Friday, September 30, 2011

SlideShare uses and Resources for HPT

SlideShare is “the world’s largest community for sharing presentation.  With 55 million monthly visitors and 120 million pageviews, it is amongst the most visited 200 websites in the world” (  SlideShare is a great way to save all your presentation slides in one location where you can access them with a common URL anytime you need access to them.  Additionally, each presentation can be either linked to or incorporated into a blog, a post, a web page, a report, etc…  Hart (2011) indicated that presentations could be:

  • ·      Viewed at the site – where you can see status on usage
  • ·      Individually embedded into a web or blog page
  • ·      Embedded as a SlideShare Playlist (p. 154).

Bozarth (2010) highlights that SlideShare is useful for trainers who want to distribute either a powerpoint slide presentation or a pdf file via Facebook, Twitter, or any other social networking application.

In my blog post on August 26, 2011, Metacognitive Model for HPT.  I included a link to the pdf slide presentation that I used to report my journal article.  There were two versions of this pdf slide presentation.  The long version, which can be found at and the short version, which can be found at
Additionally, in my blog post on May 25, 2011, Complexity Leadership Theory, I also included a link to the powerpoint slide presenation for this post,  Other presentations can be found at my SlideShare URL.

One effective use of adding SlideShare presentations to a web page, or a blog page, can be found at Harold Jarche’s web page, Life in Perpetual Beta.  Jarche has a separate tab for all of his SlideShare presentations incorporated into his web page.  These presentations can be found at  Another use of incorporating SlideShare presentations in a blog can be found at Clive Shepherds’ blog page, Clive on Learning.  Clive add a link to his SlideShare presentations which can be found at

Another effective use of incorporating SlideShare into your web page or blog is to include the actual presentation into the post.  One example of this can be found at Jane Hart’s blog, From “Command & Control” to “Encourage & Engage”: the presentation.

When it comes to developing slides there is no better source than Garr Reynolds’ blog on issues related to professional presentation design.  Garr provides examples and tips on how to develop productive and attractive slides for a memorable presentation.  Additional tips and examples can be found on Garr’s blog, Garr’s posterous

Bozarth, J. (2010). Social media for trainers: Techniques for enhancing and extending learning.  San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons.
Hart, J. (2011). Social learning handbook. Center for Learning & Performance Technologies, C4LPT.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blogs and Wikis relating to HPT

Many Web2.0 platforms available today provide opportunities for businesses to obtain and retain technical information.  The transition from Web1.0 to Web2.0 includes the implementation of interactive applications.  Hart (2011) distinguished Web1.0 as read-only web and Web2.0 as read-write-web.  Some of these applications include Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Myspace, blogs, wikis, and YouTube, to name only a few.  I have concentrated on two of these Web2.0 platforms, blogs and wikis, as they relate to the Human Performance Technology (HPT) field.

HPT related blogs

Numerous blogs are content driven, meaning their written for the sole purpose of publishing content related to a specific discipline.  A blog, as described by Bozarth (2010), is “an online space for posting chronologically ordered comments or ideas that can include text, photo, video, audio, and links to other sites, blogs, or documents” (p. 83).  McAfee (2009) highlighted blogs as being easy to update, easy to view or reference as a separate web page, and are permanent records.   

I searched for five blogs relating to the HPT discipline.  One such blog was Donald Clark’s Big Dog, Little Dog blog, designed to post content related to instructional design and performance (  A second blog is Jane Bozarth’s blog titled bozarthzone, which covers a variety of topics relating to e-learning and social media (  A third informative blog is Donald H. Taylor’s blog dedicated to performance, learning, human capital, and talent management (  A fourth blog is Harold Jarche’s blog with the mantra of ‘Life in Perpetual Beta’.  This blog is dedicated to informal learning principles in the workplace (  The final blog researched was Mitch Joel’s blog titled Six Pixels of Separation – The Blog which is dedicated to marketing but covers a vast amount of information relating to social networking (

One interesting and effective twist to blogs is a blog carnival.  Blog carnivals are where bloggers interested in a common content area pool together and post monthly, or quarterly, posts on a specific topic (check out my blogpost on blog carnivals at  The host for a blog carnival varies from month to month.  This is a great way to find other bloggers interested in the same content and it adds a new way to get your content out to different viewers (

HPT related wikis

Wikis provide a different type of interaction than blogs.  A wiki is a web page where everyone with access can change the content (Bozarth, 2010).  McAfee (2009) made the point that wikis have the ability to capture and spread knowledge as well as being an effective tool supporting strongly tied coworkers.  In the area for training and development, Bozarth (2010) identified 4 ways to employ a wiki:
1.     include learner-built development of a permanent, takeaway record of the particular course session;
2.     a record of the course over various iteration or offerings across time;
3.     a compilation of FAQs or good practices for those coming into the role that the training targets;
4.     or a single project aimed at improving overall company or work-unit operations (p. 109).

One of the most popular wikis is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia (  The content on Wikipedia can be changed by anyone by selecting the ‘edit’ button next to the written content on the page you wish to change.  The ‘discussion’ tab gives you a history of what changes were made to the content, when they were made, and by whom.  A second wiki is Psychology Wiki, which provides almost anything related to psychology: learning, cognition, personality, statistics, education, and industrial (  A third wiki is called Human Science and provides knowledge from a human perspective.  Topics covered on this wiki include development, personality, management, and spirituality, to name a few (  A fourth wiki is an index of wikis called WikiIndex (  Here you can find other wikis, wiki communities, wiki ideas, and wiki people.  Another new twist to the original format of a wiki can be found at WikiAnswers.  WikiAnswers allows you to type in a question and it will give you a list of answers that have been provided by others (


Security is always a concern with regards to corporate knowledge.  Prior to deciding which platform you want to utilize you will need to determine whether you want an open access platform or a restricted platform.  One thing to remember when deciding who you want to access these Web2.0 applications is that the more restricted you make a platform the less it takes on the features of a Web2.0 application.  The advantage of a Web2.0 application is the ability to have outsiders view the content so they can comment and add to the conversation.  If you restrict access this too much, you are defeating the purpose of using an open access platform.

Within a corporate setting specific policies and guidelines should be made available so that everyone understands what is an acceptable contribution and what is not an acceptable contribution.  It should be made clear that participants should respect the opinions of others and that all references to ‘other’ content should always be referenced or a link should be provided to the original content.  These policies and guidelines can be a working document, which can be added to as the Web2.0 platform becomes populated.  In most cases, these policies and guidelines will become self-regulated among the users of the Web2.0 platform.

Bozarth, J. (2010). Social media for trainers: Techniques for enhancing and extending learning.  San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Hart, J. (2011). Social learning handbook: A practical guide to using social media to work and learn smarter. Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies.
McAfee, A. (2009).  Enterprise 2.0: New collaborative tools for your organization’s toughest challenges.  Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Media Multitasking and Memory Processes

Media Multitasking refers to the number of media a person consumes simultaneously (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner, 2009).  Research shows that people who are rated as high media multitaskerss (HMM) have "greater difficulty filtering out irrelevant stimuli from their environment… are less likely to ignore irrelevant representations in memory… and they are less effective in suppressing the activation of irrelevant task sets" (Ophir et al., 2009, p. 3 of 5).  With HMM being more common today, especially among younger generations, how can HMM effect the memory process?  Listed below i have listed a couple of potential effects to consider.


Memory is load based, indicating that once the load reaches the cognitive capacities of the subject the processing suffers.  One example is when one has reached his/her cognitive abilities, he/she is unable to organize the material to store in their long-term memories.

Memory is selective, meaning that there are a number of stages that information needs to go through before it reaches your long-term memory.  There are various memory models but the simplest is that information is scanned via your sensory processes, then only some of this information enters into the short-term memory, then only a select few pieces of information get transferred to the working memory.  This information in our working memory, in turn, has a small chance of entering our long-term memory only if it has made the right associations and connections to existing memory.

One final short note about memory is that our brains and memories are constantly evolving.

HMM and Memory Processes

With that said, I believe that multitasking does have the potential to change our memory processes.  People have been multitasking for years, the more active we become the more we multitask.  Only recently, however, have we been using technology to multitask - hence the term media multitasking (MM).  

The first point to make is the effect that HMM can have on long-term memory processes.  Our long-term memory is where we store our knowledge.  This knowledge is retrieved by searching through various categories, concepts, associations, and experiences that are in our long-term memory.  This information is retrieved best if they are recalled by the same method, congruency.  If technology becomes a source of your retrieval process, then you would not be able to retrieve information from your long-term memory without the use of this technology.  This problem was identified in Lin Lins' (2009) commentary when she highlighted that the hippocampus was not involved in learning when using multitasking.  This could be problematic when learning is the primary goal.  However, if technology is used to assist one to store information to their long-term memory, to learn, then retrieval without the technology is more likely and learning is more likely to have been achieved - the hippocampus is involved.  Dependency would then be the key.  As long as we are not too dependent on any one technology we can benefit from it and our memories can continue to evolve.

This second point refers to how the Internet and HMM can reflect our memory processes.  Learning is not linear, our brains are more representative of networks, nodes, synaptic connections, etc…  Internet programs have developed tags to represent the content of the material we are interested in.  These tags, in most programs today, are created by the user (by us).  Thus, the internet is evolving into representation of our own memory and thought processes.  This point was highlighted in Lin Lins' (2009) commentary when she introduced Weinbergers' point: "that individuals exposed to a concept in multiple decentralized sources may gain deeper and more complex understanding of this concept" (Lin, 2009,Commentary).  I feel that as the internet becomes more like our own memory processes HMM can be beneficial to our learning.  

To benefit learning by using technology, including HMM techniques, one should consider two things.  Keep the dependency of the technology to a minimum, use technology as a guide and a tool.  The second consideration is to design your Internet connection to model your own memory processes to benefit your learning.


Lin Lin (2009). Breadth-biased versus focused cognitive control in media multitasking behaviors (Commentary).  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 106(37), 15521-15522.  doi: 10.1073/pnas.0908642106

Ophir, E., Nass, C., & Wagner, A. D. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitasks.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 106(37), 15583-15587.  doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903620106

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