Microlearning, Engagement, Gamification, and the Elearning Success Summit with Stephen Ladek from LMSPulse
In this LMScast we dive into microlearning, engagement, gamification, and the Elearning Success Summit with Stephen Ladek from LMSPulse. Chris and Stephen get into the insights and keys behind running a successful online summit, and some takeaways around engagement and gamification you can add into your next online course or summit. Stephen and his team at Elearning Success Summit had their first summit in April of 2020, and they had about 6,000 people show up. They had a follow up feedback form from that to get a feel for who signed up. Then they asked their community in late 2020 what they’d like to see in the next summit, and they had an overwhelming response for a summit focused on learning. Many of the Elearning Success Summit’s audience members are decision makers who work for universities or businesses where they’re now doing a lot of work with distance learning. Stephen’s audience is really growing with K-12 audiences tapping more into what possibilities there are with online learning. They also have quite a few audience members in the corporate and learning development spaces. Success in the eLearning space requires diving into the core fundamentals of learning objectives, and what outcome you’re trying to produce or the goal you’re trying to achieve. Many educators look at eLearning as a different lens of learning, even though it is just an enabler for learning, and it’s not learning itself. Thinking about the tools available online from that perspective allows you to more clearly map out how you can use tools like Zoom, online courses, etc. to create a learning outcome for your students. The Elearning Success Summit in April of 2021 is a free live event with 41 speakers from the biggest LMS companies, instructional designers, K-12, higher education, and corporate learning spaces. They’re featuring live presentations with real-time questions and answers, breakout rooms, moderated chats, and much more. Day 1 of the Elearning Success Summit is focused around traditional education platforms, corporate environments, and how we learn and stay engaged in our own lives. Day 2 is on design principles. Day 3 focuses on building that learning into your ethos for your company or audience. If you want to go deeper into these topics and get input about tips, techniques, etc. after the summit, they have an offer to buy that and learn more about learning design. To learn more about Stephen Ladek and the Elearning Success Summit, be sure to sign up for free at ElearningSuccessSummit.com. You can also check out his podcast at LMSPulse.com. At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Thank you for joining us! EPISODE TRANSCRIPT Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch, and scale a high value online training program. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of LifterLMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end. I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show. Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Stephen Ladek. He’s from LMSPulse.com, and he’s got the ELearning Success Summit 2021 coming up real soon in April. Check that out. Welcome to the show, Stephen. Stephen Ladek: Thank you so much, Chris. It’s wonderful being here. Chris Badgett: Who is the main kind of avatar or person that you design the summit around? Stephen Ladek: That’s a great question. If you had asked me that a year ago, I would have had a different answer, but the first summit that we had in April, we had about 6,000 people show up, everybody who went through that, we gave them a feedback form. So we really had a great sense of who showed up to the summit. And then in late 2021, we also did a pretty intense survey with our community to say, “Look, what do you want for the next summit?” And so the answer is about 50% of the people who show up for the summit and people who read LMSPulse on a weekly basis, our teachers, their instructors, and these are mostly higher education professionals, but we really have a growing K through 12 base and we also have quite a few learning development professionals as well in the corporate space, because as you’ve seen through COVID over the last year and whatnot, it’s remote work, remote learning, it’s going to be a… It is. This is the new normal, right? Stephen Ladek: So about half of our audience we’ve got about another quarter of our audience are decision-makers. These are people who run a business or run a university or whatever and they’re like, “How do I support or develop technical learning or remote learning for my universe here? And then, that last quarter, our instructional designers, people are sitting in server rooms, people who are actually building on the back end. And so it’s a smattering of the rest of the e-learning universe. That’s who comes to us. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. You’ve touched on it already, but I want to like… Pretend you’re an archeologist or an anthropologist and somebody is coming into the e-learning industry and you’re giving them a high level view and tour of all these different parts of it. I just noticed that when people come in to e-learning they get pretty exhausted by the overwhelming amount of tools and categories and these different components that comprise the giant e-learning industry. Maybe, you know a statistic about how big it is now and how big it’s projected to be. But I just know people, if they’re new and they’re just like looking at the industry what… If you’re giving a tour of this industry over here, how do you map it out? And one more thing to frame it in, like for our tool, people come in, we’ve got somebody who’s at home with a dream. They love dogs. They want to make a dog training course. I’ve got academic departments at universities contacting me. Chris Badgett: I’ve got businesses who are trying to train their employees, contacting me. There’s so many different types of e-learning. It’s like a little bit big and if for the people that are trying to build careers here, like let’s say a WordPress professional who wants to focus on this growing rapidly industry, how do they make sense of the e-learning industry? Stephen Ladek: I don’t know if this is going to be the answer that you expect, and I hope it’s not a curve ball, but the real answer is, is you should take the E out. Chris Badgett: Okay. Stephen Ladek: Right. This is learning. How do we do learning? Right? And when you look at this, people become overwhelmed because they look… and it’s just like if you were to develop a website or develop a business or any other venture that you want to do as an individual or as a department leader, or as an administrator, the first thing that you want to ask yourself is, “What’s my goal, right? What do I actually want to accomplish here?” So if I’m a professor running a class, you say, “Look, how am I going to get to that outcome?” Well, I guess I should have turned off that phone. Chris Badgett: That’s okay. Stephen Ladek: No worries. That’s what happens in offices, right? So if you’re a professor, you say, “Look, what’s the learning outcome that I want to achieve, right. Do I want to teach about biology? Do I want to teach about computer science? Do I want to teach [inaudible 00:04:41].” And what’s that [inaudible 00:04:42] if I’m a business person who wants, like you said, a lot of your people are stay at home. I’ve got a book that I want to teach people about or I want to start this new career. What’s the actual outcome goal. Do you want to become a coach? And then if you look at the organizational level, the learning department level or the university level, it’s like, so how do I support my learners and my teachers, right. Stephen Ladek: So when you take that E out of there, you start to really get some very clear answers that technology and the E part is just the enabler, right? At the end of the day, this goes way back to the sixties, garbage in, garbage out. If you put crap on the screen, or if you have something that’s terrible to use, then you’re going to lose students. They’re not going to sign up. You’re not going to have any engagement, whatever. But if you create an experience that is easy, frictionless, and that they enjoy doing, they’re actually going to have a much better chance of achieving their learning outcomes and then telling their friends about it and growing whatever your goal is. So when I look at the architecture of what’s out there in e-learning, you wanted to know how big it is. Stephen Ladek: I mean, this is billions of dollars a year, right? So, especially over 2020 with COVID and every thing like that, I mean, we just saw a massive leap in what the e-learning industry looks like, right? Before 2020, it was like about $4 billion. But now it’s miles above that simply because large universities, corporates have had to make major investments quickly. And then that was a big spend, but now they’re all turning around and going back and saying, “Look, how do we create this sustainable because this is now the new normal. So when I look at it, no matter who you are coming into this industry, what you want to say to yourself is, “What’s my goal and then what’s going to achieve that?” Like LifterLMS. This is great for someone who is either an individual or a small team. Stephen Ladek: I know that you said you’ve also got big organizations that use it as well, but it’s like, I’m a do-it-yourselfer. I’m somebody who wants to get it up and running quickly but still have a base of support that is going to be able to lift me up. And then there are other needs and other organizations out there on the other end of the spectrum for the Moodles, the DQLs, the Blackboards, the open LMS, the Sekais of the world where, all right, I have a campus of a hundred thousand students, and I’m going to have to have a system that connects to a student record system, connects to grading, like all of these more complex offers and what do I do to set that up quickly and roll that out? So I can see how you’d be overwhelmed, but again, dial it all the way back to, what’s my goal? And I started with my learning goal and my learning outcome, and then let the technology enable you to achieve that. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. And I often use like a story to help people with a similar answer, which is that learning is what makes us human. And it’s everywhere. It’s from a baby copying an adult’s face to an older person, like mentoring and passing along a life’s work worth of work and everything in between. It’s [crosstalk 00:07:52]. Stephen Ladek: They do. And not only that, but it’s really what I find funny is that we have all these conversations and everybody immediately thinks of the college student going to school, doing the remote learner or like me, I got three kids. They’re all doing online learning right now. But if I’m in a business, let’s just say I sell cars. I bet I’m going to teach my Salesforce. I got to keep them up to date on the latest trends, the latest things. So that’s a learning moment, right? Post customer support. It’s huge. Stephen Ladek: This guy named Jeff from Motrin. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Motrin, but he’s got one of these great gamification back ends where one of his critical successes that I absolutely love is I buy a product then let’s just say, I buy a washer or a dryer, to pick the most bland thing in the entire world, the companies that started working with Jeff is that, his system comes out and says, “Hey, look, show me that you set it up correctly. Show me that you know how to use it. Show me that you’ve completed your first laundry, et cetera.” And it gives you points and credits going forward and that actually ends up taking you to a store where you can get schwag and stuff like that. Stephen Ladek: And he does this for customer support. He does it for sales teams and then obviously for more traditional pathways that you and I are thinking about. But learners are everywhere and we’re all learning every single day. And no more so than right now in [inaudible 00:09:15], right? Chris Badgett: I love that. I love that. Yeah. And when you see like a YouTube video, like you’re trying to fix something in your house and it has a million views, like there’s just this learning intent is everywhere. Everywhere. Stephen Ladek: [crosstalk 00:09:28] All the YouTube for success is out there. I mean, again, my three kids, right? How many Diamond Dan from Minecraft. How many downloads a day does he get? And my kids are just absorbing, right? That’s learning. Boom. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, I know engagement is one of your focuses and there’s a couple, I call them the dirty little secrets of the e-learning industry, which are like the low completion rates that a lot of people talk about. I know there’s been studies where it’s somewhere around 10% or something like that. And in our world and WordPress and whatnot, and this is a while ago, this is what we started our company on is like this idea that you just need a membership site, you put up a paywall and you put learning content on the other side and that’s it. Chris Badgett: I’m like, “That’s just the beginning. That’s not it. The content has to be engaging. It has to be structured well, it has to be intelligently thought out and needs to be focused on the learner, not you making lots of money or whatever. There’s all these nuances. And we all, I think we all hear this as course creators or as learning designers or as IT professionals, but how do we design for engagement and how do we take that abstract term? Like, we sense what that means, but how do we actually do it in a learning environment? What are some principles and tactics? Stephen Ladek: Sure. Just to give you a couple other… let’s put the reality on the stage right now. Again, I keep using these guys as my examples. My kids, right? These were people who are not necessarily designed for e-learning, a seven year old, a nine year old, a 12 year old being in front of a computer screen for six to eight hours a day. That not the ideal universe that we want them in right now, right. And so how do you keep them engaged? Especially like a seven-year-old, right. But it’s funny because the same principles apply to the person who’s in the corporate space or the student learner or whatnot. Stephen Ladek: The short answer is you can’t think of delivery over a technological platform like this. Like we’re doing right now. You can’t think of it in the same way as you can in a live setting. In a live setting, again, there’s a woman named Britt [Andreatta 00:11:47]. She was our top speaker at the first E-learning Success. I’m happy to say that she’s going to be one of our keynotes for the one in 2021 as well. She’s a brain science professor. She was the head of lynda.com. She was there, not the head, but she was their chief learning officer there, but now became LinkedIn Learning. This woman knows what she’s talking about. She goes through the whole process of what does it take to actually keep our brains engaged and actually connect, right? And one of those is the human factor. Stephen Ladek: So like when we’re in a room together, we actually trade pheromones. We actually trade energy that they can detect, which keeps us engaged. There’s the social construct about people are watching me and these [inaudible 00:12:26]. That doesn’t happen online, right? So the point I’m trying to make is that, how we engage through an electronic platform like this is, is fundamentally different. So the key number one thing that we espouse, or that we professed out there is that you got to stop doing Zoom sessions, right. Basically you’ve got to stop delivering content over live Zoom sessions. And this is the difference. You’ve probably heard it a hundred times, the difference between asynchronous and synchronous learning, right? So synchronous learning means that we are synchronized. That’s what synchronous means. Stephen Ladek: That means that you learn real time, and that we’re actually engaging and sharing content. Asynchronous means that you’ve delivered content to me as the instructor. I’m downloading it, I’m digesting it. I’m preparing for that synchronous moment. And then I come to the classroom or the video conference moment with