Which ELearning Conference Should I Attend?

Which eLearning Conference Should I Attend?

eLearning people have noted online that there are just too many conferences from which to pick. Here are some things to think about when you are deciding which conference to attend this year. Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is there a pre-conference workshop I would like to attend?
  2. Do the keynote speakers interest me?
  3. Review who is speaking at the concurrent sessions. Do they interest me?
  4. Where is the conference located? Should I plan for a conference on my side of the country?
  5. What are my affiliations? Corporate? Academic?
  6. Where am I on the food chain? Designer? Programmer? Manager?

Here are my opinions on various conferences:

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Tips On Handling Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Tips on Handling Subject Matter Experts (SME)

I’ve been following responses to a question on LinkedIn’s eLearning Guild group about working with subject matter experts, or SMEs. Here is my response to some of the ideas other group members posted:

  1. Recognize that how you manage the SME will have a significant impact on the success of your eLearning project in terms of time, cost, and quality.
  2. Inform your SME of the goals of your project and the amount of time it will take to meet them. Provide a mutually-agreed-upon timeline for when you need the SME.
  3. Ask the SME whether his or her supervisor understands the time commitment the training program will require.
  4. Show the SME a sample of a similar eLearning project in order to educate him or her on what to expect from this project. Provide a quick overview of the complexity of the final deliverable, the team effort necessary, and especially, the importance of expert input.
  5. Whenever possible, let the SME react to content. Start with a rough outline that uses a lesson/topic format.
  6. Respect the SME’s time; come prepared with questions that encourage the SME to tell you stories. And above all, listen!
  7. Use a spreadsheet or Word outline template to assist the SME with writing ideas down on “paper”.
  8. Use a web-based team site or wiki as a document repository and as a way to keep the SME informed of all project phases and the roles of other team members.
  9. Aggressively renegotiate deadlines when necessary. Take the lead on communicating with the primary stakeholder when deadlines change due to SME time constraints.
  10. Honor the expert throughout the development process. Tell the development team about the important contributions the SME makes to the project.
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It’s All About The Economy!

It’s all about the Economy!

This is my first blog post since 2005, when I wrote about my experiences playing the video game, XMEN, for a class I was taking at the University of Wisconsin. Last week I became inspired by my holiday reading of David Merman Scott’s The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Well here I go…As an eLearning entrepreneur, I have paid special attention to the overly depressing 2009 economic prognostications. This is my fourth recession. I’ve been self employed as an educational technologist since 1978. I feel that eLearning is going to be one of the winners during this current downturn. More associations (and there are thousands) will begin investing in online learning and will begin to eliminate a few face to face conferences.

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