News & Updates

Check here every week for the latest news from Chicago ISPI, ISPI, and our member contributors. Notice that you may add comments beneath the posts; please use this feature and interact with your fellow members.

If you have something you believe would benefit our community, fits into the mission of Chicago ISPI, and want to be a contributor, please send an email to

On all of our news pages, you'll notice a blue and white icon, which stands for Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Newsfeed.  When you click on this icon, you can add a special link into your web browser, Microsoft Outlook, and special RSS readers. This will automatically notify you when we add a news article.

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  • March 04, 2017 10:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you have expertise on how technology can be used to create, enhance, or manage elearning initiatives? Would you like to share your knowledge at an event that draws over 400+ people? Then submit a proposal for a full 50-minute breakout session or a 5-minute Learning Spark presentation. Click here for more details.  

  • November 08, 2016 1:35 PM | Elizabeth Osika

    Calling all instructional designers!

    We’re currently conducting a research study at Old Dominion University exploring challenges instructional designers face while conducting evaluations during projects. If you take part in the study, you will be asked to participate in a telephone interview, which consists of approximately 15 questions that require you to reflect on your experiences as an instructional designer working with clients on projects.

    If you’re willing to participate, please contact Philena DeVaughn at or myself at We'd also appreciate it if you could forward this message on to any other instructional designers you may know.

  • August 18, 2016 10:40 PM | Ann Battenfield (Administrator)

    It's that time again!  We skipped one your favorite events in 2015, but are bringing it back due to popular demand. We have created a Google form for our Call. You can fill it out here.

    This year's theme is Overcoming Challenges. In our work, we face challenges all the time - unrealistic deadlines, clients who are sure training is the only option, SMEs who don't have time to work with us, decreasing budgets, and many others. Additionally, our organizations face increased challenges that are likely to affect us.

    Think about how you have overcome challenges in your work. Share research, share a tool, share your wisdom. And, remember, we are an organization whose members value evidence; we will ask you to share how you know that your presentation adds value.  Thanks for doing that - it's one of the differences that make our organization so special; our members count on us to

    If you haven't attended a Cracker-barrel and are interested in presenting, please answer the call! You need a 20 minute presentation that includes a job aid or handout that you will share. You will deliver your presentation 3 times, each time to a new group of attendees. In between presentations, you and the attendees will talk, eat, drink, and enjoy yourselves.

    Proposals are due by September 30th. Let the fun begin!

  • August 16, 2016 4:18 PM | Elizabeth Osika

    On Friday, August 5th, Kery Mortenson,  Tim Gillum, and Rebecca Potter-Hill from Baxter led a lively and informative strategy session for Chicago ISPI. As many of you know, our geographically based communities are up and running and Chicago ISPI is strategizing its next steps. What better way to move forward than to engage some of our own—the talented Baxter team--and, at the same time, learn a process and tools for predictive strategy.  

    There were about 25 people in the room, including board members, past presidents, newcomers and even a few interested parties that were not currently members—a well rounded perspective. One of the things that I appreciated as an audience member was the pace at which the session moved. There was no lolly-gagging or spending a lot of time on points we already knew. In fact, Baxter Bucks, cleverly designed with photos of Kery and Tim as young men, were used to incent small groups to move along in their discussions— engaging and effective for motivating behavior without explicitly making a plea for brevity!

    Our goal was to build an organizational strategy in four hours or less. We began by “Interrogating Reality” to arrive at a complete view of the organization. This activity had us look at the “reality”—what people say publically versus the  “ground truth”— the way things really are. Within moments, Tim fed the results back to us, which he and Rebecca continued to do throughout. They worked fast and furiously and their efforts were well worth it. Their technology was simple: Turning Technologies  and old fashioned Excel.  The rapid feedback process was in some cases validating, in others illustrative, and yet in others frank—and consistently engaging.

    After investigating reality, we worked in small groups and used a sticky note collection process to derive and visualize a desired state statement.  Tim working expeditiously to gather all the notes, group them and filter them into the resulting statement. With a defined reality and desired state in mind, it was time to do what we PI folks love to do and that is... wait for it...., analyze!

    We used a Tim and Kery invention called Rapid Performance Analysis. Essentially we took Gilbert’s performance engineering model and turned those categories into inquiry statements that the small groups discussed and answered using a color coded process for data collection. And then, more data crunching...

    Finally, it was time for solutions. We began this with an idea generation activity that purposefully and wisely separated us from our grandest of ideas and culled one another’s opinions for relevance and practicality. With solutions in hand, we tested into them we used a kind of modified SWOT with the oh-so engaging Turning Technologies clickers to rank the proposed solutions. Output scores and a colored graph later, we moved into the real meat of the data process to score and categorize the data into solution priorities based on the SWOT. There was a brilliance behind all this data shuffling that I can’t begin to articulate in this article, but I’ll tell you, the message is clear.

    Strategies and action plans need to focus on mitigating the threats identified prior to focusing on the identified opportunities.  Burnout of current active members and increased competition are key threats that require immediate solutions.

    The team is operating from a solid place of strength.  While marketing of the organization is a  key concern, the skills and experience of its active membership currently outweigh the weaknesses.  Relying on current membership as a core strength with the threat of burnout is a big concern.

    Bottom line is that for this organization to move forward, we need more people to step up and volunteer to work on solutions. And, that means you!

    It’s all in the data and we are an evidence-based organization, afterall!

    Contact to volunteer for manageable and rewarding contribution, today.

    Submitted by Ranya E. Verson

  • August 08, 2016 11:24 AM | Elizabeth Osika

    Brent Hoard, a doctoral candidate (Instructional Design & Technology) at Old Dominion University, and Dr. Jill Stefaniak ( request your participation in a research study that will examine the relationships between specific production and development skills, and the instructional design workflow that you utilize in real ­world projects.

