Mission: To connect our workplace learning community using a cutting edge resource to exchange information and encourage innovation.

Vision: By providing an easily accessible channel where our members can tap into the expertise of their peers, share best practices and experiences in current workplace learning and development issues, the New York Metro Chapter can provide an additional channel for professional development and personal growth of its members and the larger L&D community.

Interested in blogging for ASTD NY?  We are always interested in hearing from our members so others may learn from your experiences in the workplace, at conferences or at ASTD NY events or gain insight into your niche in the training and development community.

Please click here to view the ASTD NY Social Media Policy and Blogging Guidelines and Expectations.

If you are interested in submitting a post, please include a short description of your topic, or reporting on an event, contact Khadeidra Le Gendre at

  • 24 Jun 2012 2:04 PM | Christina Boryk

    The e-Learning SIG was honored to host Elliot Masie, the man credited with creating the term, e-learning, on Wednesday, June 13th.  Masie is an internationally recognized analyst and researcher whose career has spanned over 35 years and is focused on workforce learning, business collaboration and emerging technologies.  He currently heads up The Masie Center, a think tank concentrating on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. He is a self proclaimed “alpha boomer” who produces Broadway shows in his spare time.

    Masie laid the foundation for the evening’s presentation by defining e-learning.  The terms e-learning and e-business did emerged together; however, the letter “e” in e-learning represents “everyone,” “everywhere”, “every time,” and “efficient.”  And that while current technology has revolutionized the way in which we conduct business, communicate and learn, it is often easy to confuse the tools we use (mainly an overdependence on PowerPoint), with processes.  He then reminded us that we as learning professionals are in the business of delivering knowledge skills and competencies in order to support and enhance employee performance not publishing content.

    So where do we need to focus our attention and skills?

    He declared design as The Number One challenge and the area we should invest significant resources.  He stated that the fastest growing form of e-learning is the webinar with over 45% of global companies using it.  Yet, 60 minutes of content yields only 2 ½ minutes of value. Why?  His own honest admission of sending an e-mail to a co-worker during his own webinar proved that relying solely on this delivery method tends to serve as an invitation for learners to multi-task rather than acquire knowledge. 

    Learners are looking for experiences which are non-disruptive to their work day and where they can learn on their own in concise, relevant segments.  Masie suggests using technology as a tool itself rather than a platform to connect people to each other.  Fostering collaboration will organically build effective and efficient learning environments.  He proposed the following: a new employee is asked to join a certain internal online community and contribute to the conversation. A month later he is required to ask someone from the group to go to lunch and discuss the current posts. 

    “It’s not about the technology- it’s about the methodology.”

    He then offered the anecdote of a friend who ordered a new bicycle on-line. When it arrived, he shocked to see that it was in several parts. Rather than take it to a bike shop, he was determined to assemble it himself and visited YouTube, internet sites and called a few cyclist friends. Was he successful? Yes.  Did he learn something? Absolutely. Could this serve a proto-type? Definitely.


    Masie announced the following trend is currently taking place and will ultimately force us, and quickly, to reinvent how we build learning opportunities.  Individuals are systematically reducing the curriculum and “personalizing” their learning.  They review the material and categorize the content:  what they will never need to know, what is permanently available on the internet, what might be relevant in a few months, etc.  They then figure out the delivery methods to gain this knowledge, internet search, texting friends, etc. and employ them at the time they need it. Concurrently, individuals are always figuring out ways to avoid organized training sessions.

    Masie announced this trend of self selection of material and methods will compel us to revisit the roots of adult learning theory. To effectively acquire knowledge, learners need to drive their own experience. If they are driving their own experience, they are more likely to get more out of it.  Therefore, learners and learning managers need to become our co-pilots.  “Personalization” of learning opportunities is an essential element in the design of future activities.  To achieve this, Masie boldly challenged us with a few next steps: understand how individuals consume what we deliver; seek innovation and insight from outside our field and give up our rituals. His one caution was to think “technology neutral” as the days of Bring Your Own Device are dwindling and the need to incorporate all the preferences of the multi-generational workforce is imperative.

