At work, how many times in a day does someone ask you "How do you do this"? I bet several times. You answer it in the shortest possible way and go back to what you’re doing.Now, how many times in an average day do you check something online? So many times that we lose count. It's like breathing; it's become a part of you.Essentially, we are performing something at every moment.For the sake of our discussion here, let's define "at the moment performance" as acting instantaneously in response to a situation that needs to be fixed or changed.  It happens within seconds or minutes or hours. The action is immediate and occurs quickly. It's a natural thing to do. Everyone in one way or the other,  do "at the moment performance" everyday.We can say with confidence that the goal of leaders, managers, and learning professionals is to help workers achieve optimal "at the moment performance."  Then as learning professionals we converge at the moment of performance.I think the two hurdles to shifting our minds to "at the moment performance" are momentum for traditional practices and active inertia. Donald Sull describes active inertia as "an organization’s tendency to follow established patterns of behavior—even in response to dramatic environmental shifts." He further explains that "market leaders simply accelerate all their tried-and-true activities. In trying to dig themselves out of a hole, they just deepen it." We are a function of our past. Before we plan to make changes in the future and when we achieve these changes, we hang on to the momentum for traditional practices.Specifically, in the past, our momentum in learning and training is "teaching something." Teaching was based on rigid curriculums, testing, design, multimedia, presentations, retention, tracking, traditional learning styles and many more. What was at one time solutions to problems are today barriers that hinder us from focusing on "at the moment performance." Tests to prove knowledge retention delay performance of an action and "curriculums and certifications often focus on the eventualities (aimed at the future) when skills and knowledge are needed."I propose that much of what we currently know and do are old solutions that do not support today's "at the moment performance."An example of old teaching practices that can hamper learning is "rote learning". A learner has to memorize information by repetition. Ben Orlin calls memorization "a frontage road: … It’s a detour around all the action, a way of knowing without learning, of answering without understanding."How do we break the momentum for traditional practices and focus on "at the moment performance"?We Are the Big Experiment in "At the Moment Performance"We, as learning professionals, are the experiment in "at the moment performance." It is an experiment we do each time we move from one momentum stream to a newer momentum stream.Are we recalibrating our goals and focus, seeing the trends or watching people learn? Are we thinking of a snapshot or novel? Can we focus on a moment of need and moment of performance?Illustration:Someone sends you an email requesting your help. What is your instant reaction?[   ] Write an explanation and email it back.[   ] Find a link and send it to the person.[   ] Tell the person to use keywords and search online.Your answer provides insight into your habits and your frame of mind.Look at the illustration below. (I used an oversimplified example to stress the smallness of actions.) The requester sends an email and the response was a link.What is the nature of the conversation?Link to Youtube.This exchange of emails probably happened in 1-2 minutes.I (Ray in the email) made the request by doing a screen capture of the problem. It was faster for me to use Monosnap, a tool that allows me to instantly capture screens, annotate them and get a URL. The image explained the context of my need.Ed, my team member, responded only with a link to a YouTube video. Ed had no other words.To further dissect this illustration, let's compare what we do today with what we would have done in the past.A few things are happening in this small illustration.The need is specificMy problem is small and my need is specific to that problem only. I may not know all other aspects of the FTP software, but at the moment, the help for my specific problem is all I needed.Doing workI was in the process of uploading a file to the FTP, so I was actually doing work, performing a task. I stopped since I recognized a gap in my skill and knowledge. I could not perform.Asked EdEd was the techie in the team. So I asked Ed.Screen captured my requestInstead of a long explanation, I just captured my screen and stated my need. With the image, Ed instantly knew it was about the FTP software, and I described my need. No other words were needed.Ed responded with a YouTube videoEd sent me a link. No explanations. No "Hi or hello". Ed was probably busy, or taking his lunch or using his smartphone. So he saved his keystrokes and only provided what was needed.In Micro-Learning, "At the Moment Performance" Covers Doing, Using Tools, Experiences, Defining NeedsAlthough this may sound like splitting hairs, bear with me for a moment as I discuss what was going on in the previous illustration.The new learners of today are seekers - they know how to look for and find answersThe new generation of learners comprises those who boldly ask questions. Inquiry is "a seeking for truth, information, or knowledge -- seeking information by questioning." The new learners built the habits of freely asking others when in need or searching for the answers themselves. Sources of answers may come from one’s own experience, from others (like Ed) or from a documentation (the YouTube) video. The purpose is very clear—get the job done. The seekers look for  instant answers. They may find more sources of answers for more complex problems, but more often than not they seek immediate solutions and fixes to the issues they face.In what ways are you a seeker? In what ways are your learners seekers? Do they know how to define their needs, format their requests, look for answers to support "at the moment performance"?The ability to define needs, format requests and look for instant answers are key elements of Micro-Learning. (see more on Instant Learning).In Micro-Learning, we help workers and learners fix or change something instantly. We help them find the answers they seek so they can continue "performing at the moment."How is this approach different from teaching them in a classroom or in an elearning or coaching situation?If we change our definition of learners from a captive audience to individual seekers, then we will need to design our learning in a different way.Tools that enable "at the moment performance"To make the request easily answered and save time for both the requester and responder, the seeker uses tools (e.g., screen captures) to convey the message.How many times have you used Google Docs because it is faster to exchange ideas and comment at the same time? There are many tools that support quick conversations and instant collaboration that speed up our tasks. Some examples are: Google Docs ,Tilda, Dropbox, Facebook, Slack, Snagit, Maptitude, Adobe Acrobat XI, Google Sketchup and Wordle.These tools are enablers. They are also continuous learning tools. They make it possible for "at the moment performance" to happen faster, easier and cheaper. These tools empower the learners to expand their capacities to help others and learn faster and continuously. Micro-Learning helps learners and workers perform faster with the aid of tools.As a learning professional, what tools do you consider part of what your learners should learn?I propose that in every training you design, you include tools that enable you to do "at the moment performance" and continuous learning.Do we change behaviors and tools at the moment of performance?  I wrestle with this question:Tools are provided "to generate performance and learning at the moment of need" (Gerry, 1991 cited by Stephen Desrosiers and Stephen Harmon). Tools do not dictate our actions. "At the moment performance" is an immediate decision to act in a concrete situation. Tools are provided to assist us in fixing or changing the situation.Imagine the popularity of Fitbit. It is a device that measures personal metrics including the number of steps taken, heart rate and sleep quality.The goal is for 2,000 steps a day, for example. Your body tells FitBit to count. Then Fitbit regularly alerts you how and when you need to do more steps. While we want to think that we accomplish 2,000 steps due to our own will power, we also know that FitBit has a role in this."At the moment performance" is made possible as we keep allowing workers and learners to use these tools. In the case of Ed, do we allow workers to access YouTube references or do we still bar them from accessing such resources from our corporate firewalls? Inside our firewalls, do we encourage workers to share their experiences by allowing them to use tools like video sharing, drawing, collaboration, instant messaging and many others?Changing behaviors and helping learners build high levels of confidence with their tools are at the heart of Micro-Learning.ConclusionMicro-Learning is learning by doing. It enables learners to understand what needs to be done in a concrete situation and to act instantaneously. Put another way, Micro-Learning propels "at the moment performance."ReferencesSull, Donald. Why companies go bad. Harvard Business Review. July-August, 1999Are you an Agnostic or Principled Learning Professional?Orlin, Ben. When memorization gets in the way of learning. The Atlantic. Sept. 9, 2013Wikipedia. File Transfer ProtocolEducational