Australia’s first HR-tech start-up accelerator program is being delivered by corporate start-up Slingshot in collaboration with talent solutions provider Hudson, online employment marketplace SEEK and The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). Start-ups accepted into “Human Capital,” a 12-week program that kicks off in March, will receive up to $50,000 from the Slingshot Investment Fund for 10% of the equity in the business as well as training and resources, a support team of mentors and access to a co-working space.

According to Karen Lawson, CEO of Slingshot and former CEO of CareerOne, the program will help corporate leaders reinvent the human capital elements of their businesses by connecting them with disruptive start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs in the “future-of-work” space.

Published in Deals

Learning Tree International has been awarded a five-year contract by the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency as its strategic learning partner for the provision of training solutions for up to 33,000 NATO staff across 28 European and North American countries. Learning Tree will provide training in project, program and portfolio management; cyber security; service management; and technical I.T. to support NATO in remaining resilient through continuous, rapid innovation.

Under the contract, Learning Tree will provide commercial training services to the NCI Agency, plus the wider community of NATO agencies. The training will be delivered through a combination of on-site courses provided at over 40 different NATO locations, including permanent classrooms on NATO sites, fully equipped by Learning Tree; at publicly scheduled training events in Learning Tree Education Centers; and through AnyWare — Learning Tree’s virtual learning environment.

Published in Deals

In February, Microsoft launched an initiative to teach digital skills to people across the United Kingdom to ensure that the country remains one of the global leaders in Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other next-generation technologies. Microsoft U.K. Chief Executive Cindy Rose joined Chancellor Philip Hammond at the launch of Microsoft’s digital skills plan at the company’s U.K. headquarters in Reading.

Microsoft will train 30,000 public servants for free in a range of digital skills. This will allow those U.K. government and public- sector entities to deliver better and more efficient services to people across the country, using more current technology. As part of the overall initiative, Microsoft has also committed to making sure everyone in the U.K. has access to free, online digital literacy training. The hope is that this training will prepare them for a world that uses technology to transform how people in all sectors work.

—Learn more: http://bit.ly/2kdAp4J

Published in Latest News

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is playing a bigger role in our every- day lives, but how are enterprises adopting this technology? En- ter cognitive computing and predictive analytics, and so much more. According to the National Business Research Institute, A.I.’s most important benefit is the ability to predict future tasks (38%) and automation of tasks (27%).

—Test your AI knowledge at: https://www.emarketer.com/quiz/artificial-intelligence?ecid=1014#/q/1

 

Published in Latest News

Chief learning officers (CLOs) face increased pressure to deliver learning that engages employees and positively impacts the bottom line, according to LinkedIn’s first Workplace Learning Report. Companies are looking for proof that their investment is paying off in terms of increased workforce performance.

The report reveals 90% of business leaders believe learning and design programs are key to closing skill gaps. Yet, only 8% of CEOs in the report said they saw the business impact of L&D programs. Even fewer (4%) saw a clear ROI.

The disconnect may be access. Only around 60% of learning and design pros have any real say in their companies (invited to the C- suite on a regular basis, in other words) cites the report. The teams are simply reacting to the demands of upper management.

—View report at: https://learning.linkedin.com/content/dam/me/learning/en-us/pdfs/lil-workplace-learning-report.pdf

Published in Latest News

10 Leadership Lessons from Higher Education - BY CHRISTOPHER L.  WASHINGTON

In ancient mythology, Janus was the Roman god of change and transition. Artistically depicted as having two faces positioned in opposite directions, Janus possessed the ability to see both into the past and into the future. Today, data analytics, which encom- pass the processes of extracting, compiling and modeling data, enable modern man to discover truths about the past and to render forecasts about the future.

I have found that learning analytics, the educational application of data analytics, hold the potential to magnify the view into how teachers teach and how students learn. They also illuminate the environmental conditions under which learning occurs. With learning analytics, I am able to debunk myths, supplant hunches, and confirm or disconfirm intuitions about teaching and learning. Decisions informed by learning analytics have led to a substantial rethinking of instructional methods and their benefits. Additionally, there has been a change in organizational culture from one in which quality is implied by inputs such as faculty credentials, to one that supports systemic assessment, continuous improvement, and greater accountability to stakeholders based on learning outcomes. I present 10 leadership lessons learned from my experience as a Learning! Champion.

LESSON 1: There is a symbiotic and co-evolutionary relationship between e-learning and  learning analytics.

While nearly every other profession outside of the academics is required to prove their effectiveness, up until the turn of the 21st century, higher education was largely exempt from external accountability. With an increase in public demands for greater access, lower cost and higher quality education, there was an increase in institutional pressure to demonstrate accountability.

To determine if e-learning methods are as effective as traditional face-to-face modes of instruction, circa 2000 the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) established a pilot project. At the time, there were strict rules limiting colleges and universities from offering more than 50 percent of a program’s courses in any form of distance education. To remove its restrictions on distance education programs, there had to be sufficient justification.

Franklin University was one of the higher education institutions selected to participate in the pilot project. Pilot program participants gathered and analyzed the data, reported it publicly, and noted how the results were used to improve educational processes and practices. This expectation is now a standard for academic quality review in higher education. Based on the data presented as evidence of instructional equivalency, colleges and universities are now able to offer distance education programs and to disburse federal financial aid to students who enroll in them. 

Fast forward to 2017. A lot has changed in the past 15 years since the DOE’s pilot project established a foundational framework for the use of data as evidence in determining the effectiveness of e-learning methods compared to traditional face-to-face modes of instruction. Figure 1 reflects some of the contemporary data sources used today to shed light on the effectiveness of curriculum and instruction, students, faculty and the learning environment.

ELM march The Evolution 1

Academic leaders today recognize that student learning experiences both influence and are influenced by factors in and outside of the classroom. Consequently, data is now being collected across multiple systems and treated and analyzed in a more integrated way. At Franklin University, we’ve moved beyond student attitude surveys of faculty members and courses, to an examination of student “clicks” on media, time spent viewing videos through the LMS, or pages read of assigned e-text through the library. We can examine spikes in tutoring requests and send early alerts to academic advisors when students are falling behind on assignments. We can see if faculty have participated in faculty development workshops, and begin to correlate faculty development data with student success data. The activity of our students in relation to interactive media now signal needed improvements to our curriculum design. The result of the relationship between learning analytics and instructional practices is a continuous refinement of questions and analysis techniques, and a resultant evolution of instructional practices. 

The adoption and expansion of e-learning methods in higher education continues to this day. According to the “2015 Online Report Card: Tracking Online Learning in the United States," conducted by the Bab- son Survey Research Group, more than 25 percent of the more than 20 million college students in the United States enrolled in at least one course online. Overall growth rates for online course enrollments grew at a rate of more than 7 percent from 2012 to 2014.

LESSON 2:  The price of light is less than the cost of darkness.

Higher education institutions (HEIs), places of both progress and tradition, present a special case study for educational leaders who aim to overcome resistance to incorporating new methods and technologies. According to the Babson Study, in 2014, 29.1 percent of Chief Academic Officers believe that members of their faculties accept the value and legitimacy of online education. Many leaders of HEIs perceive value in technology-enhanced instruction but struggle to get faculty members to adopt learning technologies, develop the talent to use it, or to develop the administrative processes to capture the value from learning analytics.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for leaders of HEIs is getting faculty buy-in. The deep traditions of higher education and significant skepticism of e-learning methods require an honest assessment of the effectiveness of current practices, leaving open the possibility of alternatives to traditional approaches to teaching and learning. Educational leaders who can use information to shed light on a culture that reinforces mediocrity are well positioned to develop a strategy that focuses on learner success, continuous improvement, and the use of learning analytics to make data-informed decisions. Existing data elements are essential in establishing a culture where individuals leverage new technologies to in- form teaching practice and develop a level of comfort with learning analytics. For example, existing industry and research reports on the effectiveness and increasing popularity of e-learning methods set the tone for our institutional conversations.

LESSON 3:  Strategy comes before measurement.

A clear educational strategy should drive the system of measurement and not the other way around. Measurement tells educators if our strategy is successful or not and where there may be opportunities for improvement. Data is enormously valuable in analyzing the teaching and learning processes. However, when one emphasizes metrics without the proper strategy in place, the result can drive behaviors that lead to data manipulation and other misuses of informa- tion. Lastly, in making the point that data informs rather than drives practice, it is important to clarify the limitations of data and to express a desire to honor the experience and intuitions of faculty and staff members.

LESSON 4:  “Quality is not an act; it is the result of intelligent effort.” —John Ruskin

One point often taken for granted in HEIs is that faculty members all have the same definition of academic quality. In fact, members of our faculty had very different ideas about quality, and if and how it could be measured. In defining quality, definitions ranged from the presence of a qualified faculty member, covering subjects, meeting the tradition of the discipline, fidelity to the standards of excellence set by experts, student satisfaction, meeting students goals, meeting faculty members’ goals, the learning process added value, and continuous improvement of the teaching and learning process based on assessment data. In some professional fields, the definition of academic quality should include a larger group of stakeholders that may include employers, associations and professional organizations.

Based on our quality conversations, we shifted from a focus on subject and content coverage to a focus on determining how students can apply knowledge learned in real-world settings. Early conversations also considered questions such as, “What do we dream our students will learn from us in our courses?” and “What would you want graduates to say about their learning experience?” and “What kinds of learning experiences would you want for them in order to succeed after college?”

We identified our goals to: assure high quality instruction across all academic programs; clarify valuable and rigorous learning outcomes for students; assure activities and assignments align to learning outcomes; allow students to experience meaningful and relevant learning activities and assignments; and make instructional materials support the needs of the instructors and learners.

LESSON 5: “Start with the ending; it’s the best way to begin.” —David Wilcox

In academic settings, inputs have long been treasured more than outcomes. Academic ranking services such as the annual U.S. News and World Report college rankings, have a long history of measuring academic quality — not based on student learning success, but based on a myriad of inputs to the learning process. These input measures include but are not limited to admissions selectivity, standardized admissions test scores and admissions rates, alumni donations, student-to-faculty ratio, class size and faculty credentials.

Today, learning outcomes are the currency of higher education, affording transferability of learning and courses between institutions, enabling educators to communicate what is to be learned, and supporting learners’ ability to communicate what they have learned. Learning outcomes are informed by a variety of inputs including but not limited to the educational goals of institutions and learning and performance tasks of employers. Faculty members must therefore agree on basic learning outcomes for each course, and how those course out- comes fit within the overall curriculum.

The adoption of a learning outcomes approach with the aim of identifying the right outcomes expressed at the appropriate level of rigor, revealed a great deal about the teaching and learning process at Franklin University. For example, many faculty members were well versed in subject categories and the topics they wanted to cover but not in writing measurable learning outcomes for learners. An evaluation of our syllabi across all programs and courses revealed inconsistencies in introducing, reinforcing and evaluating course outcomes through learning activities and assignments. Other concerns included unintended redundancies of course materials in some programs, hidden prerequisites, and a skill deficit among our faculty to address evolving manifestations of some rapidly evolving disciplines.

LESSON 6: The bait needs to be attractive to  the fish — not to the fisherman.

Most e-learning experiences offered at colleges are organized by faculty members in the same way as the face-to-face version of the course. They are often presented and delivered within the same parameters and schedule, and are evaluated using the same student satisfaction methods. Technology- enhanced curriculum provides opportunities to truly rethink how education is delivered. A clear understanding of learner needs, learning requirements, and of the potential ways learners and educators interact with learning technologies factor heavily in the success of technology-enhanced learning experiences. Some scholars suggest that success in digital learning is more likely if students serve as learning designers and engage in formative evaluation activities; i.e. an evaluation that takes place by the students before learning projects occur, with the aim of improving the project’s design and performance. This approach is quite different from a traditional lecture method where faculty members maintain total control of instruction.

To make education meaningful to the learner, the process of selecting instructional materials is also important. This process is often unmanaged at HEIs, with faculty members teaching each section of a course — often offering different resources to students at different price points. The instructional materials, technologies and virtual learning materials should: be accessible to and used by students; support learning outcomes; and contribute to student success. The selection of appropriate educational technologies is essential to successful teaching and learning. They should match the requirements of learning tasks, and be accessible and easy to use by students. Student surveys can be a place where data is collected on students’ reactions to instructional materials. Increasingly, instructional materials generate their own data, informing faculty about the use and effectiveness of the material in contributing to student learning. Another important data collection consideration is the cost of instructional material relative to other options and relative to perceived instructional benefit.

LESSON 7: “Every line is the perfect length if you do not measure it.” —Marty Rubin

There has always been a way to examine the effectiveness of courses. Prior to the introduction of e-learning methods, faculty members at Franklin University measured student attendance and retention, course completion, and student grades. However, today the capabilities of our learning management system (LMS) allow faculty members to examine student behaviors in relation to their academic achievement. Faculty members can now examine data related to the time students accessed course information, whether they watched all or part of an assigned video, answered questions correctly, responded to and posted to discussion boards, clicked on a lecture, or opened up an email with assignment instructions. The interrelationship between student actions and student success measures (such as course grades or nationally normed exams) allows us to uncover patterns and formulate predictions. Where data is informing student support practices, interventions for supporting students outside of the classroom and within virtual environments are evolving rapidly.

LESSON 8: “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” —Alexander Graham Bell

Faculty members are not born with an innate knowledge of how to teach or how to assess student learning. To ensure widespread understanding, we offered faculty members training and development opportunities designed to build a level of comfort and familiarity with e-learning and the use of learning analytics. Training and development allows faculty members to practice the range of teaching and learning methods. The workshops lead to conversations about assessment, encourage faculty to use the language of assessment, and help them gain competence and confidence as teachers using a variety of instructional approaches. A number of historic measures remain important. These include student surveys of faculty and faculty observations based on teaching effectiveness rubrics. In addition, modern LMS technology allows an analysis of faculty behaviors and engagement with the course and with students. The results of measuring teaching effectiveness allows professional development planning and other HR decisions. 

LESSON 9: “What gets measured, gets managed.”  —Peter Drucker

In many organizations, after the effort to gather and make sense of data, it can be summarized and placed on bookshelves to collect dust. Data collected should be used to make improvements to the course outcomes, instructional methods and ma- terials, or the assessment methods used. Figure 2 illustrates this relationship. In the end, data should inform improvements to student learning. Based on review of the data, our faculty members have achieved a number of the following goals:

ELM march The Evolution 2

>>   Redesign of the entire program’s curriculum to better fit market requirements and to avoid irrelevancy;

>>   Inform hiring plans for additional faculty;

>>   Target improvement of certain student learning outcomes for transferability;

>>   Change assignment requirements, supporting materials, and grading criteria;

>>   Change student feedback and faculty development practices;

>>   Change outcome assessment criteria; and

>>   Add learner support services.

Based on student and faculty feedback on courses, university-wide decisions have led to an increase in the perceived value and attractiveness of courses and programs.

LESSON 10: Our future is more data driven.

A number of trends suggest that the future of education will be more data driven. These trends include: (1) advances in technology; (2) looking at the softer side of learning; (3) greater interoperability of data systems; and (4) adaptive learning technologies.

First, analytical software is becoming more advanced and more broadly available. LMS software is becoming more advanced as designers of the software respond to the increasingly sophisticated user by adding new features. Hardware and learning software are also becoming less expensive and more powerful in terms of their computing capabilities.

Second, while economic measuressuch as enrollment and retention, course completion and grades were early indicators as dependent variables, increasingly, faculty are looking at the softer side of learning. These measures include student well-being, their active engagement, and the perceived relevance of the curriculum as it relates to their personal and career aspirations that are believed to be related to their success later in life.

Third, there is a movement toward greater interoperability of data systems. Currently, data silos exist both within and across organizations. As we begin to see the relationship between data sets as predictors of student success, this will drive efforts to have these systems talk to one another. For example, as many community college students enter four-year colleges prior to graduation from their two-year associate programs, data on learning outcomes met or courses taken may be sent from the four-year college back to the community college. This “reverse transfer” may signal the awarding of the two-year degree from the community college, which would positively affect their graduation rates and financial allocations from the community. Another example includes tying faculty development data to student success data. These data sources often reside in different places. Yet, it is believed that good teaching contributes to student learning. Systems that connect these two data sets would more effectively answer questions about the relationship between teaching and learning.

Lastly, adaptive learning is an educational method that uses computers as interactive teaching devices to direct learning tasks and paths based on the users’ competence and their unique needs. Adaptive learning is a form of machine learning that tailors educational experiences based on their responses. These methods produce both activity data and outcome data. As prerequisite knowledge and learning pathways continue to become clearer, adaptive methods will become more effective at individualizing learning.

