What Instructional Designers Really Do
SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
I want to apologize. write about instructional design (ID) all the time but I’ve never stopped to explain what Instructional Designers really do. There are numerous definitions for it and many of them are somewhat wordy and technical. So, here’s my personal definition instead: Instructional design is the art/science of making things make sense. That’s it in a nutshell. Writing. Creativity.
3 Questions to Consider Before Developing New eLearning
AUGUST 10, 2016
Developing new eLearning is a big undertaking. While it may be tempting to dive right in and start designing, it’s important to answer several critical questions first. Having a solid grasp on your goals and resources keeps the project on target and getting these answers early on gives you the information you need to create a detailed plan. Why are you considering developing this eLearning?
Top 5 eLearning Trends Happening Now
MARCH 17, 2016
I recently attended the Training 2016 Conference and Expo as an exhibitor. I was able to talk with many training and development representatives from a wide variety of organizations about their LMS needs. During these discussions I asked, “what aspects or features are you looking for in an LMS? What excites you?” These top 5 features are gaining popularity in 2016 and beyond. Gamification.
I’m Glad Millennials Scare Learning and Development
JULY 13, 2016
The learning and development (L&D) world seems to be confused by, if not outright afraid of, millennials. Curious about the ruckus, I did some research. And admittedly, as a millennial, I was curious to see what there was to see. What I discovered surprised me. The rush to understand millennials isn’t really about millennials. This is a crisis of outdated L&D practices.
How to Choose Between On-Demand and Instructor-Led Training
Not sure whether to offer on-demand or instructor-led training, or both? Each has its pros and cons and your decision will depend on your organization’s needs and goals. Download this eBook to learn which option is better at scale, as well as the resources needed to implement each training type.
eLearning Glossary Part 2: More Commonly Used Terms
JUNE 9, 2016
Previously we dug into the alphabet soup of eLearning terms and acronyms. But you weren’t full. You asked for seconds. So, here are some of the additional terms you wanted to defined. ADDIE- The ADDIE model is a process used by instructional designers and training developers offering guidelines for creating effective training. Essentially this is the strategy phase. Implement improvements.
Learning Myths: Debunked
AUGUST 20, 2015
Perhaps the most pervasive myth about education is the ubiquitous “learning styles” myth. quick Google search will bring up millions of hits. Many of those hits are, tellingly, for websites trying to sell you their “learning styles” program. One of the main reasons the myth is so widespread is because, on the surface, it seems very intuitive. Share this on Facebook.
Simple Learning Solutions
SEPTEMBER 9, 2016
A year or so back, I was part of a mentoring program at my alma mater. They were pairing current students with recent graduates to help them with life skills that aren’t usually taught in class. loved the idea and started making lesson plans and brainstorming activities for my future mentee. went crazy laying the design groundwork. We developed a routine as the meetings went on.
Competency-Based Learning: How to Bridge the Skills-Gap
APRIL 13, 2016
Competency-Based Learning: How to Bridge the Skills-Gap was originally published in the IACET blog as a guest post by Digitec President Jack McGrath. The skills-gap issue is growing more critical in the U.S., especially within those industries that are supported by professional associations. The answer relates to the value delivered through and association.edu approach. The Skills-Gap Crisis.
Skill based learning – How it drives an organization’s performance
Training and learning organizations today play an active role in contributing to the bottom line of any organization by aligning their objectives to the immediate business objectives. This provides a solid ground for cost justification and encourages businesses to place training groups right where they should be, at the heart of a growing, thriving, learning culture.
When Misused Buzzwords Attack
SEPTEMBER 10, 2015
Interactive. Immersive. Innovative/ Creative/ Different. Effective. All of the above. These words get thrown around a lot. Frankly, it troubles me when they’re used incorrectly because it leads to misunderstandings. Gamification and game-based learning were covered in their own post, so they’re not included here). With that said, let’s look at some common eLearning buzzwords. Interactive.
How to Write Good Assessment Questions
MARCH 23, 2016
“Can someone explain this question to me? I don’t know what it’s asking.”. How am I supposed to know the answer to this? It wasn’t in the lesson.”. Your association can have the best course in the world, but if the assessments or knowledge checks aren’t written well they can make the whole thing fall apart. Believe it or not, it can be hard to write effective questions. Don’t.
