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ELC 026: Looking Into The Future Of Instructional Technology

The eLearning Coach

Dr. Brown was Editor-in-Chief of the journal, TechTrends from 2009 to 2012. Are you curious about the future of instructional technology and learning? Abbie Brown, Ph.D., and Tim Green, Ph.D., make it a point to follow the trends and issues in our field—from the latest technologies to new research. Are you curious about the future of instructional technology and learning? Abbie Brown, Ph.D.,

10 Social Media Tools For Learning

The eLearning Coach

Do you have a training or information need that could benefit from a social media strategy? Understanding the universe of options can help you match your need to the best approach. So here are descriptions of ten applications representing different social media technologies that promote learning. Listing is alphabetical.). Audacity. Category: Podcasts. Dimdim. Think of it. Edublogs Campus. Yammer.

35 More Qualities Of The Ideal Instructional Designer

The eLearning Coach

A few months ago I published a list of the 10 Qualities Of The Ideal Instructional Designer. Since then, the eLearning community contributed so many qualities to the list it is now overflowing. The comments more or less fell into a few categories: working with SMEs, designing and developing content, love of learning, business savvy and personal attributes. So here are the next 35 qualities. Price).

Content Organization Cheat Sheet

The eLearning Coach

People who create eLearning get involved in many types of content development tasks. In addition to researching and developing content for courses, you may find yourself creating training manuals for webinars or the classroom, writing web copy, making reference materials, and developing Electronic Performance Support Systems, Help documentation, presentations and so on. Alphabetical. Categorical.

2009 Technology Trends That Impact Online Learning

The eLearning Coach

What technology trends of 2009 have impacted online learning and will continue to do so in the coming year? Post from: The eLearning Coach 2009 Technology Trends That Impact Online Learning. The arena of online learning is continually reshaped by technological advances. These have the potential to redefine what it means to learn online. Here’s my list. Cloud Computing. Netbooks.

Learner Personas for eLearning

The eLearning Coach

One thing we can learn from the field of User Experience design is how to create user personas , better known as learner personas in the world of eLearning. Personas are well-developed profiles of audience member groups for whom we are designing a course. These audience groups are prototypes of learners in your target audience that share common characteristics, such as their training goals, job responsibilities, educational background or skill level. Every course has at least one audience group and most courses have several. Why Create Personas? Gather Information First. Then Write.

Writing Learning Objectives—Part 1

The eLearning Coach

Post from: The eLearning Coach. © Connie Malamed 2009. There are really TWO categories of learning objectives based on their purpose.  One type of learning objective is for internal use—the design team, client and subject matter expert. The other type is for the audience members. If designers would write different learning objectives for each category, the world would be a better place. This is because internal learning objectives tend to be too technical and non-motivating for your eLearning audience. The Notorious Three-part Learning Objective. Example: Given a large, snarly cat).

[from catspyjamasnz] The eLearning Coach » Blog Archive » The Instructional Design Life

The eLearning Coach

Today I attended a kickoff meeting to design and build a course that teaches medical personnel about venous access devices (VADs) and how to prevent infections from their use. VADs are those tubes that go into a large vein and hang around to administer fluids or medications. There’s more, but you probably don’t want to hear it. We Can’t Be Stopped. We’ll do our own research.

Lynda.com Online Training Library Review

The eLearning Coach

If your job or life demand that you learn software applications quickly, then you’ll probably be interested in lynda.com. I’ve been a subscriber to the lynda.com training library for years and found them to be a life saver when working under tight deadlines with little time to learn something new. The Best Features. There’s a lot to like about lynda.com. The selection is broad.

Review: The Back of the Napkin

The eLearning Coach

eLearning is an abundantly visual medium. As a result, designers and developers who can think visually are able to envision the final product, conceive visuals for content and visualize how information fits together. The great news is that visual thinking can be developed. The ideas in the book, of course, are supported by great sketches. Why would you want to? Selling Ideas.

