Friday, September 27, 2013

Mobile Learning: What to Know Before You Make the Leap

This post was originally published on the HumanCapitalist blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

Recently, I’ve had several clients ask about mobile learning. Everyone wants their learning and training content available everywhere. And why not? We use our mobile devices for just about everything — getting directions, finding a restaurant, reading the news, and even learning how to cook with chia seeds. So if we do all of these things with our mobile devices, why not take a training course, too?

Not so fast.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Simple Way to Write eLearning Quiz Questions

This post was originally published on the Daily Mindflash blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

There you are, sitting at your desk, trying to finish your eLearning course. You only have one more thing to do before it gets reviewed. Write a few quiz questions. The problem is that you are stuck. You don’t know where to start, so you scroll through each page of your course looking for questions to ask. You find a slide, write a quiz question, and then skip a few more slides looking for the next topic.

“Am I skipping important material to test?” you ask yourself. “How do I know if I am testing what is important?”

These are common questions among eLearning designers, and they can be easily solved with a simple system for writing quiz questions.

Here’s what you do.
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Do You Know Whether Your eLearning is Effective?

This post was originally published on the Daily Mindflash blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

Two questions any eLearning designer should ask when designing a course are, “How will I know if this eLearning course is effective and how will I define effective?” Certainly every professional, no matter what the field, is concerned about doing great work and knowing how he/she will know when that great work is achieved. A surgeon wants to know whether a procedure is effective. A mechanic wants to know whether a repair works. An eLearning designer wants to know whether a training course is effective.

In some fields the question is easy to answer and in others it is more difficult. If a surgical procedure is effective, the patient recovers. If a car repair is effective, the car operates properly.
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Friday, September 13, 2013

How Great Design (and Clear Purpose) Drives Great Social Learning

This post was originally published on the HumanCapitalist blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

As a lot of HR higher-ups hopefully know — but many others still don’t — nearly 80% of learning in organizations happens informally, not formally. Yet most organizations fail to get a handle on all of that knowledge-sharing and learning, despite having an array of cool new tools and apps at their fingertips today for knowledge management, performance support and enterprise social networking.

The challenge isn’t the technology; in my opinion, the real problem in ramping up informal learning is a lack of purposeful design.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

eLearning Design and the Fight Against Multi-Tasking

This post was originally published on the ServiceRocket blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

There are many problems with eLearning: poor design, boring topics, and a major underuse of evidence-based learning techniques. These examples are prevalent, but they center entirely on the design of an eLearning course. There are two sides to every coin, and no one talks about learner behavior as contributors to bad eLearning.

A conventional definition of bad eLearning is when a learner does not learn the material or apply what was learned. On this, we blame bad design. But what if someone doesn’t retain anything because they were checking email, listening to music, or shopping on eBay during the online course?

Ah, multi-tasking. The key to hyper-productivity and high performance, right?

Wrong.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How Learning Designers Can Overcome Writer’s Block

This post was originally published on the Daily Mindflash blog. Included here is the lead and a link to full post.

Writing a training course is not much different than writing a blog post, an article, or a book. At some point, you will need to sit down and just plain start writing. Anyone who creates any type of content has had to face the dreaded writer’s block. Even learning designers get to a point in which they are sitting at the computer staring at a blank screen, and asking themselves, “OK, what do I write now?”

We have all been there.

Much has been written about how to overcome writer’s block, but last week, I read one of the best lists for how to overcome it, and I wanted to share it with you. In 10 Rules for Writing First Drafts, Demian Farnworth presents a list for how to write first drafts. I found it so useful, I printed it and taped it up on my computer monitor rack for inspiration.
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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Let's Review: Five Most Popular Posts in August 2013

Ah, the dog days of summer are in full swing. The good news is that at least some of you are reading my blog. Thank you for reading. I appreciate it.

Here is an idea of what you were reading on The LXDesigner blog lately.

The five most popular posts in August.

Announcement and Four Reasons I Joined ServiceRocket
I started a new job this summer and instead of sending an email to people I knew, I decided to write a blog post. At least, now I know many of you read it.

Great Social Learning Requires Great Design
This post was published way back in March, but a few of you found it again. Social learning is a hot topic and people are not sure how to make it happen in their organizations. I think the model I present in this posts puts some structure on an inherently unstructured practice: social learning.

Experimenting with Theming My Days
Written in 2011, this remains one of my favorite blog posts. It also remains one of the most challenging aspects of managing my work. How to decided that types of things to work on from day-to-day.

Running an Ultramarathon and the Importance of Goals Despite the Unknown
I don't know if the goal setting angle attracted people to reading this post or whether it was the ultramarathon. Frankly, I don't care about the reason. This is good piece about setting goals when you have no idea how something might turn out.

Stanford Study Suggests Exercises First, Lecture Second
It is always rewarding when people read posts that are serious works and cite important research. I still think this study has potential to change the way we help people learn new software.