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2. The articles are great. (List follows. Click "MORE".)
Establishing and Fostering Collaborative Online Communities in the Workplace
By Katherine J. Werner
As organizations grow into global entities, the need to develop communities of practice (CoP) is also growing exponentially. There are many key factors to ensuring that your CoP is successful and you'll find a great summary of them in this article... You need to have a sound strategy, and good technology to support that strategy. Learn how Tellabs tackled this challenge within their decentralized Product Services Training group using Groove.
Steps to Creating a Content Strategy for your Organization
By Ellen D. Wagner, Ph.D
Content always plays a critical role in supporting the learning function in organizations. It has now evolved to become a key resource fueling organizational innovation. To leverage intellectual property in support of this role across the enterprise, the first step is to develop a content strategy. In this article, allow the experts to show you how to take your learning to the next level...
An Accessible e-Learning System: From Concept to Prototype
By Martie Buzzard
The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitative Services' need to develop a fully accessible e-Learning course that conformed to Section 508 requirements was the motivation behind an exhaustive search for tools and design strategies to support the challenge. Finding little to support their efforts, they adapted tools and developed their own guidelines and templates. If you're not currently designing fully accessible e-Learning, you soon will be. This article is packed with strategies, checklists, and references you can use today!
Achieving Maximum Return on Instruction (ROi) with e-Learning
By Conrad Gottfredson, Ph.D.
Optimizing return on e-Learning requires an implementation strategy that helps learners get all they can -- and need -- from the courseware. Involving more than just instructionally sound e-Learning, the implementation should be a blended learning system that includes both on-line and off-line components. From the learners' guide through on-the-job coaching to management participation, only a comprehensive plan will maximize results.
Developing e-Learning In-house: A Nonprofit Case Study
By Kathy Napierala and Lynn M. Tveskov
United Way's foray into e-Learning was confronted by a number of challenges: a small budget, a small team, and resistant learners. Learn how this non-profit consensus-driven organization overcame these challenges to create not only a successful e-Learning program, but also a highly functional template that could be applied to all future e-Learning development efforts.
Outsourcing Your Blended Learning
By Heidi Fisk
Outsourcing should not mean that you're going to lose control of your department, minimize your staff's involvement in training, or lessen the reputation of the training department -- in fact, it should have the opposite results. In this issue, you'll get the nuts and bolts of outsourcing your blended learning solutions.
Hey, I Don't Cost You Money! I Make You Money!
By William Horton
Radical thought: e-Learning doesn't cost organizations money, it makes money. In this humorous (but practical) article, you will discover how to sell e-Learning, as well as how to use e-Learning to get to market quicker, promote products and services, and sell conventional training. Download this issue...
Teach in Your Pajamas: Becoming a Synchronous e-Trainer
By Karen Hyder
Distance learning always appealed to me, but I doubted the technology could ever make the experience equal to the classroom. I feared the interface would seem sterile and cold and that students wouldn't participate. What I found out, with simple adjustments to my communications, was much different. Here are my "lessons learned".
Developing Best Pr actices for Knowledge Work: ISD plus KM, Supported by Software
By Cindy McCabe and Chet Leighton
The traditional process-driven approach to developing best practices has been a top-down model, which assumes that there is one "right" way to perform. We believe that developing best practices for knowledge workers requires a different approach -- one that takes into account both the task and the performer. Here is a best practice model that blends ISD and Knowledge Management by using performance support software.
How to Determine the Real Cost of e-Learning Programs
By Kevin Moore & Greg Harmeyer
Since the advent of training, all those involved in profitability or Return on Investment (ROI) have struggled with how to accurately cost learning programs. e-Learning is no different! Paying attention to the variables will increase the probability that you won't go over your budget... of if you do, that you'll certainly know where it happened!
Talk the Talk: Sound like a Project Manager
By John Hartnett
With the explosion of e-Learning, many instructor-led and traditional training managers suddenly find themselves in an unenviable role of being software project managers. Newly-minted Project Managers can never show weakness in front of their bosses or their vendors. If you've ever wondered about "taking discussions offline," "QA'ing and alpha," or budgeting for a "golden final release" of your e-Learning project, read-on.
How to Build Composite Learning Progressions Using Approximations
By Bill Brandon
With all the new media and delivery choices available today, static courses are no longer the default for learning. This article will help you learn how to approach the creation of the new composite learning environments. Here's a step-by-step process for quickly and easily describing job tasks, choosing instructional methods, and choosing delivery formats to create successful planned learning progressions using approximations.