    And innovation is not just for design but also for evaluation.  He proudly admits that he does not use a “smile sheet” for reasons which we can all guess. He boldly suggested that putting Kirkpatrick to the side might yield more tangible results in many cases.  Engage a focus group and heavily invest time and resources in regular follow up over several months.  An activity which he utilizes for his programs is to ask participants at the end of the session, keeping the outcomes the same, to redesign it.  He acknowledges that he uses this feedback since a majority of the time it does enhance the next generation of programs. Take the lead from surgeons.  After complex procedures, and particularly those which are not successful, surgery teams spend several hours debriefing about methods used, what could have been added/subtracted, what could be done differently next time, etc.  Spending the time to perform our own “autopsies” might well ensure more successful outcomes or unexpected ideas. His departing advice was, “swap aspirations, not business cards.”

    At the end of the hour, I know that I was not the only one who was inspired and motivated because it was not a presentation but a call to action and a permission slip for L&D professionals to become creative and take some calculated risks. Much of what he said was obvious but perhaps we just needed someone (particularly of his reputation) to vocalize it. His return to the fundamentals, Knowles and adult learning theory, is appropriate on several levels.  We should be ready to have an open eye and channel for the learner to tell us not only what they need but how they need it.  Motivation and interest of the learner is a key to success for all of us: employees, managers, L&D and partners. 

    A redesign of learning will also trigger a redesign of how we approach and conduct needs assessments, collect and analyze our metrics and educate and coach our business partners.  Secondly, as “instant gratification” categorizes our society due to rapid evolution and integration of technology into our personal and professional lives, there is little time to process what we’re doing.  We need to step back and renegotiate that space not only with ourselves but also with our teams.  The need to keep up, not to mention prove our worth, is overshadowing the need to let the seeds root, sprout and blossom. Programs are organic and dynamic and need to be nurtured in order to reach their ultimate goal.  I am reminded of a conversation with a colleague of mine several months ago.  Her mother’s gardening wisdom rang true: “You can’t keep ripping up the plant to see if there’s roots.”

    While I realize I am over my word limit, I wanted to provide a lagniappe of additional key phrases, or Masie-isms, from the evening which have power in and of themselves. 

    • “make an enormous commitment to design”
    • “the best learning tool is Google”
    • “social learning DOES NOT equal social media”
    • “transactive memory”
    • “smile sheets are just dessert for the learner”
    • “don’t devalue the depth of experience”
    • “give up the learning language-we need to be able to speak to general business units”
    • “e-books are an emerging segment”

    Chrissi Boryk is an aspiring L&D professional with experience in training, e-learning, project management and program design and development in both corporate and non-profit settings.  Her most recent experience is in medical education where she conceptualized, implemented and managed an e-learning product line to help physicians meet their board certification requirements.  She replanted her East Coast roots after 17 ½ years in Chicago in May 2011. She is a graduate of Tulane University and is currently enrolled in CUNY’s Adult Learning: Program Design and Facilitation Graduate Certificate program. An avid recipe collector, yogi and cyclist, she would consider changing her mantra of “life is one continuous wardrobe change” if Donna Karan created a moisture wicking suit with discreetly hidden bike shorts.

  • 24 Jun 2012 1:56 PM | Christina Boryk

    As my first volunteer assignment for ASTDNY, I had been asked to write a recap of the ASTDNY/HRNY Mixer which took place on June 7th at Connolly’s on 45th.  As there was no specific program or presentation to report on, I decided to use this opportunity to put my ear to the ground as well as keep them open. As 155 people registered, 54 from ASTDNY and 101 from HRNY, I was bound to learn something.

    The energy of the 3rd floor took over once I entered the room.  I quickly attributed this to the highly interactive and humorous ice breaker which gave everyone license to be both brave and creative.  There was a scorecard with 15 questions which included the easily attainable “has been a member of HR/NY for at least 10 years” to the unpredictable and a bit more personal “owns an exotic pet.” Late into the event, apparently frustrated he had one question left, one guest broadcast across the room “Has anyone ever been on a game show?” I am not sure if he got an answer but he certainly got everyone’s attention for a minute.

