Notes from Intelligent Content 2010

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Blog post

A couple of weeks ago, Xyleme presented at Intelligent Content conference hosted by the Rockley Group. Intelligent Content isn’t a training event; rather it’s a small conference showcasing how leading edge companies are exploiting the value of content through XML, open formats, and standards. I think the Rockley Group’s definition hits the nail on the head:

Intelligent content is content which is not limited to one purpose, technology or output. It’s content that is structurally rich and semantically aware, and is therefore discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable and adaptable. It is content that helps you and your customers get the job done. It’s content that is limited only by our imaginations.

With intelligent content you can:

  • Automatically deliver to multiple channels
  • Personalize content
  • Enable customers to easily find the information they need no matter how complex their requirements
  • Let your customers build their own unique information products
  • Deepen your customer relationship
  • Share content across organizational silos
  • Manage content throughout its lifecycle
  • Rapidly adapt information to changing needs

We love this conference because it stands for everything that Xyleme is trying, and succeeding to accomplish, in the training industry. That being said, training still lags pretty far behind other industries such as technical publications and product documentation when it comes to intelligent content.

So, Mark Hellinger, President and CEO of Xyleme, took the opportunity during the event’s panel discussion to provide his view on why this was the case, and how to effectively make the move from documentation to Learning & Development. Here are some of the highlights from his talk, ranked by the number of tweets on Mark’s discussion points:

Create new output models but retain ability to use existing materials

Despite the movement to e-learning and now mobile delivery, print-based materials are still critical. So, structure content components to allow for conversion to different formats and let audiences select appropriate delivery modes as their needs evolve.

#ic2010 68% training worldwide today is still not done online or as e-learning. Despite initiatives 10 years ago, progress = slow [Xyleme]

#ic2010 People in e-learning try to move to new online tools, but want to keep all the “old stuff” content. Often a mismatch. [Xyleme]

#ic2010 e-learning: challenge of training on-line, is that legacy content was created around classroom, paper-based model. [Xyleme]

#ic2010 PowerPoint is number one “e-learning” tool in the world. Also, the least structured authoring tool. Start from outside in [Xyleme]

Mark Hellinger, Xyleme: 68% of training world-wide is in person, instructor-led or virtual instructor led (not elearning) per ASTD #IC2010

68% of all training is instructor-led or virtually instructor-led. Mark Hellinger/Xyleme #IC2010

Mark Hellinger, Xyleme: Q: What’s the most commonly used training software in the world? A: PowerPoint. #IC2010

Learn that silos are the norm in L&D

Most global training & development groups are very decentralized, therefore effective collaboration is crucial. So, provide the right tools and processes for subject matter expert (SME) knowledge capture, review, and discussion for these dispersed teams.

#ic2010 “Silos are the norm in L&D” [Xyleme]

#ic2010 Tech Doc is often completely disconnected from training & development people. TD often part of HR; way down on food chain. [Xyleme]

Understand that single-source is a change management project not a technology implementation

A single-source L&D implementation is not a one-off project. It’s a paradigm shift for almost everyone involved. Nothing will bring a project crashing to the ground faster than not clearly setting expectations and properly managing the change management issues faced by each stakeholder.

#ic2010 Real challenge: how to you radically change the way that people are creating content and doing things. [Xyleme]

#ic2010 1: start with hi impact project 2: understand single-source is change mngmt project, not tech implement [Xyleme]

Tweets from IC2010

Recognize that content reuse and multi-channel publishing are only part of the success equation

Unlike traditional documentation, successful Learning & Development projects go far beyond content reuse and multi-modal delivery. They also find a way of efficiently integrating interactivity, tracking, and performance support into the content life cycle.

#ic2010 3: recognize that content reuse and multi-channel publishing are only PART of the success equation [Xyleme]

Support training industry standards – they especially matter for blended learning

In the training industry, multiple standards (e.g. SCORM, QTI, Common Cartridge) are designed to support different types of delivery platforms and may have little overlap. Blended learning (combined classroom, web-based, and on-demand) requires extraordinary content reuse across these widely accepted standards.

Support training industry standards – they especially matter for blended learning. Mark Hellinger/Xyleme #IC2010

Examine the best practices of online universities

Online universities (e.g. University of Phoenix) are becoming common ways to earn degrees – even top-tier schools are offering online programs. Recognize that educational content will need to be effectively reused and delivered to this critical channel or lose a valuable source of revenue.

#ic2010 Notice changing trend: online Universities like Phoenix are doing well; traditional institutions are struggling for funds [Xyleme]

Thanks to Ann Rockley for putting on a great event. Till next year.