6 Free Tools for Evaluating Web Accessibility — from boia.org

Excerpt:

Can you evaluate your website’s accessibility on your own?

Not necessarily. To ensure conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), you’ll need to test your content regularly by using both manual and automated tools. Ideally, manual tests should be performed by human testers who have disabilities.

However, as you learn about the concepts of WCAG, you can use free tools to test your website for common barriers. If you’re a web designer or developer, online tools can be a vital resource as you incorporate the best practices of inclusive design.

Below, we’ll discuss six free tools that can help you make better design decisions.

 

How ChatGPT3 Impacts the Future of L&D in an AI World — from learningguild.com by Markus Bernhardt and Clark Quinn

Excerpt:

Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are promising great things for learning. The potential here is impressive, but there also exist many questions and insecurities around deploying AI technology for learning: What can AI do? Where is it best utilized? What are the limits? And particularly: What does that leave for the instructional designer and other human roles in learning, such as coaching and training?

We want to suggest that these developments are for the benefit of everyone—from organizational development strategy devised in the C-suite, via content creation/curation by instructional designers, right through to the learners, as well as coaches and trainers who work with the learners.

Also somewhat relevant/see:

 

From DSC:
Let’s put together a nationwide campaign that would provide a website — or a series of websites if an agreement can’t be reached amongst the individual states — about learning how to learn. In business, there’s a “direct-to-consumer” approach. Well, we could provide a “direct-to-learner” approach — from cradle to grave. Seeing as how everyone is now required to be a lifelong learner, such a campaign would have enormous benefits to all of the United States. This campaign would be located in airports, subway stations, train stations, on billboards along major highways, in libraries, and in many more locations.

We could focus on things such as:

  • Quizzing yourself / retrieval practice
  • Spaced retrieval
  • Interleaving
  • Elaboration
  • Chunking
  • Cognitive load
  • Learning by doing (active learning)
  • Journaling
  • The growth mindset
  • Metacognition (thinking about one’s thinking)
  • Highlighting doesn’t equal learning
  • There is deeper learning in the struggle
  • …and more.

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more

 

A learn how to learn campaign covering airports, billboards, subways, train stations, highways, and more


NOTE:
The URL I’m using above doesn’t exist, at least not at the time of this posting.
But I’m proposing that it should exist.


A group of institutions, organizations, and individuals could contribute to this. For example The Learning Scientists, Daniel Willingham, Donald Clark, James Lang, Derek Bruff, The Learning Agency Lab, Robert Talbert, Pooja Agarwal and Patrice Bain, Eva Keffenheim, Benedict Carey, Ken Bain, and many others.

Perhaps there could be:

  • discussion forums to provide for social interaction/learning
  • scheduled/upcoming webinars
  • how to apply the latest evidence-based research in the classroom
  • link(s) to learning-related platforms and/or resources
 

Some example components of a learning ecosystem [Christian]

A learning ecosystem is composed of people, tools, technologies, content, processes, culture, strategies, and any other resource that helps one learn. Learning ecosystems can be at an individual level as well as at an organizational level.

Some example components:

  • Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) such as faculty, staff, teachers, trainers, parents, coaches, directors, and others
  • Fellow employees
  • L&D/Training professionals
  • Managers
  • Instructional Designers
  • Librarians
  • Consultants
  • Types of learning
    • Active learning
    • Adult learning
    • PreK-12 education
    • Training/corporate learning
    • Vocational learning
    • Experiential learning
    • Competency-based learning
    • Self-directed learning (i.e., heutagogy)
    • Mobile learning
    • Online learning
    • Face-to-face-based learning
    • Hybrid/blended learning
    • Hyflex-based learning
    • Game-based learning
    • XR-based learning (AR, MR, and VR)
    • Informal learning
    • Formal learning
    • Lifelong learning
    • Microlearning
    • Personalized/customized learning
    • Play-based learning
  • Cloud-based learning apps
  • Coaching & mentoring
  • Peer feedback
  • Job aids/performance tools and other on-demand content
  • Websites
  • Conferences
  • Professional development
  • Professional organizations
  • Social networking
  • Social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook/Meta, other
  • Communities of practice
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — including ChatGPT, learning agents, learner profiles, 
  • LMS/CMS/Learning Experience Platforms
  • Tutorials
  • Videos — including on YouTube, Vimeo, other
  • Job-aids
  • E-learning-based resources
  • Books, digital textbooks, journals, and manuals
  • Enterprise social networks/tools
  • RSS feeds and blogging
  • Podcasts/vodcasts
  • Videoconferencing/audio-conferencing/virtual meetings
  • Capturing and sharing content
  • Tagging/rating/curating content
  • Decision support tools
  • Getting feedback
  • Webinars
  • In-person workshops
  • Discussion boards/forums
  • Chat/IM
  • VOIP
  • Online-based resources (periodicals, journals, magazines, newspapers, and others)
  • Learning spaces
  • Learning hubs
  • Learning preferences
  • Learning theories
  • Microschools
  • MOOCs
  • Open courseware
  • Portals
  • Wikis
  • Wikipedia
  • Slideshare
  • TED talks
  • …and many more components.

