Bill Brandon is the editor of Learning Solutions. His experience in the learning and development field goes back to 1968, and in e-Learning to 1984. He has developed and managed e-Learning in a variety of environments, from mainframes to desktops to online. Bill lives near Dallas and works from his home office.
Hundreds attended the latest eLearning Guild conference in Austin at the beginning of June. FocusOn Learning continues the tradition of Guild conferences by providing leading-edge content in a highly interactive and engaging environment.
Learning Leaders: An Interview with Jane Bozarth April 21, 2016
Dr. Jane Bozarth became a Guild Master at DevLearn 2013, and many readers know her for her column, “Nuts and Bolts,” in this magazine. We asked her about her favorite topics, about where she sees our profession going, and about how to thrive in the face of constant change. Enjoy the conversation and her insights!
Four Kinds of Work, Three Kinds of Learning March 31, 2016
The natures of work and of the workplace are evolving rapidly in response to some very specific forces. This brief article looks at one possible outcome of this evolution, presents some key concepts about three types of learning, and suggests a challenge this presents to us as learning practitioners.
Book Review: Learning to Succeed, by Jason Wingard March 30, 2016
Learning to Succeed explores the relationship between corporate strategy, operational planning, and human capital development. It is a high-level guide to gaining business advantage through corporate learning and development, and it demonstrates how to maximize continuous returns on investment.
So This Happened at Learning Solutions and Ecosystem 2016 March 24, 2016
Hundreds of eLearning professionals attended the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo and Ecosystem this year in Orlando, Florida. Find out what the conference offered, and why people attend every year as a “can’t miss” event!
Learning Leaders: An Interview with Chad Udell March 15, 2016
This is our first interview in a series where we interview leaders in the field of eLearning. We start with Chad Udell, a Guild Master recognized for his accomplishments in mobile learning and in design of systems to leverage the power of technology.
"Social learning" is about more than using social media to support collaboration and learning. It goes beyond how people use Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and other media. Here are some research-based tips to guide you to leveraging the technology infrastructure and social learning to bring about behavioral change and desired results.
The industrial-age model of instruction is working less and less well as traditional ways of working evolve and as technology facilitates self-determined learning. There are, however, more effective ways to learn that make use of that technology. Here are two powerful concepts that look to the present day and to the future!
Resources: Planning, Focus, and Engagement January 21, 2016
In the face of ongoing, even disruptive, change, where should you focus in 2016? How can you engage and challenge learners more effectively? Here are solid best practices and fresh advice to guide you!
In more and more professions, employees struggle to keep up with advances in knowledge and practice, and we are not doing enough of the right things to help them in that effort. Essentially, learning is in a race with technology, and it is losing. In order to address the situation, here is a suggestion for reframing what we in L&D do.
Four Resources for 2016 Learning Technology Planning January 7, 2016
Last week’s feature gave a high-level overview of technologies and areas of practice that can change your business and the position of learning and development in your organization. This article links to deeper dives into three of the topics in that feature and into ways to keep up with change.
Learning Support Technologies in 2016 December 28, 2015
Here are the trends that will make a difference to your success in 2016.
Two Resources for Managers for 2016: Map Your Learning Architecture and Drive Cultural Change December 23, 2015
Managing Learning and Development will be even more challenging in 2016, due to the additional options for creation and delivery of learning, and the cultural changes arising outside of L&D. Here are two examples of ways to meet some of these difficult situations.
Disruption, Hype, and Utility: Road Hazards for 2016 December 21, 2015
This isn’t a “crystal ball” vision that absolutely predicts what will happen in 2016, but it does point out two disruptive technologies that will definitely affect us in the learning field, and it offers suggestions to help you evaluate technologies you may be thinking about adopting.
Five Resources for Understanding and Leveraging Informal Learning December 9, 2015
Is dealing with informal learning like trying to catch lightning in a bottle? We know that informal learning is important to performance, but it’s a moving target and we don’t always understand it very well. Here are three articles, a research report, and an Online Forum that may help you to get a handle on workplace learning.
Three Archived Presentations on the Use of Social Learning December 3, 2015
The use of social technology as part of organizational learning strategy is a popular topic with readers of Learning Solutions Magazine. Here are three session recordings from the November 2015 Online Forum on using social technology.
New Content from The eLearning Guild: Online Events and DemoFest November 25, 2015
These links to recent content in the Guild archives were hand-picked for you by the Guild staff. We hope you find them useful!
In Memoriam: Jay Cross November 11, 2015
Jay Cross, called by many “the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning,” passed away on November 6, 2015.
