On-Point Session Topics
You’ll want to clone yourself as you choose from over 100 dynamic sessions covering eLearning best practices, how-tos, case studies, and emerging trends. Jump into the topics that best fit your needs, and gain the tools and knowledge to create more effective learning experiences.
We’ve curated a number of specialized sessions designed to explore different facets of the industry in more detail. This year, these collections of sessions include an exploration of organization-wide approaches,unique perspectives from around the world, insights from key industries, an expanded focus on instructional design, and expert-led hands-on activities.
Learning & Performance Ecosystems sessions explore organization-wide approaches such as performance support, knowledge management, social technologies, and the interconnections of these technical and human systems that impact performance.
Get to know your neighbors from around the world! International Perspectives sessions offer a variety of approaches used around the globe and feature international speakers and organizations, often with clients from outside North America.
The Industry Insights sessions will curate L&D voices and case studies from different industries.
Are you an instructional design newbie or looking for the newest ideas in the field? We have a Curated Path on Intro to Instructional Design just for you! These sessions are the nuts and bolts to provide you the latest foundations in eLearning instructional design.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) sessions and workshops provide you with in-depth, hands-on training with step-by-step instruction.
Sessions in Instructional Design Track
No formal eLearning background or training? Don’t have the time to slow down and learn the basics? You’re not alone. If that sounds like you, you may feel like you’re always a beginner—struggling to catch up with books and articles filled with academic and technical terms that don’t align with your practical experiences.Read More
Comics for learning have a long history of telling stories to teach concepts and processes. A one-page comic scene can describe a complex process, or a comic scenario with characters and dialogue can help explain more difficult situations by telling a story. Unfortunately, L&D professionals often discard the idea of using the comic medium in adult learning, seeing it as either an unacceptable medium or too costly both in time and budget. These misconceptions can lead you to bypass an effective medium for learning.Read More
Do you like to learn from extraordinary people? Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most admired artists in history. He reached his high level of mastery with almost no formal training at all. So what are the secrets of his learning journey? His letters give clear answers on the principles of learning that he applied. These principles are not just useful for the time when he lived—they’re also applicable for learning design today.Read More
When training courses don’t feel relevant to your learners’ work, the learners are less likely to meaningfully engage. You can capture their attention by turning dull, text-filled slides into a relatable scenario. This type of interaction gives learners an opportunity to apply new skills and explore outcomes in a low-pressure environment.Read More
Most of eLearning is deadly dull. The prose is turgid, the dialogue is worse, the stock photos are gratuitous, and the practice items are rote if not outright silly. Not only is this not fun, it’s not effective. There are plenty of reasons why: limited time and resources, and stakeholders who believe eLearning must be seen as serious. Yet, the outcome is unfortunate. And you can do better!Read More
When you create a scenario, you work hard to make it realistic and relevant for your learners. Unfortunately, even otherwise engaging scenarios sometimes include abstract feedback like “Incorrect. Please try again.” Simply saying the choice is right or wrong can make learners lose interest and focus, and it doesn’t help them learn from their mistakes.Read More
There is a growing disconnect between the supply and demand of skills required to fill some of the most essential jobs globally. A “one size fits all” approach to learning and development is simply not working, putting business performance and innovation at risk. How people learn, where people learn, and what people learn must change to allow individuals to experience a specific pathway that fully meets their individual needs.Read More
Learning content is often walled off from other categories of content developed in the enterprise. Learning content is often considered inappropriate for audiences outside the organization because it’s designed to talk to employees and has a tone (and, most often, a quality level) that is not appropriate for consumer communication. Due to this attitude, loads of quality content is wasted that could have an impact on the organizational bottom line.Read More
Every session and course you build is intended to improve people’s work performance in some way. So, before jumping into building the content, it is vital to find ways of seeing things from the learning audience’s point of view. Doing this well improves their learning experience, ensuring they get the right content and just what they need.Read More
Design & Development
eLearning technologies, conventions, and trends are progressing daily, and the path they’re on is not so different from that of the web. Web design reached “high design” status long ago, while eLearning design is much more often left to grassroots methods and simply “what we’ve done before.” This session seeks to bridge the gap by exposing what eLearning design can learn from web design.Read More
eLearning has a satisfactory set of options if your goal is information delivery or procedural training, but what about creating meaningful eLearning for complex skill development or for the not-so-procedural problems that show up more and more in the workplace? What about creating learning for those situations where your SME can’t tell you what good performance looks like except to say, “Well, you know it when you see it”?Read More
Tools & Platforms
Effective onboarding can be pivotal for retaining new hires. Employees who don’t feel engaged often leave during the first year, costing the company up to five times their annual salary. At Fidelity, a percentage of employees were voluntarily leaving within 18 months of hire, many to pursue other opportunities. The onboarding experience needed a radical overhaul on a lean budget, both financially and in terms of organizational capital.Read More
Design & Development
Do your learning solutions end when your learners depart? Do you struggle to know what content to include in your limited time? How are you shaping the 70 percent and the 20 percent of the 70:20:10 mix? There is a lot of talk today about informal or workflow learning, but what are you doing to design it? What if there was a proven way to design for the 70 and 20?Read More
Many learners want shorter nuggets of content. It can be challenging, however, for instructional designers to fit everything they need to do into five- to seven-minute chunks. If you’re not careful, the lessons can end up being mostly teaching, and what gets lost is the chance for learners to practice the skills being taught and the chance to apply the new skills to their own situation.Read More
You think your content is important, but does your audience? Stories provide context for facts, and a narrative is an effective way to capture your audience’s attention, change a perspective, or explain something well; and yet, many L&D professionals are not using storytelling enough during the learning and development process. How do you add more narrative to information you need others to understand?Read More
Curation is a hot topic in learning. No longer is L&D expected to create all training materials. To remain competitive, you need to explore and leverage multiple types of training resources. But how do you find targeted content? What is the right mix of training resources? How do you decide what to include?Read More
The mantra these days is to increase learner engagement, because if learners aren’t engaged, then they’re not learning, right? So learning designers have spent a lot of energy adding bells and whistles—anything to increase engagement. But while learners seem to like all this engagement, is L&D actually seeing any measurable results? According to CEB/Gartner, traditional training only creates 37 percent learning transfer back to the workplace. That’s a problem!Read More
Design & Development
When designing eLearning, you may be so familiar with the content and delivery systems that you are blind to the problems your actual users encounter. When reviewing learner evaluations, you may get vague comments such as “there were glitches,” but how can you address such issues without understanding the root of the problem or knowing how much of that is under your actual control?Read More
Design & Development
You have instructor-led courses, recorded webinars, product training, onboarding videos, documentation, and more. You believe you can somehow turn all of this into a great learning program, but how? How do you make sense of all of your materials and determine what’s necessary for a great learning experience? Is eLearning the right solution? And if it is, in what format and with what kinds of features?Read More
Something big is missing from the L&D field: design critiques. Critiques are collaborative sessions that help designers find solutions to design problems. Many creative fields use design critiques to improve the implementation of their products. Input from others brings new perspectives and insights to one’s work. Feedback makes designers more effective and creates a positive work culture. Yet, in learning experience design, critiques are vastly under-used.Read More
All businesses need to provide learning that is relevant and timely to their employees, while attempting to maximize learner receptivity by providing it through one of learners’ many available devices. This can make it difficult to create eLearning that is engaging, flexible, and responsive as well as being accessible across multiple devices seamlessly.Read More
Is the LMS dead? Can a combination of today’s mobile apps, social interactions, and game-enabled microlearning replace yesterday’s “macrolearning” platforms? Do your training programs need to be so structured and prescriptive when modern adaptive approaches are now a reality? The ever-evolving educational technology landscape presents more choices than ever, but finding the right solution in the deep and wide pool of possibility isn’t always simple.Read More
Fiction writers know that readers expect certain patterns of dramatic tension and resolution, and if those are absent, a work loses its ability to engage readers. These tried-and-true techniques are gaining popularity as more writers bypass traditional publishing channels. Along the way, their applicability to learning design is becoming apparent.Read More
At Catalina Marketing, new employee onboarding consisted of disparate programs across functions and countries. In some parts of the company, no structured onboarding existed at all. When updating this program, their goals were to provide a consistent experience across the globe; break down silos across different areas of the organization; create an environment for early employee engagement; and socialize Catalina’s culture, values, and behaviors globally. So how did they do it?Read More
Instructional design remains at the core of all formal learning solutions. However, as the nature of work changes and technology advances rapidly, how is the science and practice of instructional design evolving to answer the bell?Read More
How many times have you had to redo a project after you thought you understood the challenge, the goals, or the requirements? As you start to build more complex interactions and applications, you need a process that will allow you to test a concept, measure its results, and iterate over and over until it meets the needs of your audience.Read More
People get into eLearning from a variety of professions. Some were subject matter experts or trainers; others had focused their careers on media or web development. At some point, though, someone asked or encouraged them to develop eLearning. So, they bought and learned to use an authoring tool, but they likely weren’t given much background on instructional design techniques and how these can help them build better eLearning.Read More
Social media has changed the way learning professionals manage knowledge on a fundamental level, and shared content—created and curated through collaborative applications and social media—is the future of instructional design. As the sheer volume of learning content continues to grow in this environment of curation, many learning organizations will feel obligated to pore over the information piece by piece, day by day. There’s a better way.Read More
Emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and advanced learning and organizational analytics are exciting the L&D field. Yet these powerful tools won’t necessarily translate into powerful learning unless they are carefully utilized. The key to this is adaptive learning, a sophisticated methodology that intelligently adapts the learning experience to each individual learner and enables this new generation of technologies.Read More
Uncovering the need is one thing, but organizing the mountain of content from an SME is an ID’s nightmare. You have to keep the goal in mind. Mind mapping helps you define the goal and align content to the intended outcome.Read More