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Make sure learners have the technology to view your hard work! January 25, 2007

Posted by Marguerite Fallon in Intructional Design, Lessons Learned.
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When looking to design an e-learning session, don’t forget to look at technology.  Whether it is live or online, you need to know what is being used by your learners. Ask these questions before you start.

  • Have the learners taken e-learning courses previously?
  • What level of keyboard/mouse skills do the learners have?
  • Do the learners’ computers have soundcards, Flash, Media Player?

  • What Internet/Intranet connection speed do the learners have?

  • What processor speed do the learners’ computers have?

  • Are there any other computer limitations to the learners?

Believe it or not, not everyone has the latest and greatest in PC’s. You may develop a really cool session with voice, animation, interactivity, only to find out it can’t be used because the learners are on dial up. Very disappointing!  So more pre-work to do when looking at your latest e-learning session.


1/18/07 Meeting – How Much & How Long Part II January 23, 2007

Posted by nathanteckel in e-SIG Presentations, Intructional Design, Project Management.
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This is Part II of my notes from Dave Goodman’s presentation. Click here to view Part I.

Criteria for eLearning Costs

  • Length of Learning Time
  • Volume of Courses
  • Content Readiness – CRITICAL! – Source documentation is not the same as instructional content – Factor in instruction design – THIS TAKES TIME!
  • SME & Reviewer availability – VERY IMPORTANT!
  • Amount & Level of Revisions
  • Schedule
  • Use of Media
  • Complexity of Content
  • Complexity of Course – Brain surgery vs. Sales 101 (more…)

1/18/07 Meeting – How Much & How Long Part I January 23, 2007

Posted by nathanteckel in e-Learning Tools, e-SIG Presentations, Engaging e-Learners.
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If you couldn’t make it to last week’s eLearning SIG, you missed out on a treat. Dave Goodman is the founder of SoftAssist, and he gave a focused demonstration of the levels of eLearning interactivity. His simulations and modules were highly interactive, which is why they win consecutive awards in our field. The following is part 1 of 2 of the notes I took.

Click here to download the slides Dave used during his presentation. (more…)

How to Make Your Presentations Even Better – More PowerPoint Tips January 18, 2007

Posted by Ben Craigo in Lessons Learned, Synchronous Training.
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Noelle’s post on presentation tips for virtual training generated a lot of interest.  Preparing a good presentation deck is an important skill whether your are training live over WebEx, pitching an e-Learning project to your client or giving a standing room only talk at the Philadelphia e-SIG. 

To continue in that spirit, here are some great tips on what makes good PowerPoint design over at Presentation Zen.  It gives some very basic, but powerful guidelines, as well as a few examples of before and after slides.  Here’s an example:


Simpler is better. 

Even though the post is a couple years old, good presentation skills are timeless.

e-Learning For What’s Below the Waterline January 17, 2007

Posted by Ben Craigo in Blended Learning, Informal Learning, Trends.
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Kineo put out a report last year stating that 80% of learning that happens on the job is informal.  e-Learning guru Jay Cross has sited this number often through papers he’s crafted as well as through dialogues he’s had with others.  Keep on researching this and you’ll find that, while some numbers might vary, the vast majority of people learn most of what they what they need to know on the job outside of a classroom, e-Learning course or other formalized trainings.

Formal learning is really just the tip of the iceburg.

This figure does not diminish the need for formal training.  Quite the contrary – formal training should be the launching point for informal learning.  Elliott Masie said it best at his Learning 2006 conference, and I’m paraphrasing here, when he said “The big question is ‘What’s the least amount of training that I need to provide in order to motivate the learner to seak out the rest of the learning on their own.'” (more…)

PowerPoint Tips for Virtual Classes January 15, 2007

Posted by Noelle Archambeau in Best Practices, Synchronous Training.

Before the holidays I gave some tips for creating PowerPoint slides for the virtual classroom to the people who attended the main ASTD-GPC meeting. Most of these tips can also be applied to PowerPoint slides that are created for live, instructor-led classes. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a summary:

PowerPoint Templates

PowerPoint Template Examples

  • Use light backgrounds with dark text; it’s harder to read light text on dark backgrounds
  • Use a basic layout that gives you a lot of room for your content; don’t waste space with large logos or decorative graphics on every slide (more…)

Community Blogs January 15, 2007

Posted by Ben Craigo in Blended Learning, Blogging, e-Learning Tools.

Tony Karrer and I connected on the benefits of community blogs and posted that conversation on his blog.  The one BIG thing that blogging and other social software allows is to tap into the current of informal learning in a way that hasn’t been done before.  80% of what we learn happens informally and blogging is a way to open a window into it, guide it.  That’s a powerful concept. 

Abandonment, Chaos and Blogs – Do You Care About the Comments? January 12, 2007

Posted by Ben Craigo in Blogging.

As Tony Karrer mentioned in his blog, reading your comment trail is a challenge and not everyone does it.  And he posed several questions:

a. Do you read comments?
b. Do you ever go back to a blog to see comments later?
c. Do you use a mechanism such as CoComment to track conversations?
d. Do you ever leave a comment and not come back to see what was said?

These are pretty important questions. 

Comments are what makes a good post GREAT.  Comments validate or tear down your arguments.  Comments are critical to the social networking aspect of blogging.  Comments give you perspectives you normally wouldn’t get exposed to.  Comments can direct and influence future conversation in a blog.

But keeping track of the breadcrumb trail you are leaving in the blogosphere can be a beast.  (more…)

Flash 9 Player May Cause LMS Havoc January 10, 2007

Posted by Ben Craigo in e-Learning Tools, Lessons Learned.
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Adobe Flash logoIf your e-Learning courses are Flash based, rolled in a SCORM wrapper and loaded into a Learning Mangement System (LMS) then you may be experiencing problems with your users who have been grabbing the latest version – Flash 9.  The reason is because of new security that restricts certain calls from Flash to the web page that called it. 

This could be bad news for you now.  Considering that Flash has an adoption rate of 80% within the first year of any release, this will definitely be bad news for many over the coming months. (more…)

ZoomIt – Free, Simple Tool to Improve Virtual Collaboration January 10, 2007

Posted by Ben Craigo in e-Learning Tools.

I read how to change your mouse into a screen pen over at Digital Inspiration and I’m a very happy person right now.  This is a must have tool to have for any e-Learning professional.  Basically it allows you to annotate whatever is on your screen. 

Here are a couple examples…

ZoomIt Example #1  ZoomIt Example #2