Today's guest blogger is Meg Petersen, a project manager in the Lotus Information Development and Content (IDC) team. The IDC team creates training materials, technical reference guides, and online Help and is in the process of looking at what works and what doesn't. We have learned from customer visits that training is a big issue - trainers don't feel they have the time or bandwidth to create and present all the employee training that's necessary, and employees have told us they learn only the very basics in training. They want more time to learn about advanced features and tips about the best way to do things. Because they don't feel they have the time or an easy way to learn best practices, they stick to what they know, even if they think there's a better way to do something.
The Information Development team is reaching out to customers to understand more about learning styles, the use of training and documentation products, differences in use by audience, how much is enough when it comes to documentation and online help, and which types of information are most needed to be successful with Lotus products. We're having a workshop at Lotus in Cambridge, MA on March 7th to dive into these topics and create an innovative plan for training and documentation in the future. We are extending an invitation to customers and partners who can come to Cambridge that day - see details of the workshop below and let us know if you are interested in participatig. We are looking for 10 people for each group.
One topic we'll pursue is informal learning. Informal learning is what happens outside the classroom or a traditional, scripted learning experience. Examples may include web sites, books, on-line help, blogs and wikis, articles, papers, user groups, experts in your online social network, or the person sitting next to you.
We have some questios for you now, and would appreciate your input:
What type of user are you (what is your role, level of expertise)? What kind of a learner are you (read material before you start, read and try things at the same time, like to discover things on your own, something else?) What types of informal learning do you use? Of the different types of content in Online Help, what do you find most useful? (And if you don't use Help, please say why.)
Are there differences in your learning style when the product is new vs. when you're upgrading?
Here is the information about the Workshop.
Information Development Center Innovation Meeting, 2007
Date: March 7, 2007
Time: Session 1: 9:00 –12:00
Session 2: 1:30 – 4:30
Join us for either session or stay the full day.
Lunch is provided, beginning at noon, for morning and afternoon sessions.
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts, IBM Executive Briefing Center
Goal: To bring Lotus and Websphere Portal customers together with key IBM thought leaders from the Information Development Center (IDC) to collaborate on ways to improve and innovate on product documentation, technical papers, and education and training materials.
Who will attend?
A limited number of customers, representing a variety of roles -- knowledge worker, administrator, application developer, training manager, and others.
Members of Lotus IDC representing technical information development, help, education development -- writers, designers, engineers, and managers.
What is planned?
An interactive and energized session filled with customer-focused activities to review current technical content use, brainstorm new and innovative ways to deliver technical content and training, and understand your information development requirements.
To influence the next generation of IBM documentation and training, so what we design and write is what you need.
To earn free exam vouchers to become a Certified Lotus Professional.
Contact Meg Petersen at Meg_Petersen@us.ibm.com or 617-693-6808 before February 28th if you or your customers are interested in learning more about this or if you think you'd like to participate in this opportunity.
Be part of the future of Lotus documentation and training!