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Do you know your E-learning Buckets?

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By Jonathan Shoaf. I've discovered recently I don't like the term e-learning. This is because I recently had to go through the process of understanding what salary you pay someone who is an e-learning developer. It turns out that it varies dramatically depending on who you ask. This is because everyone has a different idea of what e-learning is and what it takes to develop it. So if you tell me you are an e-learning expert, it means nothing to me. The term e-learning covers a wide swath of teaching and learning using digital media. Self-Paced Learning. Online Classroom. Simulations. Multimedia.

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ADDIE isn't Dead; it's just more Agile

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By Jay Lambert. Readers of this blog know that I've been a big defender of ADDIE ( Adapting 20th Century Training Models for the Future , ADDIE isn't Dead, how can it be? , etc.). As a reminder, ADDIE stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. Of course, we are using DADDIE now, having added Define to the beginning of each project. No ADDIE isn't dead. But it is evolving.

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Make Learning Supportive and Available Everywhere

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Thoughts on Elliot Masie's Lectora User Conference Keynote. By Jay Lambert. This year's 2011 Lectora user conference provided my first opportunity to hear learning futurist Elliot Masie ( of The Masie Center ) speak live; he didn't disappoint. As Masie said, we are at an age of incredible learning development opportunity. And here are a few points he made with some of my thoughts attached. mobile).

Snap! by Lectora Review

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By Joseph Suarez. Recently Trivantis, makers of the eLearning development program Lectora, announced the release of Snap! by Lectora. While the product isn't revolutionary and at times leaves more to be desired, with a $99 price tag, Snap deserves a closer look. So just what is Snap? Since Snap is a PowerPoint add-on, it exists inside PowerPoint as an additional option on the "Ribbon" menu. Flash.

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.

Adobe Captivate 7 - Now or Later?

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By Jonathan Shoaf. I''ve always been a software junkie. I''m happy to spend some money on a software product when I know it will save me hours of effort over the course of the next year. So when new software comes out, I''m like a kid at Christmas opening up the gift to see if I got what I wanted. These days, Adobe is the software vendor I''m using the most. I use the Adobe Master Suite and Adobe Captivate for many of my projects. So when Adobe Captivate 7 was released, I was eager to unwrap the gift. The new release is the same Adobe Captivate you already know. blah, I know!)

Simple Anatomy of SCORM-based E-Learning

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By Jonathan Shoaf. remember the first time I heard the term SCORM. I was a software developer working on a quizzing product that needed to export data to a variety of e-learning systems. It was suggested we should support SCORM. So I researched but quickly got lost in the minutia of details and acronyms -- AICC, CMI, SCO, XML, ECMAScript, manifest, packaging, and API. Wait a minute. SCORM Package.

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Using White Space for Clutter-Free eLearning

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By Joseph Suarez. Imagine two scenarios. First, you are driving in a car down an open road with the windows down. Second, you are standing in a crowded bus stuck in traffic. Now imagine how the available space around you in each scenario would make you feel. Chances are the car seems less stressful and more inviting (no offense to public transit). What is White Space? Striking a Balance.

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What Makes eLearning Boring?

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By Shelley A. Gable. Most posts on this blog focus on what to do and how to do it – providing navigational cues , designing with social media , stimulating recall , forming sticky ideas , and so on. In this post, we’ll look at what we do too much of, resulting in boring eLearning. Too much text. It’s popular to hate PowerPoint because of the way a slide full of bullets strangles the life out of a presentation. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Have you watched a TED talk? Those presenters use text sparsely and convey messages with images more often than not. Think visual design.

Do Learning Styles Matter?

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By Shelley A. Gable. At first, learning styles seemed to be a hot topic because theorists were interested in defining various style typologies and prescribing instructional implications. Hence, we have a lot of literature describing modalities, brain hemisphere preferences, Kolb’s styles, Gregorc’s styles, and more. Lately, a lot of folks are writing about the fallacy of learning styles. The idea is that no one can find an empirical study that supports the need to cater to learning styles. So, is it worth learning about learning styles? Where do you stand on the learning styles debate?

Using a Skills Hierarchy to Organize eLearning Content

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By Dean Hawkinson. Imagine that you have been assigned the task of creating a series of eLearning courses to teach a particular job. In addition, this job is quite complicated with numerous skills and tasks that need to be taught. Imagine that this job is so extensive that you just don’t know where to begin. Once you have compiled this list, where do you go from there? Hints.