    Next, two consultants drew me into their conversation: welcome to the concept of performance support -  my new term and takeaway for the evening.  One of the new trends in training is to deliver digestible, focused and relevant knowledge to individuals along a structured, progressive timeline within their daily environment rather than sending them to a class for two days. The rationale is that the banking system of knowledge isn’t especially effective as most individuals do not retain over 70% of what they learned after the first few weeks of training as much of it is relevant or applicable at that time.  This encounter led me to revisit, and yes, mentally begin revising, the new training program and curriculum I had just finished writing.

    There was an abundance of vendors whose business ranged from IT recruiting to consulting to software to background checks. My interest was piqued as I spoke with my new acquaintance whose company performs employment verifications. I asked if their firm offers the service of investigating the social media sites for potential candidates.  While they may report on the number of times a name appears in a Google search, they will not report on the subject matter associated with those searches.  Interestingly, he went on to say that is it illegal in several states to gather information from a candidate’s social media sites in order to determine their eligibility for hire.  He also went on to say within the next few years all 50 states will have legislation banning any investigation of social media sites as criteria for determining an employee’s status. 

    Keeping with the social media thread, my conversation with two IT recruiters confirmed probably what many of us know already - the demand for technology support is there and will continue to grow. There is a huge demand for experienced individuals in the areas of infrastructure and development.  And, of course, for our end of things, this includes mobile application developers.  They commented that there is demand out there but as it is an emerging field, skilled programmers are difficult to find. 

    Another conversation with a fellow ASTDNY member, who is also in transition, addressed the technology question from a knowledge and skill perspective.  We discussed that a fair amount of the current job postings currently list “experience using Captivate (Articulate, etc.)” or “working knowledge of LMS” along with “knowledge of adult education principles,” “program design and facilitation” and “training of adult audiences.” I realize that many of us are Jacks of All Trades and we must be nimble and agile but do these postings indicate early signs of shift for a more technically and software savvy L&D professional? Do we need to have direct experience? If not, how do we learn about it enough to “talk the talk”?  What will the emerging modalities of social and mobile require of us in the next few years? Will we need to develop learning strategies with our IT counterparts? We departed pondering these questions but with a promise to stay in touch if either of us gained any further insight or information.

    As I was getting ready to leave, I noticed that these two women who had remained side by side all night, laughing and talking, were still engaged in conversation. I went over and introduced myself. Turns out they were friends who had worked closely together for 4 years and had been busy catching up since one of them had recently left the company.  One was an ASTDNY member and the other was from HRNY. They would often work informally together to exchange information, ideas and fill in the gaps.  “ASTDNY” summed it up: “when I needed the HR piece I would find her and when she needed L&D she’d come find me so we learned from each other and it worked out so well.” 

    This final conversation brought my evening full circle.  While Training and L&D will always try to establish an identity independent of Human Resources, whether it be our personal mission or through organizational design, we will always need each other.  After all, our common goal is to foster and guide the development of people. Building relationships, both internally and externally, is essential to meeting this goal.  And even as technology and social media are an essential part of our personal and professional lives, there will always continue to be a need to meet face to face to see, hear, laugh and learn from each other.

    Chrissi Boryk is an aspiring L&D professional with experience in training, e-learning, project management and program design and development in both corporate and non-profit settings.  Her most recent experience is in medical education where she conceptualized, implemented and managed an e-learning product line to help physicians meet their board certification requirements.  She replanted her East Coast roots after 17 ½ years in Chicago in May 2011. She is a graduate of Tulane University and is currently enrolled in CUNY’s Adult Learning: Program Design and Facilitation Graduate Certificate program. An avid recipe collector, yogi and cyclist, she would consider changing her mantra of “life is one continuous wardrobe change” if Donna Karan created a moisture wicking suit with discreetly hidden bike shorts.

  • 03 Jun 2012 9:35 PM | Anonymous member

    The NYU Higher Education SIG held its fourth event of the On-Site Practitioner Series at Pfizer on Tuesday, May 22nd.  This event was hosted by Cindy Pace, Senior Manager of Emerging Technologies in Worldwide Talent & Organizational Capability at Pfizer. Cindy and her small team work on “future sensing” for the talent organization on a small innovation team, a.k.a. iDISCOVER.


    With skills in learning technology, program design & development, adult learning & leadership, and L&D, the team is responsible for exploring, experimenting and pilot testing emerging approaches, processes, and technologies. These enable colleagues to learn and collaborate as well as foster a climate of creativity & innovation. One of iDISCOVER’s initiatives is focused on building collaboration & communities through social media, emphasizing social learning through collaboration and encouraging innovation by sharing information and ideas across WTOC and throughout the organization. 


    Learning & Development at Pfizer:


    Pfizer has evolved from delivering the majority of learning programs through the classroom and has adapted faster and more captivating ways to learn. Delivery of learning is now being done as well tested in different formats such as running business simulations, piloting virtual environments and iPads.


    Cindy highlighted that one of the most important roles of Pfizer’s Learning Managers was the ability for them to provide feedback from around the globe as well as share insights on the broader talent & business needs. Information provided through this channel assists in framing enterprise programs. Cindy emphasized the importance of Pfizer L&D professionals coming to the table as business partners, drawing attention to the business acumen mindset they are encouraging, and how Pfizer Global L&D is aligned and integrated with the talent management strategy and organizational capability.


    Key Takeaways:


    Cindy’s knowledge of the biopharmaceutical industry, the needs of her colleagues, and her strategic focus on aligning innovation with talent & organizational capability as it relates to future needs of Pfizer colleagues provided great insight to all who attended. Highlights from this event that we can learn from and incorporate into our own L&D roles or firms to bring added value include the following:

    1)     Pfizer is a “learning” organization that consciously makes an effort to ask the questions: "What shouldn’t we be doing?”, “What should we be doing?” and “How should we do it?”

    2)     Pfizer has an enterprise-wide internal social networking platform that allows employees to build and join communities that foster learning and the sharing of ideas throughout the organization.

    3)     In spite of organizational 'reshuffling' and economic constraints, the talent organization is forward thinking, by finding ways they can improve processes and searching for new ways to make enterprise-program engaging.

    4)     Pfizer is empowering people to OWN! their career by promoting self responsibility through online career tools that include self assessments, tips, tools and mentors. In this culture they want employees to have self-awareness and let others in the organization know who they are.

    5)     The iDISCOVER team challenges the limitations of “corporate orthodoxies” and uses behavioral roles within the team to label qualities and skills they are seeking to fill in order to cultivate an innovation culture. Examples include: Assigning someone to be a 'Navigator', a coaching role on the team that leads and stays the course, or an 'Imagineer', a role on the team that brings wonder and newness to projects.

  • 16 May 2012 8:12 AM | Anonymous member

    I attended the session on “Tweeting for Good” by Claire Diaz Ortiz, who leads social innovation at Twitter, where she has worked since 2009. It opened my thinking not about the How but the Why of Twitter. Like everything else, we need to start with the end in mind, especially if we want to use Twitter as part of a company's Social Learning/Communication strategy.  It's OK for our personal account to "Just do it" but for an organization we need to be more thoughtful about how tweeting can advance our organizational goals.  

    I would not consider myself a tech maven but I do love strategy.  Luckily, we were given a construct for which to create a strategy - using (what else) TWEET as the acronym.  Target, Write, Engage, Explore, Track. As a job seeker, I learned that Twitter can actually be a way to build and maintain relationships.  I will now include it as part of my personal marketing strategy.  My question went from "What's the most important gain to be made in 140 characters or less?" to "Who are the best people to engage to be a positive influence in my job quest" and "How can I streamline and make it easy accomplish my goals in 20 minutes a day."

  • 06 May 2012 7:58 PM | Anonymous

    Dawn Sidgwick, Director of Learning Media Development for Global Commercial Operations at Pfizer, outlined how the company is integrating iPads into their training delivery strategy at ASTDNY May Monthly Chapter meeting.

