Tuesday, November 29, 2011
When this project was brought to me it involved training for both a Windows 7 and Office 2010 upgrade, which is why some of the documents included here references Windows 7 in addition to the Office upgrade. My first step for any training project is the needs analysis, albeit it is often very informal when on short time-lines like this project. Because I had been teaching a face-to-face computer basics class, including some Office training, I had already a big jump on both knowing the audience and how they use the systems that were being upgraded. I also was provided a second work PC with Windows 7 and Office 2010 loaded on it. This allowed me to use and learn the Windows 7 operating system and Office 2010 applications while simultaneously identifying the changes staff will encounter. Keep in mind, I still had my current PC so I had the luxury of being able to make comparisons of the old and new. Once I identified the learning needs, which by the way were more numerous in Outlook due to bigger changes to Outlook from 2007 to 2010 than in the other Office apps, I was ready to draft a course design plan.
The course design plan is crucial in creating an effective course and includes everything from the rationale for the course to its evaluation plan. I am providing a link so you may see a copy of the course design plan (CDP). I always circle back to my stakeholders and share the CDP with them. It shows the approach I am taking and exactly what will be taught. Keep in mind it did not reference much regarding social media. It focused mostly on the asynchronous online course itself. The social media and Intranet page were components that evolved during the development stage. FYI: If you would like to know more about my approach to writing course design plans, please visit my post on CDPs.
Once the CDP was completed and reviewed by my stakeholders and subject matter experts, I like them to sign off on it, I began storyboarding the course. It is important to note, I am a "one person e-learning shop," so when I storyboard they are not handed off to developers or anyone else. These are tools for my own design and development process. So, as you can see in the examples below, they include enough detail for my own review and get quite messy. If I worked with others I would create much cleaner versions. Either way, below are several examples that show a bit of the process. Once storyboards were developed, and rewritten a few times, I then had the content, navigation, development tools needed, etc. I am was now ready move on to developing the course.
Regarding the Windows 7 content that was scrapped just prior to implementation, because the course was non-linear, but had a separate section for Windows 7 sims, it was easy to isolate that section of the course and remove it. Actually, because the interface was built in Flash all I had to do was remove the button to the section and introductory reference to it. I will speak more to that in the next post in which I address course development.
View the course - Introduction to Office 2010
Read more about course design plans
Read more about storyboards
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Over the coming weeks I am going to blog about the processes of designing, developing and implementing my DemoFest course. My intention is to share how I go about putting a course together and to provide the support materials used to design the course. For example, the course design plan, storyboards, communication plans, etc.
A good place start is to first provide an overview of the course and lessons learned as described in my DemoFest submission below.
Why was this project needed? Describe why you built it.
Johns Hopkins HealthCare began transitioning staff to Microsoft Office 2010 applications in February 2010. Staff required training on using the new application interfaces and learning how to complete Office tasks that have changed in the new and updated Office software.
What authoring tools, systems, or technologies did you use to create this project?
Adobe Flash, Adobe Captivate, Articulate Presenter, Articulate Quizmaker, Microsoft Office 2010. Social Media included Twitter, Screenr videos, and Diigo social bookmarks.
How many "learners" will benefit from this program or project?
760 Johns Hopkins HealthCare staff, but the course is being extended out to additional entities within the Johns Hopkins Health System.
How long did it take you to complete this project?
Approximately 120 hours during a two month period. This time does not include ongoing learner support using social media and Intranet pages.
What problems or challenges did you have to overcome while creating this project?
Time constraints, which resulted in not including audio in the course. Limited staff participation in the social media elements, specifically Twitter. The need to use multiple development tools in order to accomplish the project’s design.
What valuable insights, lessons learned, or results did you discover when working with these challenges?
Due to the less-than-expected use of Twitter among staff, there was less participation in the social media elements. In the future, I would put more effort in marketing the benefits and use of Twitter among staff. Also, I would find a way to incentivize its adoption by staff. I learned that the ongoing support implemented on our Intranet pages, Screenr videos, Diigo social bookmarks, and job aids were highly valued by staff and seen as very practical and accessible resources that are continually being used. Also, the non-linear design and easy to navigate course encourages it to be also used as a refresher course. One of my most valuable insights was that the use of whimsical characters was an effective way to market the course, and increased recognition and participation in the project. Using the characters to market the course included placing full-size cut-outs of the course's main character, Captain Upgrade, throughout our buildings, and appearing on LCD screen advertisements, flyers, and on our Intranet.
