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Four Emerging Technologies that L&D Leaders Need to Consider

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“Modern” browsers have been around since 2009, but many huge corporations still mandate compatibility of web and eLearning applications with Internet Explorer 8, which is a dinosaur in technology years. I attended the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show two weeks ago with an eye to seeing what technologies have potential application within the L&D industry. Let’s face it.

Designing UX for eLearning? Skip the Cargo Cult

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It is from a UX conference held back in 2009, but its message is pretty timeliness. When it comes to user experience (UX), most eLearning designers will tell you they can do better. The problem? They are not really UX/UI designers. They are instructional designers, eLearning specialists and trainers. UX testing is not even on most project plans! No testing required. “Good artists copy.

Interview With Mobile Learning Thought Leader Mayra Aixa Villar

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In 2009, as I was writing my M.A. Mayra Aixa Villar. I had the opportunity to interview Mayra Aixa Villar , instructional designer and thought leader in the mobile learning space. Mayra has authored articles for ASTD and Learning Solutions Magazine and writes frequently on her personal blog. How did you get started in instructional design, and what sparked your interest in mobile?

3 Ways to Use Game Based Learning in Corporate Training

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This is a quote from a middle school student at the Quest to Learn School that opened in Fall 2009. “We learn everything that all the other schools learn, we just learn it differently.”. It’s one of the intro comments made in a short YouTube video that does a fantastic job of explaining and SHOWING the answer to “Why games as learning and teaching tools?” The video is embedded above. How so?

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Blog Carnival

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If you want to share tips in a longer format than a comment allows, join our new blog carnival. The first carnival entry will run on July 29, and (not surprisingly) the topic will be synchronous e-learning.You can enter your post by e-mailing me HERE or by including a link to your post as a comment on this blog entry before July 28th.

Reading Comprehension and Line Length - Survey Results

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Learning games - some interesting ideas

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I’ve written a few different posts on games.  I love games - and i think games help engage people and make learning more fun. found a few interesting games today, by chance. I was looking at Mashable, a blog on new medai and social networking, and came across their weekly list of job postings. scrolled through the posts and found several game sites who want developers. Darn it!

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Asking the right questions during design to track down elusive content

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As a first-time BLP blogger, I was very eager to lock down my e-learning topic and join the ranks of my fellow bloggers. Last week, I determined my three blog topics for the month, all focused on curriculum design and development. felt good identifying my first topic: designing an e-learning course with little to no content in sight, and then…do you know what happened next? Ironically, I had created the topic and struggled with…the content. I can’t escape! So, I did what I always do…begin the “content inquisition.”. Don’t get me wrong! What should they believe ? What will success look like?

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Moodle: A fantastic tool for informal learning - and not just “e-learning”

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Last week I hosted a webinar called “Come Moodle with Us: Straight Talk on Moodle as an LMS Solution.&# Along with two of my colleagues at BLP, we showed attendees OUR Moodle site - and attempted to illustrate many of the cool features Moodle provides and how Moodle facilitates informal learning and not just functions as a place to house and track e-learning. Those who want to use it just to track learning are missing its point. In our case, it connects all the employees in our organization to each other. Example: I created a “course&# in Moodle called Adobe Max.

The Future of the LMS

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We started the month talking about the features and functions of learning management systems. It’s only fitting we end talking about the changes the future holds for those features. Soon, it won’t be enough that the LMS tracks formal learning like instructor-led training courses or e-learning modules; the future is here, and learning management systems are changing rapidly to keep up. Leanne talked about Moodle’s ability to categorize those on the system by their expertise in her last post. In a sense, she saw the LMS as more like a social network and less like a database.

Every multimedia developer’s nightmare…the LCMS

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It seems important to begin this post with a disclaimer…this is my “multimedia developer&# opinion. You’ve been warned. As a multimedia developer the thought of developing e-Learning with an LCMS development tool sends shivers up my spine (not the good kind, like when you learn a new way to make something animate in Flash…yes, I know I need to get out more). Don’t get me wrong, the majority of LCMS development tools are great for rapid development, and are a great way to manage content and content objects with a single application.

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Tips and Tools for Synchronous e-Learning

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The blog carnival didn’t get quite the response I was hoping for this month, so I decided to go in a slightly different direction, and look to see what the higher education field had to share about e-learning. Higher education started out as all synchronous learning - and as they have branched into web-based solutions they have stuck with the synchronous model in many cases. They also like to do a lot of research and writing about theories, which makes for some good ponderables. store of real-life experiences. An inclination to problem-centered learning. Desire for meaningful learning.

Give Them Permission to Learn

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In live facilitation we often remind folks to shut off their cell phones, we select an appropriate learning environment, schedule the time – it’s a training event. Just as Gayle indicated in her recent post that it’s important for learners to apply good business practices when taking e-learning, it’s also important for the organization to give the learners permission to do so. In some work cultures or due to personal bias a learner may feel that they aren’t really “working” when attending training. So give learners permission to learn and restrict their activities while taking the course.

Impact of Culture on Learning

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I’ve been working on an instructor-led project lately and it’s caused me to think about what impact does culture have on learning preferences? My disclaimer for this post is that I’m not advocating that we teach to “learning styles&#. Check out this post for a starting point to learn more about why we shouldn’t design to learning styles. However, my question is - How much should culture influence my design? And how much does my own culture influence the way I design courses? suspect that I don’t want to design to culture and here’s why. Any thoughts?

Analogies are like Informal Mnemonics

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Analogies have been a source of great amusement for me this past wee k. Analogies can be very helpful in learning, if they’re used correctly. In this award-winning (if I do say so myself) sample , we use water as an analogy to teach the surprisingly complex topic of electricity. Learning games use analogies all time. Anne Derreberry talks about games that mirror reality (like a flight simulator) and others that teach through metaphor (like World of Warcraft as a leadership training lab). Either can. Analogies can be useful in classroom training, too. like the idea a lot – with a few caveats.

Mobile phones as training tools

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What role do you think mobile phones should play in training? Check out this video - admittedly focused on using cell phones in the classroom - and let me know what you think? 1) Are mobile phones a viable training tool in the distance-based or live classroom in a training setting for adults? 2) Should schools be embracing mobile phones as teaching tools for children in schools? Can’t wait to hear what you think! Click here to view the embedded video.

Informal Learning

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A recent survey that found that employees (in the UK, at least) are more interested in innovative learning and collaboration than the HR and training people in those same institutions. The study, conducted in March, found that 44% of employees want to see collaborative tools like blogs, forums and wikis developed, while just 32% of HR professionals agree. More HR professionals (42%) than employees (38%) wanted to see more classroom learning. Having been in both learning and HR roles, (not to mention being an employee for most of my career), These results make perfect sense to me.

Engage the Right to Land on the Left

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“Emotion is the fast lane to the brain.” These are the words of Doug Stevenson , author of the Story Theater Method , and speaker at today’s CIASTD meeting.  I have to tell you Doug made me laugh, he made me sad, at times I was touched – the key is I was feeling and learning at the same time. The Story Theory Method is about using your personal stories to enthrall and engage learners to make a point. It’s about engaging the right side of the brain, tapping into the audience’s emotions, involving them in your story. Think about some of your stories, maybe a time you made a mistake at work.

April’s Big Question - Stuck?

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The Learning Circuits blog posted their big question for April – Stuck? Getting Unstuck? feel very fortunate that I don’t typically face being stuck in old and boring ways of doing things due to oppressive corporate standards. I don’t know that I can go as far as Ignatia and say that I’ve never taken no for an answer when a cool idea is blocked. I do think I can honestly say that we get to play with enough new ideas and concepts that stuck isn’t typically an issue for me. Still, I enjoyed reading the other responses. agree wholeheartedly. Blogging changes the way you look at the world.

This Week on #TalkTech: Mobile Learning Strategy, #EdTech apps for iPhone and ROI of #TinCanAPI

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We uncovered a fantastic post from wayyy back in (gasp) 2009 about designing educational apps that still has validity. #TalkTech is the “flipped” approach to Twitter chats.  We publish all the topics a few hours before the chat so you can show up at 3 pm EST / 12 pm PST on Thursdays ready to discuss. Image courtesy of [link]. To summarize the article, educational apps need: Clear goals.

Are Learning and Entertainment Mutually Exclusive?

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Jennifer’s post titled Corporate Training – Journalism or Entertainment , really got me thinking about learning versus entertainment. Are they congruous or exclusive? want to believe training can effectively be delivered in an entertaining way. I for one want to be entertained. However, is it possible that I may learn more from something on the boring side? Possibly, it is a fine line to follow. Let’s consider a couple examples. How frequently does an instructor lead training have a lively and entertaining facilitator, is fun to attend and popular with learners? Where is the balance?

Corporate Training - Journalism or Entertainment?

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Last night Bill O’Reilly visited The Letterman show and they had a heated discussion about whether Bill O’Reilly is a journalist or entertainer. Regardless of your political leanings, it was an entertaining interview. Check out a highlight below (especially around minute 7:00): Click here to view the embedded video. While I’m not going to enter the political fray on this blog, it did make me think of some recent experiences where I’ve discussed the level of reality to convey in a training course. Which begs the question: Are we entertainers or journalists? Ask questions.