    Both the past and future are aligned for e-learning at organizations such as Pfizer. Dawn gave an overview of Pfizer’s long history of innovative training practices – from satellite broadcasts to web-based training and virtual meetings to its current and future plans to expand the use of technology for sales training and onboarding. Currently close to 30% of the Health Sciences organizations use only e-learning for their training delivery. This is foreseen to grow exponentially in the future as iPads are expected to be commonplace in 90% of these types of organizations – and to grow in all types of organizations.

    The use of iPads for training delivery grew out of an organizational necessity for the immediate delivery of new hire training. The prohibitive cost and time of the typical printed materials and the time needed to ready laptops for use, led to use of the iPad for the onboarding of sales staff. The organization found many benefits including increased new employee engagement, acquiring the labels of “cool” and “innovative,” positive feedback, and, most important, there was no difference in exam scores.

    iPads are generally considered to be very user friendly and less expensive than laptops, having increased functionality with the availability of apps and easy-to-update content. However, some constraints were also noted, such as security concerns, organizational readiness, the need for leadership buy-in, the lack of interactivity, and instructional design issues.

    Dawn’s final words of advice were reminders that technology is always evolving; that we are still building it even as we are using it: and, as is clear at Pfizer, our eyes should always be looking toward the future and toward the use of technology to lead to more effective and efficient training solutions.

  • 06 May 2012 8:16 AM | Anonymous member

    In "Your Brain at Work" David Rock explores the way our brain is wired based on studies and research conducted in the NeuroScience field. Our brain is the focus of this book and we need to develop an understanding of how our brain processes situations in order to improve our life, becoming more effective and thereby also achieving greater life satisfaction.


    The book outlines the day of 2 professionals, Emily and Paul, and their 2 kids, Michelle and Josh. Paul is a self employed Consultant and Emily is a Senior Corporate type. The issues they are dealing with we all know well: Emily was recently promoted, and she has to win people over in her new role, lead a team, sell ideas, and incorporate additional new responsibilities into her day. Additionally, she is juggling marriage, household duties and parenting. Paul is a self employed consultant working from home. He has to pitch ideas to prospects, write proposals and to generate new business. He is dealing with competitors, vendors, marriage, household responsibilities and parenting. The book takes us through email overwhelm, multi-tasking, managing expectations, turning enemies into friends, unfairness, relationships and dealing with a culture that needs to transform.


    The book introduces the reader to the functioning and limitations of the brain by exploring the pre-frontal cortex, the limbic system and response to both threats and reward states in the mind. Subsequently, this data was studied further and David Rock has developed a combination of these inter-related functions more concisely into the “SCARF” model which stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness.


    Making decisions and solving problems relies heavily on the Pre Frontal Cortex. The cortex is the outer covering of the brain- the prefrontal cortex sits behind the forehead. It is the biological seat of your conscious interactions with the world. The pre frontal cortex is handy but it has big limitations. It likes to have everything just right or it does not function well. The pre frontal cortex is introduced as a metaphor, a Stage, in a small theater where actors play a part but sometimes actors might be audience members going on stage to perform. The stage is what you focus on and it can hold information from your inner and outer world or a combination. 5 functions make up the majority of conscious thought.


    These 5 functions use the pre frontal cortex and this uses up significant resources. The stage requires a lot of energy to function and knowing this gives us the chance to prioritize and organize our day differently and to simplify where possible. Distractions play a big part in our lives and can be exhausting. Changing focus constantly minimizes productivity, losing quality of thinking. High level thinking requires much energy.


    There is also a character called the Director. The director is a metaphor for the part of the awareness that can stand outside of your experience and watch your life. Often it is called mindfulness, essentially meaning knowing yourself, which is the first step towards any change. Activating your “director” when you are overwhelmed is the real challenge that we all face regularly.