questions, with comments, with delivery and you actually use the delivery moment as a way to dive deeper, right? And the critical factor there is that still, we see it so much where teachers are delivering content over that live portion. And it’s just your brain shuts off, you go away. It’s easy to sort of fake your profile on Zoom. And that’s where we lose engagement. So asynchronous versus synchronous. The second biggest one that we know of right now, it’s not a discovery, and people have been talking about forever, but it’s just, the data is so clear, is microlearning. To keep the content, the learning goal, what you’re delivering, short, sweet and punctual, right? Stephen Ladek: And this is not only a symptom of the age of distraction that we’re in right now, but it’s really how we learn, right? You get a little kernel of knowledge, you go and apply it. And then you build on from that. So you get another little kernel of knowledge, you go and apply it. And so, for example, if I’m thinking of a college course, if you think of it in the traditional sense, you come to a college course, you go once a week, maybe twice a week, over a semester. And you’re in that seminar for an hour and a half. And here’s this huge lecture that you’re taking notes and stuff, that professor, if you want it delivered over e-learning now needs to break those 10 sessions that you have in a semester, into 40, right, or 50. Stephen Ladek: And that just sounds like [inaudible 00:14:57] that just blows a lot of people because they’re like, “Oh my God, I’ve got to rethink every,” and the answer is, “Yes, you have to rethink everything,” because that’s how you create awesomeness, that’s how you create engagement, that’s how you create great feedback. And you’re learning with your student as you go along. So if I were to give two critical pieces of advice to anybody who wants to build e-learning today, those are the two. Make sure that you’re doing asynchronous learning and then using synchronous learning for diving deeper. But then microlearning, and anything that you think is a huge core of knowledge, break that down into 50 pieces and deliver it that way, because that’s how you’re going to get your learners to stay engaged. Chris Badgett: That is awesome. You mentioned something about a chief learning officer, and it reminded me of how… like I remember when just learning business and whatnot, there was a moment where the chief marketing officer, like marketing got a seat at the table, if you will. And I keep running into companies that like, of course, something like lynda.com or whatever, a learning company is going to have a chief learning officer, but almost every company needs… There’s a learning component for the product or the service, or even internal for the team members. Any thoughts on the development of that as an executive role that’s more widespread. And just to share one example, I see I’m involved in a bunch of software learning environments for software entrepreneurs, founders, if you will, and there’s a lot in these software companies where they’re like we need to expand and train our employees to reduce friction on customer support and how to use the product and how to activate and how to get the most value out of the product. So can you riff a little bit on that chief learning officer opportunity within companies a little more? Stephen Ladek: Yeah, for sure. What you’re hitting on right now is a key opportunity, I think for the next 10 to 20 years, right? I think companies that already have a chief learning officer, it’s probably the head of HR right now. That’s probably, or the head of learning and development. There’s usually a department of learning and development, especially in any company that’s of any size, right. If you’ve got a couple of hundred staff, you’re going to have to have obviously an HR department, but then you’re going to have to have something where it’s like, how do we make sure that people are in compliance with policies and also growing with the company, and we use that sort of eighties term, a learning organization, right? So that exists. But we’re both talking from our industry. Stephen Ladek: But this is the opportunity that’s going forward because how do I keep my employees engaged? Okay. Paying a little bit more that’s fine. Giving them more benefits or [inaudible 00:17:56] this is a critical benefit. The workforce that exists today wants to know that they’re doing something that they’re passionate about, contributing to a better world, and that they’re growing internally, right. They’re growing themselves. And so if you look at those key pillars, this is a place you absolutely have to provide this to the worker of today and the future. Especially like my, again, my kids. Am I going to say my kids on every answer? Chris Badgett: Potentially. Stephen Ladek: If you think about them, coming out of high school in 10 years and go into the workforce, they want to know that they are now tuned to a world where they can learn anything instantly online. And so they want to know that they’re continuing to grow. So where do you find this person? I think the wrong answer is to look for them in the HR department and to all of my colleagues out there who are in L&D and HR this is not a strike against you, but I think you want to look for somebody who maybe is a little less traditional. I think you want to look for somebody who is entrepreneurial and someone who’s probably a little younger and