5 Ways to Tell Stories in eLearning

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By Shelley A. Gable. We’ve talked about the value of storytelling for conveying tacit knowledge in eLearning and a formula for telling stories. So once we’ve assembled an instructional story, how can we include it within an eLearning lesson? Here are a few ideas to explore. Comic Strip. Who doesn’t enjoy a quick comic strip? They’re a relatively quick read, an effective method for displaying dialog, and visually engaging. If the rest of an eLearning lesson follows a standard, templated look, using fun images can contribute to the story’s attention-grabbing effect. Interactive Timeline. Video.

Whitepaper: When The LMS Isn’t Enough

In this whitepaper, you will discover the main reasons why the LMS alone is no longer meeting the needs of the modern learner. More importantly, you will learn what you can do to enhance its value.

Building the Next Generation of SCORM

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by Jonathan Shoaf. Last Thursday was the kick off of project Tin Can. While project Tin Can has been championed by Rustici software for years now, it is speeding up activity to produce a 1.0 version of the Tin Can API (planned for June of this year). This project is a first step towards the next generation of SCORM. As one of the most widely used versions of SCORM , the SCORM 1.2 specification is over 10 years old. There have been a lot of changes in internet technology over those years, as well as, many changes in how professional learning is administered and tracked. Actor, Verb, Object.

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Tips for Importing from PowerPoint to Captivate

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by Jonathan Shoaf. Microsoft PowerPoint is a very powerful tool for creating presentations. At most organizations it also has a large user base. This means that a lot of content is developed in PowerPoint. There are times when you may want to reuse content created in PowerPoint in e-learning. Captivate can bring in backgrounds, text, images, and even animations and timings. Getting started is easy.

Engage Learners Emotionally in eLearning Experiences

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By Shelley A. Gable. What was the last book. you couldn’t put down? The last movie. you couldn’t stop talking about? The last song you found yourself playing repeatedly? While you may feel drawn to each of these for different reasons, chances are, you have emotional connections to them all. Perhaps you found one of them profoundly relatable. Maybe one was uplifting. Maybe another surged your adrenaline. Regardless of the nature of that connection, you likely felt engaged and the experience with it was memorable. How can we create these emotionally engaging experiences in eLearning? production.

Editing Images with PowerPoint

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By Joseph Suarez. Sometimes an eLearning course needs to be enhanced with an image , but finding the right one can be a chore in itself. It’s frustrating to locate an image only to find it just isn’t quite right. In these cases, it’s possible to tweak the image with a graphics editor. However, newer versions add more abilities and previously hard-to-find options are more prominent. Resize. Rotate.

What does the 80's movie WarGames tell us about learning games?

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by Jonathan Shoaf. recently watched the 1980's movie WarGames with my son. As a dad, I often use movies like that as an opportunity to teach something new to my son. So we talked about the military, the Cold War, and then my son started naming countries and wanted to know if they were an enemy or ally of the United States. Of course, I explained that things were not that simple. The movie is about a young computer hacker, played by Mathew Broderick , who unwittingly accesses a NORAD supercomputer controlling United States military nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

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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.

Custom Lectora Video Controls

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By Joseph Suarez. Video can be an engaging enhancement to an eLearning course built with Lectora. However, there may be times when video needs to be controlled without the default video playback controls. These controls can also visually clash with an eLearning course’s template or theme. Fortunately, Lectora offers another way to control video playback. Webdings. On: Mouse Click. Action: Play.

What Can eLearning Learn from “7 Ways Video Games Reward the Brain?”

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By Shelley A. Gable. I’m a big fan of TED talks. A few weeks ago, a colleague pointed me to a recent talk, “ 7 Ways Video Games Reward the Brain ,” presented by Tom Chatfield. It sounded like a great source of inspiration for eLearning design.so I immediately clicked the link and viewed the 17-minute video. Chatfield spends the first few minutes establishing the motivational power of video games by citing feats of time and money invested by people for the sake of games. Then, as the title suggests, he goes on to describe seven reasons games are so engaging. keeps the journey interesting.

4 Ways to Jump Start an eLearning Lesson

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By Shelley A. Gable. I’ve heard learners criticize eLearning lessons that have too much “extra” stuff at the beginning. Think about all the material that some lessons place before the actual content: title slide, copyright and/or confidentiality statements, navigation instructions, learning objectives, etc. It can potentially add up to a lot of extra clicks (that learners may or may not actually pay attention to), which gets the activity off to a somewhat sluggish start. For instance, you might have a “Navigation Help” button that’s always available at the top or bottom of the screen.

