Friday, 30 November 2012

The Googling Juror - An Update

Our good friend (and CTC-2011 speaker) New Zealand Judge David Harvey has updated his work on jurors and the Internet.

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Tuesday, 27 November 2012

State of Washington Issues Appellate Court RFP

The Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is soliciting Proposals from qualified Vendors to  acquire a commercial off-the-shelf Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS) and the services required to implement the ECMS, validate it, and deploy the ECMS in the Washington State Supreme Court and three (3) Washington State Court of Appeals Divisions.

One can register and also obtain a copy of the RFP at:

Saturday, 24 November 2012

eLearning Strategy

I spend a fair amount of my consulting time working with large organizations to help define how they will apply technology to particular business / performance / learning needs. This is either in terms of specific needs, e.g., improve customer satisfaction, or as part of an overall eLearning strategy.

I've spent several hours this morning trying to find good resources on eLearning Strategy development and particularly looking for examples to use in this post. I've really been striking out. I'm hoping that people will help out.

Update Nov. 2010 - I just did a search for eLearning Strategy articles and through eLearning Learning found a bunch more around eLearning Strategies, Learning Strategies that resulted in Top 35 Articles on eLearning Strategy.

Most of the time I'm working with a centralized technology groups within Learning and Development that acts as a services arm to corporate L&D and to distributed L&D that is spread throughout the organization. I wish I had a good name for these groups, but they are called something different in most organizations. For the purpose of this post, I'll call it the L&D Technology Group.

It's interesting working closely with L&D Technology Groups because you are a key influencer, but you don't really decide much about the performance and learning strategies. Rather, you are very similar to a services company. You get requests for help building particular kinds of solutions. You determine business requirements around that solution and get to influence where it goes. But ultimately, the internal customer and likely someone who is in another department within L&D who is responsible for learning design (ID) ultimately decides on the approach that will be taken.

Another interesting aspect for the L&D Technology Group is that you really don't know what your next client may ask you to do. So, you have to be prepared for a wide variety of different kinds of requirements and be ready to service them. You can't afford to be constantly saying, "We can't help you with that." At the same time, you can't over-engineer because it costs too much to prepare for every last contingency.

This is the heart of the challenge in defining eLearning Strategy:

    predicting future needs,
    planning to effectively and efficiently service those needs.

Predicting Needs

The starting point for an eLearning Strategy is predicting needs. This is very hard. Clearly, you are going to go around the organization to various business owners, partners such as IT, KM, Corporate Library, etc., and to your distributed L&D organization to understand what you can about the kinds of requirements they will have in the future. Of course, you can't say - "What requirements will you have for me in the future?" Few of your internal customers or partners will be able to answer that question in a way that really helps you.

Instead, the eLearning Strategy discussion is a learning, teaching and evangelist discussion. You start the conversation by understanding what their real business, performance, talent and learning challenges are. And then you shift from those challenges to the myriad of different kinds of solutions that might be part of solutions. You have to walk people through different tools and learning methods. Show potential customers within the organization what they are and how they can be applied. Then collaborate around where and how they might fit with the organizations needs.

This conversations can result in some really great outcomes. But most often, it's quite a mess. You will hear about many different kinds of possible future needs. Some wish list kinds of things. Often you have to talk your internal customer out of something that's pretty crazy. "Sure that 3D telepresence stuff if pretty cool. I bet we could get similar outcomes by using X. It wouldn't be quite as cool, but is probably much more cost effective."

Still in my experience this is messy stuff and you try your best to capture what it means for you in terms of requirements.

I would love to hear how people do this and if they have good ways of capturing this mess of requirements.
Planning Services

From this messy set of requirements, you are really looking at a strategy where you define the set of services you will deliver to the rest of the organization. This includes:

    Learning Method Support
    Tools / Technologies
    Process / People / Vendors

You need to be the one who is aware of what's happening generally with technology in the organization. You have to be a really good partner with IT. You are going to be learning's liaison to IT.

You likely are also a liaison to vendors. As parts of the organization have variable needs for technology solutions, part of the strategy is to be able to quickly and effectively engage with vendors to address particular needs.

