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20 Tips to Get Started With Your First E-learning Project

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This is my first post for this year. have not been able to blog due to lot of changes that’s been happening in my professional life. Anyways, here I come, once again, to share the little knowledge that I have. This blog post is for those venturing into custom e-learning business or people who are getting started with their first e-learning project. Before I get into the crux of this post, I would like to explain why I decided to write on this topic. When you are trying to do something for the first time, there is always lot to  learn and do before you actually get successful.

Why Learning From Videos is Difficult

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We love watching videos. YouTube and other similar video sharing websites have made viewing and sharing videos as easy as possible. However when it comes to learning from videos, there is certainly a hitch. For example, consider I have to write a paper on Entrepreneurship and I am referring to some videos on the topic. The duration is also indicated.

4 Essential Steps to Teach a New Concept/Technique

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Target Audience: Beginner/Intermediate (Instructional Designers/Content Writers/Technical Writers). find it really hard to work with SLR settings. So I settled for a camera which has a lot of automatic settings and some basic SLR settings, that are easy to work with. I was not sure what to do with the options AV/TV. But then, I was still confused. Please take some time to post a comment.

Teach 18

Top 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Fresher in Instructional Design

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I was a complete novice when I entered the world of Instructional Design. wasn’t a technical writer before (as is common notion that technical writers graduate to become Instructional Designers) nor was I working in another company. I was a fresher. Yes, a fresher. Working with complex technologies and understanding the nuances of Instructional Design is an art. As with other art forms, it can be honed by constant practice on the job. Hiring  freshers in Instructional Design is a good thing, contrary to the corporate thinking. High risk taking capacity: Freshers are not bound by barriers.

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.

What is the state of Instructional Design/ers in India?

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I was busy last two months and that’s one main reason, I have kept away from this blog. This month is better and I have been catching up with some of my friends and fellow Instructional Designers. A  short discussion with my fellow Instructional Designers on the state of Instructional Design/Instructional Designers in India prompted me to write this post. What is the actual state of Instructional Design and Instructional Designers in India today – This is something I guess all of us in India want to know!! mean people who develop training material. Must know HTML, CSS. Can you help?

The Difference Between Technical Writing and Instructional Design

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A lot of people frequently ask me about the difference between Technical Writing and Instructional Design. I had written a post about this earlier and also argued that you require more or less the same kind of skills for both these fields and it was completely my standpoint on these two professions. So here we go! Technical Writing. You should see a help manual). Installation Guides. API Manuals.

7 Tips to Work Well with Graphic Designers

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Do you have experience working with Graphic Designers? How would you interact with Graphic Designers and get things done? How would you sort out difference with Graphic Designers? These are common questions asked to Instructional Designers. These questions may not make sense to you, if you do not work with Graphic Designers in your organization. In some organizations, Instructional Designers also wear the hat of  Graphic Designers, especially if they are working with rapid e-learning tools. In such a set up, differences between Instructional Designers and Graphic Designers are just too many.

What Kind of Instructional Design Do You Do?

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Ask 3 different people, the question : What is Instructional Design? Now compare and contrast the responses. I am sure you will be amazed at the different perspectives you get. As far as I know, Instructional Design exists in different forms and Instructional Design might mean different things to different people. How you perceive/describe Instructional Design depends on your: Location/Context. Nature of work you do. Here are 3 scenarios to illustrate this: PS: Some scenarios here may apply only to Indian workplaces. Scenario 1. Scenario 2. Now this is a highly challenging task.  Scenario 3.

Should Form Follow Function or Vice Versa?

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Some years back, I had to go through an induction program in one MNC. I was introduced to an award winning e-learning program that was supposed to introduce me to the company, product, services,  policies and procedures and more. The e-learning course interface design was  extravagant. It was an expert graphic designer’s work. While the design was out of the world, the content was too drab and boring. To be frank , I got nothing out of the course. There was a time when I used to give a thumps up to fancy designs and interfaces and a thumps down to anything that was plain and simple.

How to Insert an Audio Loop in Camtasia

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When I was creating this tutorial video using Camtasia , I was looking for ways to insert an audio loop. The audio clip I had was just 32 seconds and I had to extend it till 4 minutes. In Camtasia Studio, I could not find an option to loop the audio track. Please let me know if there is any such option. For example, I have added the audio clip twice in the Timeline as shown below.

The Writers Gateway Turns 3!

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Hello All, Today I complete 3 years of blogging and it really means a lot to me. This blog now has 222 posts, close to 600 comments and nearly 200 feed readers. have got some really nice feedback on my posts and my blog. Thanks to all of you who helped me reach this far. This has been possible only because of this blog. Take my word.  It really helps! And yes, please wish me good luck! regards.

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.

The Writers Gateway Turns 4

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Dieting and Learning – 4 Tips to do it the right way!

