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IDCI: LH Theory by Abhinava

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Saturday, I had an opportunity to meet fellow IDCI members at Adobe, Bangalore. It was great to meet and interact with instructional designers from other companies. I was finally getting to meet the people I interact with online through Twitter, Ning, Linkedin, and blogs. Everyone was extremely friendly and the quick coffee before the session helped me catch up with everyone. Just the content?

Pecha Kucha and Learning

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Each Kernite gets an opportunity to present on a topic of their interest on Tuesdays and Fridays. This has not become a ritual at Kern. It was my turn to present and I was looking for a topic to present on. This was when I came across the term Pecha Kucha. read more about this and was quickly fascinated. presented on Using Pecha Kucha in Learning. They can show 20 images for 20 seconds each.

Quauntifying Time Spent on Web 2.0 Tools

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Is this a trick question? ;) My response to this month's Big Question: How much time do you spend and how did you find time for all the relatively newer things like reading blogs, twitter, social networks, etc.? I use TweetDeck and receive tweet notifications. If I am working on something that requires high concentration, I close this application. If the tweet inspires me, I tweet back immediately.

Siftables

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I came across this really cool and thought provoking video on siftables on the Simply Speaking blog. just had to share it here. How interesting would it be to use this to teach

7 Traits an ID Must Have

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I know I have already blogged about how most people outside the industry frown on eLearning. I am ready to crib about something else now. :) Why do people think instructional design is easy? Case 1: Acquaintance (who happens to be a software engineer): So, what do you do? Me: I am an instructional design. design learning programs for corporates. Acquaintance: Really? I am usually free during weekends, give me some work. would like to do something. Me: Yeah ok. You think you can master this task over the weekend? Case 2: Acquaintance: Hi, I hear you work from home. Me: I don't think so. Read it.

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Characters in eLearning

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I read this interesting post on Have you thought of Character Driven Stories for Your eLearning? by Rupa (@ruparajgo). I was tempted to blog about it myself (thanks for the inspiration, Rupa). What role can a character(s) play in your eLearning porgram? 1. Expert: This is probably the most common use of a character in eLearning. Type 1: This type takes you through the course and is a constant feature. You can design an expert who will take the learner through the course. This expert simplifies information or provides useful tips drawing from his experience. They are neither experts, nor peers.

8 Tips for the Training Department

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Given below are two views on training: Jaya: I have a list of courses that I am supposed to take. Most of them are irrelevant as I know most of what is covered. These elearning courses are updated regularly. But this typically means that that they change the names in the scenarios and then ask us to take the course all over again. There are a few courses that we are required to take every year because of some rules set by the U.S Government. It seems pointless to go over the same course over and over again. Ravi: I attending a classroom training when I joined. Interesting, isn't it? Simple!

Social learning without Web 2.0 tools?

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Many companies are reluctant to invest in social learning using the Web 2.0 tools. You can try and convince your clients about its power and usefulness. But this may not be the only thing stopping IDs from using Web 2.0 tools. In India, Internet and Web 2.0 tools are accessible to very small percentage of learners. Most learners: Do not have access to Internet. We have learners who work in villages/districts to learners who are foot-on-street sales executives to learners who have access to just one computer. Are still very much lurkers. People exchange notes in class, outside class. tools.

Bringing About a Change

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Dave Ferguson raises a valid point in my previous post " Are you ready to change ?" I have made an attempt to respond to Dave's concern. Please feel free to add your thoughts. This is a bit tangential to your question, but I saw cell-phone use while driving as a behavior that's widespread among early adopters and change agents. These are often the people trying to get others to change. What's more, my hunch is that they see their behavior as skilled multitasking, and dismiss evidence suggesting that talking while driving is on a par with driving after two or three drinks. This worked wonders.

Are you ready to change?

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I was reading Dave Ferguson's post, Resisting change: a phone-y example. This had me thinking. How do people in the training/learning field resist change? These are only generalizations.) Clients: Avoid trying news modes of delivering training. Refuse to understand that a learning program that is fun, can also be serious. Spend money on things they have been spending money on for so many years. Being part of the brainstorming session which will help them contribute and stay in the loop. Refuse to treat their learners as responsible adults and are always suspicious of their intentions.

Getting Information Gathering Right

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Have you noticed that most clients hate the information gathering stage? You may want to do detailed research and have answers to all your queries before you propose a solution, but several clients wonder "Why are they over doing it?" Have you experienced this? What could be the reasons for this? The information we ask is common sense to them and therefore, they wonder why you haven't figured it out yourself. They wonder how certain information is going to help you design the training program and therefore, they feel that you are asking way too many irrelevant questions.

Testing eLearning Products

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Testing E Learning Products View more OpenOffice presentations from Kern Learning solutions. presentation by Kern Learning Solutions.

Issues with Second Life

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Virtual worlds (VWs) must take user experience seriously. Are these VWs usable? Let us look at Second Life. This is based on my experience and are only thoughts (not expert opinions). wish Second life would relook at the following: Navigation: Why does the user have to spend time learning how to use the controls? Why isn't the navigation intuitive enough? Why is the Search option so confusing? As a new user, what do I search for? How do I decide where I would like to go? How do I know how big the VW is? Editing Appearance: Privacy: What is the first thing a user does? What then?

