Becoming a Learning Experience Designer: 5 Skills You Need with Cara North

Content around learning and development is ubiquitous with the influx of people interested in the profession. But what does it really mean to do this work? In this session, we will explore 5 skills you need in addition to how we got here (brief historical perspective) and a capability model you should consider in your own professional development.

Link to Slides

Luis Malbas  
Well hello, everybody, welcome back to another day with the training learning and development community. Our event is called the transitioning to Learning and Development Conference. Thanks for joining us. I'm just going to check in the people tab here to make sure that folks are are coming in. Oh, yeah. Got like over well, close to 90 people inside now. So thanks. Thanks so much for joining us. I want to check one thing first, real quick, we want to make sure the captions are working. There is a CC button at the bottom of the screen. So hopefully, for me anyway, hopefully they're working for you. So they're working Kara. Can you see I see them? Yes. Okay. Awesome. Great. Because sorry, we didn't have them yesterday. They were supposed to be turned on. But I just yeah, it's just something with the platform that it's a struggle. It's a struggle. All right. So today, Tuesday, probably the busiest day of the entire event. We've got lots of virtual tables happening. And I want to go ahead and post the schedule to the agenda. Oops, that is not it. Let me get that in here. The schedule to the agenda in the chat just to make sure that everyone knows that where you can find the the table schedule because yesterday tables were great. So please drop by there later today. If we can. Stephanie Diggins, Ricki Fisher, again, is going to be at tables, and then Kaylene, Christina Archer. And let's see, Alison Sollers is going to be there later this afternoon. So please, jump into a table, you can get so much value out of those. And with that, let's see, I think I'm just going to introduce Kara. What do I know about Kara care, I do have like an update bio from you. An award winning learning experience leader who has worked in corporate higher education and consulting, currently the Founder and Chief Learning Consultant at the Learning camel, yay, a junk fam faculty member at Boise State University. I actually love Boise State University. I've been in conversation with them for years, and their op WL program. And it's a contract facilitator for national ATD as well as being a regular contributor to TL DC and someone I always love being around. Kara, thank you so much for doing this doing the session for us. And with that, I'm going to drop out.

cara north  
All right, well, thank you, Luis. And thank you everybody always excited to come back to T LDC and I will share at work. We talking a lot today. And specifically, I'm really interested in getting your insights as well, because that's the nice thing about the community, we can all help each other. So I popped a link to the slide deck and the comments and we'll go ahead and get it started here. So me share my screen. And I have a very serious question to get started today. So I have some music as well. I don't know if you all can hear you know, get some music going here. But I want to know would you rather eat breakfast foods or dinner foods for every meal breakfast or dinner? Want to at least get a little icebreaker going this morning and yeah, so I can see 47 of you are in the deck which is awesome. Oh cool. I'm glad I just wanted to move soothing music to get started, you know, first session of the day, I thought I'd take advantage of it and just ease us in to the great day. So Kim says breakfast foods you should be able to vote if you go to the AHA LDC or if you want to scan the QR code, you can do that too. So just give it a few more moments for people to vote. It's really hard right? Because everything is so delicious. breakfast or dinner. I'm definitely team waffles I love a good waffle on how about you? Oh Yvonne says breakfast so Lee says breakfast pancakes. So love to know what that that dinner choice is for UK. Yes, I agree chorus and waffles are definitely alive. Okay when he says the site is not working for you the AHA DC and I can pull another link for you real fast and try it one more time for you. Sorry

I'm going to pull the audience link maybe that will help you to get that one works better for you.