These people, tools, technologies, etc. are constantly morphing — as well as coming and going in and out of our lives.

 

 

What factors help active learning classrooms succeed? — from rtalbert.org Robert Talbert

Excerpt:

The idea that the space in which you do something, affects the thing you do is the basic premise behind active learning classrooms (ALCs).

The biggest message I get from this study is that in order to have success with active learning classrooms, you can’t just build them — they have to be introduced as part of an ecosystem that touches almost all parts of the daily function of a university: faculty teaching, faculty development and support, facilities, and the Registrar’s Office to name a few. Without that ecosystem before you build an ALC, it seems hard to have success with students after it’s built. You’re more likely to have an expensive showcase that looks good but ultimately does not fulfill its main purpose: Promoting and amplifying active learning, and moving the culture of a campus toward active engagement in the classroom.

From DSC:
Thank you Robert for your article/posting here! And thank you for being one of the few faculty members who:

  • Regularly share information out on LinkedIn, Twitter, and your blog (something that is all too rare for faculty members throughout higher education)
  • Took a sabbatical to go work at a company that designs and develops numerous options for implementing active learning setups throughout the worlds of higher education, K12 education, and the corporate world as well. You are taking your skills to help contribute to the corporate world, while learning things out in the corporate world, and then  taking these learnings back into the world of higher education.

This presupposes something controversial: That the institution will take a stand on the issue that there is a preferred way to teach, namely active learning, and that the institution will be moving toward making active learning the default pedagogy at the institution. Putting this stake in the ground, and then investing not only in facilities but in professional development and faculty incentives to make it happen, again calls for vigorous, sustained leadership — at the top, and especially by the teaching/learning center director.

Robert Talbert


 

Job Titles: It’s Not Only Instructional Design — from idolcourses.com by Ivett Csordas

Excerpt:

When I first came across the title “Instructional Designer” while looking for alternative career options, I was just as confused as anybody would be hearing about our job for the first time. I remember asking questions like: What does an Instructional Designer do? Why is it called Instructional Design? Wouldn’t a title such as Learning Experience Designer or Training Content Developer suit them better? How are their skill sets different from curriculum developers like teachers’? etc.

Then, the more I learnt about the different roles of Instructional Designers, and the more job interviews I had, ironically, the less clarity I had over the companies’ expectations of us.

The truth is that the role of an Instructional Designer varies from company to company. What a person hired with the title “Instructional Designer” ends up doing depends on a range of factors such as the company’s training portfolio, the profile of their learners, the size of the L&D team, the way they use technology, just to mention a few.

From DSC:
I don’t know a thing about idolcourses.com, but I really appreciated running across this posting by Ivett Csordas about the various job titles out there and the differences between some of these job titles. The posting deals with job titles associated with developers, designers, LXD, LMS roles, managers, L&D Coordinators, specialists, consultants, and strategists.

 

 

Speaking of L&D-related items, also see:

Does Your L&D Team Need More T’s? — from learningguild.com by Pamela Hogle and Barry Nadler

Excerpt:

An idea that was used internally at McKinsey and Company as far back as the 1980s, the concept of a T-shaped skills profile (Figure 1) features:

  • A horizontal bar — the broad skill set comprising interpersonal, functional, and industry-specific skills
  • A vertical bar — in-depth, specialized knowledge in areas related to the employee’s field, specific role, and individual interests, focus topics, or experience
    .

Figure 1: T-shaped skills profile (Illustration by Pamela Hogle)

 

Unlocking the Secrets of Online Peer Learning — from learningguild.com by Kelly Palmer

Excerpt:

By experimenting with online, cohort-based learning programs, we learned that peer learning is one of the most effective ways to broaden horizons. People can share real-world challenges or questions that arise during the work week and get a range of advice and tactics from their peers.

Peer learning gives a way to make learning stick by encouraging people to discuss ideas, explain themselves, actively listen to others, and refine their thinking.

 

It takes a village — from chieflearningofficer.com by Joe Mitchell
Colleges, companies and training providers have a unique opportunity to work together to address tech worker shortages and create more opportunities and upward mobility.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

But what higher education institutions and companies need isn’t a totally new approach that ignores the old systems — it’s someone to act as connective tissue between them. Fortunately, an emerging cadre of education providers are doing just that: developing the curriculum to help students earn industry-recognized credentials that can help them get good jobs right away in high-demand fields, and then working with universities to get that curriculum to their students.

The environment seems ripe for this type of collaboration.2020 survey of business leaders found that 70 percent think higher education institutions should be more involved in job training. Nearly 90 percent say colleges and universities could help their students learn industry-specific knowledge and advanced technical skills.

 

behance.net/live/   <— Check out our revamped schedule!

Join us in the morning for Adobe Express streams — If you are an aspiring creative, small business owner, or looking to kickstart a side hustle – these live streams are for you!

Then level up your skills with Creative Challenges, Bootcamps, and Pro-Tips. Get inspired by artists from all over the world during our live learning events. Tune in to connect directly with your instructors and other creatives just like you.

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For weekly updates on the Adobe Live schedule + insight into upcoming guests and content, join our discord communities!

Watch Adobe Live Now!

 

 
 

Top challenges for L&D leaders in 2023 — from chieflearningofficer.com by Ken Blanchard

Excerpts:

From an HR perspective, survey respondents reported that the biggest challenges they expect as HR and L&D leaders in 2023, in ranked order, are:

  1. Capacity and resources
  2. Turnover and attrition
  3. Improving engagement and experience
  4. Adapting to a hybrid culture

From DSC:
I wonder if many in higher education might respond similarly…? Perhaps some even in the K-12 space as well.

Also see:

This posting from William Kennedy-Long (re: instructional design) out on LinkedIn:

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

I read Clark Quinn’s outstanding article which I highly recommend reading, entitled Performance Focus For Deeper Learning Design.

Immediately, I was captivated by what it and he had to say, such that I wrote a short piece to follow up on it.

What are on-ramps? Here’s how to build them for all adult learners to reach their academic potential — from chieflearningofficer.com by Michelle Westfort

Excerpt:

This may come as a surprise — adult learners over 25 make up nearly 40 percent of today’s U.S. undergraduate population at colleges and universities. However, these learners often find themselves treated as outliers by institutions designed for traditional students, which leads to poorer learner outcomes and, as a result, barriers to social mobility.

To ensure adult learners can meaningfully participate in your workforce education program, organizations can build on-ramps capable of accommodating all learners.

On-ramps provide employees access to high-quality academic programs, enable them to continue their educational journey toward a degree or certification by meeting them where they are, and hold a key role in paving the way for successful learner outcomes.

Leveraging 2022’s future-forward lessons to improve L&D — from chieflearningofficer.com by Keith Keating

Excerpts:

Top 4 future-forward lessons from 2022:

  1. The world changes rapidly — prepare for it
  2. Anticipate trends, events and the skills you’ll need in the future
  3. Continuously adopt new capabilities and expand your knowledge
  4. Use tech to your advantage
 

ChatGPT and The Professional’s Guide to Using AI — from linkedin.com by Allie K. Miller

Excerpt:

Real Ways Professionals Can Use ChatGPT to Improve Job Performance
Let’s dive into some real examples of how professionals across sales, marketing, product management, project management, recruiting, and teaching can take advantage of this new tool and leverage it for even more impact in their careers.

