Last week was the annual LEAP Ahead eLearning Conference and this year’s may have been the best yet. Each year this event gets better so I’m going to share some of the highlights. We had a top-shelf line up of speakers this year:


  • David Anderson from Articulate led two sessions on using Storyline® – always a favorite subject and people walk away with immediately usable tips.
  • Julie Dirksen is quietly becoming one of the most important thinkers in our field—having her at a small venue like LEAP Ahead was like seeing Bruce Springsteen in a tiny club before he got famous. She covered game design and designing for behavior change. Tons of positive reviews from these sessions. Such a treat to have her participating!
  • Judy Katz is stellar. She taught us about design thinking, an alternative to ADDIE and other process models. They don’t call her an eLearning rock star for nothing.
  • You hear a lot about using stories and Jennie Thede showed us techniques for using storytelling in our elearning.
  • Jane Bozarth opened up day two with a session on “Show Your Work,” the subject of her latest book. She showed us ways to show others how to do things. Here’s Jane’s Pinterest page where she’s captured great examples of this.
  • Cathy Moore wasn’t there but Jenn Dryden covered the six steps to transforming the way we design eLearning by using action mapping. Good stuff!
  • Mobile is all the rage, but how do you do it? Stacy Friedman taught us to “transform, don’t transfer” and got everyone fired up about designing for mobile learning.
  • Ben Carmel was outstanding in covering social learning and implored us to make it an integral part of our learning strategy.
  • Gary Ewer is probably tired of presenting on creating a culture of training, but it is always a favorite session so we keep bringing him back.


Outside of the sessions, we gave the attendees a feel for Portlandia:

  • Voodoo doughnuts at the morning break
  • Portland is a big bicycle-friendly city and to show how much we love our bikes, attendees used pedal power to blend fresh smoothies
  • Brew is big P-town, both beer and coffee. Day two had a custom-espresso bar available during the networking break. And one evening a group went on a brewpub tour via the infamous Brewcycle.


But you don’t have to take my word for how great the conference was. Attendees rated the quality of the event as 4.7 on a 1-5 scale. Here are some of their comments from the evaluations:

  • I enjoyed facilitated discussions, sharing ideas with others and knowing that I'm taking back home great ideas and things to implement at work
  • The conference provided over 15 ideas for me to take back and implement
  • My favorite parts were the ideas and practical solutions to take with me - helps to tackle my challenges
  • As my first event, this was very well done! I learned a lot and look forward to implementing at my company

Mark your calendar for June 24-25, 2015 now. We’d love to have you LEAP Ahead with us next year!



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