Ideas and Insights

  • 03/19/2020 12:14 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    The feedback on the course was good, but not great.  The content wasn’t questioned, but the participants said that the instructions were confusing.  Later, the design team reviewed the instructions and debated what words could have been chosen to make them clearer.  

    In the end, it wasn’t the words that had challenged the learners.  It was the UX, or the User Experience.

    Let’s examine that term.  I’ll quote from Wikipedia: 

    “User experience (UX) is a person's emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system, or service. It includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership. Additionally, it includes a person's perceptions of system aspects such as utility, ease of use, and efficiency. User experience may be subjective in nature to the degree that it is about individual perception and thought with respect to a product or system. User experience varies dynamically, constantly modifying over time due to changing usage circumstances. Simplified, user experience is about how a user interacts with, and experiences, a product.”

    There’s a lot to unpack from that definition.

    • A person’s emotions and attitudes.
      How does your learner view training?  Do they look forward to it, because by completing the module they’ll perform better?  Or do they view it as an interruption to their workday? 
    • A person’s perceptions of the system.
      Realizing we might be at a disadvantage because the user has to access training via your LMS, what does the person think about online training? 
    • The human-computer interaction
      How does the learner interact with your training?  Is it how you anticipated?

    When creating an online course (and this can apply to the virtual ILT you create as well as the eLearning modules), you’ll want to approach your design as a learner, not as a developer.  You’re aware of all the things that the system can do, but the learner has a different perception of how the course should work. They will predict what they should do next based upon their perception of how things ought to work, and they will apply their beliefs multiple times before they consider yours. 

    Should your course interface cause your learner to struggle to access information, it will impact learner perception of the course and, ultimately, reduce their ability to learn.

    So how did UX impact our pilot?  For the second pilot launch, we sat in the back of the room to respond to learner questions as they navigated the course. At a pertinent screen, the learners paused. The Next button had been disabled, and a different prompt sat on the screen to get them to start an activity.  Of the fifteen learners present, two selected the prompt quickly. The rest spent time searching, their cursors roving back and forth across the screen until they finally located the prompt.  

    The feedback at the end of the second pilot was similar to the first.  The learners were confused as to what they needed to do.

    Except for the two learners who had found and selected the prompt quickly.  

    In this month's webinar, The Product Approach to Learning - An Introduction to Learner Experience Design, Matthew Daniel will be discussing ways the talent developer needs to consider the learner’s approach to their training experience as we create our training.  What will cause the learner to interrupt their learning while they try to figure out what to do? What will frustrate the learner as they are progressing through the module, hindering the transfer of learning?  

    An informal, no-holds-barred facilitator Matthew Daniel will inspire the passion he has for the Learner Experience in you.

    Register today! 

  • 03/18/2020 3:47 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    In this webinar, Corena Bahr shared practical techniques not only to engage your participants in a virtual environment, but to encourage them.

    In this webinar, we focused on:

    • 3 Habits that need to change
    • Translating in-person activities online
    • Extending learning before and after
    • Managing in-session engagement

    This was one of our highest evaluated webinars.  Click here (or on the image above) and get some good tips as you gear up for facilitating your next class virtually.

    (Membership not required for viewing)

  • 03/17/2020 3:45 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)
    Dear ATD-Orange County Learning Community:

    In light of the recent developments and recommendations regarding COVID-19 by the CDC, the ATD-Orange County Chapter will move all our events online effective immediately and lasting until this directive is lifted.

    As Talent Development professionals, we take this opportunity to further explore our ability to use virtual events to build networks, knowledge-share, and build a community of learning. Not only will our regular programs such as our monthly learning events and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) be moved to an online platform, watch your email and our website for weekly webinars, book clubs, and more.

    We look forward your participation in our virtual events, giving ourselves space for personal safety, while enhancing our learning and building community in innovative ways.

    From all of us at ATD-Orange County,  Stay Healthy and Stay Safe!