Expert Usability Evaluation and Learning Audit of an Online Course

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You do not have access to learners or you are really short of time. However, you want to find out if your online course is easy to use and learn. What do you do? You can conduct an expert usability evaluation and expert learning audit. Both these evaluation techniques have their roots in usability inspection. Before I proceed further, these techniques have evolved from usability, but have been modified to suit the requirements of the learning field. If you use some other techniques, please do share. We are always eager to learn more effective ways of doing things. Is this intuitive enough?

Informal Learning

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Ever since I joined Twitter, my account has been bombarded with tweets on informal/social learning. If you don't know or you need a quick refresher on what informal learning is read What is Social Learning? Is this a new type of learning? The answer is a sure no. Informal learning has been around for ages, even before formal training came into the picture. People have always been exchanging notes to perform better. Read more about this on my latest post at Learnability Matters: Informal Learning - 7 reasons why organizations must promote it.

How important is the SME?

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You would have interacted with several SMEs. have attempted to classify the SME. Five prominent personae emerged. These are based on my experiences. Please feel free to add your thoughts.) 1. Temperamental SME: This SME loves to throw her weight around. She demands that things be done her way, else she will not cooperate. She dons the role of the boss and tells you when she expects things. She expects you to work only on her project and on nothing else. She throws a tantrum every time she thinks she has been let down. 2. Easy Go Lucky SME: This SME agrees to everything you say. Go ahead.'

Exercises that help reflect on gray areas

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Think about this: The objective is to get your learners to design better forms. The exercise shows a form in which the user wants to change his password. The learner can add/modify elements in the form to ensure that the errors are minimized. The objective is to let the learners know that consumers are loyal to particular brands for specific reasons. The exercises makes the learners reflect on their own brand preferences and their reasons for it. The objective is to let the learners understand their personality style and their traits. Can these kind of exercises have one correct answer?

Can Online Learning Environment Kill Motivation?

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Ros Aini posed a question in my previous post, "Online learning environment can demotivate online learners. What do you think are the aspects that contribute to this matter?" I am going to try an attempt answering this question based on my experience and what I have read/heard. If you think you disagree, please help me learn more by sharing your thoughts. If you agree and would like to add and give more clarity, please feel free to do so. First let me clarify, online learning environment can demotivate online learners is a generalization. You will be closer to getting it right. 2.

How to tackle a demotivated learner?

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A demotivated learner is any IDs nightmare. Don't we love it when learners are highly motivated, thirsty for knowledge, and realize the 'what is in it for me' even before the course begins? Symptoms of a demotivated learner: During interviews, they frown over the concept that you are going to teach. They do not appreciate the fact that HAVE to take the course. (I can't blame them.) They try to convince you that they know everything they need to about the concept (you know otherwise through research). How do you tackle a demotivated learner? How can I make it interesting for them? Avoid content.

Audio - A Gamble?

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Audio is a crucial aspect of an elearning application. There are lots of courses that do not have audio. These courses can still be good if the learner hates audio. But audio can play an important role in learning. Audio: Sets the tone for your course. If the audio is formal, the theme of your course will be formal. If the audio is humorous, the theme of your course is light and humorous. Adds a personal touch by giving your course a personality. This does not apply for robot-like audio. Captures learner's attention. Completes the learning experience. Using audio in your course can be a gamble.

When are personality tests useful?

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I met a few training professionals who use DISC , a personality assessment to analyze people. They observe the person for sometime and then come to a conclusion about which personality traits (combination of D, I, S, and/or C) they portray. asked one of them how this information helps them. He explained that knowing a personality helps me deal with the person at work. As a trainer, I answer a query/response based on the personality that my learner depicts. also know that I need to have a high 'I' for my audience to 'like' me. They have to like me to want to listen to me. When can they be used?

Myth about eLearning and Interactivity

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At a social gathering, I explained that I work as an ID at Kern Communications. person (Rajeev's idol cum mentor from the training fraternity) said you are more into elearning. Elearning is not that interactive, it is very forced. These words have been ringing in my head. Why did do people think elearning is not interactive and forced? Here are my guesses: Learners do not interact with other learners. Some really bad elearning courses have ruined elearning's reputation. The learner has to complete the course. Can't think of any more. Please add if you remember more.) Now, coming to point 1.

Using Game Elements in eLearning

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The typical mindset regarding use of game elements in elearning is "We don't have that kind of budget!" But, are we trying to design a high end graphic game? You can use game elements in a modest budget. How you ask? Let us think about the elements that make a game and which of these can be used for an elearning application. We designed a decision tree with branching stories. Given below is the description of how we included game elements in elearning. Rewards and punishments were displayed in terms of the reaction of the customer to a particular action taken by the learner and points gained.

Blog Personality Type

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The analysis indicates that the author of [link] is of the type: ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers The responsible and hardworking type. They are especially attuned to the details of life and are careful about getting the facts right. Conservative by nature they are often reluctant to take any risks whatsoever. The Duty Fulfillers are happy to be let alone and to be able to work int heir own pace. They know what they have to do and how to do it. I am not sure if I agree. My blog personality for my other blog, Mum's the Word, is different. Can that be possible?