Technology steward – you likely can't say to the rest of the organization, "Don't use these tools." But you can say, "We know this set of tools works. If you use this other tool, we won't be able to support you as well."
Packaging Your eLearning Strategy

In most cases, if you are going after significant dollars, a key aspect of your eLearning Strategy will be how you present it. Most often this includes some kind of vision for what you are looking to provide. It will summarize at a high level the requirements you are hearing and then will talk about what this means in terms of your Learning Strategies and then how the technologies fit into this.

Most of the time, it's best not to focus too much on all the different individual types of solutions you are prepared to deliver, but rather on the net effects. Still almost every eLearning Strategy will contain something like the Learning Methods from Reuters:


This is broader than the technology group, but there are implications for the technology group. You can also see that there are talent elements in this list.

It will also contain a list of major technology or related initiatives along a timeline:


I did a bit of searching looking for examples of corporate/workplace eLearning Strategy presentation decks. I didn't find a lot. It would be really interesting to see what people produce around these things. Please point me to them!
Bigger eLearning Strategy Questions

    See Learning Performance Business Talent Focus. This question of focus and scope has a major impact on the strategy.
    What's your role relative to Talent Strategies? Are you involved in Selection, Onboarding, Reviews, Development?
    What's your role relative to providing business and performance focused initiatives? Are you on the front lines of improving customer satisfaction? Do you get in and analyze aspects of performance relative to that and provide Data Driven performance solutions? Or are you going to be brought in to provide training?

Informal learning?

    Are you focused on and responsible for informal learning solutions? What responsibility do you have after the learning event?
    Providing a set of tools (wikis, blogs, discussion groups, etc.) that can be used as part of informal learning support does not mean that you are really supporting informal learning in the organization. There's a lot more to it than that. And part of your strategy should be to be prepared to help your internal customers with those aspects.


    Off-the-Shelf / External Content?What's your responsibility for finding, vetting, facilitating the acquisition of external content sources, e.g., Skillsoft, Books 24x7, Safari, etc.
    Content management, re-use
    Portal and portal integration

What are some of the other big eLearning Strategy questions?

Bersin provides a great high-level list of issues to consider in their Modernize Corporate Training: The Enterprise Learning Framework. It is good to raise possible areas to consider.


Also worth a peek is: The eLearning Guild : Guild eBooks: Handbook of e-Learning Strategy

What other resources are there on this topic? What would help me think through what I might be missing in my strategy? What would help me create a presentation to executives with our eLearning Strategy?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Fresno California Seeks CMS

The Superior Court of California, County of Fresno, is seeking one replacement case management system for two legacy case management systems – Banner and CCMS V2 - implementing in stages, one CMS for all case types.

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LegalXML ECF 4.01 Approved as Committee Specification - Updated 12/9/12

We learned today that the LegalXML ECF committee has voted to approve the 4.01 draft and has forwarded it as a candidate OASIS specification.  Version 4.01 is a maintenance release that addresses minor schema and definition issues.

To view the specification click here.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

ePorfolios Blogs and Audience Response Systems at Back to School Night

I must say that many back-to-school nights are a bit painful.  For those of you who are not familiar with this, it's an evening where you go to the school (without your children) and the teachers tell you a little bit about how they will approach the year.  This year, I attended three different back-to-school nights for my three children (elementary, middle school and high school).

Most teachers hand a sheet with all the information they plan to present (which is good because there are often lots of links and other helpful information).  And then they proceed to walk through it.  I'm sure most of you can relate.  You are sitting there while the teacher reads what's on the sheet to you.  You could have got the sheet delivered to you and then just visit the teacher another time.  Of course, I'm not exactly the best audience and there's no Session Hopping available at back-to-school.

I believe that many teachers will tell you that it's equally painful going through from their side.  My wife used to dread both back to school and open house nights.  Not sure how my mother felt (a school teacher for 35 years).  I should really have asked her before I posted this.  But my guess is that she didn't really like it that much either.  The nice thing about being a professor is that you never saw parents except on rare visits (shake their hand, exchange pleasantries) and at graduation.  You never had to do a presentation to them.