Bring Top Classroom Features Online -- No more Boredom!
By William Horton & Kit Horton
Traditional classroom training has a number of unique benefits that have been difficult to replicate online. The good news is that technologies are changing rapidly and now, with a little effort and imagination, you can bring top classroom features online! Here's a practical look at how you can integrate lectures, examples, stories, demonstrations, and animations in your e-Learning with low-cost solutions starting right now!
Improving Online Sales Education: Learning Styles and Streaming Media
By Ronald B. Marks
There are several reasons for the interest in in applying e-Learning to sales education. However, e-Learning has not yet fulfilled its promise, primarily because much of what has been produced to date is overly text-oriented and does not accommodate diverse student learning styles. Increasing media richness, especially through the use of streaming media, can address both of these problems.
The Power of Simulation-based e-Learning (SIMBEL)
By Randal Kindley, Ph.D.
Creators and managers of e-Learning are under pressure to obtain the highest leverage possible in every learning experience. Simulation-based e-Learning (SIMBEL) offers the optimum experience in may cases, especially when blended with instructor-led activity. Simulation makes it possible to maintain learner enthusiasm and to support real performance change. This article presents a delivery method that can surprise and delight learners and managers alike.
Instructional Design Certification: Are We Ready Yet?
By Suzy Cox
Instructional Designers lack formal processes for gaining acceptance as professionals in the field. This makes it extremely difficult for employers to know who to hire and what to expect of an "instructional designer". Does the field of Instructional Technology at large, and e-Learning in particular, need to implement certification procedures? Here's one very interesting perspective on this thorny issue.
The New Frontier of Learning Object Design
By Ellen D. Wagner, Ph.D.
Learning objects appear to have significant potential for creating highly personalized learning programs, easily updated courses, and performance support tools. However, as e-Learning has become heavily dependent on technologists, producers, and funders, learning designers have lost their voice and often seem to drop out of the conversation. Learning designers must think about better ways to conceptualize and create resources and programs. Here are some promising leads...
Peer-to-Peer Computing, Improve Your Interface, and more...
By Bill Brandon
This weeks issue of the Journal highlights commentary from Bill Brandon, the Journal's technical editor. You'll find four brief and interesting articles on peer-to-peer computing, instructional design-speak (just what is SOAP anyway?), improving your interface, and curriculum planning and knowledge half-life.
What is Personalized Learning?
By Margaret Martinez, PhD.
The Learning Orientation Model is an adult learning view of the key sources of individual learning differences. The model portrays how three construct factors interact, and it suggests specific strategies for accommodating learning needs for online audiences. The model provides a missing link in the instructional design perspective -- an understanding of the impact of emotions and intentions on how individuals want or intend to learn differently.
Stolen Moments for Learning
By David Metcalf
Wireless e-Learning is growing in importance as part of a blended learning solution. More important than the technology is how you develop content and structure the learner's experience. The "instant learning" involvement with wireless is more like performance support than training. It can not be delivered using the same techniques as other web-delivered learning content.
Six Principles of Effective e-Learning: What Works and Why
By Ruth Clark, Ph.D.
To readily identify effective e-Learning, we need fewer end-user and expert opinions and more data. Decisions about e-Learning courseware must begin with an understanding of how the mind works during learning and of what research tells us about the factors that lead to learning. Here are six principles that have emerged from controlled experiments in how to best use multimedia to optimize learning.
Beyond Interactivity: Immersive Web-based Learning Experiences
By J. Alan Whiteside, Ph.D.
Instructional designers can take many cues from successful immersive experiences found on the Web. While only some training solutions call for the use of the most immersive technology, the principles used in these contexts apply to most e-Learning. This article defines an instructional approach that will engage more than just a small amount of learner attention and lead to more significant and substantial learning.
First Project: An e-Learning Odyssey
By Jean Marrapodi and Tracy Byrnes
At Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS) Corporate Learning Services we decided to begin the journey into e-Learning. We pulled together a team of technically experienced people - then our troubles started. None of us had ever implemented a web-based e-Learning project from conception to completion. Nor had we ever worked with an authoring tool, a learning management system, graphic or animation software. Here is what we learned...
Rapid Task Analysis - The Key to Developing Competency-based e-Learning
By Conrad Gottfredson, Ph.D.
Rapid Task Analysis (RTA) is a systematic process for identifying job competencies, up front, in the design phase of e-Learning development. Done right, RTA can deliver an instructionally sound, competency-based plan for producing all the learning modules for a course. Ignored, and you stand a high probability of producing e-Learning courseware that won't deliver much strategic or instructional value. Here is a step-by-step explanation of how to make RTA work.