Broadcasting Corporation. Inquiry-based LearningDesrosiers, Stephen and Harmon, Stephen. Performance support systems for education and training: could this be the next generation?Tip #38 - Making Learning Styles Come Alive in Interactive StoriesTip #84 - Remove the Sting of Compliance Courses: Make Them Short, Succinct, Easy to LearnTip #92 - The SMEs' Fault - They Think That All Content Is ImportantTip #94 - How to Design Unobtrusive Test QuestionsTip #101 - Incorporating Play Into Learning DesignTip #105 - Breaking 10 Training Rules Using Micro-LearningTip #108 - How to Create 5-Slide Micro-Learning - Tiny, Succinct, FastRay Jimenez, PhDVignettes Learning"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"Ray Jimenez, PhD Vignettes Learning Learn more about story and experience-based eLearning
Ray Jimenez   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Jan 04, 2017 06:04pm</span>
Evan’s Story(Please watch the video before reading)I’d like to thank @JD_Dillon for sharing the Evan video. I just came from TedXLA and empathy was one of the key themes. From technologists to sociologists, from businessmen to philanthropists, all asked and shared experiences on "how we empathize with others and make a difference in other people's’ lives." Evan’s video transported me into a real-life situation where we often miss the opportunity to empathize and suffer dire consequences.Evan’s video is about bringing awareness to the Sandy Hook shooting.My reflections on Evan’s video brought back to me three reflections:the loss of empathy in learning,deeper learning needs empathy,and empathy starts with the way we frame our world.Loss of Empathy in LearningIt was Sherry Turkle in her book "Alone, Together" that warned us that a growing number of people, though connected with Internet tools, are apart from each other and that many would replace empathy and warm relations with humans to computers and robots. Although we interact with many people through the Internet simultaneously, we feel isolated and lonely because we do not experience the warmth of genuine friendship that is formed through face-to-face interactions. Turkle shares the story of a girl who became so sad because the toy could no longer talk back to her. Similarly, this a known downside of video gaming.In the physical world, in training classrooms and in schools like Evan’s school, it is easy not to feel and understand others (see exuberance of learning.) The challenge becomes even severe in online learning and elearning.eLearning is such a "cold" place. Learners are alone and detached. They are connected with other online learners yet they are still isolated and lonely. They are resigned to the lack of warmth and interaction because this is efficient, faster, cheaper and a time-saver. Of course, there are benefits, yet the absence of the opportunities to empathize diminishes our abilities to learn (Mkrttchian Vardan, 2015).Deeper Learning Needs EmpathyThere are two ways to learn: by copying others and by showing others. Both require the presence of empathy.We learn by observing and imitating people with whom we identify. For psychologist Albert Bandura, individuals do not automatically observe the behavioral model and imitate it. He believes that some thought prior to imitation occurs and is referred to as mediational processes. This occurs somewhere between observing the behavior (stimulus) and imitating it or not (response). He proposes these processes as 1) grabbing our attention, 2) the retention of such behavior, 3) reproducing the behavior and 4) the motivation to perform such behavior. (McLeod, 2011).We also learn by teaching or showing others. An ancient Roman stoic philosopher Lucius Annaeus Seneca said that "While we teach, we learn." When we teach others we do our best to understand the material. We also remember the material as accurately as we can.The lack or presence of empathy between learner and trainer or between learners dampens or accelerates learning.Listen to this conversation:"It is difficult to do this? - Mark"Not really. I tried it with my boss, and it worked." - Mary"Why is it that I fail. What am I missing?" - Mark"I needed the raise badly due to my son’s medical needs. I had to make it work." - MaryThere are two levels in this conversation, empathy and knowledge sharing. Learning the knowledge is influenced by the intensity of the empathy between May and Mark.In designing learning, we want to keep the exchange of feelings, context and meaning going in one level and the transfer of knowledge in one level. One way to do this is to use stories and emotions in elearning design.In insight sharing, the transfer of knowledge is at the human and person-to-person level. There is a great moment of inspiration and celebration with mutually shared discoveries.In the case of Evan’s video, we are moved emotionally by the characters while we learn a lesson about empathy. "No one noticed" is a lesson. "Evan looking for the person" is another lesson."Empathy Starts with the Way We Frame Our WorldWhere do we start in encouraging empathy? One method is "framing."Evan’s videos use framing as a technique.Observe the following:SCENE 1This is the start of the story. The frame is Evan’s writing.SCENE 2An unknown student introduced herself or himself.  The frame is of the unknown student.SCENE 3There are two frames here. (1) Two people talking to each other. They are having fun. (2) A man pulls out a heavy duty gun. SCENE 4A reflection statement. The frame is of the knowledge.SCENE 5Flashback. The frame is reflection - "Why no one noticed." Click here to watch the video again.ConclusionOur capacity to emphatize defines our humanity. As James A. Coan said: "People close to us become a part of ourselves, and that is not just metaphor or poetry, it's very real" (cited by Fariss Samarrai). Empathy has to do with our perspectives—how we observe, interpret, and act. It has to do with focusing on a given moment in time or focusing on events—"framing". We can learn and change our frames so if you feel or think that you are unable to empathize, just change your "frames".ReferencesHow to add the human touch in your eLearning designAn Exuberant discovery for Lonely and Stressed-out eLearnersVardan, Mkrttchian (2015). Handbook of Research on Estimation and Control Techniques in E-learning McLeod, Saul (2011). Bandura—Social learning theorySamarrai, Fariss (Aug. 21, 2013) Human brains are hardwired for empathy, friendship, study showsRay Jimenez, PhDVignettes Learning"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"Ray Jimenez, PhD Vignettes Learning Learn more about story and experience-based eLearning
Ray Jimenez   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 19, 2016 04:06pm</span>
Our LAST and FINAL day of our Season of Savings has officially arrived. It's Day 12 and we hope you can all participate in our last opportunity to save BIG this season! Day 12 Deal is...  12% off Leadership Training book by Lou RussellUse code 12DealsDay12 at checkout The second book in the ATD Workshop Series, Leadership Training presents a step-by-step blueprint to developing and delivering dynamic, powerful leadership training.For more information, please visit the RMA store website.  HAPPY SAVINGS! Russell Martin & Associates Team
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 16, 2016 08:06am</span>
Today marks Day 11, which means there is only one day left of our Season of Savings! Be sure to save big bucks while offers last! Day 11 Deal is...  Receive $100 off our IT Leaders Bootcamp with CIO NetworkUse code 12DealsDay11 at checkout  In four meetings, you'll grow the competencies of leadership that will facilitate your career growth through feedback from peers, CIO/CEO speakers, profiles, assessments, reflection and simulations.For more information about the IT Leaders Bootcamp, please visit our RMA store website or email 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 15, 2016 08:05am</span>
It's officially Day 10 of our Season of Savings! This week, our theme revolves around our new Strategic Leadership workshop, as well as the launch of the IT Leaders Bootcamp with CIO Network beginning this January! Day 10 Deal is...  Bring the Strategic Leadership workshop in house & we will cover the cost of Lou's travel! (Upon completion of purchase, you will not be invoiced for travel expenses. ​No code necessary)  For more information about the Strategic Leadership workshop, please visit the RMA store website or contact us at't forget to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for more daily deals! 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 14, 2016 08:05am</span>
Today marks Day 9 of our Season of Savings at Russell Martin and Associates which means there are only a few days left! We are excited to announce our NEW IT Leaders Bootcamp series with CIO Network starting in January 2017. In four meetings, you'll grow the competencies of leadership that will facilitate your career growth through feedback from peers, CIO/CEO speakers, profiles, assessments, reflection and simulations. Which brings me to the deal of the day! Day 9 Deal is...  Register for the IT Leaders Bootcamp Series and receive two FREE coaching sessions ($350 value)! (Upon completion of registration, you will be notified of your two free coaching sessions) -​No code necessary. For more information about the IT Leaders Bootcamp Series or the free coaching sessions, please visit our store website or contact for additional questions. 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 13, 2016 08:07am</span>
