DELTA Staff Showcase Innovative Instructional Technologies at Local Chapter Meeting of the ASTD

On November 30, 2012, Dr. Donna Petherbridge, Amanda Robertson, David Tredwell, Cathi Phillips and Lee Ann Gillen gave the keynote presentation at the Research Triangle chapter of the American Society of Training and Development’s (ASTD) November monthly meeting. This chapter is affiliated with the national ASTD society, which is a professional organization focused on advancing the understanding of human resource development and workplace learning and performance. Local chapter members include instructional designers, trainers and other human resource development professionals in a variety of organizations (corporate, higher education, military) across the triangle area.DELTA team speaks at ASTD-RTA meeting

The event was sold out, with over 70 ASTD-members packed into the sponsoring organization’s  conference room (Genworth Financial). The meeting topic was “Emerging Technologies: The World Is Changing Faster Than You Are!.”

The first hour of this event consisted of hands on instructional technology interactions and demonstrations at several tables arranged for those showcasing their technologies. At the table representing the financial sector, the team was showing the software that they use to support training for their remotely located/travelling sales staff (Diane O’Mara and Danny Williamson)- where they create portable “learning nuggets,” consisting mostly of audio files, to push information to their sales’ reps cell phones so that their staff have the most current information possible when going into client meetings. A table representing the healthcare industry, led by Mary Holtschneider and supported by Jim Dwyer, brought Lamont–a “simulation patient” used to train medical staff to respond to emergencies. Lamont was extremely interactive and a highlight for us to observer; he was breathing, moving his eyes, and responding like a real patient! Finally, at another table, Dr. Laura Paramoure was demonstrating instructional design software that her company uses to helps design training that is completely aligned with performance based objectives and evaluation (we are very interested in this software!)

The DELTA table showcased many of our innovative instructional technologies and products, including the following projects that our team has worked on to positively impact instruction at NC State:DELTA laptop on table

We received many compliments and much interest in our work!

After the main presentation from which the meeting took its theme, led by Donna and supported by Amanda, Lee Ann, David and Cathi (Emerging Technologies: The World is Changing Faster than you are), Donna moderated a panel of the other training and development professionals from the financial, healthcare, and consulting industries noted previously as providing demos at the various tables. To provide the discussion structure, we all talked about the analogies of blue jeans (basic technologies that you have to get comfortable with to manage the work in your context) and bling (new, emerging and shiny technologies and paradigms that impact use).

We also discussed how we all cope with the rapid changes pushed by technologies as individuals, teams and organizations. Some interesting crossover points for all of us included:

  • the agreement that delivering training/instruction with technology should be driven by solid instructional design
  • the reality of the trend in mobile learning across all of our industries
  • understanding that the rapid pace of change in instructional technologies that requires rapid learning and adaptation on our part as professionals, and requires us to work collaboratively.

The DELTA team felt that this event was a wonderful way to showcase our instructional design and development work to a local, like-minded community, and we received many positive comments about our work and our participation in this event!