Top Trainer Throwdown 2016

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Free Webinar May 20 at noon EST

SNAG-0003Glenn Bull, the founder and CEO of Skilitics, will present the session he plans to give at the 2016 ATD International Conference and Exhibition (ICE) for ATD chapter members in a free lunch-and-learn webinar on May 20th. You can register for the event by clicking this link.

Session description:

The holy grail of corporate training is achieving detailed and credible learning measurement, coupled with an engaging and highly effective learning experience. In order to achieve this, you need to revisit your approach to creating content. Adaptive learning uses sound instructional design principles, coupled with emerging technological innovations, to achieve a new level of training sophistication.

Adaptive learning is a methodology that intelligently adapts the learning experience to each individual learner, based on the learner’s actions, decisions, abilities, and even other external factors. The result is more engaging, effective, and efficient training and reduced cost through a decrease in time for training for the organization. More important, the dynamic branching nature highlights the critical differences between learners, achieving deep data and enabling truly informed business decision making.

This session will explain true adaptive learning and how to leverage this methodology to optimize your training engagement, effectiveness, and deep learning measurement within your organization. The speaker will discuss two advanced case studies that utilize adaptive learning in healthcare and finance.

He will also discuss the emerging role of the learning architect and the importance this role will have in the future. This is a session for anyone with an interest in the future of learning design.

Conference Session Link:

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Premier Networking and Learning Event Photo Gallery

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Member Spotlight – EDDIE RAYBORN

By Diane Fox, ATD Detroit Chapter MemberEddie Rayborn

Meet Eddie Rayborn, a new member to the ATD Detroit Chapter. Eddie is currently a Jr. Corporate Trainer at Meridian Health Plan where he has been employed in his first corporate training role, since April 2015.

I had the opportunity to meet Eddie at his first ATD Detroit chapter meeting in October. When you first meet Eddie you will notice his friendly demeanor, bright smile and infectious energy but what you might not learn about Eddie until you get to know him is that he is an avid bowler and is the captain of his 4-member bowling league at work. When Eddie isn’t spending his free time increasing his bowling average, you can find Eddie spending time with family and friends keeping up with those important connections.

Eddie earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Human Resources Development with a minor in Employment Systems and Standards from Oakland University in 2014. Eddie started his career in HR while still in school and was very proud to have had his first full time HR position at Fox Run Village, before graduation. As an HR Coordinator at Fox Run he enjoyed counseling and coaching staff as well as running new employee orientation and working on a team that was implementing the company’s LMS. He feels that skills he developed in his role at Fox Run are what prepared him for his current role as a trainer.

As a Jr. Corporate Trainer at Meridian Health Plan Eddie trains New Employee Orientation. Eddie is the first face a new employee will see on their first day and is the go-to person at Meridian for New Employee Orientation. When Eddie isn’t training NEO he is creating E-Learning courses about the line of business.

When I asked Eddie what he thought of his first ATD Detroit chapter meeting, he said “amazing”. Eddie felt that everyone was welcoming and he enjoyed the idea sharing, different perspectives and learning opportunities through other members.

What advice would Eddie give to someone just graduating or starting in the L&D field? Intern, and learn everything you can – not only about the field but about how businesses work in general. Most importantly always be ready for opportunities that are presented to you, even the smallest ones.

It was a pleasure getting to know a young professional new to our field who brings sound insight and past success in the HR field with him. Say hi to Eddie at our next chapter meeting and ask him his progress on increasing that bowling average.

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Member Spotlight – DIANE FOX

by ATD Detroit Board Members Johnnie Thayer and Laura Vavrek

This month’s Member Spotlight features DIANE FOX, Training Manager at MotorCity Casino Hotel.

Diane Fox, Training Manager at MotorCity Casino Hotel

Diane Fox, Training Manager at MotorCity Casino Hotel

Had you met Diane 10 years ago, you would have had the pleasure of meeting a dedicated, passionate and hard-working Adoption Social Worker. Meeting Diane today, you’ll encounter a talented individual who has transitioned to the training field, bringing her expertise and people skills with her.