    Participation in the study will entail participation in a speak-­aloud session conducted over Skype between the participant and this study's investigators, along with an intake data questionnaire. It is estimated that participating in the study will take approximately 30 ­minutes. 

    To indicate your interest in participating, please address an email to Brent Hoard ( and please include approximate days and times when you might be able to schedule the speak­aloud session. Alternatively, you may also use the following form to indicate your interest in participation rather than respond via email.

  • July 09, 2016 10:04 AM | Elizabeth Osika

    Chicago ISPI (International Society for Performance Improvement), the leading Chicago area association dedicated to improving workplace productivity and competence, is seeking a part-time seasoned marketing communications consultant.  The candidate must have experience using a variety of marketing communication tactics that will help Chicago ISPI increase community awareness of our brand, expand our membership base and keep our members informed about activities and programs. 

    Primary job responsibilities include: 

    • Writing website copy and maintaining the website*;
    • Drafting and editing our newsletter;
    • Writing marketing collateral and; 
    • Proofreading marketing materials for our target audiences. 

    Candidates must have social media experience--especially LinkedIn and FaceBook.  Experience with special event management is a plus.   

    The individual will be required to work a minimum of 8-10 hours remotely per month and must have a personal computer with Wi-Fi access and Microsoft Office Suite. Compensation is at a rate of $35-$50 per hour -- commensurate with experience.  

    If you are interested in the position, please submit a resume, cover letter and at least three writing samples to Kevin Einbinder ( by 5:00 p.m. on August 1, 2016.  

  • May 11, 2016 11:23 AM | Elizabeth Osika

    If you are not currently a member of our Chapter's parent organization, ISPI, now is the time to join.  ISPI has recently announced new membership levels with the Basic membership offered at no charge.

    For more information check out ISPI's Membership and Fees information.

  • May 11, 2016 11:19 AM | Elizabeth Osika

    Dear ISPI Members and Chapter Members, 

    Michael J. Sandel, the political philosopher, once wrote: “We drifted from having a market economy to being a market society. Everything seems to be governed by price tags and the question: What do I get for my buck?” But when Adam Smith wrote about markets, he was well aware that markets serve specific purposes in specific areas of society. And he was well aware that a framework of values governs markets. In fact, he wrote more about values than about markets in his books. These values are not part of the market. They cannot be traded, and they do not have a price tag. 

    How does this relate to our Society? We often hear discussions that grow out of the question: What do members get for their buck? Of course members should get value for the fees they pay. Still, structuring the discussion around this question alone corrupts the true purpose of a society and devalues it to a simple economic transaction. We firmly believe that this is a wrong approach. 

    We think our Society is about providing “rooms” for members’ needs and for keeping ISPI vibrant. It is about rooms for personal development, rooms for discussions that open new horizons, rooms for networking and finding support for our ideas, and rooms for experimentation and innovation. In the end, our Society offers opportunities that go far beyond the direct return for each dollar of one’s membership fee. 

    This line of thinking makes the individual membership fee a donation to support, in part, a purpose that the member values. Of course, we trust that at some point others will receive indirect benefits from this fee as well. And, the benefits could be multidimensional with many of those dimensions not having a price tag. 
    Members invest in the idea of shared professional development that cannot be predicted in every detail, and that cannot be standardized completely. This shared growth requires “rooms” for open development. And, members should be the ones who shape the rooms. 

    That our Society should be member-driven is an essential tenet we both believe in. Some examples: The Conference Committee should develop and innovate the conference. Different think tanks should collect new approaches and ensure that our methodology continues to expand. Networks should offer fast and easy access to colleagues who are interested in pursuing similar ideas. A comprehensive knowledge base that members can tailor to their individual needs should be a source for quick personal development. There might be hundreds of ideas out there that would make our Society a vibrant and innovative forum that is THE place to go to for professionals in the field.

    We started on this path with our new strategy. We continue to build this concept into ISPI step-by-step. The early results are already visible. At the annual conference, you experienced the FutureLAB as a “room” for learning about future developments and as a room to contribute and discuss your ideas. At the opening event, you experienced a new way to integrate newbies into our community. You experienced the results of our first community work project—a pilot program to lay a foundation for more such projects in the future. Such ISPI and community partnerships will offer developmental opportunities for members who otherwise would not be able to access and gain experience working on big projects. 

    This is all  just the beginning and opens exciting opportunities for volunteers to contribute and shape the new face of our Society. We will support this. The first step is to broaden the base for such a movement. That needs a membership campaign that only can be successful with your help. We are in the process of setting it up. Additional information will come very soon.  
    We want to support a movement driven by members that will take our Society to a whole new level. We invite you: Become part of this movement. Become an innovator and a driver of change. Start new initiatives by gathering people who believe in the same ideas. Start shaping the face of our Society and building our future. 

    Klaus Wittkuhn
    2015 - 2016


    Scott Casad
    President Elect
    2016 - 2017


  • April 09, 2016 9:25 AM | Elizabeth Osika

    The election for the 2016 Board Members is complete.  The following slate of candidates were elected unanimously to serve for the 2016 year:

    • President - Cindy Pinkstaff Miller
    • Vice-President - Jim Davis
    • Treasurer - Ann Battenfield
    • Secretary - Wendy Buehlman
    • Director - Kevin Rillo
    • Director - Elizabeth Osika

    The Board will also be interviewing for additional Director positions from those nominated.  

  • February 15, 2016 9:28 AM | Elizabeth Osika

    The North Community would like to survey their participants.

    If you are participating in the North Community or would like to, please take 30 seconds to complete the survey linked here ->

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