Your Periodic Table of Learning Elements Engaging, effective training programs are a mixture of science and art, requiring the right balance of adult learning theory, available technology, intuitive tools, proven practices, creativity, and risk. How does a trainer find the right combination and proportion of these elements? How does a trainer know what's possible? To answer these questions, Brian Washburn offers a simple yet elegant periodic table of learning elements modeled on the original periodic table of chemical properties. Washburn's elements--which are organized into solids, liquids, gases, radioactive, and interactive categories similar to their chemical cousins--are metaphors for the tools and strategies of the field of learning design; when they're combined, and under certain conditions, they have the potential to create amazing learning experiences for participants. They are that impactful. From critical gas-like elements like the air we breathe, present in every training room (think instructional design or visual design), to radioactive elements, powerful and dangerous yet commonly used (think PowerPoint), Washburn guides you through the pitfalls and choices you confront in creating engaging learning experiences. A well-designed training program can be world-changing, he argues, and if you believe in your craft as a learning professional, you can do this too. Whether you're an experienced learning designer or new to the field, this book inspires with new ideas and ways to organize the design of your learning programs. With stories from Washburn's professional experience, the book includes a hands-on glossary of definitions and descriptions for more than 50 of his elements.
Brian Washburn is the co-founder and CEO of Endurance Learning, a boutique instructional design company specializing in generating creative and unique instructor-led or e-learning programs for a client base that ranges from small nonprofit organizations to major Fortune 500 companies. He has been dabbling in the world of instructional design and corporate training for more than 20 years. It all began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay where he discovered the joys of standing in front of a group of participants, finding ways to engage them, and using flipchart to generate dynamic visual aids. Since then, Brian has worked mostly in the nonprofit sector, leading training teams that have been charged with world-changing missions that range from ensuring every foster child has a safe and permanent home to eliminating corneal blindness around the globe. Brian has developed and facilitated training programs in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Years ago he was named a "Top Young Trainer" by Training magazine, and more recently has served as president of the ATD Puget Sound Chapter. Brian can be found through his weekly blog Train Like A Champion, on Twitter (@flipchartguy), and is always happy to connect on LinkedIn. He lives in Seattle, Washington, with his two children and four fish.