Posts Tagged ‘weblearning-general’
I have a question. When you sit down to create a new E-Learning initiative, where do you start? At the beginning? Or at the end?
The knee jerk reaction is to say, “of course I start at the beginning!”
But today I want to look at things a bit differently. I want us to start thinking in terms of outcomes, and creating E-Learning initiatives that fulfill business needs. (more…)
When we think of mobile learning we tend to get a picture of the commuter working their way through the morning train ride, and while this is accurate, there is so much more to mobile learning.
For the first time ever we have a platform that allows users to maximize their time and find the moments that work best for their own unique needs.
It’s really a simple equation: (more…)
Do you remember your first E-Learning project? You know what I mean, the one that started it all? Some of you are sitting there reading this with a smile on your face as you laugh at the thought of stumbling your way through your first project. We’ve all been there.
And that is what this post is all about.
So, in an effort to ease the pain of new beginnings, I’ve put together a little list. One that I hope will help you on your journey as you get started in the crazy and often frustrating world of E-Learning.
This list certainly doesn’t cover everything – no mere blog post could, but its a great place to start and will hopefully give you a few new things to think about as you put together your own E-Learning new initiative.
As I sit down to write this post I’m thinking back on my long lost college days. Specifically I’m thinking about sitting through Dr. Holland’s endless marketing theory class and his love for all things PowerPoint. See, Dr. Holland (name changed to protect the not so innocent) only taught night classes.
This was both good and bad. Good because you only had to go one night a week. Bad cause you then had to make yourself sit there and pretend to pay attention for the entire 2+ hours that he droned on … and on … and on. (more…)
Here’s the thing about mobile learning … it’s a buzz word. It’s one that we’ve all heard and probably one that we’ve all said at least a time or two, or a hundred. I can admit that it’s been known to slip out of my own mouth on occasion.
But what does this buzz word actually mean?
And, probably more importantly how can we put it to use in our own little E-Learning world? These are the questions we answer today. We’re going to take a closer look at both the strengths and weaknesses of mobile learning as well as look at the opportunities this new technology will offer us all.
If you have been using Weblearning for any length of time, you are probably used to getting 1 or 2 updates every year with a mixture of new features and interface enhancements.
Our upcoming update (9.63) is due out by the end of this year, and includes dozens of enhancements (and some behind the scenes stuff), and a major rehaul of the admin interface (and probably some new course design changes as well).
We realize that most of you are used to the interface the way it is (it has pretty much been the same for a few years now), so we tried really hard to keep the same workflow, while really beefing up the interface. So, I thought I would show off a hadful of screen shots to give you an idea of what it will look like (I will write another article talking about the new features).
Here is the new Home Screen (what you see when you first log in):
Here is a screen of the Module List – notice that plug-in modules can be managed from here now too:
Here is an example of a Plugin subtab – we moved from list-style to icon-style rendering.
Here is the Account tab (overview). We moved the tab to the right (out of your way since it is most likely the least frequently used tab in your account). This makes room for a future tab-plugin ability.
Each tab and sub-tab you are on also pulls dynamically relevant articles and Q&A from the help section – this should help you along a bit if you are stuck on something (you will see those on the right panel).
Of course, nothing here is finalized (we are still working on it), but what I have shown you is pretty close if not exactly what it will look like when your system gets the update later this year.
I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a pessimist. Not in a “glass is half full” kind of way but more in a “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” kind of way.
It’s just hard to shock me, and even harder to show me something new and different.
Well, I stand here before you today as a changed soul.
Why you ask? Because a good friend managed not only to shock me recently, but to shake me right down to the center of my E-Learning core.
It all started with a phone call. “You’ve got to see this!”
“See what?” I ask as I lean back in my chair, kicking a stray foot up onto the desk in front of me.
“There aren’t words.“ Was the answer I received.
The other day I had a bit of an epiphany of sorts that I would like to share with all my dear friends in the E-Learning world. I was talking with a student when they asked me a very pointed and direct question that I wasn’t expecting. Nor, as it turns out, was I prepared to answer it.
Curious as to what it was?
People ask me all the time about success and what that reality looks like. It seems like a simple question, but think about it for a moment. What does success look like for the typical E-Learning professional?
Is it someone with a full calendar of events and classes? Is it a person who is well thought of? Is it a bit of both? Or is it something else entirely?
The truth is that at the end of the day, success is defined by the individual. What you find successful will differ from the person next to you as you each have your own unique set of goals for your life.
Let’s take a minute to go back … and for some of us I mean way back. All the way back to a time when we sat gathered around our grandparents’ knees as we waited with baited breath to find out what happened next to our favorite characters. Back to the days of storytelling and the magical moments those tales produced.
I’m betting even today you can remember every word. I know I can. I’ve even shared a few with the next generation, taking my place in a tradition that is as old as language itself.
This brings me to the question of the day. When did we forget about the power of the story? When did we forget that stories themselves are powerful teaching tools that can create memories which are both strong and lasting?
We always talk about the things that we need to do. Those little dotted “i“ and crossed “t“ type details that make us stand out from the pack as we strive to offer something special and exciting to our students.
