Articles by Bill Brandon
The eLearning Guild's annual Learning Solutions Conference & Expo met in Orlando, Florida from March 13 to March 15, drawing a record number of participants. The Guild enhanced the program content and support in several innovative ways. Read the recap of the conference and expo here!
From the opening session yesterday, the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2013 is living up to the expectations that its tagline, “Maximizing Performance with Learning Technologies,” inspires. Over 1300 eLearning professionals are getting a comprehensive look at a broad range of topics and insightful presentations.
Learning Solutions Conference & Expo is one of the two largest and most successful gatherings in North America focused on technology-supported learning and performance (the other one is The eLearning Guild’s DevLearn in the autumn). Learning Solutions Conference & Expo returns to Orlando March 13 – 15, 2013. Read about it here to understand all that this outstanding event offers!
Change is the one feature of professional life that never changes, except to get faster. This is especially true for practitioners in eLearning, performance support, and talent management. How can you keep up with new delivery methods and systems, new learning and performance research information, and new development tools? Here are some ideas you can use.
This is an outstanding tutorial for Google+, or G+ for short. If you are new to G+ and feeling overwhelmed, this is your guide. If you don’t know anything about G+, Kawasaki’s book will provide the basics. If you weren’t impressed with G+ when you tried it right after launch, Guy will give you an updated appreciation for what the service offers.
The next target of disintermediation is diplomas, certifications, and other “official” records of learning, skills, and knowledge. A number of organizations are promoting a credentialing approach that awards “badges” directly to learners from providers. Learners can maintain and publicly display their badge portfolios independent of employers. Read about these new initiatives here.
eLearning design (and many authoring tools) may often support rote learning, recall of information, and acquisition of discrete skills, but not use of the information or skills to solve difficult problems, evaluate ideas, or settle arguments. Is there a way to use eLearning to develop or sharpen critical thinking skills? This article explores the question and suggests some answers.
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the new technologies coming into eLearning: mobile apps, 3-D virtual worlds, geolocation, MOOCs, new development tools, and on and on. But the value of any eLearning project rests on effective instructional design, not on technology. Twelve experts provide their top design tips in this eBook and in the upcoming Online Forum (February 21 – 22, 2013).
In her significantly updated and expanded edition of Teach Beyond Your Reach, Robin Neidorf provides new and experienced distance educators with best practices and examples, an overview of tools and platforms, and strategies for dealing with key issues. Read the review here!
While 2012 went by quickly, it didn’t seem too complicated. We can’t count on being so lucky with 2013–it’s likely to present tricky challenges. It will be a good year to craft a mixed learning and support strategy for your organization.
DevLearn 2012 was an incredible event. It capped a remarkable year of change with more professionals registered and attending (just short of 2000) than at any previous eLearning Guild conference. In this brief recap, we’ll try to give you a better sense of the excitement at the Aria last week. In this case, it’s important that what happened in Vegas, does NOT stay in Vegas!
The eLearning Guild's DevLearn Conference & Expo opened October 31 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event has attracted a record number of professionals and exhibitors, and this spotlight gives a few of the highlights from the first day.
Joe Harless, a huge influence for decades on the field of performance improvement, passed away on October 4. We pause a moment to reflect on the man and his contributions.
In thinking about the future, it often helps to hear the way that someone from outside the eLearning community sees the way ahead. At mLearnCon 2012, we asked angel investor Jason Calacanis some questions about the future of eLearning and recorded his answers in a short video. You’ll find his vision and insights extremely challenging!
Do you want to use video in your eLearning content, but don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on equipment, production, and post-production? Looking for help and ideas for short-form Web video? This is the book you need, written by an expert who has produced, edited, and hosted over 300 episodes of USA TODAY’s “Talking Tech” series.
What we really should be concerned about in producing eLearning is “habit formation.” At mLearnCon 2012, Dr. B. J. Fogg challenged us to rethink what we are doing if we are not creating habits in users and learners. He showed how he is using mobile and social technology to create “tiny habits.” In this video interview, Dr. Fogg explains more about the technique.
