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50 quick training tips

By Michelle Spencer, Senior Trainer, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP  bio

As a trainer for a large international law firm, I’m always looking to the future, and part of that includes staying abreast of what is going on within ILTA (International Legal Technology Association). I’ve been fortunate to attend the annual conference for the past several years as part of ILTA’s volunteer leadership. One of the ways I like to give back to the legal training community is sharing information via Twitter.

With more than 200 educational sessions, ILTA14 was full of strategies, tips, insight, and enthusiasm. Here are just some of the tips I picked up as they relate to training.

Note: The hashtags correspond to session numbers, which can be searched on the ILTA conference site. Session materials and recordings are available there. Because the panels did an excellent job, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two hashtags for which I had no tweets, because I was speaking. Those are #APP10 Millenial, Scmillenial – Bridging the Generation Gap in Awesom Training for Lawyers and #USSPG4 What ABA Rule Changes and Outside Counsel Audits Mean for Attorney Training.

#USSPG6 – Imagine. . .Educational Content that is Current, Catalogued and Convenient

  1. Tip: You have to make someone responsible for keeping content current.
  2. Tip: Use titles and not names in your documentation, so you don’t have to update when people leave your firm.
  3. Find a quiet time of the year to do an annual review of training content.
  4. Be careful with holding onto out of date training content. People will find it!
  5. Content needs to be accessible from anywhere. The DMS may not be best going forward.
  6. You can have fabulous content, but it’s useless if no one is using it. Advertise!
  7. If you have an enterprise search tool, why haven’t you indexed your learning content there?
  8. People search in different ways. Some look for a search box. Some never see it and look for a menu.
  9. It can seem overwhelming, but just pick a pain point and start developing your content!
  10. Consider a course catalog by department, I.e. accounting, HR, IT
  11. Look through help desk tickets for ideas for new content or changes to current content.
  12. Short on training staff? Leverage your SMEs. Have them assigned to applications and responsible for the updates
  13. What are your triggers for creating new training content? How long has it been since you’ve reviewed it?
  14. Always use links to your documentation and not copies, so that you don’t have multiple copies

#USSPG5 – Build the Framework for an Effective Learning Management System

  1. If you’re nervous, roll out a new LMS to a small group until you get your procedures down and kinks worked out.
  2. Don’t wait until a big rollout to implement an LMS. There may be policy and procedure changes. That takes time!
  3. Just because you build it (your LMS), doesn’t mean they will come. You need to get creative in how to drive them there.
  4. If users have to receive much training on your LMS, then there’s a problem.
  5. Walk through all of your training workflows to make sure everything works as expected in your LMS.
  6. Wow! As part of a client security audit, one firm had to produce training data from their LMS.
  7. Need a report that your LMS doesn’t have built-in? You may be able to leverage your data staff to create those. We do
  8. You should be using the data in the LMS or you’re missing opportunities.
  9. One firm discovered the lunch menu page was getting the most his, so they put LMS content there.
  10. Be sure to consider both push and pull consumption from your LMS in the setup.
  11. You need information governance for your LMS. Who will update? How often? Who does the scheduling and reporting?
  12. Training needs in different offices could be very different, especially if those offices are in another country!
  13. Organize the learning paths in your LMS by core competencies, employee role, practice group and office location.
  14. It is critical that people be able to EASILY find your learning content and opportunities.
  15. Small firms may want to look at free LMS resources, such as Moodle

#PSPG5 – Insights on Innovation

  1. Have you considered diversity as a way to seek innovation? Women adopt new technologies first.
  2. Technology has become more and more visual and collaborative, and as a result, easier to learn.
  3. Use of browse functionality vs. search functionality are one generational difference. Need to consider both.
  4. Many times observing people’s methods and habits are the best way to understand and effect change.
  5. Brainstorming for innovation needs to be free from constraints like fear in order to be successful.

#SPOT9 – The Future of E-Learning and Assessment with TutorPro 360

  1. See HOW your learners accomplish a task, so you can identify weak areas and refine their skills.
  2. Understanding a concept and being able to demonstrate a skill are two very different things!
  3. In training one size does not all. Different skill sets for how people work: collaborator, reviewer, editor and expert.
  4. A recorded webinar is not eLearning. Telling ain’t training, people!
  5. Myth: incoming associates do not need training.
  6. 1 class does not create an expert. It is a journey. Tech changes in a flash.
  7. Another myth: Just because they’ve sat through a class doesn’t mean they know how to apply the skills.

#USSPG1 – Out of Oblivion: The Future of Training and Support

  1. Short videos are great for information sharing or promos. Leave your face time for the real training work!
  2. LOTS of resources in the presentation for #ILTA14 #USSPG1. Go download it at the conference website!
  3. People only have as long as they have for training. No time for everything. Get them what they need to know.
  4. You’re not going to be creating experts using mLearning. It needs to be part of an overall strategy.

#HAND1A/B – Avoid Death by PowerPoint: Convert Existing Presentation to Interactive E-Learning

  1. Think of your learners. eLearning modules should not be longer than 5 minutes.
  2. Goldfish attn span =7 seconds. Human attn span when surfing the Web is 15 seconds. Slides should be no longer than that.

#KEY1 – Keynote Peter Diamandis – The World of Disruptive Technologies and Abundance

  1. Masai warriors now have better communication tech than @POTUS 30 years ago. @PeterDiamandis
  2. Either you disrupt your own company or business, or someone else will. Standing still = death. @PeterDiamandis
  3. Technology dematerializes and demonetizes things and services. Think how many devices your phone replaced. @PeterDiamandis









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