All right. So let's go ahead and get into it. And let's see what people said. So, oh, it's very evenly split almost so 40 of you said breakfast in EU 31 said dinner. Okay. So you may be wondering, why are you doing that? Like, why did you start with something like that. So to get right into it, I think one of the number one skills that you can use and really need to be a good learning designer is lifelong learning. So I recently attended a conference it was the ATD is called TK intensive. And TK stands for tech knowledge. And it was all about virtual instructor led training. And one of the sessions that I attended was by Cindy Huggett, who is a powerhouse and Dynamo when it comes to virtual instructor led training. And one of the things that she said in her session is quit wasting real estate space with that title slide. People usually know what your presentation is, you know, get people engaged, you get them kind of going in the presentation. So when she said that little lightbulb came off on my head, and I was presenting later that day, so I actually changed my presentation right before I presented, because I really bought into what she said, and it made a lot of sense to me. So I wanted to demonstrate that, you know, I recently learned this and now it's part of my practice, as a presenter is I really want to engage with people how people get in there to get to get started. So what's more meta than me applying some tip that I just recently learned to hopefully show that I am a lifelong learner. So you may be wondering, Okay, that's great. Where can I get information from. And the good news is, there's a lot of wonderful places that you can go to learn and grow. So this place where you're currently at if this conference is your first foray into TLD, see the training learning and development community, it was founded by Luis who's incredible, and TLD C has been one of my own professional home since about 2017. I don't even know anymore. And I cannot tell you how much I have learned and grown just by listening to the conversations on CLDC. And so, you know, you can go back on the YouTube channel, there's a lot of amazing recordings. The two conferences that I've been a part of in person were absolutely amazing. But I've also met a lot of my best, l&d learning friends in CLDC. So you know, it's a really open, good community. And a lot of great topics that are discussed just like this one, you know how to transition into learning design. Another one that you may look into is a TD. So if you're not familiar with that, that's the Association for Talent and development. And they are a professional organization that has a couple of different things. So one, they actually have a certification in, it's called a talent and development. So you can become a certified professional and talent development, which is a CP TD, or you can get a lower level certification and associate level with that. And I will share this a little bit later. So don't think I've forgotten about it. But they actually have a model that you can use in order to see what is really encompassing in the talent development, professional bonus, they often have local chapters, depending on where you're located at. So not all of them are the same. So I will preface it by that, you know, they are ran by a group of volunteers. So you may have a very active chapter in area, you may have a not so active chapter near you. So I will tell you that when I decided that I wanted to upskill myself go to the next level, and I wanted to transition and learning leadership, I actually use my local ATD chapter as a nice springboard for that. So I wasn't able to really get the leadership experience I wanted in my day job. So I ran for president and my local ATD, chapter and one. And in that three year commitment, I learned a lot about managing teams. And you know, if you've ever managed volunteers, you know, it can be definitely challenging, managing budgets, and I just got a lot of great leadership experience to where when I had my first full leadership position as interviewing for when they asked me those behavioral questions, I was able to pull my experience from my ETD experience, and they didn't bat an eyelash about it. So there's a pro tip if you feel like you're stuck, or you're not able to get that experience that you need out of your full time job. There's other ways to get that experience to go and grow. So don't let that hold you back. Other places you can go a learning guild is another great place. They have various conferences, the big one coming up in a couple of months. I'm super excited about his DevLearn and it's in Las Vegas. That's one of my favorite conferences and Luis is too modest but he was definitely one of the people that got that conference going back in the They as well. So, no wonder it's so awesome, right. But I really enjoy the people that go to a lot of the events that the learning gal puts on higher education, this one's going to be a little bit maybe controversial, maybe not. But I am of the belief that you don't necessarily need a formal degree to do this work. However, there may be ancillary courses or things that higher education institutions can give you. Such as you know, a lot of them have certificate programs, there may be an opportunity to take a course or to have you're interested in expanding your horizons and different things. But I will tell you, one of the best things that I ever did for myself was I did go back and backfill and get my higher education degrees. So I had the opportunity to work in higher education. And a nice little pro tip, a lot of people don't know, at least this was pre COVID, is if you work at institutions, a lot of times they give you free tuition. So I took full advantage of that and did all my masters and doctorate work, and I didn't pay a dime for it. And I didn't have to pre pay anything, it was automatically paid for, I think total, it was just shy of 90,000 US dollars that the university gave me and free free education. And so I took full advantage of that being a full time staff member. So you know, don't don't sleep on that. There's a lot of great opportunities there. And then, of course, social media is great places as well. I'm a big fan of LinkedIn, you know, a lot of great conversations going on over there. But I actually got started on Twitter more than I did LinkedIn. And I, you know, don't know if there's as many conversations going on, on Twitter. But I definitely think that there are some great people that you can connect with on on there. So those are some of the places that I think are important to learn. But more so than places, I want to also talk about these interesting creatures you may have heard of called people. And so I hit the wrong button. Okay, so I think it's really important to think about what I call your advisory board. And when I say your advisory board, I'm talking about the people around you, that will grow and nurture you, right. And so, I don't know if you've ever heard of this philosopher named Rumi, but, you know, he talked about like fanning your flame. And I think it's really important to surround yourself with great people who can help you. And so I can't take credit for this, these three levels, I got them from jolt Allah who's an amazing person as well. And he recommends that you want to start and you want to connect with people the same level as you. So other teachers looking to transition other like people in their first jobs, whatever that looks like, then find people a little bit ahead of you like six months ahead of you, right. And so connect with them, because a lot of the stuff that they're going to be going through and sharing is going to be coming up to you too. And so maybe they'll have some tips to help you get over those hurdles and speed bumps that are going to be in front of you. And then finally connect with other people that you want to ultimately be at. Right. So, you know, I really would love to be a chief learning officer. I don't think there's enough women in the role. There's a lot of women in learning development. But sadly, there's not enough women in leadership. So I really want to smash that glass ceiling and be a chief learning officer. So I'm connected with other Chief Learning officers, and I've sought mentorship from from them to help me get there. So

