anewspring Logo

Ger’s Learning Notes #13 – Blend It Like Beckham

The major highlight of this summer in The Netherlands was the UEFA Women’s Euro Football Tournament. The Dutch team won the championship, creating real hype around women’s football. It reminded me of the pleasant movie ‘Bend It Like Beckham. The movie is about a daughter who rebels against her parents’ traditionalism and joins a football team.

It’s a small step to this edition of the learning notes, which contains many tips to design Blended Learning, and so, the title ‘Blend It Like Beckham’ emerged. I hope these practical tips will inspire you and really help you to create effective blended learning. Cheers – Ger

Posted on September 1, 2017.


(1) Five ways to make virtual training as effective as face-to-face training

What’s it about?
This e-book explores how to get virtual training as effective as (good) face-to-face training with a focus on five concrete steps.

Why read it?

  • Learning will continue to be delivered ‘online’, so be transferred to the virtual world. Many people think this can’t be as effective as face-to-face training.
  • It’s not a technology issue—it’s a design issue; and with proper design, virtual classes can be as good as face-to-face training (or even better).
  • This e-book give five concrete steps to follow for effective virtual classes.
  • My personal experience: It’s very refreshing to design virtual learning. You’ll be challenged to be very careful and explicit in the design choices you’ll make.

Where to find it?
Five ways to make virtual training as effective as face-to-face training [E-book]


(2) How to use infographics, videos, web stories and more to support your training program 

What’s it about?
Dan Jones gives a great overview of different apps that are very useful and valuable for learning and development (L&D) professionals.

Why read it?

  • First of all: This post is a great recap of the ‘full house’ and highly valued session that Dan Jones delivered at the ATD conference in Atlanta in May 2017.
  • It describes many practical apps in brief and categorises them related to their specific functionality.
  • Don’t we all like to include ‘awesome apps’ in our learning design to surprise and engage the learners we want to serve?

Where to find it?
How to use infographics, videos, web stories and more to support your training program


(3) Ten tips for designing effective social learning 

What’s it about?
‘The Master’ of social learning, Julian Stodd, shares his best insights and experience around social learning.

Why read it?

  • Social learning can be a very effective building block in a blended learning approach for the modern learner – so it’s one to consider to be part of the blend.
  • This post shows the combination of elements and their interconnection to design and facilitates social learning that works.
  • My favorites: The elements of scaffolding and facilitation. They make the difference between a ‘nice experiment’ and a successful learning solution.

Where to find it?
Ten tips for designing effective social learning


(4) Science of Learning 101: When to build performance support, part 1

What’s it about?
This post clarifies some important distinctions between performance support and training, and defines when to use what.

Why read it?

  • This post starts with the right clarifying questions to include the objective and the context before deciding to go for training or performance support (or both!).
  • In my opinion, there is a world to win for L&D professionals when they take performance support more often into consideration as part of their blended learning solution.
  • First, understand the distinctions between training and performance support, and then, integrate them in a smart way in your blended learning design for the best results.

Where to find it?
Science of Learning 101: When to build performance support, part 1

Read More

Ger’s Learning Notes #12 – Eclectic blended learning tips

What do you feel when you read the word ‘eclectic’? I first learned the word in relation to architecture. If a building can’t be categorised in a specific architectural style because it is a mixture – just call the style eclectic. (Merriam-Webster’s definition: composed of elements drawn from various sources). I simply love the word and it fit’s the theme of this edition of the learning notes. Besides the fact that all four notes are dedicated to inspire learning, they are eclectic. Cheers – Ger

Posted on August 1, 2017.

Using cat gifs for learning

(1) Eleven instructional design truths according to cat gifs – By Edmond Manning

What’s it about?
Edmond provides eleven very relevant tips to keep in mind when designing learning. For each tip he added a Cat.gif covering the core message – hilarious and brilliant!

Why read it?

  • The 11 tips are really concrete and useful, very relevant to apply when designing learning. The tips are basic and fundamental – good to keep in mind all the time (and after you saw these – you’ll do so!).
  • The cat.gifs are hilarious, very creative and fun – helps you to remember.
  • Edmond Manning is a very experienced learning professional – take a look at his other posts for more valuable stuff.

Where to find it?
11 Instructional Design Truths According to Cat .gifs

(2) How can L&D start delivering online learning? – Podcast by @RossGarnerGP, @Stefania_Scott & @GerDriesen

What’s it about?
There is a lot of talking about online learning suggesting everybody ‘is doing it’. Of course that is not the case and everybody has to start sometime, somehow. That is what the podcast covers.

Why listen to it?