In May of 2006, Diane saw an ad for a trainer with an adoption background to do work for a special grant. Continue reading

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Tony Bingham – An Outstanding Keynote Speaker

Tony Bingham has led ATD for more than 11 years. He is a recognized leader in the field of Learning and Development. If you have ever attended a national conference you have probably heard Tony speak. For those of you who haven’t, there’s an excerpt below from one of his keynote addresses.

Tony Bingham is a true visionary. He is an accomplished author and speaker. You have the chance to hear Tony up-close and personal at the Premiere Networking and Learning Event on November 19. Tickets are $75 for this 6-hour event, including lunch. It will be held at the Sheraton Hotel, near Metro Airport. Click here to register.

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September 2015 Chapter Meeting Photos

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Five Tips for In-House Video Production

This article was written by Michael Jacobson, CPLP – Vehicle Safety & Regulatory Compliance Process, Methods & Training, FCA. Michael is also a past President for ATD Detroit. 

unnamedNot that long ago, incorporating video into your eLearning was a really big deal that usually came with a really big price tag. If you didn’t have access to an in-house studio you would hire a production company which meant adding time, cost and complexity to your project.

Thanks to lower priced cameras and efficient distribution channels, there has been a shift in recent years. 

Video production has moved out of the studio and is now available to everyone. Tripods have given way to selfie sticks and point of view (POV) video has become common place (just watch any show on HGTV and you’ll see multiple shoulder mounted cameras constantly on the move). This shift is also making its way into the workplace. By 2025 millennials will represent 75 percent of the global workforce(1). This generation has grown up watching handheld videos shot on smart phones and posted to Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.

Don’t get me wrong, in certain situations (anything client facing, customer facing, representing your brand, etc.) you should definitely call in the professionals. But for in-house, limited use, rapid development situations, I encourage you to grab a camera and start shooting.

Here are 5 practical tips to help you get started:

In general, the more light the better. Be careful of having your subject directly in front of a bright window. While there may be a beautiful backdrop outside, it will often lead to an underexposed subject.

If possible, invest in an external microphone. There are many affordable options for both wired and wireless microphones and they make a world of difference. If you use the on-camera microphone, try to get as close to the subject as possible, which leads to our next tip…

Shot Composition:
Get as close as possible to your subject and have them fill up as much of the frame as possible. This is especially important if your video is going to be viewed at less than full screen or on a handheld device.

Watch out for clutter in the background (including plants, posters, and messy desks). You don’t have to sit your subject in front of a plain white wall, but just make sure there’s not a plant coming out of their head.

Camera Movement:
In most cases using a tripod is the safest bet for a quality video. If you want to shoot hand held video, keep the camera movement slow and steady. Move around with the camera as if it was a very full, and very hot, cup of coffee.

Happy shooting!

Michael Jacobson





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The Road Not Taken

jamieJamie Zipfel, New Chapter Member, shares her insight to the last chapter


During the August ATD Detroit meeting, Six Sigma Black Belt and author Dan Walker instructed the audience on developing and maintaining a personal mission statement, because it helps us clarify our values with the goal of guiding our actions. Just as a business builds a mission statement as a litmus test for new development and to drive strategic interests, preparing a personal mission statement can help us determine the right course of action during those “mission-critical” moments of our careers and personal lives. When two roads diverge in the yellow wood of our lives, having a written guide can bring us peace when we have to make difficult decisions.

If you’d like to try your hand at writing a mission statement, the process works like this:

  1. Choose 6 abstract nouns that describe your values. I chose: Wisdom, Family, Authenticity, Success, Integrity, and Career
  1. Whittle that list down to just three values. Funneling your list in this way forces you to question what’s really important to you. I chose: Wisdom, Integrity, and Authenticity

SIDEBAR: When asked, Mr. Walker mentioned that “Spirituality” came up often, regardless of religious affiliation; “Fame” and “Power” hardly ever came up on people’s lists.

  1. Once you have decided on 3 values, start brainstorming about images, phrases, and examples of those values in your life.
  2. Use the word map from Step 3 to create a paragraph or so that encapsulates the values you’ve chosen, and what they mean to you.
  3. Time for more whittling! Try and shrink the paragraph so that each sentence says as much as possible about who you are. No section of your mission statement should be any longer (or shorter) than it needs to be.
  4. Refer to the document every now and again—or whenever you need to make a big decision. The personal mission statement is meant to be a living document, which changes as you change. To paraphrase Mr. Walker, either the mission statement will change your choices, or your choices will change your mission statement.

Mr. Walker’s presentation was rife with examples of how self-awareness has shaped the course of his life. In an intensely personal discussion, he reminded us of the vulnerability that is often required to be truly honest with ourselves and with others. As trainers, we are often forced to reconcile the image we want to project to our learners/coworkers/stakeholders with who we feel we are as people. His talk was a great reminder for me of the power of truly being ourselves when interacting with an audience. His discussion of family and loss resonated with many of those in the audience and served as a reminder that sharing our “true selves” with learners can be one of the most powerful tools we have for engaging them.

With that spirit in mind, here’s a draft of my “mission statement” written after Tuesday night’s talk.

I am a lifelong learner who shares her wisdom and inspires a love of knowledge in others. I treat all people with fairness and respect. I consider my family and my personal well-being in every decision I make. My mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of others through service and education. My desire is to bravely and curiously explore all that the world has to offer.

If you feel so moved, post yours below!

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This month’s Member Spotlight features ALITA BLUFORD, Learning & Development Specialist, North American Bancard

by Guest Author & ATD Detroit Member, Joan AlleseAlita Bluforde

I recently had a chat with Alita Bluford at North American Bancard in Troy, MI. There’s so much to tell about Alita whose work as the Learning and Development Specialist touches over 1,000 employees across the U.S. and Canada. Here are some of the things I found out about this passionate life-long learner:

How did a dental hygienist become an L & D specialist?

“I am a Master of Development…of myself!” Alita explained. She has re-engineered her career five times. It started with her Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of Michigan. The first few years of her dental career were spent exploring the dental field including: dental software sales, clinic manager and then operations manager of multiple clinics. From this experience, Alita created her consulting company where she provided organizational development and training services. Next, she moved into a position at Comerica Bank where she managed a communications and software training group.

What’s your work like now?

Today, she teaches soft skills, provides coaching, develops people and provides internal consulting throughout the organization. No two days are alike and she loves the variety in her work. If you’re a new employee, Alita will take you through the orientation program. If you need help with the HRIS system, go see Alita. If you’re new to the industry, Alita’s got you covered with a training program for that too. And, if you want to know anything about training, she’s busy managing the LMS system. When she’s not developing training or initiating culture for new employees, she’s working on her master’s program through Eastern Michigan University. This December she will complete her Masters of Science of Human Resources in Organizational Development. And, recently, she became certified as a Speed of Trust Facilitator through Franklin Covey.

What are you doing in grad school?

“I’m finishing my last class then I start my thesis work.” Alita’s thesis is on multi-generations in the workplace, baby boomer to millennials, and the consequences of communication issues.
After helping everyone else to be the best they can be all day, how do you recharge your batteries?

“I like to garden. I also play the piano and accordion.” Turns out, Alita won the title of 1974 Classical State Champion accordion player. Other hobbies include knitting and reading.

How did you become interested in ATD and how does it benefit you?

“My association with SHRM led me to ATD”. She’s been an ATD Detroit member since 2011, and indicates that the educational content helps fill her life-long learner needs. And, she likes the people in the organization.

Click here to listen to Alita’s thoughts about some of the challenges we will face as learning experts in the near future.

Find Alita at our next ATD Detroit meeting to learn more about her work or click here to connect with her on LinkedIn.

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