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Battle of the eLearning Tools – Part One May 20, 2014

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A few weeks ago at our April session at MCCC, twelve audience members were split among three teams to discuss four real-life training scenarios. Each team separately discussed the tool(s) they would prefer to use based upon their collective experiences. As a large group we discuss our preferences, and our experiences along with tips for using off-the-shelf authorware such as Articulate Studio, Articulate Storyline, and Captivate.
Please see the attached PDF for details of our discussion. A fourth vote was cast in rounds two and three as honorable mentions (*).

ASTD PHL eLg SIG Battle of eLrg Tools ScoreCard final

Part Two of this session is really a showcase. Due to time constraints we were not able to share examples that evening. Therefore, by audience request we will use the upcoming session on July 17 to share samples and better practices. If you’re a freelance instructional designer/developer or new to eLearning this is a great way to network and pick up a few tips!

Stay tuned to the ASTD Greater Phila – Event webpage for an upcoming announcement: http://www.astdphl.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1776221


A Case for a New Approach to Corporate Training October 8, 2013

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Recently, Glenn Eckard, COO from Rapid Learning Institute joined our evening session for an engaging discussion on, “A case for a new approach to corporate training” that highlighted a flipped model for classroom training in a corporate setting. Given current statistics on challenges facing today’s corporate learning programs (spend ratio and effects from loss of productivity) and the changing workforce, Glenn made a case for the need to have effective training methods that result in engaged employees and subsequently increased productivity with cost savings. He also highlighted that with the approaching decline in Baby Boomer workers the need for an innovative approach for effectively developing intermediate to expert skills in the current and emerging workforce, i.e. Millenial generation, is vital. Quick fact: by 2016, Millenials will be the majority of current workers.

One of the keys to addressing the needs of the Millenial workforce is to build stronger employee-manager relationships to help keep the employees engaged. Company loyalty is no longer a given with the emerging workforce. While trainers provide the impetus for skill development, managers have the opportunity to foster retention by addressing the “forgetting curve” and providing segments or smaller portions of focused on-the-job learning through effective follow-up. Glen shares the Four R’s of Effective Follow-Up in the presentation attached below.

The key to effective follow-up, however, is solid program planning balanced with targeted pre and in-class activities. These “chunks” or learning intervals are purposeful and based on the premise that participants really do want to learn, but they are short on time and attention! Please be sure to download the PDF file to read more on the model advocated by Glenn’s company, Rapid Learning Institute. For additional information, please visit their site at, www.RapidLearningInstitute.com

Glenn’s presentation: New_Approach_Corp_Lrg_G_Eckard_RLI_ASTDPHLeSIG_19SEP13

Rapid E-learning Design Insights from Glenn Eckard September 4, 2013

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Please join us on Thursday, September 19th, from 6-8 PM at the LaSalle University campus in Plymouth Meeting for an exciting presentation by Glenn Eckard of Rapid Learning Institute as he shares his insights on rapid learning design.


Glenn Eckard is the co-founder and COO at the Rapid Learning Institute.  Before launching RLI and its parent company – Business 21 Publishing – in 2002, Glenn was the Sales Director at New England Business Service (NEBS) (1999 – 2002), and Progressive Business Publications (1993-1999). Glenn is a start-up expert who, in addition to being co-founder of the Rapid Learning Institute, has personally launched dozens of sales offices, and hired and trained thousands of sales and sales management leaders throughout his career. Glenn received his B.A. from Widener University, and currently lives in Springfield, PA, with his wife and two sons.  


You’ll be able to sign up for the event this Friday, September 6tth by clicking here: http://www.astdphl.org/Default.aspx?pageId=1072208

Recap of “Flash to HTML5 Conversion – Getting Ready for iPad Deployment?” July 25, 2013

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Our presenter, Dave Goodman (CoFounder, SoftAssist) gave an informative presentation on converting Flash courses in HTML. He discussed the five stages of a general process – decisions, design, conversion, interactions and development.

Dave discussed each of the stages along with useful suggestions and tips. There are numerous technical considerations from authoring tools, device operating systems, user access and viewing preferences, and browsers to name a few.

To view the details, click on the following for a PDF of his presentation!
For a list of additional resources on this topic, be sure to see the last slide. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dave, dgood@softassist.com

HTML5 Webinar_General_SoftAssist_DG

ASTD PHL June eLearning SIG: Synopsis July 5, 2013

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Used for building websites Zsolt Olah explained how he used Joomla for building online learning for Comcats’s Customer Service New Hire program. Joolma is an open-source web content management system, http://www.joomla.org. Many well-known companies use this platform for building their websites.

Zsolt walked through a demo of his web page, which sits behind his company’s firewall. In “Comcastville” (fashioned to look like a 3D CGI neighborhood), participants (sales reps) learn to overcome scenario-based challenges via “back propagation.” They aren’t told all the rules, but with repeat attempts, they learn by figuring different ways to succeed in the game. As a reward, participants earn customers (points) as they successfully perform various levels of exercises.

Some of the key elements to ensure this type of a self-paced activity is a valuable learning experience include visual appeal, hands-on interactions, easy maintenance, and alignment with the learner’s job performance requirements.

From a technical perspective, graphics development is needed upfront along with programming to build the structure of the web page. One main benefit is that the web page is easily maintained once it is built. For example, because content doesn’t reside in the web page, but is assembled when called upon by the participant, updates can be made by changing the question and answers. As an independent web page, any feed to an LMS can be built in (i.e. *.api). Many custom extensions are available on Joomla’s website (over 9,000).

You can download his presentation by clicking here: zsoltolah_joomla

“Flash to HTML5 Conversion – Getting Ready for iPad Deployment?” with Dave Goodman – Thursday, July 18, 6-8 PM, LaSalle Plymouth Meeting Campus July 1, 2013

Posted by karlgrieb in Misc.

Program Description:
Every company has a large investment in Flash learning but may now face the endeavor of converting those courses for use on the iPad or other mobile devices, along with the PC and across multiple browsers. What should you do and what are the best ways of achieving this. This session will highlight three possible approaches, some of the critical decisions to be made and one of the processes to be implemented. This is not a product or service specific session but a sharing of best practices.

About the Speaker:
Dave is President one of the original founders at SoftAssist, Inc. and possesses over 20 years of experience in  the design, development and management of over 500 projects. SoftAssist has won over 11 nationally recognized and juried awards for excellence in learning. Dave is a past presenter at ASTD and at eGuild Orlando, 2013,  mLearn, 2010,  Training 2012 at Atlanta, ASTD Metro DC, SALT and with the Masie Center.
To register, click here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e7qxrm0a71968e99

Creativity Meets Technology Case Study Presentation May 29, 2013

Posted by karlgrieb in Misc.
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Join us on Thursday, June 20, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM at the LaSalle University – MetroPlex Corporate Center for an exciting case study presentation on an open source content management system as a smart engine behind an interactie blended learning solution at Comcast University.

The first time Comcast University ran pilots of the New Hire Experience, an interactive blended learning program, learners literally tried to sneak in from legacy classes. This blended learning program seamlessly presents learners with a visual roadmap of wide variety of activities throughout the new hire experience (eLearnings, “gamified” quick challenges, videos, simulations, documents, links, etc.).

Behind this effective program is a database driven smart engine. The engine handles hundreds of activities in thousands of classes (with customized content for certain groups), and does it on the fly! That means the content the learner sees is tailored to their exact needs. That’s Joomla!, an award winning open source CMS tool.

Come and experience how Comcast University has harnessed this powerful open source technology using a creative approach to resolve challenges like:

  • Allow non-technical people to create, edit and maintain content (without messing with XML).
  • Provide a template that is consistent through all classes but allow the flexibility to customize the content.
  • Reduce speed to market for minor changes (from days to minutes).
  • Be flexible to turn on and off activities or change their order.
  • Display information only relevant to users (based on groups, markets, role or class).
  • Find a quality solution that is scalable, cost effective and user-friendly.


This presentation focuses on how the open source engine addresses all these expectations. While we will touch on the content itself, our main focus will be how creativity meets technology using Joomla!.

