May 12, 2014

What an excellent three days at the ASTD International Conference & Expo last week! Best of all was the “proof” that media training has finally become of worldwide interest.

Not too many years ago, the phrase “International Conference” was more a dream than a reality. No longer! Nearly three thousand of the attendees this year were from outside the United States, representing dozens of countries. Media training is becoming embraced around the globe!

While by no means statistically valid, I did get some strong impressions after having visited with more than a hundred booth attendees,

Of particular interest to me is the long-awaited movement toward video-based e-Learning. Finally, the focus is returning to video and away from repurposed PowerPoint and a reliance on the written word.

It’s almost like a return to the old videotape days. The interactive, user-control pitch is taken for granted today and “we just want to see it” has, once again, become the main interest. “If a trainee can see the skill being correctly practiced in full-screen video, he can emulate it more successfully than if he has just read about it.”

There was also much discussion about “show them how to do a task for five minutes” and then let them practice it. The visitors who talked with me were adamant in their belief that, “short is much better than longer” when it comes to trainee seat-time.

Other growing interests centered on certification and assessments, with “job specific” assessments being a major focus.

In technology terms, a tablet delivery-option is of prime importance to the majority of companies that visited the ITC booth. Bringing training to the plant floor as a job-aid function has become most desirable.

And finally, English remains the standard language for the worldwide training market, even though country-specific translation remains on everyone’s wish list.

This year’s ASTD International Conference & Expo had the most positive energy I’ve yet seen in my thirty-plus years of attending. I hope you can make plans to participate in next year’s Orlando event.

More on Wednesday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning