Several years ago, I was supposed to fly to Toronto, but there was a snow storm, and nobody could get there so I contacted the client and said, “I tried this new thing called WebEx. I don’t have a lot of experience with it, but I can send everybody a link and we can learn it together and probably still have the meeting if you want to give it a shot.” My client said, “That’s a great idea! Let’s give it a go!”
They were my first early-adopters and I’ve been working with them now for about 11 years, which is really rewarding. I’ll try something out and if it’s useful I’ll find a way to work it into a project. Some people are afraid of change and see the fearful side of it, but I see only the opportunity. I’m activated by where we can go and what we can do. And I like cool new tools!
I got into eLearning about ten years ago before it was mainstream because I could see that’s where the future is. Back then, few people even knew about my Instructional Designer credentials—it didn’t really matter to anyone, they just knew that I delivered great training. Now those credentials really matter because as an eLearning creator you don’t get very far if you don’t know how to structure a course – you can’t “wing it” like some do in the live classroom setting!
And there is nothing worse that the death by PowerPoint version of eLearning where it’s words on a screen, maybe a picture, and a “next” button. People just read and click, read and click, read and click. They don’t even have to move their hand, because the “next” button is always in the same location on the screen—bottom right. Rigor mortis could set in if it’s a long course.
You have to find interesting ways to engage the learners, so that they really learn. In our courses we always design the avatar of the target learner, so that members of that organization can see themselves in the course characters and say, “That’s me!” Everything is created with that main character in mind. In fact, when Alvin recently made some animated videos for one of our Certificate programs, he brought an avatar named “Mike”, to life and then we had to figure out: “Oh, what is Mike’s wife’s name? They have a dog – what kind of dog is it? What color is the dog?” It was really fun to see Mike and his family come to life.”
We have very high standards of innovation and interactivity, which is why we work with clients who are looking for a long-term partner to take their internal education programs and move with them into the future.
I love solving problems. I’ve always found it easy to see the clearest way through to solutions, but I never expected to become an instructional designer. I thought about being a teacher, but wanted to test the waters before committing. I worked in a series of sales and marketing jobs the first few years after university. Then, in a corporate training course the light went on that said, ‘This is what I want to do!’ I wanted to help people learn how to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. So, I went back to school and studied instructional design.
My passion is helping people understand what it is they’re trying to accomplish, putting a name to the issue, and then deciding on the way forward. I spend most of my time in the design/ development place, where the ‘magic’ happens, marrying the problem and the content with what the solution is going to look like.
It’s like teaching someone how to use a hammer.
You could give them a manual and say ‘Learn how to do this’, or you could apply learning principles and design a short yet meaningful interaction, including giving them the tools, a demo, a chance to practice, and an evaluation, so everyone is confident in this person’s ability to correctly use the hammer on the job.
Creating great learning is like solving a puzzle. There are a few right ways to solve it and you just want to see that aha moment in your client’s eyes when they say, ‘I got it! That really works. Thank you!’
I love learning new things. A lot of times Janet comes across something, and she’ll say, “Lisa, go learn about this,” and my reaction is, “Alright, challenge accepted. Give me a day, and I’ll know everything about it.” I’ll go and research it, watch some videos, figure it out, and determine how we can incorporate it in our work.
As the Digital Communications Director, I keep track of the latest technology and trends, and help our clients develop and implement communications strategies including social media, so they can market and distribute their new training programs.
In addition, I work with our Subject Matter Experts, so all the content meets our standards and is submitted on time. That way when Carrie gets it, it’s good to go. I’m also Project Manager for the Relationships in the Workplace Certificate Program that’s in development; and I manage and track expenses so that we ensure we stay within our Clients’ budgets.
I like being behind the scenes making sure that everything’s coming into place. I always want to make sure that all of our team members look like rock stars and that our work delights our clients.
Effective visual tools are an important part of any training course.
When it comes to designing infographics, flyers and job aids, Matteo is a master of combining content and visual ideas that make learning fun and impactful.
Training Video Producer
Alvin is a creative genius who can take content, turn it into a script and then bring it to life through animation. Our on-line courses are some of the best around thanks to his contribution!