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Agree or not, ours is a very weight conscious society. Meet someone after ages, the first thing they do is tell you how fat or how slim you have become. Most often it is either a compliment on your weight loss or a criticism on weight gain. Aishwarya Rai’ s weight gain became a national issue, recently. Sounds funny but it’s true. Anorexic people are the proudest of all today. Why am I talking about all these here, you may wonder? Well, I do find a striking similarity between dieting and learning.  You got to do both these right to get good results. Here we go: 1. Then stop. No way!

What Kind of Project Are You Working on?

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Its been quite some time since I connected with you all. So I am just curious to know what you/other Instructional Designers are working on these days? Please go ahead and take this poll. Feel free to choose more than one response. If you are working on custom e-learning, please do not choose the rest of the options. I am sure the results are going to be interesting. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll. Instructional Design Instructional Designers

Instructional Design Review Checklists – Key to Quality E-learning

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In any e-learning development company, storyboards and e-learning courses go through rounds of testing to ensure desired quality levels.  You should find a lot of blog posts on e-learning testing. All these articles talk about the importance of usability testing, learnability testing for e-learning courses. When you talk of e-learning testing,  Instructional Design review is also a critical testing activity that happens in the development phase/storyboarding phase. Is content structuring okay? Have instructional stragies been applied right? How is the instructional flow? Assessment design.

Here’s How You Reduce Training and Support Costs!

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You have an amazing software product… the product is going to create great value for your customers… you plan to invest a lot in support and training and increase  product adoption…… Wow! Is that good enough? Have you thought of a way to increase product adoption, keeping training and support costs low? Well, it’s not simple,  I know. However it’s not impossible either… Solution: Invest more in the usability of the  product. Focus on user effectiveness. increase success rate and reduce users errors. improve ease of use and ease of learning.

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.

The Writers Gateway Presents Top 10 Posts 2010

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The year 2010 has been great. have written close to 43 posts and have managed to keep this blog alive A couple of posts managed to enter the “Great Learning Posts&# list in elearning Learning.  This certainly has encouraged me to write more. hope to write better posts the coming year. So here’s is closing this year with  TOP 10 posts of 2010. Why Learning From Videos is Difficult.

5 Quick Tips to Reduce Editing Time in Camtasia Studio

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Editing a video using Camtasia is a bit of a challenge for newbies – you will agree to this, if you are a regular user of Camtasia. But I think every tool has its pain points and there is always a learning curve with all  e-learning or screen capture tools. You really need to figure out how to work well with tools like Camtasia to make your life easy. Hope you found this post useful.

The Writers Gateway Now Offers Services

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I am glad to announce that I am an independent professional now. This is something I always wanted to do and it has finally happened now. launched my site: [link]  that gives an overview of the kind of services I will offer. Of course, there are some pages to be updated. The site The site will look complete in the coming days. will continue to share useful information in this blog. So keep reading!

Instructional Designers Meetup Jan 30, 2010 Across Cities in India

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January 30, 2009 is going to be an eventful day. Instructional Designers across cities in India are going to meet in groups in their own city. This is going to be the first meeting organized by the Instructional Designers Community of India this year. More than 50 Instructional Designers have RSVPd for the meetup. This is a great number to start with. It is not too late yet.

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!

Reviving The Writers Gateway!

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Hi All, My sincere apologies to all of you who come to this blog regularly. Its been a year now and haven’t been able to write much or post useful stuff here. have been reading all your comments and even queries. I am so sorry for not responding. I am taking some active steps to revive this blog. Here’s all you have to do: Click on the image below to view the group. Thank you.

6 Reasons To Use Amplify for Collaborative Learning

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I recently came across this website called Amplify that works just like Twitter and other social networking sites. However Amplify seems to be a much more effective tool for collaborative learning than any other freely available learning tools today. I say this taking into account some of the unique features in Amplify. Amplify URL/Amplify Selection options: These options are really interesting.

Ribbon Hero – A Cool Game to Hone Your MS Office Skills

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Microsoft has launched the prototype of a game called Ribbon Hero which will help people boost MS Office knowledge and skills. You You just  have to download and install Ribbon Hero. It acts as an add-in in MS Word, MS PowerPoint etc. How does it work? Every time you use a feature in MS Word or MS Powerpoint, you gain points for it. If you use advanced features, you gain more points. My View.

7 Invaluable Thoughts about Film Making That Applies to Instructional Designing too! | The Writers Gateway

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have started reading this interesting book called Directing the Story by Francis Glebas. I am sure you have seen or heard of the movies Lion King and P ocahontas. Francis Glebas has worked on these really popular movies. I am enjoying this book - Directing the Story in which Francis Glebas gives some practical tips on film making. While I was reading this book, it struck me that whatever Glebas is talking about applies to e-learning too. have always compared instructional designing to film making. have also likened the role of an Instructional Designer to a movie maker. Thought 1. Thought 2.

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.

T-Bite: Top 10 Resources for Learning Professionals

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There are umpteen web resources on Instructional Design, learning and training.  However there are very few blogs, networks and websites that give you really useful information. In this post, I would like to list those blogs and websites that provide learning professionals with lot of useful information absolutely free of cost. This blog has lots of good examples and case studies on the subject.

