Breakthrough eLearning

Instructional Design Malpractice

Breakthrough eLearning

I recently came across an interesting online conversational podcast with Clark Quinn (Quinnovation) and Cammy Bean (Kineo) on the topic of "instructional design malpractice." Of course there is no such crime on the books, but perhaps there should be. The upshot of the admittedly tongue-in-cheek conversation was that there is too much boring eLearning out there that is overly long, overly detailed, and just not focused on what counts - namely, changing behaviour.

Creativity Should Precede Technique

Breakthrough eLearning

Our daughter wants to be an animator. She will be going to university or college next year and has been checking out various computer animation and digital media programs. Interestingly, none of these programs really care about the applicant's computer programming skills. They are looking for talented and creative artists. They will help them hone these skills and then teach them how to channel them appropriately in a digital environment.


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Context is King!

Breakthrough eLearning

I received an email invitation today to join a webinar to be led by Ed Cohen, the Chief Technology Officer of Plateau Systems, titled "The Future of Learning Content." It promised that I would "learn about the important trends that are shaping the development, deployment and management of learning content," and discover "how content can be more effectively purchased, deployed and managed" (presumably using Plateau's technology). I took a pass.

Breakthrough eLearning: Harvesting Your SMEs Brain

Breakthrough eLearning

one of the great things about working in the elearning field is the variety it affords. in the last year, for example, i have developed elearning courses or online job aids that teach people how to: use software; manage greenhouses

The Future of eLearning in 2022: A Sensitive Eye for Authentic Translation and Localization

Speaker: Chris Paxton McMillin, President of D3 Training Solutions

To avoid awkward and sometimes disastrous learning content, instructional designers must use authentic translation in the right context to get optimal results. Join Chris Paxton, President of D3 Training Solutions, to walk through simple strategies step by step.

Deep Learning vs. Surface Learning

Breakthrough eLearning

I have been in the adult education and training business for almost 30 years and I still see an unfortunate fixation on content. So much of education and training is focused on ensuring that learners know certain things. So little is focused on providing learners with the ability to actually go beyond knowing, to being able to do certain things.

Seriously - Stop Talking; Start Showing

Breakthrough eLearning

A few weeks ago, four leading lights of the learning business - Michael Allen, Julie Dirksen, Clark Quinn and Will Thalheimer - released a call to arms. Their Serious eLearning Manifesto laments the sorry state of eLearning and asks those who agree to sign a manifesto pledging to commit to producing eLearning that is relevant, performance focused, contextual and interactive.

Work = Learning

Breakthrough eLearning

"Change is so fast and furious that work and learning blur into one activity." Jay Cross, et. Working Smarter in Terra Nova Circa 2015 Jay Cross and his colleagues at Internet Time Group have recently published an interesting article on the evolution of work. Noting the major shifts in human history, from the Agricultural Age, to the Industrial Age, to the Information Age, they now say we are on the verge of "Terra Nova," a new age characterized by "creative collaboration in networks."

Lessons Learned from the Past Year

Breakthrough eLearning

The ASTD Learning Circuits Blog (moderated by Tony Karrer) poses a monthly "Big Question" and asks learning professionals to share their insights on key topics. The Big Question for this past December was "What did you learn about learning in 2010?" Two of the contributions really resonated with me. Ryan Tracey's polemic against online courses and Jason McDonald's advocacy of slowing down for deeper learning hit home for me as I have been coming to similar insights myself lately.

Why Aren't Online Training Supports the Norm?

Breakthrough eLearning

A little while ago I was interested in a rapid eLearning authoring tool, and a sales rep did a web presentation for me, showing how it worked. He then encouraged me to download this software for a trial period. His demo was 20 - 30 minutes long, and only provided a very quick overview. I was concerned about how much time I would need to get to know the software in order to give it a really good test.

Are You Still Watching? How to Create Engaging Presentations for Virtual Learning

Speaker: Richard Goring, Director at BrightCarbon

Remote meetings are here to stay - and so is the Zoom fatigue that many experience. The importance of compelling content is more apparent than ever. In this webinar, learn how PowerPoint provides terrific tools to create the kind of dynamic visual content you need to capture your remote audience’s attention. Come along to this masterclass packed with live demonstrations of how to create compelling presentations for successful meetings in a virtual and hybrid environment. In this webinar, you will learn how to: Create dynamic visuals that support persuasive stories to engage your audience Develop professional-looking designs for presentations and other content Become a PowerPoint legend with techniques to make effective presentations quickly and easily June 30th, 2022 at 9:30 am PDT, 12:30 pm EDT, 5:30 pm GMT

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Breakthrough eLearning

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Demonstrate Your Value

Breakthrough eLearning

The training blogosphere has been buzzing lately with a great deal of agonizing, soul-searching and prognosticating about what the recession means for the industry. As with recessions that have come before, there are concerns about huge cuts to training budgets, loss of training staff through down-sizing, and a general retrenchment in training operations. Many point to eLearning as a possible saving grace among all the doom and gloom.

