Congratulations and Thanks to LINGOs 2014 Members of the Year!

Awards-webLast week, LINGOs celebrated a very special occasion. Not only did we host our largest member meeting at Mercy Corps in Portland, Oregon, with participants coming from almost every inhabited continent, but we celebrated our first ten years and our founder Eric Berg.

At our celebration event  we recognized two LINGOS community members that have consistently contributed in ways large and small to make the LINGOs membership community what it is.

LINGOs members range from small with about 20 staff members to very large – with 40,000 global staff members. We recognized two members from across our size spectrum for their consistent contributions over the years, and this year in particular.

Member of the Year – Smaller NGO
There is a small microfinance non-profit based in Charlestown, MA. When I say “small” I’m referring to staff size and budget — but is outsized in vision and strategy. Since joining in 2006, Accion has actively participated in the LINGOs membership community. Accion has always sent someone to the LINGOs meeting – listening, engaging, participating and sharing ideas, approaches and best practices.

Accion has modeled strategic use of learning resources made available through its membership in LINGOs – from creating and sharing early eLearning courses on project management to inspiring top notch eLearning developer Amanda Warner to contribute valuable creativity and design in the early Global Giveback years through the creation of courses that are shared with the entire community (click here for an overview of the 2011 Global Giveback); modeling use of multiple low-cost learning technologies in its learning circles program, serving on planning and advisory committees, to sharing its mentoring program strategy in LINGOs 2014 “Learning at Work Week” webinars. Please join us in congratulating Accion as a LINGOs 2014 Member of the Year.

Member of the Year – Larger NGO
A founding member of LINGOs, The Nature Conservancy has supported the community – hosting meetings small and large, contributing leadership and vision to committees and to our board of directors.

The Nature Conservancy has pushed LINGOs to think bigger and farther ahead to meet the needs and maintain engagement of our larger members with greater sophistication in learning and technology. Those at the recent Member Benefit Spotlight on Articulate rapid eLearning development tools, and at the LLP training workshop last week saw that level of expertise!

TNC has consistently provided behind the scenes support – financially seeded contribution so we were able to make a purchase of licenses for language training several years ago. When we asked members to contribute for translation this year – maybe $500 each, TNC asked “how much do you need?” When LINGOs’ Last Mile Learning Financial Management Path becomes available in a few weeks in French, please say “Merci” to The Nature Conservancy.

And, even though they “stole” our first paid staff person, we are enormously grateful to TNC for sharing its initial very positive experience, their expertise, strategy, lessons learned with deploying NetDimensions. So while they are quiet and don’t toot their own learning horn, we want to recognize The Nature Conservancy as a Member of the Year.

Stay tuned for another post in which we recognized individuals for their contributions over our first decade.


Letter to the Boss…

Our last post highlighted the upcoming LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting focusing on Learning in NGOs. Many members have asked for a letter-to-the-boss to share with their supervisor to strengthen their request to attend.  LINGOs Co-Founder and CEO Eric Berg wrote this post for member representatives who could use a bit of leverage with their manager or boss. (There’s an editable note, where you can insert some of your own info on the LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting web page. Remember, early bird registration ends on July 31.)



EricBerg (1)Dear _________________,

I am writing on behalf of (insert your name/s here) to let you know of an important capacity building event happening in November. LINGOs is completing its tenth year and we are taking this opportunity to gather many of the individuals and organizations that have instrumental in our efforts to provide world-class learning free or at little cost to anyone working to improve lives in the developing world. As one of the founding members, Mercy Corps will be hosting this year’s meeting at their headquarters in Portland Oregon. In addition to highlighting the innovative programs our members are running to build the skills of their staff and implementing partners in the field, we have three industry leaders coming to share their expertise with the group:

Vikas Narula, Creator and Co-Founder of KeyHubs, a Minneapolis-based management software and consulting firm, which specializes in helping organizations realize their potential by uncovering and tapping the hidden organization – the informal network of relationships that exist between employees.

Kevin Carroll, author, speaker and agent for social change (a.k.a. the Katalyst), it is Kevin’s “job” to inspire businesses, organizations and individuals – from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren – to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.

Chris Proulx, President and CEO of eCornell, will share the lessons he has learned about staff development and cultivating excellence while growing the eCornell business into the award-winning online professional development leader in the industry. As the incoming CEO of LINGOs, Chris will explain how any organization can leverage technology and content to improve organizational performance.

In addition to the leaders above, there will be concurrent sessions on blended learning, implementing partner engagement, mentoring and coaching and several opportunities to meet with people from other organizations coping with the same resource-constrained staff development challenges face by (your organization name here).

Finally, with the launch of the new LINGOs Learning Platform (LLP) this year, there will be an opportunity for your staff to see how the early adopters are using the LLP to engage the power of social networking and peer-to-peer learning in a two-day event prior to the LINGOs meeting.

I know resources are limited so investments in staff development must be made very wisely. I assure you this event will do more to enhance the capacity of (insert name/s here) than any alternative available. We hope to see (organization) take advantage of this unique opportunity.

Eric Berg

Co-Founder and CEO, LINGOs


For more information, visit the LINGOs Tenth Anniversary Meeting Page

Learning in NGOs – LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting

2014-04 New Membership Logo - CLEAR 669x200Each year, for the past decade, LINGOs has convened a meeting of its members, to share learning, ideas, approaches, lessons and challenges about learning in NGOs.  This year, our guest speakers Kevin Carroll and Vikas Narula will catalyze new ideas and approaches for strengthening engagement building communities and networks of learning.

Members come from organizations large and small, from faith-based and secular NGOs, from organizations dedicated to humanitarian relief, international development, health, conservation and social justice. What they have in common (apart from membership in LINGOs) is a desire to strengthen the skills of their staff around the world, using appropriate, affordable, accessible learning approaches – most often involving technology to bridge the distances, so that their colleagues can do their good work… better.

This November, Mercy Corps, a founding member of LINGOs will host the LINGOs Tenth Anniversary Member Meeting. LINGOs Members can take advantage of being in Portland with a two-day pre-meeting training workshop on the LINGOs Learning Platform – a great opportunity for individuals responsible for designing, deploying and/or managing their organization’s Learning Platform. Space is limited for this pre-meeting event – so sign up now!

In addition to the two-day meeting, we’ll celebrate our tenth year at a gala reception with our founders, board and partners.

Why attend the Member Meeting?

Why attend the Member Meeting? Let us explain, in a word (or Acrostic):

Learn new skills and tools

LINGOs is introducing the state of the art LINGOs Learning Platform in coming months, and the member meeting and pre-meeting training workshop are the best opportunities to learn about the powerful capabilities of the platform and how to use them to greatest effect in your organization. Some of the new features include online community groups, resource wikis, online help, learning paths, multiple catalogs and a multitude of reporting options. If you want to be prepared to lay the groundwork for rolling out the LLP, you should attend the meeting. If you are in the early adopter group, or planning to deploy the LLP in early 2015, make plans to participate in the two-day pre-meeting training event.

Inspire yourself and your organization

LINGOs 2014 Keynoter Kevin Carroll, author, speaker and agent for social change inspires organizations, businesses and individuals to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth. Gain inspiration, catalyze your learning and strengthen learning in your NGO.

Network with Global NGO Learning Professionals

Do you work alone or in a small team? For many NGOs, providing learning and capacity building for global staff is a one man or one woman show. The LINGOs Member Meeting is your network — build a global team to help you throughout the year.  Like a priceless piece of art, or the cost of finding that unique part that makes your machine run, it’s hard to calculate the value of networking among a community of peers. The annual LINGOs Member Meeting is THE networking opportunity for those interested in strengthening Learning in international NGOs.

Get energized about organizational learning and the LLP

Excited about launching a new platform? The two-day pre-meeting training workshop, and many sessions at the Member Meeting will energize you and your colleagues about the potential to really leverage learning resources globally across your organization – to help your staff around the world access learning they need to achieve your mission.  

Open your learning to new approaches

Each year, members who participate in the LINGOs Member Meeting tell us that the time spent at the meeting is the most valuable learning they’ve engaged in all year. They open up a wealth of new ideas and approaches they can use when they get back – some immediately and others that can be adapted and put in place in coming months.


Learning is social! Make connections, form collaborative relationships, get more involved with LINGOs (the full team, including Project Services, Last Mile Learning and our full staff). You can immediately put into practice what keynoter Vikas Narula has to say about informal networks! We’ve built in networking opportunities and plenty of structured interactions to help catalyze your learning and build synergy among members. We’re planning another “Speed Dating” session where quickly and informally share innovative programs, as well as an informal gathering (wine tasting) the night before the member meeting and a gala event to celebrate our tenth year!

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting

 Want more info?

View the LINGOs 2014 Member Meeting webpage

Read about the  meetings from 2013  and 2012 or contact Membership Director Marian Abernathy for more info.



The Right Stuff… LINGOs 2013 Awards

Clockwise from upper left: ComputerWorld Honors Medal; Paige Layno Winn with FHI 360's Member of the Year Award; LINGOs Awards; Rising Stars Nick Walden (L) and Rich Peavy (R) with LINGOs CEO Eric Berg (Center).
Clockwise from upper left: ComputerWorld Honors Medal; Paige Layno Winn with FHI 360’s Member of the Year Award; LINGOs Awards; Rising Stars Nick Walden (L) and Rich Peavy (R) with LINGOs CEO Eric Berg (Center).

Among the fun and fabulousness at the LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting, we had the opportunity to recognize some rising stars and a member organization that is contributing above and beyond to the LINGOs learning consortium.

