Social media in training venues


A recent article addressed use of FaceBook in classroom training. Author Nisha Mahotra noted, “Many of the students began participating instantly (though some never signed up). The students quickly formed study groups outside of class, exchanged articles, and helped each other. Overall, they performed better than the non-participating students. The discussions on Facebook were commendable and carried over into face-to-face discussions. In class, students were interacting like never before and seemed more comfortable with each other as a result of the online interactions. Not only were the discussions in class livelier, but also the students were more insightful in discussing each other’s research. After all, they knew the topics beforehand.”

She went on to outline her best lessons from experimenting with FaceBook in training, listing,
• A Facebook page creates a public presence online. Anyone on the Internet, even those that don’t have a Facebook account, can view this page. By default, comments can be viewed by anyone on the Internet. (Pineda)

  • Students tend to be concerned about their online persona – saying something unintelligent is a big concern for them. (Selwyn) As a result, they are less likely to participate on a Facebook page than a closed group.
  • Facebook groups resemble an online café with walls to the rest of the online community, allowing students to (a) chat in real-time, (b) discuss in virtual-time, and (c) share materials through straightforward file upload.
  • Facebook groups can be open (public), closed (require administrator approval for joining and only members can read the posts), or secret (only members can see the group, who’s in it, and what what’s being posted).
  • Students prefer a closed group. They are apprehensive about asking questions in open groups where their Facebook friends can judge them as scholastically inept. (Selwyn)

And then she cited an article to get anyone started with this tool,
Everything You Wanted to Know About FaceBook Groups, a great explanation no matter what you have learned by trying.

Can you picture this tool influencing group communications, innovation, and learning at YOUR workplace? Might be the next ‘thing’ to replace meetings!

iMoot 2012 is in Full Swing!

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#imoot 2012 is in full swing over the Memorial Day Weekend. 168 hours of nonstop presentations from around the world on Moodle's use in business, schools, distance learning, blended learning, flipped classrooms and more. Just heard about gamification - a mindset about setting up online learning that avoids the read and click syndrome, replacing it with activities that lead to a certificate or prize.

The biggest challenge is becoming graceful with time zones and converting to Alaska time during Daylight Savings. Normally, we are -9 GMT but at this time of year, -8 GMT. The hosts have set the schedule so that, if you enter your personal time zone in your iMoot profile, you see a schedule set in YOUR time zone. With so many hours of sun in Alaska at this time of year, it is easier to stay up and participate - but sleep DOES help the mind to work more efficiently!

Check it out at

Mary M Rydesky is presenting on Sunday and Monday (Alaska time) and is an active member of ASTD Alaska.

How valuable is your training?

dollar_sign PhotoEveryone knows that training costs time and money but do you know if the training you’ve developed has given a return on investment (ROI)? Training evaluation is one of the easiest ways to show that value.
What is the purpose of training? Training is put in place to change behavior and achieve objectives. How do you know that you have met those objectives or how well? Should you wait for a failure or breakdown in the production process and address that issue? An effective training evaluation process can identify areas of weakness prior to disaster. By starting the training evaluation process at the beginning and making it an essential part of the development process you are able to focus your influence, time and finances from low impact goals to areas that have the most benefit.
Most internal training programs have some version of training evaluation. However many do not begin to evaluate until after the training has been completed. Would you sail in a boat before checking to see if there are any holes? It’s a gamble to see if you’re lucky or if you’re going to sink.
The training evaluation process provides vital feedback for continuous process and product improvement. The benefits range from assessing effectiveness to reinforcing learning to determining the contents adequacy. An effective training evaluation process, when utilized, will spell out the bottom-line value to your company.
Do you want to know more?

--Michael Snyder, May 2012

ASTD AK Tech Favs

Rydesky talks about PowerPoint Features Mary M Rydesky, TrainerToday’s presentation came with a warning: do not overconsume: gorging is a danger to trainers who love instructional design! Content included roughly fifteen free or low cost tools for creating visuals and improving objects for workplace training. Then, participants added their favorites for all to consider. Handouts are available to those who were unable to attend.

Like Wordle? Try Tagxedo! Like Prezi? Take a look at other tools such as BrainShark and VisualBee and YawnBusters to enliven PowerPoint content. There is a bonus: no nausea induced by motion - this has been reported by viewers of Prezi so consider the importance and method of use of motion in your materials.

ASTD Alaska may have a reprise - another Tech Favs focusing on video/audio production at low cost without low quality in the bargain. Got some favorite tools? Contact us and leave a note!

Moodle? What is That?

Moodle is a learning management system - sort of a dry term for an incredibly powerful, fun, and maleable system for organizaing your online training department. Google that term just to see how much buzz surrounds it! will tell you more. Or you can attend the March 2011 meeting and hear about it from an expert, Denise Trujillo.

Moodle is the powerhouse behind the Alaska Distance Learning Network, akDLN for short. In the akDLN, adults can participate in classes both formal and informal. An informal training is called a community of interest - a place in which a group can safely interact and share ideas - with no final exam or attendance roster!

Moodle is used by businesses large and small, local and world wide. In 211 countries, Moodle is used and nearly 50,000 sites have been officially registered. Here is the spread as of March 2011:

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Think you could get more organized to control costs while improving training in your organization? Moodle might be the tool that you need. Contact us if you want to chat about this.

ASTD Alaska Blog

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We blog!

Here is a way for attending members to communicate what took place at a meeting. Got comments?