content is good. But it's even better if you're able to talk about it. And, you know, really apply it with other people. So I think that you need both, I think you need kind of a source of the content, but then also think you need people to talk about it with I think that's really critical. And like I said, I don't think it's important, I think it's important to not learn in a in a vacuum. And what I mean by that is if you see something interesting, if you have an aha moment, share it, share it, because that aha moment might be that piece, that missing piece of somebody has just been banging their head against the wall and they can't get past it. You know, you have to remember where it's such different levels on our journeys. You know, some people may have expertise in something and some people maybe haven't even had the opportunity to work in a particular sector. So you sharing your insights, and you providing your experience is really, really critical. Not only because you're able to help other people and pay it forward, but also helps you I think synthesize and think about, you know where you're going and growing. So, you know, if you want to get started, you know, want to get started sharing, here's kind of three ways I think you should start. You know, you can also curate resources so things that you see you can read it, comment, share your take, provide your experience of what it is that you're seeing in your day to day or things that you struggle with, because you'll often be surprised. People are also having those same struggles that you are and if nothing else, ask questions. Just ask some broad questions like, hey, how do you approach a project that looks like this? Or, you know, hey, I had this happen the other day, and I didn't know how to handle it, what advice would you give, you would be shocked how many people would be willing to give you give me insights in that. And this is also a great way. And this is my like, we're going up kind of this little staircase here, lifelong learning, you know, by you sharing your experience and you connecting with people, or, you know, you talking about all of this, it can also lead to this thing called work. And so, with work, one thing that I think isn't talked enough about in this kind of work with learning design, is that you don't have to be great at everything. In fact, there are contracts that I currently have that I'm looking to subcontract some of it out, because it's just work I don't like doing. So you have things that you probably don't want to work on, and other people have things that they probably don't want to work on. But then there's this overlap of work that needs done. And so especially if you're looking to freelance, this is an excellent way to potentially get work and get things in your pipeline. So don't sleep on it, you know, I don't think other people that are in the position you are or other freelancers, they're not your competition, they're actually your support, because I have gotten more work and referrals from other consultants than, you know, doing things on my own. So I think it's really critical to think about that. Because the Learning Community, again, is a very open, nice community for the most part. All right, so with that, I've talked a little too long. So I'm gonna turn it over to you. And I really like to know your pro tips here. Because I think, you know, again, with the community, there's a lot of great perspectives here. So I'd love to know, what are some of your lifelong learning tips. And so to engage with this, you can go to the aha See, after the presentation, I can actually download this as a PDF, and I'll share it back with Luis that he can share back with you and then that way, we're going to keep everybody's comments all together. So that's a nice little artifact that you can walk away with. So I'll play some thinking music for just a moment.

That escalated quickly. I didn't expect I didn't listen to the full clip. So pro tip before you download music, listen to the full clip. It got a little little reavie here. I'm feeling like cyberpunk ish. I don't know.

Alright, I'll pause that. I don't know if you don't want to cyber punk rave at this time of day. But I'll just highlight a couple of these. I love the curiosity. I think that's really important. Study progression, yes, is really important. And then also, one thing that came up in one of the table talks yesterday is you know, especially as you're applying for jobs, and you're seeing people get those other jobs, and you're like, how are they getting the job like, I want a job too. Don't compare your journey to someone else's highlight reel. I think so often on social media, everyone has this really polished, great look of everything perfect their life, but you don't know what they're going through. You don't know how many things that they've done. You don't know what that looks like. So be happy for them. clap for them. But you do you focus on you focus on your journey and just be inspired and just congratulate people for the good. So that's just my my pro tip there. All right, so number one skill, I say lifelong learning. Let's keep let's keep going here. So the next skill that I think is really critical is business, consulting, business consulting. And so what I mean by business consulting, is I think too often, training focuses on this. So I like to say I am not in the underwear business. And I think way too often, especially as you're getting started, or you're getting kind of these requests come in, people are wanting training to quote cover the bum of the organization and what I mean by that and really focus on you know, just getting something out there because so and so told them that they needed training. And you know, I think too often is focused on kind of this underwear aspect, but truly, if you are a business consultant, you realize that the business doesn't need underwear, what the business needs is money and the business needs results. And so being able to take those initial conversations where somebody's like, oh, well, they need to know all of this conversation. And they need to know all of this content and being able to translate that and really ask the questions to see, okay, but is this going to make the company more money? Is this going to increase the company's results? That's what I mean by business consulting. So being able to, again, navigate that it's not easy, because, you know, this, people are complex and weird. So you may have somebody that just continues to push against you. And you know, they really want to get that out the door. But really being able to navigate and backup some of the stuff that you're saying is important. And I'll get to that, here in a minute, put a pin in that as well. But I think it's really critical to focus on the business consulting, because you often find that if we don't ask those questions, they don't get asked. They don't get asked. So they you know, we are not short order cooks, we don't work at the Krusty Krab. Even though Squidward is my spirit animal, I still don't work with the Krusty Krab. So I am there to not only protect the time of the people in the organization, but I'm also there to help make the organization better. And that's really our should be our ultimate goal not to again, cover the bum of you know, the organization saying that we need X or Y, but really focus on what it is that people need to do in order to do their jobs better. So you may be wondering, okay, how do you how do you do this, here are kind of my three tips to kind of start thinking about business consulting. So first of all, you need to align on what success looks like and what metric that you're wanting to improve. So I'm a fan girl of Kathy Moore, I love the map book, if you don't have it, buy it, read it. It's incredible. And one of the things that Kathy Moore talks about is there has to be some kind of an alignment on a metric or measure that the company's already doing. So they say they need training, and let's just go back to our inner two or three year olds will why? Well, we're our numbers are down. Okay. Why? Well, I don't know, we've had a lot of absenteeism. Okay, why? Well, people, people just don't want to work anymore. Have you all heard that? Yeah, I have feelings about that. So underlining, asking those questions, you know, a, a labor issue of not having enough people in what a training fix that? No, I would argue that, you know, that's probably a HR business issue that necessarily training can't do, you're not going to push out a train, say, why should go to work every day, right? I mean, that's going to be a waste of people's time. So really honing in on that, and really having those tough conversations is really what I'm talking about here, when I'm talking about business consulting. Another thing is being being frugal. And when I say being frugal, meaning that, you know, unless someone has a machine or something I don't know about, you can't get a refund on people's time. And so often, when we develop training, and we push things out, they're seen as a burden, they're often seen on top of someone else's day, to the point where a lot of people would rather work than go to training, they wait to the last possible minute to complete something that we we push out to them. So if we are going to be frugal with our time and resources, what that means is when we create something, the business will know that it's valuable, they're not going to be rolling their eyes at it, they're not going to be saying, Gosh, why do I have to do it? Or my favorite and I've had multiple experiences with this. Managers contacted me, well, I don't want Billy Bob to come to this because I need him on the line working on this today. Right? So when we are good stewards of our resources, and making sure that we're frugal when thinking again, time is money. And if you think about the cost of the time, if you've run out of 30 minute, our course Have you ever thought about the amount of money it costs the company to send someone to training, think about that permanent put that in your skill and let it simmer. I mean, it's often not a small number when you when you think about or even the time that it takes to develop a good learning experience, right? So be very frugal and intentional when you're having these conversations and really use that as a leverage point. Often, especially if you have the people that are pushing really hard if you've thrown money and numbers in front of their face, that makes it more tangible to them. So feel free to lean into that and use that. And finally, one of my favorite things, is use your perspective to your advantage. And what I mean by that is so often in learning and development, we're not like the top of the totem pole, so to speak. We're not the C suite, but we're often not the first right line. So, you know, frontline and C suite, they have all this stuff right in front of them that so often we ask, Hey, why why do you think that or what what's going on there? So we are in a position to ask these questions, these five why's to, you know, really get a good sense of what's going on, because we kind of have this neutral stance and in my mind, you know, going back to my journalism training of undergrad, you know, I think good learning experiences have this kind of neutral perspective, right, that they are really focused on what it is that somebody needs to do, how do they do it? And how can they practice and be able to, to achieve it better. So use that to your advantage? You know, it is absolutely appropriate to ask questions, to slow them down to to really, you know, get a good sense of what's being asked and what's going on. Because, again, if we don't do it, nine times out of 10, no one else will. And so at that point, things happen, things get pushed out the door, and it can be a recipe for disaster. All right.