So while I was really dreading having to do three different back-to-school nights, I must say there were two very pleasant surprises.  And, just in case any of the other teachers who have my children in their class this year read this, I must say this whole year was an exceptionally good back to school night.  Still there were two standouts.
ePortfolios and Blogs

My oldest daughter, a freshman in high school, has a fantastic teacher, Ms. Gerber, for Honors English.  Ms. Gerber has the class creating ePorfolios and Blogging as teaching tools!  I honestly almost fell out of my chair when she casually mentioned this.  And I was struck by the stares of the other parents who clearly had no idea what she was saying.

Now I know that many of my fellow bloggers who come from education will be saying "no duh, Tony" this is happening all over the place.  But it's a bit different when you see it really being applied.


As an example, the students watched the courtroom drama 12 Angry Men.  Ms. Gerber asked the students to post comments in the class blog: Assignment Two.  Certainly, seeing what the other students said in their responses is a great thing.  There wasn't much interaction among the students as in Assignment One.  But it was still good to see answers.  And it was funny to see my daughter say:

    I used to have a feeling I would be a good lawyer, because I have a lot of arguments with my dad, but now I'm not so sure. If that's what it's like in a courtroom, I wouldn't last very long!

Ms. Gerber also has started the students on a journey of creating an ePorfolio using Google Sites.  They aren't much to look at yet, but having recently run across a few examples of ePortfolios that students have pulled together across several years – I'm sure that it's a great idea to have them starting on one now.


I'm quite curious what recommendations people have around how to effectively create an ePortfolio that will help you get into college.  Currently, my daughter's portfolio is oriented around Years and Subjects.  That doesn't seem right to me, but maybe it doesn't matter at this point.  Any pointers?
Audience Response System

The other pleasant surprise was Mr. Luke Olesiuk, at the middle school.  He teaches math and went through all of the normal stuff that all the teachers do.  However, he made it quite enjoyable because he used an audience response system in the classroom and presented most everything that way.  As we walked in, he provided each parent a clicker.  It's from TurningPoint Systems – see it below:


Then he spent what I have to believe was a fair bit of time designing his presentation.  Instead of saying, my goals for the year are X, Y, and Z.  He would put a question on the projector that said - "My goals for the year are all of the following except one of these …" and he would list X, Y and Z and at least one funny response.  I was surprised how effectively it kept everyone engaged.  Most parent intentionally would get wrong answers (at least I hope), but it gave him opportunity to talk through why those were the goals or whatever.

Truly he turned something mundane into something fun.  And he ended exactly on time (used a timer in his hand to track).  Clearly he spent time designing this out, but the result was great.  It made me think that with the advent of audience response via web solutions, this is going to make in-person presentations a lot more interesting in the future.  Quite topical given: Narrowing Gap between Face-to-Face and Online Presentations and New Presenter and Learner Skills and Methods.

The only drag was the following note that we received:

    Parents - I'm still missing Clicker # C14 from Back-To-School night last night...if you accidentally borrowed it after the presentation yesterday, please send it back with your student on Monday. Thank you!

Amazing that he doesn't lose them with kids, but does with parents.

Maybe if Turning Point Systems sees this post they can send him a new one. :)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

CMS Data Conversion and Archiving with XML

There is an attractive alternative to converting data when replacing, updating, or archiving your court case management system.

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Saturday, 10 November 2012

Brandon Hall Free Webinars Added

Just a quick note to announce that the crew at Brandon Hall have joined up as eLearning Calendar Curators. Janet Clarey just announced it today on Workplace Learning Today. The bottom line to this is that we will all be working together to create a calendar of Free Online eLearning Events.

If you want to subscribe to be notified of upcoming events, go subscribe to the Best of from eLearning Learning.

If you want to help by becoming a calendar curator, please Leave A Comment.

If you see events that we are missing, please Leave A Comment.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Keeping Authentication Simple

Courts have concerns about the use of their published electronic information.  The following excellent article recommends some solutions.

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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Sacramento Superior Court Announces Statewide CMS RFP

Sacramento Superior Court seeks to enter into a Master Software license and Services Agreement with suitable vendors for an enterprise case management solution capable of replacing the antiquated CMS's for the Superior Courts of California.

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