30 minutes | Feb 9th 2020

EP 022: Interview John Hinchliffe

Cara interviews John Hinchliffe, Instructional Design Expert at UAEU. Connect with John Connect with Cara & Joe Support the show Music created by Jahzzar. Show Transcript: North, Cara A. 0:03 Hi listeners! It’s one of your hosts, Cara North. And today I have a very special treat for you on the Instructional Redesign podcast. If you know me, you know that I love conferences. I love going to conferences for the knowledge, but equally as important are the people. Last year I had the opportunity to go to Devlearn, and I met a wonderful learning development professional, who I’m sure we can learn so much from his name is John Hinchliffe! John, welcome to Instructional Redesign podcast. Hinchliffe, John 0:36 Thank you very much. North, Cara A. 0:38 Again, a pleasure to have you. John is actually in the UAE is currently where he lives at and if you will, John, can you give our listeners just a little bit background about you and what you’re currently up to? Hinchliffe, John 0:53 Yeah, sure thing. Thanks a lot for having me on here. Really big fan of it. Now when it comes to me I’ve been in learning and development for over 10 years now. And I started out as a face to face trainer for a bank and started to really develop into digital learning about seven years ago. So I started in instructional design, understanding kind of what words instructional design pedagogies started looking at authoring tools. Then I joined a fantastic e learning company with virtual college in the UK. And just really making wonderful pieces of E learning and just being given the freedom to really understand what works, what kind of really helps our customers. And I became instructional design manager there and I won Learning Professional of the Year Bronze when I was there, which was a wonderful thing. And I also joined as a volunteer position on the board of directors for the E Learning Network, which is one of the biggest nonprofits in the E learning industry had a really great time that just really helping people understand what they can do in the industry. How they can progress. And from there, I have now moved out here to the UAE I personally worked for the United Arab Emirates University as their instructional design expert. And I take care of around 700 members of faculty helping them evolve from just face to face learning to blended learning. So telling them you know, about how do we learn, but also how do we forget as human beings? And also what technology can we utilize? And also what learning experiences can we incorporate to really help the 16,000 students that we have here? And in addition to that, I also help with our PhD students that we have here. So PhD students who are looking to become faculty, I give them insights into what is modern learning and how can they really incorporate that? Because that’s real knock on effect for the future generations. So kind of in a nutshell, that’s me. North, Cara A. 2:54 I love it. And I didn’t know that about the PhD piece of what you do, and it’s something that I’ve kind of learned the hard way in my own PhD journeys, is, you know, a lot of times in my role, and I also work at a university, it’s very easy to get frustrated with faculty and also the system. But then I take a step back. And I think, you know, these folks that are teaching, typically in a PhD program, there are not any courses on how to teach. It’s just hyper concentrated in whatever it is that they’re trying to study. So I love that you have the opportunity to kind of work with with them on that piece. And I also didn’t know you started as a stand up trainer. I did too. So I think there’s Yeah, there’s a lot of us out there that started in that ILT space and then kind of pivoted into the digital space. So I love that. So it sounds like you have a pretty diverse background with corporate and higher education. And obviously, you’ve been in this space for for a while, kind of like kind of like me. So I’m curious, how do you keep those skills sharp because there’s a lot of noise out there right now about everything in the space. Hinchliffe, John 4:04 Yeah, I mean, that’s always been the thing is that there is so much noise and so many opinions and and obviously, we’re January now it’s time for buzzwords. So it’s really about how can you look at what are the valuable sources, sort of the credible sources, but also conscious talking to people, so having the conversations and also having conversations with people that you really respect. So for me, a really big inspiration is Learning Development podcast with David James, and on there, he’s had some incredible guests, you know, like Lori Niles Hoffman, so much respect for her work in data driven learning. Adam Harwood when it comes to resources, not courses. Danny Seals when we talk about learning experience design, and that’s a real big focus on experience. How do we learn from experiences? And finally, I think, you know, one of the really big ones on there is Nick Shackleton Jones, who has such a unique insight. But I think when you really start taking these pieces of information on board, it just really starts making you think about learning and the process of learning. I think also for me, you know, being in this region, it is quite a surprise when I turned up here. So today’s actually my one year anniversary of living out here. And for me, it has been really quite curious how there was no best practice sharing really out here. So I started a meetup group called the UAE Learning and Development Meetup. And in the beginning, it had six people. And the reason for that was that out here, there are quite a lot of people who are looking to make money off things. So if you have a Meetup group, it’s usually you turn up and you pay the host 10 pounds, which kind of feels a bit wrong to me. So a lot of people thought that it was a money making scheme, because everything else was so it happened the first one I gave a ton of value to people and then the words are getting out there I wasn’t in it for the money, I was in it for the karma. And so it’s a growing and growing. And now it’s really about how many people can we help and how many people can have the conversations and not feel alone out here. Because I think that’s one of the things that if you’re not talking to anybody, and if you are just being a bit of an onlooker on LinkedIn, you can feel very alone, you can feel as though your skills are not really up to par. So very much for me is about talking to everybody just whether it is face to face, or whether it’s on LinkedIn. For me, LinkedIn has been an incredible ride. And it just keeps on going and going. So randomly, I’m in the top 5%, in our industry on LinkedIn, and I just love providing people value but also by providing value, it also gives me insight from other people. What’s working for them, what’s not working for them, what are their pain points, and where can I get inspiration from that, but then also being able to practice those in my work. So with the faculty that I help, I’m able to experiment. So I have quite a number of faculty who are, you know, willing to take, you know, a little bit of a pump, been able to really see how can we implement resources? How can we implement things that will help that learner when they need them? So yeah, it’s, it’s really quite a big broad range for me. North, Cara A. 7:20 You know, you’re the second person that I’ve interviewed for this season that’s talked about the importance of LinkedIn. So that tells me that we need to get some LinkedIn experts in on this podcast to help our listeners kind of get started with that. And I smiled, because I know we’re probably gonna talk about this here when we talk about Devlearn, but the Meetup thing you kind of like those meetups don’t, you? Hinchliffe, John 7:43 Yeah, I think, you know, we can click from place to place but nothing really replaces face to face. And I think it just yeah, I think, you know, it’s actually, you know, meet people and, you know, just really thrash ideas out and also, you know, just kind of give some empathy as well. Well, you know, this is a tough game that we’re in is learning and development, whether you are face to face, whether you’re online, and being able to know that people have gone through those same pains, and, you know, being able to, you know, just have a coffee and just talk through something, and really help people is, um, yeah, it’s a really great thing for me. North, Cara A. 8:19 I love that. And I think that that’s definitely a noble cause that that you’re doing. And you kind of talked a little bit about kind of the culture of, if somebody is helping you that it was kind of expected there was a payment, where you’re currently at, can you give us kind of another quick little snapshot of like, what instructional design looks like, in your part of the world where you’re at? I just think it’s fascinating to kind of hear like the day in the life of someone else somewhere else in the world, and how they approach things. Hinchliffe, John 8:50 Yeah, I mean, really, quite a surprising thing is instructional design really feels in its infancy here. And it was quite a big shock for me. I mean, tin can out here, you would only really find in the supermarket. It’s, um, it’s not really a word that is used. And, you know, really, it feels as though being able to bring kind of my experiences and kind of my thoughts that I’ve had from actually doing the work. But also, you know, from this, keeping my skills up to date is really, really helping people kind of think differently, and really think
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