Below is the link to the Office 2010 course. I have also provided direct links to the learning program's social learning elements.
Introduction to Office 2010
And direct links to some of the social learning elements in the learning program:
In the next post I will describe the design process and share a copy of the course design plan and example storyboards.
Thank you again to all who attended DemoFest and a really big thank you to the eLearningGuild for holding an incredible DevLearn conference.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Plus, there will be a live #LrnChat tweetup and I am extemely excited to meet many of these great tweeps in person. Although I will be manning my DemoFest table during the tweetup, I hope to sneak a few #LrnChat tweets in here or there. If you are there please stop by my DemoFest table and introduce yourself. Looking forward to learning, learning and learning some more and also to meeting new e-learning peeps and many of the people I have gotten to know through this blog and my Twitter network.
Hope to see you there,
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Kevin Thorn, a.k.a. Nugget Head, recently published an article in eLearn Magazine, The Art of Storyboarding, that is a very worthwhile read. Storyboarding is a crucial skill to have in our elearning world and Kevin offers great insight on its uses and value in elearning design along with a bit about the history of storyboarding.
Also, NPR had a story regarding the myth of learning styles that is worth a listen. Although this is probably not news to many in the world of ISD, it did get many instructional designers on twitter (my PLN) discussing, and paying more attention to, the subject. Give it a listen below. It also sheds light on some teaching methods that do work.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
With Hurricane Irene on its way towards the east coast (U.S.) I thought I would share the following online learning courses that may be of assistance to those in its path.
Are You Prepared? - 72hours.org
Be Red Cross Ready - American Red Cross
Hurricane Preparedness - Propane Exceptional Energy
To all those potentially affected by the hurricane, please be careful, prepare as well as you can, and be safe.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
For quite a while I have been teaching a computer basics class in addition to developing online courses. The class is a traditional classroom course focusing mostly on basic PC and Outlook skills. Participants vary greatly in skill level and I encounter a fair number of people not familiar with what many would consider common computer tasks. Realizing many of these tasks potentially save computer users a lot of time and aggravation, I decided to also share these online via very brief video tutorials within the organization's Intranet. The tutorials have been well received and I have decided to also make similar tutorials available to the general public.
I am happy to announce Right Click Rick's blog. The blog is already off to a running start with Windows 7 and Office 2010 tutorials, all of which are very accessible and very free. By also having a strong social media presence, I hope to provide as much ease of access as possible for anyone wanting to learn a few new computer tips and tricks.
I appreciate you taking the time to visit www.rightclickrick.com or any of his SoMe pages which are linked below.
Please feel free to link, like, or follow any of the above, which I always greatly appreciate. You can also access the tutorial's embed codes on the Screenr page or the YouTube page.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
This month's Big Question at the Learning Circuits blog is "How do you make e-learning fun?"
Before listing my ideas regarding e-learning fun, I do want to note that just because it's fun does not necessarily mean learning objectives are being met, that it is relevant to participants' learning needs, that it will motivate learners, etc. However, incorporating elements that are fun will keep the learner's attention, make it an enjoyable experience and hopefully get people talking the course up to others. For me, one of the greatest compliments is when people say, "the course was fun and I learned a lot too." FYI: If you are looking for a good way to engage and motive learners, in addition to making them fun, take a look at the ARCS Model and Gagne's Nine Events of Learning.
Back to the Big Question, here is how I make e-learning fun:
- Add humor. When appropriate of course and never, ever offensive.
- Add fun characters. I like to use numerous characters to break up any monotony, add conversations and even increase attention by creating tension between characters.
- Incorporate games into courses or make the entire course a game itself.
- Silliness is a great way to get the audience's attention and focus on specific content you want to be memorable.
- Incorporate interaction between audience members. Perhaps pose fun questions or topics they can discuss and make sure they know it is OK to have a fun, lighthearted discussion. Incorporating social media can help make this happen.
In regards to when to make e-learning fun, I try my best to make it fun whenever I can pull it off. Some topics do not easily lend themselves to being fun and if it is something emotionally sensitive then I keep it serious as not to offend. The same goes for topics that the audience and/or stakeholders take very, very seriously and do not want misinterpreted as something to be taken lightly.
Don't forget to add your two bits to the Big Question or tweet your comments using the #LCBQ hashtag.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Abraham Lincoln’s Crossroads - National Constitution Center
An Overview of American History (video) - Digital History
Arirang*An Interactive Classroom on the Korean American Experience
Constitutional Timeline - National Constitution Center
Flash Flood: Hurricane Katrina’s Inundation of New Orleans - The Times-Picayune
Native Words, Native Warriors (Codetalkers) - NMAI
The First Thanksgiving - Plimoth.org
The Supreme Court - CSPAN
U.S. History Timeline - Digital History
WASP: Women With Wings in WWII - NPR
We Choose the Moon
Which Founder Are You? - National Constitution Center
The White House - CSPAN
One Small Step - NASA
NASA 50 Years - NASA
Happy 4th of July everyone!
Monday, June 20, 2011
Cartoons (also suggested by Green) - A funny cartoon can liven up the class. The following allow you to make your own that you can use in the classroom.
Charts, Diagrams, and Data - Explain it in a chart using the apps below. Plus, you will be surprised how much supporting information you may find in the Google Public Data Explorer.
Cacoo (create diagrams)
ChartGo (create charts)
Google Public Data Explorer (Create charts and visualizations form public data)
QR Code Generators - Put QR codes in your manuals and on the classroom screen. They can contain text or URLs and is a great way to get additional information and resources to attendees with smart phones.
Screencasts - Software trainers, show them how it is done in a screencast that can be shared in the classroom and also accessed later at their convenience. Heck, give them the screencast's link via a QR code while you are at it. Participants can create their own and use them to share their new skills with others.
Social Bookmarking - Make sure they have all your online resources by giving them one link to all your bookmarks. Plus, when you add additional resources at a later time, they will see them too.
Social Media - Get a back channel going in the classroom and keep it posted on the screen. Plus, what a great way to continue supporting learners by interacting via social media after the class ends.
Storify (create stories using social media)
Video - Create your own video and post it, find relevant videos already out there, and/or get your learners to make and share their own video.
These are just the apps I pulled from the Cloud App page. Do you have suggestions of where classroom trainers can find useful online tools for the classroom? If so, feel free to add them to the comment section.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Over at the Learning Circuits Blog the Big Question is "How do we break down organizational walls when it comes to learning?" So, here are some practical tips and advice on how to break down the organizational walls.
- First off, always be on the lookout for opportunities to bring external learning inside the organization. Whether online courses that can be linked to from the LMS or bringing a live training event into the classroom, potential opportunities should always be on your radar.
- Social media - Right now I am in the midst of encouraging staff to use social media as a learning and teaching tool. This is challenging especially when some staff are reluctant in embracing any new technology. Social media provides access to an immense amount of informal learning and direct access to experts outside the organization walls. My advice, be patient, keep encouraging its adoption, tout the positive results and give it time to catch on.
- Give staff easily accessible avenues to getting over the wall like links to social bookmarks that contain well organized, tagged, learning opportunities. I also like to plaster QR codes wherever I can that also take staff to these bookmarks or to specific sites relating to subjects relevant to staff.
- A big barrier for too many organizations is simply getting access outside the firewall especially access to social media. Start selling the powers to be on the benefits of more open access to social media.
- An issue I have seen at numerous organizations is time limitation for non-exempt staff. In other words, organizations encourage exempt (salaried) staff to take courses during whatever time is convenient to them, but do the exact opposite for non-exempt staff. The reason being organizations do not want to pay staff for possible overtime. Either set aside time for their development within the allotted 40 hours of work time or be willing to pay for their time beyond the 40 hour work week. Remember, your staff deserves, and is well worth, your organization's investment.
- Coach staff on their job development. Coworkers should be open to giving advice and coaching fellow coworkers looking for opportunities for development including assisting with finding learning opportunities available outside the organizational wall.
- How many times has a coworker went to a conference and not shared what they learned or the resources they found? Make sure there are avenues and expectations for this information to be shared. Even if it is as simple as sending an email with links to resources and learning opportunities found.
- Less we not forget, tuition reimbursement programs greatly encourage staffs' academic growth. If your organization does not have one, start asking for it. If they do have one, take advantage of it and encourage others to do the same.
Any other suggestions on how to assure learning is not restricted by the organization wall? Add them in the comments section or write a post and let us know at the Learning Circuits Blog.
Monday, May 23, 2011
If you read my last post you may remember I am currently in a situation where training must be provided on very short notice and I listed how I am attempting to get this done. Something I touched upon was communication, but because communication and marketing training is very important in this type of situation I wanted to expand a bit more on the topic. I have written about marketing courses before, but the last minute nature of on-demand situations makes marketing even more crucial for the audience to know it's available in addition to generating interest and motivation.
So, in an "on-demand" scenario also be prepared to:
- Get the e-mail blasts ready with direct links to the learning resources you are offering - make it easy for them to access immediately.
- Announce the course, job aids, blog etc. on the LMS and/or intranet - again providing direct links.
- Give the heads up to supervisors to gain their support and get a buzz going. In fact, getting announcements in their meetings is big plus. Getting face time in their meetings yourself is good too. Encourage SMEs and stakeholders to talk it up also.
Remember, always include a good description of what is being offered and the benefits of participating - if it is relevant, they will attend.
Monday, May 16, 2011
At this moment I happen to be in a situation where a major software system upgrade is going to occur in a matter of weeks. Staff do not have the luxury of waiting for me to design, develop and implement a thorough set of learning events. Here is one real life example of what is done in an "on demand" situation.
- An immediate sit down with the SMEs to identify the audience and the changes to the system (luckily, I have worked with this audience and system before) and to gain access to the new system.
- Use the new system myself to further identify learning needs and challenges the audience may encounter, while grabbing screenshots and creating job aids for the tasks the audience will need to learn in the upgraded system. If you are a fan of the ADDIE model, this would be like trying one's best to lump the analysis, design and development phases together into a very, very short period of time... It is not pretty, but it is what happens in an "on-demand" situation.
- Get a blog on the Intranet where I can provide ongoing support, additional learning materials, tips and tricks and a place for staff to share their knowledge of using the new system.
- Communicate details about the upgrade including its features, benefits and motivate learners to master the new system. Oh yeah, get them the job aids they need.
- If time allows, I will build some impromptu simulations in addition to the job aids.
None of this is pretty, but this is what I have had to scratch together to address on-demand learning needs in this particular situation. Luckily, job aids and on-going support via the blog should get the learners up to speed for this upgrade... Wish me luck.
FYI: This post may not directly address the question of how we need to change but rather be an example of what is done in one particular "on-demand" scenario. I will say we cannot completely skip analysis and design phases, but need to be able to think on our feet and do our best to conduct very quick, informal analyses and design on the fly in these situations.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
I recently posted my response to the Learning Circuits Big Question (LCBQ). It occurred to me there is another stakeholder who may also demand, "I want it now." They probably have a more legitimate reason for making this demand simply because they are the people that actually use the knowledge and/or skills the training teaches... They are the audience. In my opinion, the most important stakeholder. They do not ask for low quality, quickly developed training. They want quality, effective courses when and where they needed it, but I am sure they also want the instructional designers to be given the time needed to design and develop such a thing.
So, as the "other stakeholder," what do they mean when they say "I want it now!"
- No short notice (time to take training on their schedule and time to review, if necessary).
- Ease of access (e.g., mobile, social media, off the LMS (at least painless access to what resides on the LMS), etc.)
- Quality courses that keeps their attention, focuses on their learning needs and is relevant to their job.
- Ongoing access to the course and it still is relevant when they take it a year later even when job or skills have changed. In other words, appropriately updated content.
- Ongoing support. Social media, blogs, etc. are good in many cases to provide ongoing support for the course's audience.
So, let's not forget the learner is also a stakeholder and they want training when needed, but do not want hastily made courses that do not address their learning needs. Please feel free to use the comments section to add what I may have missed in regards to what our audience mean when they say "I want it now." Also feel free to add your comments in Twitter with the #LCBQ hash tag.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
A Priest, A Rabbi and an Instructional Designer Are in a Bar and Identify a Training Need: A response to the #LCBQ
It is important to note that I am writing from the perspective of an e-learning designer in a corporate training department. This is important because we typically have numerous advantages in dealing with stakeholders that consultants do not always have:
- Corporate training departments have a greater ability of push-back on projects. For the most part our stakeholders are internal customers and we do not have the same risks of losing contracts when we push-back.