Storyboarding The Visuals

The eLearning Coach

Recently, an astute eLearning Coach reader emailed this question, “How do you visualize the narration so that the graphic or animation is emphasizing the narration and vice versa? Do you take the narration script and highlight keywords and then animate to those keywords?&#. This is a great question, Mr. Unnamed Reader, particularly because eLearning is such a  visual medium that the graphics are a large part of how people respond to a course. And the short answer is you can go both ways, starting with the narration or starting with the visual concept. Visualize While Scripting.

Social Media And Learning

The eLearning Coach

In this article, I’m featuring a wonderful interview with successful social media expert, Jane Hart. She provides compelling reasons to implement a social and collaborative environment as part of workplace learning. You can read more from Jane at her blog, Social Media in Learning. eLearning Coach: You were an early adopter of using social technologies for learning purposes. And can it be measured?

Mobile Authoring Tools: Hot Lava Mobile

The eLearning Coach

MICHAEL: It’s been available through OutStart since we acquired Hot Lava Software in June 2009.  We saw the need and interest for mobile learning growing and wanted to leap forward by partnering with the early leader in the space.  It worked out well in terms of technology and learning from the experiences of early adopters. COACH: How long has Hot Lava Mobile been on the market? .

Reality eLearning

The eLearning Coach

We have reality tv and virtual reality, so why not reality eLearning? I don’t mean in the visual sense, but in terms of cognition. Learning in the workplace is created to improve and enhance job performance. So workplace learning should include a strong dose of reality to prepare learners for the varied situations that arise during work. As far as I can tell, reality is fluid. It warps, it changes, it flows, it halts, it screeches and surprises. Events rarely happen as planned and after all, how could they? We are inventing and creating our reality as we go along. Learning Transfer.

Are Your Online Tests Reliable?

The eLearning Coach

After going through all the effort of developing a test, you want it to be an accurate measure, right? That’s why it’s so important to plan for a test’s validity and reliability. In the suspenseful and dramatic article, Are Your Online Tests Valid? , we examined test validity or how you can be sure a test measures what it claims to measure. Reliability Is Consistency.

Reality eLearning

The eLearning Coach

We have reality tv and virtual reality, so why not reality eLearning? I don’t mean in the visual sense, but in terms of cognition. Learning in the workplace is created to improve and enhance job performance. So workplace learning should include a strong dose of reality to prepare learners for the varied situations that arise during work. As far as I can tell, reality is fluid. It warps, it changes, it flows, it halts, it screeches and surprises. Events rarely happen as planned and after all, how could they? We are inventing and creating our reality as we go along. Learning Transfer.

The Power Of Visual Grouping

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In the very early stages of vision—before we’re really conscious of it—our perceptual processes are humming away, attempting to organize the sensory data from our eyes into something that might be meaningful. Both the Gestalt psychologists and modern perceptual researchers realized that perception tends to organize information into wholes, rather than parts. Grouping by Boundary or Enclosure.

The Novice Brain

The eLearning Coach

As designers and developers, one of our purposes in life is to help novices in a particular skill or content area gain new levels of competency. Because the mental structures of a novice differ from those of the expert, instructional strategies should be quite different for the novice than for the expert. Let’s climb inside the brain of a novice and see why. Minimal Network. When a person has a limited amount of knowledge in a particular domain, it’s the same as saying the person has a limited network of mental structures or schemas related to the content area. Mental Models.

Writing Learning Objectives-Part 3

The eLearning Coach

Post from: The eLearning Coach. © Connie Malamed 2009. Learning Objectives for the Audience. In case you were asleep, the previous two articles in this series discussed how to write learning objectives for your internal eLearning team. Part 1 demonstrated how to write classic three-part learning objectives and Part 2 discussed how to make them measurable. Now let’s see how to write learning objectives for your eLearning audience that are so much fun the learners will react as in the photo shown here. Only instructional designers find those lists exciting. Advance Organizers.

Writing Microcopy: Tips and Pointers

The eLearning Coach

Did you ever spend an hour writing a four or five word phrase or short instruction? During that time, you probably felt like an obsessive perfectionist—hunched over the computer trying to get it just right. Now that there’s a term for this type of writing and recognition of how important it is, we can all feel a little more normal. I’m talking about microcopy , and it refers to the little instructions and phrases that we use in eLearning and web page interfaces to guide and assure users. Importance of Microcopy. Microcopy can make or break your product. Was I frustrated? Seriously.

The eLearning Coach » Blog Archive » User Interface Design For eLearning

The eLearning Coach

The computer user interface is that nebulous space where humans interact with the machine. Many people find this space frustrating because it’s easy to get lost or because the system doesn’t work as expected. As designers and developers, we can make sure our audiences have smooth interactions with our courses. After all, good user interface design is an essential part of eLearning.

Games And Simulations

The eLearning Coach

Karl Kapp, professor, author and speaker, understands the value of games and simulations in learning. In this two-part interview, Karl covers everything from video games to virtual 3D worlds, their cognitive advantages and future trends in online learning. Coach: How did you become an evangelist for learning through games, simulations and gadgets? At that point, it hit me. It doesn’t work that way.

Learning From Visual Data

The eLearning Coach

In this data set of war casualties from 2004 to 2009, users can drag a slider to see the information change by year (when you select the Since Troop Buildup Began link).  Or you can click on individual links to show data related to specific events. In the not so distant past, the visualization of data was reserved for the scientific community. The last three are highly interactive. Buzz up!

The Expert’s Brain

The eLearning Coach

Remember those Your Brain On Drugs commercials? They always used the analogy of an egg. That same analogy works well to represent the brain of an expert. The expert’s brain is like a hard-boiled egg. We often have to turn a runny egg into a hard-boiled one. An expert has knowledge structures that differ from those of a novice. It’s important to understand these differences when designing for experts and when designing for novices. If we want experts to respect and learn from the online courses we create, should know how their brain’s function. Network of Knowledge. Conclusion.

How To Add Realism To eLearning

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Adding realism to eLearning should improve learning transfer, which will prepare learners for situations they might really encounter. Realism also adds credibility to a training course, which is quite important to the busy, cynical, or tired employee. In the previous article, Reality eLearning , you can find some ways to get a sense of your audience’s workplace reality through interviews and observations. These are often part of the analysis phase, prior to design. All of this is fodder for your creative brain. Here are some strategies for doing so. Some are simple; some complex.

White Space

The eLearning Coach

If you are familiar with principles of graphic design you know that white space, also known as negative space, is an important part of layout. It refers to the blank areas between the pictures and type on the screen or page. In his book Design Elements , Timothy Samara states, “Space calls attention to content, separates it from unrelated content around it, and gives the eyes a resting place.&#. The eLearning White Space. Learning has its own version of white space. This can be difficult to provide in an eLearning environment. Why Learners Need White Space. Pacing. Screen Design. But try.

Announcing Free Storyboard Templates

The eLearning Coach

In case you haven’t heard, The eLearning Coach now has a collection of free downloadable storyboard templates for both Word and PowerPoint that were graciously donated by the eLearning community. If you would like to contribute to this collection, please let me know through the Contact form. Check out the Storyboard Depot. Post from: The eLearning Coach Announcing Free Storyboard Templates.

Temple Of The Progressive Revelation

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I’m a member of the temple of the progressive revelation. Are you? wholly subscribe to the instructional strategy that involves slowly revealing information, especially visual information. like to start with one part of a visual concept and then build on it. show one part of a diagram and then slowly complete it. For example, picture a simple hierarchical diagram where only the box at the top is visible. Then as you discuss, you show the next row of boxes, discuss some more and show the next and so on. It’s Good for Working Memory. Why is this a good way to present information?

