Caveo Learning

Corporate Strategy and Learning Center

Brian Ziemba

Brian Ziemba is a senior instructional designer for Caveo Learning.

Bring Dry Training to Life with Characters, Conflict, and a Realistic Plot

Posted by Brian Ziemba on April 24, 2018

Training content on onboarding information, product knowledge, or processes can be inherently dry and hard to deliver in an engaging manner. But dry or not, this content is important for employees to learn about their workplace, the processes they need to follow, regulations they need to comply with, and changes or initiatives happening throughout the company. It’s up to the training department to deliver this content properly.

However, because this information often does not apply directly to everyday tasks, it’s difficult to train using performance-oriented learning methods. Therefore, before training on informational content, it’s important to consider the learners’ perspective, existing knowledge, and how motivated they are to learn the content.

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Create Engaging Participant Guides

Posted by Brian Ziemba on March 6, 2018

Participant guides can be valuable tools for maintaining learner engagement and reinforcing on-the-job performance when developed as part of instructor-led training. Unfortunately, many times the participant guide is created quickly, if at all, at the end of a project and only includes images of the slides from the presentation. You expect your facilitators to engage the learners, not just to read bullet points on slides. Support your learners' performance by providing high-quality participant guides that are developed concurrently with the facilitator's guides and that provide unique content to the learner.

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Learning Retention: Beyond the Classroom

Posted by Brian Ziemba on January 4, 2018

In a recent blog, we pointed out strategies to increase learning retention by using what we know about human memory, but what about after the training event is over? How do we make sure it sticks?

In many organizations, learning is seen as a one-time event, often in a different location from the job site, and once it's over, the learning on that content is over. But in order to reinforce the application of the learning and identify the actual retention, we need to think of training as a continual process and extend it beyond the one event.

There are several practical ways to ensure knowledge transfer, and implementing these can improve the investment your organization has made in training employees.

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5 Best Practices of Effective LMS Administrators

Posted by Brian Ziemba on July 6, 2017

Administration and operation of a learning management system typically falls to one person or a small team, and it can quickly become a full-time responsibility. Effective LMS administration can be tricky, because the concerns and challenges facing the LMS administrator may not always align with the issues facing the end users.

To meet the needs of the learners interacting with the learning management system, LMS administrators should keep in mind the following five best practices...

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Use Realistic eLearning Interactions to Enhance Learning Retention

Posted by Brian Ziemba on March 30, 2017

While eLearning has become one of the most widely adopted training modalities, the quality of its interactive components often falls short of optimal. It's up to instructional designers to ensure eLearning interactions are truly enhancing learning retention and supporting performance, not merely breaking up the text and audio.

It’s easy for instructional designers to give in to the temptation to pepper interactions every three or four screens, or by default at the end of every lesson. But rather than feeling pressured to meet some arbitrary interaction quota, be thoughtful and strategic about the types of meaningful, performance-focused activities or interactions that will support each of your learning objectives or business goals.

When weighing whether an interaction is meaningful, think about the likelihood that the learner would perform that particular task in a real work environment. It’s not often that most people would need to explain information they read, nor do they usually need to click a box to learn more. These types of interactions are meant to "engage" the learner, but they’re not really that different from simply turning the page.

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Include Learners in Audience Analysis for Better Instructional Design

Posted by Brian Ziemba on January 4, 2017

Rarely are the learners—the folks actually working in the job day to day—asked for their input into shaping learning deliverables. These are people who may have an intimate knowledge of the content, and at the very least, they can provide a voice to help shape and focus the training on what learners really need to know. 

Often, the audience of learners has no idea that a performance solution is even being developed—it's created and delivered from the top down. But there are many good reasons to request and consider learner input during the audience analysis and instructional design phases.

For starters, the people doing the job can provide a more complete picture of how the new task or knowledge will fit into their work processes. This valuable intelligence can help instructional designers push back against the "everything including the kitchen sink" approach often requested by subject matter experts. Additionally, the change management component of the learning intervention rollout can be better planned with advance knowledge of how it will ultimately be received and used by the target audience.

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Go Beyond Multiple Choice for eLearning Skills Assessments

Posted by Brian Ziemba on September 1, 2016

Multiple choice and true/false questions are the most common forms of eLearning and blended learning assessment, and while these forms absolutely have value, their usefulness is limited to gauging the learner’s ability to comprehend knowledge-based content. Mere knowledge doesn’t necessarily lead to improved performance, however, and there are better assessment methods for identifying actual skills transfer.

Just as not all training is knowledge-based, not all progress can be measured with a question, so instructional designers should choose the most effective method for verifying performance capability. Look past common objective questions to find more creative methods of skills assessment.

Before making any changes, first examine your current strategy. Are you using objective questions as your main type of assessment for a reason, or just because that’s the way it’s always been done? Instructional designers and trainers often use objective questions because they think they're supposed to.

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