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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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…

Every Picture Tells a Story….or not!

Here is a simple little e-learning module I created.  The original intent was to demonstrate how to use layers and states in Articulate Storyline.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/qwdctnbhbuie71q/First_Aid_Exercise.zip?dl=0

I showed this during a recent ASTD monthly session to over 40 people.  One of the key takeaways, for me, was how engrossed and captivated the audience was in doing the exercise.

I purposely did not include any visuals or photos or images or anything other than text and basic buttons because I didn’t want to detract from the lesson of learning about layers and states.

These folks thought the content and approach was compelling, interesting, engaging, and they loved going through the exercise.  And, they said they actually learned something!

I asked them, “did the fact that there were no visuals bother you?”

Many folks said things like, “I didn’t even notice.”; “I created the visuals in my head.”; “I liked that there were no visuals, it allowed me to stay focused and create the scene myself.”; “It didn’t bother me.”

There is so much emphasis in our (e-learning) community about images (use visuals in place of text) and pictures (do we use real people, characters, or silhouettes?).  Yes, there is a lot of talk about scenarios and stories but what I witnessed, from my little non-scientific session, is just how powerful the story really is and all the other “stuff” can make a good story better but it won’t make bad story (or no story) good.

Feel free to download the exercise and tell me your thoughts.  (You should download all the files as listed to ensure it runs properly).

(note: the content for this exercise was found on the internet.  I don’t remember where and I didn’t record where because I didn’t think it would get this far.  I’m happy to give credit and/or take it down if whomever owns it wants me to.)

House Painting and E-Learning…Yeah, They’re Similar

What’s the similarity, you ask?

Preparation.

Painting your house is no fun.  Not for me, anyway.

It took me lots of trial and error to realize that if I would take the time up front to prepare for creating something new (like a freshly painted room), that I could avoid a lot of pain and anguish after the fact.

So, how do you prepare to paint?  You move furniture, put covering down on the floor, tape off baseboards and window sills, repair small holes in the wall, and sand down rough spots.  You make sure you have the right brushes, ladders, trays, solvents, paint, rags, masks, and clothing.

And what’s the pain and anguish I avoid?  Spilled paint on carpet or hardwood floors that may never come clean.  Uneven and splotchy paint on the walls and look unpleasant and unprofessional.  Walls that no one wants to look at.  A big mess that I don’t want to clean up.  Possibly a room that will need to be painted again.

I’m hoping that you are already seeing the similarity to e-learning.

If you prepare properly for the creation of your e-learning module then you greatly increase your chances of having a job that will not only look pleasing and professional, but one where learners will actually learn something.

Next time I will talk about the steps you can take to prepare for a successful e-learning “paint job”.  In the meantime, be thinking about it yourself and see if you agree with me or have some additional steps to add (I am sure some of you could add steps to my house painting preparedness list!).

Until next time…

e-Learning or e-Watching?

There is a lot of e-learning out there these days.  Companies are developing more and more of it.  Statistics show growth here, there, and everywhere.

A lot of the growth can be attributed to the fact that there are so many good rapid development tools that allow practically anyone to be able to create it.

But I have to ask, “How much actual learning is taking place?”

Increasingly, I find myself viewing a purported e-learning module only to come away thinking that all I really did was just watch and listen to someone show me and tell me something.  I didn’t really learn anything.

And I’m not talking about regurgitating a fact or figure I was informed about a few slides back.  That’s not learning.  That’s short-term memory recall.  And it’s something I’m not going to have the foggiest clue about in 6 months, or probably even 6 days (because I didn’t  really learn it)

So, is it semantics?  Perhaps.  But it doesn’t do our industry any favors by calling passive videos that are mostly information sharing and/or marketing tools e-learning.

When I see “e-learning”, I am actually hoping I will learn something.  And I am more than disappointed when it turns out I was just watching something where the intent was not learning a new skill or process or something else I really wanted to learn how to do or know.  I actually get a little angry.  And sad.

Because every time someone puts out a module that is really information sharing or marketing and touts it as e-learning, I hear another voice somewhere saying “e-learning sucks and is a waste of my time.” <shudder>

Which just makes it that much harder for real e-learning to break through and do it’s job.

And it really can do a very fine job.

Until next time…