• 27 Jul 2017 12:33 PM | Anonymous

    Check Out This Session hosted by ATD of North Louisiana                     

    "Bite Size Learning Program"   Presented by: Howard White 

      August 10th 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • 08 Jun 2017 8:05 AM | Anonymous

    By Michael Hackett, LogiGear

    Training has to be fun.  Simple as that.  To inspire changed behaviors and adoption of new practices, training has to be interesting, motivating, stimulating and challenging. Training also has to be engaging enough to maintain interest, as trainers today are forced to compete with handheld mobile devices, interruptions from texting, email distractions, and people who think they can multi-task.

    Many trainers cringe at the term edutainment, the necessity of education to be entertaining.  But the fact is: if class time is boring – regardless of how important – your efforts will fail.  Regardless of the content, to boost interest and retention, training has to be interactive.

    Today, there is great innovation going on in classroom practices – and not only from online delivery.  In class, I use as many games, exercises and examples as I can to engage and challenge students.  It takes longer than a lecture, but it’s much more effective.

    What is clear about training adults is that lectures alone do not work. The content is easy to create and most efficient in terms of delivery time.  But, in my experience, the retention rates are just too low!  It’s essential that there be learning activities – and the more the better.

    There must be learning activities to:

    • Verify the content delivered was received
    • Get feedback and replay to gauge the level of understanding
    • Challenge adults with having them immediately apply the information – a key achievement for adult learners.
    • Make the training more diverse and interesting to keep attention and increase retention
    • Entertain, make training more interesting and fun

    This does not have to be complex, time-consuming or a big event.  At a minimum it can be an instructor-led walk-through of a testing example.  It could be relating a past project experience.  Although an instructor-led walk-through will have less interaction, telling effective stories can expand thinking and application.  It could also be a testing simulation applying a newly learned process from start to finish.  Knowledge needs more than one method of delivery for retention and application.

    It has become increasingly popular in recent years to have corporate classes designed as simulations.  Within this format, the classes are conducted with numerous activities and learning games, which have proven to be the key method to learning and applying job skills.


  • 25 Apr 2017 8:29 AM | Anonymous

    Thursday, April 20, 2017 - by  Randy Thompson 

    When I started my CPLP journey, I really didn’t know what the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance certification was. I was familiar with ATD and had taken several classes and webcasts from them over the years. At that point in my career, I was looking for something to further develop my skills. CPLP seemed as if it would help me do that. My employer had set aside some money for my professional development that year. I looked on ATD’s website and came across information on the CPLP and a workshop in Denver. I attended the workshop thinking that I would get a certificate at the end, and life would be good. Little did I know what I had gotten myself into.   

    Within the first few minutes of the workshop, I quickly realized this was going to be more than a workshop. It was going to be a very long and challenging task of passing two exams . What had I gotten myself into? Being the type of person who doesn’t quit, I decided to pursue the certification. I immediately began networking with the people in my class because I knew I was going to need some help. We formed a study group, which ended up being tremendously helpful in my study regimen. I also took and retook all the practice exams I could find or buy. I studied like I had never studied before. 

    With a degree in education and more than 20 years in the learning and development profession, I thought I had mastered everything there was to know in our field. Boy, was I wrong. After four months of studying, even while on my 20-year anniversary trip to Hawaii with my wife, I took the Knowledge Exam and passed. First hurdle cleared.  

    When I prepared for the CPLP, the second exam was a Work Product submission which has since been replaced with the Skills Application Exam (SAE). I decided on instructional design. This area of our profession is something I have experience in doing, but I have never had the title of instructional designer. I wanted to prove to myself that I had the knowledge and skills needed in this area. Thankfully I had a project in progress with my employer that was perfect . My company had asked me to develop a training program for new contact center trainers. I needed to prove to the CPLP raters that I not only had the right skills for designing curriculum, but also was teaching trainers how to be trainers. It was a unique dynamic. But, in the end, it worked out perfectly.  