CONCLUSIONS

The data generated by learning technologies such as content repositories, digital learning materials and interactive media objects are magnifying the view into how teachers teach and how students learn. The data also illuminate the environmental conditions under which learning occurs. Decisions informed by learning analytics can influence a culture of assessment and continuous improvement. We have, by no means, perfected our analysis and understanding of quality teaching and student success in higher education. Fortunately, the process of treating teaching and learning as a subject that can be analytically understood is moving forward, nudged by technology and human curiosity. With all this said, individuals and organizations need to constantly consider and develop new measures, new algorithms, and new social processes that enhance our ability to make data informed improvements.

—Dr. Washington is Senior Vice President for Academics at Franklin University. He opened the International Institute of Innovative Instruction, a collective body of learning scientists from across the globe the work to create and teach dynamic and innovative courses. He received the 2016 Learning! Champion Award for exceptional contributions to the learning industry.

Published in Top Stories

Empowering Employees to Take Charge of their Development - By Ritu Hudson

At Navy Federal Credit Union, we frequently receive these questions in learning and development. You probably do too. People look to us, the training department, to support their development. But most team members aren't aware of all the training department offers, or even where they should start. Enter Pathfinder at the Navy Federal Credit Union.

Pathfinder is a tool that provides employees awareness of the variety of resources that Learning & Development offers. It makes development planning easier by providing resources based on a career path or competency. It facilitates developmental conversations between leaders and staff by providing a common language. Overall, the tool provides the resources for our employees to own their development and their future.

To assure success, we created a process to effectively develop and launch the solution. We relied on a process that is familiar to learning and development professionals: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation (ADDIE). Our approach included:

>> Obtaining upper leadership buyin;

>> Spending time up front to complete a needs analysis, organizing the content, and planning the project;

>> Determining whether to develop inhouse or find a vendor;

>> Utilizing a phased design-and-development approach to minimize the need for rushing to completion;

>> Launching the Pathfinder tool and creating awareness around it through branding and marketing; and

>> Continuously gathering feedback, revising, and reinventing the tool.

CHALLENGES AND NEEDS

Before creating the solution, we went  through a thorough discovery process that included talking to employees and identifying needs. We discovered three main challenges:

  1. Employees had difficulty identifying what skills they needed for specific positions. They wanted to know, "What do I need to do to become a ____?' They also wanted a "path" created for them to achieve the necessary skills and experiences to prepare for that role.
  2. Despite developing a process, a work- sheet template, and even a workshop to help employees create their competency-based individual development plans (IDPs), they were not being used as widely across the organization. Our IDP pro-cess stressed that development is driven by the employee and that the employee should take the initiative to meet with his or her leader on a regular basis to discuss progress. While employees and leaders were open to having these conversations, there was confusion regarding what developmental activities could go in the IDP, especially around the organization-wide competency framework.
  3. Many employees were not taking charge of their own development and waited until their leaders initiated a developmental conversation.

 

To overcome these challenges, we needed to:

>> Support employees by guiding their learning along career paths. We were consistently hearing, "How do I become a business analyst?" or "How do I become a project manager?" We needed to guide, not prescribe, learning resources based on career paths.

>> Encourage the use of IDPs across the organization. Leaders and employees had the resources needed to create their plans, and the suggested developmental activities associated to competencies.

>> Encourage employees to self-initiate their development by giving them the resources to do so.

Based on the identified challenges and associated needs, we determined that the overall goal was to improve employee performance and engagement by empowering our employees to take charge of their development. This goal directly aligned with the organization's strategic plan, which included an initiative to "…have highly skilled, engaged team members empowered to execute our strategy." With this alignment, we were able to gain visibility for this project, obtain an executive level champion, and also make it a priority for our team.

 DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT

Armed with the organization's needs and strategic plan, we were ready to begin development. We decided to develop the tool in- house instead of using a vendor. This allowed us to keep the tool current as we developed new learning resources. As with any design project, we went through multiple iterations to get it to where it is today.

Before beginning development, we reorganized our learning resources to help our employees understand the developmental categories involved. We created eight developmental tracks:

>> Career Development

>> Communication

>> Financial Management

>> Functional/Technical

>> Leadership

>> Management

>> Member Experience

>> Self Enrichment

Our employees would be able to more easily identify developmental resources, such as workshops and e-learning courses. In an effort to identify guided paths for employees developing for a specific role, we organized our learning resources into career paths. Despite having hundreds of positions across the organization, we utilized 10 areas of subject-matter expertise:

>> Administrative Assistants

>> Business Analysts

>> Executives

>> HR Professionals

>> IT Specialists

>> Loan Officers

>> Managers

>> Project Managers

>> Supervisors

>> Training Specialists

Last, we created an "All Employees" path for general employee development. Now, we were ready to build the tool.

Iteration 1

The first iteration of the tool was an interactive Adobe Acrobat PDF document. It allowed users to click on a Career Path at the top of the document, which highlighted the courses applicable to development for that path. This version of the tool was easy to send over email, but it was limited by scope and physical space. It only included selected learning resources, and no information beyond the resource's title was available.

ELM March Empowering Employees 1

Iterations 2 & 3

After deploying the first version of the tool, we saw what worked and didn't work for our audience. The second iteration produced a standalone, wizard-style tool. This tool was hosted on the organization's intranet, making it easily accessible to employees. The focus of this version was to enable our learners to pick the type of development that they needed.

The second version allowed us to take a more holistic approach. We added additional career paths and learning resources- e-learning courses, workshops (physical and virtual classroom), career development advice, and competencies. Furthermore, the tool allowed the resources to be organized in a manner that effectively provided learners with the ability to obtain learning to develop specific competency and to develop in a current or future position.

With Iteration 2's focus on functionality, we were able to fine-tune the tool in Iteration 3. We added additional paths and fully integrated the tool into our intranet. Instead of a link, it was now embedded within the site, allowing users to leverage the intranet's search functionality.

ELM March Empowering Employees 2

ELM March Empowering Employees 3

IMPLEMENTATION

Throughout the development periods, we worked diligently to market the tool across the organization. We created a logo and tagline for the tool, and used it everywhere. We aligned the tool with our annual Catalog of Services (outlining our offerings, categorized into the same development tracks) and integrated the tool into our workshops, including our New Employee Orientation. We went on road shows and demonstrated the tools at various business unit meetings. We sent targeted emails and advertised it on the intranet. We even created 3-D posters advertising Pathfinder and posted them everywhere. We communicated to employees that we listened, developed a tool to support them, and simplified the "how to" of development.

EVALUATION & IMPACT

Between our marketing and word-of- mouth, the tool became an integral part of employee development within our organization. We received positive feedback that the tool was user-friendly, accessible and interactive. Employees and leaders began using the tool in the development of IDPs. Pathfinder reinforced the competency language/framework that we utilize throughout our organization in behavioral interviews and annual performance reviews, and it further provided a common language for our employees and leaders to have developmental and performance conversations.

We continue to review and modify Pathfinder on an annual basis. Based on learner input, we have continued to add career paths. We also review the tool for functionality and to improve the user experience. We have linked Pathfinder to the learning management system (LMS), providing employees with the ability to review course descriptions in Pathfinder and quickly link directly to our LMS to open the e-learning course or register for the workshop.

Not only did Pathfinder support a more developmentally-focused culture and provide awareness of our department's offerings, it was a steppingstone to new and different employee-initiated development programs. We recently linked Pathfinder's Career Development section to an extensive job shadowing program in which employees make requests to shadow positions in other business units. We have also implemented self-paced certificate programs that put the learning in the hands of our employees. They register for and work through a curriculum of workshops and e-learning courses to obtain the certificate, some of which are based on development tracks. Further, when we get a development inquiry, we introduce them to a tool and other self- initiated programs that puts their devel- opment in their hands.

The Navy Federal Credit Union is a five-time Learning! 100 Award winner, recognized for innovation and high performance.

Published in Top Stories

Learning isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It takes hard work, dedication and creative thinking. BY JERRY ROCHE

The 2017 Learning! Champion Award honors  individuals  for  exceptional  contributions  to  the  learning  industry.  Elearning! magazine  names  28  professionals  across six categories for 2017.