Impacts of Task Analysis and Needs Analysis in Micro-LearningWhat is Task Analysis?Task Analysis is one of the oldest foundations in the training practice. It means several things to many professionals. Essentially, it is the process of analyzing how a task is accomplished. The analysis covers all factors that are necessary to perform a job such as physical and cognitive skills, duration and frequency. Some of the original proponents of traditional task analysis or behavioral task analysis were Munsterberg (1909), Gilbreth (1909), Taylor (1911), Conrad (1951) and Crossman (1956).Associated concepts accompanying Task Analysis are:Chaining: Burrhus Frederic Skinner is credited for the term "chaining." He theorized that when a given response produces or alters some of the variables that control another response, a "chain" is formed (The B.F. Skinner Foundation, 2014). A complex task is broken down into small units. Each step or link strengthens the next step and response. Chaining leads to mastery of the task.Training Needs Analysis or TNA is the process of identifying training needs in an organization for the purpose of improving employee job performance.Task Analysis has contributed to successful solutions in complex training as demonstrated in military, healthcare, heavy industries training, complex simulation, and recently in designing products such as the UX design (Interaction Design Foundation, 2016) and software (Bass et al. (1995) that enhances day-to-day experiences.The Remnants of Task Analysis Gone Wild?Task Analysis evolved as part of training and learning science because of the need to identify the activities that learners needed to be trained on. In complex situations it demands extensive new knowledge acquisition. In these cases "front-end analysis" is a must.With Task Analysis comes some practices that have gone wild or out of control. The following are anecdotes that we often hear and observe:"Learners must learn the step by step process.""Learners don’t know what they don’t know.""Training must be based on needs analysis."In today’s high-speed environment and connected workers and learners, does task analysis accelerate or impede learning on the go or learning on need, a way or method we call micro-learning?Consider These Reflections"Learners must learn the step by step process."—The Barista—Self-Correcting, Learning and DoingSee a video of a Barista.In the practical world, when problem solving is the mode of work on the job, learning step by step—although it sounds safe and soothes the comfort level of trainers and designers—does not necessarily happen or is unreal. Admittedly, there are steps that are so closely linked they must be learned and applied in sequence or simultaneously. Technologies in embedded tips, solutions, guides and references enable the learners and workers to find the steps and knowledge, almost instantly without having drilled down in formal or previous training. The error-correcting process of tools makes it possible for a learner to fix the problem and correct the actions before submitting the final action (Quinn, 2009). Learners are doing and learning at the same time.Micro-learning and micro-actions, on the other hand, facilitate the trial and error and simultaneous learning and doing method."Learners don’t know what they don’t know."—Untidy Learning and ExperiencesTask analysis helps create a very clean, clear and well-defined training structure and plan. In the real world, most learning activities are untidy, disorganized, random, disorderly and do not follow a plan. When trainers say "Learners don’t know what they don’t know" they are missing a key ingredient in worker performance—that learners and workers have experience—whether low or high—and they bring these experiences into their work. The workers may not perform a well-defined task based on the "ideal" work condition, but they perform (Pink, 2011).There are so many invaluable implicit knowledge on the job, which no amount of formal and structural task analysis can capture.A Micro-Learning plan helps capture the informal knowledge that forever would be lost without allowing untidy experiences and learning to be captured.See a video on recursive learning."Training must be based on needs analysis"—Wishful ThinkingAfter working with hundreds of clients and thousands of learning professionals in my workshops, I have the distinct impression that we see an increasing number of learning programs that fail the test if they are subjected to the classical training needs analysis process. One of the key reasons is that a significant amount of content is not task-based but rather more informational. Additionally, the volume of knowledge and rapid change provides less incentives to follow a formal training needs analysis process. We should not feel guilty if we fall into this trap. It is good to reflect that perhaps the formal needs analysis is being replaced by such methods as a dynamic collection of rated content, instant insights from learners while at