About the Speaker
Zsolt is a Program Manager at the Comcast University Wireless Operations team, where he oversees the curriculum design, development and delivery for the Comcast – Verizon Wireless learning initiatives across several States.

Zsolt has an extensive project and program management background, as well as more than a decade of learning and development experience. Zsolt’s passion to combine creativity and technology goes back to his thesis, which was to build an artificial neuron-network in C++ capable of learning how to add two numbers together. Since then, Zsolt has worked in the instructional design and eLearning development field with companies like Pepsi, Nokia, Siemens, IBM, Oracle, and for the last five years, Comcast. Zsolt is well-versed in most of the top eLearning applications and has working knowledge of several programming languages. Zsolt has also designed and taught an information design and delivery university curriculum for the University of Debrecen in his native country, Hungary.

To sign up for this event, click here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e78suylb744347e7

Taking Your Training to Tahiti (or Tel Aviv) by Frank Felsburg May 6, 2013

Posted by karlgrieb in Misc.
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Frank Felsburg will be presenting “Taking Your Training to Tahiti (or Tel Aviv) on Thursday evening, May 16th, starting at 6:00 PM at the LaSalle University Metroplex Center in Plymouth Meeting.

Felsburg’s presentation addresses such issues as cross-cultural differences, global human resource development and language barriers. Using a collaborative approach and experiential learning, ways to overcome these challenges are realized.

Felsburg’s presentation will help attendees:

  •          Build more effective training from a global perspective
  •          Recognize content that needs to be localized before it is translated
  •          Define ways to save money on translation

Following the session, attendees will think more internationally, especially from a performance improvement standpoint. They will be able to utilize the information presented immediately afterwards.

Frank Felsburg is an account executive with Magnum Group. He works with organizations that want to communicate globally and optimize their international presence. A large percentage of his clients are in the Training & Development sector. Magnum translates and localizes their training content for non-English speaking learners.

Felsburg has worked with organizations to help them produce foreign-language versions of online training modules as well as presentations and workbooks for instructor-led training. He’s Past President of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of ASTD and now serves on ASTD National’s Chapter Recognition Committee.

Felsburg has delivered stand-up training in the areas of customer service, sales and communication skills and has also worked for a custom eLearning development company. A graduate of Villanova University, he is the author of numerous articles and a book on listening.

For more information or to sign up for the event, click here: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e78srqu313da0ac5

Captivate Joe Presentation Recap! April 23, 2013

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On Thursday, April 18, the Philadelphia ASTD E-learning SIG was treated to a fantastic demonstration on Captivate 6 Tips and Tricks by non other than Joe Ganci, AKA Captivate Joe. His fascinating 1-hour webinar provided cool and huge time-saving tips in the popular simulation tool.


Joe was kind enough to provide a job aid as well, and offered to do another webinar later this year (more to come!).


Click here for the job aid!Ganci – Captivate Killer Tips

Captivate 6: Very Cool Tips and Tricks! April 1, 2013

Posted by karlgrieb in Misc.
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Program Description:

Ladies and gentlemen, if you use Adobe Captivate, or even if you’re just interested in seeing what it can do, you really want to come see what is possible under the hood. These aren’t just cool, they can be huge time-savers and make you one of the most efficient Captivate developers around. We’re not telling you now what you’re going to learn, just know that at least one, and more likely, several, of these tips will brighten your day and make you happy you attended!

About the Speaker:

Joe Ganci is an eLearning consultant with a long track record. Since 1983, Joe’s design approaches and his expert use of development tools, such as Captivate, Storyline, Raptivity, Presenter and Acrobat, ZebraZapps, Roleplay and others, has helped many to improve their eLearning design and development for both desktop and mobile. Joe’s personal and hands-on style has his services constantly in demand and he is privileged to have visited with many clients all over the world. He has taught classes for many years at client sites and has taught at many learning conferences, where he has often served as keynote speaker.

Joe holds a degree in Computer Science and is a published author, having written several books, research papers and many articles. He is on a mission to improve the quality of eLearning with practical approaches that work.


Webinar – Thursday April 18, 2013 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT

Registration Info:

 Please register for this virtual session using this URL: https://student.gototraining.com/r/9008193562215862528

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.