living in the past

I’ve started a somewhat daunting task. I am in the process of adding my posts from eelearning – my first blog – to new eelearning.

Unfortunately, I can’t import them over via WordPress because I can’t remember my user name and password from 10 years ago. Nor can I produce m bill for the domain name. So WordPress won’t give me access to my old account. Understandable.

Knowing that old, inactive blogs eventually get taken down by their hosts, I’ve decided to do the next best thing – cut and paste. Fortunately, posts can be predated so I can post them “on the date” they were posted on eelearning. I’m including comments to the original blogs in the body of the posts here.

I know that such activity could bring action by the copyright holder. But since he is me, I think I’m safe from his wrath.


Do you think these regulations will change anything? Will they drive greater support for data collection in learning? Motivate more collaboration between the business units and L&D?

Vacation (from blogging) is Over

So, it’s been quite a while since my last post here on new eelearning. One of these days I’ll figure out how to keep blogging when live gets stressful.

The last several months of unemployment (read – running out of money and facing oblivion) were times where there was no spare time. Then gratefully, a job finally landed my way. Having not worked in a in-office, 9-5 job in approximately 15 years, the transition to full-time work with a 75 minute commute on either end of the day was equally as stressful as unemployment. Four months on the job, I’m finally getting my feet underneath me. When did they make weekends so short?!?!

So after yet another hiatus, I’m back again – for now.

The job I started in March is Senior Manager for Learning and Product Solutions with the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM). As it turns out, it is pretty much a dream job. My main project is to conceptualize and launch ASCM’s online learning presence. Unbelievably, I don’t have to contend with a legacy LMS or other systems. The organization has invested in new, state-of-the-art technologies. I’m being encouraged to apply modern Workplace Learning principles. I feel like this job is the natural culmination of 12-15 years of work and learning.

So I’m back in my blog seat again and will resume sharing what I see and learn about my own learning, how others can be helped to learn what they need to perform, and organizations preparing for the transformation of the world economy that is underway. In other words, “workplace learning from my perspective.”

Featured Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

15th of 100 Days: Foundation and Curation

15 days of a 100-day journey down. 85 to go. #SL100 #seasaltlearning

I’m participating in a group of Sea Salt Learning crewmates who are working through Julian Stodd’s Social Leadership: My First 100 Days.  Day 15 we were asked to reflect on the first part of our journey.

Thus far we have covered foundational ideas like power, authenticity, where we gather information, trust, knowledge, and generosity.  What kind of Social Leader do I want to be?  What is the journey I must take to get there?

Julian asks us, “What have you started to do differently since we started our voyage?”

The biggest thing I’ve done differently is gotten to Day 15.  I’ve tried to work through this guided journey 3 times prior to this attempt and I haven’t gotten to Day 15 before.  I’d fall behind or completely forget about my commitment to do this.  This time, I’m sticking to it.  Although I’ve fallen behind a few times, I’ve picked it back up and continued each time.  Much of this has to do with working through it together with colleagues.

One a-ha that I’ve had is that I’ve been very good at gathering and curating relevant content, but when it comes to sharing what I’ve found let alone sharing it I’ve not done as well.  Sure, I have a live feed of my Diigo entries that runs over there in the right-hand column here on new eelearning.  I occasionally will re-post something to LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or my Facebook page.  But I need to do better at synthesizing what I have learned and share it more regularly.

All in all, the first 15 days of this 100-day journey have provided a few good insights, confirmed a few things, and set the stage for the next 85.

Learn more about Social Leadership: My 1st 100 Days at


xAPI Cohort – TorranceLearning

I’ve signed up for the Fall 2018 xAPI Cohort sponsored by TorranceLearning.  It’ll be my 2nd Cohort as an active participant – assuming I find a team to join.   Fall 2017 I was a “lurker” – meaning I was involved in a team, but because I had registered for the Cohort, I was able to attend any of the weekly sessions and to dip in and out of the project teams’ work that was in Slack.  Yes, this a planned role in the xAPI Cohort!