But what about the other side of the coin? What about those simple little habits that manage to slip unnoticed through the cracks as they chip away and undermine all of our hard work and dedication? Why do we never talk about these things?
We all know they exist, yet year after year it becomes easier to ignore them altogether rather than take the time to deal with the issue right from the beginning. (more…)
Remember what it was like to be little? To be just another kid hanging out in the neighborhood and dreaming about what the future would look like? Yeah, those were the days. I don’t know about you, but I was pretty sure that the Jetsons were on to a thing or two!
Well my friends, the future is now. We have arrived, not just into the next century, but into the second decade of the next century and its time for us to take a closer look at what that means to the would of E-Learning as a whole.
We may not be cruising around in flying cars just yet, but we do have a few extremely impressive new resources ready and waiting for us to both explore and incorporate. So, without further ado, I give you E-Learning….the 2013 version!
Who doesn’t like pictures? I like pictures. Pictures are fun. They add interest, they add depth and they are able to say a whole heck of a lot more than I am at a fraction of the word count.
Sounds like a win/win situation, right? Well, it is .. but only if we are talking about the right pictures!
After all, this is not a one kind fits all kind of thing. Not in the least. I mean, if a picture is going to shout out a 1000 words then you want to make extra sure that you know exactly what those words are going to be!
In short, you want this images you choose to enhance the quality of your E-Learning environment rather than (more…)
To blog…or not to blog? As the title suggests it poses quite the perplexing question. After all, as educators our blogs have the potential to both affect our students as well as offer them a type of behind the scenes glimpse into our minds.
But is that a good thing?
Do we really want to open ourselves up to that type of scrutiny and, in doing so, invite the dialogue that comes hand-in-hand with any type of public forum?
I think so.
In fact, I think that being an educator makes the reasons to blog more important, more interesting and even more compelling. It allows us to express ideas and open conversations that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. It allows us to share our voice. Now, let’s talk about why we should…..
Reasons Educators Should Blog:
If there is one so called downside to E-Learning, or even to distance learning as a whole, it is the lack of peer-to-peer interactions among participants. And, while some instructors may not miss this facet of a traditional classroom, I often find myself longing for that one small piece of the “good ol’ days!”
Why? Because it worked!
There is just something about sitting down with your peers as you all work your way towards a common goal. Something that helps to drive the information home while increasing retention rates and improving the overall student experience. It is a tried and true method of teaching and it is one that I try to replicate as closely as possible in my own E-Learning classroom.
Do you ever feel like you’re just not on your game? Like the stars just aren’t aligning and nothing is coming together the way you had envisioned?
It happens to the best of us. Some days every word I type seems to drip with wisdom and wit, while others leave me scratching my head as I struggle to spell the word “who“!
But here’s the deal. I never sit down planning on creating a bad E-Learning initiative. Though honestly? It happens! There are times when I’m just not on my game and things just don’t come together like I want them to. (more…)
The other day I was issued a challenge….by a nine year old child. This child, one who has proven to be wise beyond their years, issued their challenge by voicing just one simple word….why?
Why…..? It has power, you can’t deny it. But, before we get too far into the question, I think I need to back up a bit.
See I spent the weekend hanging out with family, father’s day and all that, and while I was there my sister roped me into helping her oldest with their homework. Said child was not super enthusiastic about the prospect and was definitely not looking forward to writing their times tables for what probably felt like the 500th time. (more…)
In the past we have spent time talking about how the fatal flaw of many E-Learning PowerPoints is found not with the audience, but with the presentation itself. They are boring! And boredom my dear friends is NOT an effective teaching technique!
So today we are going to take things one step further. Instead of looking at what makes PowerPoint bad, we are going to spend our time learning about what we can do to make it good. And we are going to do that by taking a closer look at Gange’s Nine Steps of Instructional Design.
Never heard of it? You’ll love it. See, Gange has done a good bit of the work for us and has laid out a pretty great plan when it comes to building an effective presentation. His steps are concise, they are well thought out and they create an ideal foundation for us to build from when creating our own E-Learning initiatives. So without further ado, let’s go see what Gange has to say about building that perfect E-Learning presentation!
In the world of E-Learning, no issue seems to be hotter than that of the virtual classroom. The debate, on both sides of the table, is as to which side offers more benefit to its participants and which option is able to facilitate a higher level of learning.
Can you guess where I stand?
But this post isn’t really about my own personal opinion. It’s about the reality that for a variety of reasons, virtual is the wave of the future. Travel costs are up and revenues are down, meaning that for many companies on-site training initiatives are being forced to evolve and change along with the rest of the organization. Plus, as companies are changing, cutting back and installing less bodies in a single geography, they are having to rethink how they approach their workforce. On site training is no longer realistic in many cases and definitely not cost effective. (more…)
Have you ever wished for you very own crystal ball? I’ll admit, its a dream that I hold near and dear to my humble heart. Doesn’t have to be big, just something that I can carry around in my pocket to let me know what’s coming….and what I can do about it!
