I’m Speaking at LS Con
MARCH 20, 2017
I’m presenting a session on Avoiding Voice Over Script Pitfalls. for the eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Conference. If you’re attending the conference, it’s session LS403 on Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately, I’m opposite Michael Allen and several other promising sessions. Sigh.) If you’re planning to attend the conference, I hope to meet you in person.
Media Options for Conversation-Driven eLearning
MARCH 1, 2017
Rather than delivering eLearning content as a lecture, you can explain it through conversations. While more resource-intensive multimedia may be desired, you have a range of options with this technique. It’s possible to use conversations even with a low budget. In the past, I’ve created conversation-driven eLearning with video, animation, and photos. Video. Animation. Want More?
Writing Conversations for eLearning
FEBRUARY 14, 2017
In the previous post, How to Start Creating Conversation-Driven eLearning , I described how I use conversations between two characters to deliver eLearning content. In this post, I’ll explain how to write and structure the conversation. My next post will discuss options for multimedia with conversation-driven elearning. Learner Challenge. This character is facing a moment of need.
How to Start Creating Conversation-Driven eLearning
FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Several studies have found learners can remember information in a narrative format better than bullet points (for example, Glonek & King, as cited in Kapp, 2014). One strategy for creating a narrative is delivering content with two narrators having a conversation rather than the traditional approach of a single narrator lecturing. Advantages. Think about morning radio shows. Example. Kapp, K.
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Benefits of Scenario-Based Learning
SEPTEMBER 14, 2016
Why are scenarios effective for learning? They provide realistic context and emotional engagement. They can increase motivation and accelerate expertise. Here’s a selection of quotes explaining the benefits. What is Scenario-Based e-Learning? The learner assumes the role of an actor responding to a job realistic situation. The learning environment is preplanned. The instruction is guided.
Consider 4 Cs in Scenario-Based Learning
SEPTEMBER 29, 2016
When I create scenarios for learning, I keep these four elements in mind: characters, context, challenge, and consequences. Characters. The main character of your scenario who drives the action should generally be someone similar to your learners. Even if the main character isn’t named and the scenario is in second person (What do you do next?), Context. Challenge. Consequences. More Reading.
Vary Sentence Structure in Voice Over Scripts
JUNE 28, 2016
When you use voice over for elearning, do you want it to sound natural and flowing, or do you want it to sound stiff and didactic? A great voice over person can make a good script more engaging, and a great script sound fantastic. However, if the script itself is completely stiff and unnatural, there’s only so much a voice over person can do. Rewriting Complicated Sentences. Further Reading.
Motivating Learners to Look Up Compliance Policies Themselves
MARCH 22, 2016
In my last post, I explained how starting compliance training with a worst-case scenario can engage learners right from the start. Setting the course up with a scenario helps learners understand why the policies matter. In this post, I’ll explain a technique for keeping learners engaged throughout the course. Readers outside the US, substitute your own laws about disabilities.) Image credits.
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Scenario-Based Learning: Why & How
OCTOBER 11, 2016
This is the recording of a presentation I gave to the Online Network of Learning and Development Professionals on September 28, 2016. The presentation covers: Why scenario-based learning works. A range of options for using scenarios in elearning and classroom training. When scenario-based learning is a good choice. Tips for writing scenarios with the 4 Cs. Interested in more?
What’s Your Character’s Goal?
MAY 17, 2016
In Protagonists Should Be Like Your Learners , I mentioned some critical elements to creating a scenario for learning: Protagonist or main character. That character’s goal. The challenges that character faces. The main character’s goal is what drives the scenario. All of the action and decisions in the scenario move you closer or further from that goal. Begin with the End in Mind.
12+ Books for Instructional Designers
MARCH 3, 2015
If you’re looking for some reading to improve your skills or get started in the field of instructional design, check out these books. General Instructional Design and E-Learning. Design For How People Learn by Julie Dirksen is one of my favorite books in the field. I’ve recommended it many times. It’s easy to read and understand. Read my review for more details. Other Topics.
Broad and Deep Instructional Design Skills
JULY 29, 2016
Do instructional designers or learning experience designers need to know how to use development tools, or should they focus just on analysis and design? What about people who only do development but no design; are they instructional designers? How much project management falls under the role of instructional designer? What about LMSs—do instructional designers need to know about those too?
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No, I Won’t “Tweak” Your PowerPoint Slides
FEBRUARY 19, 2015
I got a call from a prospective client. She and I spoke briefly once when she was looking for a pool of instructional designers to call on for specific projects, but we haven’t worked together yet. In fact, I’m pretty sure she’s never worked with any instructional designers before. “Hi, Christy, it’s Lynn. I need some help finishing up an e-learning course.
Make Learners Care about Compliance Training
MARCH 10, 2016
Compliance training is a common use for elearning. All those policies and regulations that affect our businesses need to be trained. Unfortunately, compliance training is often just a content dump with a narrator basically reading the policy, followed by some multiple choice questions to see if learners remember what they heard 5 minutes earlier. Worst Case Scenario.
Online Learning Plagiarism Horror Stories
APRIL 17, 2015
It’s a common complaint about online education that students plagiarize, but my horror stories aren’t about students. My horror stories are about developing online courses. Some details changed to protect the not entirely innocent.). How NOT to Hide Your Tracks When Plagiarizing. The tone shifted drastically mid-paragraph—always a red flag. Oh, the Irony. The topic of the copied and pasted content?
Learning Experience Design: A Better Title Than Instructional Design?