“Lifetime  Achievement”  winners  have dedicated  their  entire  lives  to  learning and  have  helped  thousands  of  others  do the  same.  “Thought  Leaders”  are  industry  experts  always  willing  to  share  their expertise  and  are  dedicated  to  bettering their  communities  and  industries.  “High Performers” have gone above and beyond, usually  in  a  relatively  short  time  frame, to  implement  new  learning  techniques  in their organizations. “Mentors” take a special interest in others to help them achieve their  potential.  “Trail  Blazers”  forge  new processes  and  procedures  in  uncharted areas  to  elevate  learning  and  technology successes.  “Innovators”  are  technologists and problem solvers who often bring these solutions to market for others to share.

The 2017 Learning! Champions are...

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Joe-DiDonato

Joe DiDonato, Editor-at-Large, Elearning! magazine

Joe DiDonato has proven to be a supremely knowledgeable, well-spoken representative of the learning industry through a long and distinguished career. He’s a customer-obsessed and a “roll-up-the-sleeves” kind of senior executive with background spanning both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. His experience ranges from individual, staff and management functions to CEO and board positions. Roles include senior learning officer responsibilities and marketing at major corporations. He is currently the editor-at-large for this magazine, providing content, expertise and analysis on trends impacting the world of corporate education.

At the same time, DiDonato is co-founder and presdient of The Orphan Foundation, a non-profit that helps find homes for orphans around the world by removing barriers to adoption. Its goal this year is to raise $1 million toward its mission.

Over the course of his career, DiDonato has had executive roles with The Wellness Community, Interwise (now AT&T Connect), Knowledge Planet, Productivity Point International, PeopleSoft (now Oracle). He earned the designation “Mr. Education” at Oracle when launching Oracle’s first certification and education program for the extended enterprise.

DiDonato’s self-professed specialties are business development, marketing, start-ups, professional services, corporate education, e-learning, customer obsession and conference development.  linkedin.com/in/editoratlarge1/

Elliot-Masie

Elliot Masie, Futurist, Founder, The Masie Center

Elliot Masie is acknowledged as the first analyst to use the term “e-learning.”  Masie founded The Masie Center, a Saratoga Springs, N.Y., think tank focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. He leads the Learning Consortium, a coalition of 200 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies, including CNN, Walmart, American Express, Emirates Airline, Starbucks, General Electric and Fidelity Investments.

Masie’s professional focus has been in the fields of corporate learning, organizational performance and emerging technology. He has developed models for accelerating the spread of knowledge, learning and collaboration throughout organizations and, advocated for a sane deployment of learning and collaboration technology as a means of supporting the effectiveness and profitability of enterprises.

Masie serves as an adviser to a wide range of government, education and non-profit groups. His service has included Skidmore College Board of Trustees and as a Board member of First Robotics, CosmoSid and the CIA University Board of Visitors. He has served as a pro-bono advisor to the Department of Defense and on the White House Advisory Council on Expanding Learning Opportunities.

Masie is known as a highly approachable speaker and trainer, blending humor, applicable stories of best practice and high levels of audience involvement. Over the past 30 years, he has presented programs, courses and speeches to more than 2.2 million professionals around the world.  linkedin.com/in/elliottmasie/

Kevin-Oakes

Kevin Oakes, CEO, Founder, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp)

Kevin Oakes is the CEO and founder of the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), a human capital research firm that discovers the people practices that drive high performance.

Ranked among the fastest-growing companies on the Inc. 500|5000 list, i4cp provides its extensive member network of leading global employers and government institutions with the research, peer collaboration, tools, and data essential to developing and executing workforce strategies and practices that deliver higher market performance.

A frequent author and international keynote speaker on talent management and using human capital strategically in organizations, Oakes co-authored “The Executive Guide to Integrated Talent Management.” He also serves on the board of directors for privately held Workforce Insight, the world’s leading provider of workforce management and analytics consulting services.

He has been a leader in the human capital field for the last two decades including: founder and the president of SumTotal Systems, the largest provider of talent and learning solutions in the world; chairman & CEO of Click2learn, which was founded in 1985 by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft; and president and founder of Oakes Interactive, an award-winning technology-based training company in Needham, Mass.  linkedin.com/in/kevinoakes/

TRAIL BLAZER

Yvonne-Andres

Dr. Yvonne Marie Andrés, Founder, Executive Director, Global SchoolNet

Dr. Yvonne Marie Andrés has been a trail-blazer and non-stop thought leader dedicated to advancing online education and global collaborative learning since 1981. She has been an inspiration to thousands and thousands of educators worldwide, believing that in a connected world students need a global perspective. Her work has brought together youth online from 194 countries to explore community, cultural and scientific issues that prepare them for the workforce and help them to become responsible and literate global citizens.

Andrés is the co-founder of the non-profit Global SchoolNet and the founder of the Global Schoolhouse. She was named one of the 25 most influential people worldwide in education technology and was invited in 2000 to meet with President Bush to launch the Friendship Through Education initiative.

She also is the creator and producer of International CyberFair and the U.S. State Department’s “Doors to Diplomacy” program.

Andrés produces numerous videos and frequently writes about highly effective education programs from around the globe that blend online and offline learning, while incorporating the latest neuroplasticity findings and constructivist learning methodology. Her works have touched people in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia, South America and Africa.In short, she has offered the learning industry some amazing and tireless contributions. linkedin.com/in/yvonneandres/

Chris-Bartlett

Chris Bartlett, Director of Learning Resources, FMC Technologies

Chris Bartlett has made significant changes that enable FMC Technologies’ employees to learn and do more with less, organizing more than 150 employees from 30 countries into a central cost structure, bringing all global learning resources together into a centralized learning resources organization to greatly reduce spending on learning-related activities in just one year without affecting quality.

Here are just a few of the achievements of FMC’s Learning Resources Group, under Bartlett’s direction:

>>   Led the way as the first truly global “shared services” organization with a presence in all business units and regions of FMC.

>>   Connected people globally (75 percent of employees participating in 90 networks via the corporate knowledge sharing platform, The Edge).

>>   Connected people to subject-matter-expert verified information (The Well, FMC Technologies’ wiki, has grown 98 percent since 2012)

>>   Reduction in duplication of course development leading to standardization of courses.

>>   The near-elimination of the use of non-FMC Technologies facilities for training.

>>   Leveraging internal resources and eliminating external expense.

>>   Eliminated millions of dollars in travel costs annually through the increased availability and competency in hosting virtual events and training.

>>   Through in-house video services, reduced the time and cost of creating training materials while increasing the materials’ usefulness, reach and reuse.

>>   Implemented and integrated software to deliver meaningful data to those that need it through cleaning up a SharePoint environment.

linkedin.com/in/chris-bartlett-058636a/

Ruth-Ann-Clurman

Ruth-Ann Clurman, Senior Director of Learning  and Organization Development, Ascension Health

During Ruth-Ann Clurman’s tenure, Ascension’s Learning and Organization Development team has led innovation and accessibility through both social and mobile learning tools. The organization has been selected for the Learning! 100 list for the past five consecutive years. Its workforce supports customers both remotely and virtually and needs 24/7 access to learning solutions. The team also needs a way to connect with each other for peer mentoring and solution support.

Ten years ago, Ascension Information Services began with 675 associates from healthcare facilities across the United States. Today, it has more than 3,000 associates and is recognized as one of the best health-care information technology services organizations in the nation.

Co-workers say Clurman is encouraging and insightful, always striving for improvement in collaboration and effectiveness. That she possesses the vision to identify areas of opportunity and determine development plans that improve and engage associates. That she orchestrates changes with persistence and wisdom to allow for growth. That she continues to work ahead of the curve to clear the path in the constantly changing specialties of health care and information technology so that others may follow. Clurman possesses a master’s degree from Missouri State University. linkedin.com/in/ruth-ann-clurman-1a57883/

Ramon-Garcia

Ramón García Espeleta, Manager, Gerente Virtaula CaixaBank

Ramón García Espeleta guides Virtaula CaixaBank’s online learning effort throughout Spain. During the six years that had has been responsible for the bank’s learning platform, electronic learning has become of utmost importance. It has multiplied by 10 the capacity of concurrency, has changed the design four times, and has generated more than 15 million hours of learning, including more than 2 million in 2016. Informal training has been enhanced, and knowledge between all the people in the organization has increased. Internal trainers have become facilitators and entertainers through virtual online classroom training. The platform itself has been recognized with several awards.