work and growing a need for micro-learning—making content smaller—so workers can use it quickly to match a need. I think this has some relationship to what Michael Allen describes in his book "Leaving ADDIE for SAM." This is what we would call instant application of learning. We now see learners grabbing a tiny lesson to quickly solve a problem. This is, to my mind, a response to a need of learning, which skips formal learning needs analysis.ConclusionMicro-learning is veering from traditional task analysis, which emphasizes formal and hierarchical learning (institutionalized setting), and toward a less formal setting. Although micro-learning breaks down complex tasks into segments or units, there is no need to learn these units in sequential order. In this sense, it can be concluded that in today's learning environment, Micro-Learning encourages that learners jump, skip, learn and apply what they can at the point of need.ReferencesThe B. F. Skinner Foundation. B.F. Skinner Science and Human Behavior. 2014Interaction Design Foundation. Task Analysis a UX Designer’s Best FriendBass, Andrew et al. A software toolkit for hierarchical task analysis. Applied Ergonomics, 26(2), April 1995, pp. 147-151Clark Quinn. Ignoring Informal. 14 October 2009Daniel Pink. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. April 5, 2011Bunson, Stan. Front-end analysis: blueprint for success (part I). June 11, 2011Krüger, Nicole. Micro-E-learning in information literacy. 31 May, 2012Reinemeyer, Erika . Edward Lee Thorndike (1874-1949). May 1999Tip #29 - Trial and Error: Beng, Beng Bingo LearningTip #35 - Instant Learning Impacts Performance: One Idea, One Action Learning EventsTip #108 - How to Create 5-Slide Micro-Learning - Tiny, Succinct, FastTip #109 - 12 Metaphor Story Questions to Engage LearnersRay Jimenez, PhDVignettes Learning"Helping Learners Learn Their Way"Ray Jimenez, PhD Vignettes Learning Learn more about story and experience-based eLearning
Ray Jimenez   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 12, 2016 04:05pm</span>
We hope you enjoyed the start to our season of savings last week! If you missed it, you're in luck, there's another week of savings! Welcome to Week 2 (and our final week) where you can save big bucks each day on our products and services!   This week's theme is about the importance of strategic leadership featuring our new Strategic Leadership workshop and the start of our upcoming IT Bootcamp series with CIO Network located right here in our home, Indianapolis, IN!  Day 8 Deal is...  Bring our new 2-day Strategic Leadership workshop to your companyand receive our Train the Trainer (Day 3) FREE(Offer will appear in invoice. No code necessary) Here's how it works. We'll come and facilitate two days of awesome learning and growth within your organization through our strategic leadership learning experience. Then we'll stick around an extra day to teach you (or your small team) how to facilitate the same course after we leave. For more information about our "Strategic Leadership" workshop, visit our website or email Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, like our Facebook page and follow our website blog for more daily deals! 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 12, 2016 08:07am</span>
It's officially Day 7 of our Season of Savings! Each day we will post one irresistible deal right here on our blog, on our Twitter and our Facebook. Each deal will only be valid that day, so act fast because it will be gone before you know it! This week's theme revolves around emotional intelligence and our "Power of You" workshop! We only have 6 days left of our season of savings, so be sure to follow each day closely for your chance to save! ​Day 7 Deal is.... FREE Stress Kitty with the purchase of aTriMetrix EQ Assessment(Stress Kitty shipped upon completion of purchase, no code necessary) TriMetrix EQ AssessmentLeveraging the power of three sciences, TTI TriMetrix EQ measures your ability to sense, understand and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions to facilitate high levels of collaboration and productivity.
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 09, 2016 08:05am</span>
Today marks Day 6 of our Season of Savings! Each day we will post one irresistible deal right here on our blog, on our Twitter and our Facebook. Each deal will only be valid that day, so act fast because it will be gone before you know it! This week's theme revolves around emotional intelligence and our "Power of You" workshop! ​Day 6 Deal is.... 25% off public "Power of You" workshopUSE CODE: 12DealsDay6 For more information about "The Power of You" workshop, please visit the RMA store website. 
Lou Russell   .   Blog   .   <span class='date' tip=''><i class='icon-time'></i>&nbsp;Dec 08, 2016 08:05am</span>
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