JUNE 30, 2015
How many times have you told people, “I’m an instructional designer,” only to be met with a blank stare? How many people are thoroughly confused about what we do for a living? Last month, Connie Malamed proposed a new name for the field of instructional design : Learning Experience Design or LX Design. This moves the focus away from “instruction” and more to learning.
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.
30+ Ideas for eLearning Portfolio Samples
JULY 14, 2016
Whether you’re working freelance or looking for a full-time job, you need a portfolio. What if you can’t use any samples of your existing work due to confidentiality or security requirements? In some cases, it’s enough to remove logos and a few identifying details. In other cases, you can redo an existing activity with brand new content. Five minutes or less is usually enough.
Voice Over Script Pitfalls
NOVEMBER 25, 2014
Instructional designers sometimes run into pitfalls when writing voice over scripts. Jill Goldman of Goldivox is a voice over professional who graciously agreed to share with me the issues she sometimes sees in scripts. I’ll share her perspective in block quotes below, along with my own tips. This is part 3 of my series on writing voice over scripts. Formatting Tips for Voice Over Scripts.
Diverse Characters In Learning Scenarios
SEPTEMBER 23, 2015
In response to my post on Name Generators for Learning Scenarios , someone asked, “Does it really matter if we choose John instead of Bob?” ” Christina, a graduate student who critiqued my blog post said she wished that post went deeper and listed some unanswered questions. “For example does the name have to be of a certain neutrality or a certain ethnicity? CC-By. Gender.
Voice Over Script Review Checklist
DECEMBER 9, 2014
I’ve written several posts with tips on how to write voice over scripts. This review checklist summarizes all of the tips from the previous three posts into a single Word document you can download and use yourself. Voice Over Script Review Checklist. Feel free to edit this document to match the requirements of your specific organization as long as you retain attribution to me with a link.
Learning Insights Guide 2017: Progress with Purpose
Navigating the ever-changing world of eLearning can be a challenge, but many people are finding a way to manage it, as well as a clear path forward. With Learning Insights, you can develop an even clearer sense of purpose, taking your vision to reality.
Voice Over Scripts: Writing Style Tips
NOVEMBER 11, 2014
Photo Credit: Cameraman Phil via Compfight cc. Instructional designers often need to write voice over scripts, but many of us have never received any formal training on how writing for voice over is different from other writing. I recently completed a project with Jill Goldman of Goldivox. She did a terrific job and brought energy and life to my script (as a great voice over professional can).
Name Generators for Learning Scenarios
SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
Because I create lots of scenarios and stories for learning, I create lots of characters. Some of these characters are only mentioned for a sentence or two, while others drive the progress in extended narratives. All of those characters have one thing in common: they need names. I usually avoid using generic characters in my stories. ” But this is better: “Tom is a new manager.
1 Million Views. Thank You!
AUGUST 19, 2015
Today, I reached a milestone in my blog: 1 million total views. Thank you to everyone who is reading this, from the long term readers who have been there since the beginning to the ones who just found me today. It’s taken me over 8 years to reach this milestone, and I’m hardly the most-viewed blog in our field. It’s still a bit mind-boggling to me though. In 2007, I averaged 1400 views a month.
Do You Need a Mentor or a Network?
AUGUST 16, 2016
Maria often works from her local coffee shop. She always engages in a bit of people watching while she’s there. For the last two months, she’s been observing Jack, another frequent patron of the coffee shop. Jack meets clients for a coffee at least once a month. Although they’ve never spoken before, Maria decided to approach him after his latest client left. “Hi, Jack.
[Study] The Anatomy of a Training Course
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When Is Audio Narration Helpful?
OCTOBER 13, 2015
In a discussion on eLearning Heroes , Judith Reymond asked about the research on when or whether audio narration is helpful to adult learners. In Clark and Mayer’s eLearning and the Science of Instruction , they say that the research generally supports using narration with on-screen visuals. Adult learners retain more from a narration plus visuals approach than from reading on-screen text.
Time Estimates for E-Learning Development
MARCH 18, 2014
One skill I’m constantly trying to improve is estimating how long it will take to complete a project. Because I work for myself, I have to create good estimates. If I don’t, I either bid low and lose money or bid high and lose a project. The two sources I use for benchmarks are Bryan Chapman’s research and Karl Kapp’s ASTD research. Front End Analysis: 9%. QA Testing: 6%.
Make Your Stories Relevant
FEBRUARY 9, 2016
Not all stories for learning are successful in engaging learners. Stories that are just there to be entertaining without being relevant can waste people’s time and annoy them. It might be entertaining to add a Mission: Impossible or wild west bank robbery theme to your corporate training, but is that the best way to engage your learners? Not all stories for training are created equal.
Intrinsic and Instructional Feedback in Learning Scenarios
MARCH 19, 2015
A few years ago, I was a judge for a competition on scenario-based learning. While there were a few terrific submissions, I thought many of the courses missed the whole point of scenario-based learning. They started out fine: they provided some sort of realistic context and asked learners to make a decision. “Correct, that is the best decision.” ” Blah. Boring. And ineffective.
The complete eLearning journey
As an eLearning designer wouldn’t it be great if you could take charge of your eLearning environment right from storyboarding your ideas to generating responsive eLearning courses to being able to effectively deploy and track your learners’ performance?
Instructional Design Hourly Rates and Salary
SEPTEMBER 9, 2013
What do you charge for an hourly rate as an instructional designer? What do you make if you’re a full-time salaried employee? People frequently ask me these questions, and I always refer people to the same resources. Hourly Rate. Harold Jarche’s “ So You Want To Be an ELearning Consultant? Click the table at the bottom to expand it and see the details. Salary. Other Resources.