Instructional Design | Maher & Maher
Maher & Maher, an IMPAQ Company - Investment Advisors for Talent Development.
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Category Instructional Design

Building Online Courses with Peer Learning

It’s been years since I completed my master’s degree in Instructional Technology from a reputable Philadelphia university. At that time, online courses were few and far between. In fact, if a course was offered online, it was delivered in the framework of blended learning because in-class sessions were still required for discussion and exams.

I’ve always been a perpetual learner.  However, I tend to focus my skill-sharpening around the development of just-in-time learning, video demonstrations, and webinars. As an e/mLearning Developer, I have to stay current with technology because tools and learning platforms are constantly updated.

As our clients continue to transition instructor-led training to online learning, or even look to revamp dated online learning, they present a growing desire to discuss topics, ideas, challenges, and perspectives with their Learning and Development peers.

While I… Read more →

Blended Virtual Learning that Works

A Little Background

Maher has worked with a mix of clients to move lengthy in-person classroom training (what we refer to as instructor-led training, or ILT) to a blended virtual instructor-led delivery format, or VILT. This allows clients to expand course offerings to a wider audience and eliminates the cost of meeting rooms and other logistics, such as travel, for both facilitators and participants. While controlling costs is an important consideration, this approach also presents significant learning benefits for participants:

A cohort model allows learners to study together over a set time period and connect in ways that extend beyond the initial learning experience. Blended formats are convenient and allow for an expanded cohort of participants. This broadens the depth of peer expertise shared during the course. Peer learning allows colleagues across the nation or around the globe to collaborate or problem-solve in new ways. … Read more →

A Digital Transformation is Upon Us. What Does That Mean to the Workplace?

The digital transformation is a key business initiative at the forefront of most leading organizations. It is not a trend that is losing ground; rather, it is picking up exponential speed.  Those that plan to wait until the ground settles to find their place in the transformation will be left behind.  It is undeniable that our workplace will change significantly in the next five years, and this new way of work, more than any other in recent history, will have a profound impact on how we ready our future workforce. Job-seekers, as well as those who are currently employed, will need to upskill to adapt in the workplace.

I just spent two days at the Future Workplace Summit in Boston, Massachusetts.  The event focused on how the workplace is changing and presented best practices for leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual and Augmented Realities (VR… Read more →

Learning Trends and Beyond in 2018

Maher Chief Learning Officer, Catherine Baker recently had the honor to serve on a Mid New Jersey ATD Panel along with the Head of Field Force Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Head of Talent Development for the Linde Group. The topic of the panel was “Learning Trends.”

Participants at the event generated three key areas of interest within their table groups, and panelists responded and shared their experience relative to those needs. Topics of great interest were microlearning, adaptive or personalized learning, and the future of learning as a profession. Maher will share the summary from this event in our next newsletter. In the interim, we are sharing a different perspective on trends: one that focuses on Talent Strategy in the Data Age. As our colleagues at our parent company, IMPAQ, know too well, use of data in decision-making is essential. This article goes beyond… Read more →

Retention Gains Tied to Onboarding and Mentoring

Chris Mokros, National Training Director of StoneMor, came to the organization with the intention of creating and implementing a Training Strategy aligned with business goals. StoneMor was growing quickly and, at that time, there was not a centralized learning function or technology infrastructure.  Chris’ key focus out of the gates naturally was the sales function.

StoneMor Partners L.P. worked with Maher to launch an online university. New hire onboarding for Sales was the first blended solution offered and was rolled out in 2015. It includes a mix of eLearning, classroom instruction, on-the-job training, and post-training pull through tools. Last year, StoneMor added a formal mentoring program for new hires in the Sales function, as well. The combination of these two offerings has doubled retention and has proven to more rapidly improve sales performance of new hires who completed the new training path when compared to… Read more →

Engaging Instruction for Adult Learners of All Ages

After a discussion with team members about current trends in our industry, I began to reflect on how learning has changed over the years for me. I grew up without learning on-demand -- no online courses or how-to videos. Learning something new typically required going to a class of some sort or visiting the library. Learning to paint was my first out-of-the-classroom experience. Bob Ross with his Joy of Painting show on PBS in the ‘80s intrigued me. I bought a small art set and practiced until I perfected his technique for creating “happy little trees.”

As a designer of eLearning and virtual instructor-led training at Maher & Maher, I am constantly challenged with developing instruction that keeps every learner engaged. Many times, our team works with subject matter experts (SMEs) who are experts in their craft, but not necessarily in teaching others about… Read more →

What’s Trending in Learning?

Moving to microlearning is just one shift that we have been helping our clients navigate as they refine their Talent Development strategies.  There are others that are essential to engage Modern Learners and allow them to excel by onboarding and upskilling in both an effective and efficient manner.   We focused on the value of storytelling and social / peer learning in our last newsletter, but there is even more we can do.  Time is money, regardless of industry.  It is critical that as our workloads expand and continue to shift to address the pulls and pushes of our economic times, we are driving a learning strategy that is framed for success.

We’d like to share an article that summarized key learning trends in the corporate world to give a flavor of what can be done to move our learning strategies in… Read more →

Video as a Medium for Microlearning

As a working mother, it is important to find ways of balancing my time wisely between family, friends, the causes I support, and career goals.  That’s a tall order in today’s busy world and the tools that enable me to achieve that balance are essential.

Video is one of those tools. How, you ask?  Let me tell you a brief story. 

Two years ago, right in the middle of the weekend crunch to get my family’s school uniforms, dance leotards, and work clothes ready for the coming week, my washing machine stopped working. I stood amid the stillness of the laundry room and stared into a wash bin full of clothes floating in soapy water. No draining, no rinsing. I was certain the washing machine was broken.

After some consideration, my husband I… Read more →

Meet Sue Brown, Maher’s Newest Instructional Design Talent

Susan (Sue) Brown joins Maher as a Senior Instructional Designer in our Private Sector Practice. She works directly with our Chief Learning Officer and Learning Strategist to assess client needs and craft innovative and effective learning solutions for our clients. She also works with our Project Managers to ensure design workflows are effective and timely to produce high-quality learning deliverables.

Sue comes to Maher after serving as a Lead Instructional Designer and Project Manager at Optimized Learning Solutions. Prior to that she was Manager of Multimedia Training at U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).

Bringing 20 years of experience in a mix of learning roles from sales trainer, systems training design and facilitation, eLearning producer, lead designer, and Project Manager, Sue is a versatile new asset for the Firm. She is not only knowledgeable in adult learning theory, she excels in technology-enabled learning, with a passion for visual… Read more →

How Do You Learn?

As Chief Learning Officer at Maher, I get asked, “How do I develop myself professionally? What do I do to learn and advance my knowledge base and skills?”

While I’ve always wanted to pursue my PhD and I’d like to say I’m actively engaged in some formal advanced education, I don’t have that personal bandwidth to do so at this point in my life. However, I DO believe, and always have believed, we must continue to grow as professionals. We need to own that and be accountable for it. The world continues to change; we must keep up. One thing I know from working in the Talent Development field for more than 20 years is that a key trait of top performers at any organization is that they are continuous learners.

So, what does a busy… Read more →

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