This is DevLearn.

Big Picture: DevLearn!

DevLearn is a magical place where L&D geeks gather annually to learn, unlearn, share, and network. While there are multitude of sessions to choose from, the magic doesn’t come from platforms, knowledge, skills, or even the Vegas casinos. It comes from people. Specifically, interactions between people. These interactions can be captured in many ways. We’re looking at pictures here. So, picture this!

Disclaimer: Thank you for the Guild to bring this event alive!! There’s a lot behind the scene work goes into something like this. As a token of appreciation, I convinced ER that after I got my seven stitches (soccer head injury), they shouldn’t worry about me flying to Vegas, relax in a casino, and mingle with thousands of other geeks… (in case you wonder later why I look like I just won a bar fight.)

PICTURE #0: Learning happens in your mind.

Not on platforms. Not in the LMS. Not in AR, VR, Microlearnings, xAPIs, or any immersive products. When you put your mind to it, learning happens everywhere. Even on the floor.

CHALLENGE: Caption this! And of course, what’s in JD’s hand???



…with the Articulate User Conference for me. Huge crowd turned out the biggest ball room before the official conference even began. Tip: learn everything about variables, triggers, and conditions if you’re using Storyline. Your WORL&D will never be the static again. In a couple of years, AI-driven algorithms will be able to create template-driven communication/awareness training faster than you would open an authoring tool. Our job is not to fill templates with content but to make impact. If you do build courses, start and end with the one question every single human has: what do you want me to DO differently?


PICTURE(s) #1:  Whatever your job is, you probably work with people. Sharing what you do helps others understand what your value is at the table. Problem solving does not often start in an isolated cubicle. It might start with talking to people to learn about their problems. Here are some people I ran into, and maybe you should too.

xAPI is now center stage!! It’s been emerging in the last couple of years but this year all sessions and hallways have bee buzzing with xAPI. Some are even asking the right questions: what can I solve with xAPI? Megan Torrance’s xAPI cohort is a great place to start to learn, lurk, and do!!

Karl Kapp received an award this year for his contribution to the community (interested in gamification and thinking like a game designer? Read his books.). That status almost threw a monkey-wrench in our lunch plan. We also ran into Julie Dirksen (Design for How People Learn), one of the bests to explain in laymen research terms what all the research means to practitioners. (We didn’t run into Patti Shank but you should read her books on research and application as well.)

DemoFest winner, Ashley Chiasson and I had a great conversation about life in L&D general spiced with some advanced Storyline. Check out her workshop and books on Storyline, if you’re into that kind of thing.

PICTURE #2: Speaking of DemoFest

Sharing your work is essential for others to learn. It’s also a BRAVE thing to do.

Asking for feedback from hundreds of your peers is a brave act. Cheers to all who had a table and shared their work!!! DemoFest is where the rubber meets the road. You can talk about theories in a session all day long. Here, you have one chance to show the WORL&D what you’ve done. Best demos are always about solving a business problem!

If you’re a student, intern, or you’re just starting out with L&D, this is the place to be. Share your passion, share your portfolio, share your dreams! You never know who’s listening, who’s hiring…

Most demos were showing interactions (whether it’s AR/VR, 2D/3D, Video, Gamified or not)! Engagement does not start with tech (unless you just need the shiny effect), engagement starts with showing relevance, presenting challenges, and providing actionable feedback.

   Learn more about the steps here.

PICTURE #3: The Hunt

Thank you so much for all who came to my session on Augmented Reality. This was not your traditional AR session with mind-boggling 3D animations. We experimented with an app called ClueKeeper (a scavenger hunt app integrated with Zappar AR app). Teams formed quickly in the overcrowded room. Here’s the result:

For the “slides” and details, I’ve created a dedicated online resource here:

The first 100 people registering will take part in a raffle. In three weeks, I’ll pick a random winner who will receive my book. I’ll open up the resource after for everyone. (The resource is using xAPI to write and read data form/to an LRS.)

And here are some of the ideas the group came up with for using AR:

PICTURE #4: Sketch notes

This type of visual art of summarizing a session is still in full swing. There’s some debate on how useful they are if you haven’t attended the session but I’d say these are the microlearning versions of the PPT slides. I can take a look, get a feeling if I’m interested in this or not. I’d love to actually propose to do a sketch note BEFORE the conference and we could choose sessions based on that 🙂

PICTURE #5: Cathy Moore’s Action Mapping

Out of the 120 something people in my audience, finally, I saw multiple hands going up when I asked who knows Cathy Moore. Many of the attendees came over after the session to ask about the mighty cards used for Cathy Moore’s action mapping (“Is it training?”).

You can make your own version if you want, or just order mine. GameCrafter is an excellent place to design and print your own cards, tabletop games, even your own dice.

TIP: Whatever you’re planning to use, make your prototypes first in paper. Playtest your ideas, so when you invest all the resources and money in designing and printing these professionally, you should have a solid product.

Conclusion: Go, do something!

At the end of DevLearn, your head is most likely buzzing with ideas. Try this: write all ideas down. Put them into three categories and match them with a business problem/opportunity they solve.

  1. Let’s do it now! Find people who are interested in it (both internally and externally), and implement it.
  2. Let’s try it in the next three weeks! Some of these ideas may need some more thoughts or resources. You need buy in. Start building the case. It’s not just about how much something costs, rather than how much you save by implementing it.
  3. I’m inspired! I need more research. And finally, these are the ideas inspire you to dig in more, to find more resources, to reach out to your network… Timeframe? Maybe six months – one year. Create a club of dreamers!

And PLEASE SHARE YOUR WORK, so others can see the big picture and can be inspired as well!


Zsolt is a creative learning consultant at Kineo, where he’s shaping the future of learning. Here and now.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *