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Category Archives: Learning Solutions Partnerships

Using Open Badges to Recognize and Verify Learning

Luke Kempski

David Leaser, Senior Program Manager, Innovation and Growth Initiatives, IBM

In the information technology industry, micro-credentialing is helping employers and professionals keep pace with rapid change. At IBM, David Leaser promotes innovative way to recognize skills and achievements within the IBM community of professionals, employees, channel partners and customers. This new approach is transforming how IBM delivers training and how individuals demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

Currently, IBM is adopting the Open Badges standard as an innovative way for IT professionals to validate their learning activities, skills and achievements. Organizations issue Open Badges and individuals earn and display them. Open Badges can be earned for completing courses, passing an exam, publishing expertise and creating apps. For IBM, it is a faster way to get new skills into the marketplace rather than building and requiring an entire certification program. David explains how they work.

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A Creative Brief for Learning Organizations?

Jenny Fedullo

When my son started school this year, I ran out over lunch to shop for the school supplies on his list. As I picked out the composition books, dry erase markers, pencil case, highlighters, crayons and glue, I tried to imagine all of the different things he’d be creating with these supplies. And as it often does, my mind turned to how this activity could relate to the learning and development field.

The Creative Brief: the Glue That Holds Learning Solutions Together

One could argue for marketing agencies that the creative brief is imperative no matter the size of the campaign. The brief serves as the unifying document for the creative campaign to ensure all involved are looking in the same direction as they begin work on the next big idea.

For learning organizations, the training needs analysis (TNA) could serve in this capacity. The TNA acts as the roadmap for all involved and identifies the who, what, when, where, why and how of the project.

If done properly, a TNA is performed at three levels: organizational, job and individual. It seeks to:

  • Clarify organizational and training program objectives
  • Determine the scope of the project
  • Identify constraints
  • Understand the audience and the job
  • Identify performance gaps

The results of the TNA can be used to plan instructional objectives and the design and delivery of the program. More often than not, though, there is limited time and budget to conduct a thorough analysis, if at all. But, there is a solution that you can make time for: a Learning Solutions Creative Brief (LSCB).

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Boost Your ROI with a Better eLearning RFP

Jenny Fedullo

Establishing a new eLearning vendor relationship is a complicated process. How can you make sure you get the ROI you need?

Two words: “Focus” and “Partner.”

Focus – First, you need to make sure you’re considering the right questions. How will eLearning help your organization succeed? What skills do your learners need? How will the content be delivered?

Your answers to these and other questions provide the focus you need to lay a foundation for success. A carefully thought out Request for Proposal (RFP) addresses each question specifically, and provides the information your learning partner needs to deliver the results you want.

Partner – A well-crafted RFP helps you evaluate potential partners and find the one that’s best for you… the one with the right combination of expertise, technology, management and creative skills. A good RFP also allows potential partners to showcase their strengths.

With an eLearning RFP, you can clearly communicate requirements, explain your priorities and list your criteria. And since everyone responds to the same request, it’s easier to compare apples to apples when evaluating partners and solutions.

Using an RFP template

We’ve created a simple eLearning RFP template to help you get started. The finished RFP will help you compare prospective partners and assess their capabilities, compatibility and costs. All you need to do is download the template and customize it so it works for you.

Let me know if the template helps. And if you have other ideas to improve the RFP process.


Related Blog Post: A Creative Brief for Learning Solutions?

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Corporate Learning Insights and Trends from

Luke Kempski

Video interview with the CEO and Founder of Training Industry, Inc.

I recently attended the Training Industry Conference and Expo (TICE) in Raleigh, North Carolina. At the conference, we conducted a number of interviews with industry leaders from leading corporations to share over the coming weeks on the JPL Learning Solutions video blog. is a well-known source of information about the business of corporate learning. Their website includes articles, case studies, white papers, research studies and global top 20 lists to support innovation and to connect buyers and sellers. Doug Harward is the CEO and Founder of Training Industry, Inc. and one of the leading authorities on trends in learning and development.

Through its ongoing contact with corporate learning and development leaders, understands their evolving role in leading businesses. In addition to changes in technology and changes in the learner population, Doug sees other changes impacting today’s learning leader.

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Is it Time to Select a Training Partner?

Jenny Fedullo

JPL Learning Solutions eLearningAs the leader of your organization’s learning function, you’re responsible for ensuring your training is applicable, timely, valuable and engaging. Find out if you should consider working with a training partner by taking this two-minute quiz.

Quiz: Is it Time to Select a Training Partner?

Suggested Blog Post: Corporate Learning Insights and Trends from

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Learning Should Be Easy: Performance Support Delivers When Needed  

Jenny Fedullo

peacockYesterday, I was leaving my sister’s house when I saw a peacock walking down the street. A peacock walking down the street in central Pennsylvania? I kept staring at it to make sure, as I had never seen one in the wild in Pennsylvania or anywhere in the US, for that matter.

Once I was confident, I reached for my phone. I Googled and within seconds, knew that peacocks were native to Asia and Africa, have established many feral colonies around the world, and have now become fairly common in rural areas where they are raised for their feathers which they shed in autumn. (Incidentally, I also learned only males are peacocks – females are peahens and together, they are peafowl.)

How many “peacocks” cross your path during your work day? Where do you go to find the answers? Do you:

  • Search your LMS for an eLearning course?
  • Access your knowledge management system or company Intranet site?
  • Peruse the sticky notes on your computer?
  • Look at the job aids you have hanging on your walls
  • Lean over and ask your neighbor?
  • A combination of all of the above?

What if your peacock is a customer on hold? Read More

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Trends in Learning Solutions Procurement

Luke Kempski

As a learning solutions provider, we see organizations take a variety of approaches to contracting. These approaches vary by process, time length and scope. In many cases, they are governed by the organization’s procurement policies.

Each approach is different. We adapt to win opportunities where we are the best match. Some of our most recent experiences include responding to the following:

  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) to address the need to develop an eLearning course. The client will award a contract for a single project to the provider they believe offers the best value.
  • A Request for Information (RFI) to develop eLearning content on an ongoing basis. Once qualified, JPL and other qualified vendors would propose solutions for individual scopes of work (SOWs). Each would have its own contract.
  • An RFP to develop eLearning content in which two companies are qualified in budget ranges based on three levels of complexity. A Master Services Agreement (MSA) is put in place with both companies to provide overarching contract terms. For each SOW, the two companies propose solutions and the client selects its preferred solution.
  • An RFP to convert Flash-based courses into learning experiences that work across mobile devices. The resulting agreement will be a fixed-priced contract to convert 50 courses that vary in complexity.
  • An RFP to provide a website, eLearning course and tracking system to deliver mandatory training to an external audience. The resulting agreement will include two years of maintenance with the option for three additional years. Read More
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