    Waiting for the results was horrendous. I am not a patient person, and this part of the process tested me to the very core. The week I was expected to receive the results, I was on a business trip. The week quickly passed by with no results. Friday came and I was on a plane home, anxiously watching my email. Upon arriving home, I had still not received the results. My mind started racing with thoughts of doom and destruction. ATD was going to tell those who didn’t pass last. I fired up my laptop and did some work for a couple of hours. Then, it happened. I finally got the email containing the news I was looking for. My heart raced and my hand shook as I clicked the on the email. But after a quick scan, I saw the word I was looking for: passed! Tears of joy quickly started flowing. I could now celebrate my accomplishment. I had planned a trip to Las Vegas that weekend with my two older boys to attend the 50th birthday celebration of the Ford Mustang. I still have fond memories of Elvis singing “Viva Las Vegas” from my car radio and the growl of my 2013 Mustang GT 5.0’s engine as it tore down the highway through the Mojave desert while I relished my CPLP accomplishment. 

    Going through the CPLP process, I learned that there was a lot about the learning and development profession that I didn’t know. In all the training and formal education I have received over the years, I learned the most from my CPLP journey. I am the first person in my organization to receive the CPLP certification. My employer watched me go through the certification process and recognized the value this certification brought to the business. 

    In a way, the CPLP was not a journey I meant to take. But I’m grateful I did. It has boosted my confidence and increased my prospects for a brighter future. 

    Learn more about the CPLP Certification.

  • 31 Mar 2017 4:01 PM | Anonymous

    Unrealistic deadlines, small budgets and other eLearning challenges can be crushed with these tips

    By Paul Leavoy

    Posted October 12, 2016

    Life is full of obstacles, but eLearning professionals have a unique set of eLearning challenges that come with the job title. In fact, there are some hurdles that we must leap over on a regular basis. From difficult clients and bland subject matter to shoestring eLearning budgets that need to be stretched, we have to use every trick we know to get through the day in one piece and persevere. Here are the top 10 headaches that eLearning professionals face virtually every day:

    1. Unrealistic Deadlines

    We’ve all had to deal with next-to-impossible deadlines that made us lose sleep and deal with unhealthy amounts of stress. No matter how many times we tried to shift things around and reallocate our resources, we just couldn’t seem to make the timeline work in our favor. The secret to overcoming unrealistic deadlines is full transparency and honesty. Make the client aware of every step involved in the process so that they know just how much work goes into creating effective eLearning deliverables.

    2. Inexperienced Clients

    In some cases, you may find that your clients are being unrealistic simply because they are inexperienced. They’ve never worked with an eLearning professional before. Hence, they aren’t aware of how difficult the eLearning design and development process can be. This is why it’s so important to sit down with them beforehand and explain what you’ll be doing, how you’ll be achieving the goals, and how often they can expect a progress report. If they know what’s going on behind the scenes they will usually be much more cooperative and understanding.

    3. Subject Matter Experts With No Prior Instructional Design Knowledge

    From time to time, you are going to come across a Subject Matter Expert who is new to the world of eLearning or doesn’t know much about Instructional design models and theories. They may have great personalities and a strong work ethic, but their lack of knowledge can pose a problem for your eLearning team. Before you hire your next Subject Matter Expert, conduct eLearning interviews to gauge their level of Instructional Design know-how. Carefully examine their eLearning portfolios and ask them why they took a certain approach. If you already have a Subject Matter Expert who doesn’t have any Instructional Design knowledge, provide them with a list of online resources that they can use to brush up on the basics.

    4. Lack Of Learner Motivation And Engagement

    Unfortunately, not every online learner is going to be 100% committed to the eLearning experience. They may be distracted, busy, or simply unmotivated. All of these hurdles prevent them from actively engaging in the eLearning experience. To counteract this you must provide them with an interactive and immersive eLearning course that includes their interests and aligns with their goals. They have to see the value in the eLearning course if you want them to actively participate.

    5. Balancing Tight eLearning Budgets

    Not all eLearning projects are going to come with unlimited eLearning budgets. In fact, most are going to have limited resources and you must work with what you’ve got. Before you begin any eLearning project you should outline a detailed eLearning budget that includes any and all expenses. Also, make sure to have a realistic estimate of what the eLearning project is going to require before you turn in your proposal to the client. Otherwise, you may have to dig into your profit margin in order to deliver an eLearning product that lives up to expectations.

