News & Updates

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  • July 07, 2015 1:50 PM | Elizabeth Osika

    THE Performance Improvement Conference 2016 
    Call for Proposals

    ISPI is pleased to announce the call for proposals for 
    THE Performance Improvement Conference 2016
    Conference Programs: April 10-12, 2016
    Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

     The 2016 Deadline for Proposals is August 31, 2015.

    About This Year's Process:
    ISPI is pleased to provide an online submission process for the 2016 Conference Proposals.  All submissions for the conference will be through a new web portal; we will send out information to all our members and last year's presenters when the portal for submissions is open.

    Conference Theme:
    This year's theme is "Connect, Innovate, Integrate."

    Conference Presentations:
    Your proposal topic must align with one of the tracks below.  This enables participants to tailor their conference experience according to their interests. The tracks for proposals include the following:


    • Feature out-of-the-box, forward-thinking approaches to Performance Improvement (PI)
    • Go beyond “textbook” application of PI
    • Address contemporary / future topics
    • Introduce the audience to something really new, which drives their professional development
    • Invite attendees to shamelessly copy the approach immediately after leaving the conference

    Research to Practice

    • Demonstrate how PI models, systems, and tools have rigorously been applied to organizations
    • Outline formal research methods and procedures
    • Back-up research with quantitative or qualitative evidence to justify claims
    • Represent masters or doctoral dissertation or other academic research-based intervention

    PI in Developing Countries

    • Showcase PI engagement beyond Western Europe and North America
    • Depart from dominant western paradigms informing practice
    • Address unique needs of organizations in developing countries
    • Give an overview of the return on donor investment in PI
    • Introduce the audience to “huge scope” projects

    Applied PI

    • Examine PI interventions in practice
    • Use practical case studies
    • Include a demonstration of sound analysis

    Skill Builders

    • Share tools, models, software, games, applications, and other approaches so attendees can learn and immediately use back-on-the-job
    • Include hands-on application, exercises, or demonstrations

    PI and Systems Thinking

    • Demonstrate an application of core principles of systems thinking
    • Emphasize the advantages of a systematic approach
    • Outline how understanding is based on a systematic approach

    Education Sessions
    75-minute presentations are still the backbone of the ISPI Conference. This format gives the presenter time to fully explore a case study, a set of tools, or a methodology, and allows attendees time to apply and try out what they have learned.

    These 20-minute sessions are an excellent way for participants to invest just 20 minutes and come away with a functional understanding of a model, approach, concept or tool that they can really use tomorrow. For the 2016 ISPI Conference, 20-Minute Roundtables will be offered as a General Session, also fondly known as the Cracker Barrel session.

    Pecha Kucha
    “What is PechaKucha?” PechaKucha is Japanese for “chatter” or “chit-chat.” It’s a simple set of rules where presentations consist of 20 slides auto-timed at 20 seconds each. Virtually any idea or concept can be explored using this innovative format. Typically PechaKucha (pronounced pe-CHAK-cha) 20x20 presentations are almost completely graphical in nature with the presenter providing the textual narrative. We challenge you to try this relatively new session format for ISPI and join us on the creative presentation cutting-edge. These presentations will be offered as a General Session.

  • June 09, 2015 10:12 PM | Ann Battenfield (Administrator)

    In an excellent article published at eLearn Magazine, Brett Christiansen and Guy Wallace chase down the research behind some long-held performance improvement beliefs. 

    "Not everyone in the performance improvement field is a formal researcher and able to cite the research off the top of their head. But all should know the major "takeaways" of the research. All should know which of the well-established "myths" of our profession are most prevalent so that they and their clients can avoid them.

    "But it is very tricky to keep up with the facts versus fiction. And sometimes we are hoisted on our own petards—for "our crowds" sometimes provide us with both wisdom and folklore that gets repeated and repeated and repeated until we all believe it—except those hard-headed skeptics who seem to believe nothing and demand to see the proof.

    "Such is the case with variations of: Only 20 percent of performance issues are rooted in the individual versus the system (or environment)."

    Do follow the link to read the whole article and about their findings. From historic information about ISPI's roots and early conferences to research oft cited that may or may not have been completed, the article is fascinating.

  • May 17, 2015 4:14 PM | Ann Battenfield (Administrator)

    As a longtime ISPIer, I tend to enjoy any radio show or podcast that includes science, learning, and research. Radiolab shows often fit that bill. 

    You've likely heard about Facebook and the revolt that happened last fall when we learned that any Facebook user is likely part of social research. This episode, The Trust Engineers, starts with fascinating information about how the people at Facebook tried to word messages to change response rates. I am haven't analyzed this yet regarding what is relevant to us in the work we do, but it's a great listen...I think. Hope you do, too!

    Please listen, if you have the time, and add any ideas below regarding implications to our work. I think there may be several regarding change management.

  • May 15, 2015 4:48 PM | Ann Battenfield (Administrator)

    ISPI (and its chapters) has been asked to help with an important project for the U.S. Department of Labor called O*NET (Occupational Information Network, Research Triangle Institute, the non-profit research company conducting the data collection on Training and Development Managers for the DOL, is eager to have your input to ensure the information published at the O*NET Database remains current and accurate. Will you please help with this initiative?