    Human emotions involve many brain regions. Emotional experience is connected to a large brain network called the Limbic System. This system tracks your emotional relationship to thoughts, objects, people and events. It determines how you feel and drives behavior. It is not possible to process all options in order to determine what to do next. Value judgments must be made. The limbic system constantly makes positive or negative decisions, termed Toward (Reward) and Away (Threat) states.


    David Rock developed the SCARF model and the book defines each of these 5 functions in context very thoroughly. This user-friendly model is a tool to help us to increase our own Toward state and decrease our Away state by strengthening these 5 domains. Also, as leaders or coaches, the model can assist us to help facilitate positive change in others in order to increase their performance.


    The book discusses peak performance, insight, hot buttons, uncertainty, autonomy, control, making choices, managing expectations and culture transformation. Readers of the book will find this information, together with the examples provided, very useful.

    David Rock imparts suggestions throughout the book with better ways to handle daily challenges that come into our lives each and every moment.


    The focus of the book is on the brain, taking into consideration the circuitry of the brain based on recent findings, and offers conclusions in order to improve work-life integration and efficiency.

    I highly recommend this book together with David’s book “Quiet Leadership” which  ties all these findings together profoundly in leading or coaching others, with the brain in mind, to enhance performance.


    Last but not least, in case you were curious about our co-stars, Emily and Paul and do they live happily ever after, sorry to disappoint but they do not end up living happily ever after in the fairy tale way we would wish. However, they do find ways that work. David Rock shows that there are better ways to approach situations, with the brain limitations in mind, in order that matters do not spiral out of control. Starting with  the understanding of how our brain works, becoming more aware of our limitations and taking self responsibility, we can deal with issues more graciously so that parties involved in our interactions can walk away feeling more satisfied.

  • 30 Apr 2012 6:23 AM | Anonymous member

    With stunning views from the 23rd floor of Met Life overlooking Bryant Park on an unusually warm early April evening, Kieran King from Skillsoft delivered a powerful, comprehensive, highly relevant presentation on “Blended Learning: Critical Design Decisions.” A self-professed “learning nerd” Kieran, Director of Client Loyalty, has authored learning methodologies and published several white papers, several of which are available to ASTD NY members in the Knowledge Center at Kieran may be an Atlanta resident now but she’s a true native New Yorker. As a recently hired Training Director in an organization where we do a fair amount of unblended single event classroom training, this event was perfectly timed for me.

     To give some context to where the industry is going, Kieran highlighted the shift in modality from 2001 when 80% of learning was delivered via ILT with to 2010 when that number decreased to 60% with 35% delivered virtually. This wasn’t as rapid a shift away from ILT as expected but it shows where we’re headed. She also highlighted three major trends in blended learning:

    • Increased recognition of its benefits
    • More purposeful application of blended designs
    • Greater recognition that Instructional Systems Design (ISD) is still just as important as it’s always been

    Kieran also pointed out that content can be delivered digitally 50% faster than in the classroom.

    She shared 5 blended learning tips from Sally Hovis, VP of Learning Design at Skillsoft:

    • Prepare your learners well
    • Best blended program is what works best for your org
    • Know your delivery options BEFORE you begin design and the best time to use it and the pros/cons for learners
    • Core ISD still applies
    • Acknowledge constraints

    So how do you know what modalities to use? It’s all driven by the needs of the learner at the various stages of the learning process. The focus of Kieran’s presentation was a review of the 8 Phases of Workplace Learning all described from the learner’s perspective:

    Before Instruction:

    • Show Me

    During Instruction:

    • Tell Me
    • Show Me
    • Let Me
    • Check Me

    After Instruction:

    • Support Me
    • Coach Me
    • Connect Me

    As ASTD NY member Gail Gross pointed out, this framework is valuable to share with the learners so they see how the design of any program was created with their needs in mind every step of the way.

