Sunday, February 20, 2011

Signs of Being in e-Learning Hell #eLearningHell

Signs you are in e-learning hell (as a designer/developer):

  1. 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).

  2. Someone shows up at your office and says "I'm here for the online training."*

  3. The stakeholder proposes that all staff take the online course in a computer lab where it can be proctored.*

  4. 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?"

  5. 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):

  1. The course starts with five pages on how to take an online course.

  2. The quiz questions have absolutely nothing to do with the course you just took.

  3. Every answer on the quiz is either "all of the above" or "none of the above."

  4. The content is not exactly concise. In fact, it may have been written by Proust.

  5. You scored 100% on the quiz but are not marked "complete" because you skipped page 42.

  6. Next.

  7. You toss your most snarky remarks at the people pictured in the course, but they still ignore you.

  8. Back.

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

My Big Question Response - Predictions for My 2011 #LCBQ

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

It's The Big Question #LCBQ

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!

QR Code - Big Question