     O*NET is a free resource accessed by millions of employers, veterans, job seekers, educators, and students each year for career exploration, workforce development and writing job descriptions for hiring and training. A random sample of occupational experts responding to this request will be invited to complete questionnaires in 2015.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    In order to participate, you must meet the criteria described below for the classification of Training and Development Managers: Plan, direct, or coordinate the training and development activities and staff of an organization. (Full summary available at

    • Do you have at least one year of practice as a Training and Development Manager at any point within your career?
    • Do you have at least 5 years of experience with the occupation of Training and Development Managers which includes any one or combination of the following: practicing in the occupation, teaching, training or supervising those in the occupation? 
    • Are you still active in the occupation, either practicing, teaching, training or supervising?
    How You Can Help:

    Please email or call Traci Davis at the O*NET Operations Center at RTI International (  or 877-233-7348 ext. 109) and provide the following:


    Daytime Phone number: 

    Mailing Address/State:  

    Email address: 

    Years of experience with the occupation:

    Your area of focus, role or specialty: 

    The information experts provide about the occupation will be combined with responses from other professionals across the country and become the government reference for the work on Contact information submitted by experts will be kept strictly private and your name will not be associated with the aggregate results published at O*NET.

    Thank you very much for your participation to increase the knowledge available about our work.

  • April 26, 2015 1:29 PM | Anonymous

    Are you looking for an expert in measurement or research, for example, who would provide a workshop or presentation that would help your team members learn, grow, and create new skills?

    Look no further! In the next few weeks, ISPI is launching a Website that allows you to search for presenters in the performance improvement arena. Everyone on the list is fully vetted, so you can be sure that they are qualified and you can search by geographical area and within practice areas.

    More information coming soon!

  • April 22, 2015 4:49 PM | Ann Battenfield (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. The call is open until May 15th.

    Not ready to present but want to help? Volunteers are essential and help keep the costs reasonable and create an event that the coordinators--Chicago ISPI, ATD-CHI, and STC Chicago--are proud of. Help shape the conference and receive a discount registration!

  • April 20, 2015 10:09 AM | Elizabeth Osika

    The Chicago State University Information Studies Department is pleased to announce a new Masters of Science in Technology and Performance Improvement Studies (MS-TPIS) online degree program which starts fall 2015.  

    This program is aligned with the published standards of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI). Program participants will gain insight that allows them to authentically apply ISPI standards through the integration of applied practices in the areas of human performance technology (HPT), information and communications technology (ICT), and quality management.  During the course of study, students can apply for additional professional certifications from ISPI, CISCO, CompTIA, and the American Society of Quality (ASQ). The program prepares professionals to systematically evaluate the current work environment and implement appropriate solutions in order to improve performance across disciplines. 

    The MS-TPIS degree is ideal for individuals interested in advancing in their current position or preparing for new positions such as managers and directors of information technology, performance improvement specialists, educational technologists, trainers, eLearning specialists, consultants, network administrators, systems analysts, and a variety of other professions.  

    This fall we will be offering the following online courses if you simply want to take a course or prefer to do a test run before committing to an entire degree.

    • TPS 5060 - Fundamentals of Performance Improvement
    • TPS 5300 - Fundamentals of Instructional Design
    • TPS 5510 - Network Fundamentals for Information Specialists
    • TPS 5610 - Wireless Security Design

    For more information visit our website, Master of Science in Technology and Performance Improvement Studies, contact the Information Studies Department at 773.995.2598 or email us at

  • April 16, 2015 10:18 PM | Anonymous

    Carol Haig, longtime ISPI member and volunteer, sent out this link, An Illustrated History of Tex-Mex, to some fellow ISPI members. Whether you plan on attending the conference or not, the article is well worth a read, especially if you enjoy Tex-Mex food.

    According to the article, "The cuisine grew out of the Rio Grande Valley but came into its own in San Antonio." From the format--rice, beans, entree--to Fritos to fajitas, it all started there.

    Here are some other links to help you prepare your culinary excursions:

    1. 10 best foodie spots in San Antonio

    2. Local San Antonio restaurants that serve the best pancakes

    3. Best Bbq, San Antonio

    4. Where do the locals eat? (TripAdvisor)

    5. Best Mexican in San Antonio? (ChowHound)

    6. PAX SouthTour Guide Pt 2 - Where the locals eat and drink

    And, if you're looking to play hooky one afternoon or stay and extra day or two, try this: Pax SouthTour Guide Pt 1 - I'm in San Antonio, now what?

  • April 13, 2015 11:15 PM | Anonymous

    Confused about whether learning styles are important in instructional design? Look no farther than a page at The Training & Development World: The Complete And Utter Myth Of Taking Into Account Learning Styles In Design And Delivery of Training And Teaching.

    This page lists many sources that will help you make up your mind. From an audio piece originally from National Public Radio to a link to the Association of Psychological Sciences where it is asserted that there is no evidence to support auditory and visual learning styles, there are at least fifteen links. If you only have a few minutes, read this one, by Peter DeWitt.

    Unfortunately, there are likely thousands of links on the Internet that make the opposite case! If you search on "learning styles in teaching" on Google, you will find link after link of sites, companies, and organizations exhorting you that you must take into account learning styles when you develop any type of training.

    Here's to standing strong against ideas whose time has passed.

  • April 10, 2015 9:57 PM | Anonymous

    It may be because of how your brain works. Researchers measured connections between parts of the brain as the learners played a new, relatively simple game. The neural activity was different in those who learned the game more quickly than it was in those who learned it more slowly.

    According to an article at, "Their analysis provides new insight into what happens in the brain during the learning process and sheds light on the role of interactions between different regions. The findings, which appear online today in Nature Neuroscience, suggest that recruiting unnecessary parts of the brain for a given task — similar to overthinking the problem — plays a critical role in this important difference."

    Click here to read the whole article and learn how the study was conducted and more about the findings.

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