When should we use pre tests?

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I am hooked to Clark Quinn's blog posts on ID. When reading one such post, I came across another article, The Case Against Pre Testing for Online Courses by the same author. This had me thinking, when do I use pre-tests in courses? When there is a discrepancy between what the learner knows and what he/she thinks he knows. It is a dangerous situation when the learner thinks he/she already knows what you are about to teach him/her but from your research you know otherwise. To help the learner understand which areas need more focus. To help the learner understand more about themselves.

Micky Mouse Club House

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When surfing through channels, I paused at Disney channel (mostly because my one year old son was fascinated by the colors). Micky Mouse Club House was playing. If you have seen this show, you'd realize that the main objective of this program is to teach the children. Micky and gang did several tasks. For example: One of the characters needed a bow to go to the circus. device named toodle is summoned. This device visually shows several tools that can be selected to carry out a particular task. Micky encourages the children to identify which tool can be used to make a bow.

Internal Motivation

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I think every time I speak/write about the learner, I mention motivation at least once. As an ID, I take motivation very seriously. It is my responsibility to ensure that the learner's motivation is high as this will ensure that he/she actually learns. We do a detailed contextual inquiry to understand our learners. Then, we brainstorm for hours before we decide on the instructional strategy that we should use. But regardless of the effort we put in, if the internal motivation is low, it is a tough situation. If the motivation is low, it shows. What influences internal motivation? That's scary.

Design rules that you must always follow

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Rule 1: Unless you are conducting learner testing, do not experiment with positioning of buttons. There is a logic why the next button is positioned in the right bottom corner and why the exit button is positioned in the top right corner. Understand the logic before you experiment. Rule 2: Always use radio buttons for single select MCQs and check boxes for MMCQs or multiple select questions. Rule 3: Buttons should look clickable. Non-buttons such as placeholders, text boxes, and so on should not have the affordance of being clickable. Rule 5: Colors should be selected using the color wheel.

ID close to extinction?

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I was reading some really interesting posts on Kern Learning Solutions Blog (authored by Vaishnavi). Vaishnavi's main interest is web 2.0. I am sure several people know what it is, yet there are others who think they know what it is, and further there are few who think it is just a fancy term. Anyway, if you wish to know more about it, read the KLS blog. The posts on KLS blog had me thinking about how the role of an ID is constantly changing. Web 2.0 encourages learners to seek information for themselves. The learning is self-motivated. Does this mean that there will soon be no role for an ID?

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7 things you need not know about me

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I have been tagged by Manish Mohan and Mousumi. Here's my list of 7 things you need not know about me: I always wanted to be a vet or a psychiatrist, but life had other plans and I have no patience or aptitude for heavy stuff. I am a paranoid mom, who is constantly worrying about how I should bring up my child. hate monkeys. One monkey was extremely rude to me in the past, hence the dislike. have a terrible temper. would however like to believe that I have mastered the art of controlling this. have a terrible, terrible memory. Ask me what I did yesterday and I would be lost.

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A Workshop on Web 2.0

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Here's a fabulous opportunity to learn about Web 2.0. Kern Communications is conducting a workshop on how Web 2.0 can be used for training. This workshop will allow HR managers and training heads to explore Web 2.0 for training purposes. The workshop will help you: Understand Web 2.0 If you are interested or require more details, contact Vaishavi at vaishnavi@kern-comm.com or call her at 040-40171313. Also visit learnability matters.

To-Do List

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At the beginning of a new year, I think to myself, what do I want to do differently this year? Here's my list: 1. Think Out of the Box: This year I will try and consciously ensure that I try and think out of box and not resort to the tried and tested methods. 2. Learn More: I will read up more blogs and articles on whats happening, whats new, what works, what doesn't work and so on. 3. Share More: I will share what I have learnt with people I interact with. 4. Be More Efficient: I will reflect on whether I can further reduce the time involved in completing tasks without compromising quality. 5.

MUVEs

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How different things were in 2009, he thought, with students scattered across grade levels and dispersed throughout the city - yet all together in a shared, fantasy-based learning environment a full hour before school would even start! As is a ritual at Kern, we had our learning session and it was my turn to present. chose to present on MUVE, a concept that most Kernites had not heard off. You must have come across multi-user virtual environments (MUVE). MUVEs can be used for training, shopping from home, multi-player games, and education. Let us look at the features of a MUVE. Lewis).

2009 Top Posts and Topics: Kapp Notes

Kapp Notes

The ASTD Big question this month is an annual question: What did you learn about learning in 2009? So one of the tasks I will do to answer this question is to see what posts were the Best of 2009 from several different sources. How Long Does It Take to Develop One Hour of E-Learning-Updated for 2009. I had done some work in this area in 2003 and wanted to see if any information had changed. Here are my top posts via Google Analytics for 2009.(I'll So there are my most popular posts for 2009. First from eLearning Learning , Here are my top posts. Random Web 2.0