Originally formed to be a community of learning in 2005, LINGOs has grown and evolved.  As a reader of this blog, you’ve no doubt seen frequent posts on two initiatives that benefit our members, as well as the development/humanitarian community at large:

Our Project Services group works with development organizations to build capacity in project management, and provides innovative learning opportunities for individuals around the world to strengthen their skills and knowledge.

The Last Mile Learning initiative is providing world class learning at little or no cost – not just to our member organizations, but to ANYONE working to improve people’s lives in the developing world.  LINGOs members have access to all that is available to others, often before it’s released to the public.

Focus on LINGOs Members

The LINGOs 2013 member meeting was the ninth occasion at which LINGOs members have convened to network, share ideas and approaches and learn with and from one another. Over a third of our 76 member organizations from around the world sent representatives to the two-day event to take part in two dozen sessions hosted at PATH’s Washington, DC headquarters.

It was a wonderful occasion, and at the reception hosted at the offices of the National Democratic Institute, we recognized some key contributors to our learning community.

Rising Stars

LINGOs recognized two individuals each one new to the community stood out as exemplifying the ideals on which LINGOs was formed. Both work with organizations that have joined LINGOs in the past two years, and each has contribute to the community in ways large and small – serve on advisory committees, share what they are learning – spotlights on work in progress, espresso shots, share questions and concerns in LinkedIn… provide and share across the community.

Member of the year

LINGOs’ 2013 Member of the Year FHI 360 joined the LINGOs community three years ago, and has since undergone significant transition and growth. Paige Layno Winn, FHI 360 Senior Learning Officer and designated contact to LINGOs has played an extraordinary role and is more than a LINGOs star (maybe a sun).

“LINGOs recognizes FHI 360 as its 2013 Member of the Year not simply for using LINGOs resources well within their organization,” said LINGOs CEO Eric Berg. “Rather, the recognition is for sharing and giving back to the LINGOs community that includes 75 + international development organizations and the other organizations and individuals with whom LINGOs interacts via its Last Mile Learning initiative ( and our Project Services groups.”

FHI 360 emulates the ideals of a learning community on which LINGOs was founded 9 years ago, and it is an honor to present the 2013 Member of the Year award to Paige Winn for FHI 360.

FHI360 shared its initial learning and process for deploying its LMS with other members in a blog post in January  2011. This relatively simple way to share knowledge and approach to deploying technology based learning, has benefitted the many organizations that have joined LINGOs since then.  In an early 2013 “Espresso shot” shared a great update on internal community building, that highlights use of resources they get through LINGOs and other low cost resource such as NING.

FHI 360 is clearly is deploying LINGOs resources well, as can be seen from its learning management system utilization reports in terms of the total number of staff registered and actively engaging in and completing self-paced courses, as well as participating in events.

Our Member of the year has tried out many member benefits, sometimes investing extra resources in getting more than what is available through LINGOs – such as we shared in the January Spotlight article.

Paige Winn recently guest blogged on its approach to building a virtual community of learning.

FHI 360 not only developed important resources through Global Giveback but shared with other LINGOs members, an award-winning resource that benefits any health worker working on HIV and TB prevention.

Also through the Global Giveback, FHI 360 created a harassment and discrimination course that, with minimal adaptation, is now available for the entire LINGOs and InsideNGO community, has shared its approaches to using the LINGOs-hosted LMS for events and reporting.

LINGOs Laureate Award Bestowed

Earlier this year,  in a LINGOs LINK Spotlight article, we reported that IDG’s Computerworld  Honors Program named LINGOs as a 2013 Laureate for its collaboration with Rustici Software  in the  creation of SCORM Dispatch. The annual award program honors visionary applications of information technology promoting positive social, economic and educational change.  Todd Slater, Director of the Technology Learning Center Director at The Nature Conservancy and LINGOs Board Member bestowed the ComputerWorld Honors Laureate medal on LINGOs’ Director of Technology, Robb Allen. Robb lead the work for LINGOs with Rustici Software that member organizations are now using to provide content from the LINGOs catalog to more than ten portals.

For more info on the meeting

Please view the Spotlight Report from the November 2013 LINGOs LINK.

Fun “Cosmo Quiz” vs Serious Announcement?

You’ve got a new course or learning resource and it’s a great learning opportunity for your staff. How do you get the word out?


[  ] Memo from the boss?

[  ]  eMail from the Learning Coordinator?

[  ]  Flyer in the break room?  (or elevator, stairwell, restroom…)

[  ]  Text announcement on your intranet?

[  ]  “Gamified” approach?

[  ]   Hallway conversations from an internal maven?

[  ]   All of the above

Have Some Fun

Most of us don’t think of financial management as particularly enjoyable. Last Mile Learning launched its new Financial Management Learning Path with a fun Cosmo-style quiz to ask viewers to check their financial fluency  (click here for the quiz).

Market Your Learning

LINGOs’ Last Mile Learning is marketing learning resources more than once and in various ways. For busy development professionals, particularly those who travel internationally and may miss an email that isn’t hugely urgent, so it’s vital to have more than one opportunity for staff to learn about it.