  • 02/07/2020 3:29 PM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)

    Working Wardrobes Needs our Help

    Local Non-Profit Facility Providing Work Attire and Training to over 105,000 Job Seekers since 1990 Loses Building and Donation Inventory to Fire

    As you may have heard on the news, on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 at 5:50 a.m., a devastating fire broke out at the Working Wardrobes headquarters located at 1851 Kettering Street, Irvine, California. It was several hours before firefighters could access the building. Everything has been destroyed by this fire. 

    ATD-Orange County is reaching out to our community with a request to assist. Read details of how you can help at

  • 01/15/2020 1:05 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    I wanted to share a few thoughts about why we’re bringing in Rich Hazeltine, a change and performance management consultant formerly from (under Amazon) to ATD-Orange County to discuss talent development’s impact on engagement.

    My experience with employee engagement is two-fold:

    • First, I’m aware of my own engagement within the organization, and develop ways to moderate it.
    • Second, I’ve been increasingly involved in large-scale HR projects to gather data about employee engagement, review the data to identify areas of improvement, and then roll out the programs that will (hopefully) address employee concerns.

    Now, Rich isn’t going to talk about engagement as this big amorphous program that organization leaders promote because they’ve read the same Gallup report on engagement that we have.  While Rich is going to share the results from more than one engagement report, he will also share his experiences that indicate that the Gallup number isn’t that dire, and how he recommends we view employee engagement.

    This is going to be a session that talks about what you can do to promote engagement.  How to step within the purlieus of these big engagement initiatives to connect with the people whom we are meant to engage, and move the needle forward.

    The other reason we elected to bring in Mr. Hazeltine, the guy’s got some serious engagement cred.  He brings with him 25 years in the leadership development and organizational effectiveness space, 8 of those years as part of  He’s garnered leadership lessons from commanders on naval carriers, and seen engagement in action. As a Vice Commander for the Civil Air Patrol (US Air Force Auxiliary), Nevada Wing Rich organizes over 700 volunteers comprised of more than 300 cadets that serve the community in Emergency Services (Disaster Relief), Aerospace Education, and Cadet Programs.

    Rich has a unique set of experiences exploring leadership and engagement, and I invite you to join us to learn from those experience and apply them at your place of business.

    Learning Event Details:

  • 12/26/2019 3:30 PM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)

    Dr. David Hartl

    Dr. David Hartl, a dear member of the ATD-OC community, had more than 45 years of experience in leading, consulting, coaching, training, and teaching about leadership, teams, and executive, managerial, and organizational effectiveness.

    David passed away December 18, 2019 after a short illness. He was 80 years young.

    His undergraduate degree was in communication. He graduated on the Dean's List, President of the Student Government, and selected by the BU News as the 1962 Boston University "Man of the Year." Additionally, Hartl held a masters degree in adult education (1965) and a doctorate in social psychology (1974), both awarded by Boston University. He was the author of more than 250 articles, book chapters, monographs, research reports, and papers in the fields of leadership, management, team building, adult education, training, planned organizational change, coaching, mentoring, stress management, and psychological and temperament type in organizations.

    Dr. Hartl was a member of eight professional organizations, including American Society for Training and Development (Association for Talent Development) and president of the ATD-Orange County Chapter in 1985. He was a mentor to many, a friend, a colleague and a lover of music. No one who knew David will ever forget his wicked laugh and the twinkle in his eyes.

    This notice culled from David’s biography. He will be missed. Geri Lopker, MHROD, CPT, CPLP

    In lieu of sending flowers, the family requests that you consider making a donation in the memory of Dr. David E. Hartl to one of the following organizations: 

    ·         Gift of Sight, a nonprofit cofounded by Dr. Kara Johnson (née Hartl)

    ·         CJD Foundation

    ·         Pacific Symphony

    ·         PBS

    If you would like to send a card, please contact Denise Ross, for the address. 

