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Sessions in Instructional Design Track
Consumer experiences with YouTube, Snapchat, Netflix, console games, and virtual and augmented reality are shaping demand for a new generation of corporate digital learning. How do you develop a generation of learners who may have spent more time with video games than in school? How do you leverage the explosion of screens and devices to change behavior? How can augmented and virtual reality bring immersion, engagement, and presence to new levels?Read More
On the footsteps of the dot-com and Y2K craze, the first web-based learning management system (LMS) OLAT debuted in 1999 as a free, open-source platform to support adult learning. It was also the same year that TiVo and Unix were released, Napster was sued by the music industry, and Amazon.com became the leading seller of books. In the almost 20 years since “LMS” entered the vernacular of learning professionals, much has changed in technology and the world at large. However, the LMS remains the central learning technology of any organization. L&D is long overdue for a change.Read More
Creating great online learning experiences for Americans with disabilities involves more than just adhering to US government Section 508 standards. The ability for people to navigate learning management systems (LMSs) efficiently, find course content quickly, and consume learning material goes beyond supporting screen readers alone. One strong approach is to focus on user experience (UX) design. Good UX design tactics will not only expand the accessibility of your content but also benefit all your users. Best of all, good UX design can simplify your content.Read More
Microlearning is everywhere. Your clients or L&D leaders may be pressuring you to use it everywhere. For everything. Oh, and by the way, for cheap. But when should it be used—and when should it not be used? Microlearning is a small and powerful tool, but it may not be the answer to every learning dilemma.Read More
In many cases, the conceptual part of the instructional design process is neglected. Designers don’t have time; they don’t have tools; they don’t know how to ideate learning solutions in an efficient way. As a result, they end up with a routine solution aligned tightly with their own knowledge, skills, biases, and comfort zone. It is very hard to design great training based on such an approach.Read More
When you visualize abstract ideas, you make the ideas easier for people to understand. When you use visual metaphors, you make content seem familiar. An important skill in L&D is the ability to make meaning through visuals—and diagrams, charts, graphs, and timelines can help.Read More
Do you struggle daily with learner engagement, system adoption, and the high cost of learner support? Modern HR and learning systems are not configured out of the box to meet your user experience needs, and adding a pretty landing page won’t solve the real problems. Would you like to know how to solve this dilemma?Read More
Video is an integral part of online learning and training strategies. But could you be getting more out of your video content? Without captions, video is inherently inaccessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing users. But are all of your learners missing out if you don’t have captions on your videos? Can learning be improved when captions and searchable video are introduced into the classroom?Read More
A carefully executed eLearning scenario can pull people into a real-world application of new concepts and skills. Yet it’s rare that instructional designers have the time to create immersive scenarios with complicated branching and feedback. Under a tight deadline to redesign an online course in practical ethics, Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences still wanted to give students practice making realistic decisions before they began working with real patients.Read More
Adults learn by doing what they’re being taught. As a virtual trainer, it’s your job to get them “doing.” But sometimes you may find your audience multitasking instead of engaging with the content, and as a result, their learning suffers. How can you keep people actively “doing” within the confines of your virtual platform?Read More
Designing learning for a global workforce is challenging at the best of times. However, when you factor in that this learning must be virtual, mobile ready, and accessible to over 80,000 employees, the challenge becomes substantially more complex. This is the dilemma SAP faced when asked to develop a global diversity and inclusion program for its employees to boost awareness of the value of an inclusive work environment.Read More
Leadership development programs come in numerous shapes and sizes. At many companies, though, logistical constraints limit the scope of these programs to just employees at headquarters, which limits the opportunity for people at other locations to build their leadership skills. World Wide Technology wanted to open its leadership program to employees who were located in remote offices. But how could the company give these employees the same learning experience as those at headquarters?Read More
eLearning has a satisfactory set of options if your goal is information delivery or procedural training, but what about creating meaningful eLearning for complex skill development or for the not-so-procedural kinds of problems that show up more and more in the workplace? What about creating learning for those situations where your SME can’t tell you what good performance looks like except to say, “Well, you know it when you see it”?Read More
Have you ever watched a really engaging web-based conference session and wondered, “How’d they do that?” When slides or polls appear or videos pop up and play automatically, it’s not magic! There’s a person behind every action who must click, type, or drag to make things happen. And learning how to use these features when you run your own webinars is surprisingly easy.Read More
The accessibility standards in Section 508 are changing. That means if you provide learning technologies or services to a federal agency, or even use Section 508 as your organization’s guidelines for accessibility, you’ll need to ensure your eLearning and other digital content meets the updated standards. But do you know what those new standards are, when they’re changing, and how to best design for them?Read More
There is some debate about whether personas (or learner profiles, as they’re more commonly known in L&D) are a help or a hindrance. Some argue that personas can end up being a representation of what designers wish their users were like, rather than a true reflection of the users, or that they create distance between designers and users. But others push back on this idea, stating that—when used thoughtfully—personas can increase your empathy for the people you’re designing for, allowing you to keep your work tightly focused on the real needs of your audience and to craft the most effective experiences for them.Read More
The cost of copyright confusion can affect every stage of the development and delivery process. How much does fear or avoidance inform your decision-making when it comes to finding and using online media? Have you missed out on using fabulous free resources because you weren’t (or your organization wasn’t) sure whether you had the rights to use them? Have you seen others accidentally infringe on someone else’s work because of a misunderstanding about fair use? Copyright can seem like a daunting or boring topic to learn—but it doesn’t have to be.Read More
Organizational learning is increasingly becoming a blend of multiple assets from a wide variety of resources. How do you combine YouTube videos, a learning vendor course, an SME white paper and PowerPoint, an internal presentation recording, conference proceedings, and other resources into an effective learner experience that you can track and report on? The simple answer is to use a learning stack with a content aggregation front end. But what does that mean?Read More
Some of the most forward-leaning companies have embraced hackathons to promote innovation. A hackathon is an event where, within a finite amount of time, creatives get together in small teams to design, build, and demo a new product or feature. But how do you get people involved? How do you run a hackathon if you have never done it before? What if you don’t have 24 to 48 hours to run one?Read More
How can you help learners feel connected during asynchronous experiences? How can you tailor a standard eLearning experience in a way that makes it feel personalized? How can orientation be standardized without losing its impact? Could you, in your wildest dreams, imagine your compliance eLearning courses being completed by word of mouth and recommendations alone?Read More
At IBM, learning content and delivery strategy must adjust to meet rapidly changing technology, job roles, and learner needs. With cloud-based solutions and software-as-a-service, the need for new formats, new methodologies, and continuous learning has grown. Instructional designers have become learning experience architects, helping orchestrate the massive amount of learning content for IBM clients and providing a more personalized learning solution.Read More
Virtual learning sessions can be engaging ways to reach a wide and dispersed audience, but the skills you need to successfully plan and produce them are distinctly different from those you need for in-class sessions or other learning experiences. When planning to adopt virtual classroom platforms for learning sessions, successful organizations need a clear idea of what management, design, delivery, and technical issues to consider.Read More
Many instructional designers and trainers are stuck in the rut of event-driven learning, whether that means eLearning courses, face-to-face sessions, or virtual training sessions. You probably know that varied, spaced learning delivers better results, but many people find it hard to put this into action.Read More
Many people have helpful information to share with others, but the idea of writing a book can seem overwhelming. Even if the writing itself is something you are confident about, the “getting published” part can be difficult. Working with major publication companies is challenging and takes a lot of time; by the time a published book gets out into the world, some information might even be out of date!Read More
Onboarding shouldn’t be an impersonal and disconnected experience. But today’s workforce is diverse and often dispersed globally, making it difficult for new employees to feel connected. At HDR, an engineering firm, new employees felt isolated and unable to make meaningful connections during onboarding. The result was a lack of engagement and motivation to complete required training. HDR needed a way to build connectivity and accountability into learning and onboarding.Read More
Communities of practice (CoPs) have become a hot topic in the past few years. They are an excellent tool for developing skills, sharing tacit knowledge, and shoring up retention of high-performing staff. But they differ from teams and other types of groups in many ways. Understanding what CoPs are and how they work—rather than just looking at how to create and manage them—is critical to supporting their success.Read More
As an eLearning developer or instructional designer, you want your projects to be done faster and look better, all while you have less time and budget at your disposal. Using templates is a very attractive option, but you don’t want your course to look like something “off the shelf.”Read More
A large amount of research in recent years has explored the value that music has for the brain and learning. Everyone has experienced it in some way, be it from listening to music while studying, learning something from a catchy song, or learning to play an instrument.Read More
The former state of onboarding for investment professionals lacked content and delivery flexibility in order to meet the needs of many variables in the onboarding process. The new program provides flexibility to allow for optimal learning effectiveness in moving the new associates to productivity as rapidly as possible.Read More
Find the sweet spot of learner engagement by combining the bite-sized power of microlearning with the motivating effect of digital badges. By chunking your content to create microlearning-style tutorials and using digital badges to reward learners and mark their achievements, you will increase learner persistence and success in your online courses!Read More
Your client has just asked you to design an engaging eLearning course. The content will be a challenge, which you like. You quickly come up with a vision for the course: interactive, applicable, fun. You know instantly this course will be your showpiece, an award winner. Then the client says, “We need it to be accessible.” Your dream is dashed as you anticipate extra work and no engagement. But it doesn’t have to be that way!Read More
L&D professionals work hard to create great training and are disappointed when employees fail to learn. It may be tempting to blame the students, but L&D efforts usually fail because they don’t understand the mind of the learner. As a result, you may build training modules that are not consistent with the brain’s natural means of acquisition. Teaching can be more effective once you understand how the learner’s mind operates.Read More
Why do you do what you do? Who are you trying to train, and why should they be there? The answer goes way beyond corporate compliance or skill-building initiatives. The answer lies deep beneath the surface in the hearts and minds of the people you are trying to train. But how do you find out what motivates them and how to help them succeed?Read More
Microlearning is a popular topic. But, while people are clamoring for it, the industry has not really defined it. Worse yet, the concept seems to shift depending on who you talk to. Is it short content? Does it require repetition? Do you need technology? Without a consistent understanding of the concept, L&D risks turning microlearning into yet another short-lived trend that fails to help people do their jobs better.Read More
It’s hard enough to get learners to engage with the content of your eLearning course. This issue is compounded even further when learners can’t figure out how to use the course in the first place. All too often, new eLearning designers put their focus solely into designing the learning content while ignoring the interface it’s encapsulated in.Read More
Historically, adult learning has been about facts. People are experts at filling their brains with facts, but sometimes they forget about relevancy, recall, usability, and impact. How can you design learning that speaks to the “whole learner”? How can you make a dramatic impact and ensure effective performance outcomes?Read More
All education organizations struggle to work within the triple constraint: quality, cost, and time. When adding additional resources or extending a deadline is not an option, designers can be faced with sacrificing the quality of the product in order to stay within the project’s limitations. When faced with this dilemma, maximizing your design-per-minute ratio is key.Read More
In today’s world, the first answer to every challenge seems to be a meeting. You hold meetings to talk about meetings, and then you schedule follow-up meetings. But how productive are you in those conversations, and are you really solving problems? Are you optimizing your time and ability to collaborate? Does everyone have a voice at the table?Read More
Regardless of your job title, if you’re working in the eLearning field, particularly in a production capacity, you need an eLearning portfolio. Why do you need an eLearning portfolio? Because it will work for you! Portfolios allow you to focus on the things you really enjoy doing, while potentially funneling prospective clients to your inbox.Read More
You know that it’s best to gather feedback from stakeholders early and often. But you also may have experienced times when inviting stakeholders to review early versions of your work made it difficult for projects to stay within scope, on schedule, and on budget.Read More