Actively market your learning! For-profit-companies don’t send an email about a new product and then sit back and wait for customers to empty the shelves. They advertise! Not-for-profit charities do marketing, as well. Use those marketing resources to increase awareness of your learning resources.

Multiple Contacts

The “Financial Fluency Quiz” was promoted through a newsletter (click here to subscribe), many LinkedIn Community Groups, the Last Mile Learning Facebook Page, tweets (and re-tweets) and various e-distribution groups.  In fact, you can forward it, too!

5 things you can do now:

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member MeetingIf you are with a LINGOs Member Organization*, you can attend the Last Mile Learning session at the LINGOs member meeting next month in Washington, DC.
checkMark Click to Check YOUR financial fluency

LML-squareRegister for a Last Mile Learning Account and take a free course

LikeUsonFacebook  LIKE Last Mile Learning on Facebook

LINGOs Members, if you’d like the editable file for the financial fluency quiz to use (and direct your learners to YOUR portal), email Marian.

How fast does your NGO learn?

Posted by Marian Abernathy, Director of Membership & Communications


Atul Gawande’s recent New Yorker article Slow Ideas: Some innovations spread fast. How do you speed the ones that don’t? highlights the importance of champions. He discusses his work on the BetterBirth Project in Uttar Pradesh with the Indian Government, the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation and LINGOs member Population Services International (PSI).

Dr. Gawande illustrates how we are often very slow to adopt great ideas, even those that resolve resolve important and highly prioritized challenges. While reading “slow ideas” about the speed of adoption of medical and public health innovations (from anesthesia and aseptic technique to oral rehydration solutions), I was struck by the similarities that many LINGOs members face as they roll out technology-based learning to provide professional development or strengthen technical skills of their global staff.

Many LINGOs members, including PSI, designate learning champions who help speed the diffusion of innovation in learning. Over 50 years ago, Everett Rogers’ wrote about the diffusion of innovation and showed that people take up new ideas when they have a trusted personal connection to it: change is a social process. A local learning champion serves as the trusted personal connection to organizational learning program.

LINGOs Members & Learning Champions

• Opportunity International clearly defines the role for their learning champions, including serving as registrars in the organizational learning management system (for more information, see March 2013 LINK  Spotlight).

• IJM’s Chennai-based Learning Champion shared her Gold Medal Tips in a July 2012 post on the LINGOs blog.

• LINGOs members will be abuzz their approaches to bring that personal connection to learners at the LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting. Registration is now open for LINGOs members and their global champions. We look forward to learning with you in Washington, DC.

Eventbrite - LINGOs 2013 Member Meeting

LINGOs 2012 Member Meeting: Increasing Engagement

LINGOs members who participate in the LINGOs 2012 Member Meeting November 28 and 29 will be engaged  through interactive plenary and concurrent sessions led by invited experts, the LINGOs team and fellow  LINGOs members, in addition to several “un-conference” sessions based on evolving discussions and requests.

The theme of this year’s member meeting is engagement. Learning and capacity building professionals who analyze needs, design, develop, implement and evaluate learning and development programs know that learning programs that meet defined learning needs are not enough. Transformation of practice requires that programs also be engaging: attention-getting, attractive, pleasing, and inspire the learner to change behavior and work practices.

Please see the member meeting site: for updates to the schedule and speaker lineup!

  Christopher Pirie, General Manager, Microsoft Sales, Marketing & Services Group Readiness, and Chairman of the Board of ASTDChristopher Pirie serves as General Manager of Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing and Services Group Readiness (SMSG-R) organization, delivering field readiness and training for 42,000 field employees worldwide. After joining Microsoft in 2004 as Senior Director of Learning Product Development, he went on to serve as General Manager for Microsoft Learning where he led the worldwide marketing and sales team to drive reach, revenue and increased customer satisfaction across all markets. Chris also serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and development professionals, and a LINGOs’ Partner.
  Martin Baker Founder The Charity Learning ConsortiumMartin Baker has been involved in eLearning for more than 20 years and is passionate about the benefits of collaborative working. He is the founder and CEO of The Charity Learning Consortium – the largest group of UK based charities collaborating to make eLearning affordable. He is also the Managing Director of the newly formed Corporate eLearning Consortium – bringing the benefits of collaborative working to the corporate world.

Martin is regarded as being one of the top ten most influential people in eLearning in the UK and works to raise the profile of the industry, regularly contributing to publications and presenting at conferences. He is a founding ambassador to the highly regarded learning technologies benchmarking organisation Towards Maturity, is an ambassador for LINGOs and sits on the eLearning Network board.


Ashley Brown, Director, Digital Communication & Social MediaThe Coca-Cola CompanyAshley Brown, a member of the LINGOs Board of Directors, leads digital communications and social media for The Coca-Cola Company. In this role he leads the development and execution of the Company’s digital strategy, expands the company’s ability to amplify the Coca-Cola story online, and guides the development of digital and social media policies and training. He also works across the System to equip employees to be effective brand ambassadors, and advises customers and partners on their digital and social media efforts.

Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Ashley led international public relations, consumer campaigns, and issues management for Microsoft’s Windows group. While working on the agency side, he managed media relations for Gilead Sciences, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organization. Ashley has also worked for Population Services International.

  Tom Kuhlmann, Vice President of Community at ArticulateTom Kuhlmann, author of widely popular “Rapid e-Learning Blog” with over 93,000 readers is an eLearning Rock Star. Known throughout the industry for his practical, no-nonsense approaches to e-learning, and tips for making PowerPoint do things its creators didn’t envision, Tom’s core focus is on helping people succeed and grow. In addition to leading an Engaging Session during the meeting, Tom will lead a one-day workshop on Storyline, Articulate’s groundbreaking new rapid eLearning Authoring tool, on Friday November 30.

Insights Team

 LINGOs’ newest partner, Insights is a global people development organization. Insights partners with organizations to achieve their  goals by helping  improve the effectiveness of their people and their performance.

Insights’ unique programs are simple, yet deeply insightful, providing immediate impact and offering endless possibilities for positive, lasting change. 

All meeting participants will receive access to a personal Evaluator Survey and the resulting customized, personal profile which identifies strengths and areas for development, communication preferences, value you bring to the organization, and leadership style.

Concurrent Sessions: Decisions, Decisions

Members may find it beneficial to send several staff members to the LINGOs 2012 Member Meeting to be able to take advantage of more than a dozen concurrent sessions with sector-specific, interactive content on topics related to engaging international staff in learning for global results:

  • Designing eLearning for a Global Audience
  • Scaling up Blended Learning: Managing for Scale
  • Learning Platforms: Features and Approaches that Strengthen Engagement
  • Communities of Practice
  • Designing a Leadership Development Program in International NGOs
  • Building Organizational Capacity in Project Management
  • Planning for organizational Knowledge Management: Sharepoint Stories
  • What works: Strengthening Global Employee Engagement
  • Scenario-based learning
  • Leveraging the LINGOs Membership: Session for Newer Members

Optional Workshops

Another reason for sending more than one person is to be able to attend to be able to participate in more than of the three optional post-meeting workshops.  On Friday, November 30, Member Agencies have access to three exclusive, limited-space workshop opportunities:

1.     Project Management in INGOs: How to develop project management capacity in your international non-governmental organization

 If you are interested in looking at what it means to build your organization’s capacity to manage projects more effectively, this day-long workshop with members of the LINGOs Project Services Team, can help you to identify some next steps.

Ideal for participants who are familiar with the concepts and vocabulary outlined in PMD Pro1 , but certification is not a prerequisite.

2. Insights: Speed the Delivery of Results & Enable Success in your INGO

In this interactive workshop, exclusively available to LINGOs Member Agencies, we will explore who you are and how you interact with others with the aim of helping you speed the delivery of results and enable success—personal, professional and organizational. You will learn practical skills so that you can become more effective in your role, whether you are an individual contributor or in a leadership position.

Participants will receive a customized, 20-page personal profile which identifies strengths and areas for development, communication preferences, value you bring to the organization, and leadership style. We will explore how this Profile can be used for your personal development and possibilities for implementing this program within your organization.

3. Articulate Storyline: Advanced E-learning Made Simple for LINGOs Members

In this session with Tom Kuhlmann, staff from LINGOs Member agencies will learn how to use Articulate Storyline to build engaging, interactive courses. We’ll review the core authoring process, introduce you to key Storyline features, and then practice creating interactive content using the Slide Layers, Triggers, and States features in Storyline.  Participants should come with a laptop with Storyline installed.

Register for the Meeting and Optional Workshops

Staff from member agencies may register for the meeting and optional workshops through a convenient registration site. Participation is exclusively for staff of member agencies.  Http://

Hotel: Courtyard DC/Dupont Circle: Located across the street from the FHI360 Conference Center, LINGOs’ special meeting rate is $183 plus taxes and fees. This block is reserved through Oct 25 or when the hotel fills.

The meeting and workshops take place across the street from the Courtyard at FHI360’s Conference Center on the north side of Dupont Circle (on the DC Metro’s red line). For those flying in from out-of-town, Washington’s Reagan National Airport is on the Metro’s Blue/Yellow line; Baltimore Washington Airport has public transit to connect to the metro (US$6 for a 20 minute bus ride to the end of the Metro’s green line); and Dulles International Airport (US$10 for a 25 minute limo/bus service  to end of the Metro’s orange line).

Not a Member Yet?

If your organization is thinking about joining LINGOs, there’s never been a better time.  Organizations that join by October 1 are eligible for staff to attend the LINGOs 2012 Member Meeting. Click for the online membership application form, or contact Marian Abernathy for more information.