Pokémon and Gamified Learning
JUNE 22, 2016
I recently had a conversation about something I hadn’t thought about for a long time. Pokémon. And it dawned upon me that the franchise is a surprisingly good metaphor for gamified learning. For those who aren’t familiar with them, Pokémon are fictional creatures. The people who catch, tame, and teach them to do battle are called trainers. The successful ones win badges. Sound familiar?
The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned From Instructional Design
SEPTEMBER 16, 2016
I’m not a “numbers person.” I never have been. Some people aren’t “words people.” And that’s okay. In college, I cringed on behalf of my science major friends when they told me about their multi-hour labs and the reports that went along with them. They told me they were fine with that. They’d take it over my research papers any day. The same is true in the work world.
Crash Course For Constructive Feedback
OCTOBER 6, 2016
Feedback is a wonderful thing, when you can understand it. When you can’t… To quote Captain Jack Sparrow, “Well that’s even more than less than unhelpful.” You get the idea. Think back to the last time you got feedback on something. Maybe it was suggested revisions for a project or the survey responses for how you did during a speaking engagement. Or maybe it was storyboard revisions for eLearning.
Motivation is More Important Than Information
MARCH 9, 2016
I inherited a “blackboard” poster from a friend. I can write on it with chalk, erase it, and use it again. But I don’t. It still says the same thing it did the day I received it: “Knowing What To Do. ≠. Doing It. Motivation > Information”. It’s absolutely true. Why Motivation > Information. People who aren’t motivated don’t get things done, even if they’re knowledgeable. Include a deadline.
Dense eLearning Isn’t Smart
JULY 16, 2015
“It was too much all at once. I was overwhelmed.” That’s not something you want to see in the feedback for your association’s eLearning. Luckily, there are ways to make eLearning more digestible, regardless of the subject matter. Managing content density is the key. What is Density? In essence, density is how much “stuff” is packed into a given space. For example, water is less dense than concrete.
The Worst eLearning Course Ever
SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
You read the title correctly. This post is dedicated to pet peeves, worst practices, and other abominations that terrorize eLearning. What follows is a combination of things that give Digitec-ies nightmares and headaches. considered listing them here, but there were quite a few and a list alone did not express the sheer torment these things can cause. Enjoy, if you can. Or more likely, don’t.
Seven Simple Secrets to Off-the-Shelf Course Success
Off-the-shelf elearning is applicable for a wide audience, but it won’t address your organization’s unique situations or distinctive content. So are these courses all that helpful? For sure! Read on for 7 secrets to make off-the-self learning your own.
Quality Assurance: Fine-Tuning Your eLearning to Be Its Best Part 2
AUGUST 3, 2016
Chapter 2: Intermediate Quality Assurance Testing. In our first chapter, we discussed some of the basics of quality assurance (QA). Now, we will discuss some of the more involved tasks that are associated with making sure the project you and your team have spent months developing has as few flaws as possible. Intermediate Testing. Test the most common browsers – There are four common browsers: Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, mostly for Windows users, and Safari for Apple/Mac users. There are others, but most developers tend to design their products for these four.
If the User Experience Annoys, Fix It.
AUGUST 27, 2015
I had a bad user experience (UX) at a dollar store a while back. I’m not talking about customer service, but actual UX design. swiped my card into the card reader to pay. prompt told me to click “Enter,” with an arrow pointing at one of the buttons. It’s a good thing I stopped, because the button the arrow pointed to wasn’t the enter button. It was on the other end of the keypad. This is normal.
eLearning Memories of a Millennial Instructional Designer
APRIL 21, 2016
What do you picture when you hear the word “eLearning”? Chances are everyone thinks of something slightly different, based on their personal experiences. I’d like to share my first impressions of it, from back before I’d ever heard of “eLearning.” This was years before I became an instructional designer, back when I was a kid. Kid Meets Computer Games. That didn’t matter. It was like magic.
Swiping or Matching?
MARCH 2, 2016
How do you meet your next employee… swipe or match? Your department is way behind deadlines, and your staff is screaming for help. You absolutely have to get that new hire onboard, right away. You’re extremely busy, so you pull the standard job description, pulling any resume that remotely fits the bill. According to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, bad hires have cost his company well over $100 million.
Leaving performance reviews behind: Where to start [Guide]
Is your company ready to move beyond the annual performance review? Where do you start? What are the keys to success? In this guide, you’ll gain an understanding of: the forces driving change, three foundations of success and take a deep dive into the skills gap many managers have that will sink your efforts before they start and how to address them.
