Conference Close-up: Alignment, Impact & Measurement with the A-model

Posted by Joan Phaup

Key themes of the Questionmark Users Conference March 20 – 23 include the growing importance of informal and social learning — as reflected by the 70+20+10 model — and the role of assessment in performance improvement and talent management. It’s clear that new strategies for assessment and evaluations are needed within today’s complex workplaces.

Dr. Bruce C. Aaron

We’re delighted that measurement and evaluation specialist Dr. Bruce C. Aaron will be joining us at the conference to talk about the A-model framework he has developed for aligning assessment and evaluation with organizational goals, objectives and human performance issues.

A conversation Bruce and I had about A-model explores the changes that have taken place in recent years and today’s strong focus on performance improvement.

“We don’t speak so much about training or even training and development anymore,” Bruce explained. “We speak a lot more about performance improvement, or human performance, or learning and performance in the workplace. And those sorts of changes have had a great impact in how we do our business, how we design our solutions and how we go about assessing and evaluating them…We’re talking about formal learning, informal learning, social learning, classroom, blended delivery, everything from online learning to how people collect information from their networks and the knowledge management functions that we’re putting in place.”

In a complex world that requires complex performance solutions, Bruce observed that “the thing that doesn’t change is our focus on outcomes.”

The A-model evolved out of dealing with the need to stay focused on goals to logically organize the components of learning, evaluation and performance improvement. It’s a framework or map for holding the many elements of human performance in place — right from the original business problem or business issue up through program design and evaluation.

You can learn more about this from Bruce’s white paper, Alignment, Impact and Measurement with the A-model, from this recording of our conversation — and, of course, by attending the Users Conference! Register soon!

Podcast: Jane Bozarth on looking before you leap into learning measurement

Joan PhaupPosted by Joan Phaup

I had a great time the other day chatting with Dr. Jane Bozarth, our keynote speaker for the Questionmark 2012 Users Conference in New Orleans March 20 – 23.

Jane Bozarth

Dr. Jane Bozarth

Jane, whose degrees include a doctorate in Training and Development, will be speaking from her extensive experience as a training practitioner for more than 20 years. She is Elearning Coordinator for the state of North Carolina as well as a book author, Learning Solutions Magazine columnist and blogger.

During her keynote, Look Before You Leap: What You Measure is What You Get, Jane will share methods for building assessment directly into learning design.

We are delighted that she will also present a best practice session on Instructional Design for the Real World,  for those looking for tools and tricks that will support rapid instructional design and get to the heart of needs analysis and improve communication with subject matter experts, managers and others. You can get details about this and other breakout sessions by visiting the conference agenda.

Early-bird conference registration is open until December 9th, so this is a good time to sign up!

Listen in on my conversation with Jane in this podcast, or click here for a transcript.


Podcast: Demonstrating the business value of training initiatives

Posted by Joan Phaup

How do learning organizations demonstrate the business value of their initiatives?

I was delighted to speak recently with Art Dobrucki, director of learning strategy and performance at Farmers Insurance Group, about how he and his colleagues approach this question.

Art Dobrucki

We talked about how important it is to start out by identifying the business problem to be solved, then basing learning and evaluation on desired business results and the behaviors people need to exhibit in order to achieve them.

Going on to identify the knowledge, skills and attitudes that people need in order to exhibit those behaviors provides a framework for building and developing a strategic learning program with measurable results.

We also discussed the importance of coupling learning initiatives with a measurement strategy, the role of assessments in measurement and the effective use of training scorecards. It all adds up demonstrating that learning is an essential driver of organizational success.

I hope you enjoy this podcast of our conversation:

Podcast: Essentials of Data Security for Online Assessments

Posted by Joan Phaup

Sean Decker

Data security being a crucial component of Questionmark’s D3 platform for Questionmark OnDemand hosted and subscription solutions, I got together recently with Questionmark chairman John Kleeman and Sean Decker, our IT architect, to learn more about how we  ensure the safety and security of confidential data.

John Kleeman

I  peppered John and Sean with questions about everything from intrusion detection systems to precautions for preventing the loss of data. We talked about the extensive protections at our SAS 70 Type II-certified data center, employee training on data security, multiple firewalls,  encryption and  other safeguards as well as the ways in which our software development process addresses potential security issues.

Questionmark takes the subject of data security very seriously, and our conversation was both serious and fascinating. If you’d like to know more about this subject, I hope you will listen in.

Questionmark Users Conference Underway in LA!

Posted by Julie Delazyn

I’m writing today from the 2011 Questionmark Users Conference in downtown LA where we kicked off last night with a fabulous red carpet and paparazzi-studded dessert reception at the Omni Downtown.  We have a full day ahead of us with an array of case studies, technical training, best practice presentations and discussions.

We are also looking forward to Thursday’s general session, where our keynote speaker, Bryan Chapman will discuss Assessment’s Strategic Role in Enterprise Learning: Innovations and Trends.

Check out some of the photos from last night and keep up with what’s happening via Twitter in real time. Look for the #qm11 hash tag to find out what’s going on at the conference!

The following podcast, recorded when we were planning the Users Conference, provides some hints about what Bryan will be covering in tomorrow’s keynote:

Podcast: Streamlining sales training and regulatory compliance with online assessments


Posted by Joan Phaup

Scott Hertzberg

Pacific Pulmonary Services specializes in oxygen therapy for patients to use in their own homes. The company needs to ensure that sales people  understand all the different aspects of its products. And the company’s delivery technicians must comply with FDA and Medicare guidelines for transporting oxygen — a hazardous material — and working with it safely. Regulations of state boards of pharmacy as well as fire marshals and environmental health departments must be followed, too.

These two needs — for effective sales training and w ell documented regulatory compliance — drive Pacific Pulmonary’s use of online assessments. During my recent conversation with Scott Hertzberg, the company’s licensing coordinator, I learned how centralizing the administration of assessments has brought savings in time and money.