During Espeleta’s watch, the main challenge of the project is for its employees to evolve together and to maintain the spirit of training and development service.

The bank’s online learning platform was born in 1999. In 2006, Web 2.0 tools, blogs, wikis and forums were introduced; in 2010, the collaborative and semantic Web were introduced; and in 2014, Virtaula emotions were introduced. The bank is now seeking the educational application of augmented and virtual reality within its content.

In the last year, a smart recommendations engine has been included in the online learning effort. This tool allows automatic content personalization and segmentation depending on the actions that the users themselves or other employees related to them have made. The bank is currently working on advanced models of artificial intelligence with analytics that inform managers about what employees need and want, as well as applications of virtual and augmented reality.  linkedin.com/in/ramongarciaespe/

Johnathan-Fear

Jonathan Fear, Senior Director of Coupa University, Coupa, Inc.

Jonathan Fear is known as a brilliant leader in the corporate education industry. He has taken all areas of education into consideration at Coupa Inc., an enterprise software company. That includes internal training, customer training, and partner certification, which have all been integrated into their existing platforms (like Salesforce CRM).

Coupa’s corporate education program is called Coupa University, of which Fear is vice president, a position from which he has been able to drive training across many different functions within the company.

Fear is detail oriented, customer focused, and a joy to work with according to staffers. He has proven able to manage the expectations and priorities of requests from top customers effectively. He works well under pressure and is always looking out for his client’s best interests. Additionally, he has always had an excellent grasp of the technology and manages resources wisely.

Fear has been with Coupa for the past six years, but has more than 20 years of experience in the training and education space with companies like SumTotal and Executrain. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Quantitative Economics and Decision Sciences from the University of California, San Diego.

Coupa has been named to Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies. Its primary mission is to deliver a spend-management platform that unifies business processes across all the ways employees spend money. Its consumerized financial applications digitize spending across travel and expense management, procurement and invoicing. The organization was honored with the 2016 Learning! 100 Award.  linkedin.com/in/jonathan-fear-901a11/

Mohammed-Amir-Habib

Mohammed Amir Habib, Consultant, Sidra Medical and Research Center

Mohammed Amir Habib created the first scenario-based e-learning course at Sidra (and possibly Qatar) as part of a core values awareness drive. All the other 110 or so sessions (clinical and corporate) used tell-and-test approaches with an occasional one-page contextualized question.

Because the learning industry in Qatar is still maturing, it generally purchases materials from companies in Dubai. But Habib became one of the first — if not the first — e-learning professional Because the learning industry in Qatar is still maturing, it generally purchases materials from companies in Dubai. But Habib became one of the first — if not the first — e-learning professional working in the Persian Gulf to bring cutting-edge instructional design coupled with superb development and graphics skills, to create a world-class module. The session he created — Sidra Core Values Awareness — takes the learner through a typical day in the life of a Sidra employee. The learner makes decisions with appropriate support in the form of a values champion to give guidance on behavior in line with Sidra’s values.

Habib helped everyone across the organization to not just learn about the values but actually see the values in action in their everyday decisions. The aim wasn’t just to teach the values but how they need to be lived by allowing learners to experience real, authentic experiences that occur everyday.

Habib has a background in I.T. and has been developing since the age of 10. The key to his success is his understanding of instructional design, human learning psychology coupled with his expert level technical skills.

David-Hembroff

David Hembroff, Head of Training and Development, USIC

David Hembroff has proven to be quite a visionary in the learning industry from his position with USIC, an industry leader for underground infrastructure protection with more than 7,500 employees nationwide. He has helped to chart the course of current and future training and development at USIC and is always looking at ways to improve the company’s overall education process. He’s also taken a fundamental role in USIC’s transition into a digital learning organization, helping to drive internal productivity rates up by more than 100 percent.

Hembroff’s passions are adult education, development and training, and writing. He has built great soft skills as a leader, and has honed his marketing and customer skills with some of the best in the business.

Under Hembroff’s watchful eye, USIC’s employee training has become a well-balanced blend of e-learning served through its proprietary LMS — USIC Institute — and instructor-led and on-the-job training led by its team of training leaders and coaches.

His Training and Development division has been responsible for: curriculum development, instructional design, tiered skill training courses, multimedia and interactive training presentations, micro-learning, continuous engagement and the aforementioned USIC Institute, which offers more than 100 training courses.

Moreover, USIC is a high-growth company, making learning and training crucial. Its 8,200 field technicians undergo more than 500,000 training hours per year.  linkedin.com/in/dave-hembroff-37377a3a/

Brooks-Williams

Brooks Williams, Director of Organizational Development, MidSouth Bank

As an extraordinary leader, Brooks Williams is acutely aware of the impact he has and is dedicated to helping people become their very best. He recognizes leadership as a responsibility, not just a job.

Williams is a learning executive who champions meaningful and impactful workplace learning. By being able to understand both the needs of the bank’s business at a high level and the value of employee development, he gains buy-in from across the organization that learning and development is a key to achieving real and sustainable results.

What makes Williams an extraordinary leader? He is future-directed, with a confidence and optimism about future successes that are contagious. He puts in the work: curriculum development, class (instructor-led/virtual/hands-on) presentations, site visits. Even the little things, like a phone call to an employee who made a big contribution or a handwritten note to welcome a new employee.

Success is key. He works with employees to eliminate barriers that might inhibit success, and he creates opportunities for employees to contribute more to the business and thus feel more empowered. He is invested in his people: a catalyst for their continued learning and development. One of his favorite sayings is, “When you are finished growing, you are finished.”

Williams is a senior leader with a notable career in financial services. His selfless approach to leadership has earned him an incredibly loyal following and is the primary reason his people stay with the organization for much longer than some of them had ever planned. People want to work for him. linkedin.com/in/brooks-m-williams-mbb-cmf-239200128/

Jeanne-Beliveau-Dunn

Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, Vice President, General Manager, Cisco Services

In just the past year, Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn and her team’s many accomplishments include the launch of a $10 million global cybersecurity scholarship program aimed at helping address the cybersecurity skills gap; revamped and revised the certification program to address new and emerging technologies; and continued to bolster efforts to provide best-in-class I.T. training and certification.

In November 2015, her team launched a revised curriculum and framework for its expert-level certification program, the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE), to meet the changing demands of the digital economy and ensure that I.T. professionals are imbued with the skills they need to participate in meaningful business discussions about the new technical areas that are shaping business strategy and operations. This includes revising the curriculum to incorporate a new assessment approach focused on ensuring that candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills with evolving technologies such as network programmability, Cloud, security and IoT.

This next generation of I.T. certification and training represents a continuation of Jeanne’s long-time work to address talent agility and reskilling. Helping organizations address the existing skills gap and empowering professionals in their own career development is a driving passion for Beliveau-Dunn, and have been the guiding forces of much of her work at Cisco.

In the past year, her book “I’m the Boss of Me: A Guide to Owning Your Career” was published. It provides an easy-to-follow guide on developing a self-empowered approach to work, career and life, interspersing personal stories and anecdotes with lessons learned from her more than two decades of experience in the technology industry.  linkedin.com/in/jeannedunn/

THOUGHT LEADER

Matt-Kurtin

Matt Kurtin, Lead Programmer and Learning Technology Consultant, Innovative Learning Group

Matt Kurtin has been a passionate, knowledgeable, and active thought leader in the learning and development space for the past 20 years. This fact is made abundantly clear by his prominent role at Innovative Learning Group (one of Inc. magazine’s 5,000 fastest- growing small businesses) and the fact that he is in constant demand to share his knowledge with those in the industry.

Kurtin has spoken at more than 15 conferences and conventions, including many of the industry’s most prominent gatherings. He has authored more than 500 e-learning courses and is proficient in Captivate, Articulate Studio, Articulate Storyline, Lectora, Flash, ASP.NET, JavaScript, and XML.

He is a true rarity: someone with immense technical skills, emotional intelligence, and a consultative ability to identify the true need of the client. All of these traits are held together with a visionary passion for learning as a whole. His infectious zeal for learning and development has had a significant impact on the industry. He has acted as both an active developmental presence and an engaging ambassador.

Kurtin leads the mobile learning strategy at Innovative Learning Group, where he has personally developed many mobile applications and courses. Additionally, he has extensive experience supporting translation of custom e-learning courses and has worked on courses delivered in more than 20 languages.

And he has not rested on this pioneering approach to mobile learning; he is actively involved in the discovery of possible applications for virtual reality and augmented reality within the learning and development market.

Jean-Meister

Jeanne C. Meister, Founder, Partner, Future Workplace

Jeanne C. Meister founded Future Workplace to work with forward-looking companies to think differently about the future of work and the changing composition of the workforce. It is now a human resources advisory and research firm dedicated to discussing, debating and sharing the “next practices” on navigating the future workplace and workforce. A consortium of nearly 50 organizations come together both virtually and in person to discuss debate and share “next” practices on preparing for the future of work.

Meister considers herself a workplace visionary and activist who drives her clients to think differently. She has a deep background and experience in corporate learning, and has been awarded a Distinguished Contribution in Workplace Learning Award by a leading organization in the learning industry. Her specialties are employee experience, corporate university design, talent management, leadership development and executive education.

She is also the author of four business books — the first two of which were written on the topic of corporate universities. Today, Meister is very obviously passionate about helping organizations re-think how to attract, develop and inspire employees in a workplace that is rapidly changing. Her latest book is “The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules for Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees.”

Meister has also published articles in popular magazines like Financial Times; Fast Company; Forbes; Harvard Business Review; Harvard Management Update; Journal of Business Strategy; Outlook, a Publication of Accenture; People & Strategy Journal; and Elearning! magazine. linkedin.com/in/jeannemeister/

Mike-Connor

Mike Conner, Chief Evangelist, BlueBottleBiz 

Mike Conner believes in revolutionizing the future of corporate learning. His vision is to support informal learning by giving it some structure, yet providing professionals with more freedom to learn than traditional learning systems provide. He sees the value in an all-encompassing learning solution that supports collaborative learning by combining expert (vetted) content, professional network and unique collaborative tools that allow colleagues and experts to work together.

Conner spent 2016 introducing collaborative learning to Fortune 500 and enterprise companies. He has contributed articles to top publications, and weighs in on topics that cover the future of learning, how learning technology is evolving, and ways to retain talent by building solid learning programs. His articles and quotes have been shared widely among the business community in both the U.S. and the U.K. He meets with the analyst community to discuss collaborative learning and the impacts it will have on organizations.

Conner truly believes that learning provides the foundation to success for professionals and for their organizations. For him, sharing the benefits and innovations of collaborative learning isn’t just a “job,” it’s a passion.

Previously, Conner was the Vice President of Global Sales for Safari (previously Safari Books Online). As a member of Safari’s executive team, most of his time was devoted to developing a second-generation platform and preparing his sales organization and enterprise customer base for enhancements to drive customized learning with curated content. linkedin.com/in/michaelconnercatalystsale/

INNOVATOR

Sue-Brett

Sue Brett, C.E.O., Learningonline.xyz

Sue Brett has proven to be an inspiring force who has shaped a young team of e-learning professionals and developers into achieving results that transform people’s lives and add value at every level of interaction with the company’s user base. She has spent over a decade, challenging and inspiring individuals to do more, be more.

She has been instrumental in the success and launch of e-learning portals such as Cudoo.com and apps such as Langu. ag, which offer more than 160 languages to users to learn and enhance their communication skills. She has worked hard to map the language courses to internationally recognized CEFR levels so that users can easily chart their progress from one level to another, as they progress in their language learning journey. Language lovers can now confidently learn any language and get certified based on their level.

Her company, from its absolutely unique video-based language nanolearning to peer exchange and live online learning, a combination of mLMS, apps and online-based products that connect learners, peers and instructors to a world of cultures.

Brett’s company was shortlisted for the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) Education Awards 2017. GESS is a world-class education exhibition and conferences provider and with GESS Education Awards, it aims to acknowledge and reward the brightest contributors to the educational industry.  linkedin.com/in/sue-brett-27911034/

Rory-Cameron

Rory Cameron, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development,  Learning and Marketing Platforms, Litmos, by CallidusCloud

Rory Cameron has led all areas of Litmos at CallidusCloud since its acquisition in 2011. Much of Litmos’ ongoing success and innovative product and marketing direction is driven by his substantial knowledge and thought leadership in the learning industry.

Cameron operates a high-energy and customer-centric organization. He was responsible for multiple acquisitions in 2016, including the key addition of ViewCentral, which has been re-branded as Litmos Training Ops.

He has been recognized with many different honors and awards, including the Irish Global Technology 50 by the Irish Technology Leadership Group and the Irish “40 under 40.” He continues to rapidly grow the Litmos learning business within CallidusCloud and has reinvigorated innovation into the learning industry.

Cameron has more than 15 years of experience in business development, sales, and sales operations across a range of technology sectors. At CallidusCloud, he runs the platforms group which consists of Litmos, Clicktools, Badgeville, and Datahug, highly disruptive platforms in their respective markets. He also led the effort to broaden CallidusCloud’s solutions suite including a volume SaaS operation and the development of the company’s renowned sales academy.

Bottom line: Cameron drives all areas of Litmos and heavily impacts the ongoing success and innovative product and marketing direction within the business. linkedin.com/in/rory-cameron-8947403/

Nicole-Thomspon

Nicole Thompson, Human Resources Director, Fairfax Media

Nicole Thompson has been a driving force in creating one of the first new multi-disciplinary, contemporary learning teams within an innovative digital learning platform that enables collaboration and capability building. 

Through Thompson’s efforts, Fairfax is now speaking to companies globally about its innovations, in order to help them drive transformation in their companies through their new learning teams. Fairfax also presents at conferences to educate the broader market on what it has done to assist them transform learning.

Thompson joined Fairfax as the Human Resources Director for Technology during a career that spans 20 years. Since joining Fairfax, she has obtained an invaluable insight into digital disruption and how technology can be used to build capability. Her current role focuses on enabling business transformation and spans building capability, digital learning, talent management, diversity, alignment and engagement, leadership development and performance management.

While most organizations recognize the need to transform learning, many haven’t yet taken the big step and acted. Fairfax — with Thompson in the forefront — is one of the brave few that have taken the first steps toward L&D transformation. Thompson and her team have created what they believe to be a first within big corporate Australia: a new, multi-disciplinary team with contemporary skills and an interactive digital learning hub that requires stakeholders to collaborate on content production. linkedin.com/in/nicole-thompson-70865712/

Ibrahim-Jabary

Ibrahim Jabary, CEO, Gamelearn

Ibrahim Jabary has turned technology and video games into the best allies of learning. In the process, he has not only revolutionized e-learning, but is also proving that video games are becoming the most powerful tool within corporate training.

It all is the result of betting on the field of learning, of innovation and the transformation of traditional training methods. Thanks to his serious games, Jabary has managed to solve the big problem of e-learning. That is, 70 percent of the people who start an online course never complete it. However, with Gamelearn and his online courses in video game format, Jabary has achieved a dropout ratio of only 7 out of every 100 students.

This is done thanks to a completely revolutionary methodology that combines quality content with a practical approach, simulators to practice with “real” situations, and gamification techniques in a single format: a video game. It’s a unique recipe that has allowed for the training of more than 200,000 professionals from more than 50 countries.

In addition, Jabary has managed to meet his other great challenge: to transform online training with video games into a simple, useful and accessible tool for any company in the world, thanks to the development and launch of the first game-based learning platform in the market.This Gamelearn CEO and founder has spearheaded innovation in the field of corporate training. He was a pioneer in game-based learning platforms in the market, along with developing the first simulator for the development of customer service skills. linkedin.com/in/ibrahim-jabary-2457661/

Sarika-Khanna

Sarika Khanna, Sr. Vice President of Product and Services, Litmos, by CallidusCloud

Sarika Khanna and her team supervise all product development and innovation at Litmos, by CallidusCloud, which prides itself on being at the leading edge of innovation in the learning industry. Khanna and her team have been responsible for pushing the limits of innovation forward in the learning industry. Khanna is passionate about building products to solve business problems and is an avid learner. She has been with CallidusCloud for more than six years and was instrumental in taking the core product offering — Commissions — to SaaS business. In addition to Litmos, she has led the products for the Selling Cloud, Hiring Cloud and Marketing Cloud.

She has proven to be a strategic problem solver with ability to quickly evaluate business issues and work across cross-functional teams to develop innovative strategic and tactical solutions. Her other strengths include:

>>   Strong domain expertise in audience and segmentation, reporting and enterprise analytics, lead management, campaign management, vendor management, email and Web marketing and search marketing.

>>   Strong interpersonal, persuasion and facilitation skills with people of different levels, backgrounds, and personality styles.

>>   Excellent technical, analytical, and problem-solving capabilities.Prior to joining Litmos, Khanna worked at leading software companies including Oracle.

She held variety of positions ranging from engineering to product marketing and product management. She holds a master’s degree with distinction in Information Systems from George Mason University and a master’s in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering. linkedin.com/in/sarikakhanna/

Jack-Makhlouf

Jack Makhlouf, Chief Learning Officer, eLearning Mind

The founder eLearning Mind (ELM), Jack Makhlouf was born to tackle corporate America’s stale and ineffective internal and external- facing training. When you meet him, you instantly know that he’s an extrovert with an undying passion to make learning fun, engaging and impactful — as it’s meant to be. He is a true believer in the idea that education is the key to lasting change and true success.

Makhlouf was previously a founding member of the industry-recognized AT&T Learning Services team. He has been pioneering the e-learning industry for more than 20 years, working with Fortune 500 clients, designing, developing, and implementing innovative learning solutions and enterprise system technologies. Makhlouf brought two widely known learning components together to create a revolutionary learning methodology backed by modern brain science. This was coined as “neurolearning.” This methodology leads the way eLearning Mind thinks and implements learning solutions to foster deeper and more impactful learning experiences.

He applies neurolearning principles to the e-learning industry through instructional design, and has proved neurolearning’s effectiveness over and over by helping more than 100 Fortune 500 clients implement innovative learning solutions and maximize performance through by applying neurolearning to e-learning solutions. 

Makhlouf has a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida. linkedin.com/in/jackmakhlouf/

Brent-Pearson

Brent Pearson, Founder, Enboarder

Brent Pearson has developed a new mobile learning platform called Enboarder that is streamlining onboarding challenges for busy managers in an intuitive way that adds value for new hires, busy managers and organizations.

Enboarder has been developed by Pearson in response to research that indicated one of the biggest gaps in onboarding new employees takes place between the time the employee is made an offer, and begins his or her first day. This e-learning tool uses mobile delivery methods to serve up a scripted set of interactions that fill that gap. In the first year of implementation, he’s already won pilot projects with such notable brands as Coca-Cola and Turner Broadcasting.

Pearson is a serial entrepreneur with passions in research & development, recruitment strategy and recruitment technology. He has previous tenures with Booz.Allen Hamilton as Director of Knowledge Management, as well as many startups. linkedin.com/in/bpearson/

Alexander-Salas

Alexander Salas, Supervisor, Learning Management Systems, Centene Corp.

According to co-workers, selecting just one category in which to honor Alexander Salas “is impossible.” Since joining Centene Corp., he has been a catalyst for progress — a figurative wrecking ball destroying bad habits and silos in the organization when it comes to the LMS. He has developed an entire online community to support learning and the LMS, streamlined administrative processes, and enhanced the abilities of corporate customers.

Not only is Salas an e-learning multimedia developer, he’s also a U.S. Navy veteran and a lifelong learner in learning and development (L&D).

After serving alongside U.S. Marines as a Navy Hospital corpsman, Salas has promoted and spearheaded the adoption of e-learning solutions for every employer he has worked for in the last 12 years. He’s the organizer of the Orlando Articulate Users Group, which promotes learning of Articulate authoring tools; he shares many of his custom templates at Articulate’s E-learning Heroes Community.

A former Web technology board member at ATD’s Central Florida Chapter, he is an active speaker on topics such as augmented reality, e-learning authoring and multimedia design.  Aside from all this, Salas has a master’s degree in Training and Development and Leadership and is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) and CompTIA Certified Technical Trainer.  linkedin.com/in/stylelearn/

Mike-Alcock

Mike Alcock, Managing Director, gomo learning Ltd.

Mike Alcock has now created two award-winning, game-changing e-learning authoring tools: Atlantic Link in 2003 and gomo learning in 2013. He’s won more than 30 awards on the back of these, including “Best of Elearning!” (four times), Brandon Hall Gold (three times) and many more. In each case, he’s been personally responsible for sales and marketing as well as product development, leading both companies to global recognition.

With gomo learning in 2013, Alcock took an existing HTML5-based framework and commercialized it to create the next generation of Cloud-based authoring tools. Gomo was one of the world’s first responsive HTML5 authoring tools and still maintains product and innovation leadership in the authoring tools space.

Alcock and his team continue to lead the way with collaborative, Cloud-based solutions. Gomo now offers integrated hosting, xAPI analytics and a native app capability, taking it from a pure authoring tool to a complete learning suite. The new product’s sales is now growing by more than 60 percent in the last 12 months. Gomo is now a key part of Learning Technologies Group (LTG) alongside LEO, Eukleia, Preloaded and Rustici.

Alcock’s success in inventing new and innovative software solutions, as well as building and running two global authoring tool companies and changing the landscape of the industry, earned him this 2017 Learning! Champion Award. linkedin.com/in/mikealcock/

MENTORING

Che-Prince

Che Prince, Owner, Founder, Che Prince Learning Solutions

As a recent graduate from the Instructing Adults Certificate Program at George Brown, Che Prince was instrumental to the success of his students as a direct result of his excellent mentoring capabilities. He provides additional technical support and guidance in order to achieve excellent grades that will help students successfully launch new careers as training developers. In addition to his daily activities as a training developer and C.E.O. of his own learning solutions company, Prince also finds time in his busy schedule to provide the coaching and mentoring.

Prince is a subject-matter expert in learning consulting and needs analysis. He has demonstrated knowledge and experience within L&D and learning technologies, a comprehensive knowledge of practice of project management, and an understanding of adult learning. Other strengths are global and organizational awareness, change management leadership, excellent communication skills, highlighted by initiative, creativity and vision.

Bottom line: Prince is an excellent coach and mentor who rigorously applies the principles of adult learning not only to his own instructional design, but to his trainees as well. He is able to break down requirements into individual simple step-by-step tasks in order to easily obtain successful learning objectives.

Previously, Prince spent nine years as a troop commander and training officer in the Canadian Armed Forces; 16 years as an aerospace engineer at Pratt and Whitney Canada. He has a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Ryerson Polytechnic University and a Six Sigma Green Belt.  linkedin.com/in/cheprince1/

HIGHPERFORMER

DanHalverstadt

Dan Halverstadt, Vice President of Quality and Training, USIC

Dan Halverstadt has been recognized as a thought leader in the learning industry and has been influential in training and quality at USIC. He currently manages a team of four direct reports for training and quality. Additionally, he’s accountable for more than 60 indirect reports. In recent months and years, he’s effectively moved all training internally, saving $1 million annually in consulting cost. He added the positions of Learning Management System Administrator and Instructional Designer, who created an online learning system under his directive, reducing training times by 66 percent.

Halverstadt developed an industry, ground-breaking and award-winning training method with 270 learning modules specific to the position, utilities, and geography of each role.  He also created a system of on-the-job training that included upgrades and changes resulting in: doubling production and employee retention; reduction in safety issues by 50 percent; quality increase of 40 percent; reduction in cost by 85 percent for new technicians; and, developed user-friendly, water-proof pocket manuals affording each employee an easy-access field guide.

He has more than 20 years of experience driving improvement, visibility, and quality in organizational initiatives for the United States Air Force and USIC. As a USIC VP, he ensures that each time an employee goes out to a call, that employee is equipped with the tools to ensure safety and quality through in-depth training initiatives, protect infrastructures, and provide damage prevention.  linkedin.com/in/danielhalverstadt/

DanielleTomlinson

Danielle Tomlinson, Vice President, Global Education, Plex Systems

Danielle Tomlinson is a long-time leader in the training and development industry, having led training and development within some of the largest and highest growth software companies. Currently, she is responsible for all education services around the world at Plex Systems, a leader in Cloud-based ERP for manufacturing.

Tomlinson has spent the majority of her 20-year career working for high-tech and high-growth software companies on the Services team, specifically the Education Services team. That’s typically the department that provides technical training to customers, partners and employees. Her responsibility has centered around making sure that people know how to use the products that are being sold. Performance is typically measured against a financial goal for the delivery of this training. During her career, Tomlinson has demonstrated an ability to grow revenue and improve margin through business development initiatives, cost management, recruiting key partners and employees, and innovative training product development.