So now fun time, I want to know your business consulting tips. So I don't know if I'm going to play the robot rave music this time. Unless you don't want to if you all tell me that you you want the music? I guess I'll play it just let me know. You're popping emoji or something. But um, yeah. Oh, Bella likes it. Okay. But yeah, go ahead and add some of your business consulting tips in here. And I would love to know, because I do think it's really critical that this is a skill that you you really hone in on. And I think that's a hard one to, to do. Patiently waiting, all right. Walk away if your approach is not in alignment, yes. Now that can be a little bit difficult to do, especially depending on your role in the business. So if you're like kind of newer, that might be difficult if you don't have buy in from your leadership. But yeah, if you are able to do that, I definitely think that it's it's a great option. Develop good business acumen. Absolutely. That's that's one again, that takes I think a lot of time. That's where you lean into a lot of the, you know, leaning into other departments. I talk a lot about relational equity and building partnerships across the organization. You know, never never sleep on the opportunity to leverage partnerships that that you build. Oh, I love to stay humble. That's really great to wave. I love that wrestle. Not Not exactly. All right. And then I'll pick one more here. The Oh, yes. The find ways to help your stakeholders early in the relationship? Yes, definitely. Because you have to remember your stakeholders, it's usually not their full time job to help you with training. So in any way that you can make their life a little bit easier is really, really important and critical to to success. So all right, I'll stop robot, right. Thank you all this is great. And again, a reminder, at the end of this session, I will make this a PDF. I'll share it back with Luis so for those of you saying you're taking taking notes, you know, you can't if you want to I don't want to tell you not to but if you just want to have everything in a single PDF, I'll I'll share that at the end. All right, so lifelong learning, business consulting. Let's go to the next one here.

The next one that I think is really critical is deconstructing tasks, deconstructing tasks. So you may be wondering, okay, Kara, what do you mean by a task? And so basically, what I think a task is it is a unit of work that employers pay employees to do. So things that you do that you are paid for, whether that is filling out a timesheet or you know, communicating with leadership, or, you know, starting a project or you know, putting something in Learning Management System, or, you know, whatever that is, that is what I'm talking about when I'm saying deconstructing a task. Now, here's my ultimate, ultimate, ultimate pro tip, if you take nothing else away from this session, this is one of I think, the skills I wish I had earlier in my career. Do not be afraid to go beyond your Smee Do not be afraid to go beyond your see, because I've found so often subject matter experts, very passionate, very nice people most of the time. But I found often sometimes they're not the ones actually doing the work anymore. They're in a leadership role. They're in a senior role. And so so much of what they are talking about and telling you is important about a task. They might be a little bit wrong. And so I like to, if at all possible, go straight to the source. Go straight to the person doing the job and really get in and hone in and see what it is that they're doing. So I'm a huge fan, if you follow anything that I talked about, you know, I love a good task analysis. And so I think is really critical skill. If you do a task analysis, great, but just anything that you can do to deconstruct what it is that someone does is really critical for a good learning designer. So you may be wondering, what does this look like? So before the session, I spoke to my partner, my partner drives a semi truck. And so I asked him, you know, what's something that you do on a daily basis, he said, You know, I do a pre trip on my semi truck, basically, meaning that they have to check the semi truck do safety inspection before they're able to load it and drive it for the day. And so I had him go through this the step with me. And so this is just an example. It's just one step. So one step that he said of doing the pre trip is he inspects the lighting, and the devices and and reflectors. And so for the performance measure, that means how do you know you did it correctly? That's a very critical question to ask that often doesn't get asked or answered by Smee sometimes or sneeze may have one particular perspective that they've been out of kind of doing it day to day, they may not know, tools and equipment, that's pretty self explanatory. Is it something that they they need, like specialized equipment for KSA knowledge skill ability, so what do you need to do in order to do it, so you need to have a checklist or kind of understand the components of a truck, any safety issues may have that may or may not apply to the organizations that you work in, I have spent a lot of time in manufacturing and pharmaceutical and healthcare. So safety is a really, really big deal. I'm, I'm with you, Clarissa. I think that's the best meat ever, especially the one from hook, that's probably my favorite Smee of all time. But But here are my two favorite columns of this. And this is why it is always going to be worth your time. I love these two columns here, the decisions and the errors. So the decisions you can think of it as what's that internal dialogue going on in your head as you're doing this, right? Like, what are those questions that you're asking? And thinking through? So for inspecting the light, you know, it's like, Hey, have I tested the functionalities, you know, are there any bulbs getting ready to burn out. So it's that internal dialogue that most of us probably aren't saying aloud, but it's these things that we're going through in our head, but the gold standard, and the best column, here are the errors. And the errors are what I call the goofy mitt goofs, or how somebody won't screw it up. Now, these two columns are a treasure trove for you, and your assessment of the person in the learning experience. Because these two columns are often what most people mess up, people can look at a job aid or something or checklist and go through and see the different steps of something that they need to do. But so often, these are not documented anywhere. And again, if we don't document and we don't ask these questions, my my, I guess, hypothetical question back. Because if we don't do it, who will? Right? So I'm a huge fan of these, you know, I highly encourage you to think about how you can deconstruct tasks. The best instructional designers are just pros at this, because this is really what's helping guide your curriculum development as you're developing a learning experience as well.

And here is another big thing that I know, it took me a little bit to understand this as well. But you know, it's, it's not about you, it's about them. It's not about you, it's about them, it was about me, I'd make everything or I would I would put camels and everything or, you know, put Dr Pepper and so like I would put things that I like in everything that I do, but ultimately it doesn't matter what I think or what I think they need or whatever it's really about the other person, it's about the end user, it's about that other human on the other side of what it is that you're developing. So task analysis helps you eliminate your bias, it brings in what it is that they need to do. And then I also think if if at all possible, which I know it takes extra time. But you know, if you are able to oops, I'm going way too fast here, my bad if you are able to get more than one perspective on this even better, right? So just because Billy Bob says this is a way to do it. See if other people will verify that and see if other people agree with those perspectives get get more buy in on this if at all possible to make it even even better. longer. So, again, my tips, deconstructing tasks. Here's kind of my three, you know, focus again, one on what do people need to do with the content? Not what should they know, you know, what should they be able to do. And if you do a really good job of deconstructing tasks, it should be very clear what it is that someone should do. I gave you the tip about going beyond the SMI, and then also keep your language as clear and concise and direct as possible. A lot of industries have various nomenclature of acronyms and all of this stuff, you know, never assume people know no one acronym. You know, case in point, when I was in manufacturing, we I saw her he are capitalized all the time. And I thought it was a pronoun. But then it was embarrassingly long after I figured out it was the name of shorten the name of a product that we manufactured. So don't be like me. So you know, if you do need to use acronyms, spell them out the first time, and then you can use them kind of going afterwards. But you know, really focus on keeping it clean and direct and simple. It's much harder than you probably think that it is. Don't assume that people know, everything that are taking the learning experience, make it as easy as possible for them to dip their toe in and follow along with the content. All right, so I love to know your tips here. So what are your task deconstructing? So I shared a lot of mine, I'm going to go no robot. Because we all save robot from maybe a little bit little bit later. So I'd love to know, what are some of your tasks and deconstructing tips? You know, I think it's definitely dangerous not to do this. Because when you just take one perspective, or you know, especially if it's a very document heavy industry, you know, so often those documents don't get updated and the time they need to be in often you're relying on on old information. So all right, begin with the end of mine. Yeah, that's a great one. Right? So figure out what it is that you need to do. Work backwards from the goal. Absolutely. Try it on my own. I love that. Yeah. Can you replicate what it is that they're doing? That's a great one. Create a timeline and use it backwards? Does that? Yeah, a lot of backwards design here, which I love. Investigate what good looks like Absolutely.

See right out what they're doing. And what is the goal? I love that. Yeah, I love that. Just the pause. Sometimes we just need to, you know, cool our jets a little bit with some of the stuff going on. And then what is it somebody needs to know or be able to do to get to this step? I love it. All right. Keep on going here. Thank you all for participating. Love it. All right. Okay, so my fourth skill that I think is really critical is to have a backbone and synthesize. All right. So some of you may or may not know my background, I really hate introducing myself, it actually took me a long time to even send Louisa bio for this no joke. But I did used to work at this place called Amazon. And Amazon has these leadership principles. And so you have to remember when I worked at Amazon, I was in my early 20s, very young, very naive, very kind of bright eyed, bushy tail looking at the world. So I really took a lot of Amazon leadership principles to heart. And one of the Amazon leadership principles that has kind of stayed with me is this kind of having a backbone. And what I mean by that is, you really have to be able and be confident in talking about your perspectives. So last job that I interviewed for when I had Durex, I changed a lot of my interview questions to just test some of these skills. And so if you're okay with it, I will share with you an example of one of my interview questions that that I gave in my last round. So I had a slide deck. And this was my interview question, which is better and why. And so I know it's a little bit difficult to see. This is basically like an avatar over Gmail here. And then this is a little box here with instructions about about the video says, you know, watch the following video, one minute, 37 seconds to learn how to set up the whatever and then find out blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Alternatively, you can read the script below with pictures, if that's how you prefer to receive the information. And then so instructions above the video with a description the content or video only, no instructions and description needed. So I'm curious. I'm just going to put everybody on the spot here. What do you think which is better? or why look to know, you can just say left or right, I think would be probably the easiest. I shouldn't number these in hindsight, but um, what do you think is better and why? All right, Daniel says left left or honestly the left, left, left Left are a lot of people like the left, right, left, left, left. Left on no rights. Nobody's going to take the bait on the right. Oh, right. Okay, thank you Misty, she says right, left is too much content left. All right. What if I told you that I don't really think there is a better, but really why I do this question is I want to understand your thinking. And if you can talk to me and explain why you believe the way that you do.

It's really critical, especially because you will see that the further you go into this career, because everyone's had some kind of degree of education, especially if you're a teacher, you probably already know this. Everyone has an opinion on what to do with training. They do. They'll tell you don't, don't worry, they will tell you what they think. And so being able to articulate why you do what you do is really, really critical. And having that backbone and being able to not only just say, No, this, I'm selecting this, but being able to also synthesize why that is the reason is super, super, super critical. And yes, core, do you got it right? On the nodes? Yes, there are arguments for both, depending on where they are. In the learning experience. Like if it's the very first time you've seen a video, maybe the one on the left will be appropriate. But if you already know the name of the game, the one on the right might be might be more appropriate. But it just it totally depends. So really, again, not looking to trick anybody when I asked this in an interview by really wanting to understand the why, and your thinking behind your choices. Okay. So, if you are wondering, you know, okay, well, what are some of these things that I probably need to be thinking about? Here's a list, I have a five I'm really interested to hear what the chat has to say about this too. But some of the ones that I also like to know is, you know, the modality of learning experience. So can you tell me why you pick an elearning over a virtual instructor led versus an instructor led? Can you can you synthesize that for me? Another big one is the content or length? You know, how do you determine how long something should be? How do you assess it or evaluated? What are your success criteria? And why do you design the way that you do? These are all things that in my opinion, you should have a perspective on and you should be able to articulate very clearly why you select the things that you do. So if you're not there yet no problem you have plenty of time to get there please don't like look at this and be like oh my gosh, I'm not ready you You are definitely ready to apply and look and you know, those kinds of things, but the more you can fundamentally nail this down now, the more it's going to help you in the future especially if you're looking to transition into learning leadership. Believe the further up you climb, the more opinions come to you and the more people want to tell you what to do. It doesn't get any better I promise so All right, so with that again, I do want to know the chat here. What are your backbone synthesis tips so some of you that have probably went through this in your own working experience I'd love to know you know, what are your tips for other people feel free to put those in and yeah, I'm gonna bring I'm gonna bring the robot back because we have 15 minutes left last

time turned down just a little bit it's really loud in my my ear. Love this about giving up your pet projects, ways of doing things and convince others that this is why I love that that's a great one. Figure out what's important to you and have an explanation. Yeah, absolutely. You know, and here's the other thing to be sure that you know, you're obviously polite about it, you know, there's different ways that it can come across.

Yeah, provide recommendations based on the highest risk to dissolve which problems that solve will hurt or hurt the business the most. I love that. Being realistic being curious love that. As a former teacher I found this improves with practice a lot of different scenarios. Yes, it's honing your professional judgment. That's exactly what this is. Absolutely love that. All right, being mindful of time, because I also want to give time for questions. Thank you all. So feel free to continue to pop those in. My last skill that I think is really, really important, is process creation, to work smarter and not harder. So I will tell you, and this also came up in the table discussion, I think it actually came up this morning, when at Ricky's table, but if you've been applying for jobs, and if you've read job descriptions, I would venture to say you're probably not seeing any two that look exactly alike, they're going to look different. And I will also tell you that the level of what good good product looks like it's gonna vary from organization to organization, you may come into an organization that has a lot of processes, and they're ready to go and they have, you know, a nice well oiled machine, more likely than not, you're not, you're probably going to come into a place that depending on the job that you take, you may have to do a little bit of everything, you may have to be kind of building out the different processes and things in your your department, as well as making sure that it's user user facing. So ultimately, I think is really critical to work smarter, not harder. So going back to the skill of frugality and being mindful of people's time, apply that to yourself, too. You don't want to continue to do the same thing over and over and over again, if there's a way that you can build in a process. Now, that helps to save time, whether that is building out like evaluation forms, or you know, making boilerplates for your metadata that go into the learning management system, whatever that looks like, be mindful and consider and look for those opportunities to maximize your time. So that way, you're not wasting time on little activities like this, but you're really focusing your time filling those bigger projects of like really deconstructing, and building out learning experiences. So if you're looking for kind of more concrete examples, here's like for that I'll just briefly touch on. So one would definitely be knowledge management, I think so often, so many organizations have just so much content, so many job aids, so much whatever, there may or may not be a former knowledge management system in place, there may or may not be a system in place to make sure that they're updated. You don't know how long the shelf life of something is. So really consider like, what does that look like? And what's the role of maybe you in that and your team, but also think about it from a user perspective, right? So how frustrated would you be if you were looking how to do something in your job to find out something happened and updated in six years, and it was on a date. You know, that's not a good experience in whether it's our fault or not more likely than not meaning who they blame for that learning and development. So thinking about what that looks like, is really critical. Another one is documentation of just stuff of the team. So one thing that I've implemented in the past is like to have a post mortem. And that sounds really dark. And I don't mean it to be but I really focusing on lessons learned from various projects that we take on and complete. And keeping that as a living document that people can go back to and see oh, yeah, when we encountered this issue, this is how we worked around it and whatever. Besides just the post mortem, also making sure that people in the team have access to similar resources and know how to get to things. You know, I'm a big fan of making it as simple as possible. I hate doing two factor authentication, that is probably one of the things that has came out in the last few years that I still don't like I understand the point of it. But I don't like it. I think the more blocks you put on things, the less likely it is that someone's going and going to use it. That's just my own opinion. But how easy can you make documentation available to others in the team? And other ones a workflow queue? So you know, as you get all of these different requests in how do you manage that? And you know, how do you prioritize what what that looks like, you know, really having a good process in place is really critical there. And then ultimately, the user experience consistency, make it easy for people to interact with things, get the information that they need is really, really important.

All right, so last one, I'd love to know, what are your process creation tips that will make this one time a lightning round was I want to give enough time at the end which we're almost almost at the end. So thank you all for hanging with me this long, I appreciate it. So any process creation hopes that you have for people feel free to put that in there. It's okay, if you don't if you don't have any tips to that's, that's fine as well. You know, just wanted to give people an opportunity to share because again, I really do love the TLD see community, there's a lot of wonderful people here. And, you know, I'm a firm believer that a lot of people's brains altogether, it's better than one perspective anyway, labels and tags. Yeah, that's a great one. And I think it's not used enough depending on the various systems and things that that people have. Yeah, fewer tools for users more centralization. I love that document first time through, that's great. And then you won't need to recreate something. Another pro tip, if you make a really cool interaction in a tool like articulate or Captivate and you put a lot of work into it, you like it and you think that you may be able to use it in the future, strip it out and save it as its own file and take out all the information and that way you can plug it back in if you need to in the future. That's another cool tip. I have like a little template library from all my years that I have that you know, easy peasy if I need to bring things in. Alright, so very good. Love it. Thank you. These are wonderful. also love the whiteboard in front of the sneeze for the shared visual understand that's a great pro tip. Love it. Alright, thank you all. Okay, so to wrap up, you may be wondering, okay, this is a lot of information, I don't even know where to go from here. I don't know how to get started. I'm a big fan of 3060 90 plans. Although I'm changing it up today, I didn't make you a formal 3060 90 day plan. But I have a couple challenges for you. Okay. So the first one is, I would love for you to go to this website. And I'll go ahead and type it in the chat here for you too. So you can check it out. But this is the ATP capability model. And what that is, is it is broken down into these three different components personal professional, and organizational capability, you can click through it, and then it will give you various criteria and dive in deeper of it. So the cool thing is you can go through it, and it will ask you questions, and you can assess kind of where you're at. And then it gives you some really great options and ideas for ways to grow and develop yourself. So I'm a big fan of it, they put a lot of work into it. You know, and I think it's a really great model to get started, if you've never heard of it. You know, and I'm very sensitive to the fact that so many of you, maybe you haven't really heard a lot about instructional design don't know a lot about it. So I'm just trying to give resources to those that maybe are brand new. Again, once you go through that, I recommend picking a capability of their to focus on so you know, one in particular that I know on there as learning technologies. And then there's all these different criteria underneath it, just just pick one broad one. And then think about working backwards and like, Okay, if I want to get better at learning technologies, what are some things that I can be doing, and leverage some of the tips that I gave this presentation, like, you know, leaning into a social network, I think it's really critical, getting plugged into a community like CLDC. You know, I'm a big fan of working out loud, and you know, being able to share your experiences and things, I think it's really critical. And you know, even doing this here in this community, I'm sure it would be something that would be welcomed by other folks as well. So feel free to work backwards and just know that we're all in this together. We're all learning and growing together. And so I don't think there's anything like a silly question. I don't like the other S word. I don't like being called that. So silly. So just just be bold, and be the, you know, Phil, feel free asking questions, and feel free to go in and build and grow. Because ultimately, if you want to be successful, you always are going to have to be learning and growing period. Because you know, it is our job to be a professional learner. So if you like learning like growing this is this is a good good avenue for you.

Also, shameless plug, I have a book coming out next year, in the spring of 2023. So if you liked this content, I dive even deeper into it in my Learning Experience Design Essentials book that is coming out hopefully spring 2023. And nothing is more awkward are harder than writing a book. So I had some major impostor syndrome was building it. But yeah, I'd love to, you know, if you feel like this content, I go way deeper down it in in the book. So alright, and so finally, if you're interested in connecting with me, here are the places that you can connect with me. I'm on Twitter, LinkedIn, my website, Karen North dotnet. And then my YouTube channels, unfiltered ID and I always like to end the presentation by telling you to tell someone that you love them. Today, because tomorrow is not guaranteed. With that I welcome Luis back, if he wants to come back for just a couple quick q&a is I will download the PDF of this and share this back. And so that can also be shared with you all. So you have that as a takeaway from this conference. And I really hope that you enjoy the rest of this conference and use this opportunity to connect with other people.

Luis Malbas  
Awesome, Kara, thank you so much. I do have a couple of things that I want to ask you. There was no that there was one comment in particular in in in, in chat, can you Evans asked this? Oh, is it showing on stage? It's not as

cara north  
Yeah, no, I see it. Yeah. Okay.

Luis Malbas  
I just feel like that it's something that you might be able to address?

cara north  
Yeah, um, I wish that to I, you know, I'll be I'll be really direct, you know, when I got into this back in 2008, gosh, I'm old. Um, there wasn't really a lot of entry level jobs, even then, like, really the avenue was you worked at a company and got promoted into training. And so the idea of kind of these outward facing learning development roles is something that I think has really taken off in the last, I'd say, five years or so. So yeah, I wish that there were more two. Really, I think that, you know, if you're looking for experience, specifically, my pro tip is really get to know other freelancers. You know, I realized that you might not want to be a freelancer. But freelancers often have a lot of work to do that they could kind of give you an opportunity to get started, whether that's doing quality assurance, or adding voice over to, you know, elearning, or whatever, to give you more experience. But yeah, I do agree. It does seem like a lot of it is very focused on hitting the ground running quickly. But I will say my last team that I hired, half of them, it was a very first learning development job. And I was very, I didn't compromise on that. Because back in 2008, someone took a chance on me and I wanted to offer that same opportunity to people. And I'm happy to say all four of them are still in learning and development. And I'm Uber proud of them. And they're gonna go in my retirement speech one day, because they are just amazing, amazing people. So to the degree that you can find other people like that, that give that opportunity. I know, that's not obviously advertised as much. But you know, there are other people out there that are willing to give new people a shot, too.

Luis Malbas  
Awesome. Um, there's a few questions. I know, we're getting the top of the hour, but let me see if we can get through these real quick. Let's see que Canarsie I think the sorry if I'm butchering your last name, but he is asking about getting a list of all the resources that you just mentioned. And I'm sure you're going to be providing that in a PDF. So I'll mark that is answered. Let's see. Kate, stray Lau are low. Sorry. has a question. Let me show that on stage. If training is not an efficient method to address an issue, what are other ways to address an issue? Sean f did respond to that one in the QA said check out Kathy Moore's blog and surf around the answer is there and her book is amazing, too.

cara north  
Yes, I agree with that. But um, you know, really, my point is, if you're able to be a business consultant and help people see that maybe it's an environmental issue, maybe it's actually just a private conversation between two people that actually happened. I got hit up for a potential contract from someone who wanted to make nutrition training for a retirement home. I asked why they needed the nutrition training. They said, Well, somebody gave someone a banana on nightshift. And I said, Well, what happened? And like, What do you mean, what happened? So why did they give him a banana? And she just looked at me said, I don't know. She said, My supervisor said we need nutrition training because it happened. So well. Maybe you need to have a conversation with the person see what was going on with a banana first.

Luis Malbas  
It's wild. All right. Yeah, it's funny. Get even anyway. Oh, Christina is asking when you say user experience consistency. Do you mean with internal clients or with learners?

cara north  
Everyone? Everyone, I consider that internal and external customers was the term that I learned at Amazon. So making sure that there's consistency across the systems for people to access information and get what they need, I think is really, really critical. And too often is work that that it's the coat of arms were surprised like, oh, that's someone else's job. If we can, again, own that from a user experience perspective. I think it's it's a win win.

Luis Malbas  
Nice. All right. Well, I'm gonna go ahead and wrap it up. Just ever but a tenant Oh, 10 o'clock Pacific time. I guess that would be 1pm. Eastern time. We have a couple of virtual tables opening up. And then at 11 o'clock Pacific Time, two o'clock Eastern time. Rick Jacobs, who was a first time speaker for TL DC is doing a session on transitioning to corporate ID the promise in the pitfalls, that one's going to be really interesting. He has some really, really popular posts on LinkedIn or called he calls them unpopular posts. And I can't remember how many he's done. He's done like, at least 60, I believe. But yeah, so don't forget to come back for that one more virtual virtual table discussions in the afternoon. And then Kim Scott 2pm, Pacific Time 5pm. Eastern, she's going to be talking about life after teaching. There's more to l&d, then Id and I think that one's going to be fantastic. So please, if you can make it back for that. Hope the schedule is okay. I've like just really spacing everything out because I mean, selfishly one I'm trying to get work done during the day to kind of helps me but I do think it gives me time to really digest things like this session. They care presented that was so fantastic. I mean, it was really wonderful. Kara, thank you so much for doing this.

cara north  
Stop. You're making me blush. Always happy to come back to to LDC. Thanks, Louise.

Luis Malbas  
Yeah, right on Okay, guys. We'll see you all later. Bye. Bye. Bye. Thank you.

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