I only say younger simply because maybe that’s a younger mindset. Maybe that’s a younger ethos or just energy, because this is what’s going to resonate. Even with your older workers, even with the people who have been in your company for the last 20 years, it just brings them vitality and that vivaciousness and that optimism for what’s possible in the future, because that’s where learning starts, right. Stephen Ladek: I want to solve a problem. I want to figure out how do I… not only I get better, but how do I contribute, right. So that’s one thing I would look for. I would look for that energy. So maybe it’s not a young person, but maybe it’s the young energy. I would then look for somebody who’s not only tech savvy, but also can tie that tech savviness again to those learning goals that we want. Because you think of any company in the world, they start with a certain idea and the inevitability is that you evolve into something over time, right? And that is often not usually what you thought as the founders, what you thought the company was. And that’s where you find your learning goals are going to become super critical because you’re going to get great ideas from your staff. You’re going to get great ideas from your customers. Are going to get great ideas from the mistakes and the fails that you have. How do you learn from them? How do you get people to grow from there? Stephen Ladek: And then third, how do you build that into the ethos of the company so that staff are rewarded for continual growth, right? Again, not going back to Jeff and Motrin, but there’s other ways to say, “Look, are you continuing to build a new muscle or are you continuing to build the muscle that you already have so that your sales are stronger, or our support is stronger, or maybe our product design is stronger or whatever it is.” Consciously rewarding that. It doesn’t have to be monetary all the time. I think a lot of times, vacation days or just a little bit of schwag, or even just recognition can be massively powerful operators and levers for company owners or leadership to say, “Look, we really appreciate it. We want you to be a part of this, and we’re going to continue to reward you for being this player within this community.” So I think you’re right. I think it’s a huge opportunity. Maybe not at the executive level, but definitely at the director level, in any company, somebody who’s caring and feeding for this and they should have a seat at the table. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Let’s talk a little bit about tech and get into open source. What is your view of open source software for learning and for those that are new to the term, can you just provide a little primer on what open source means and how it’s different from a learning solution that might be more of, in my language I would call it a walled garden, SAS, which is totally full of technobabble, but it means it’s not opensource- Stephen Ladek: Proprietary. Chris Badgett: There you go. So talk about the open source angle and just to give people an idea like WordPress, the software is open source. There’s a lot going on and like cryptocurrency that’s open source. It’s just a different approach. So tell us about open source and e-learning. Stephen Ladek: Sure open source again, just to the ethos of, open sources that, anyone anywhere should be able to enter into the business and have access to this technology enabler at no cost, right, at the of the day or extremely low total cost of ownership. So the most famous open source software in the universe today is something called Moodle, M-O-O-D-L-E, which actually stands for modular open source learning environment. It was invented by a guy named Martin Dougiamas about 15 years ago in Australia. And to give you a sense of where that right now, they have something like 300 million users, right? This is not a small effort. There’s literally millions and millions of Moodle sites. Stephen Ladek: And it’s also not something that is small potatoes. This powers some of the biggest universities and powers some of the largest corporations in the world. Ultimately at the end of the day, what it is is it’s a very low cost of a total ownership, but what that means is that the university or the business, or the individual has to not only download it, but then install it and do it themselves. It’s the classic WordPress example. What open source means on the other side is is so how does it continue to grow? What’s the deal here? Usually it’s like, as in the case of WordPress and Moodle, let’s use both of these as the examples. There is the inventor. And then there is a core group of people that have created a company that continue to contribute to the open source core software, so that it grows and it continues to interact with the universe well in all these things. Stephen Ladek: And they do that at not out of the goodness of their heart, but because the business comes back to them in another way, but ultimately they want to make sure that it’s fresh and the latest and greatest, because that is how it stays relevant in the universe. But again, anybody can then download it and use it. At the same time, there’s this giant community of developers who contribute to it, right? So again, what usually happens is that you have a core software that is the core functionality. In the case of Moodle, it’s the core learning management system, but then you have thousands of developers and interested parties