  • If you are on the threshold of getting started with online learning – a lot of topics to think of and tips how to handle them are discussed
  • The approach has respect and empathy for all those very good learning professionals that did not get started with online learning yet – it’s about gradually moving to a different approach blending in online learning.
  • Benefit from the different professional background and experiences from Ross, Stef and myself.

Where to find it?
Podcast 55 — How can L&D start delivering online learning?


(3) 10 Visual Design Tips For eLearning And Slides – by Connie Malamed

What’s it about?
If your goal is to get better at visual design, you don’t need to be a talented artist. You just need to learn and apply the basic principles of visual design as presented in this post. and practice, practice, practice. In this SlideShare presentation below, Connie gathered up ten important principles and little tips from her book, Visual Design Solutions.

Why read it?

  • ‘Visual’ becomes more important because we have so many possibilities these days to create stunning visuals. People in general – also learners – will have a higher expectation regarding visuals.
  • Visuals can make or break learning materials and thus the visual aspect is very important from a psychological and learning effectiveness point of view.
  • The ten tips are based on the great book by Connie Malamed – who is a thought leader offering lots of good resources.

Where to find it?
10 visual design tips – by Connie Malamed

What's your training strategy?

(4) What’s Your Training Strategy? By Rashim Mogha (@rmogha)

What’s it about?
It’s not so much about strategic training but more about the strategies you might use to position and deliver training as products or services – you might even call them tactics in my point of view.

Why read it?

  • The title uses a question to start with and throughout the blog 15 more questions will be posed. And you know – questions make you think!
  • The topics and questions cover different angles of learning approaches. The one might look more relevant than the other – but please take time to explore the one that seems less relevant at first.
  • Taking time to think about and clarify your training strategy is a good time investment. It will provide you direction in your day to day activities.

Where to find it?
What’s Your Training Strategy?

Read More

Ger’s Learning Notes #11 – Let the music play!

Music plays an important role to get work done at the aNewSpring office and I can image you sometimes put your headphones on when you need to get work done. Let’s discover the link between music and learning. Cheers – Ger

Posted on June 30, 2017.

Learning and music notes

(1) Five powerful ways music can improve your memory – By Takelessons

What’s it about?
This popular blog post explores the relationship between music and memory. It provides five reasons to listen to memory boosting music. It also contains a list of relevant songs (videos included).

Why read it?

  • This post is a nice and easy introduction to music and learning.
  • There are links included to other (original) resources – it’s good to check them out, too.
  • It has a list of songs embedded (video’s) with explanations of the situations where to use what.
  • My advice: combine this popular note with the second note for a more scientific background.

Where to find it?
Five powerful ways music can improve your memory – by Takelessons blog

learning music in classroom

(2) Music and learning: integrating music in the classroom – by Chris Boyd Brewer

What’s it about?
This is a more fundamental resource. The article is reprinted from the book Music and Learning by Chris Brewer, 1995. It includes methods of integrating music in the curriculum and suggestions on what music to use are included.

Why read it?

  • I believe it is an intriguing idea to include music into learning design to create more effective and more inspiring  learning journeys.
  • To do a sound check (pun intended) related to the theory of what is effective for different situations so you can make well informed and effective learning design choices.
  • It is a very well structured overview – maybe not so attractive to read but keep it in your toolkit and review the relevant parts when applicable.

Where to find it?
Music and learning: integrating music in the classroom – by Chris Boyd Brewer

concert music learning from song

(3) Right to be wrong – song by Joss Stone

What’s it about?
I love the song, and above all, I love the lyrics. The title says it all – the right to be wrong: it reminds us of degrees of freedom to be able to learn.

Why listen to it?

  • First of all: because it is a beautiful song!
  • The lyrics contain some important messages for learning professionals. No matter if you are a learning designer or you facilitate learning as a trainer or moderator: it is all about the learner and you need to give the learner ‘space’ to find and follow her/his own learning path.
  • That might help learning professionals to prevent for ‘over structuring’.
  • I used this song often when learning to play drums – it has some very nice riffs!

Where to find it?
Right to be wrong – song by Joss Stone

Qlipo learning note

(4) Qlipo: Learn to speak Spanish (3 songs)

What’s it about?
There are quite some resources available on the internet to learn a language via songs. This one is on Spanish with three video clips of Spanish songs.

Why watch it?

  • Because it’s fun and you want to learn some Spanish!
  • I hope it will inspire you: experience how simple it can be to use music to learn something new.
  • Use it to think about how you could include music into your learning design (and let me know how you did it!).

Where to find it?
Qlipo: Learn to speak Spanish (3 songs)

Read More
page  1  of  5

Ger Driesen picture

Hooked on learning

I hope my learning notes will inspire you and keep you craving for more. Have questions or comments? Feel free to drop me an email or tweet (@GerDriesen).


Ger Driesen
Learning Innovation Leader