What are you doing to support your learners in the online environment? This article looks at some critical factors necessary for learner success.
Articles Categorized as “eLearning”
As an Instructional Designer, you know that management of your project’s files is essential if you want to maintain your sanity. Everyone who has more than a few projects under their belt probably has a method or at least habits for this that they are comfortable with.
As designers of learning for corporate environments, we often use the phrase “adult learning theory” to describe the principles that underlie our work. What do we mean by that? The shorthand answer, of course, is WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?). We want to design training that is directly relevant to our learners, training that they can immediately use back on the job. In this article, we’ll take a look at the assumptions of adult learning theory and explore ways in which to apply it to the design of corporate eLearning.
Why do learners choose to learn? What keeps them going in an eLearning course? We all want our courses to be engaging and effective. We want our learners to want to take our courses. In other words, we want them to be motivated to learn. To boost motivation in your learners, John Keller’s (1999a, 1999b, 2008) classic ARCS model of motivation is a great little tool. This model consists of four elements: Attention: getting learners' attention (obviously), but...
Building on the concept of communities of practice, Etienne Wenger (2009) has proposed a social theory of learning. The focus of this theory is “learning as social participation,” in which learners actively participate in the practices of social communities and construct personal identities in relation to these communities. As instructional designers, we're aware of various theories about how and why people learn. And, of course, we've heard about social learning. As mobile technology advances, learning has moved from...
In a recent New York Times blog post, Farhad Manjoo writes about a new messaging app that "may finally sink email." The app, called Slack, is intended to facilitate group discussion and collaboration, and it works across a wide range of devices. One particularly intriguing feature of Slack is that most chats are archived and available for searching. This makes Slack a powerful tool for managing knowledge and understanding team dynamics. As Stewart Butterfield, Slack’s co-founder and chief executive, states...
Are you going to Learning Solutions 2015? We'll be there in booth 418. Drop by and say hi. We'd love to meet you! #LSCon
I have been fascinated by the concept of serendipitous learning from the moment I first heard it. First of all, I love the word "serendipitous" and its meaning. I am not a very spontaneous person, and I like structure, so the thought of "fortunate happenstance" is beautiful to me. As a scientist, during the research for my chemistry thesis, I valued serendipity and learned to "encourage" it by making myself think of random approaches and applications...
This year's mLearnCon 2015 Mobile Learning Conference and Expo is on June 10-12 in Austin, TX. Obsidian Learning will be there both exhibiting and presenting. Erik Pettine will be manning Booth 319, and Monica Savage will be presenting on “Reshaping your mLearning workflow.”
For immediate release Latest Rapid Authoring Tool Brings HTML5 Content to All Devices HOUSTON, July 28, 2015—Obsidian Learning announced the beta version of Obsidian Black, a new solution for eLearning designers looking to keep up with the increasing trend towards mobile learning. Planned features include the ability to sync audio and images with text, exchange on-screen comments with team members and reviewers, and export projects for LMS deployment. Although the product is still undergoing improvements, Obsidian encourages any interested...
We've added some new features to Obsidian Black, and also wanted to share another project created with Obsidian Black titled, "Ergonomics Tips for Computer Users". Here is what's new in Obsidian Black:
The answers to concerns might include training, performance support, or process improvements. But no matter what the answers are, Instructional Design, Learning Strategy, or Communication Design will most likely be at the center of each solution. With our Instructional Designers, Learning Strategists, and others throughout the company, we are developing a brief blog series to tackle the basic instructional design principles the way we see them. So let’s get started…
The term “gamification” seems to be popping up everywhere lately, and for good reason. What is gamification? In a nutshell, it’s incorporating gaming into learning. It could actually be developing an instructional game for a course, but it’s typically used to describe adding game-like ideas and activities, such as leaderboards and badges learners earn after completing activities. Done right, gamification can increase a user’s engagement and participation while influencing their behavior. The key here is that it has to be done right to get measurable results. Here are few key points to keep in mind when implementing gamification.
In our first Back to Basics blog “What is Instructional Design?” we talked about the concept and definition of instructional design. This week, we wanted to cover some common terms that you are bound to hear in almost instructional design setting. This list isn’t meant to be all inclusive, but it’s a great starting point to give you the initial vocabulary you need. For the experienced Instructional Designers out there, what terminology did you wish you had known first?
We’ve covered some of the basic concepts in Instructional Design and Terminology in our previous Back To Basics segments. This week we wanted to discuss one of the most common instructional design models, ADDIE.
These two terms are used interchangeably even though they are not the same thing. While Adaptive and Responsive design may have very similar goals, their approaches are different. Adaptive Adaptive design is server-side, meaning the images are optimized for specific screen resolutions before the page is even delivered. The server distinguishes what kind of device is accessing the site and loads the preset layout based on that device. A key component here is that it loads a preset...
When analyzing your audience and determining learning goals, don’t forget about your delivery strategy. How you are going to deliver the course? Do students need to be face-to-face with the instructors? Will learners have access to computers? What resources already exist? What cost considerations are there? Here is a breakdown of the three most frequent approaches we use:
Breaking News! The price of oil has been down for the past year or so, and economists can't predict when it will come back up. Actually (and unfortunately), that's not news at all. While everybody likes a low price at the pump, those of us in oil and gas know only too well how important robust oil prices are to the health of our industry. Low cost per barrel means high anxiety for everyone, from the boardroom to the oil patch.
It's not a problem with design, it’s a problem with a clear message. One of the main goals of good graphic design in marketing is to convey information in a clear and easily digestible fashion. It is understandable to have a lot of information to get across to potential clients. However, a clear understanding of the sequence in which this information is delivered is critical. We call this establishing hierarchy.
For our first real foray into the world of Twitter chats this month, we dove head first with the topic of blended learning and their application in adult L&D. We wanted to hear from the learning community on the design and delivery of blended learning methods. During the chat, we posed four different questions to the group. Here's a summary of our discussion.
I had the pleasure of being in London last week attending the annual Learning and Technologies 2016 conference there. Great conference. Lots of food for thought. After the conference, I had a day of sightseeing with some colleagues. We took in the Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture exhibit at the Tate Modern.
Do you like music? Have you ever been listening to a favorite piece or song, only to have your good vibes interrupted by a discordant note? Or even worse, a remix? The flow is brutally interrupted. If I’m listening to the radio when something like that happens, I change the station.
Guest contributor, Christopher Pappas, highlights the best practices for applying Spaced Learning in your online training strategy, so that you can improve knowledge retention and recall among your staff members.
Have you ever wondered why your best ideas or solutions to nagging problems come seemingly out of the blue? When you are taking a shower or out for a run or driving down a familiar highway?
Guest contributor, Christopher Pappas, shares; From increasing knowledge retention to filling performance gaps in a fraction of the time, microlearning offers a variety of different benefits. In this article, I’ll share 7 tips that can help you take advantage of microlearning in your online training program.
The 7 knowledge retention techniques that can help your online learners retain and recall important information in the long run. Written by our guest contributor: Christopher Pappas
This month, we chose the topic of gamification. It seems everything you read related to learning right now mentions gamification. “What is it?” “Do we need it?” “Is this a fad?” “Is it like Chutes & Ladders?” We wanted to hear from the eLearning community as to what gamification is, and how it’s affecting modern instructional design.
I am back home and still suffering withdrawals from the Learning Solutions Conference and enjoying the after-conference rush of excitement. It was a great conference, so in a sense this post is the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential returns. Let me start by saying ...
April’s Obsidian Chat topic was xAPI. We had xAPI expert Art Werkenthin from RISC, Inc., join us to share his knowledge and insight on the topic. Art is a member of the ADL CMI-5 committee, and is an expert on both xAPI and CMI-5. This has been, by far, my favorite Obsidian chat. xAPI is murky for a lot of folks, and the responses shared were extremely helpful in learning more about the topic.
Training evaluation is necessary and, in many ways, critical to the success of a business. But because short term priorities always seem to take precedence, it is typically something we plan to do better in the next course, or maybe next month, or even next year. After all, we've managed pretty well up to now, so surely another year can't hurt! Even if training evaluation is undertaken, it is usually at the easiest and lowest level: the measurement of student reactions through simple surveys or happy sheets. Reactions to a learning event are important and the happy sheets do serve a purpose, but will they really provide enough hard data for informed decision making when greater investment in training is needed, budgets are cut, competition for resources is fierce, and times get tough?
May’s Obsidian Chat topic was mobile learning. We had mLearning expert Chad Udell from Float join us to share his knowledge and insight on the topic. Chad is well known throughout the eLearning and mobile learning communities as a leading expert. Who better to join in than an expert, right?
As many of our past blog posts demonstrate, talent and creativity are a big part of what happens at Obsidian, but as much as we are passionate about applying both to create effective learning experiences, we also understand that there must be a business case for choosing a learning company. With close to two decades' experience in the learning industry, we have learned a thing or two about the critical factors that any business or learning decision maker should consider when evaluating existing learning vendor or selecting a new learning company.
A recent post on LinkedIn by Anne Taylor, Vice Chairman and Managing Partner at Deloitte, in which she reflected on her participation in Deloitte’s 17th annual Impact Day and corporate volunteerism in general, struck me as a potent reminder of the numerous benefits that community service offers to all involved. "Business as usual" marks a win-win relationship for the company and the client; with the addition of a community service component, company employees and charitable organizations are implicated in the winnings as well.
We were approached by a global Fortune 500 construction company seeking to revamp some key leadership training. The audience of senior project managers is accountable for the success of very large-scale construction efforts. Time spent away from their projects is at a premium, and as a result many site managers have received little formal training. The existing curriculum consisted of a two-week long instructor-led course during which a rotating slate of guest speakers gave PowerPoint-based lectures.
Last week I attended the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) E-Learn 2016 conference in Washington, D.C. My colleague Shannon Hart and I were there to present our paper on blended learning (Victor & Hart, 2016), which is based on the white paper Obsidian published earlier this year, with the addition of case study of a solution we developed for one of our clients.
Happy New Year! It was a busy, productive 2016 at Obsidian Learning, and before we dive into new learning adventures in 2017, I’m taking stock of what I learned in 2016, who I learned it from, and how I hope to apply it in my work over the coming year. The learning personalities listed below have blogged, presented, and/or written about things that I have personally found useful, thought-provoking, and that I hope to be more conscious of when designing learning in 2017.
Did you know that a lot of people hate PowerPoint? I didn’t realize how many until Penn Jillette made an offhand remark during the Q&A session that followed his hugely entertaining talk on "The Magic of Storytelling and Learning" at DevLearn 2016. David Kelly asked Jillette what he thought about PowerPoint…and Jillette responded that "PPT is destroying our culture." Like many in the crowd, my immediate, visceral response was to clap and holler….but then I started to think about it a bit more.
If I had to narrow down 2016 to one lesson learned, I think it would have to be the importance of failure in learning. Failure seemed to be an overarching theme, and in the best possible way. This is why...
Obsidian has been in the learning industry for quite some time. We feel lucky to have assembled a team of talented, creative, experienced professionals whose common aim is to create superior and effective learning experiences. We keep abreast of learning trends but realize that refreshing basic learning principles can help ground a project, whether a slick CBT or a simple ILT, and ensure that its learning objectives are met.
As with many trending concepts, “adaptive learning” is a term that means different things to different people. Let’s have a look at some of those different meanings, and get a handle on its implications, when properly applied, in the learning industry.
As I mentioned in Part 1 of this series, the E-clip we are developing for Social Motion Skills has followed a fairly classic design process. As part of that process, we looked over Social Motion’s existing marketing material, to make sure that what we produce is in line with their overall communications strategy and to get our creative juices flowing.
Nowadays, we avoid books with more than 150 pages and tune out presentations after about 18 minutes (hence the power and popularity of TED Talks). And why not? Thanks to professor Google and coach YouTube, virtually anything we could ever want to know is available in seconds with next to no effort.
What is all the buzz about infographics in adult learning and instructional design? Do infographics really help obtain and retain knowledge? How and why do infographics actually work? If you want to learn answers to these questions, download our infographic on the topic of Infographics.
In previous blog posts (Part 1 and Part 2), we’ve given you an inside look at the development process of our Eclip for Social Motion Skills. I am happy to say that the final video is ready for launch, and we couldn’t be more proud of the result. As this project is a little out of the box for us, in the sense that it is not strictly a learning event, we thought it might be interesting to share some of our takeaways.
Gather 'round kiddos, Uncle Lubos wants to tell another crazy but true story. This one is about an innocent kid, an abused model—and if you stick around till the end—a wholesome apple. Our story begins back in my college days, back before phones had Google and books came with free Prime shipping...
The human brain has fascinated me since I was a child. Understanding how one thinks, remembers, and acts is extremely complex. As a learning professional, I rely on brain science to ensure the efficiency of the programs I design. This blog series addresses some of the more basic concepts of memory and learning, and their application in real life learning design. Let's start from the beginning...
My hope for the future is that Obsidian will continue to lead in defining what makes good learning, and to serve our clients singularly well. I expect that our high trust / high accountability / high success environment will continue to allow us to innovate with integrity. As our industry evolves, I expect that our values will keep us resilient and agile. After all, that is how we survived 20 often turbulent years. Here's to 20 more.
As we discussed in the previous blog article in this series, there are three main steps in the memory process: encoding, storing and retrieving. Here, we will take a closer look at the first step – encoding – and its role in learning.