Learning Solutions 2014

In the learning solutions world, constant education is important for those designing curriculum, too.

Vivayic and its employees understand that and attend many conferences throughout the year. Vivayic team member Jessica Travis attended the Learning Solutions conference, co-located with the Ecosystem conference earlier this year. Here’s her thoughts after the event.

Learning Solutions ConferenceJessica Travis

Wow – what an exhilarating educational experience!  At the Learning Solutions conference, we learned about all aspects of eLearning and what’s currently happening out in the eLearning world. From project management to mobile learning, from graphic design and eLearning games to the fundamentals of learning theory, this conference covers it all.

Not only does it have a variety of topics, but it also includes opportunities to see examples of high quality work from people in the field during a session called SolutionFest. This year was a special one because a Vivayic project was accepted for the event.

Solutions Fest

Doug, the client and I spent two hours talking to people about our project design. It was just super exciting to talk to people about what we do, especially when they were so positive about it. SolutionFest was awesome – not only because of our participation but also because it’s fun to check out the other projects and see what our peers are doing to generate new ideas.

Outside of SolutionFest, one of my favorite sessions was about writing better eLearning scripts. It provided practical information and a reminder to bring even the most complicated content down to a personal level so that the learner has the best possible experience. Whenever I can, I try to use a conversational tone in script writing for eLearning courses, and that session put that into perspective and reminded me of the different approaches that can be taken to achieve that style.

The best part about any type of conference is taking home the information and the energy gained at the event and applying it to my everyday work. Last year I focused on learning more about graphic design and how to use Storyline. This year I focused more on project management and expanding my knowledge of general eLearning design.

I absolutely love attending this conference. It is so refreshing and motivational to be at a meeting full of professionals who do what I do and understand what I do. The framework of the event makes it easy to exchange ideas, stay current on the latest trends in eLearning and on a personal level, to continue learning new tricks of the trade to improve myself as a learning solutions designer.

I believe that one of the most important things I can do is be a constant learner because anything new that I learn will help me continue to grow, and in turn, do great work for our clients. Just like bread – after a while, people can get stale, too. Conferences help you stay fresh!

Ecosystem 2014 – The Learning Infrastructure and Strategies Conference

In the learning solutions world, constant education is important for those designing curriculum, too.

Vivayic and its employees understand that and attend many conferences throughout the year. Vivayic co-founders Doug Kueker and Seth Derner attended the Ecosystem conference, co-located with the Learning Solutions conference earlier this year. Here’s their thoughts after the event.

Ecosystem Conference – Doug Kueker and Seth Derner

ec·o·sys·tem [ek-oh-sis-tuhm] – a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment; or in general use, a complex network or interconnected system.

Ecosystem – that’s a great word for education and for the eLearning world. We had the chance to dissect what it meant for learning solutions and for our company at the recent Ecosystem conference, and we gained much information to use to benefit our team and our clients.

Over time, organizations have built so many systems to deliver training and learning to their employees and constituents. Unfortunately, having multiple learning delivery systems places a big burden on the learner – they have to navigate through a sea of options to find the one that best suits their educational needs. Wrestling with multiple systems doesn’t create a very cohesive learning experience for the learner.

Many of the organizations at the conference, which was hosted by the eLearning Guild, a professional society that we belong to, were discussing ways to work toward integration of the different learning systems they’ve built. Ultimately, they are trying to improve the quality and impact of the learning experiences they offer by taking a step back and identifying a broad strategy for learning and development at an organizational level.

Another trend discussed is that organizations are recognizing that learning isn’t necessarily confined to online courses or in-person/classroom training experiences. There’s a push toward expanding what we define as “learning experiences.” More modern views of learning are acknowledging both the formal modes of learning as well as more informal modes of learning such as social media, performance support tools and well-structured, on-the-job growth experiences.

This conference helped us gain some insights as to how organizations are building systems that embrace this broader definition of learning. Organizations are trying to get learners the experiences they need at the right scope, in the right mode and at the right time.

As organizations look at systems and re-think learning experiences, they are using data to help determine the effectiveness of activities so they can invest where it makes the most impact. As a direct result of what we learned at Ecosystem, we at Vivayic plan to be more proactive in helping our clients think through the evaluation and data analysis of new initiatives and learning experiences, which will give them quality metrics to measure return on investment.

We do love learning so we enjoy going to conferences like these in general, but certain aspects do stand out. They allow us to stay current to benefit our clients. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the eight years since we started the company. Conferences like this give us insights in how to prepare for what the field may look like in the next eight years.

We also love connecting with other thought leaders in related fields. As an expertise-driven organization, we rely on the knowledge of our team members and our network. Sometimes being the smartest person in the room means that you know the right expert to involve in a project. The Ecosystem conference was a chance to build relationships and share ideas with some of the smartest people in the learning services industry.

During the SolutionFest, we even had the chance to share our own expertise since one of our projects was featured. Along with team member Jessica Travis and one of our clients, we chatted with attendees about what made our project, and team, click, which was a really great experience for our team, and for Vivayic.

The desire to gain all that we do at these events ties back to a couple of our values:

  • Cultivation – We believe in continuous cultivation of our knowledge and skills so we make time to attend professional development experiences like this one.
  • Excellence and Practicality – We strive to bring these two qualities together in the solutions we build with our clients; this conference gave us insights into trends that will ultimately help us elevate these two qualities in future work.

We really strive to practice what we preach. Our leadership team is constantly thinking about how we can reiterate our own internal learning systems to support our team’s growth and development. Conferences, like Ecosystem, help us meet, and exceed, those goals.