    6. Transforming Dull Subject Matter Into Amazing eLearning Experiences

    Dry and dull subject matter is the bane of the eLearning professional’s existence. You have use a healthy dose of innovation, creativity, and every resource you have at your disposal to transform it into something engaging and exciting. eLearning interactivity is key here. If you can develop branching scenarios, simulations, and serious games that include the key takeaways, your learners might actually find the eLearning experience enjoyable.

    7. Whittling down the “Need To Know” Info

    There are instances when it seems like there is so much eLearning content that you don’t even know where to begin. However, bringing an experienced Subject Matter Expert on board and doing some audience research can help you determine the information that is relevant. It’s also important to consider cognitive overload when you’re creating your eLearning content. If it doesn’t align with the goals and objectives, then it may be best to just leave it out.

    8. Staying Up-To-Date With Modern Tech

    Every year brings with it new tech tools, gadgets, and software that you can use for your eLearning course design. But which technology is really worth the investment? Attend tech conferences, eLearning events, and trade shows. Read up on articles and watch video reviews of the latest and greatest technologies. This will give you the opportunity to stay up-to-date with modern tech for eLearning.

    9. Finding The Perfect eLearning Authoring Tool For The Task

    If you’ve had to choose a new eLearning authoring tool or Learning Management System in the past, then you already know how challenging the selection process can be. There are so many eLearning authoring tools and LMS platforms to choose from and so little time. It’s wise to narrow down your list of must-have features and then take full advantage of free demos and trials. Doing so can help you choose the tool that’s just right for the needs of your learners and your eLearning development team.

    10. Designing eLearning Courses For Different Generations

    Your audience is most likely comprised of at least two or three different generation, from Baby Boomers to Generation Z. This makes it challenging to create generic eLearning experiences for all, since each generation has its own unique traits and needs. However, you can overcome this by learning as much as you can about your online learners’ goals, preferences, and backgrounds. After you’ve done your research, use this data to create learner personas so that you are able to customize the eLearning content based on their experience level and tech-savviness of each learning group.

    Fortunately, the pros by far outweigh the cons when it comes to being an eLearning professional. Sure, there may be many eLearning challenges that cause us stress and frustration from time to time, but giving people the gift of knowledge makes it all worthwhile, right?


  • 03 Mar 2017 12:08 PM | Anonymous

     The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Human

    Capital Development is proud to announce

    The Human Capital Development Professional Development Series

    YOU SPOKE.  WE LISTENED and have “re-imagined” the very popular Training and Development Certificate Program This Professional Development Series is designed for individuals new to professional development at Southern Miss or returning T&D Certificate Program participants.


    WE LISTENED.  You asked for new professional development to help you reach your goals and this is it! 

    WE LISTENED.  The Professional Development Series (PDS) includes relevant, requested, and research-based topics.  According to you, the PDS session topics are THE most needed strategies to improve organizational performance through the talents of your employees. 

    WE LISTENED.  And some things are still the same.  The sessions are facilitated by passionate, renowned, down-home experts!  We remain committed to providing practice opportunities and practical tools for immediate application in your workplace!  And, of course, we still think learning should be FUN! 



    Employee Engagement

    Coaching in the Workplace

    Creating the Learning Environment

    Leadership Development

    Instructional Design

    (Creating Materials)

    Performance Improvement


    March 30-31

    May 18-19

    July 20-21

    September 14-15

    November 9-10

    January 25-26


    Dr. Janea McDonald

    Carita Ducre

    Shirley Legaux

    Paul Hasney



    Jennifer Ledet

    We hope you will join us!  Sign up for one session, or better yet, all six. 

     ·        All sessions held on the USM Gulf Park Campus, Long Beach, MS (overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico)
    ·        All sessions held on Thursdays 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. & Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
      ·        Cost:  $850 per session (10% discount for organizations registering two or more participants in the same session)
      ·        Students will receive a Certificate of Participation for each session.
      ·        CEU documentation available upon request.
      ·        Lunch on your own.

    Register today by calling Heather Annulis @ 228-214-3494.

    For more information, visit our website:

  • 02 Mar 2017 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    By: Liz Ryan     

    The end of the year has arrived — faster than ever!

    You’ve changed over the past twelve months. You are a different person now than you were in January. This is the perfect time to update your LinkedIn profile.

    Take a few minutes to log into LinkedIn and visit the Edit Profile page, read through your profile and see whether it still describes you.

    You can update your profile to move things around, change them or get rid of them if they’re no longer accurate or relevant.

    It’s a very good idea to update your LinkedIn profile at least once a year, or more often if things are changing in your work or career.

    Here are five ways to update your LinkedIn profile before January first:

    1. Update your headline

    2. Update your Summary

    3. Update your Skills, Projects, etc.

    4. Enhance your profile with media

    5. Grab your unique profile URL if you haven’t already

    Your headline is one of the few parts of your profile a LinkedIn user will see when they conduct a search on the LinkedIn user database and your profile is one of the search results.

    Your headline is critical because it tells a visitor to your page — or someone who sees your name  and headline in a list of search results — how to think about you.

    It is understandable that people tie themselves up in knots trying to come up with the perfect LinkedIn headline. Don’t worry about finding the pitch-perfect headline right now – the end of the year is stressful enough on its own.

    For now, choose a LinkedIn headline that more or less captures what you do professionally or how you want to be seen professionally by people who don’t know you.

    Here are some LinkedIn headline ideas:

    1. Controller for Growing Businesses

    2. Art Director and Print/Web Graphic Designer

    3. 2017 Marketing Grad Seeking Entry-Level Role

    You can use your headline to announce that you’re job-hunting if you aren’t working right now.

    You can think about LinkedIn headline over a few days or weeks and change it whenever you want.

    Personal branding is hard. Sometimes a good friend can be your best branding partner. Your friend will tell you how your friends and colleagues see you. Our friends often know us better than we know ourselves.

    Next on our update list is your LinkedIn Summary. You can write your Summary in paragraph form. Your Summary tells the story of you as a working person. It can be simple or complex. Here’s an example:

    I’m a Public Relations person who loves to get the word out about exciting products and services. I’ve gotten my employers and clients covered by CNN, the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal.

    You can decide how long or short your Summary will be.

    Take this opportunity to update your Summary with your 2016 projects, learning and accomplishments.

    If you can’t remember what you accomplished or learned in 2016, that’s a reminder to get a journal and start keeping track of your triumphs next year.

    If you read through your LinkedIn Summary and can’t see any way to change it based on your 2016 adventures, you may want to ask yourself why your job still deserves you.

    The right job gives you continual learning. That is all you will ever have to sell employers and/or clients.

    After updating your Summary you will scroll down through your LinkedIn profile to read what you’re currently saying about yourself in the many LinkedIn fields and categories.

    You can list and describe projects you worked on in 2016 or previous years. You can describe any talks you’ve given, internal or external presentations and committees or task forces you served on.

    You can have fun building out your LinkedIn profile. Business people like to deal with people who are well-rounded. It builds trust to know that someone is more than just their resume. You certainly are!

    You can add to or prune the list of Skills that your LinkedIn connections can endorse you for.

    Your Skills listing is one way of conveying the things you do, think about and care about professionally.

    You can be very serious or you can get silly in listing your Skills. LinkedIn can be a cold place, and many users will appreciate your efforts to warm it up.

    Now your LinkedIn profile is looking sharp! Next to do is to add media. You can upload presentations, images, video and other visual or aural content to enhance your LinkedIn profile, and I recommend that you do.

    If you don’t yet have one of your favorite images at the top of your LinkedIn profile, why not add one now? If you don’t like your LinkedIn profile photo, press one of your friends into service to take a new photo to replace the old one.

    If you have not yet created your unique LinkedIn profile URL, now is the perfect time to do it.

    To start, click on the Profile link in the horizontal navigation bar at the top of the your LinkedIn homepage. A pull-down menu will appear. Click on Edit Profile at the top of the list.

    On the Edit Profile page you will see a URL beneath your photo. That is the URL for your LinkedIn profile. If it is a long, gnarly URL full of random characters, you need a customized LinkedIn URL. To get one, click on the gear icon next to the gnarly URL.

    Doing that will take you to the page where you can create a customized, unique LinkedIn profile URL with your name in it, like this:

    Why do you need a customized LinkedIn URL? It is a handy thing to have!

    You can include your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, on your resume and on your consulting business cards — a box of which is a tremendous gift to give yourself this holiday season.

    You deserve your own, personal and individual business cards as you stride into 2017, running your own career.

    The new year is a new start, and it’s only a couple of weeks away. Bring your new and constantly-evolving self out to the world through a mighty and up-to-date LinkedIn profile!


  • 03 Feb 2017 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016 - by  Sue Kaiden 

    Writing your resume can be a frustrating experience. Ask 10 people for their opinions and you’ll get 10 different answers! In order to help you sort out conflicting advice, we’ve compiled a few of our best articles and resources on resumes. 

    How to Make Your Resume Stand Out: Career coach and resume writer Ed Hallenbeck shares his thoughts on resume development to help you make your resume stand out from the crowd;

    Resume Essentials: Lakeisha Matthews describes her recipe for developing a resume that will stand the test of time with a particular focus for Instructional Designers;

    Resumes for Online Applications: Lynne Williams provides excellent advice on formatting your resume for online applications to avoid the online application black hole

    Read More

  • 18 Dec 2016 5:29 PM | Anonymous
    By Ann Iverson, Senior Instructional Designer 

    In last month’s ID Essentials blog, we were instructional designers at World of Wings, Inc., a commercial airline dedicated to safety. We covered how to unpack those big, overstuffed objectives by first aligning them with business goals and then breaking them apart into smaller tasks. Now, let’s turn to a new issue at World of Wings.

    Safety numbers are in, and World of Wings continues to see low performance from its maintenance technicians. World of Wings wants to reduce both the severity and frequency of injuries that occur in the company’s maintenance hangars. Because many facilities emphasize and reward production output as a priority, World of Wings has found that employees take dangerous shortcuts to save time and maximize production. Those shortcuts often result in injury. Company stakeholders have agreed that training is essential for eliminating safety errors.

    We meet with SMEs to get some background information and define the course. They explain that they want an e-learning onboarding safety course – no more than 10 minutes. They also bring along their list of 10 objectives:

    1. Be aware of the 10 safety principles and how they provide a foundation for the company’s safety culture.

    2. Know the safety policies to protect World of Wings property and people.

    3. Wear the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for the employee’s role.

    4. Identify and control common hazards at the maintenance hangar.

    5. Understand the employee’s role in safety maintenance and communication.

    6. Report any adverse information concerning employee safety and security violations.

    7. Recall facts related to Safety Data Sheets, including chemical storage and spill containment.

    8. Take the right steps in emergency situations such as fires, injuries, and natural disasters.

    9. Know the emergency exits in the employee’s facility.

    10. Employ personal safety strategies to reduce risk of workplace violence.

    Where, oh, where do we begin? Our ID instinct tells us that there’s just too much stuff for one 10-minute course, but how do we respond? We conclude that we have two options:

    Option A:

    Accept all 10 objectives as they are and try to design the course to touch on each one briefly. After all, we need to keep our stakeholders happy. We’re also delivering an onboarding course, so why not give learners a taste of everything?

    Option B:

    Recognize that we’ll dilute the course if we try to do too much. Decide to go back to our SMEs to get a better idea of their goals and priorities.

    Let’s go with Option B. However, we still need to do some work before our stakeholder meeting. Following are three steps to help design the courseware so learners can do their jobs safely immediately after completing the course.

    Step 1: Differentiate the KNOW and DO

    Learners need to KNOW and DO things to keep themselves and others safe on the job. Content-focused design involves information that learners need to KNOW, but this is not the best use of e-learning. Because we’ve read all of Dr. Allen’s books, we know that the CCAF (context, challenge, activity, feedback) design method is the best and fastest way to change behavior. Using CCAF, we immerse learners in their real work environment and present them with challenging situations to practice the desired performance.

    While we prefer the CCAF approach, our SMEs may need some convincing. Before we meet with them, let’s organize the objectives into KNOW versus DO to help support a CCAF course design. We can create an objective table like this:

     ID Essentials content performance table.png

    Step 2: Focus on the DO

    When presenting our table to SMEs, we explain that we didn’t revise their objectives – we simply organized them into the KNOW and DO categories. We also explain the CCAF design and how this approach increases learning and performance by allowing learners to practice the exact skills they need on the job. And, since we don’t have a lot of time for theory to build confidence and competence, we want to get to the point! Amazingly, every SME agrees with us and is eager to create a course that’s engaging and fun. We now ask our SMEs a key question to help focus on the DO:

    Which objectives don’t present a real safety challenge for learners, and can be addressed with non-interactive content (e.g., job aids, reference materials, etc.)?

    Our SMEs agree that all of the content-focused objectives can be met with training materials and performance support tools, so now we can focus solely on the DO column. (Of course, we aren’t always so lucky, but we really like the SMEs who are agreeable and collaborative!)

    Step 3: Prioritize the DO

    We’ve now focused our SMEs on the five performance-focused objectives and can ask them to help us prioritize the list to unpack it even further. We ask:

    Can you please choose the top three objectives from this list of five?

    Some of the brightest SMEs in the group make these comments:

    One of the objectives relates to workplace violence. Maybe we should focus this safety onboarding course just on safety.

    Reporting employee safety violations is too much for a new hire. That should be covered in the next course.

    With those two statements, we’ve now landed on three strong performance-based objectives, which seem achievable in a 10-minute course.

    Nice work! We’re now ready to move into design! Tell us your biggest design challenges and we’ll try to work them into the next blog.


  • 18 Oct 2016 4:39 PM | Anonymous

     How I Stopped Getting Project Hangovers

    Tuesday, October 04, 2016 - by  Nazmina Mohammed 

    A couple of months ago, I had a realization: I was a project doer and not a project manager. To be clear, I thought I was actually a pretty solid project manager. But this is what it was really like:

    Most of us can relate to Bradley Cooper’s character—the one doing all the work. I thought I had a perfect system in place: Establish the goal, talk to people who need to be involved, create every task and deadline in my Google Calendar—and do most of the work myself, lose sleep and not know why, and then chase the people who didn’t meet their deadlines. Oh, and celebrate the completion of the project by letting out a sigh of relief and making a mental note of changing the timing of my calendar reminders next time. That’s the project hangover, and let’s face it, project hangovers aren’t fun. 

    Sure, the way I was “doing” projects worked. But what didn’t work was my ability to anticipate things going wrong; that the three other guys might not meet their deadlines and I’d end up doing the work myself. Or something just doesn’t go as planned. The Project Management for Learning Professionals Certificate Program not only gave me the essential tools I was missing to mitigate the risks in managing any project, but also an understanding of how to respond and adapt to changes in the plan during the process. 

    One of the most important things to remember is that even if you manage a similar project four times a year, the risks and changes will be different. Properly defining, planning, managing, and reviewing the project—and avoiding a project hangover—requires specific systems, which you will learn in the course. I am happy to say I am now a project manager, not a project doer. 

    See More Topics at ATD's Learning & Development Blog

  • 08 Jan 2016 4:26 PM | Anonymous

     Now that it is 2016, you have probably set business goals for the year ahead: launch the new training program or increase efficiency.  You may even have set personal New Year’s resolutions, like eating healthier, getting organized or finally learning a second language.   

    But have you given any thought to your own professional development?  Improving yourself at work past meeting your specific performance goals – is too often left to the routine box-checking of annual reviews.  To successfully move to the next level, we need to ask ourselves: How can I ensure I’m more valuable at the end of the year than I was at the beginning?

    Professional development takes three key forms: learning, connecting, and creating. Depending on your goals for the year, you may want to prioritize one more than the others.

    If you’re seriously ready to make 2016 your best year yet, don’t forget about your own professional development. 

    Join ATD of New Orleans on January 20th, for a hands-on session where you will have the opportunity to set your professional development goals and create a plan for achieving those goals over the course of the year.

    During this session we are encouraging participants to pair up with an accountability partner, to check on your progress throughout the year!  

    Don’t miss this opportunity to make this year your best year yet!  Or like we said in our board meeting last night, the year of the unicorn!

    Register Today!

    You can't get water from an empty well.

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