See a list of LINGOs Member Agencies

Learning Blogs that LINGOs Members Like – Your Favorites Here?

At the 2011 LINGOs Member Meeting in Seattle, Articulate’s Community Manager Tom Kuhlmann shared his wisdom and Lessons for Learning from a Global Learning Community (his community has approximately 108,000 members!). Among his tips:

  • Make it Easy
  • Curate information
  • Recognize expertise

We will use the LINGOs blog to curate, tag and share some of the wealth of knowledge and expertise from the LINGOs community that is shared in the LINGOs Group on LinkedIn. That group does two of Tom’s three points. It’s an easy way to participate and LinkedIn provides a good way to share and recognize expertise. However, it is not presently easy to search.

This post, complied from the LINGOs Group Discussion on LinkedIn by Penny Whittaker, Freelance Instructional Designer and eLearning Developer, curates the Learning Blogs that LINGOs Members Like.

Blog Name Url Link Recommended by Description of blog
Articulate: Word of Mouth Blog Shannon Cavallari And many others Hands down, my two favorite include:  Articulate: Word of Mouth Blog
The Rapid eLearning Blog Shannon Cavallari,   Ross Coxon And many others Really useful practical stuff for any articulate developer. Penny.
 Jane’s elearning Pick of the Day Michael Culligan This is a resource I consult about once every two months to review the many new social media for training tools that seem to emerge on a daily basis.
Clive’s  Blogspot Cynan Houghton Ross Coxon lots of useful reviews and articles
Hans Cynan Houghton Couple of the favourites in my feedreader are…
Harold Cynan Houghton Couple of my  favourites are
Hello my name is blog Jim Klaas This fellow has worn a ‘Hello my name is” name tag for years and has some real insights into motivating others
 “aconventional” Ross Coxon lots of useful reviews and articles
 The TrainingZone Ross Coxon lots of useful reviews and articles
Cathy Moore   Ross Coxon  lots of useful reviews and articles
The eLearning Coach Marian Abernathy Another one I like is Connie Malamed’s “the eLearning Coach” with weekly updates.
 LearnNuggets  Kelly Meeker Practicalities of building elearning courses
Corporate eLearning Strategies & Development Kelly Meeker  Features new technologies and ideas in the elearning field
eLearning Weekly: Kelly Meeker Featuring some of the key thinkers in the elearning field
elearnspace: Kelly Meeker Theory of learning and working smart
Aaron Silvers’ Blog: Kelly Meeker How to create communities of practice/learners
OpenSesame Kelly Meeker  My company’s blog, with lots of practical tips on making effective and engaging elearning experiences  
MindTools   Nick Wright  I like MindTools because it’s a visually attractive website with lots of practical and creative tips and techniques
Bruce Gabrielle’s PowerPoint blog of my favorite tricks involve on manipulating clip art: and    Paige Layno Winn I’ve picked up several great design tips for e-learning courses.  I can’t believe I didn’t know about these tricks years ago!

Feel free to post additional blogs that you find particularly useful here, or better yet, in the LinkedIn group (this blog will post there by rss feed a day or so after it is published).

Want to see the presentations and resources shared at the 2011 Member Meeting? Click here.

2011 LINGOs Member Meeting: Be There!

Posted by Eric Berg, LINGOs Executive Director

I wanted to share with everyone my excitement about the upcoming 2011 LINGOs member meeting October 11-13 in Seattle. I have been with LINGOs since the beginning and I can guarantee there has never been a Member Meeting as rich with resource as we have lined up this year.

We begin with Scott Macklin, Associate Director of the Masters of Communication in Digital Media Program and the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the College of Education at the University of Washington. I saw Scott’s work for the first time at the Northwest Donor’s Conference in Seattle where he was doing a presentation on Building Organizational Capacity through Convening Community Stories – Storyteller Uprising: Narrative and Engagement Intelligence in the Digital Age. It was a long title but had a short message – high quality video produced on shoestring budgets can use the power of storytelling to reach almost any audience and move them to action. Flip cameras have made shooting video within the reach of everyone but actually using that video to tell a story and produce a finished product is not just a “point and shoot” process. Scott will share his experience with a broad range of storytelling projects including work done for African-based NGOs.

Then we have Tom Kuhlmann, Manager of User Communities for Articulate. Tom is already known to many LINGOs members as the author of the Rapid e-Learning blog. Unquestionably the most followed blogger in the e-learning community, Tom has over 80,000 people that eagerly await his bi-monthly blog. His posts are filled with the most practical, inexpensive and immediately useful ideas of any blog I have ever read.

He is a “rock-star” in the e-Learning world and we have him for almost two full days. Tom will be leading a couple of sessions during our general member meeting and then will be doing a workshop after the member meeting for those that want to get more intense time with Tom. I can’t tell you how fortunate we are to have such an opportunity. Tom’s extra day workshop all by itself is worth a trip to Seattle. I guarantee you will leave with ideas and techniques you can apply on your way home in the airplane (though probably not a good idea to apply the if you are driving to the meetingJ).