Teachers and ChatGPT

  1. Help with grading and feedback on student work.
    Example prompt: “Tell me every grammar rule that’s been violated in this student’s essay: [paste in essay]”
  2. Create personalized learning materials.
    Example prompt: “Help me explain photosynthesis to a 10th grade student in a way similar to sports.”
  3. Generate lesson plans and activities.
    Example prompt: “Create an activity for 50 students that revolves around how to learn the different colors of the rainbow.” or “Generate a lesson plan for a high school English class on the theme of identity and self-discovery, suitable for a 45-minute class period.”
  4. Write fake essays several reading levels below your class, then print them out, and have your students review and edit the AI’s work to make it better.
    Example prompt: “Generate a 5th grade level short essay about Maya Angelou and her work.”
  5. Providing one-on-one support to students.
    Example prompt: “How can I best empower an introverted student in my classroom during reading time?”

From DSC:
I haven’t tried these prompts. Rather I post this because I’m excited about the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help people teach and to help people to learn.

 

How Skills Are Disrupting Work: The Transformational Power of Fast-Growing, In-Demand Skills — from burningglassinstitute.org by Nik Dawson, Alexandra Martin, Matt Sigelman, Gad Levanon, Stephanie Blochinger, Jennifer Thornton, and Janet Chen
A “State of Skills” Report from the Burning Glass Institute, the Business-Higher Education Forum, and Wiley

On average, 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average U.S. job have changed since 2016.

Excerpt:
By analyzing hundreds of millions of recent U.S. job postings, the Burning Glass Institute and the Business–Higher Education Forum (BHEF) identified four of the fastest-growing, highest-demand emerging skill sets:

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
  • Cloud Computing
  • Product Management
  • Social Media

These four skill sets serve as a laboratory for understanding what business and education leaders can do to prepare workers and students for skills disruption. To illustrate how programs can help learners and workers acquire essential skills, this report includes profiles of recent innovations from the BHEF network.

The future belongs to those who seek to understand, anticipate, and harness the power of emerging skills, rather than maintain a posture of reaction/response.

The prospect of helping all those who are challenged by skill disruption hinges on the readiness of business and higher education to engage in understanding and planning for skill disruption over the long term.

From DSC:
“On average, 37% of the top 20 skills requested for the average U.S. job have changed since 2016.” That’s what I’m talking about when I talk about the exponential pace of change. It’s hard to deal with. Our institutions of education are not used to this pace of change. Our legal system isn’t used to this pace of change. And there are other industries struggling to keep up.

Should the pace of change be an element of our design when we think about using Design Thinking to create a new lifelong learning ecosystem?

 

The talent needed to adopt mobile AR in industry — from chieflearningofficer.com by Yao Huang Ph.D.

Excerpt:

Therefore, when adopting mobile AR to improve job performance, L&D professionals need to shift their mindset from offering training with AR alone to offering performance support with AR in the middle of the workflow.

The learning director from a supply chain industry pointed out that “70 percent of the information needed to build performance support systems already exists. The problem is it is all over the place and is available on different systems.”

It is the learning and development professional’s job to design a solution with the capability of the technology and present it in a way that most benefits the end users.

All participants revealed that mobile AR adoption in L&D is still new, but growing rapidly. L&D professionals face many opportunities and challenges. Understanding the benefits, challenges and opportunities of mobile AR used in the workplace is imperative.

A brief insert from DSC:
Augmented Reality (AR) is about to hit the mainstream in the next 1-3 years. It will connect the physical world with the digital world in powerful, helpful ways (and likely in negative ways as well). I think it will be far bigger and more commonly used than Virtual Reality (VR). (By the way, I’m also including Mixed Reality (MR) within the greater AR domain.) With Artificial Intelligence (AI) making strides in object recognition, AR could be huge.

Learning & Development groups should ask for funding soon — or develop proposals for future funding as the new hardware and software products mature — in order to upskill at least some members of their groups in the near future.

As within Teaching & Learning Centers within higher education, L&D groups need to practice what they preach — and be sure to train their own people as well.

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian