What's on Your Holiday Playlist?

My Christmas playlist when I'm not listening to Podcasts:

Christmas Tree

Song Group Album Time
Happy Christmas (War Is Over) The Alarm Starbucks Hi-Fidelity Holiday 3:43
Tchaikovsky: March Andre Previn (Conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) Starbucks Winterludes 2:27
Tchaikovsky: Coffee Andre Previn (Conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) Starbucks Winterludes 3:30
Handel: Hallelujah Andrew Parrott Conducting The Taverner Players & Choir Starbucks Winterludes 3:58
Go Tell It On The Mountain Andy Griffith Now That's What I Call Christmas! Vol. 2 [Disc 2] 2:21
Christmas Must Be Tonight The Band Christmas Party 3:37
Little St. Nick The Beach Boys The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 2) 2:00
My Sweet Lord BeBe Winans My Christmas Prayer 5:07
Christmas Eve Billy Eckstine Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas 3:04
Peace On Earth-Little Drummer Boy Bing Crosby & David Bowie The Edge Of Christmas 2:39
Do You Hear What I Hear? Bobby Vinton The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 2) 2:55
Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree Brenda Lee The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 1) 2:05
The Twelve Days of Christmas Burl Ives/Percy Faith,Orchestra,Chorus The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 2) 3:53
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Chicago Chicago Christmas What's It Gonna Be, Santa? 3:28
Child's Prayer Chicago Chicago Christmas What's It Gonna Be, Santa? 3:23
Snoopy's Christmas The Clumsy Lovers A Winter's Night 2:50
Frosty The Snowman Cocteau Twins Cool Holiday Notes 2:56
Winter Wonderland Cocteau Twins Starbucks Hi-Fidelity Holiday 2:53
Blue Christmas Collective Soul You Sleigh Me! 3:03
Sleigh Ride Combustible Edison Starbucks Hi-Fidelity Holiday 3:10
Gloria In Excelsis Deo Countdown Orchestra And Singers All Time Christmas Favorites, Vol 1 1:19
Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy David Bowie & Bing Crosby Cool Holiday Notes 4:25
Opera Of The Bells Destiny's Child Now That's What I Call Christmas! Vol. 2 [Disc 1] 4:37
Sleigh Ride Diana Krall Starbucks Holiday: Santa Baby '06 3:26
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) Dion The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 2) 3:47
Silent Night Dresdner Kreuzchor Season's Serenade 3:32
Auld Land Syne The Drifters A Christmas Party 2:15
White Christmass The Drifters The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 1) 2:40
Santa Baby Eartha Kitt Starbucks Holiday: Santa Baby '06 3:26
Feliz Navidad El Vez Christmas Party 2:34
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Ella Fitzgerald Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas 2:56
Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer Ella Fitzgerald Starbucks Holiday: Santa Baby '06 2:53
Here Comes Santa Claus Elvis Presley Starbucks Holiday: Santa Baby '06 1:57
I Believe In Father Christmas Emerson, Lake & Palmer Best Of Emerson, Lake & Palmer 3:32
Gloria in excelsis Deo The English Concert Season's Serenade 2:23
Silent Night The Everly Brothers The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 1) 2:54
A Change At Christmas (Say It Isn't So) The Flaming Lips Christmas Party 5:21
The Christmas Waltz Frank Sinatra The Sinatra Christmas Album 3:01
The Christmas Song Frank Sinatra Starbucks Holiday: Santa Baby '06 3:29
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving George Winston Linus & Lucy - The Music of Vince Guaraldi 2:30
Jingle Bells Jimmy Smith Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas 3:13
The Little Drummer Boy Johnny Cash The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 2) 2:34
Feliz Navidad [Live] José Feliciano Now That's What I Call Christmas! Vol. 2 [Disc 2] 4:56
Joy to the World Judy Collins The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 2) 2:33
December Will Be Magic Again Kate Bush The Edge Of Christmas 4:51
Christmas Reindeer The Knife Christmas Reindeer - Single 5:33
Hallelujah Leonard Cohen Starbucks Hi-Fidelity Holiday 4:39
Merry Christmas, Baby Lou Rawls The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 1) 2:35
Christmas Is Lou Rawls Starbucks Holiday: Santa Baby '06 3:12
Ave Maria Luciano Pavarotti The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 1) 5:07
Wade: Adeste Fideles Luciano Pavarotti; Kurt Herbert Adler: National Philharmonic Orchestra, Wandsworth Boys Choir Now That's What I Call Christmas! Vol. 2 [Disc 2] 3:32
The Christmas Song Mel Tormé Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas 2:48
Caroling, Caroling Nat King Cole Cool Holiday Notes 2:03
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) Nat King Cole The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 2) 3:10
Please Come Home For Christmas Pat Benatar The Edge Of Christmas 3:07
It Doesn't Often Snow At Christmas Pet Shop Boys Christmas Party 3:57
Deck The Halls The Platters A Christmas Party 2:08
Still, Still, Still The Plymouth Music Series Ensemble Singers with Philip Brunelle, celeste Starbucks Winterludes 2:51
2000 Miles The Pretenders Christmas Party 3:41
Thank God It's Christmas Queen The Edge Of Christmas 4:20
Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight) The Ramones The Edge Of Christmas 2:06
Christmas Must Be Tonight Robbie Robertson Starbucks Hi-Fidelity Holiday 4:53
We Free Kings Roland Kirk Quartet Have Yourself a Jazzy Little Christmas 4:47
Pretty Paper Roy Orbison The Spirit of Christmas (Disc 1) 2:46
Little Drummer Boy The Temptations Starbucks Hi-Fidelity Holiday 3:26
Thanks For Christmas Three Wise Men (XTC) Starbucks Hi-Fidelity Holiday 3:53
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Tony Bennett Starbucks Holiday: Santa Baby '06 3:03
Christmas / Sarajevo 12/24 (Instrumental) Trans-Siberian Orchestra Christmas Eve and Other Stories 3:25
Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) U2 A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1 2:20
Christmas Wrapping Waitresses The Edge Of Christmas 5:23
Do You Hear What I Hear? Whitney Houston A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 1 3:32


The Periodic Table of Agile Learning

This is the eighth in a series of posts on Agile Learning Design:

I was going to close this series out with a mind or concept map of agile learning but after a few attempts I decided that there must be a better way; besides, been there and done that. So I decided to create a Periodic Table of Agile Learning:

click to open

It differs somewhat from the normal periodic table as the main group is the far left column and then the major themes (sub-elements) of each major element is listed in the row next to it. The columns basically keep to the same theme. Thus it is probably more like a matrix than a true periodic table, but I claim poetic licence.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it! - Don


Iterations in Agile Learning Design

This is the seventh in a series of posts on Agile Learning Design:

In traditional waterfall-type projects, learning platforms are developed in lengthy sequential phases. Learning methods and delivery flaws are normally only discovered during the delivery or evaluation phases. Fixing these defects can waste resources and cause delays to the learning platform or process due to the rework required. This is often referred to as the “1 - 100 - 1,000 rule”: if it cost one to fix it in the initial stages of the project, It will cost 100 times more to fix it at the end of the project and up to 1,000 times more to fix it once it is delivered.

Note: ADDIE or ISD is NOT waterfall (see post on topic), unless the users decide to use the tool in this manner.

Using agile methodologies or concepts allow the designers to test the learning platform up-front in order to ensure it is built upon a sound architecture by discovering the risks and alternatives involved during the planning stage, selecting valid learning objects, and then iterating them in a logical fashion.

Iterations are normally performed using two methods:

  • Design Iteration (interpretive) — the iteration is performed to test a learning method, function, feature, etc. of the learning platform to a small set of learners to see if it valid.
  • Release Iteration (statistical) — the iteration is released as a product to the business unit or customer. Although it may not be fully completed or functional, the designers believe that it is "good enough" to be of use to the learners.