around it who create plugins or attachments or APIs or connections to this in some way that extend the functionality. Stephen Ladek: So is that a different grading book or is that a different theme or is that a different design in the way that the actual technology not only functions, but the opportunities for functionality? This is where I think most of your listeners right now will get overwhelmed, right? It’s like, Holy smokes. Do I have to do all of that? The good news is, is no. The answer is no, right. If you want to, you have the ability to like you or me any anybody right now, they can go to moodle.org. They can go to many of these different opens or they can go to LifterLMS right now and click, download, boom, and you can take off and running if that’s what you want to do. The good news is, is that there’s an awful lot of service providers out there who are also creating very low cost or no cost solutions to get you up and running and then maintain or manage it and whatnot. Stephen Ladek: Again, I go back to that very first question you asked, it’s like, “What’s your learning goal? Who do you want to be, right?” I think for 99.9% of people out there, they have a learning goal that they want to put out there. They have a business goal they want to achieve. And the learning management system is really an enabler of that. So if you already have a tech team, if you already have maybe a developer that you work with, if you’re an individual, or if you’re already a big organization, let them build that. And then you concentrate on the learning goal. But if you’re in tech, sure. Why not? Why would you choose open source over a proprietary system? That’s the big, the real big question, why do you choose Microsoft over Linux? Why do you choose Microsoft Office over Google, Google Sheets, or Google Office Suite? Stephen Ladek: At the end of the day, it ends up becoming what’s the value proposition with… for instance. So here’s one of the great things. A great example. Moodle had a huge presence in North America and actually around the world for a very long time. Their competitors were Blackboard and [inaudible 00:26:31] Sekai, and then about three or four years ago, a little more than that probably now, I think I’m showing my age, there’s this new player on the block called Canvas, right? Now, Canvas says that they’re an open technology and they’re based on an open software, but at the end of the day, they’ve done what many successful companies done. Stephen Ladek: They’ve taken a core technology and they’ve made it a wall garden, right. But here’s what you get. When you get a wall garden, you get something that works all the time. When you have a product or support requests, you get a very clear path about, okay, look, there’s a bug. Stephen Ladek: It’s going to be fixed in exactly three weeks, or it’s going to be fixed in exactly two days. Customer support changes, the design and the flavor of it is very clear so that you have… if I go to a Canvas community across the world, I’m going to know where to click. It’s going to look and taste and feel very, very similar. It’s just like, if I open up a Word Doc on your computer or my computer, anywhere, I know what that Word Doc looks like. That’s not to say that it can’t be designed and changed and themed to whatever university, but Canvas ate everyone’s lunch in the higher education business over the last three or four or five years, right. They went public. They became a private organization. They’ve actually had a rebuy now but that’s all politics. Stephen Ladek: But the point of the story is, is that what many universities found was that the total cost of ownership of having an open source piece was much, much greater because they had to continue to support it and develop it and figure it out and then rely on this community to develop things and whatnot. And so that can be straining. Whereas if you have a nice slick solution, come in like a Canvas, many, many organizations chose to make the switch. And it was quite a sensational growth. I think it’s still quite sensational. It’s kind of plateaued at this stage. So really at the end of the day you look at what are the learning goals of your organization or your institution or your business, and you ask yourself, “How can I best support that? Do I have a large department that can really support me in this? Or am I a super… The technologically savvy? And this is something I’m passionate about. I love, but I want that to be a part of who I am?” Stephen Ladek: Those are all great choices to do open source. There’s also other really fantastic choices. I mean, the open source community, just the people themselves. I mean, we haven’t even gone down that rabbit hole, but you’re talking about millions of people who are going to support you, who are going to become your friends, who are going to meet up with you. It’s a huge, huge community, but then there’s the proprietary solution where it’s like, look out of the box, I know it’s going to work. I know it’s going to work fast. I know that I’m going to get support relatively quickly, and there’s those kinds of considerations as well. But there’s a higher cost of total ownership for it. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. I appreciate the breakdown there. Well, let’s end it out on the summit. So it’s coming up, ELearning Success Summit 2021 in April. Give us the pitch. [crosstalk 00:29:40] Tell us. Stephen Ladek: Sure, so yeah. So the ELearning Success Summit. We’re going to have it in April of this year. I’m assuming when this airs. Yeah. And like I said, so the first ELearning Success Summit was in April of 2020. We wanted to make a statement that e-learning was here to stay. We got really lucky. I don’t know if luck is the right word, but- Chris Badgett: Timing. Stephen Ladek: Yeah, we timed it really, really well and looked like [crosstalk 00:30:05] five minutes, because we had already planned out this conference. The first conference, like I said, when we talk about community, we had 6,000 people show up to the first conference. We had 41 speakers again from the biggest LMS companies to instructional designers, K through 12, higher education, corporate learning. Everything from what does e-learning me, what does the tech look like to you, how do you design courses? How do you create engagement to what is the data science look like, right. How does analytics, we haven’t even touched on the power of E learning, right? The power of being able to understand what every click does. That’s another episode entirely. Stephen Ladek: But so yeah, so we had some really great success with that so much so that we decided to do this again in April of this year. What we found again, from that feedback, from the people who came and from our community was student engagement. That’s the place where we’re all really, really struggling in this new normal. This is going to be something that we’re all going to deal with, not only in education, traditional education platforms, but in corporate environments and in our own lives, how do I stay engaged? So the conference is designed around what do I do as a person, or as a teacher, or as an instructor to create that engagement. That’s day one. The second day is around design principles. Stephen Ladek: So how do I design a course? Or how do I design a learning environment? Or how do I design an environment that is engaging? And then the third day is what is the tech that enables that? So those three… that’s how we break down the conference for three days. We’re going to use the same format that we did before. Anybody who comes to ELearning Success Summit.com, you can get a ticket for free. We give this away because we have lots of sponsors that come. There’s no pitching. This is not a sales event where you’re going to come and it’s like, “Hey, buy our stuff.” This is a super real value proposition in terms of the sessions. This year, we’re going to have many, many live sessions. They’re going to be small workshop-type events where you can come in. It’s going to be click by click, about how you can do things. Stephen Ladek: And then at the end of the day, what we do is we offer you the opportunity to go deeper. And you can do that by buying an All Access Pass. The All Access Pass, depending on when you buy it it’s a very affordable economic piece for the individual or the corporate learner. But that gives you access to deeper information. It gives you access to discounts and special offers from vendors. It gives you access to private learning groups that we put together where there’s constant input about tips, techniques, et cetera, and a host of whole other thing. So just to recap, anybody can come, sign up for free, it’s available. You can attend every single session in the summit for free. And then if you want to go deeper and dive deeper with either the vendors or with other instructors or with our community, you have the ability to buy that as well. April 20th, through 22nd, 2021. I hope everybody comes. Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Stephen Ladek from LMSPulse and the ELearning Success Summit 2.0. It’s happening. I’m going to go because I invest in my own education. And for you folks out there selling your training or providing services to the market, this is a business expense to just invest in your own learning and education. I mean, at our company, we spend on making sure we stay sharp, where you get to know our industry even better. So I highly recommend that because what I find is people are… You may be good at the tech, or you may be good at the instructional design, and maybe you need to sharpen a different part of the e-learning stack. And to give that away for free is amazing. So I’m going to do my best to help you get the word out to as many people because there’s a lot of curation that has gone into putting the speakers together. And I know you’re putting a ton of work into it and everything and having it be like not a salesy event. That’s that’s awesome. Chris Badgett: So, Steven, thanks for coming on the show. For those of you listening, go to LMSPulse.com and you’ll see ELearning Success Summit there. What’s the URL again for the event for its own website? Stephen Ladek: Elearningsuccesssummit.com. So those three words, Elearningsuccesssummit.com. and it’ll take you there. It will be very, very clear, they had to click in and register for free. Chris Badgett: Great. Awesome. Thanks, Stephen. Stephen Ladek: My pleasure. Thank you very much. Chris Badgett: And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends, and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at LifterLMS.com/gift. Go to LifterLMS.com/gift. Keep learning, keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode. The post Microlearning, Engagement, Gamification, and the Elearning Success Summit with Stephen Ladek from LMSPulse appeared first on LMScast - LifterLMS Podcast.