I attended the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase last week at the Union League Club. The Showcase is an exploration of new media and interactive eLearning tools. As the Platinum Sponsor for the event, CARA had a significant presence, among more than 300 learning professionals. But the real Rock Stars were the talented practitioners who presented creative, common sense and technological feats of genius during their presentations.
The opening keynote session, Defusing Landmines in eLearning Projects, provided practical tips on how to anticipate and neutralize eLearning project issues before they arise. The speaker, Jennifer DeVries, shared her own lessons learned from an established career as a professional eLearning Consultant.
I really value tips like anticipating some potential root causes of scope creep and her brutal advice to never trust someone who tells you not to worry about the budget. This is great advice to share with our team and our clients.
Another session I attended, The Devil Is in the Details: Technical Considerations for eLearning, presenter Marge Feely, shared lessons learned about designing around the client’s technological capabilities to avoid end-user inaccessibility. Another practical set of guidelines to consider were given along with suggested workarounds for successful eLearning implementation.
CARA’s own Senior Instructional Design Consultant/Rock Star, Traci Weiss, led a standing room only session, Creating Scenario-Based Learning Using Rapid eLearning Tools. Traci shared her experience with various client eLearning platforms like Adobe Presenter (using Captivate), Articulate, and Lectora – tools not typically “scenario-friendly,” and provided examples of how simulations may be difficult to measure learning transfer; they are a great for learning from your mistakes. Traci’s presentation will soon be available on CARA’s website.
With more than 30 speakers, 24 breakout sessions and 6 different tracks, there was something for everyone involved in the design, development and delivery of technology-based learning. Great themes were showcased, from engaging learners, mitigating technical issues, designing creatively—on a budget, and measuring results. I am continually impressed with the depth of thought leadership and the community of talented professionals we’ve cultivated here in Chicago. It was a fabulous day of total immersion and excellent networking.
To learn more, email me and we can set up a networking meeting to go out for pizza—Chicago style.