With the emergence of mobile devices and new understanding of the ways that people learn, performance support has become a “must-have” competence for instructional designers. What are the factors that led to this? Allison Rossett offers her insights.
Organizations need to know that when employees finish the eLearning or training that we provide, those employees can perform. That’s what performance support does: it looks beyond learning to on-the-job performance.
mLearnCon 2012, the largest mobile learning event in North America, opened June 19 to record attendance. The program and Expo featured important announcements, new products, and cutting- edge sessions from practitioners who have launched successful mLearning initiatives and from vendors with significant services and products. Here are the summary and links to social media from the event!
Mobile device adoption, especially for smartphones and tablets, is moving quickly from early adopters to the early majority. This is leading to a “BYOD” (bring your own device) mindset among workers and employers alike. BYOD is only a good thing for organizations that have a strategy in place. Here are the strategy elements you need to support mobile learning.
Mobile devices offer unique opportunities for supporting learning and performance. We asked Jeff Tillett for his thoughts on designing instruction for mobile delivery.
Enterprises today are increasingly “projectized” – life in many enterprises is a “hairball,” according to Karen Soskin, and project management is the tool that tames that hairball. It is important that those who manage and participate in eLearning development be able to integrate into this methodology. Soskin explains the rationale in this video interview.
Project management is a critical competency for anyone in charge of the creation of eLearning, but it is difficult to find good advice tailored for this world. Lou Russell has written a definitive, practical guide to applying project management principles to the challenges of learning design and development.
Some learning initiatives, whether eLearning, classroom, or blended, raise huge red flags for decision-makers because of expense, visibility, or strategic nature. Examples include programs dealing with leadership, onboarding or new hire, and sales, among others. In this video interview, Jeff Berk outlines best practices that apply in these cases.
“Gamification” is a relatively new buzzword in application design, including eLearning. Many designers and developers aren’t quite sure what it means, or how to apply the concept in their work. Brenda Enders gives you great insights in this interview.
The eLearning Guild has released the 2012 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation Report. Summary and links are here, along with a salary calculator you can use to compute and compare baseline salaries with your own situation.
In 2012, without a learning strategy (whether for their organizations or for themselves) and without a development strategy, professionals in the learning business (training, education, or what-have- you) will be seriously challenged by the most fundamental decisions. The key to strategy is context.
In his second book this year on mobile learning, Clark Quinn has produced a concise and very practical guide to its strategy and implementation for administrators, instructional support staff, and faculty in higher education. It will also be useful as a quick overview for executives in other kinds of organizations as well.
E-Learning by Design, published in October of this year, is an update to William Horton’s 2006 book. Horton has reorganized the content, and added excellent sections on games, social networking, and mobile technology. This is a book that belongs in your library.
DevLearn 2011 broke new ground in many ways: A new venue (Las Vegas), new themes, and on-site curation. Read about it here!
Older students in online education may not be as conversant with Web technology for learning, and younger students may not have the necessary study skills. Here is a review of a small book that tries to provide support for both groups. If you are an online educator, this resource may be worth considering as part of your orientation efforts.
Volume 2 of Patti Shank's The Online Idea Book is now available. Continuing with the approach she used in Volume 1 four years ago, Patti has updated the book with over 80 new ideas from practitioners in the field, covering new approaches to online learning, such as the use of social media, new tools, and other innovations such as Pecha Kucha.
Technology extends what we can do at work, at play, and in our careers. It also reorganizes relationships and culture. Designers who think effective use of mobile technology is just a matter of fitting learning content onto smaller screens, or who approach social media as just another learning delivery channel, may be missing the bigger picture. Here are some ideas to consider.
While User Interface (UI) guidelines help designers solve usability issues on Web sites, eLearning must satisfy a different set of needs in order to provide an effective experience for learners. This learner interface can be at odds with the UI requirements. The latest volume in Michael Allen’s e-Learning Library will guide you and your team safely through resolution of these conflicts.