Designing For Experts

The eLearning Coach

In a previous article , I noted that experts have different internal knowledge structures than novices. Expert knowledge seems to be efficiently organized and easy to search through, like an orderly file cabinet. Expert knowledge is deeply intertwined, creating many paths for recalling information. When you’re designing for experts in a field, try to match the design and writing with their unique characteristics, which occur both in how they structure knowledge as well as the circumstances of their professional life. Here are some tips you can use when designing courses for experts.

How To Design For Novices

The eLearning Coach

Who has knowledge gaps, is easily overwhelmed and has difficulty solving problems? You’re right—a novice in a particular content area. Compared to an expert, a novice will have a limited network of mental structures or schemas related to the subject, a reduced ability to make relevant perceptual discriminations, fewer paths for recalling information and inaccurate or fuzzy mental models resulting in less competent problem solving. When designing for novices, we need to accommodate their mental structures in order to bring them to a level of competency as gracefully as possible. Motivate.

Are Your Online Tests Valid?

The eLearning Coach

You can’t make it through a year of designing eLearning without having to write test questions at some point. If you don’t have formal training in this area or if you forgot what you learned in that sleep-inducing Educational Statistics class, this article is for you. Personally, I found my Educational Statistics textbook to be an excellent sleeping pill. ). Validity.

eLearning Around The Web

The eLearning Coach

Review of 2009: 100 great resources. Jane Hart lists her favorite resources of 2009. Here is an end-of-the-year roundup of eLearning and related articles you might find helpful, interesting or enjoyable. They cover all kinds of topics. 12 Top Notch Online Presentation Tools. Almost everyone has to give a presentation at one time or another. Agile Learning Design. How cool is that?

How To Communicate The Value Of Social Media

The eLearning Coach

How would you answer this question? How do I communicate the value of social media as a learning tool to my organization? Individuals and organizations gave their responses around the web this month. In case you missed it, here is a roundup of some valuable recommendations. Use Unique Strategies for Different Groups. For example, for the Management group focus on ROI and case studies. question.

Graphics Primer: Color

The eLearning Coach

Do your graphic designers speak in a secret language? Do you wish you could let terms like Hue, Saturation and Value roll off your tongue? Aside from impressing your friends, there are practical reasons for learning more about graphic design. Why You Should Care. If you’re involved in eLearning design and development, it’s important to understand visual communication. It will help you become more discriminating and sophisticated in your visual choices. You’ll better understand how to use graphical elements to facilitate learning. Starting With Color. Color Tips.

Storyboarding The Visuals

The eLearning Coach

Recently, an astute eLearning Coach reader emailed this question, “How do you visualize the narration so that the graphic or animation is emphasizing the narration and vice versa? Do you take the narration script and highlight keywords and then animate to those keywords?&#. This is a great question, Mr. Unnamed Reader, particularly because eLearning is such a  visual medium that the graphics are a large part of how people respond to a course. And the short answer is you can go both ways, starting with the narration or starting with the visual concept. Visualize While Scripting.

The Other Gagne

The eLearning Coach

You are probably familiar with Robert Gagne, the educational psychologist who identified the events of good instruction and a key influencer in the early days of what was called “computer-based instruction.&# Less well-known is his daughter, Ellen Gagne, whom I had as a professor way back in graduate school at the University of Texas, Austin. Ellen was an excellent instructor of Cognitive Psychology. She used instructional strategies that almost guaranteed her students would grasp the subject (if they applied themselves). This is today’s recommendation.

White Space

The eLearning Coach

If you are familiar with principles of graphic design you know that white space, also known as negative space, is an important part of layout. It refers to the blank areas between the pictures and type on the screen or page. In his book Design Elements , Timothy Samara states, “Space calls attention to content, separates it from unrelated content around it, and gives the eyes a resting place.&#. The eLearning White Space. Learning has its own version of white space. This can be difficult to provide in an eLearning environment. Why Learners Need White Space. Pacing. Screen Design. But try.