Simulations: Creating Engaging e-Learning Worlds
By Eric Parks, Ph.D.
There is a simulation designer waiting to emerge in each of you. In designing e-Learning, we create worlds in which learners live for a few minutes, an hour, or even a day. We must ask ourselves -- would I want to live in that world? Is it interesting, engaging, challenging? Here's a set of simulation design guidelines you can put right to work.
Reach Warp Speed with CourseBuilder's Interactions
By Ann-Marie Grissino
It's the end of the month and your online course prototype deadline is looming ahead. You've written the course content as tightly as possible, supported concepts fabulously with animated graphics, and chunked just the right amount of information for each e-Learning page. But, you know that you must engage the learner more by inserting something that requires the learner to act. Your instinct tells you that interactivity is the way to go. But, how?
Putting the Learner Front and Center
By John Kruper
e-Learning products, in spite of careful research and design, frequently fail to provide a satisfactory user experience, and drop-out rates between 30% and 75% prove it. e-Learning is treated as a disposable commodity, and e-Learning providers are constantly challenged to prove their worth. User centered design gives us a chance to "get it right" from the start.
Developing e-Learning Simulations With Tools You Already Know
By Mike Smialek
Simulations can be very expensive to build due to the time it takes using traditional e-Learning tools (not to mention the learning curve required). This article will introduce you to capabilities of a tool that you probably already use -- Excel -- that is also an excellent simulation development tool. Here's a step-by-step process for quickly and easily creating rich simulations for a fraction of the cost you'd expect.
Putting It to the Test: Quality Control for e-Learning Courses
By Barb Lesniak
In the e-Learning development cycle, the alpha and beta tests are essential to ensure the quality and usefulness of your course. Unfortunately, these two steps are often done incorrectly or skipped entirely. Reviewing the specific objectives and guidelines for the pool of testers, and making sure they are followed, guarantees that your program is truly complete and is a characteristic of a professional developer.
It's All G(r)eek to Me: Terms You Should Know
By Bill Brandon
Our understanding of interactivity and its role in e-Learning is evolving. This issue looks as some research around interactivity, and also at some developments in learning theory. Another buzzword often thrown around in e-Learning is "XML" or Extensible Markup Language. But do you really understand what XML is and how it can be applied to e-Learning? In this issue we review XML and its relationship to the structure and portability of e-Learning applications.
Designing e-Learning for the Global Audience
By Bjorn Austraat
Translating e-Learning courseware into other languages is only a small piece of the answer to taking that courseware to international learners. Throughout the planning and design stage, internationalization has to be an organic part of every decision. There are dozens of challenges in the typical project. Here's a checklist to get you started.
Authoring Simultaneous e-Learning and Print Courses
By Larry Ford
Combining web-based training and paper-based manuals can be a cost-effective and timely way to provide training to a busy and diverse workforce. This article and its supporting online documents show how one small company provided e-Learning by using an inexpensive and quick method for delivering multiple-media training.
Details on these downloads: This issue includes a dozen detailed screen-shots to illustrate the author's points. Thus, the Hi Resolution file is large -- so we also provided a Lo Resolution file. To ensure that you can review the screen-shots clearly, we have added a special Zip file that includes all of them so you can choose to download and print them out as well. Finally, the Zip file of Sample Course Templates further illustrate and reinforce the author's points and provide you with templates you can actually us.
Storyboards: Ready? Set? No!
By Chris Frederick Willis
The best opportunity to ensure on-time e-Learning development within budget and scope comes after the storyboards have been approved but before actual interactive development begins. Here are four steps that will get your team off to a good start.
Macromedia Flash MX and XML: More Than Just Movies
By Gregg Wygonik
This issues looks at how we can use XML and Flash MX to represent the user interface and the sequence of content, not the content itself. The project demonstrates how to build a small "shell" application in Flash MX that will be able to work for many projects without the need to recompile anything.
Here's Looking At You: Image Compression and Optimization Techniques
By Jacqueline D. Beck M.ED. and Bill Brandon
Images included in e-Learning applications have a profound effect of the learners experience. Fundamental decisions about image compression and optimization, made by the developer, will determine these outcomes. Yet these can be confusing choices to make, and painstaking to execute. Here are the basics and a step-by-step guide to the process.
Synchronized Course Maps on the Fly
By Ann-Marie Grissino and Jim Allman
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