- We have had the time to "condition" the stakeholders over time to bring us to the table as early as possible. We have also educated them on the design and development process, and the time required, within the organization.
- We more likely have the experience of working with the stakeholder, audience, SMEs, the organization's LMS, specific applications or technology, etc. so we can hit the ground running.
Now with all that out of the way, if the stakeholder has the "I want it now" attitude here are some tips to delivering a course sooner than later (never with out risk to the quality of the training):
- Shorten the process - Here is an outline of the e-Learning Process from Inception to Evaluation, which I used for a team presentation back in 2005. If you follow the ADDIE model it is still pertinent and as you can see there are corners to be cut that will shorten the timeline required. I make it a point to inform stakeholders of the process involved, provide a timeline and project management form that helps give them an idea of when deliverables occur and what their roles and responsibilities are in the process. Note: My first cuts in the timeline are to their deliverables. Plenty of time can be shaved off by reducing their review time alone. I still expect thorough reviews, but to be done in only several days not weeks. Other shortcuts may include the needs analysis, which may have to be very informal, less investment in testing, etc. Remember, risks come with these shortcuts.
- Reduce the amount of interactivity and/or media use. Usually audio is off the table first, which I always add last anyway and do not see it as adding much instructional value to most courses anyway. It is as we say "a nice to do."
And if they still insist with "I want it now" here are some more things that can be done even if reluctantly.
- Up front "just in time" training materials (e.g., job aids, guides, manuals) until you can provide a course. FYI: There are occasions where these actually may be more effective than a course, but that is usually identified during the design phase.
- Captivate demos, Screenr videos, podcasts, webinars, and/or other quick to develop online materials. Note: Although they may be quick to develop, invest as much time into design as you are afforded even if a minimal amount.
- Learning labs - not necessarily a classroom training, but as a facilitator (maybe bring in the SMEs too) have an informal introduction to the subject, or if it is systems training provide a chance to use the system and experiment with what it will/can do.
- Provide a course that has EVEN less interactive elements, media use, fewer graphics with revisions and more instructionally sound content to be added at later time. However, be very careful not to make this the norm and get stuck in the "rapid e-learning" rut of producing dreck and calling it training.
- Be sure to provide an addendum to any course design plan that outlines what will be done within the limited timeline requested and the consequences of cutting corners. This does not solve the problem, but reiterates the need for a more effective development timeline and approach. A bit of C.Y.A. too.
It is important to note that if you do manage to develop something in a unreasonably short period of time, but sacrifice quality it will have negative consequences to learning in your organization and to your department's reputation.
There will be no shortage of stakeholders demanding training on very short notice. It is something we need to reduce by managing expectations and being brought to the table as early as possible. If you do need to make big compromises, remember those same stakeholders that say they want it now may also be quick to come back at you with something like, "Your training was ineffective. What happened?"
Oh, the priest, rabbi and instructional designer identified a training need, collaborated on designing an effective learning program which was not implemented until it was damn well ready to be implemented.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Her site, www.theelearningcoach.com, is an invaluable resource for learning more about using graphics in elearning, along with many other great resources and advice on elearning and instructional design she shares there. She also has written a book, "Visual Language for Designers," which I am adding to my reading list.
So, thank you eLearning Coach for the fantastic presentation and for sharing your knowledge at theelearningcoach.com.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
This month's Big Question at Learning Circuits is regarding assessing the impact of informal learning. Or more specifically:
How do you assess whether your informal learning, social learning, continuous learning, performance support initiatives have the desired impact or achieve the desired results?
The extent of my experience in evaluation has focused on applying Kirkpatrick's model to classroom training and e-learning. Although there may be some elements of the model that lend itself to evaluating informal learning, I do not see the model as a whole working well for assessing the impact of informal learning.
I wish I could present a straight forward model that works well for assessing the impact of informal learning, but I do not have one to offer. What I do have are some off the cuff ideas on how to assess impact. Much of this will be anecdotal information collected, but none the less information that has value in assessing impact.