Then we are going to not only talk about impact measurement – we are going to do some hands-on designing that will be useful to every LINGOs member as you look at the difference capacity building activities have on the performance of your agency. Elvis Fraser, Deputy Director, Impact Planning and Improvement for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will lead the group in an Impact Measurement Laboratory. The idea behind this exercise will be to design and plan multiple ways that you might measure the impact of your work. We will look at individual interventions, agency interventions and capacity building in general and create concrete steps we can take to begin to answer the question of impact with real data. We will draw on the collective experience of everyone present to lay the foundations for work that can be carried on in the year to come.

Finally we have James Bernard, Director of Microsoft’s $500 million Partners in Learning program. With the simple charter to change the impact of education systems in the developing world, James has worked with the US government, bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors, country ministries of education and international and local NGOs to create models for improving teacher education and fostering innovation in the sector. He will share the successes and challenges faced by the program and the places where NGOs can make a difference.

Who knows – we may even find someone from Starbucks to drop by with some coffee and explain how they go about training their staff in other countries. Don’t have anything firm on that but we are working on it.

So that is pretty much our outside speakers but as everyone knows, we have a wealth of talent and experience within our members and staff. We will tap that in a variety of areas such as:

  • No-Cost and Low-Cost Learning Resources
  • Leverage Global giveback 3 to get custom courses developed
  • Social Media – marketing learning for impact; leveraging learning thru community
  • Building support and accountability for Language Learning
  • Webcast technology
  • 3-minute Member-led “show and tells”
  • Performance support
  • Updates from LINGOs team
  • Integrated talent management/career pathing
  • Mobile learning
  • PMD Pro
  • New Member Session

On top of all that, we will have a chance to visit the headquarters of two LINGOs members in Seattle. The meeting will be hosted at the new headquarters of PATH and we have an evening reception at the Headquarters of SightLife where we will honor a couple of the people that were present at the creation of LINGOs and instrumental in getting us through the first couple of years.

But wait – there is still more! In addition to the workshop with Tom Kuhlmann on the day after the meeting, there is another workshop available that focuses on the project management work LINGOs has been doing in Africa and Latin America and gives participants a chance to experience some of the tools and results created by that work. It will be led by John Cropper, Director of Project Management Services for LINGOs and formerly at Oxfam GB as Global Programme Manager and  Head of  Oxfam GB’s Management Accountability and Programme Info Department.

So you can see why I believe that this will be hands-down the best LINGOs member meeting ever. But no matter how much planning and preparation we do, it just isn’t a member meeting without you – our members. In all cases, it is your experience, energy and application of the resources available through LINGOs that makes the meeting and is the real draw for other members. We will be hosting a virtual coffee break later this week to allow members an opportunity to expand on the discussions already started in our Linked In Community Group and contribute their ideas for how we can craft this meeting so we are certain it exceeds your expectations. I encourage you to attend the Virtual Coffee on August 11th at 11AM EDT (GMT-5). You can find session info and link to attend available here.

You can see more information about the meeting, the two post-meeting workshops, and details on the block of reserved hotel rooms here. We even have a handy memo you can adapt and share with your supervisor to explain the value of your participation in the 2011 LINGOs Member Meeting.

If you have any questions about how to register, make hotel reservations or just want to talk about the meeting with someone, send me (eric[at] or Marian Abernathy (marian [at] and we’ll get right back to you.

By the way, we have put in reservations for sun for the entire week of the meeting and the Pacific Northwest is spectacular that time of year. I hope to see you in Seattle in October.


If you build it, will they come? Creating awareness through a communication plan

By Marian Abernathy, LINGOs and Ruth Kustoff, Principal, Knowledge Advantage  

So, with your help, your organization has made a decision to provide your global staff with a learning platform or portal (or Learning Management System – LMS). You’ve planned it, branded it, launched it… and some of your colleagues from around the world have taken courses, acquired new knowledge and developed some new skills.  Are you ready to sit back, relax, and pull some reports? Think your work is now done?  Not so fast.

In fact, now that the learning portal is established, and courses are available to staff, there still is more work to be done. In fact, your awareness campaign is just starting. For example, after Coca-Cola® launches a new product , it doesn’t sit back… it starts the never-ending work of building and maintaining awareness of its products and ensuring that those who might enjoy a refreshing drink, are never far from a reminder of the refreshing taste of their product(s).

Watch Melinda French Gates TED Talk on What Non Profits Can Learn from CocaColain October, 2010. You’ll see from her presentation, that what we learn from the commercial sector is that we can’t launch a new product, or brand, and then let it sit. This is when marketing and promotion must follow. Your global audience needs to know what is available to them and how to access it.

Building Awareness with a Communication Plan

Now that your learning program is underway, you’re ready to start your internal “marketing” or awareness campaign.

