Crossing the Divide Between Online & Printed Continuing Education Content

Destination: ASTD International Conference and Expo in Dallas, TX

Journal Entry: Day 4, Phoenix
(click here to read entries 1, 2 & 3)

The fourth day of our journey to ASTD took us southeast to Phoenix, AZ. Tony and I are looking for a place to lay our weary heads before we once again cross the Great Continental Divide, and prepare for the final leg of our trip.

The Great Continental Divide

If you’ve been following along on our adventures, you

know we already covered what other organizations are doing, where you see your content distribution going in

the future, and whether the current budget can support a change. (I bet I can guess your answer on the last question!) The time to decide has come. Should you distribute your content in print, digital, or online?

3 Things to Consider Regarding CE Content Distribution:

  1. Learner Experience. Without learners, there’s no point in your organization continuing to provide CE content. Pay attention to learner feedback. What is the learner experience? Do learners need to access content outside the classroom to continue learning? Do the formats you offer provide the best opportunity to maximize learning retention?
  2. Technology. How are you delivering continuing education today? How can you leverage technology to provide the best learner experience tomorrow? Never stop asking yourself these questions if you want to remain relevant. Technology and learners will forever be pushing for your organization to change. Ignore them at your peril.
  3. Budget. Your learners and technology play a huge part in what needs to get done. Your budget plays a big part in what can get done. Your budget may not be as big as you would like, but that just means you may have to step up your creativity in order to make changes to your CE content distribution.

Although time-consuming and emotionally-taxing at times, educating professionals is an important adventure that you and your organization have committed to undertaking. But take heart – your efforts are not in vain. Our world would certainly be different if great explorers had never decided to have embarked on the adventure across the continental divide. If they could overcome such adversity to experience a new world, your organization can decide how to distribute your continuing education content.

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The sun is setting on our adventure. Check back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of our journey to ASTD!

To Climb or Not to Climb? Deciding the Future Delivery of Your Continuing Education Content

Destination: ASTD International Conference and Expo in Dallas, TX

Journal Entry: Day 2, Denver
(click here to read entry #1)

The second day of our journey to ASTD took us somewhere near Denver, CO. Tony and I have decided to set up camp at the base of the Rocky Mountains, pondering if there’s a compelling reason to cross over the Great Continental Divide.

The Great Continental Divide

Today more than ever, organizations are faced with many uncertainties about the best methods for delivering their continuing education content. Is Instructor-Led Training (ILT) still effective? Should we be expanding our course offerings to better leverage online and mobile technology?

It’s important to make a decision about the future delivery of your continuing education content. In my opinion, making a poor decision is better than not deciding at all. Failing is a part of the learning process. All we can do is try not to make it catastrophic disaster.

3 Questions to Ask Your Organization:

These questions will help you corral your thoughts and get you moving forward with a decision, and hopefully nudge you in the direction of a good one. When answering, don’t think about technology and what is or isn’t possible. Try to answer each question in one or two sentences.

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how would your learners rate their overall experience?
  2. What is the one thing your organization can do to best improve the learner experience?
  3. Does your organization have the budget to do something about it? I admit, this is something of a trick question.

As we know, crossing the great continental divide was no easy feat for the Old West cowboys. Making decisions about the direction of your organization may feel similar. Just like the cowboys, though, your organization may need to make bold moves to win the rodeo, or risk riding off into the sunset, no longer relevant to learners.

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It’s time for Tony and I to get some rest; we’ve got a big decision to make tomorrow.

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