Lessons from Wii Fit

Breakthrough eLearning

We visited some friends over the holidays and they were lucky enough to secure the Wii Fit balance board. Nintendo, the makers of this device, have been having difficulties keeping up with the demand for this nifty game. It plays with the Wii console, hooks up to a TV, and allows users to perform various physical exercises on it (e.g. balance games, yoga, aerobic, and strength training) and see their results on the screen.

Focus on Action in eLearning Design

Breakthrough eLearning

My job involves coaching and mentoring a great many instructional designers - both within our own eLearning development projects and as a service for many of our clients. One of the biggest challenges I face in this regard is getting designers to get to the essence of a training challenge and cut out all extraneous content that detracts from the main learning objectives. Less is indeed more when we can get from A to B in a short, straight line.

Who C.A.R.E.S.!? How Learning Got Its Bad Rap & What We Can Do About It

Speaker: Treion Muller, Chief Strategy Officer at ELB Learning

Since when has learning and development become such a negative experience with learners? Treion Muller, Chief Strategy Officer for ELB Learning, will introduce a new learning framework called the C.A.R.E.S Learning Effectiveness Model.

Rule #1: Respect the Learner

Breakthrough eLearning

Our Certificate in eLearning Management is based on principles of experiential learning. In other words, instead of just learning about eLearning, we have learners doing various facets of eLearning to demonstrate competency attainment. The last competency deliverable in our Engaging Your eLearners course is for learners to actually facilitate on online session, receive feedback from participants, reflect on their experience, and produce a list of facilitation best practice principles.

eLearning is Green

Breakthrough eLearning

In the course of helping a company devise an eLearning strategy, we were interviewing a number of key stakeholders in the organization. These interviews are an important part of the process of gathering information on the best ways of better integrating eLearning into the organization's training mix.

Let's Broaden the Training Conversation

Breakthrough eLearning

I really enjoy Donald Clark's Plan B Blog. Clark is an Englishman with loads of experience in the training field. He has an acerbic wit and writes about training in general, and eLearning in particular, with a refreshing candor. You may not agree with everything Clark says, but there is no confusion about where he stands. One of his recent postings about the blandness of training magazines really resonated with me.

Tap Into Your Organization's Tacit Knowledge Pool

Breakthrough eLearning

The training / learning model embraced by most organizations can be characterized as top-town, centre-to-periphery, and decidedly one-way. In other words, training is pushed from the centre, out to a dispersed audience of learners to be passively received in isolation.

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The Key to Getting the Best Out of Video-Based Practice & Coaching

Speaker: Micah Eppler, Account Executive for Rehearsal of eLearning Brothers

Join Micah Eppler from eLearning Brothers to see hands-on examples of how organizations are transforming outcomes with video-based training strategies.

Trim the Text

Breakthrough eLearning

I was at a meeting last week when someone commented on a thick file folder I had brought along, bursting with papers related to the project at hand. When asked about it, I replied that I am of the generation that does not like reading a lot of text off a screen. My eyes get tired easily, I feel I cannot read as quickly or accurately on screen, and I end up printing off the relevant information and reading it and marking it up off-screen.

Context + Control + Community = Learning

Breakthrough eLearning

A couple of weeks ago I noted that I was beginning to learn Mandarin Chinese via ChinesePod. Based in Shanghai, ChinesePod broadcasts daily online audio lessons. These are free of charge. For a fee, however, learners anywhere with an Internet connection can also get access to lesson transcripts, dialogue breakdowns, vocabulary expansion examples, exercises, tone charts, a grammar bank, etc.

eLearning Lets it All Hang Out

Breakthrough eLearning

I just read a report that came out in June titled Laboratories of Reform: Virtual High Schools and Innovation in Public Education. Published by the Education Sector, an independent education think tank in Washington, the paper provides an overview of online education at the high school level across the United States.

Does the World Really Need More Lectures?