The Spring 2017 Cohort had 40 +/- active participants (if my recollection is right).  Last report was there are well over 400 signed up for the Fall 2018 Cohort!  But don’t let that intimidate you.  That’s 400 people who you can learn from by joining, forming, or following one or more projects!

And it’s all FREE!  The xAPI Cohort is an exploratory, experience-based learning community at it’s best.  Project teams form after the first weekly session and report out on their progress each week so that everyone learns from all of the projects.

In Spring 2017 I was on a small, but a dogged team that set out to explore different ways to use learning analytics and data visualization to utilize xAPI data provide learning insights.  To be honest, we failed miserably to meet the original goals of the group.  But fortunately, the primary goal of the xAPI Cohort is truly “learn something – together.”

I know I learned more applicable information regarding data collection, privacy, control, and governance; well as how Webhooks and API’s work and, oh yeah, how xAPI statements are well constructed (as well as how they can be poorly structured) than I likely would have in a traditional academic course.  Team Analytics met with and overcame a number of obstacles and, in the end, had a long list of “lessons learned” that we were able to share with the community.  Here is our report to the Cohort.

If you are interested in moving your knowledge and skills regarding xAPI forward, consider joining me starting September 7, 2018 and let’s learn together!

Dave Lee, CPLP

This morning I had an email from ATD.  It took a little bit of courage to click on that message.  Would I find out that I’m now a Certified Professional in Learning in Performance?  Or would I have to start studying again?

Well, obviously from the featured image and title of this blog, I passed.  YAY!  WHEW!

Months and months of studying, the 1000 pages of the ATD Learning System (thankfully in digital form),  120+ Mindmeister mindmaps, 14 weeks in a virtual study group, practice tests and quizzes, and lots and lots of stress provided to be successful.

®What Is CPLP®?
The Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) is a certification for talent development professionals offered by the ATD Certification Institute (ATD CI). The credential is broad based and measures a talent development professionals’ competency in 10 areas of expertise (AOEs) with a focus on global mindset as defined by the latest ATD Competency Model.  – The CPLP Handbook.

A year and a half after deciding on this goal, I’m happy for this achievement and grateful to my huge village that helped me achieve it.

First off, thank you to the Chicagoland Chapter of ATD for the scholarship they awarded me to help pay the costs.  As a whole everyone with ATD Chi was supportive and helpful throughout the process, but Tom WestAnthony Dudek, and Bill Cupuro were standouts.  Thank you, guys!

There was a special group of 14 friends who helped me out just as I was contemplating taking on this process.  Their kindness changed the game for me and was an inspiration when the hours and days of studying were grinding on me.

I participated in the Spring/Summer 2017 Virtual Study Group sponsored by the ATD Rocky Mountain chapter (along with several other chapters).  The format was very helpful not only in learning the content, but it kept me on schedule during the intense Knowledge Exam preparation.  After the Knowledge Exam, this group was a source of support and inspiration.  A special call out to Roberto Montanez who became my study buddy all the way through the process.  Congrats Roberto!

Trish Uhl was there with good advice when I was contemplating certifications, as I prepared for the Knowledge exam, guidance about the SAE, and at the very end, a reassuring voice to a very nervous candidate.  Her Owl’s Ledge materials were instrumental in my success.  In the process she’s become a friend and mentor.

There were dozens and dozens of friends and colleagues who supported me with encouragement, coffee, meals, and willing ears for a topic they generally new little about.

Was it all worth it?  I think so.  The statistics show that it should help in my career and earning potential.  But for me those four letters I can put behind my name in professional venues attest to a career’s worth of knowledge and actions that has real value to my profession.

Dave Lee, CPLP.

I like the feel of that.

TLDC18 Conversations

In my next to last session at #TLDC18 yesterday, Matt Pierce asked us to shoot a short video based on some basics he shared with us. We were basically practicing the advice Brian Fanzo had shared with us yesterday morning to just “push the button.”