    As an organization’s learning strategy matures, the degree and complexity of blending evolves as well. Here is Kieran’s Learning Strategy Maturity Model:

    Stage 1: Supplement: Initiate learning

    Stage 2: Target: Manager Learning

    Stage 3: Strategic: Align Learning

    Stage 4: Systematic: Integrate Learning

    Stage 5: Optimize: Enterprise-Wide Learning

    Other resources Kieran shared:

    Jennifer Hofman’s ASTD Infoline on instructional design

    Skillsoft’s ROI calculator

    For further elaboration on these invaluable points, members can reference 5 documents Kieran shared with us which are posted in the “Knowledge Center” under the “Resources” tab at You must log in to access this section. Thanks again to Kieran for an outstanding presentation and to MetLife for hosting in their incredible meeting space.

  • 29 Apr 2012 4:57 PM | Anonymous member

    I’m finally ready to admit that I have been a computer gamer for many years, but only now feel it’s safe enough to admit it. Why? Because gamification is now all the rage. If you don’t believe me, just look around you on the subway the next time you’re travelling in NYC and you’ll notice people intently looking at their cell phones playing everything from “Angry Birds” to “Tetris” to “Solitaire”.  Marketers and advertisers are adding game element like badges, status indicators, and leaderboards to encourage people to buy their products.  But how can we best use games to enhance learning and what are the game elements that make for effective learning?

    That question was the main focus on April 26th at the NYU Higher Ed and eLearning SIG joint SIG meeting.  We were fortunate to have Karl Kapp, Professor/Consultant at Bloomsburg University, stop by on his national book/blog tour to present highlights from his latest book “The Gamification of Learning & Instruction”.  The evening was energizing and engaging as we participated in a business simulation where we were assigned a role and had to negotiate with our table-mates to determine what business to be in and how to position it. In a very short time, the groups were completely immersed in the game. When Karl debriefed the game, and asked us a few questions, it was apparent that we had learned the key objectives without any formal training.

    Karl started out by asking us what questions we had when playing games such as pong, space invaders, Oregon Trail and Myst.  One surprising fact is that the highest growing segment of casual gamers is women over 40 – who are playing casual games which are those that don’t require a high time commitment. (Think “angry birds”).

    He noted that whenever training for life or death situations is needed, games are often the method of choice (i.e. flight simulators for pilots, health care simulations for doctors/hospital staff). Karl pointed out that trainers are often guilty of creating scenarios that are not challenging enough. For example, a hospital asked if they should have patients die in their simulation. (Karl’s answer: Yes!).

    Karl presented research showing that the situations don’t have to be fun to be educational – it’s much more important to make them engaging.  And simulation games often build confidence back on the job.  In one study, participants in the simulation showed 20% higher confidence rate on the job than those in a traditional classroom experience.

    According to Karl’s research, the four elements of games that aid learning are:

    1.       Stories and Challenges – people learn and retain much more when the information is presented within a story.  Consider starting your training with a scenario that places the learner in the story.

    2.       Levels – include scaffolding for beginners that isn’t used for advanced learners. Ideally, adaptive learning.

    3.       Freedom – games provide feedback throughout, where most elearning only provides feedback at the end. Leaderboards compare your success to others, however leaderboards are most successful when participants can choose who to compete with.

    4.       Freedom to Fail – in classroom, you may get only one try, but games start with expectation that you fail to try again and have multiple attempts to succeed.

    To top off the evening, Karl raffled off copies of his book to two lucky winners.

    Dr. Kapp was kind enough to provide his presentation on Slideshare: 

    If you have any interest in making your learning programs more effective, you owe it to yourself and your learners to consider using games as part of your instructional strategy.  The book is highly recommended and you can purchase it from Amazon or from the ASTD bookstore (use our chapter

    code : CH1026):

    Additional resources for the book :

    Pinterest page for the book

    Facebook page :

    Twitter hashtag #gamili

    Karl Kapp on twitter: @kkapp

    Karl’s blog:

  • 24 Apr 2012 8:45 AM | Anonymous member

    Instruct people to turn off their cellphones when you want them to pay attention - otherwise their brains will be trained on their phones, even if they are on vibrate.  Also, forget about multi-tasking - something will suffer because the brain simply cannot do two things at once.  This is how Paul McGinniss started the Joint Coaching and Book Club SIG Meeting on April 17, "The Neuroscience of Coaching - How the Brain Works to Facilitate Positive Change."  Paul is Director of Training & Delivery for the NeuroLeadership Group, North America, and the concepts he presented are based on David Rock's book, Your Brain at Work.  Paul reviewed the 5 Primary Social Needs presented in the book:  Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, Fairness (SCARF) and described how he has used SCARF in coaching scenarios.  He also worked with session participants to apply SCARF to their own challenging situations and answered questions on how to get the most out of working with clients.  The topic was so interesting that participants did not want to leave the session.  Fortunately, there's an opportunity to continue the conversation with Paul McGinniss on Tuesday, April 24 at 6:00pm EST.  Serena Martino, Chair of the Book Club SIG, invited participants to dial in to Conference Number 512-400-4809, Guest Access Code: 848 3901# to:

    • Learn strategies for embedding routines and information so that you have more strength in regulating your behavior
    • Bring actual life situations to get a brain science perspective on how to deal with them
    • Share business client challenges and let Paul work with you by applying SCARF to diffuse them

    Anne Lesch, Co-Chair Coaching SIG

  • 03 Apr 2012 9:04 PM | Anonymous member

    Dave Basarab presented his book “Predictive Evaluation” at the March Chapter meeting and the Book Club SIG discussed it on March 29th at Barnes and Noble, with Dave participating via conference call.


    Dave presented the “PE” model in a very open and interactive style at the Chapter Meeting. The PE model is based on using the model as a leading indicator, to predict the adoption success rate in advance of starting a training program---what a concept!


    The PE model has two main components: Predicting and Evaluating and it provides data for executives, including:

    1. predicting areas of success in 3 areas: Intention, Adoption and Impact, and Measuring to see if success was achieved.
    2. leading indicators of future adoption, i.e. Transfer of Learning and Impact
    3. making recommendations for continued improvement

    If leading indicators are below what was predicted, actions can be taken “to right the ship”.


    The book defines the variables Intention, Adoption, and Impact in great detail. Intention addresses the question: “Are participant goals and beliefs upon course completion aligned with desired goals?” The text provides the steps to follow in order to conduct a successful Intention Evaluation.


    Adoption addresses the question: How much of the training has been implemented on the job and successfully integrated into the participants work behavior.  An Adoption Evaluation measures participant goal completion rate against the defined Adoption Rate created when training value is predicted, transferring goals to the workplace. Results are analyzed and reports produced as needed. The steps are outlined in detail in the text to conduct successful Adoption Evaluation.


    Impact evaluation identifies the impact the value of training has for the organization that can be traced to training. Assessment is quantified by the adoptive behavior that has made a measurable difference. The steps are expanded fully in the book to calculate successful Impact Evaluation.


    The model is designed to predict the success of skills-based rather than knowledge-based training. It is also designed to monitor ongoing repeatable training programs in order to measure continuous improvement. Most importantly, it is designed for learning organizations that are open to examining their progress further by looking within in order to improve processes to achieve more favorable results that can be traced to training specifically.


    I have discovered that to start with the last chapter of the book, chapter 6, is extremely useful. It explains how to start using the PE model successfully. It recommends the plan of action and the questions to ask before starting. Questions such as “Who are the key stakeholders? Who should receive the evaluation reports? What resources are available? What existing practices are in place? What funding is available?” and the “Timing” may prove crucial to your plan. These questions help to assess the purpose of the evaluation and what is prompting it. A plan of action is the key to the success of the PE plan. Action steps such as Deciding on the Questions that the PE should answer, and Creating a list of information that the PE needs to deliver followed by a list of tasks to execute for each deliverable identified, may prove critical. Subsequently, after asking the questions, perform the PE using the PE Sequence as shown in the book.


    To summarize, as Dave inscribed in my book: “Predict and Evaluate to drive great results.” The PE Model is worth exploring prior to making the training investment, to illustrate to the organization stakeholders in a comprehensive manner the value and impact attributable to training.


Site Feedback
© ASTD NY 2014

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software