Sunday, August 29, 2010

Books Not Recommended by Members of #lrnchat

Last Thursday, #lrnchat's topic was "book talk" and question five was great fun. The question posed was "What are book titles you hope never to see?" Here is a list of just some of the responses. They are not just very amusing, they are also a great reflection on so much of what we should avoid, or at least rethink, in our industry.

Dave_Ferguson: “I Can Haz Smarts: Lolcats Guyd to Learnin Stylz”
JaneBozarth: "More Levels for Evaluation by Autopsy"
sillym0nkey: Rapid Oganizational Change
kelly_smith01:  I’m OK, You’re my SME?
trchandler:  “Mandated Learning Made Easy”
billcush: ADDIE for Dummies
Quinnovator:  “Adapting Learning: Learning Styles, Generational Differences, and Brain-Based Learning”
susannahrl: How to outsource all eLearning design and development in 3 easy steps
Quinnovator: “Content and a Quiz: your guide to meaningful change”
moehlert: @lrnchat Compliance Training for Fun and Profit
sillym0nkey: how to bring back ppt lectures to the classroom
trchandler: “How to Squeeze More Bullet Points into your Presentations”
Quinnovator: “The LMS: your complete learning solution”
mpetersell: “101 versions of jeopardy for learning”
odguru: How to keep them guessing: Butchering the socratic method to make people feel dumb
Dave_Ferguson: Management Secrets of Donald Rumsfeld (a new musical)
kasey428: The Audio Book of Advanced Calculus
: "Incorporating Informal Learning into Your LMS"
jsuzcampos: Speak When Spoken To: Your Guide to Lively Classroom Discussion
mbr1online: Death by PowerPoint: A Manual
Dave_Ferguson Are you not a fan of lateral thinking or is it interpretive dance that annoys you?
Quinnovator: “Investing in Organizational Learning: The Cost Center Approach”
Dave_Ferguson: Take It to the River: How Hammurabi the CEO Dealt with Naysayers and Nitpickers.
TriciaRansom: The Complete Guide to Standard Clip Art
Dave_Ferguson: “How to Rail against Social Media while Maintaining Eight Twitter IDs, or, Easy Self-RTs”
kasey428: Improve the Classroom Experience: Adding Motion to Your PowerPoints!
Quinnovator: “Social Schmocial: Why Formal Is the only Real Learning”
NYChase: The Client is Always Right.
sillym0nkey: How to use smile sheets effectively
TriciaRansom: More Time in Training = More Learning
mbr1online: Idiot's Guide to Organizing Your Files and Catching Up on Email while Watching Webinars.
trchandler: "Class Evaluation Questions that Guarantee a Raise"
minutebio:  "Google Wave and How it Will Change Learning"

Want to see the books that ARE recommended? See the book list from the early #lrnchat and the full transcripts can be found on the #lrnchat page.

An important note: If you have not participated in #lrnchat (online chat via Twitter), you are really missing a great experience. It is great fun and a chance to interact, learn and share with many great instructional designers. They have both an early and a late version every Thursday. The schedule and helpful information on participating is available on the #lrnchat blog. See you next Thursday!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My e-Learning Don'ts

Here is a list I compiled of things I think should NOT be done when designing e-learning courses. I believe the following are counter to adult learning theory, sound e-learning design and they just down-right irk me. They are not in any particular order.


  1. Turn off navigation until a screen's audio is done. Not only do most people read quicker than narration and may choose to move on, it is just plain wrong to deny learners user control.

  2. Have audio without close caption or at least equivalent content on screen. This is not just a 508 compliance (accessibility) issue, it is also possible that some computers won't have audio capabilities. For example, this was the case at a bank I worked for where tellers did not have sound on their PCs.

  3. Force navigation. You know those courses that you can only go in a linear direction using the dreaded next button and they don't even give you access to a menu, ugh! Didn't I mention user control  earlier?

  4. Neglect to include orientation. Let me know if I am on page 1 of 10 or 1 of 100. However, if you have page 1 of 100 written anywhere in your course you have even bigger issues to resolve.

  5. Call a course interactive when all it has is a bunch of pop-ups. There is more to creating an interactive course than adding pop-ups and rollovers. Here is a good resource if you are looking for ideas on how to make your course more interactive -  Schone's "Engaging Interactions for eLearning."

  6. Make courses that look like it's PowerPoint. I know PowerPoint is sometimes used as an authorig tool, but at least use it to create engaging, interactive courses that do not resemble PowerPoint slide decks that you just uploaded to Captivate or Articulate. Need tips on bringing PowerPoint to life? Try the Rapid eLearning blog.

  7. Leave out feedback for review and assessment questions. Providing feedback is a chance to correct misconceptions, reinforce learning,  etc.

  8. List objectives like they are written in your course design plan. Of course it is good to include objectives, but write them in a way that is more conversational and spark interest.

  9. Use graphics that have absolutely nothing to do with the learning at hand. See the eLearning Coach for some tips on using graphics.

  10. Make a course mandatory if it absolutely does not have to be mandatory. Let the learners learn for learning sake.

If you have additional e-learning don'ts, please share them in the comments section.