JANUARY 28, 2016
Think of your brain as a refrigerator. You put information in it to preserve and use later. When you need that information again you remember it, “taking it out of the fridge” so to speak. But what happens if you leave something in there for too long? In a fridge, old food goes bad and needs to be thrown out. In your brain, unused information gets tossed out too. No big deal.
Don’t Just Tell, Show: the Value of Examples
JANUARY 20, 2015
I found something interesting while cleaning off an old shelf recently. It was a children’s story called Officer Buckle and Gloria, by Peggy Rathmann. planned on reading it one last time and then donating it. Instead, I kept the book. Here’s a summary. Officer Buckle is a police officer. He spends a lot of time reading important safety tips to school children. But the children never listen.
Don’t Treat Beginners and Experienced Learners the Same Way
MAY 7, 2015
Some time ago, I was cast as a chorus member in a musical. could sing and read music, but I didn’t have any experience dancing. So, I was a beginner for one set of skills, but not for the other. Everyone had to learn everything together though, despite the fact that we were at different stages of learning. Trying to create one-size-fits-all eLearning can lead to similar difficulties. For Beginners.
Top 4 Things You Can Learn from Buzzfeed (and #2 will blow your mind!)
APRIL 23, 2015
In the modern world, clickbait marketing has taken the internet by storm and websites like Buzzfeed are leading the charge. You’ve probably seen their articles with catchy titles like, “20 Reasons the 90’s were Awesome,” or, “10 of the Cutest Cats You’ve Ever Seen (#4 is so cute you’ll want to explode).” You’ve probably clicked on more than a few of them. Lists, Lists, Lists. Anticipation.
Attract, Engage, and Develop Talent using Open Badges: An IBM case study
Companies have an incredible opportunity to use badges to help attract, engage, recognize and develop talent. There have been significant developments around digital credentials and particularly the fast rise of badges and micro-credentials. Learning Professionals need to be aware of what's happening and innovators should be taking a leading role. In this session, David will go through the well-known IBM Open Badge Program to help explain badge programs.
Education Balancing Act: Asynchronous, Synchronous, and Blended Learning
MAY 28, 2015
What do you think of when you hear the term eLearning? Maybe your mind jumps to webinars or interactive courses in a Learning Management System (LMS). There are many different types of eLearning, so it isn’t surprising that they can be divided into categories. Let’s explore them and take a look at their advantages and disadvantages. Asynchronous/ Self-Paced. Advantages. Disadvantages. Synchronous.
How to Create Engaging Video-based eLearning
MAY 8, 2014
Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. If that doesn’t make your jaw drop, then think about the fact that viewers spend twice as much time engaging with video content over text only. Video is great because it appeals to many types of learners. Here are some tips, tools, and techniques you can use to share educational footage that engages members: 1) Tell a story.
Quality Assurance: Fine-Tuning Your eLearning to Be Its Best Part 3
AUGUST 17, 2016
Chapter 3: Advanced QA Testing. So far we’ve talked about the basic and intermediate techniques of quality assurance testing (QA). In our final installment, we’ll look at more advanced techniques that will help your eLearning perform smoothly. For example, many companies, associations, and government entities still use Windows 8. There are several different types of LMS test applications available.
The Four Stages of Learning
SEPTEMBER 30, 2014
I recently had an interesting conversation about life and how life lessons occur in stages. We compared it to learning to ride a bike. It was so difficult to learn, yet now you find it so easy you’ve forgotten how you learned it in the first place. It got me thinking about what those stages actually are. It turns out I’m not the first one to theorize about this. You don’t know what you don’t know.
Best Practices for Launching an LMS
When launching a new platform to deliver customer and partner training, there are a few key items to keep in mind. The best and simplest way to stay organized during this process – and be able to measure success – is to follow the tried-and-true practices outlined in this eBook. Click to download.
4 Tips to Writing eLearning Scripts That Sing
SEPTEMBER 2, 2014
If you’re getting started on a new script for an eLearning course, you probably aren’t planning to create a “musical” experience. But maybe you should. great song is relatable, the lyrics that get stuck in your head and you can recite them years later. Wouldn’t you like to write a script with that kind of impact? Here’s my take on the top 4 ways to make your eLearning scripts sing: 1. ” Yuck.