Archive for the ‘Designing Learning’ Category

Mobile: What is mLearning, Really? Part 2

June 16, 2013

Read Part 1 of this article…

There is a new term in web development that is directly relevant to delivering content onto a mobile device. That term is “responsive web”. This is a design approach that makes use of flexible layouts, images, and uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to adjust the look and feel of the content depending on the device. It essentially solves the design problems that occur when viewing the same content on screens of different sizes.
Think of all the possible screen sizes that exist. What you don’t want to have to do is develop different content for each possible option.

  • Desktop monitors
  • Laptop screens
  • Tablets (iPad, iPad mini, Kindle Fire, Android Tablets, Windows Surface, and so on)
  • Smart Phones (iOS, Android, and hybrid size phone/tablet or “phablet”)



Mobile: What is mLearning, Really Part 1

May 27, 2013

There are many new technologies that are starting to take hold within the Learning community. mLearning is interesting because it ties them together.

These technologies are:

  • Performance Support – This is a way of delivering content that is not specifically training, as we have referred to it. It brings information to your learners closer to the point of needing it – in the workflow.
  • Mobile Apps – These are the programs that run on the device.
  • Analytics (Experience API/Tin Can) – This tool allows you to identify who is using your content, when and where they are using it, and eventually provide you a better understanding of how learners are using your content.
    mLearning encompasses the use and delivery of these items.


Industry Tidbits

November 29, 2012

This blog post covers two items:
What is the most popular LMS and trends to watch for in 2013.


According to a report from Capterra, Moodle is the most popular learning management system in the world.

The list, measured by total customers, active users and overall online presence, lists the top 10 most popular LMSs. Rankings are also broken down by academic and corporate users.


Technique – Effectively Using Video

November 27, 2012

Research is proving that video is becoming more and more popular as a training tool. We are also seeing evidence that content retention is stronger from video than it is from just audio or text on the screen. With the newer rapid eLearning tools, such as Captivate 6, and camcorders on our devices and in tablets, it becomes very simple for any of us to create video.

However, as with any technique, just because something is easy to do doesn’t mean something is actually easy to do. Remember all the crazy transitions and animations in PowerPoint? Just because you have access to them doesn’t mean you should use them without a real purpose behind why you are using them.

Hollywood has been creating film and video for many decades and they know how to create effective productions (generally speaking). Let’s look to them as a model. The big key is to plan ahead and not just rush to shoot the video.


Elearning – Project Tin Can Will Potentially Change Learning

November 16, 2012

Like much of today’s learning, 90% of learning events occur  outside an eLearning course or in an instructor-led classroom event. They occur in an informal environment. Project Tin Can, the next iteration of SCORM, can capture and track these informal items as learning events.

What makes Tin Can so unique? It goes beyond the types of data we receive from traditional eLearning. It allows you to track activities you may have previously thought weren’t trackable.


Technology – Taking Advantage of “The Cloud”

October 28, 2012

Before we can even have a realistic conversation about taking advantage of cloud computing, we have to actually understand what this is.

Cloud technology, when applied to a learning organization offers:

  • Anywhere, anytime access to learning applications
  • Instant scalability to meet the size of your learner population
  • Seamless compatibility with social and collaborative platforms and tools

Cloud computing is essentially a series of hosted computing systems.


Learning Theory – The Margins of Learning Management: How to Keep Learning Indispensible

October 11, 2012

Author: T M Stafford, MS MA

One of the key issues that needs to be considered in adult learning is the balance between the load of life and the managing power that one feels he has to counterbalance the load that he finds himself under. Consider this as an example, when one is sick, immediately the load of life becomes overpowering to the person to the point that they can no longer function in the same way while under this new load. This forces the learner to make decisions about what is expendable in this situation so as to help balance out the weight of being sick. For different people this list of negotiables includes: (1) missing work, (2) visiting the doctor, (3) taking an over the counter medicine, (4) going back to bed and a host of other options that each person can sort through while considering the weight of the load.  Howard McClusky captures this scenario is his, Theory of Margin, where he shows that the fulcrum of balancing life is the key for the adult learner moves variably between the load of life and the power of life to counteract that load. There are several significant factors that are critical to understanding how this theory affect eh adult learner.


Webinars – Are we Due for a Redesign of Webinars?

September 9, 2012

We all have sat in or run a webinar. It might be WebEx, GoTo Meeting, LiveMeeting, or some other web conference tool. I bet you can describe the experience off the top of your head.

The event will last between 45 minutes and one hour. Half the registered attendees will show. Of those that participate, a large percentage of them will split their attention between what is being said, checking e-mail, working on a document, or surfing the internet. Much of the content will be a dry PowerPoint presentation. You might get lucky and have a poll or whiteboard involved.

  • Your organization probably uses webinars in one of these areas:
  • Compliance training – The goal is exposure to content
  • Blended Learning – This is usually a follow-up to a live or eLearning event
  • Corporate Communications – This usually allows opportunities for executives to interact with the workforce. This typically takes the form of a strategy change or a way to share more of the corporate culture.

As the economy has become worse, corporations looked for ways to cut travel costs. Today, in a distributed workforce, hosting and attending webinars is just a part of “how we do business”.

Here’s a novel idea…maybe we should consider redesigning how webinars work.

Let’s talk about a few ideas.


Learning Objectives – A Discussion of Bloom’s Taxonomy

July 23, 2012

How many of you create objectives that look like this?
“The learner will know how to format text.”

How do you test this? How do you know if a learner knows how to format text? What you really want to know is if the learner CAN format the text. They need to be able to apply the proper formatting if someone directs them to “italicize” and “center” a paragraph of text. You really don’t care if they can recite the steps to do this…you want them to do it. I have actually known peopel that “know” how to do lots of stuff, but can’t actually DO any of it. If they can, it isn’t very well. This is the issue with the DIY channels and Food channels. You can “know” how to do the stuff they show, but you probably aren’t “doing” much of it. This is also where “teaching to test” starts to come under fire – you are typically “knowing” or “understanding” rather than really comprehending, being able to apply, or analyze the information you “know”.

This post is going to discuss what Bloom’s Taxonomy is and share some objective key words you can use to steer your course development in the direction that meets this methodology.

Bloom’s Taxonomy has six cognitive objectives.

  1. Knowledge – Can the learner recall material they previously learned?
  2. Comprehension – Does the learner grasp the meaning of an idea? Can they restate it? Can they explain the idea?
  3. Application – Can the learner use the material they have learned in a new situation?
  4. Analysis – Can the learner separate the content into its separate parts and show a relationship between those parts?
  5. Synthesis – Can the learner put the separate ideas together and create a new whole, thus creating a new relationship between the parts?
  6. Evaluation – Can the learner judge the worth of material against some stated criteria?

As you can see, developing ideas around creating learning content is a lot more than just does someone know how to do something. Higher learning comes when you challenge a learner to take the idea they have learned and manipulate it in some way to create something new from that. Ever had to take content you just learned and re-explain it to someone new? You have to perform analysis, synthesis, and evaluate that content, rather than just recall it. This is the exact reason you learn content better when you have to share it with someone else.