  • 11/20/2019 7:25 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    As of October 2019, ATD-Orange County received $953.80 in Chapter Incentive Program (ChIP) revenue.

    What this means to us: you purchased something from the ATD National store, you thought about the impact ATD-OC has in your professional development.

    We're honored, and will continue to do our utmost to ensure that the investments you make in your development, both through National and our Chapter, are instrumental in your success as a talent developer.

    What is the Chapter Incentive Program?

    ChIP is a program that offers chapters an opportunity to earn additional revenue from the services and programs that ATD National provides.  Like the restaurant fundraiser that offers to contribute 10% of your purchase to a non-profit organization you support, it provides a means to give your ATD National purchases a purpose.

    How can you give your purchase a purpose?

    View this short video, or open the job aid below.  (Or both. Both is good.)

    Job Aid: How to apply the ChIP to your ATD online purchase

  • 10/10/2019 5:18 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    You may have noticed greater activity on our social media pages.  This is all due to the contributions of our new Social Media Manager, Cecilia Fernandez.

    Cecilia came to us months ago with a proposal for managing the Chapter’s social media.  Not just Facebook, which has been administered by the dedicated Nancy Chavez, but all our channels, including LinkedIn and Twitter.  To be honest, we got excited. Social media has been an opportunity of growth for us for a while, and Cecilia’s plan outlined a way forward.

    Having obtained her BA in Organizational Communications studies from CSU Stanislaus, Cecilia moved to Orange County three years ago.  She has ten years of banking, presentation, and sales experience, and now has the pleasure of working as a Learning and Development trainer for Farmers and Merchants bank.  She joined ATD OC at the guidance of her manager, and recently enjoyed attending the Total Trainer - Creating Training class.

    Today, if a social media post from ATD-OC catches your eye, you can acknowledge Cecilia's hand in making our channels appealing and engaging.  We encourage you to comment on that post! Share it! Help us spread the word - not just about the Chapter, but about the potential that the talent development community has for all of us to invest, connect, and grow.

    If you have yet to find us on social media, here are a few links:


    • Page:

    • Group:

    Visit the Company Page for updates about coming events and current successes, visit our Group to engage in a discussion about trends and other talent development topics you’d like to explore.



    This is our fledgling channel, as social media goes.  We’re exploring how to best utilize this media, as well as other image-centric channels, to support the visual side of talent development.   

    Tell us!
    If the channel you get the most value from isn’t listed above, we’d like to know about it!  Email us at and tell us which channel you use, how and what you learn from it, and how you’d like to see ATDOC represented among the rest of the folks you follow.

    We look forward to connecting with you in your social media channel of choice. 

  • 09/09/2019 12:20 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    Even before their tenure began, the ATD-Orange County Board plunged into several initiatives meant to empower our members through vibrant and engaging programs. Now midway through the year, we thought: let's check in with the Board and learn more about some of what drives these individuals in their pursuit of Chapter Excellence.

    Our second interview is with Gillian Wilson (pictured, right), ATD-OC President Elect.

    What passion drove you to serve as an ATD-OC leader?

    Helping other people be more successful - by making connections, giving feedback, mentoring, providing advice or resources. If only it were that easy and I had all the time in the world to dedicate to this!

    How does Chapter Service fit in with your own personal or professional goals?

    Chapter Service challenges you to push yourself to do more and get out of your comfort zone.

    What does our motto: "Connect | Invest | Grow" mean to you?

    It means we link our members together with each other, the board and the local community by each of us investing our time and energy and resources. The end result is to grow the chapter and also each other.

    At the end of the year, what would you like to have accomplished for your TD community?

    If I can help at least one person be more successful either in the chapter or at work or in another way that is important to them.

    What else would you like readers to know about your function or the Chapter?

    We are a thriving community that engages, inspires and connects our members driving them to succeed by providing talent development programs, events and networking opportunities.