First, identify objectives for your communication plan:

  1. Organization-wide knowledge of course availability – Inform everyone in the organization, including country directors and field staff that the training program is available with relevant courses available to interested staff.
  2. How the portal or LMS works – Explain where the courses are, how to access them, the registration process, and if there are learning expectations or requirements of anyone.
  3. Highlight specific courses – LINGOs provides members with a wide variety of courses, and the catalog is growing regularly. Create a short guide or “cheat sheet”  for staff that highlights individual courses available or recommended for specific staff categories.  Keep in mind that a short dated document offered electronically provides you opportunities to communicate with regular updates and provide “bite sized learning.”
  4. Communicate the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) – Identify how the training program generally will support staff growth and development, and on-the-job performance success.
  5. Ask for feedback – As learners begin to complete courses, provide an avenue for their feedback on course selection, and topics, and ask for input on how to make improvements to the learning program.  

These objectives will show staff the value of the learning program, the courses, and that it is easy to access and complete the courses. Your second level of marketing is to reach the end learner at an individual level.

Marketing to the End Learner

As you build on your marketing campaign, you’ll want to highlight the WIIFM aspects of learning, knowledge and course completion. Working with managers and supervisors is important. Managers need to convey to their staff their belief in, and support of continuous learning, and the value the current online courses offer.  Staff needs to get the message that acquiring the knowledge and skills from certain courses, if not a job requirement, is strongly recommended.

 Additionally, you want to help staff to identify and determine which courses are “right for them”by role, job function or competency. Not everyone needs all the same courses or content. You’ll also want to promote success stories of individuals, by showing how completing courses can align to positive outcomes. Highlight how individuals have put their own learning into action, and achieved results that contribute to the organizational global mission. Finally, you want to ensure course choices remain fresh,

with updates to course selection, adding new courses, and managing updates of current courses as information changes.

Building a Liaison or Learning Champion Program into your Marketing Efforts 

If you launched a Liaison program during the planning phase of your overall program, these staff learning advocates can also help during the communication phase. The liaisons are one or several staff leaders who create a team of people from multiple offices who become points of contact across the globe. These liaisons ensure information is distributed to, and received by everyone.

The liaison program may also identify individuals who want to become champions of learning, if they have a special interest in, or are oriented toward online learning. These champions can be trained to become Power Users – individuals who “test” elearning courses prior to roll out, and are given time in their work schedule to do so. Power Users then become identified as individuals others can go to for help.

Building on the liaison program creates a strategy to identify and include local people as learning champions – – similar to Coca-Cola® with its large network of local distributors. As Coke knows, it’s not possible to manage large distribution of products, while keeping interest and demand high, all from the home office. It’s important to recognize the need to work at the local level – to establish central messaging – again, using the Coke analogy – it’s the same recipe for Coke, but packaging may vary and the messaging may be slightly different – depending on the local distributors who are pushing it. The local liaison for your organization, is close to the end user, in this case, the learner, and advocates are needed to be sure local learning needs are understood and met through programming that comes from the home office.

 Ten ideas to build awareness of your learning programs:

  1. Email – blast or individual messages to learners about new courses, offerings – demonstrating alignment with your organizational mission, objectives, projects and themes.
  2. Internal Learning Fairs/Conferences –food or other enticements encourage staff to stop by and see what’s available, sample a course, view posters, and talk with others who have used the resources. These physical space events can be held annually, semi-annually, or more often.
  3. Learning websites with detailed info about courses – such as a conference might have
  4. Informal video testimonials about learning offerings – viewing can be tracked via YouTube or similar.
  5. Radio-style podcasts, conference calls or webcasts about learning opportunities. Some organizations interview fellow staff members who are internal opinion leaders about specific courses or learning assets they want to market.
  6. PDF posters/flyers or brochures with fresh messages that are sent (or emailed to be printed in) each office. Many organizations post info in places where staff is sure to see them (on entry doors, elevators, stairwells, even the restrooms!).
  7. Postcards for each person you want to reach with a certain message – ie, for supervisors prior to annual performance reviews with a reminder of a course or job aid on the topic.
  8. Build the information into performance planning/annual reviews: show individual contributors and supervisors that learning is highly valued in your organization and include reminders and access information into the performance process.
  9. Leverage organizational social media: Yammer, intranets/sharepoint – highlight your self-paced, and instructor led training offerings/resources.
  10. Short videos from your Executive Director, Country Directors or internal opinion leaders: about new learning resources, the importance of staying up-to-date, aligning learning with your mission.

What other approaches have you seen used, used in your organization or want to try? Add to the discussion on the LINGOs group on LinkedIn. Communicating Learning seems like a topic worth of a Virtual Coffee Break or discussion at the Annual Member Meeting in October.

Be part of the discussion: Make plans to attend LINGOs’ 2011 Annual Member Meeting

  • Hosted by PATH in Seattle October 11 and 12, 2011
  • Reception at SightLife evening of October 11
  • Optional Workshops at PATH October 13

For information on the member meeting, please click here.