hires will not be involved in the conduct of … Read the rest

Tip #617: If At First You Don’t Succeed, There’s Probably a Good Reason

On April 18, 2016, Posted by , In trainers, By ,,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #617: If At First You Don’t Succeed, There’s Probably a Good Reason

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” Confucius

The first time I tried to make yeast bread (using a written version of an oral recipe from my grandmother), I waited three days for the yeast to bubble. It had actually bubbled within the first few minutes, but I missed it. Feeling frustrated and foolish, I never tried to make her yeast bread again.

What brought this to mind was a meeting to discuss the effectiveness of a newly created participant-centered curriculum. The subject matter experts (SMEs) responsible for delivering the curriculum had essentially ignored it and presented their lecture-based curriculum instead.

Why? There were a number of reasons:

  1. They did not
Read the rest

Tip #612: Moving SMEs to Interactive Learning

On March 14, 2016, Posted by , In curriculum design, By ,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #612: Moving SMEs to Interactive Learning

“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.” Sue Grafton

An international organization asked for suggestions regarding how to move their highly technical subject matter experts (SMEs) from reliance on lecture and PowerPoint to interactive learning in 1.5 hour modules.

These were my recommendations:

  1. Ask the SMEs exactly what they want the participants to know or be able to do when they leave the session. This will give you the content portion of the goal- what the participants will learn.
  1. Make sure you also find out why the participants will want to learn this- what will they do with the information or skills imparted?
  1. Provide a reality check- there is only so
Read the rest