  • 07/24/2019 2:15 PM | Denise Ross-Admin (Administrator)

    Jean Barbazette was a long-time member and supporter of the ATD-Orange County Chapter. Her contributions are many and her generous heart and spirit will be greatly missed.

    A message from the team at the Training Clinic:

    A Legend Never Dies...

    Our hearts are heavy as we announce this heartbreaking news.

    Jean Barbazette , the founder of The Training Clinic, passed away peacefully on May 9, 2019, following a 26-year battle with breast cancer.

    Jean was not only our founder, she was our mentor, our role model and, above all, our friend.

    As the founder of The Training Clinic, Jean grew a single consultancy to an international training organization with a field staff of 25 and three international licensees. She and Training Clinic trainers have trained over half a million trainers.

    During her illustrious 40+ year career, Jean was a highly recognized leader in our field. Here are just some of her achievements and honors over the years:

    1.  Author of the following books, some which have been translated and reprinted in China:

    • Successful New Employee Orientation, ©2007, Pfeiffer
    • The Trainer’s Support Handbook, ©2001, McGraw Hill
    • Instant Case Studies, ©2004, Pfeiffer
    • The Trainer’s Journey to Competence, ©2005, Pfeiffer
    • Training Needs Assessment, ©2006, Pfeiffer
    • The Art of Great Training Delivery, ©2006
    • Managing the Training Function for Bottom-Line Results, ©2008, Pfeiffer
    • How to Write Terrific Training Materials, ©2013 Pfeiffer and ASTD co-published

    2.  In addition to sole publication, Jean also authored and contributed chapters to the following:

    • McGraw-Hill Training and Performance Sourcebooks in 1999, 2000 and 2001, 2002, and the Pfeiffer Annuals in 1993, 2004, 2005
    • “Self-Directed New Employee Orientation” in What Smart Trainers Know, © 2001 Jossey Bass
    • ASTD Training & Development Sourcebook, 2002 and 2003
    • ASTD handbooks in 2008 (1st edition) and 2014 (2nd edition)

    3.  Jean was a sought-after speaker at Training Magazine, International Society for Performance and Instruction (ISPI), International Federation of Training & Development Organizations (IFTDO), Los Angeles and Orange County ATD (Her home chapter) ATD National and ATD’s TechKnowledge conferences.

    4.  Jean received the following awards and recognition:

    • "Outstanding Contribution" award Los Angeles Chapter ASTD in 1979 for her work in "Position Referral".
    • “Catholic Woman of the Year in Orange County” nomination, Precious Life Shelter (PLS), 1996. Serves on the Board of Directors and volunteers at PLS. PLS serves homeless pregnant women. Awarded for her dedication and continuing commitment to the shelter since 1994.
    • Three awards from Orange County ASTD: President’s Award, 1998 for twenty years continuous and outstanding service, Distinguished Service Award, 1999; Award of Merit, 2003.
    • Featured in T&D Magazine "Long View" column, June 2010.
    • Her BEST-SELLING book, "Successful New Employee Orientation," Pfeiffer ©1994 was nominated by HR Executive Magazine as the book of the year. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) gave the book an "Honorable Mention" in its 1994 book of the year competition. A second edition was released in June 2001. Jean was cited as an authority on orientation on the front page of the Wall Street Journal on October 13, 1998. This article was later reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle. A third edition was released in 2007.

    In her “spare” time, Jean served as President of the Women’s Guild at St. Anne’s Parish, was on the board of directors and also served as President for the Navy Golf Course Women’s Golf Club and was on the Board of Directors for Precious Life Shelter.

    Most importantly, Jean was also a beloved wife, mother and very active grandmother to her three granddaughters.

    Please join us in celebrating the life of this remarkable woman.

    Cheers to you, Jean, you will be greatly missed but always remembered!


    Melissa, Maria & the entire Training Clinic Family

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