I feel hugely privileged to chair this track. It deals with three crucial issues regarding the development of learning strategies and solutions:

How should you build it?
Should you build it (and will it look like a "course")?
If you build it will they come (well not if it is dull, overblown, irrelevant)?

Throughout the day, there is a wealth of wisdom and experience. I can hardly wait. In the morning two seasoned campaigners, Gordon and Mark focus our thoughts on how we decide which technology to use; Gordon rises to the challenge of "should we use it at all?", and Mark gives the view of an expert practitioner on the merits and limitations of Open Source tools and systems.

In the first session after lunch, Sue and Bernadette reveal how they have stepped beyond the constraints of simply delivering training as an accompaniment to large systems roll outs in their respective Departments. It's going to be good to note that the notion of workflow performance support is alive and well in our major organisations. I'm personally really interested in the strategies used by L&D professionals to manage change and to provide performance support that is more than just training. I'm hoping to hear about this dynamic, not only in helping people very efficiently and economically to change how they do some aspect of their work, but also to change how they learn, too.

I've known Itiel Dror for a few years now and I always feel excited about his presentations. I've already bought into the message about the limitations of the human brain and the consequences of trying to overload it. E-learning designers and developers are often characterised by the same superstitious behaviour - to place very heavy emphasis upon the graphical representation of information. Dr Dror's first session will challenge us, I'm sure, to consider the risks of too much arousal by over-indulgent or gratuitous imagery. Screen ergonomics and navigation are topics that I find very interesting so I hope to find some guidance in Itiel's words. And then he's going to share some of his insights into how video can be used to effect. I always remember the adage that video traditionally was projected in the dark, and that people fall asleep in the dark, so I'll be keen to hear more about how to make it interactive rather than passive or "interruptive"!

It's bound to be a great day. I'll look forward to seeing you there.

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Hi Phil

I am really looking forward to this track. Since the last conference I have tried to self teach myself by creating lots of content to some degree of success and slashing implementation costs by thousands! I was thankful of Itiels insight on the overuse of images and it has made a big difference, learners no longer are distracted by sometimes irrelevant images which I used to put on presentations to make it look nice, when really they just wanted to know what the wanted to know.
I am sure many others will find this helpful, John. Even the "converted" may find it strengthens their resolve to be reminded of some of these principles. We all feel the attraction of "eye candy" from time to time.

John Hampton-Guest said:
Hi Phil

I am really looking forward to this track. Since the last conference I have tried to self teach myself by creating lots of content to some degree of success and slashing implementation costs by thousands! I was thankful of Itiels insight on the overuse of images and it has made a big difference, learners no longer are distracted by sometimes irrelevant images which I used to put on presentations to make it look nice, when really they just wanted to know what the wanted to know.
Hi Phil

Hope you are well. I'm really looking forward to Dr. Dror's sessions too. I first saw him last year and the lightbulbs just came on in my head (no more than 7 at one time though!). In this practical track why aren't you talking to us about designing and developing successful assessments? A skill that should be emphasised more I think.

Hope to see you to say hello over the 2 days.

Casson
There can be no doubt, Casson, that the all-seeing Don (Don Taylor and not Don Corleone) will have noted your comment and stored it for next time around!

Casson McRae said:
Hi Phil

Hope you are well. I'm really looking forward to Dr. Dror's sessions too. I first saw him last year and the lightbulbs just came on in my head (no more than 7 at one time though!). In this practical track why aren't you talking to us about designing and developing successful assessments? A skill that should be emphasised more I think.

Hope to see you to say hello over the 2 days.

Casson
Thanks, Phil and Casson for driving conversation around this track and picking up on the topic of assessment. It is an important, and one that perhaps we could not only focus on next year, but maybe also in June.

A suggestion: Phil, would you like to set up an Assessment Group for this online forum? That would give us the opportunity to see what topics are of greatest interest prior to the June event.

PS - the June event is the free, one-day follow up to next week's conference. It takes place on June 9th at the same venue: Olympia 2.
Sounds great Phil. I am also looking forward to Dr Dror. As for how to keep us awake in the dark... chunk the video into parts. That way, each time we feel comfortable, the lights will switch back on and somebody will ask our opinions on the focus question asked before the start of the video.

Either that or experiment on how far an electric charge can flow through a group of people :-)

Casson is right... assessment would be a great topic as it is often neglected.

Gary

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