So here’s what happened when I did:

TLDC18 has not disappointed. This community is passionate about moving our profession forward and work hard at doing so. There is a joy in getting our hands dirty. No fear in trying something new. Failure is a positive.

So looking through my notes here are key things that I learned:

  • The brain is a survival machine.
  • Weird pictures help us learn. The weirder the better.  (like a sphinx humping a leg weird)
  • The inspiration for “Smoke on the Water” – Deep Purple (1971)
  • Humans on video is rolling the dice.
  • Change is the baseline.
  • Chatbots are just like dogs.
  • Unicorns are everywhere.
  • The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

In short, L&D folks say the darndest things!

I’m proud I’m a part of this great bunch of professionals that call themselves TLDC.   Congrats to Brent, Luis, and the rest of the team that pulled this conference together.

I hear the next one may be in O – H –

One Down, One to Go

3+ months of studying paid off. Here’s what I did to pass the CPLP Knowledge Exam.

I’m happy to report that I successfully passed the Knowledge Exam of the CPLP certification process on Thursday.  Passage of the Knowledge Exam entitles me to study for another 3 months and take the Skills Application Exam in November.

Before moving on to the Skills Application Exam, I thought I’d share how I went about studying for the Knowledge Exam.

Established My Baseline

Before I started studying, I took the practice exam that ATD provides in order to establish a baseline score that I could gauge my progress against.  In effect, an understanding of the base knowledge I was bringing to the effort.  I scored a 63 when a 65 is needed to pass the Knowledge Exam.  Not a Herculean task, but I clearly had work to do.

Mind Maps

The first challenge, in my mind, was how was I going to process the 1000 pages of the “Learning System” – the corpus of information, based on the ATD Competency Model, that could be on the exam.  10 Areas of Expertise (AOE) and a unit on the Global Mindset Foundational Competency were broken down into 10 +/- Key Knowledge Areas each.

I knew simply reading and highlighting wouldn’t be enough for me to retain the information so I decided to mind map the content for each Key Knowledge Area.   (I use Mindmeister as my mind mapping tool.)

There was definitely an upside to this strategy.  I found summarizing and organizing the content into the maps was very helpful in processing the information and the natural groupings of the content aided review.  The downside was that they took a substantial amount of time to create.  I ended up not being able to create them for every Key Knowledge Area.  Here is one of them that you can peruse.

10.5 0rganizational Systems, Culture, and Political Dynamics (Click to Open in Mindmeister

I’m not sure if it was a positive or a negative, but the mind maps like this one for 10.5 – Organizational Systems, Culture, and Political Dynamics demonstrated very clearly the sheer volume of content covered by the Knowledge Exam.  There are over 75 Key Knowledge Area sections.  You do the math.

Virtual Study Group

The Rocky Mountain Chapter of ATD, along with 5 other co-host chapters, sponsors a virtual study group once in the spring/summer and another in the fall.  I decided to enroll in the Spring/Summer cohort that ran every Tuesday evening from mid-April to the end of June.

The weekly sessions were conducted with a teach-back methodology covering one AOE per week.  Participants were expected to select one of the Key Knowledge Areas and prepare a presentation/review/lesson to present to the cohort that week.  This action learning strategy was definitely helpful in learning the content.  But for me, it served an even greater purpose in time management.  If it weren’t for the schedule of the study group, I’m a bit afraid where I would have ended up trying to sort through all of that information.

The study group was facilitated by a group of CPLP’s led by Shannon Wzientek, CPLP.  Shannon, Mary, Trudy, and Lori not only took care of the administrative issues involved in running the group sessions, but they also provided invaluable advice regarding taking the exam, how content might appear in questions, and various study strategies.

I highly recommend this virtual study group for anyone preparing for the Knowledge Exam.  It is worth far more than the $50 registration fee for people who aren’t members of one of the hosting chapters of ATD.  (Members of hosting chapters get registration for free.)

