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Monday, June 04, 2007

eLearing 2.0 - Great Response and Some Feedback

I did my eLearning 2.0 presentation at ASTD 2007. There were over 200 people and it was standing room only. Someone told me that lots of folks couldn't get in. Lots of good energy in the room. The audience was about half very new people to training and eLearning and the rest had varying levels of experience. Most of the audience wasn’t familiar with social bookmarking. About half were familiar with blogs and Wikis, but very few had any experience.

By in large feedback was VERY positive which is gratifying. I took suggestions from the LCB Big Question - PowerPoint: What is Appropriate? When and Why? and PowerPoint More Questions to heart and tried to improve my presentation.

Some of the positive feedback was:

Tony should be a KEYNOTE SPEAKER

and they did write it with all caps. And

Best info I have ever heard!

Those are maybe a bit over the top, but there was certainly quite a bit of positive feedback among the participants. And there was clear energy in the room. But also some strong skeptics. Which, if you believe Seth Godin, means you likely are doing something right.

But there was also quite a bit of constructive criticism too, which is always what I spend my time on. I try to digest it and figure out what I can/should do different going forward.

1. Tried to Cover too Much

Many people said that I tried to cover too much and didn’t get enough into how/where/when to apply eLearning 2.0 approaches. That’s a completely valid criticism. In 75 minutes, it was impossible to both introduce the tools to people who are not familiar with them and discuss in any depth where they apply. One really good suggestion was to break it up into two sessions:

  • eLearning 2.0 Introduction
  • eLearning 2.0 Applications

I did something along these lines (two presentations) at ASTD TechKnowledge 2007, but many people came to the Applications presentation without having attended the 101 presentation. I would love to know that everyone coming into the Applications session know the content covered in the Introduction session.

I’m excited about doing an eLearning 2.0 Applications Session. I’m thinking about structuring it around three levels of application:

  • Individual - You
  • Work Group – Your Team
  • Organization – Your Job

I’m going to be working on this: figuring out great examples that are highly relevant; maybe looking for a co-presenter; searching for sources.

At the same time, I’m going to struggle with what is best to present in 60 or 75 minutes. I think there’s a fantastic keynote presentation in there about the eLearning 2.0 Revolution – but it can’t get into a lot of the detail that I also love. I think there’s a couple other 60 or 75 minute presentations that will have slightly different focus. Go through the tools faster. It’s hard. I’m still going to have to work on this.

2. More time for Discussion / Questions

Some of the questions in the feedback –

  • What about intellectual property rights?
  • Any issues w/ content quality?
  • You didn't get back to implications in education.

3. Handouts

The conference hadn’t printed enough handouts. At the start of my session I told everyone that I would be happy to email them a copy and that I had made some changes and if they wanted those changes, just drop me a card and I would email them. And I will.

In the feedback, many people complained about running out. They also complained about the changes. The changes were relatively small – I still kept all the same links – the outline didn’t change. Still many complaints came in about that.

4. Speaking Style

I speak very fast. Some people are okay with that style, but international audience members had a hard time following me. I hadn’t considered that 20% of the audience would be international. Of course, that’s going to be a big conflict with my issues of time.

Other issues of speaking style:

  • Remember to repeat all questions.
  • Waved pointer too fast

I want to thank everyone who spent time giving feedback. There were a lot of evaluations. And those who spent the time to write down a thought or two – positive or constructive is greatly appreciated.

Of course, what would be even more gratifying is to see comments and blog posts from people in the room. Did anything actually happen at the end of the discussion? Out of ASTD TK 2007 and the eLearningGuild, I know at least a few people have taken my presentation to heart. Let's see if that's true with ASTD.

Just saw this - ASTD Internation 2007 - Sunday, June 3rd 2007
and this - Here at ASTD...first session reviews...Ruth Clark and Tony Karrer...
and this - eLearning 2.0
and - eLearning 2.0

Cool that these came up so fast.


Don Bolen said...

Thanks Tony for the presentation at ASTD 2007. You certainly jump-started my explorations into the new tools


Anonymous said...

I was one of your attendees at this presentation, Tony - thanks for an excellent overview of Web 2.0 technologies and the ways they can be harnessed in learning. I think the most important point you raised was how this whole technology trend is putting the learners, rather than the trainers, in charge of the learning. It's a profound shift for all of us to get our heads around, isn't it?

Tony Karrer said...

Beth - very well said! It is pretty profound.