2009 Top Posts – The Writers Gateway

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This post is in response to the Big Question December 2009 – What did you learn about learning in 2009? guess this year I learnt much more than last year. Let me quickly list some highlights here: I have written better quality articles. have gained good instructional designing and technical writing skills. learnt microblogging through Twitter. also gained a lot from these learning sessions.

Free Session on Learner Centric Methodology Used in E-learning on September 19, 2009 at 11:30 AM IST

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The Instructional Designers Community of India  is hosting yet another free  learning session on September 19, 2009. This time the session is about Learner Centric Methodology used in E-learning. The session coverage would be: 1. What is LCM? 2. How does LCM help design effective learning? 3. What are the key principles of LCM? 4. How does LCM benefit stakeholders? 5. A case study based on LCM.

A “Hello World” Approach to Teaching Instructional Design

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In India, there are very few training institutes or universities that offer certification courses in Instructional Designing. When you look  at the courses that these training institutes offer, all these courses follow the classical approach to teaching  Instructional Designing. In a classical approach, you start with the basic concepts, theories and then move on to application. At the end of the course, the learner will have to do a storyboard for which he/she will be evaluated and given a certificate. So typically the course duration for such beginner level course would be three months.

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.

The Best Way to Open a New Sales Talk

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This is one of the best instructional videos that I have come across. Some highlights of this video: Focuses on a single learning point. Has a storyline. Has humour. Is instructionally sound. Focuses on real life situations. Demonstrates practical application of skills. The best way to open a sales talk – Explania. How To" Videos Scenario Based E-learning

A Question to Answer – No/Incorrect Source Content, What do I do?

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One of my blog readers, Nivedita ( from India) asked me an interesting question : How do you go about finalizing content for your project when there is no source content or the source content you have is largely incorrect? My Take. Honestly, I feel every e-learning project must involve a subject matter. While its challenging to handle such a situation, you cannot avoid this at all. Do your best.

Is it Okay to Punish Your E-Learners for not Paying Attention?

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In school, I have been punished a lot of times – reasons :  homework not done, shoe not polished, stepped into the class late etc. used to hate punishments and always wondered why teachers cannot be a little lenient or deal with these issues in a better way. Now consider this e-learning course : The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective. Isn’t that frustrating?

Time to Eliminate Software Product Tutorials?

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The software industry is loaded with help manuals and tutorials. It doesn’t matter how complex or easy the product is, a help manual or a tutorial is a must have. Why would someone need a help manual or a tutorial if the product is self-explanatory, obvious, easy to use? This post tries to raise some questions in favour of intuitive software applications/products. What users want? Reasons.

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.

T-Bite: Examples of Augmented Reality Games

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Some weeks back, I posted some videos on Augmented Reality that illustrated how this concept may be applied in real life. found some interesting videos that showcase Augmented Reality Games. thought they are worth sharing in the T-Bites section. So here are you go: VIDEO 1 ( via Tom Kuhlmann ). VIDEO 2. VIDEO 3. Avatar – Experience Pandora After the Movie Ends. VIDEO 4.

T-Bite: Top 5 Sites for E-learning Demonstrations

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Here are the top 5 sites that give you good examples of e-learning: Enspire Learning: Demonstrations. learning Examples. MedlinePlus: Interactive Health Tutorials. Cathy Moore’s E-learning Samples. SkillSoft: Demonstrations.

T-Bite: What is HTML5?

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According to Wikipedia &# HTML5 is currently being developed as the next major revision of  HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the core  markup language of the  World Wide Web. HTML5 is the proposed next standard for HTML 4.01,  XHTML 1.0 and DOM Level 2 HTML. There has been lot of talk about HTML 5 in the e-learning industry. Some of the burning questions have been: Will HTML 5 replace Adobe Flash?

T-Bite: History of Instructional Design

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Instructional Design saw its rapid growth only during World War II though it existed as early as 1905. As mentioned in Wikipedia much of the foundation of the field of instructional design was laid in World War II , when the U.S. Skinner on operant conditioning, training programs focused on observable behaviors. The approach is still common in the U.S. military.

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.

Gaming Can Change The World!

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Can gamers change the world? How about designing world saving games? Jane Mcgonigal says no one wants to change the world just because it is good or because they are supposed to. But if you immerse them in an epic adventure and  say “We have run out of oil&#. Here is a challenge for you to survive. People act. One day they ate, the next day they spent time playing games.

Anandadhara – An Asynchronous BL Approach to Teaching Music

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Last weekend, we had an interesting online session for the members of Instructional Designers Community of India. During the session Abhijit Patronobis of Monad Interactive demonstrated an e-learning module on music called Anandadhara. About Anandadhara. Anandadhara is an e-learning module on Rabindra Sangeet. This is Indian music, specifically bengali music. Anandadhara Training Approach.