#TrainChat: Recap of our Twitter Chat with David Kelly

On Friday, the Daily Mindflash hosted a Twitter chat with contributor David Kelly, in which we discussed his latest article, “Three Essential Tips for New Online Trainers.” Once again, the chat was a success, with hundreds of questions, comments, and opinions pouring in to the hashtag #trainchat about online training and instructional design.

We’ve compiled some of the most interesting comments here, along with Kelly’s responses to our questions. For the sake of clarity, we’ve condensed Kelly’s various tweets into a single response, and in places cleaned up a little bit of Twitter grammar.

The Daily Mindflash: What are the most common mistakes that trainers make?

@LnDDave: I think one of the most common mistakes trainers make when designing is to NOT design at all. Rapid Dev Tools and templates make it very easy to plug in information; but that’s communication, not training design. A very common mistake in design is not asking enough questions.

Other responses from participants

@Kelly_Smith01: Thinking you must produce a product to solve a performance issue. Training isn’t always the answer.
@briandusablon: Starting inside a tool instead of designing and storyboarding first.
@stipton: Engaging the mouse and not the mind.

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The Daily Mindflash: So, what are signature elements of a really well-designed course?

@LnDDave: For me, the signature element of a design solution is that it solves the problem, no more, no less. We need to consider all options to solve performance issues; good design considers them all. The problem with looking for a ‘signature element’ is that the ‘signature element’ is likely different for every solution.

Other responses from participants

@stipton: When the learner goes – Ah-ha!
@gkozdrowski: When the training makes the learner’s life easier, better
@sparkandco: Signature elements – cohesive visuals and not just text on screen #trainchat

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The Daily Mindflash: What are some tips for those entering the field of online training development?

@LnDDave: First and foremost, respect the medium. Online training is different than the classroom; the design is also different. You need to learn about design for the online environment. Applying classroom design to online environments will fail. There are plenty of resources for new online designers to learn about the craft. Read as many as you can find. More than anything, connect with other online training designers; learn and share. Chats like this are a great example. More than anything, though, be wary of the template. If you’re just filling out templates, you’re a developer, not a designer. Always remember the user; if you wouldn’t enjoy the experience, no one else will.

Other responses from participants

@tomspiglanin: If you’re comfortable, you’re doing it wrong. Get out of your comfort zone and innovate.
@sparkandco: Be an apprentice, this is a craft that you learn over time.
@c_more_zebras: if you’re bored creating it – your students are bored taking it.

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The Daily Mindflash: What are some of the best resources for course designers to learn?

@LnDDave: The best resource is each other. Share with the community and read what is shared. Definitely follow popular blogs, including Cathy Moore and Tom Kuhlmann.

The best resource for a designer though, is also the simplest: A pencil and paper. Start there. Start with ideas. Also read eLearning and the Science of Instruction. It’s like a textbook for new designers. Sometimes the best resources for learning are simply better questions.

Other responses from participants

@dawnjmahoney: Engage w/local groups like ASTD chapters/develop a local network = invaluable!
@fusionuni: Be inspired by how we learn outside of the workplace (Ted, YouTube, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter).
@dawnjmahoney: Learn to develop & store in chunks so content is re-usable in the future/don’t reinvent the wheel!
@megbertapelle: Don’t forget in-person sounding boards! Talk something thru with a friend/co-worker even if they’re not a designer, they r users.
@EvanFlockhart: The learners, are they already using other tools that could enhance what we do.

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The Daily Mindflash: Any final thoughts or examples of successful training design?

@LnDDave: Explore possibilities in design. Just remember that the ‘D’ in ISD stands for Design; it’s very easy to fall into the trap of shavelware. And of course … never stop learning.

Other responses from participants

@dawnjmahoney: Follow art & creative Tweeps & blogs; Deconstruct sites u like/think possibilities.
@fusionuni: Surely accessibility is more important than design?
@sparkandco: expose yourself to lots of fields, read things like brainpicker and always ask yourself “what if” …