eLearning Guild a True Community of Practice

The Learning Solutions Conference serves as the largest of the eLearning Guild’s yearly conferences and brings together professionals seeking to identify, deploy and manage technology-based learning solutions. I was unable to attend the event last week, but I caught up with Jean Marrapodi, eLearning Guild and Learning Solutions Conference veteran, who was willing to share some of her insights on this year’s conference.

Conference Overview

Jean shared that what makes this conference different from others is the extent to which people are willing to share information. Attendees aren’t looking at each other like competition, they’re working together to develop best practices that they can leverage outside of the conference setting. It is truly a community of eLearning professionals. Jean noted that she personally came away from the conference with a lot of tactical information, particularly in regards to utilization of mobile learning as a performance support tool.

Session Highlights

In my conversation with her, we discussed a few session topic highlights including: the evolving role of the instructional designer as content curator in an increasing “data wasteland,” the power of conversation in learning, and the role of video in education.

I asked Jean to tell me about the session about  Avoiding Information Overload: Creating Conversation session.  I asked her what did the speaker suggest about the goal of incorporating conversation into the learning environment and not settling for a lecture style?

At Web Courseworks, we make the most of our video production department in our course development.  I asked Jean about the session “Making the Most of Video,” .

Roundtable on Evaluation

Jean presented a roundtable on evaluation in the Foundations Intensive portion of the conference where she posed the questions: What’s the difference between an assessment and evaluation? How do we determine why a learner isn’t meeting the course’s goals? I asked for her take on how to best convince management or sponsors to take time and money to develop courses.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, Jean will be taking a systemic look at some of the course offerings at the New England College of Business where she serves as an instructional designer and faculty member. As an undergraduate online course developer, she will be doing her own evaluation of their program to ensure, as she says, “that we’re doing what we say we’re doing… tweaking and improving what we’ve got. We should be continuously improving what we’re doing and if it’s not meeting needs than why bother [offering the courses].”

This year’s Learning Solutions Conference was a huge success to say the least. Learn more about the conference and Jean Marrapodi online.