The eLearning Guild's mLearnCon 2011 exemplified the growth in interest and practice in the mobile learning area, with over 50% more attending this year than last. Here is a very brief overview of what went on in San Jose June 20 to 23!
Consulting is not a career for everyone, but if you are making a change in that direction, it would be good to have reliable advice that will help you get started. Here's a review of a book that can be your guide.
As with his earlier editions of the e-Learning Annual, Michael Allen has identified the key controversies and trends affecting the use of technology to enrich the learning experience. Then he found almost three dozen experts to explore those topics. The result is a mother lode of ideas that will keep you busy for months.
Efforts to learn from our own experience, as a way to become better organizationally, have not always worked out in recent years. It’s hard work to collect, catalog, and access “lessons learned,” and all too often the process has been over-complicated and time-consuming. Here is a review of what may possibly be the best approach to date for this essential activity.
Success in business is the result of paying attention to and understanding the emotional and personal dimensions of our workplaces. This goes doubly for consulting, whether as an internal agent of change or an external advisor. Peter Block shows you how to get there.
Mobile learning (mLearning) is taking off on a growth trajectory unparalleled by anything that happened in the history of eLearning. Yet this is not an initiative that an organization should jump into without a plan. Here are some thoughts about strategy and some resources available to you in the next four weeks that you should consider.
This year’s Learning Solutions Conference & Expo offered an opportunity for an entirely different approach to enhance professional development and the advancement of learning. There was a hidden secret within the program – learn about it here.
The closing day of Learning Solutions 2011 was as full of opportunities to learn as the other two days of the conference. Those who did not have to leave early to catch a flight home were rewarded with an inspiring closing keynote.
The Learning Solutions Conference and Expo continued into a second exciting, learning-filled day. Here are some highlights and photos from yesterday and today.
The Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2011 opened today in Orlando, Florida, with a record number of participants in attendance. Here’s a quick look, including photos, at the pre-conference events and the opening morning.
The eLearning Guild has released a landmark salary and compensation report that includes data from e-Learning practitioners worldwide. Read here to learn how to obtain your free copy.
The eLearning Guild and LINGOs, co-sponsors of the second annual eLearning Global Giveback competition, have announced the ten finalists in two competition categories: Individual or Team of Developers, and Corporate Developer.
In this age of mobile devices, all of us in the learning field need to learn to think differently about what we do. Change is upon us, and Clark Quinn has produced a superb guide to help us meet the challenge of a strategic shift in our world.
Graphing calculators are an important learning tool for math instructors and for students, and these devices are steadily becoming more versatile. Casio has launched the first color graphing calculator, the PRIZM (fx-CG10). Here’s our review.
Experienced face-to-face presenters often have great difficulty learning to be effective in Webinars and other virtual presentation situations. If you have to teach managers, salespeople, and executives how to be compelling online presenters, this book is a great resource.
The New Year is underway with new acquisitions of e-Learning-related companies. Two important changes to the players took place in the first week of 2011.
Every year, we try to look ahead to what we might expect in the next 12 months. Every year, this gets more interesting and exciting. This year is no exception.
Gary Woodill, senior analyst at Brandon Hall Research, has contributed a new book to the slowly growing library of books on mobile learning, The Mobile Learning Edge. Here’s a review.
The DevLearn Conference & Expo, November 3-5 in San Francisco, was a great meeting for over 1,600 of your closest colleagues. Read about it here!
DemoFest is an annual contest at DevLearn during which dozens of conference participants show off their latest and greatest development efforts, and other conference attendees vote for the ones that they judge the best.
ADL will soon begin a new initiative to focus on design, rather than on architecture, to spur innovation in learning technology, and to support community-oriented and mobile experiences. SCORM will continue to be supported.
The eLearning Guild’s DevLearn 2010 Conference and Expo opened today in San Francisco, with well over 1600 attending. Here is a summary of the first day.
As organizations adopt social media for corporate communications and marketing, e-Learning pros will need to help managers and executives learn about it. Here is a textbook that may help.
With the impending launch of Android-based tablets, as well as the rumored arrival of the iPad 2.0, mobile learning will experience additional growth in 2011. Here are the resources you need in order to be ready.
One of the current big questions for many instructional designers and their managers is, “What about social media? Can Twitter, Facebook, and the like deliver and support learning?” Jane Bozarth shows you how in this new book.
Taleo Corporation, a leader in on-demand talent management solutions, has announced its intention to acquire Learn.com, Inc., a provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) learning management, social learning, and collaboration solutions.
Adoption and use of social networking by younger workers, who will soon be managers and supervisors, is growing rapidly. How can you leverage this technology to ensure they are ready for their new duties?
Representatives from the most influential standards organizations in the e-Learning industry will meet September 7 and 8, 2010, to discuss harmonization issues of the various Computer Managed Instruction (CMI) specifications.
Trivantis Corporation has released Lectora Inspire, which adds screen capture, screen recording, and Flash animation technologies to the company’s flagship tool.
Little more than a year after release as a “preview,” Google Wave has gone flat. Google announced this afternoon that it is shutting down development of the communication tool as a standalone product.
Blackboard Inc. announced late today that it is acquiring Elluminate and Wimba, leading providers of synchronous and collaboration technology. The teams from the three companies will combine to form Blackboard Collaborate, a standalone platform.
What do you get when over 400 people meet in San Diego to review the state of the art in mobile learning? You get mLearnCon: a mind-expanding week of information, resources, viewpoints, and insights.
Social software provider Mzinga has launched the OmniSocial Summer 2010 release, the latest update to its enterprise-class social software. OmniSocial now provides support for onboarding, communication and collaboration, learning and development, performance and career development, innovation, and recruitment and retention.
In a 90-minute session this morning, Apple unveiled the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0. This, after the iPad launch, was one of the most-anticipated announcements of 2010 so far, and thousands “attended” from around the world by watching live blogging feeds and Twitter. But what does the new mobile operating system mean for mLearning? Here are our thoughts.
This year, The eLearning Guild’s Annual Gathering made an evolutionary morph, becoming Learning Solutions 2010. This reflects the continuing evolution of The Guild itself, to a broader perspective on learning and on the ways that technology can support it.
In organizations that use more than one authoring tool, managing review of e-Learning projects can be a real challenge. Here is a just-released Web-based tool that supports collaborative review of courses authored in Articulate, Captivate, Lectora, and ProForm.
After months of speculation and much hype and punditry, Apple launched the iPad today at a Special Event. Is it a device that will change civilization as we know it? Is it doomed to failure? Here is our fearless assessment!
Google Wave, still in limited Preview, continues to advance in capability, becoming more user-friendly. “Undo/Redo” became available for editing in December, and now two new features, “Read-only” capability and “Restore from Playback,” make it possible to control user input and discussion drift.
Mobile learning (m-Learning) has been the topic of discussion and speculation for almost a decade. We are finally at the threshold of seeing practical applications of mobile technology for learning. Here’s the latest news.
Book Review: Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds: Strategies for Online Instruction by Clark Aldrich(1/4/10)
Clark Aldrich has produced a great guide to the selection, justification, and development of Highly Interactive Virtual Environments. Readers will find it useful, whether they are new to design of such applications or highly experienced.
Every year at this time, we gaze into the crystal ball to see what the next 12 months may bring for e-Learning design, development, and management. This year is no different.
Each year, DevLearn gets better, and this year was no exception. Over 1,300 people attended this premiere event in the e-Learning community of practice, and all went home tired, happy, and with expanded horizons and much larger professional networks. Read all about it here!
Google Wave has generated much discussion among educators and trainers in the last five months, as the potential of this communication platform has begun to be known. Learn what the status of Wave is, where its current strengths and weaknesses are, and how it may be useful in the design, development, delivery, and management of e-Learning.
Employee Engagement: A Roadmap for Creating Profits, Optimizing Performance, and Increasing Loyalty, by Brad Federman(9/14/09)
E-Learning is only one element in the broad field of human performance improvement. There are many other factors that affect business results, and almost all of them affect employee engagement. This is a book that will help you find the key to unlocking engagement in your organization, as a complement to learning.
Visual Language for Designers: Principles for creating graphics that people understand, by Connie Malamed(8/10/09)
How to design visuals that will totally engage your learners and add value to your e-Learning applications!
Writers of books on instructional strategy have seldom addressed the design of online curriculum for professional and non-profit associations. A new book by Ellen Behrens has corrected that oversight, and the result is an outstanding contribution that may belong in your library even if you don’t work for an association!
Most designers and managers, and many developers, do not have unlimited time to become familiar with every authoring tool in existence. This week’s book review presents a resource that will help you hit the ground running in a hurry, in four essential environments. This one belongs on your shelf!
Book Review: e-Learning 2.0: Proven Practices and Emerging Technologies to Achieve Real Results by Anita Rosen(6/22/09)
Sometimes, if you are just starting out in e-Learning, or if you want to keep projects simple (because your world is already complicated enough), all you need is a little basic guidance. If that describes your situation, this is the book for you!
Pfeiffer has published the second in a series of Annuals edited by Michael Allen. This is an essential reference for e-Learning professionals who are interested in the most current thinking about instructional design and management.
Hundreds of e-Learning professionals met in Orlando, Florida for The eLearning Guild’s Annual Gathering 2009 Conference & Expo. This week’s article summarizes the conference for those who could not be there. We hope to see you at DevLearn 09 in November!
In 2009, recession will shape the e-Learning world far more than technology developments. The trends will be simple and few in number, although that will not make them easy to deal with. Here's a look at what may be the three big trends, and tips for dealing with them.
When the economy takes a turn for the worse, all organizations tighten their belts and adjust their priorities. This includes e-Learning activities. While the situation is serious, there are many things that managers can do to ensure that online learning supports corporate strategy and direction in a recession. Here are some of the things you should be thinking about.
The learning economy is changing, as social software on the Web becomes more widespread and more accepted. Employees are becoming “prosumers” – producers and consumers of information, and the role of instructional designers could change dramatically. Demographics are shifting; companies are downsizing, and the need to capture expertise has never been greater. A leader shares his thoughts.
DevLearn is always an exciting, fully-packed event. DevLearn 2008 was no exception, with the Adobe Learning Summit and Training Magazine’s Technology in Action conference-within-a-conference thrown in for good measure. This article presents a summary of the conference, with many links to videos and other content for those who could not be there.
As we began 2008, the Editor looked ahead to see whether there were forces at work that would affect how we produce and deliver e Learning. Here are the nine trends he thought would significantly affect e-Learning in 2008.
DevLearn 2007 was one for the record books, with more attendees, a significantly larger Expo, more presenters, and more in-depth coverage of what our colleagues are doing. We present the highlights of the conference for your enjoyment.
Here are three examples of ways in which practitioners are employing virtual worlds in their organizations’ learning strategies. The key realization for all three designers was that in the virtual world we are not bound by traditional ways of doing things. This article will help you find the potential that awaits your online learning efforts.
Simulation and immersive training are topics of great interest in e-Learning today, but many practitioners believe the cost and the effort are too great to permit any but the largest companies to use those methods. Second Life offers a flexible, low-cost environment for building simulations, and it presents few, if any, barriers to entry.
Almost 1,000 people participated in the Guild’s 2007 Annual Gathering held in Boston April 10 to 13 — over 30% growth in attendance from last year! Participants benefited from more than 100 content-rich sessions and lots of opportunity to network with their e-Learning peers. Here's a summary of the event!
The eLearning Guild is completing five years as a community of practice. It seems like a good time to review what you, the members, have accomplished to date, and to look forward to the next five years.
In e-Learning, we place a great amount of attention on the design process, and far less attention on the production processes. While design is required to solve performance problems, it’s the production process where the rubber meets the road. Here’s a fresh look at production, with an eye toward process engineering, and with a list of resources that may help you deliver better e-Learning faster.
What do you get when you bring six of the top e-Learning experts on stage and ask them to respond to tough questions from 500 conference participants? You get wisdom and insight, you get good advice, you get the benefit of years of experience — and you get a range of ideas, disagreement, friendly jibes, and a very entertained audience.
E-Learning designers must often make decisions without all the information they would like to have. Research, however, offers many leads to methods that can support designers in this situation. While these ideas can be overwhelming in their numbers and specifics, this article provides five guidelines that are the keys to effective application of what we know about how people learn.
Closing the Loop in e-Learning Development: How to reconnect instructional design and project management(10/11/04)
This is the first in a series of columns that address the relationship between the generic life cycle of e-Learning and the documented processes of project management. The focus of this article is a high-level overview of ADDIE, the generic life cycle description applied to traditional learning materials, and on the generic project management life span. This will include highlighting key concepts.
If you’ve spent years learning to use Instructional Systems Design processes to create e-Learning, the slight anarchy inherent in constructivist design may leave you feeling a little dizzy. Before you decide that constructivism has nothing to offer your organization, read this article to get a more complete perspective on the techniques and the resources available. You’ll be glad you did!
One of the most vital questions in e-Learning is seldom asked, and yet many of us build careers on somebody else’s answer about how people learn. The problem is that there is more than one answer, and people have a hard time with that idea. In this article, you will begin to discover the details of some surprising new answers to this ancient question.
Many e-Learning designers are interested in ways to accommodate the differences between individual learners. Some avenues to do this may exist in human learning styles, if the designer knows about them and can find a way to bring them into the design strategy. Read this summary for an overview of the issues, the theories, and some solutions that you can use in your own projects.
The handoff from design to production is a critical transition in e-Learning development, yet it is difficult to find ready-made tools to support it. The result is that work must often be re-done, budgets and schedules are missed, and sometimes the final product is not everything the designer intended. Storyboards are the “magic arrow” in the development process.
It’s important for e-Learning efforts to support fundamental business objectives. At the same time, e-Learning design teams often hurry past the early steps in the instructional design model. Yet these are the exact steps that connect learning with business strategy. This article shows you, step-by-step, what to do to become central to your organization’s efforts to achieve its objectives!
In e-Learning development, evaluation of the product is the final step of the process, and the one that is most often overlooked or shortchanged. While there are many reasons for this, a leading problem is that many project managers simply do not have an evaluation plan. Here are some steps to include in your evaluation to systematically improve the quality of your e-Learning!
Flash is widely used for e-Learning development, and yet its power is seldom fully tapped. Believing that expert’ insights, tips, and tricks can be a valuable resource, we have interviewed five top Flash designers and asked them to spill all. If you always wanted to know how experts use Flash, these interviews may help!
Learners face two challenges: learning and forgetting. Designs for e-Learning tend to concentrate on making learning efficient. There is a simple technique for making sure that e-Learning also reduces forgetting, and this article explains what it is and when to use it. This expert approach can make your e-Learning truly memorable!
We all have projects where the turkeys come to roost. A product has been developed and will be launched next week, and we are asked to come up with online training for the sales team by Monday.
The user interface is easy to take for granted, but it is the largest single influence on the learner’s experience. The quality of that experience has a tremendous effect on the success of your courseware. What can you do to ensure a trouble-free interface for your e-Learning application? Here are a few ideas.
One striking idea that might help organize curriculum development is knowledge half-life. This is a simple notion with large potential impact on learning delivery. Here are some ideas that may help you manage delivery depending on whether half-life is long or short for a given set of knowledge.
Images included in e-Learning applications have a profound effect on the learner’s 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.