- Survey staff regarding what they have learned and how they applied it. It makes sense to use a social media tool to do this (e.g., use hash tags in Twitter). Please don't think smile sheet, instead think individual questions delivered via social media.
- Participate, participate, participate and see first hand what they are learning. They will probably also be talking about how they apply what they learned... That's some good anecdotal evidence of applying behavior.
- If you have identified specific things staff have learned and applied, look for how it has impacted the organization (results). Oops, easing into Kirkpatrick's model, but if you can, you can.
- Measure the "buzz." Are people talking about it and/or encouraging others to use social media and informal learning? What are they saying that is convincing others? Is it because it has made a difference in their abilities or lead to successes?
- Find the leaders. Who are leading discussions, being quoted, retweeted, yammed about, followed, liked, etc.? Recruit them to help you measure the impact. They have pull and can help you garner much of the fore-mentioned information.
Keep in mind, the above are ideas I "blue skied," but if you have additional ideas, I would love to hear them in the comments section. Don't forget to check the ever increasing posts and comments on the LCBQ blog and add your 2 cents there too.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
- The Help Desk calls and tells you they are receiving too many calls regarding your course and the __________ (pop-up blocker, Flash Player and/or LMS sign-on).
- Someone shows up at your office and says "I'm here for the online training."*
- The stakeholder proposes that all staff take the online course in a computer lab where it can be proctored.*
- People call you and ask, "How long does it take to convert their eight hour classroom training into an e-learning course" and you answer,"I don't know. How long will it take you to turn my phone into a '67 Dodge van?"
- Your subject matter expert (SME) tells you the course looks great and has no edits. The LMS report shows the SME did not even launch the course.*
*Yes, this actually happened.
Signs you are in e-learning hell (as a participant):
- The course starts with five pages on how to take an online course.
- The quiz questions have absolutely nothing to do with the course you just took.
- Every answer on the quiz is either "all of the above" or "none of the above."
- The content is not exactly concise. In fact, it may have been written by Proust.
- You scored 100% on the quiz but are not marked "complete" because you skipped page 42.
- You toss your most snarky remarks at the people pictured in the course, but they still ignore you.
Of course the above is all in good fun and just a way for me to vent some frustrations of working in our field. Thankfully, the above are resolvable issues and are becoming less and less common. Do you have signs that tell you when you are in e-learning hell? Please feel free to share in the comments section. Thanks!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I recently posted my 2011 predictions, but they are general predictions for e-learning and technology. So, here is my response to the Learning Circuits' Big Question, which asks to be more focused on our challenges, plans and predictions.
First off, over my years in corporate training, I have explored many areas of learning and development. This ranges from classroom training to many facets of e and m-learning. What I am predicting for my own challenges and plans for 2011 is not delving into new technology or mediums of delivering learning, but rather a blending of many approaches and technologies I have in my current learning toolkit. A current example is a large software training effort I am designing that takes advantage of blending technologies and approaches. Believe it or not, this training program will incorporate the following:
- A web-based training (WBT) course that incorporates QR Codes and social bookmarking in addition to simulations, instruction and job aids.
- Blogging that also incorporates use of social media, social bookmarking and screencasts (thanks Screenr and DIIGO).
- Classroom training – not a traditional classroom format, but a “learning lab” with more advanced explorations of the topic and objectives driven more by the audience than the facilitator or course design. Hopefully also resulting in instruction/tips & tricks shared by the audience and facilitator.
- m-Learning and informal learning - I am using QR Codes and tweeting to also get content and additional resources out, but more importantly encouraging the audience to do the same. I will be really excited when I see the audience start setting their own objectives and teaching each other.
Yes, the above may look like a mishmash of technology and approaches, but it does support the learning design and the audience's learning needs. There is a method to the madness and I am not using the technology without rhyme or reason.
Another exciting plan, and somewhat of a challenge, for 2011 is delivering more learning to my audience that is off the LMS. As you can see, much of the fore-mentioned is outside of the LMS. However, here are some more ways I am delivering learning without the need to log-in to the LMS.
- With few exceptions, my audience in corporate training has been internal. This has recently changed and will change much more in 2011. I have already begun providing training for our external customers, including developing educational games and software demos... not on the LMS.