At Plex, Tomlinson has expanded the corporate education globally to search many different markets around the world. The company currently supports more than 400 organizations and 1,300 production facilities in 20 countries around the world.

In 2012, Tomlinson was honored with a “Top 40 Under 40 Training Leadership Award” by a leading publication. This Learning! Champion Award adds to her impressive career. linkedin.com/in/danielle-tomlinson-458393/

DianaBennet

Diana Bennett, Program Manager, IBM Corporate Headquarters (CHQ), Center for Advanced Learning (CAL) Technical Leadership Exchange (TLE)

Here’s the kind of person and employee that Diana Bennett is:

“D”ynamic harbinger of learning for technology leaders;  

“I”nspirational role model;

“A”dvocate for innovation and enablement — bringing positive change to IBM;

“N”urturing manager who supports, encourages and empowers her team; and

“A”gile learning program manager who removes obstacles in order to deliver quality education.

According to her co-workers, she is the type of leader who transcends the negative and works towards the growth, improvement and overall betterment of employees. Her positive nature is infectious.

In terms of reach, Bennett’s training program has a primary target audience of IBM technical employees in leadership roles, but all of IBM’s 400,000 employees can participate. In past few years, the 25,000 to 50,000 technical participants have given the program an overall satisfaction rating of 92% positive.

Bennett leads a small but effective team of nine learning professionals who trust her to deliver their vision and increase the skills and knowledge of innovative and technical IBMers.

Obstacles arise that have the potential to derail a lesser talent, but not Bennett. She faces each challenge with an unflappable positive spirit and a capable tenacity. She inspires. Success is the only end state that she knows.

With a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University, Bennett has an extensive background in producing engaging and exciting events in corporate education. Past work includes acting as program manager for fast-forward career development events as well as facilitation, event planning, presentations, communications and client focus. linkedin.com/in/diana-bennett-b122599/

Published in Top Stories

 

The 7th Annual Enterprise Learning! Conference is now accepting submissions for the September event. The theme is ‘Building the High Performance Organization’ and focuses on the strategy, best practices and technologies that drive performance. The event seeks thought leaders and presenters with expertise in learning, talent development, business performance and learning and workplace technologies.

ELC17 is also host to the 2017 Learning! 100 and Learning! Champions Awards honoring the top 100 learning organizations and those making extraordinary contributions to the learning industry. Attendees herald from Amazon Web Services, AT&T, NASCAR, Dept. of Defense, and others.

To submit to ELC17, visit: http://www.2elearning.com/rss2/item/56671-enterprise-learning-conference-2017-call-for-papers

 

Published in Latest News

By 2025, 46 percent of the workforce will be Millennials.

According to a report from the National Chamber Foundation, Millennials expect close relationships and frequent feedback from management, viewing their managers as coaches or mentors. Their managers — rather than the corporations themselves — can earn the loyalty of Millennial employees by keeping their word. Management can reduce the risk of Millennial employees leaving a company by maintaining a positive relationship with them. Findings indicate that the main reason that this age group leaves a company is directly related to a superior.

At Express, the future is about those Millennials. “We structure our learning and development for them,” says Adam Zaller, Vice President of Organizational Development, Express. “The average age at Express is 27, and at the retail stores it is middle to low 20s.”

Realizing this, Express identified an opportunity to evolve its talent management strategy for its primarily Millennial-aged employees while becoming a fashion authority for both men and women.

According to Zaller, “[Millennials] are always connected, multi-taskers who are very socially aware. They have more friends ... two-and-a-half times more than Boomers. Because of this, they are influenced by their peers; they seek status among the peer group; they tend to ‘crave experiences.’ In our development programs, we focus more on the experiences and activity and less on the classroom or the course.”

To support this culture, Express’s organizational development team created an intuitive, irresistible, social and mobile learning experience for its more than 22,000 mostly-Millennial employees. The program has pushed limits and established an engaged employee population that’s driven customer experience scores and internal engagement scores to their highest levels while decreasing turnover to its lowest rate ever during the three years that it’s been implemented.

“It’s Uber personalization and individualization,” continues Zaller. “It’s not one size fits all. Simplicity is king, and experience and activities are paramount to actual courses. And most importantly, it’s all about smartphones.”

How does this translate into learning and development? Millennials wants more communication. “Everyone has that one thing they are phenomenal at … provide them a talent management framework so they can socialize that,” suggests Zaller.

THE EXPRESS TALENT DEVELOPMENT PLAN

At Express, all training programs are designed to organizational competencies. “Over time, people can use the competencies to measure against and grow their career at Express,” shares Zaller. “It’s by [job] layer and area of focus. You can see at the contributor, manager or director level, what’s appropriate at that role, the manager above you, so you can formulate a career development program just from our competencies.”

PERSONALIZING LEARNING

Express’s talent program starts with an individual’s personal aspirational vision of what he or she wants to do with his or her career. They look at courses and classes, articles and books to gain some knowledge from; then the experiences follow. “It really starts at how we create a meaningful experience for you, so you can grow your career,” says Zaller. “It’s really important to provide Millennials the space to share what they are really great at in these collaborative spaces. They can connect and see what everyone else is doing, or share ideas that they have.”

Communication is key to the Millennials and Express took “a riff ” off of what millennials use to communicate today. Millennials use a range of social mediums and the learning experience needs to reflect this; Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest and Periscope. “

What we love most is that our environment looks like Facebook meets Twitter meets learning site,” adds Zaller. “You can’t tell where there are classes or courses, or where there’s an activity stream where someone is saying this is a great article, or have you considered this idea. It all molds together to create a curated experience for somebody.”

The learning platform, supplied by Saba, enables team members to find their own online development in bite-sized chunks that appeal to them. By switching to a user-driven learning platform, Express supports blended learning at a personalized level: providing each employee with personal, relevant recommendations of classes, content and expert connections that help each succeed at his or her job.

The new learning ecosystem enables individuals to opt-in and access learning in areas of interest, resisting a one-sizefits-all approach. The system provides real-time recommendations, builds personal networks, promotes social collaboration, and provides direction for each of the more than 22,000 associates at Express. Prescriptive analytics provide each employee with personal, relevant recommendations of classes, content and expert connections that help them succeed at their job.

“Whether you are walking down the hall, at your desk or in a store, you’ll have the same experience with learning,” reports Zaller. “You have bits and bytes of learning and communications based on your courses, articles, or activities of interest … over 20,000 people adding to the site on a daily basis.”

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AT EXPRESS

The Express Essentials for organizational competencies describe the leadership skill set needed at a specific level in the company. They are cataloged to focus on key behaviors. Outlined as a map, the competencies are shown at each level and how they build upon each other in each area of focus. The maps help employees create individualized development plans and evaluate the competencies needed to further grow in each level of the company. The competencies keep employees on track with their goals every day, and management integrates them into the mid-year and annual review process.

In order to develop the best leaders in the retail industry who create an engaging environment consistent with the brand’s values, Express focuses on a few core programs at each level that drive leadership behaviors. As part of its talent management strategy, Express wants to drive employee self-development through the creation of a personalized and meaningful experience. Using data and analytics is an essential asset to shape the talent management experiences and to provide the best results for evaluation.

There are five key talent priorities that support Express’ leadership initiatives:

>> Increase the importance of engagement through communication.

>> Encourage employees to socialize their native genius to grow the company’s overall knowledge.

>> Encourage personalization and individualization.

>> Leverage knowledge nuggets instead of large traditional courses.

>> Implement a modern, easy-to-use talent management platform which leverages experiences and activities to drive knowledge.

BUSINESS IMPACT

The program is doing well, based on the results the organizational development team tracks. Since the program’s implementation in 2013, Express has been able to spend less on development while experiencing the following positive results:

>> Reducing employee turnover by 14 percent year-over-year.

>> A 100 percent improvement in associate engagement scores.

>> An increased Net Promoter Score by more than 80 percent.

>> The ability to spot potential employees with high potential. (Half of all field district managers are alumni of Express’s high-potential program.)

WHAT’S NEXT

With its loyalty program being titled ExpressNext, the company is always looking toward the future. Zaller shares they are planning to invite people to post their own videos, create quick knowledge nuggets and expand their leadership programs.

—Sources: “The Millennial Generation: Research Review,” National Chamber Foundation, https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/sites/default/files/article/foundation/MillennialGeneration.pdf

Published in Top Stories
Page 5 of 175

 


You are now being logged in using your Facebook credentials