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Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I'm Steve Blane. I'm the Managing Partner of
Darn Clever Design Collective, a boutique digital learning agency in Toronto. I'm also the Program Director for the I4PL Certificate Programs.

What is your history with I4PL?
I've been a member of I4PL for close to 20 years. I've won several design awards, including the
Learner Impact Award in 2017. That one was pretty special as it was voted on by I4PL membership. I've also spoken regularly at Conference and the symposiums out west. I still talk about the time we had 125 people sign up for our Storyline session at the Conference in 2012!

What are the courses offered?
The certificate courses for the
Master Certificate in Performance and Learning Competencies (MCPLC) are straight from the Competencies body of knowledge; Assessing Performance Needs + Evaluation, Designing Learning Experiences, Facilitating Learning, and Partnering with Clients.

We cover the Designing Curricula and Supporting the Transfer of Learning competencies during the Designing Learning Experiences course.

Who are they for?
The easy answer is anyone who is in performance and learning! I usually breakdown our typical participants into five segments:

1. People new to the industry. We have a lot of people who are either brand new or have minimal industry experience. The courses provide a solid foundation of skills and knowledge to jumpstart people's careers.

2. People in transition. We have a lot of people who are looking to move from a facilitator role to designer, or vice versa, or people looking to move into the industry. They can leverage their existing experience while adding new skills from the competencies.

3. People in management. We have a lot of managers come through so they can have a better understanding of what their team should be doing day-to-day. What they learn during the program helps them better support their team and helps them perform better overall.

4. People who continually learn. We see a lot of people that we refer to as the "paper chasers." They're experienced, but want to get the certificate to solidify their CV. Often these people could probably teach a few of the courses; they tend to be the people who value the learning experience the most. For them, it's about sharpening their skills.

5. People getting certified. We see a lot of people who are considering their CTP or CTDP come through the program. The hands-on approach of the courses is a great way to prepare for the exam and skill demonstration.

How were the courses designed?
First and foremost, we designed the courses to be as hands-on and practical as possible. We use real cases to make the learning relevant (the key to making it stick). There's not a lot of sitting and listening in the courses, it's all about trying and applying. We've designed the courses to be "learn today, apply tomorrow (on-the-job)".

I also really like the fact that each facilitator team designed the courses they facilitate. They live and breathe the content every day; their passion and expertise shows in their execution of the course.

What outcome/experience do you want the participants to have?
We want people to feel confident and prepared to work on their next assignment when they go back to work. That's why we've built takeaways to use, whether a design job aid or project management tools so people can apply what they've learned right away.

What's next?
We've launched the MCPLC in Toronto and Ottawa. Once we're finished the launch phase, we're going to look at expanding to other cities across Canada; whether in person or online. We also want to be responsive to what people want to learn about. If you have an idea for a course, we want to hear about it!

Describe the Master Certificate in Digital Learning (MCDL)?
The MCDL is going to be a great program! While the MCPLC is an excellent foundation, the MCDL is going to be the next level for people working in digital learning with targeted courses. I'm really excited about the content strategy and game based design courses. We wanted to create a program for people who already have a certificate (whether from I4PL or somewhere else) and want to keep adding to their toolbox of skills.

How does this relate to I4PL and the Competencies?
I think it's a natural fit for I4PL. Digital is where our industry continues to head, and we want to help people do it right. Just like the MCPLC, the MCDL courses will align with the competencies; though the link isn't quite as visible. I think of the courses as a subset of the Competencies, primarily Designing Learning Experiences and Supporting the Transfer of Learning.


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The Institute for Performance and Learning
411 Richmond Street East, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario
M5A 3S5

Phone 416.367.5900 or 1.866.257.4275