10 Ways E-Learning Maximizes ROI

This is from LearnDash and I thought it was worth re-posting in case you haven’t seen it.

learning infograph

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New Commercial for ED (E-Learning Dysfunction)

Interior.  Woman’s Bedroom – Night

A beautiful, well-kept middle-aged model with a European accent speaks directly to the camera while lying on a bed.

WOMAN

So, it’s just you and your computer.  Everything is just perfect. But then, E-Learning Dysfunction happens again.  You know what?  Plenty of online training has this issue, not just getting you engaged but keeping you engaged and actually learning. Well, instructionally sound e-learning helps you get engaged and keep you engaged. And, you only take it when you need it. So, ask your Instructional Designer if instructionally sound e-learning is right for you.

WOMAN walks to her computer and begins to tap the keyboard while camera pulls out.

ANNOUNCER

The signs of E-Learning Dysfunction are not hard to observe. Droopy eyes, yawning, trouble staying awake, headaches, wandering thoughts, feeling anxious, irritability, cramps in your finger from too much “next”-ing, and thoughts of throwing things at your monitor.

But the worst part is leaving with that feeling of somehow not feeling satisfied. You wanted to learn something, but you just didn’t.

Know that it’s not you. It’s not your computer. E-Learning Dysfunction is a disease and it’s treatable.

A daily dose of instructionally sound e-learning can increase blood flow, invigorate your mind, help you learn things and accomplish daily tasks, and lessen the effects of boring e-learning like feeling the urge to throw things at your computer.

But I have to warn you. Instructionally sound e-learning is addictive. Once you take it, you will wonder why all e-learning can’t be like that.

To avoid long-term behavioral change and extended learning seek immediate medical help for Functional E-Learning lasting more than four hours.

Fade-out.

What Gets in Your Way of Designing Instruction?

To view the video I created for this post, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZRtuD7e2uw&feature=youtu.be

As I was going through my framework for instructional design, I got to thinking, what would get in the way of us designing instruction?  Our abilities?  End-users?  Bosses, corporate culture, fellow employees? Tools? Our thoughts about what’s acceptable or good…or good enough?  Funding? Headcount? Time? No real evidence that what we create will effect change? Lack of clear organizational benefits?

I suppose it could be any or all of these things.

The framework lists the things that I think are important to know and understand to create e-learning (which I am equating with designing instruction).  But, just because you know these things doesn’t mean a clear path opens up in front of you for which you have an unobstructed journey to instructiondom (that’s not a word…I just made it up, but I hope you catch my drift).

One of the big things that gets in my way is ideas.  I seem to go in spurts.  Some days, ideas are flowing from me like Old Faithful and other days I can’t seem to think of a decent idea if my life depended on it.  I get stuck thinking, “Sure, that cool e-learning I just saw that some other creative person created looks great for what they’re doing, but it just doesn’t work for my topic.”  Oh sure, I have tons of resources that are supposed to be “inspirational” sources, but they so often miss the mark.  Maybe it’s me.  Maybe I’m not happy unless my idea is “award-winning” caliber.  Maybe I get in my own way.

I would love to hear what others think.

What gets in your way?

Share your thoughts.  I’ll be I’m not the only one that would like to hear what you have to say.

until next time…Keep on Crusading!

The Instructional Design Framework: Create an Engaging ELearning Experience And Improve Employee Performance!

Learning instructional design should be creative and inspiring.  And, the fact is, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Imagine if you had clear, step-by-step videos, podcasts, job-aids, and other information in one place that broke down the (sometimes) confusing information out there and gave you a casual, easy-to-follow approach that guides you along each step of the way.

That is my mission and to that end I have put together what I am calling the Instructional Design Framework as a starting point.  It will be the basis of a series of online video courses that I will be creating over the next few months along with workshops and webinars that are in the planning stages.

I have been using this information over the last several years to produce e-learning that people want to take and actually learn from. I have also been using this information to educate dozens of students and participants in university and association programs.

I now want to provide other online course designers and developers the knowledge to create engaging e-learning experiences with the results being improved employee performance.  I will be creating practical, applicable chunks of meaningful information that participants can take back on the job immediately and put into use.

So, here is the IDF, or Instructional Design Framework.  I know it doesn’t contain everything (and never will), but it contains everything I’ve used and that you will need.  Of course, I reserve the right to modify it as needed.  🙂

Instructional Design Framework

If you’re interested in receiving updates, notices, and general information as I progress with this, or a pdf of my IDF, head on over to my website at www.activeelearning.com and join my mailing list!

Thanks, and Keep On Crusading!

until next time…

Interpersonal Skills? Yeah, you need them.

Look at just about any job description for just about any job and you’ll see the requirement: interpersonal skills.  One has to think that almost goes without saying, right?  I mean, how can you have a job and not be able to personally interact with other people?

Well, the concept of interpersonal skills really goes triple for Instructional Designers.

It’s not enough that you have to be able to effectively deal with teammates that are working with you to complete a project.  Those would be the graphic artists, the media developers, fellow instructional designers, technical writers, IT, your boss…you know, the folks you deal with every day.  It’s kind of a no-brainer that you need to have good interpersonal skills with them.

But there are at least a couple of other groups of people that you need to be able to positively interact with and for which you need really good interpersonal skills.  The first group would be your subject matter experts, or SMEs.  You know, the people who know everything about the subject you are developing your e-learning for and who want to make sure that you include every little morsel of information that they have in your module(s).  They are the ones that will drop the 3-foot stack of white papers and research papers and product manuals and technical briefs and marketing features on your desk and say, “You need to get all this information in there because it’s ALL really important.”

You need the skills to be able to make them happy with what you do put in the training when you don’t put it all in. Cathy Moore’s action mapping is an excellent place to start with how to be effective at that.

The trifecta of the need for interpesonal skills is with your reviewers.  You want them, you need them.  You can’t live without them.  Let them know those simple things and you will go a long way to having the correct interpersonal skills you need to deal with the folks who will be giving you the feedback, input, and criticism, and suggestions that will make not only your e-learning more successful but, well, you too.

Interacting effectively and succesfully with SMEs and Reviewers takes practice and the ability to be an influencer, a negotiator, and a patient person.  It’s where you have to tap into the other skills that an Instructional Designer must have (see my post on So, You Want To Be An Instructional Designer).  You need to have a backbone, but you need to be pliable, too.  You need to accept criticism and occassionally eat humble pie, but you can’t be a doormat.

It’s not hard, but it’s not easy, either.  It just takes practice and an understanding of what’s needed.  And, it’s all definitely worth it.

Until next time…

So, You Want To Be An Instructional Designer?

Instructional Design is a terrific field.  I love it.  I’m having fun, doing lots of creative things, and I get paid for it.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

According to The Elearning Guild’s recent article: Today’s Instructional Designer: Competencies and Careers, the field will grow at a rate of 8-19.5% over the next 10 years with the highest earning designers with 5-years’ experience getting paid as much $101,000.  Not bad.

But, it’s not easy money.  You need specific skills in a variety of areas to earn that kind of cash. The obvious skills are being able to use the current tools to produce courses.  But there’s so much more.  Consider these skills if you want to be really successful:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Management skills
  • Human Performance Technology skills
  • General technology skills
  • Project Management skills
  • Writing skills
  • Content skills
  • Analysis skills
  • Learning theory knowledge
  • Office productivity tools skills
  • Authoring tools skills
  • Multimedia skills
  • Image editing skills

The range of soft skills and technicals skills is deep and wide.  Many people overlook some of these, but employers don’t.  I will take a look at these more in-depth in future posts.

Stay tuned…