Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why Classroom Training is Sooo Much Better Than #eLearning

In honor of Dave Letterman and an end of an era, my top ten list... 

Why traditional classroom training is soooo much better than eLearning:
  1. You can learn at another person's pace.
  2. Get to see what the beltway looks like at 8 am. 
  3. Stale donuts.
  4. Sit next to that annoying guy from Finance. 
  5. Get another 2 1/2 inch binder. 
  6. Leave at 4:30. Hey, does the beltway look the same at 4:30?
  7. Complete a level 1 evaluation and let them know the trainer was real nice, but the room was cold. 
  8. Because there's a good chance I can be told "to put my phone away."
  9. I get to take the class once and if I need to review it, well maybe there's another one soon. 
  10. Who doesn't love a slightly awkward icebreaker?
Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Friday, May 1, 2015

eLearning Guild's Online DemoFest #elguild

DemoFest Badge
This August 19th and 20th the eLearning Guild will be holding the first OnlineDemoFest, I am really excited to see the great work that will be shared and also honored to be one of the presenters - I will be sharing my “Mission:JHome Content Manager“ course.

Hope to see you there. To attend, register on the eLearning Guild’s Online DemoFest page – DemoFest:Real People, Real Projects, Real Solutions. Let us know you are attending and what you think of the courses using the #elguild hashtag.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Paying Attention to Copyright

It is always troublesome to see disregard for copyright. At times it may be a lack of awareness to copyright law or it may be someone conveniently ignoring it, but either is no excuse and as members of a profession that utilizes images, video, audio, etc., we must keep ourselves aware of how we can or can't use such content. And I swear if I hear another person say "I found it on the web, so it's OK," I am going to scream. 

That said, here are some copyright resources in which we should be aware. I not only keep these available for the times I may need my own clarification, but I like sharing these links with SMEs, eLearning designers and anyone else who may need them. 
Copyright.gov (US Copyright Office)
Copyright Basics (US Copyright Office)
Copyright Basics (BYU)
Q&A - Copyright and Fair Use (Library of Congress)
Internet Copyright Infringement (Infographic)
And you can find more in my DIIGO "Copyright" bookmarks.  

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pinterest - Some of the Ways I'm Using It

I have had Pinterest for a while now, but my use has been on and off. I think for me it is not something I need on a daily basis, but certainly a great tool for when I find an eLearning resource I want to easily curate. So, here as some eLearning resources I have collected in my Pinterest boards thus far. 

eLearning - Anything eLearning related, often a lot of useful infographics are pinned. 

ISD - All things ISD, again plenty of infographics. 

Creative eLearning Examples - Inspiring examples from many great eLearning designers, and creative people from other fields too. 

My eLearning Portfolio - Some screen shots from my own portfolio. 

Any suggestions or do you have boards you would like to share? Please feel free to add them to the comments section below. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

And the last element of #IMPS... Streamline

Streamline the content, language and course interface.

Here is where prioritizing the must, good and nice to knows pays off. 
  • That "must" content is front and center - your emphasis.
  • The “good” is still accessible but may not be up front - a bit deeper into sections, appear in interactive assets, pop-ups, etc.
  • The "Nice to knows" - We are not using up real estate on these. These are:
    • Things that people who really want to learn more - curiosity or using the info at a higher level than the target audience. 
    • Things we told the SME we would fit it in when we were compromising. 
    • Great for pop-ups, an additional resources page, links to other sites, supporting materials, social media, informal learning resources or in additional interactive elements,etc.
  • Navigation - The course does not need to be linear - especially if audience has diverse learning needs, for example they may not need all the content. This will allow them to pick and chose what may be relevant to their learning needs and not make the course unnecessarily long for them.
  • Games - Lot of content, but not thrown at you all at once and a game can simultaneously put it in context - can be more "show" not "tell."
  • Cartoons - Simple scenario showing concept that brings it home instead of in-depth explanation of the concept.
  • Use analogies - Quicker and easier to understand if has similarities to the familiar - Remember, the audience brings knowledge to the table, tap into it.
  • Job Aids – Sometimes a job aid can be a better route, especially if it is something learners have to remember specific steps and apply on a less than regular basis (e.g., a task in software application). These are also good for a "Nice to Know" task that may not apply to all – Open it if you need it. Infographics may also suffice if the content is more informative than step-by-step.
  • Grammar & Style – Don’t make them read “War & Peace!” Trim the prose down as much as possible (i.e., eliminate passive sentences, successive propositional phrases, wordiness, etc.). 
Here is a quick IMPS guide for you. A link is also available under "Jeff's Links" on the right. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Prioritize - #IMPS

The third element of IMPS is Prioritize. 
Prioritize your content into  must know,” “good to know” and “nice to know” levels.

  • Must know - Look back at your objectives - What MUST they learn to reach those objectives. That's your top level/emphasis - As newspaper journalists would say "above the fold."
  • Good to know - Those things not imperative, but still of value in accomplishing the task to be learned. Maybe not emphasized but still accessible in the course. 
  • Nice to know - They can still do the job without this info, but it has value in understanding the subject in greater depth. It can often add more context around the topic or be information that will be of value as the learners progress and grow - ongoing learning. These will be topics that may be accessible in the course, but not distracting attention away from higher priority content. 
In the next post, Streamline, I will discuss how we use the above prioritization in the course design.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Managing Stakeholders, SMEs and Design Team - #IMPS

The second element of IMPS is Manage.

Manage* stakeholder, subject matter expert and design team’s expectations - Get them “on-board” with designing concise, but effective courses.

Here's how:

  • Get buy-in on what is needed to accomplish the course's goal. Emphasize it is "OUR course," belonging to all stakeholders especially the learner. We want a course that is:
    • Efficient use of learners’ time, as well as the organization’s time.
    • Convenient – There needs to be as little interference and time away from their jobs as possible.
    • Instructionally sound - Teach what learners’ need in order to apply the KSA's (not more, not less).
  • Address everyone’s role:
    • They must know your role and your team’s role, as designers. So often problems occur because they believe they will determine the objectives and design the course. They also don’t know what ISD is and what you do.
    • Discuss their roles and expectations (e.g., SMEs as a resource for you to learn subject and get clarification. They are not expected to design and write content - you will design and write it as instruction that will work online - that is your expertise).
    • If they provide materials and content, use what supports the learning objectives and rewrite as needed. Let them know you will shape it to work online. They may be possessive of it so assure them you won’t change meaning – just make it concise and deliver in instructionally sound manner.
    • You will have persistent SMEs that won't give up on throwing in the kitchen sink. There's always a compromise that won’t do extreme harm to the integrity of the course – we’ll talk about that in the next phase, Prioritize.
*The Identify and Manage phases will overlap, especially in regards to introducing the roles of the SME and eLearning Designer during initial meetings and needs analysis.