A Primer on Learning Game Design

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Challenges for Game Designers by Brenda Brathwaite and Ian Schreiber,  Course Technology, 2009. The gamification of learning is a hot, hot trend with great potential to improve the quality of learning experiences for adults – not just kids. We are sold on the value of games in learning, and we want to actively promote their use. Mastering the Jargon of Game Design. Getting Ideas for Games.

Mobile Learning: A couple examples of the promise it offers

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We have integrated mobile devices into our lives at a lightning fast pace:  In 2009, 83% of adult Americans owned a mobile phone (and who knows how many children!) ( 2009 Pew Internet Report ); we can assume that a poll taken today would show even higher percentages. In fact, it’s entirely possible (and likely) that you are reading this blog post from your own personal Smartphone.

Goodbye 2009!

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As we prepare about the new year, I encourage you to check out the Learning Circuits Big Question: What did you learn about learning in 2009? Thanks for spending part of 2009 with us, whether in person or here on Lessons on Learning! Hello blog readers! BLP is wrapping up our year and we won’t be posting over our holiday break. and consider how you’d answer the question. know I’ll be thinking about that and will have a post on the topic in early Janaury. We hope you are able to do the same as you spend time with your family and friends over the holidays!

Welcome to Synchronous E-Learning Month

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Tags: distance learning July 2009 synchronous e-learning

Cool, but Not Necessarily New

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I have to admit it, I’m fully adicted to FastCompany. read the entire magazine, cover to cover, within 48 hours of it hitting my mailbox. And, of course, I love the Heaths of Made to Stick fame. So when I got to December’s column, I was pleasently suprised to see a topic that wasn’t just neat, but related to my world, How to Make Corporate Training Rock. Video.

Mobile Photo Search: The learning potential

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Dear Google, what can’t you do??? This week Google announced the launch of Google Goggles. It’s a mobile app for android phones that allows you to complete internet searches based on a photo you take with your smart phone. What’s that, you ask? That blows my mind!! How does it do that? Check out this video for more examples: Click here to view the embedded video.

Using Media to Maximize Learning

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That’s a loaded title for a blog post no doubt! Well, hold on to your mouse, because that is the focus of BLP’s blog for the month of November. would like to kick off this topic with an example to do nothing more than stir the thinking pot and also note that there is more to come. We talk a lot about tell vs. teach around here, but I would like to bring up tell vs. show.

When you need to Tell not Teach–the eMag

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How often do you find yourself with a request for “training&# that is really more about sharing information? The ultimate goal isn’t training learners to DO anything; it’s about building awareness, providing details, or just communicating a message. Sometimes “Telling&# is the goal, not “Teaching&# and, believe me, both are needed and helpful, if packaged effectively.

Designing for the How, not the What

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As we wrap up our design focus for the month of September, I wanted to share some of the internal discussion we’ve been having here at BLP. Does this remind you of any of the courses you’ve developed? It does me! Too often the activities in courses are about the “what&# or the “why&#. Below are some of the shifts and goals we’ve been discussing. What do you think?

Tips for Developing a Course that Fits Your LMS

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At BLP, we work with many different learning management systems for our various clients. The only thing they all have in common is that invariably they are nothing like the one we used the week or month before. Because we want to make sure our courses work perfectly with the LMS, we’ve started asking a series of questions at the beginning of every e-learning project.

Leveraging Learning

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Informal learning is one of the buzzwords in corporate learning these days. Sure, part of the reason for that is an economic crunch that has caused some organizations to believe it’s not worth paying for well-designed learning solutions. But there is another factor at work here - and that is the rise of web 2.0. The web 2.0 Let’s face it - some things should be learned in a formal way.

Designing Synchronous e-Learning Courses

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We’re continuing our discussion of synchronous e-learning (aka. distance learning) this month. Today, I want to talk about how to actually design synchronous e-learning courses. There are many elements of course design that need to be taken into consideration for synchronous e-learning. However, here are just a few questions to consider: 1. Technology. Facilitators. Participants. Content.

Cool new tool for distance learning: polling via Twitter or web

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As I was reading Mashable , the blog that identifies anything and everything connected to social media, I came across a cool polling tool that has some huge applications for either distance learning or even conference-style presentations and meetings. The tool is called Polls Everywhere and it makes it easy for you to set up polls that respondents can reply to via Twitter, texting, or the web.

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Designing Training That Actually Trains Someone

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It happened again last week. responded to a Request for Proposal (online no less, which left no opportunity for any type of discussion) and felt so frustrated by the difference between what the requester asked for…and what I knew would actually result in learning. In other words, they have to learn stuff and practice stuff in ways that match the context they will apply it in on the job.

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A New Use for Post-Its

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We often use Post-Its, in our design meetings and just our day-to-day work. Here’s a use I’ve not seen  before, but perhaps I may steal the idea for the future. Anyone want to guess how many Post-its? Or how long it took to cover the whole car?