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.
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.
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.
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.
New Brandon Hall Group report forecasts major shift in 2016 online learning trends
Companies are increasingly dissatisfied with online learning tools, prompting many to reinvest in technology that supports a modern training approach. Download the report from Brandon Hall Group to see how new investments are bringing real business results.
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.
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.
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. This is post number 950.
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.
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. need some help finishing up an e-learning course. guess not.”
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. usually avoid using generic characters in my stories. ” But this is better: “Tom is a new manager.
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.
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.
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.). The tone shifted drastically mid-paragraph—always a red flag. As it turned out, this course included extensive copying from other sources. Business ethics.
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.
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. 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).
Protagonists Should Be Like Your Learners
APRIL 19, 2016
When you write a story for learning, you need a few essential elements such as a protagonist (the main character), the protagonist’s goal, and the challenges the protagonist faces. The protagonist should be someone your learners identify with. In workplace learning, that means the character has the same or a similar job as the learners. Example Protagonist Selection. Feedback on Your Choice.
Storyboarding for eLearning
Storyboarding is a very important step for creating eLearning courses. But don’t you feel it’s a waste of time to start creating the courses from scratch and copy-paste text and other objects from the storyboard to the eLearning tool for course development.
How Freelance Clients Find Me
NOVEMBER 11, 2015
Last week I gave a short presentation for the new eLearning Freelancer group on finding clients. You can watch the recording of the presentation. In reality, I don’t do very much to actively seek out clients; most of my clients find me. Here are the recommendations I shared with the group on how to become visible to clients. Portfolio. My portfolio is on my business website. It just does.
Where I Get Blog Post Ideas
DECEMBER 22, 2015
When I talk to people about starting a blog, they often state they don’t have anything to write about. They ask how I come up with ideas, especially when I’ve been blogging so long. have a long list of blog topics to help me when I’m in a rut. My ideas for posts come from several sources. Reading: I write about things I’m reading and learning about. Image Credit: Idea!
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%.
I Need an LMS. Where Do I Start?
MAY 14, 2015
If you’re just starting the process of selecting and implementing a new LMS, the process can feel a little overwhelming. This is especially true for organizations who don’t currently have an LMS and are starting completely from scratch. In those circumstances, I often see organizations struggle to even identify what questions they should be asking. Process Overview and Needs Analysis.
Evaluating Training - Capturing the Benefits Aspects of ROI
Training evaluation is necessary and, in many ways, critical to the success of a business. But because short term priorities always seem to take precedence, it is typically something we plan to do better in the next course, or maybe next month, or even next year. After all, we’ve managed pretty well up to now, so surely another year can’t hurt!
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.
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.
No Perfect Courses
JANUARY 27, 2016
One truth I have learned about instructional design is that I will never create a “perfect” course; there’s always something that could be better if I had more time or more resources or more skills. When I interviewed for my first ID job, I asked my soon-to-be-peers the hardest part of their job. One answer stuck with me all these years. How do you handle it in your own work?
ID and E-Learning Links (5/8/16)
MAY 8, 2016
The More People We Connect with on LinkedIn, the Less Valuable It Becomes. Many users are beginning to discover, however, that a larger number of social network connections may be less valuable than a smaller, more intimate circle. With an enormous collection of friends or followers on a network, you lose the benefits of intimacy, discoverability, and trust, all of which can work better when you have fewer connections. Secrets of Star Training Consultants | Training Magazine. tags: training freelance consulting e-learning instructionaldesign research. How Chunking Helps Content Processing.
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.
Show, Don’t Tell For Scenario Feedback
JANUARY 14, 2016
One of the most common mistakes I see in scenario-based learning is using feedback to tell learners what was right or wrong instead of showing them. Take the following example of a branching scenario to practice counseling someone on dietary choices. One mistake learners can make in the scenario is setting a goal that is too difficult. If a goal is too difficult, it can reduce motivation.
Top Ten Tools for Learning 2014
AUGUST 26, 2014
Jane Hart is collecting her eighth annual list of top tools for learning. You can vote for your top tools until September 19, 2014. haven’t done my list in a few years, but you can see my past lists from 2011 , 2009 , 2008 , and 2007. My list is divided into personal learning and course design/development. Personal Learning. Diigo is my social bookmarking option. WordPress is my blog host.
Remembering Jay Cross and His Work
NOVEMBER 13, 2015
It’s been a week since Jay Cross passed. never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but like many in the field, I read his writing and had great respect for his work. Someone asked me recently about what makes a thought leader, and Jay was one of the first people I mentioned as an example. What better way to remember him than with a small sampling of his own ideas? Conversation.