Cues that You Need an Image Instead of Text

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By Shelley A. Gable. We know that meaningful images provide a memorable and efficient way to learn information. Yet, in the tradition of building bulleted lists in PowerPoint, text dominates many eLearning courses. As a text-oriented person myself -- someone who finishes reading an article's text and then goes back to view the tables and charts -- translating text into images does not come naturally for me. So, over the past year, I've made it an informal personal goal to get better at it. Here are a few cues that prompt me to consider replacing text with images. Image Cue: Process Overview.

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!

Being a Good Coach through eLearning Feedback

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By Shelley A. Gable. have a friend who plans to volunteer as an assistant coach for his son’s soccer team in the fall. He told me about some of the advice he found on the web about coaching, and I realized that much of what he learned can be applied to coaching in eLearning as well. Most eLearning lessons contain knowledge checks of some sort, such as scenarios followed by a multiple choice question, hotspot questions that prompt learners to recognize something in an image , and simulations in which learners work through a procedure. Please try again.”. That’s a missed opportunity.

ADDIE isn't dead; how can it be?

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By Jay Lambert. There has been a lot of discussion, and an infamous article or two, in our field about the death of the ADDIE model. This came up again in the comments on my recent blog post, Adapting 20th Century Training Models for the Future. As a reminder, ADDIE stands for Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate. The naysayers have been saying that this process is too slow and archaic for our modern "this is due by 5pm today" times. And if the attacks are based on the long timelines typically associated with ADDIE, then they make some valid points. It's sad, but true. Design.

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Memorable Ways to End an eLearning Course

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By Shelley A. Gable. The recency effect tells us that people are more likely to remember information from the end of a sequence. In other words, when taking an eLearning course, learners are most likely to remember how the course ended, although the stuff in the middle might blur together. Cognitive theorists believe that as new information enters the working memory, earlier information is pushed out. Since the information entering at the end doesn't get pushed out as quickly, the brain has more time to process and remember that later information. Visual representation. Illustrative story.

Creating a Smart Next Button in Lectora

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by Jonathan Shoaf. Reducing the number of objects in your development project saves time to develop and makes project maintenance easier. Most e-learn development tools provide some sort of object reuse through inheritance or master pages. While not everyone is a fan of the next button, it is a common object found in e-learning. Its appearance on many pages makes it a prime candidate for reuse. In this post we take a look at how to make a next button that can be reused on all pages of a project.even if you want the learner to return to the main menu after each chapter. Done, right? Done, right?

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.

Focus Time and Effort with the 80/20 Rule

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By Jonathan Shoaf. The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, roughly states that 80% of the results are caused by 20% of the effort. This rule is applied commonly in business situations where for example, 80% of your income comes from 20% of your clients. This principle is meant to be a rule of thumb to guide decision making. As a software developer, I use this principle.

Building eLearning Scenarios in Working Sessions with SMEs

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By Shelley A. Gable. We know that scenarios benefit performance by immersing learners into workplace situations within training. The storytelling quality of scenarios helps make the lessons learned in training memorable. And there are many ways to incorporate stories and scenarios into eLearning. But how do you write these scenarios in the first place? After all, crafting a realistic scenario requires leveraging tacit knowledge that only a subject matter expert (SME) might possess. Knowledge that is often not documented, even in the most comprehensive knowledge management systems. And so on.

George Orwell's Advice for Writing eLearning Content

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By Shelley A. Gable. Learners can be fickle, quickly slipping into distraction or boredom if we ask them to read too much. Though highly interactive , problem-based eLearning can help maintain engagement, completing these activities usually requires learners to read words that we write. In a culture of multi-tasking skimmers, we must write as clearly and concisely as possible to help keep learners motivated. Practical Writing Advice from George Orwell. Though he published the essay over half a century ago, the advice is still practical. Especially for those of us who write training materials.

Draft a Branching Scenario in 6 Steps

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By Shelley A. Gable. How often have you encountered eLearning packed with information, yet lacks an outlet to apply that new knowledge in a meaningful way? Designing eLearning around problems that learners encounter on the job can help avoid this pitfall. Scenario-based training prompts learners to solve problems they will encounter on the job, helping to ensure we prepare them to perform their jobs successfully. Branching scenarios can simulate many workplace problems especially well. In a branching scenario , an eLearning slide might only provide the start of a situation.

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.

What you don’t need to know about SCORM

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by Jonathan Shoaf. The first time I heard the term SCORM was about 10 years ago. never paid it much attention. worked in the higher education industry and SCORM just wasn’t a big player there. About 5 years ago the company I was working for had a product called Wimba Create and the term SCORM started swirling around in my head again. Wimba Create is an add-on for Microsoft Word and can convert content to a SCORM package that can be used in a learning management system (LMS). Anyone who uses Word can create a SCORM package. My SCORM Story. Reusable content.that is the major benefit to SCORM.