Breakthrough eLearning

I did some quick mental math and came to the conclusion that I must have sat through many thousands of lectures delivered by hundreds of lecturers in my lifetime. And through all of this - primary school, middle school, high school, undergraduate studies, graduate studies, and innumerable professional development courses and conferences - I could probably point to a small handful of lecturers who were totally enthralling and provided a meaningful and memorable learning experience.

Immersing the Curious Mind in VR: Why You’re Missing Out on Proven ROI!

Speaker: John Blackmon, eLearning Brothers CTO, CenarioVR® Creator

Join John Blackmon, eLearning Brothers CTO and creator of the award-winning VR course builder CenarioVR®, to find out why organizations choose immersive learning and how they've used innovative approaches.

Let's Junk the Jargon

Breakthrough eLearning

A recent Chief Learning Officer magazine electronic newsletter carried a press release about Thomson Learning and Tata Interactive Systems collaborating on a new project called the Thomson Learning Lot. According to the press release, "Tata will.develop systems for content-creation work flow, as well as for publishing and archiving objects, then rendering the learning material on the portal.

Can You e-Learn at Your Desk?

Breakthrough eLearning

Elliott Masie is constantly polling readers of his Learning Trends online newsletter on interesting questions related to workplace learning. His latest asked "Can workers really e-Learn at their desks?" In other words, can they fit eLearning into their daily tasks at their workstations without having to do it at home, or before or after the workday, or in some quiet designated eLearning space in the workplace?

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Two Ships Passing in the Night

Breakthrough eLearning

I'm in the unique position of straddling the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and seeing the way that each approaches eLearning. I have worked in both sectors. I now serve clients in both sectors, and speak to prospective clients in both sectors. And what a study in contrasts this presents. It is like observing two absolutely different cultures, and two completely different ways of approaching a problem. In short, they are so different that it is like watching two ships passing in the night.

Kicking the RFP Habit

Breakthrough eLearning

Two weeks ago, in a moment of weakness, I almost submitted a response to a request for proposals (RFP). It was for an eLearning development project for which I knew our firm could have done a terrific job. However, I remembered an earlier vow that I had made to myself never to put myself and my colleagues through "RFP hell" again, was resolute, and I ignored the invitation.

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Personalize Your Employee Training with Adaptive Learning

While you may not be familiar with the term “adaptive learning,” it is likely you’ve encountered this type of learning before. But now is finally the time to learn how adaptive learning helps with knowledge retention, and how it can be used to improve your program.

Client eLearning Re-visited

Breakthrough eLearning

A few weeks back I lamented the paucity of good examples of eLearning for clients / potential clients, and then posted some examples of client eLearning that folks had sent to me the following week. And then recently I was sent an email from the bank (Scotiabank) I criticized in my original posting on this subject, noting that they had changed their online client education efforts quite substantially.

Beware the Technology Police

Breakthrough eLearning

I remember doing a pitch to some potential clients once, showing them how they could really bring their eLearning to life by including some rich, multi-media, case-based scenarios. They seemed genuinely impressed by some examples I showed them and I thought we were making real progress. They said they would like to have their eLearning follow a similar path, but that there was one little problem.

Story-Centered eLearning

Breakthrough eLearning

Everyone needs a touchstone. Something or someone you turn to when trying to determine what is authentic, what is a good decision, what is the right thing to do. With regard to how people learn, a question I grapple with every day, Roger Schank is my touchstone. His advocacy of a story-centered curriculum (SCC) really resonates with me and I try to introduce such an approach, whenever possible, into the eLearning projects on which I work.

Client eLearning Examples

Breakthrough eLearning

Three weeks ago, I lamented the fact that I could not find good examples of eLearning applications that help an organization's clients or potential clients figure out how to use their products or services. Well, faithful readers have come to the rescue and sent me a few examples. Not surprisingly, two of these examples are from the telecommunications field, and are designed to help clients use cell phones, wireless mobile email devices and MP3 players.

Keeping Students Safe and Productive on Devices

Speaker: Aaron Webb, Jamf

In our webinar, we’ll explore the full range of Jamf education products to protect students, including quick and easy tools for IT admins, powerful apps for teachers to ensure student safety anywhere, and parental engagement tools.

eLearning for Client Education

Breakthrough eLearning

A friend, knowing that I work in eLearning, recently asked "what kinds of courses are you working on lately?" Well, I certainly am working on developing courses for some clients, but most of my current project list is centred on creating electronic performance support systems, or online job aids for clients. These involve creating embedded tutorials that help staff understand how to use both customized and off-the-shelf software applications.