- Tweeting and responding to tweets... not on the LMS.
- Posting job aids on Intranet pages... not on the LMS.
- Screencasts - These are great for brief, easy to develop, software sims and I have started adding them to our Intranet pages... not the LMS.
- Guess what, people still learn even when... not on the LMS.
Although these are my own challenges, plans and predictions for 2011, I believe we will see others embarking on similar challenges. So my overall prediction is much more blending of technology applications and more delivery OFF the LMS.
What are your challenges, plans and predictions? Be sure to share them at the Learning Circuits' Big Question and tweet them too at #LCBQ.
Monday, February 7, 2011
I have been honored to be a involved in the revitalization of the Learning Circuits' Big Question. For several years now I have been responding to the Big Question and have over and over been inspired by the questions posed, not to mention by the many fantastic responses and comments. It has also been a great opportunity to interact with other e-learning bloggers. I am looking forward to being involved and also very excited to be working with Tony Karrer, Glenn Hansen, Thomas Edgarton, and Holly MacDonald on this venture. I hope in the coming months to see the Big Question grow even more in contributors and perspectives.
I hope that you will be visiting and participating in the discussions. We will also be tweeting posts, responses and all things Big Question using the #LCBQ hash tag. So, keep your eyes out for the next BIG QUESTION!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
I have been hearing so much talk, and seeing use, of QR Codes lately. Maybe I am noticing it more because I started dabbling in them myself or maybe they are on the rise. Either way, I want to share a few things about QR Codes. First off if you do not know what they are, here is a quick definition:
A QR Code is a specific matrix bar code (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR bar code readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.
To simplify, with a QR Code reader on your smart phone you can use the phone's camera to scan the QR Code (like the crazy black and white thing at the top of this page) and it will take you to a web page, display text, phone number and/or prepare a text message to be sent.
The great thing is they are extremely easy to create and use in your online learning or in the traditional classroom. Using a QR Code generator (e.g., Kaywa, Snap.vu, etc.), you can create and copy the code to a web page, PowerPoint slide, add it to a manual, print it, etc. Now when it is seen in your classroom or online course participants can scan the QR Code and visit the site, obtain the text info or data.
Here is a demo showing how easy it is to generate a QR Code.
Here are a few ways I am starting to use QR Codes:
- Adding my contact information to my classroom powerpoints and manuals. I even posted one with my contact info outside my office.
- Include QR Codes in manuals and job aids that take the user to relevant URLs.
- Adding codes in e-learning courses. For example. the video below shows one in a course that directs the user to social bookmarks containing additional resources and tutorials.
See an example of a QR Code in a WBT course.
Here are also my QR Codes bookmarks where you will find more resources on this subject including links to QR Code generators. Of course the QR Code for this link is below too.
Monday, January 17, 2011
- You know I have to include a Flash prediction. So, here you are... I predict a Flash player will finally be included on the iPad and iPhone this year. This will be mostly due to the fact that so many more phones, and tablets, will be released with Flash, pressuring Apple to do the same.
- Say goodbye to the "e-" and the "m-" and say hello to just "learning" in 2011. I think we will be less concerned about the medium and will call it "learning" regardless of whether it is in the classroom, computer, phone or wherever else you are finding it.
- The coming flood of tablets in 2011 will move m-learning much further along. However, I think people will be distinguishing less and less between the terms e-learning, m-learning, and just learning. After all, where does m-learning stop and e-learning begin? See prior prediction.
- With the economy improving, we will see reinvestment in classroom training and classroom trainers. I believe too many organizations have hastily delved into online training, resulting in developing courses that are better off in in the classroom than online. Plus with so many rushing into e-learning without investing the time in understanding the design end has resulted in ineffective "rapid e-learning." I think we will see these people who had good intentions are going to move away from e-learning. For those that may be in that boat, don't give up on e-learning, but please read "Hey You Rapid e-Learning Peeps, Slooow Down and Take a Little Drive on the ISD Side of Town."
- QR Codes will become more prevalent in the U.S. In fact, I just started using them myself by including them in a new e-learning course. I also plan to start adding them to job aids, manuals, presentations and anywhere else when appropriate.
Want to see what I predicted last year?