Mini-Scenarios for Assessment
DECEMBER 8, 2015
Scenario-based learning often means complex branching or simulations, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. You can use mini-scenarios to make your assessments more relevant and valuable. One of the big advantages of using mini-scenarios is that they’re fast and easy to build. Imagine you’re creating a course for managers about motivation and using rewards effectively.
Move Beyond Learning to Applying: A Modern Management Development Program
A better way to develop front-line managers !It’s well documented that people leave managers – not companies. Download this guide to learn how to shift the perspective from event to journey and how to take learners through Proficiency Journeys to get results.
20+ More Books for Instructional Designers
APRIL 30, 2015
In response to my list of 12+ Books for Instructional Designers , I received a lot of great suggestions for further reading. My “to read” list is now quite long, but I’m slowly making my way through these suggestions. Here are 20+ more books suggested by others. Instructional Design and Learning Design. This book was positively reviewed in Educa tion Review. Research. Other Books.
Consulting Isn’t My Backup Plan
JUNE 14, 2016
Although I’ve been self-employed for almost 5 years, I’m still regularly contacted by recruiters about full-time positions. Most of them are polite and professional, and I often refer them to other colleagues who I know are looking for work. Once in a while though, I hear from someone who just doesn’t get it. He replied with this message. Many consultants are like me.
What Challenges Do Your Characters Face?
JUNE 1, 2016
Once upon a time, there was an instructional designer who created a branching scenario for training. Her client was excited about the approach, her SME was always available and helpful, and her technology worked perfectly the first time, every time. The learners loved it, and the instructional designer won an award. Everyone lived happily ever after. The End. Sounds like a great fantasy, right?
2015 Year in Review
DECEMBER 31, 2015
Did you miss any of my most popular posts published this year? 12+ Books for Instructional Designers. Learning Experience Design: A Better Title Than Instructional Design? Captivate 8 Custom Motion Effect Example. 20+ More Books for Instructional Designers. No, I Won’t “Tweak” Your PowerPoint Slides. What does an instructional designer do? Instructional Design Skills.
5 Unknown Ways You're Wasting Your Training Budget
In the US alone, companies spend over $70 billion on corporate training and about $1000 on individual employees according to Bersin by Deloitte. When it comes to training budgets, leaders struggle to pinpoint what impact (if any) their training programs are having. So what's the result? Companies end up wasting millions of dollars each year on ineffective training practices.
Time Tracking Template for Instructional Design
SEPTEMBER 18, 2013
As an instructional designer, I often need to estimate the time it will take to complete a project. One tool I use for determining my estimates is records of how long past projects have taken. Having everything together in a spreadsheet also simplifies my invoicing to clients. In addition, I track non-billable time. You can view and save the template yourself.
ID Badges: My Experience with TIfPI’s Certification
AUGUST 5, 2015
Last month, I earned my badge for Instructional Design: Goal- or Problem-Based Scenarios [ID(GPS+)] from The Institute for Performance Improvement (TIfPI). The “plus” and gold color signify that this is an outstanding level badge, meaning I received an outstanding rating on at least 7 of the 9 standards. How It Works. TIfPI uses 9 standards to measure and rate ID work samples.
Blogging to Build Your Business
MAY 3, 2016
I recently gave a presentation to the Online Network of Independent Learning Professionals about blogging to build your business. This is specifically about what I have learned about blogging to build your reputation as a learning consultant over my 9+ years of blogging. The recording of the presentation and discussion is available on YouTube. Mistakes I Made. Blogging Platforms. What Works For Me.
Debunker Club Works to Dispel the Corrupted Cone of Learning
APRIL 1, 2015
A new group called The Debunker Club is working to dispel myths and misinformation in the learning field. From their website: The Debunker Club is an experiment in professional responsibility. Anyone who’s interested may join as long as they agree to the following: I would like to see less misinformation in the learning field. will provide counter-evidence and argument when warranted. 2014).
Workbook: Gamification and Your Enterprise Learning Strategy
This workbook is a response to your need to understand how to strategically incorporate gamification into your learning strategy, in order to drive real business results. It’s designed to be printed, written in and used as a guide.
Formatting Tips for Voice Over Scripts
NOVEMBER 18, 2014
If we as instructional designers write scripts that are easy for voice over talent to understand, the voice over professionals we work with can record and edit those scripts faster. We’ll end up with a better end product. A few formatting guidelines can make our scripts clearer and easier to use. This is part 2 in my series of posts on tips for creating voice over scripts. Formatting Tips.
Learning the Language: Why IDs Don’t Need To Be SMEs
MARCH 4, 2014
My daughter was born last May. “E” was in a hurry to meet us and arrived two months early. When my water broke, we rushed to Duke University Hospital. quickly received a dose of betamethazone and a bolus of magnesium. spent over a month in the NICU. She was breathing on her own, without oxygen support, but still connected to a lot of wires and sensors. She’s getting so big!