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Emphasizing Noteworthy Content in eLearning

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By Shelley A. Gable. I was part of a team last year that worked on a large eLearning course, which consisted of several hours of eLearning lessons that learners completed over a four-week period. Interestingly, we received feedback that learners were taking excessive notes. Apparently, the lessons did not provide the cues necessary to help learners distinguish what they ought to jot down versus content they could easily look up later when needed. Naturally, this prompted us to rethink how to help learners take notes productively. So how can we provide this guidance to learners? Expectations.

Social Media vs. Social Learning

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By Dean Hawkinson. Most of us have Facebook accounts and collaborate with friends, family and colleagues through this media. We also use tools such as Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media. In a lot of cases, we are using internal corporate social media tools to collaborate. However, how many of us have considered using these types of tools for collaboration in a training environment ? As a learning professional, I have been pondering this question a lot. Out of all of this, one thing speaks perfectly clear: You have to understand your end goal before selecting the tool to be used.

3 Things I'm Looking Forward To In Lectora Version 11

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By Jay Lambert Trivantis gave a sneak preview of their upcoming Lectora Version 11 release at this week's user conference in Chicago. Many of us have been nervous that Version 11 brings a complete interface redesign (yes, I still fondly remember the old "traffic lights" from before the previous redesign). But the switch to a ribbon format seems sleek and even user-friendly at this point. Version 11 brings more Social Media integration which will excite many. But truthfully, I'm not sure how that will be received by corporate America. But I can see the coolness factor.

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.

Using Custom Progress Bars in Lectora

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By Joseph Suarez. You are here.”. Don’t you love when a map tells you that? Knowing exactly where you are can help you decide where to go and what to do next. Lectora’s progress bars are like a “You are here” marker for eLearning courses, providing visual feedback to users about their progress. The three types of Progress Bars in Lectora are Timer, Table of Contents, and Custom. Timer. Custom.

What does an mLearning participant look like?

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by Dean Hawkinson. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz around Mobile Learning, or mLearning for short, and how it is changing the face of learning in organizations. You can read more about this exciting trend in Jay Lambert’s post, More on Mobile Learning Trends. Being a telecommunications guy, I like to keep up on the latest mobile devices available to consumers. It is really fun to watch all the latest smartphones, tablets and other devices try to out-do each other with new technologies to provide convenience to consumers and businesses alike. Feel free to share your experiences!

How to Let Learners Make Mistakes in eLearning

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By Shelley A. Gable. A few years ago, I was a co-researcher on a study that investigated the factors that influence informal workplace learning. The literature on the subject frequently references learning from mistakes as a typical form of informal learning. So how can we leverage this natural way of learning in eLearning lessons? Nudge learners to assess their responses. recently saw this in an eLearning lesson a colleague created. The lesson prompted learners to answer a scenario-based. question. After submitting the answer, an initial round of feedback. Show the consequences of decisions.

Using Captivate to Create Cool Text Animations

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by Jonathan Shoaf. Adobe Captivate 5.5 is a well suited e-learning development tool for simulations and the tool I turn to first for Flash-based e-learning development. It’s screen recording is top notch for creating simulations and its ability to track variables and advanced actions makes it very versatile to my needs. Captivate 5.5 comes with over 80 text animations you can add to your projects.

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.

eLearning as Part of an Informal Learning Strategy

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By Shelley A. Gable. How did most of your workplace learning occur over the past year? Much of my learning came from brainstorming with peers, participating in online forums , reading (articles, books, blogs, etc.), observation, experimentation, trial and error.and, of course, reflection. Do you have a similar story of unstructured, experiential, informal learning? Jay Cross, known for his informal learning research, tells us that approximately 80% of workplace learning occurs informally. In contrast, only 20% of organizations’ learning budgets go toward enhancing informal learning.

Designing mLearning for Touch Screens

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by Joseph Suarez. These days, more and more organizations are pushing eLearning content onto devices with touch screen interfaces such as smart phones and tablets. It’s an exciting, and sometimes daunting, time to be involved in eLearning development. However, in the rush to create mLearning that “runs on the iPad,” it’s important not to forget we’re no longer creating training for a mouse and cursor environment. Here are some differences between using a mouse and a touch screen to take into consideration: No More Mouse Overs or Hovers. New Interaction Metaphors and Terminology. Multi-touch.

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