I mean just think about how handy that would be. Want an inside look at tomorrow’s weather? No problem! How about a clear picture of the morning commute for the next 6 weeks? Piece of cake! Truly the uses are endless and that is before we even get to the over-the-top craziness of lotto numbers and sports scores! (more…)
Social Media. The big buzz word. The one that everyone’s talking about, but almost no one is ready to face. It’s like this huge elephant has set up shop in the world of E-Learning and we are all doing our very best to ignore that it ever showed up in the first place.
My question is simple…..why? (more…)
Not long ago, the iPad was nothing more than speculation. It was spec drawings on techie blogs and whispers at conventions that drew our interest and peaked our curiosity.
Some claimed that this would be the device that finally ended Apple’s reign of supremacy. Others thought that this device would open up a whole new market segment that revolutionized the way we viewed personal computing as a whole.
One year later, the iPad – and tablet devices in general (and even smartphones) have in fact changed the way we look at, and think about computing. It has made us realize that computers can be created to fully reflect their users, and that devices can be customized to meet their needs.
There is a great debate going on in the world of learning. Not just E-Learning, but the educational community as a whole.
The argument? That our generation is managing to single-handedly demolish the learning process through the use (or misuse as the case may be!) of a single powerful tool.
The great offender?
No other than our tried and trustworthy friend, PowerPoint.
This debate was brought to my attention in the last week as I sat through a presentation on this very subject. What struck me as odd (even a bit surreal) about the whole situation was that the presenter of the day was making his argument against PowerPoint….with PowerPoint! He stood there in front of us spouting off reason after reason as to why we should abandon this tool as a whole even as he himself was using it to make his point. (more…)
Over the years we have come to think of tests as necessary bench marks. Ones that, right, wrong or indifferent are part of the learning process and an indispensable facet of progressing through any type of education.
And, while this may be true, some of us probably are not stopping to think about whether or not we are doing it right. I mean, sure, the students have to worry about that each and every time they sit down for an exam … but what about us (the teachers/trainers of the world)?
It is our responsibility to share the information, so is it not also our responsibility to also test effectively? To not just throw out questions, but to test for comprehension? For true understanding and mastery? (more…)
The other day I was asked by a colleague of mine if I would give a type of information technology guest lecture at one of the local colleges. As the topic was one that I have worked with extensively, SEO and how to maximize its effectiveness, I agreed, thinking that it would be a nice break from my standard day of logging hours in front of the computer.
It was, but it also brought a few very interesting realizations to light in a very short amount of time. In fact, you could say that I had an epiphany of sorts as I stood there under the flickering florescent lights enjoying the endless expanses of Berber carpet that boasted a shade somewhere between gray and blue. (more…)
As I sit down to write to all of you this week, there is one question that keeps flying around in my head. I want to know is how do you, those in charge of both creating and facilitating the E-Learning initiatives for your organizations, choose what those initiatives will be?
Do you make the choice based on what you feel will be the most effective option for your client or participants?
Do you make the choice based on what you like? (more…)
I came across this short video which show a fairly easy yet useful way to edit and re-purpose images inside PowerPoint (instead of, for example, having to fire up PhotoShop or some other high-powered image editor).
While certainly not a full replacement for your favorite image editor, once you watch it, I think you may be as surprised as I was to find out this was even possible in PowerPoint:
The Weblearning Learning Management System is a powerful, budget-friendly, easy-to-use Online E-Learning System for authoring, managing, and tracking online learning presentations and tests (including your PowerPoint Presentations). To try it FREE, go to the Weblearning E-Learning System Sign-up Form.
When we talk about learning, and by this I mean all learning and not just that of the E-Learning variety, we are often spouting off buzz words relevant to our own current time and place. These words tend to come and go quickly, often falling out of style before the majority of us even know what they really mean. With that in mind, what if I told you that there was a huge buzzword in the field of adult education that has been hanging around for over a decade?
Unbelievable? Astounding? Nope….true! Because self-directed learning has done just that.
Pretty impressive right? I’m thinking you might want to know what all the fuss was about!
Buzz words….gotta love them. They grow and stretch until it seems like they take on a life of their own as they work their way into every day conversation.
But what do they really mean? Sure, we all use them, they’re catchy and a bit fun, but how often do we really take a deeper look into what we are saying and how these phrases apply to real world situations?
Such as the term, “Subject Matter Expert.” Have you ever taken the time to sit down and think about what it means to be considered a Subject Matter Expert? You could start by saying that it means you are good at something; that you have a talent and maybe even a strong skill set in a certain area. But I think that’s a bit bland if you truly want to label either yourself or even someone else to be an “expert.”
Before we get started with today’s post, I want to ask one quick question….
How many of you have ever taken the time to ask your friends or colleagues about their experiences with E-Learning?
If the answer is “never,” then I highly recommend that you do just that.
Why? Well, because chances are good that you will be amazed at their answers.
See, the other day I had this great conversation with a good friend of mine about just this topic. When he asked me about my E-Learning projects, I excitedly shared all of the different things that I am working on right now.
So imagine my surprise when he responded with an adamant, “I hate when I have to do those things! They are nothing but busy work!” (more…)