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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  • June 23, 2017 10:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join Chicago ISPI, ATDChi, and STC Chicago on August 15, 2017, at the NIU Naperville Conference Center for a fascinating look at advances in the field of eLearning.

    During the full-day conference, our speakers will explore all aspects of eLearning and related technology. You'll return to work with a portfolio of tools, techniques, and resources to make your organization's eLearning projects more effective.

    You're also invited to a special after-party to help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Showcase. After the conference, stay to network with other industry professionals, enjoy live entertainment, and enter a special prize drawing. Appetizers are included, and a cash bar is available.

    Early Bird Rates are in effect until July 24th  So register now!
    Details are available at the Chicago eLearning & Technology Showcase

  • June 23, 2017 10:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A recap from May 1st-3rd in Montreal 

    The ISPI conference headed to Montreal  this year.  From our Board, both Art Paton and Kevin Rillo attended.  All in all it was a very good conference.  

    We attended the Chapter Leadership meeting led by Mark Brewer.  Mark is the new head of chapter support for ISPI.  The chapter leaders from nine ISPI chapters, large and small, worked together on issues affecting every chapter:

    -        Membership

    -        Outreach

    -        Professional Development

    The chapter leaders provided ideas, and shared their own successful approaches to chapter life.  One chapter has drop in meets instead of formal meetings.  Another chapter meets virtually and has up to 400 members participating.  Art and Kevin will share the meeting summary information with members on our website for your review and comment.

    At the conference we heard that ISPI membership is growing, that new chapters are forming and we received the Chapter of Merit award for our work building chapter communities and our program offerings. The ISPI Advocates met to develop the ISPI strategy and will share that with the membership soon. 

    Stop by the ISPI site for more information about the Montreal Conference.  Make your plans to present your best work in Vancouver in 2018.

  • June 23, 2017 10:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As a Board member, I have my own ideas of what works and what doesn't work for me as a member;  and so do you!  As we move forward with looking at ways to engage you, we need to solicit your feedback and opinions.  So we will be launching a survey in the next two weeks which will help us shape what Chicago ISPI looks like, how we operate, and what we offer to you, our members.

    When you receive the brief survey, please take the time to complete it.  And if you know of past members or others who might be interested, please share the survey link with them as well.  Your feedback is very important to us and will help us deliver on your expectations.

  • June 23, 2017 10:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cindy Miller has been our President for the past couple of years.  She took over from Ann Battenfield and has been an inspiring and active member for many, many years.  Cindy has stepped-down from her role recently , but continues to engage with our organization.  Art Paton, currently a Director on the Board, will take over immediately as acting President.   According to our association by-laws, we will be conducting a mid-term election for President in the August/September timeframe.

    Anyone who is interested in serving on the Board as president or in any other capacity, please contact Kevin Rillo at or Wendy Buehlman at   We would be happy to share with you the details of board participation, and the opportunities that accompany this volunteer work.

  • June 23, 2017 10:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Summer is here and most organizations and associations see a slight slow-down of activity, due to a variety of reasons.  But our Chicago ISPI Board is still active and looking at ways to ensure we are adding value to our members. 

    The Board continues to meet twice a month.  Once as a face to face meeting and again as a conference call.  Aside from our monthly board activities, we often discuss how to better connect our members, provide them with meaningful and engaging programming, and how to reach out to new prospective members. 

    So, over the summer, we will continue to give of our free time in order to make our chapter more viable.  To that end, we will be sending out a survey to gauge your perspective as well.  Please take a few minutes to complete it and return it back to us.

  • 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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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 | Anonymous

    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.

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