A Design Iteration is a micro-technique in that it uses a small set of learners to test part of the learning platform so that you make an interpretation of its effectiveness. This method is normally used for innovative design. A Design Iteration will generally use two types of prototypes:

  • Drawing or print prototypes — uses paper and pencil models. This allows the design to be quickly sketched out so that you can get input from the learners. It normally solicits more input as the learners do not think the design is "locked-in." In addition it is quite versatile as you can add post-it notes to the paper drawing to simulate drop-down menus, dialog boxes, etc.
  • Interactive prototypes — uses a more realistic model of the learning platform. Its advantage is that it gets you closer to where you need to be. In addition, the learners think it is more "locked-in," thus once you have captured their basic needs with the drawing prototypes, they are more hesitate to offer suggestions unless there is a real need for the changes (helps to prevent running in circles with design changes).

A Release Iteration is a macro-technique in that it uses a large set of learners in order to satisfy two requirements: 1) it gets the learning platform out as fast as possible, even though it may not be fully ready; and 2) it allows large scale testing of the platform before it is "polished."

A large and difficult or innovative project might use several Design Iterations and then make a Release Iteration. In turn, this process is repeated until the learning platform is completed.

After Action Review (AAR)

After running the iterations, use After Action Reviews, especially after you performa a Release Iteration, in order to transform deficiencies into actionable items. In addition, ensure you include the learners and their manager(s) in the AAR to ensure everyone is on the same track:

"Many years ago I was asked by a business unit leader to design a project management class with a significant emphasis on budgeting and forecasting. I complied with his request and designed several exercises intended to address this stated need. When the class ran, participants convinced the instructor that because they didn't have to do budgeting and forecasting, there was no need to spend much time on those subjects. Therefore the instructor skipped them. Participants (learners) were happy because they didn't have to learn content they didn't want to learn, and the instructor was happy because his end-of-class evaluations were extremely high. Unfortunately my client was angry. As he explained to me after the class ran, his employees were correct in saying that they didn't do budgeting and forecasting, which is why most of their projects were over budget and delivered late." — Larry Israelite in Lies About Learning.

AARs not only help you get to the root of problems by having the participants discuss the project in a non-threatening environment, but is also designed to help keep the learners, managers, and you on track so that everyone is striving for the same vision.


Agile Learning Design: Tools for Learners

This is the sixth in a series of posts on Agile Learning Design:

In the last post I discussed some of the various media for delivering learning methodologies and objects. Before moving on to the final concept of "Iteration" in Agile Learning Design, I thought now would be a good time to discuss the tools the learners require for agile learning in a dL (distributed Learning) environment.

The Lava Lamp

Networked Computer

While this may seam obvious to some, we need to realize that a lot of learners in the workplace do not have access to one or to one that is located in an environment conductive to learning.

Learning Management System (LMS)

And this does not mean access to any old LMS, but one in which the learners can easily search and locate the content they need. As Nicole Fougere pointed out in a recent blog post, Aaron Silvers took a show of hands at DevLearn and discovered this seems to be the last thing that we require of a LMS, but if the learners cannot easily use it and dislike using it, then it is absolutely worthless, no matter how many other bells and whistles it may have.

iTunes/iPod (or similar system)

While there is an adverse reaction to providing this set-up to learners in most organizations, podcasting is a proven and viable means of learning. Yes they may listen to music on their iPods, but they also use email, cell phones, and internet services for personal reasons. Lets provide them with the tools they need. To increase the capabilities of the device (mLearning), consider the iTouch.

Yammer or Twitter

For networking between various learning episodes. Note that one study found that 150 followers is the magic number.

A Guide for Managing Learning

Not everything is hi-tech. Perhaps the best guide around is Getting Your Money's Worth From Training & Development A Guide to Breakthrough Learning for Managers and Participants by Jefferson, Pollock, and Wick. This book is conveniently divided into two parts: 1) start at one end for managers or 2) flip the book over and it is for the learners. It is based on perhaps the best book on training: The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning: How to Turn Training and Development Into Business Results.

PDF Reader

For reading and printing PDFs.

What would you include in your learners' toolbox?