October 2013

TOPIC: State of the e-Learning Industry

Date: Monday, October 14, 2013


6:00 – 6:30 pm:Networking

6:30 – 8:00 pm: Meeting


A painter’s palette can end up just as beautiful as the painting itself, with colors swirled and blended elegantly together into clouds of gradients. Blended learning can be like that: instructional designers artfully mixing disparate media and designs in ways that convey a true aesthetic, a coherent whole greater than any piece. Come hear a panel of instructional designers share success (and failure) stories about using their palette knives to inspire course owners, instructors, and learners.

Participants will: 

  • Identify critical elements in effective blending learning solutions. 
  • Discuss pros and cons of various delivery methods. 
  • Learn about “organizational readiness” around blended learning solutions. 
  • Share/analyze stories of blended learning successes and failures.


Anita Dincesen is a Project Manager at the DNR, where she is working with the Shared Services Division, providing business support to several newly-launched IT applications. Previously, she was an eLearning Specialist for the Minnesota Judicial Branch, developing online tutorials, courses and web conferences for court staff and Judicial Officers. She was also responsible for developing capacity of in-house faculty on virtual instructor-led training methods. Through her experience at the Judicial Branch, she will share some examples and insights into managing client expectations as blended learning “grows up” across an organization.  She received her BA in History and M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instructional Systems, University of Minnesota, and has many years experience in technology and learning.

Sue Mehrkens, BS, Independent Consultant at Ecolab. Former Senior Instructional Designer at Honeywell Building Solutions where she developed training programs for field technicians and SAP users. Before Honeywell, she worked in various training/technical writing roles at two large medical device companies, three state agencies, three school systems and managed her own consulting firm for six years.  Sue has served as External Communications Co-Chair, former President and Membership Chair of MNISPI. She is also an active member of DLF, ISPI, PACT and ASTD SIGs. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Education and obtained a Training and Development Certificate from the University of Minnesota.

Bob Mulcahy is the Director of Instructional Design and Technology at McGladrey. Recently he has published articles on both cooperative learning and simulation design. Prior to McGladrey, he spent 12 years leading design teams at PLATO Learning. He earned his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction (Learning Technologies) from the University of Minnesota. He’s been involved in a number of blended learning projects – many of which were failures. Don’t let it happen to you!