Review Strategy

After the end of the virtual study group, I had 3 weeks until my testing date.  I had some content that I had to complete my first pass through, so that was priority #1.

I re-took the practice exam to gauge both my overall progress and what AOE’s I needed to focus on.  My overall score was 73 – a great improvement over my pre-study score of 63 and comfortably over the 65 required to pass.

I also paid for a 30-day subscription to Owl’s Ledge’s preparation site.  The variety of tests, quizzes, and other resources for preparing for the exam were incredibily helpful.

With 10 days to go, I laid out my final stretch strategy.  I dedicated time to the three AOE’s I scored the lowest on my retake of the practice test. I then methodically reviewed all 10 AOEs by reviewing my mindmaps and the ATD competency model for each.  Where I needed, I drilled down into the Learning Systems to clarify and refresh my knowledge.  I also reviewed the glossary.

As I worked through this process, I recorded my scores on the Can I Recall It? and Can I Apply It? quizzes.  When I missed a question I made a note of the topic.  My final review the morning before my test date was of these 47 topics.

Rest and Relax

I have long been in the camp that eschews “cramming” for an exam or worrying over the details of a presentation right up to the last minute.  I had to trust that my 3+ months preparation was adequate.  I had to believe the practice exam score and the various quizzes and tests I had used in my studies were correct.  So I relaxed, focused on other important matters, and got a good night’s sleep.

It Worked!

Obivously, my preparations worked. I passed.

In the process of studying for the Knowledge Exam, I gained a deeper appreciation for the amazing breadth of our profession. There was a tremendous amount of content to master and yet it was really only the surface level of the knowledge in each AOE.

Now I’m going to take a couple of weeks off before starting my studies for the Skills Application Exam which I will be taking in November/December.


The Night Before…

It’s a bit hard to believe, but tomorrow is the day I’ve been preparing for for 4 1/2 months.  At the beginning of March, I began studying for the Knowledge Exam – the 2nd of 3 stages of the Certified Professional in Learning and Development (CPLP).

As I said in my last post (Eight Days to Go: Review and Rest), I’m confident that my study plan has prepared me adequately to pass this test. But until I hit that submit button and my score is calculated ad shared instantaneously with me, I’ll be nervous.

150 multiple choice questions will determine whether my approach to studying worked.

150 mutiple choice questions will determine if my knowledge of my field is up to the highest standard.

150 multiple choice questions will determine whether the path forward is a bit smoother or if I have to go back and try to negotiate this obstacle again.

150 multiple choice question will determine if I can move on to the last stage of the CPLP journey.

Now for a good night’s sleep.

Send good juju my way at 11am central tomorrow.


Eight Days to Go: Review and Rest

Since March, I’ve been studying away for the CPLP Knowledge Exam, which is the second of three criteria that must be met to earn the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) designation from the ATD Institute.

Now I’m only eight days from the big day.  I’m confident, but nervous.  Probably the right way to feel right about now.

The cause of the nervousness is obvious.  I realized a few weeks ago that not only is this the first high-stakes test I’ve taken in a very long time, but it is a key component of the re-crafting of my career path that I’ve been working on for a year now.  This is important to me, so of course I’m a bit nervous about it. The corpus of knowledge covered by 150 questions is huge.  Concern that gaps in my studies might be the target of those 150 questions have crept into my dreams and is fueling my last week effort (see my study plan below) to find and fill those gaps.

But I’m also confident.  My scores on practice exams and quizzes have been steadily trending up through my study period.  I feel my study strategy has been sound.  ATD supplied materials and content, advice from current CPLP’s on study and test strategies, the ATD Rocky Mountain Chapter Virtual Study group, the LinkedIn CPLP groups, and Owls Ledge’s site have provided the resources and support I’ve needed.

It doesn’t hurt that the first member of the virtual study group to take the Knowledge Exam passed earlier this week!

In the spirit of working out loud, here is my study plan leading up to the test next week:

Knowledge exam last 10 days study plan