These resources include mLearning hacks, strategies for designing virtual classroom events that ensure learning occurs, presentations of the winning DemoFest entries in 2015, and an eBook of tips from the DevLearn thought leaders. Enjoy!
Five Awesome Resources for eLearning Designers, Developers, and Project Managers (and a Raffle!) October 20, 2015
Everybody wants to impress learners and clients. Project managers want to handle the “how-much-time-will-this-take” question in a way that creates clarity and confidence. Designers and developers want to deliver content and media that engages. Here are five great tips that you can use on your next project!
DevLearn 2015 Recap: Innovation in the Making October 14, 2015
Over 2,800 eLearning professionals attended DevLearn this year, making it the largest gathering to date in The eLearning Guild’s history. Read about the award winners and find out how to see many of the presentations from the conference!
Five More Tips for Designers to Kick Off October October 8, 2015
There’s more to creating engaging eLearning than just writing learning objectives and knowing how to use authoring software. People appreciate and respond to a good story, an unexpected surprise, or an eLearning design that gets their attention. Here are five tips that will help you achieve those results.
Games and gamification are gaining increasing attention as ways to support and enhance learning, but it can be difficult to find good advice to guide their design. Fortunately, The eLearning Guild has many resources to help you out. Here are five of them.
Tips: LMS and Analytics, Game Design, Mobile Performance Support, Interactive Webinars! October 1, 2015
Do you get full value from your Guild membership? The eLearning Guild event archives, the Research Library, and other curated information is loaded with useful professional information you won’t find anywhere else. Come take a look at four examples!
Five Resources for eLearning Developers: Little Tricks September 30, 2015
An interactive checklist, mobile authoring, animated GIF creation, a spreadsheet template for quality assurance, and how to be your own voice-over artist. Maybe not something for every project, but you never know when you will need one of these. Put them in your toolkit!
Four Resources for SMAC Technologies: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud September 23, 2015
Our colleagues in the IT department began talking about SMAC technologies several years ago, and slowly these have been making their way into instructional design and development. Here are four selections from The eLearning Guild archives for your consideration.
Three Tutorials, a Case Study, and a Fun Infographic: Guild Links September 16, 2015
Useful techniques for PowerPoint, Articulate Storyline, and Adobe Captivate, plus using scenario-based exams to better prepare tech-support and help-desk teams, and a fun little infographic on work life.
Five Resources: Tips for Strategic LMS Challenges September 15, 2015
Learning management systems have been important for learning in many organizations for years, and they continue to be important as new technologies appear. However, there are new strategic questions that affect LMS selection and use. Here are five resources from The eLearning Guild’s archives that will provide examples and ideas that may match your challenges!
Book Review: Visual Design Solutions, by Connie Malamed September 10, 2015
Connie Malamed has authored a new companion to her earlier book, Visual Language for Designers. This new book will give you all you need to create visuals for your eLearning with “production values” that will set it apart, head and shoulders above the rest. Learn (some would say “steal”) from the best. This book is that best.
Professional Development Tips from The eLearning Guild September 3, 2015
The eLearning Guild offers more opportunities and resources for your professional development than can be easily counted, but here are 21 of them (maybe more than that) for your consideration.
Ten Resources: Getting Started with the Experience API and LRSs September 2, 2015
Over the last year, the Experience API (xAPI or Tin Can) has come into its own, with many organizations implementing it as a key part of their eLearning practice. Here are 10 resources, from the archives and from the upcoming DevLearn 2015 Conference, that will help you follow in their footsteps.
Membership at paid levels in The eLearning Guild gives you free access to hundreds of resources in our expanding collections! This article will introduce you to some of these resources and help you learn how to use the collections. This week you will find links to a graphic design technique, mobile learning strategy, professional competency insights, and gamification techniques.
Improving and expanding your skills is always a worthwhile investment! Regardless of your specific job title, level of experience, responsibilities, or organizational setting, the Guild Academy offers a broad range of educational opportunities that will help you master career-critical skills and knowledge.
New Content Links from The eLearning Guild (August 18, 2015) August 18, 2015
New links to great content from The eLearning Guild, including a live event (requires registration). Other links to three videos: building your organization’s mobile strategy, tips for dealing with text shrink, and a DemoFest presentation on sales- staff training.
New Content Links from The eLearning Guild (August 13, 2015) August 13, 2015
New links to some of the latest content offered through The eLearning Guild. This week: curated industry content; tips on hot topics; creating depth and perspective; instructor-led delivery entirely by smartphone; and video for cutting-edge performance support.
New Content Links from The eLearning Guild (August 6, 2015) August 6, 2015
New links to some of the latest and greatest content offered through The eLearning Guild. This week: picking an authoring tool for mobile learning, designing mobile learning user interfaces, an authoring tool comparison, and creating a 3-D effect in PowerPoint.
In some organizations, leaders have not yet understood that mobile devices—specifically, smartphones—can play an important part in development of employee skills and performance. Here is an article, a couple of videos and handouts, and a set of case studies that you may find helpful in preparing to make your case.
New Content Links from the Guild (July 29, 2015) July 29, 2015
New links to some of the latest and greatest content offered through The eLearning Guild. This week: comic book- style animation (a DemoFest winner), learner motivation, PowerPoint improvement, shooting steady-smartphone video, lessons learned for MOOCs, and lots of links!
New Content Links from the Guild for July 23, 2015 July 23, 2015
This spotlight series offers links to some of the latest and greatest content from The eLearning Guild. This week: A winning DemoFest presentation; picking an authoring tool for mobile applications; tips for "must have" video gear and for music; and David Kelly's recommended articles and blog posts from all over the World Wide Web.
Six Resources: Audio Recording for eLearning July 22, 2015
Audio—in other words, sound—is a key sensory element in eLearning productions. In a good production, audio can engage learners, it can add to the information the learners receive, and it can provide important cues. There are many resources in The eLearning Guild’s archives to help you include audio in your productions. Here are six examples.
Scripts are an important, make that vital, part of creating effective video. Unfortunately, most eLearning designers never receive any training in how to write a script that works! Here are six outstanding resources from the Guild archive that will help you put together professional, effective scripts.
Did you ever want to try something different in your eLearning or performance support production, but you were stymied because you didn’t know how? The eLearning Guild’s archive of content has thousands of resources waiting for you! This is the start of a series that delivers the best of what’s there, matched to your specific project needs.
The eLearning Guild has thousands of curated resources in its archive, but how do you find what you are looking for? It would be like searching for the proverbial needle in the legendary haystack if not for the Guild’s search tool. Here’s where to find the search tool and how to use it!
At the co-located 2015 events mLearnCon and Performance Support Symposium in Austin, Texas, The eLearning Guild announced two new Guild Masters. In addition, nine demonstrations were chosen as winners at the mLearning DemoFest held during mLearnCon.
Times change, and instructional methods change with them. One concept that instructional designers should become familiar with is that of the role of community in learning, and the necessity of learners feeling themselves involved in a community. A new book takes a strategic look at this approach and provides the necessary background you need to get started.
Book Review: Developing Human Capital, by Gene Pease, Bonnie Beresford, and Lew Walker February 5, 2015
There is little doubt that, in order to play a strategic part in the future, learning and development (L&D) must measure results in terms of business benefit, and optimize those results. This means dealing in “big data” and going beyond ROI measures. Here is a step-by-step guide for L&D managers and executives.
Both human resources and learning and development are evolving, but at different speeds in different organizations: some quickly, some not so much. We hope they are becoming more strategic and more relevant, but how can we be sure we are doing the right things to make it so? This interview with Gene Pease offers an introduction to an evolving science and the analytics that are so important.
Book Review: The Successful Virtual Classroom January 21, 2015
Darlene Christopher has written a book for new and experienced trainers alike that will guide them to delivery of instruction at a distance that is every bit as effective as it would be in the classroom. This one belongs on your shelf.
Beyond new developments in technology and new discoveries about how people learn, there is one thing that will revolutionize organizational learning strategies: developing and improving your organization’s learning and performance ecosystem. Here is our guide to the most significant things you can do in 2015.
Top 10 Learning Solutions Magazine Articles in 2014 January 7, 2015
While there are perennial topics that readers of Learning Solutions Magazine are always interested in (authoring tools, video, LMS, etc.), it is the list of most-read articles that tells us where the practice is heading. The top 10 most-read articles of 2014 provide some interesting insights.
Hackathon! Design Gamified eLearning in Hours November 24, 2014
Here is a different, creative way to kick off your eLearning design and development! Hackathons are events in which individuals with diverse backgrounds, from coding to graphic design to instructional design and management, can collaborate on a development project, including those involving games and gamification. Read the background in this article, and the story of a very recent example!
Celebrating the 10th DevLearn Conference & Expo November 3, 2014
What were we concerned about in 2005? It was a different world in many ways. Mobile learning was a topic, but the devices were nowhere near the equal of what we have now. Social media was only a faint dream. Technology, and our skill in using it, was just crossing the threshold of today’s reality. Here’s a look back, and a look forward.
Why You Should Subscribe to Learning Solutions Magazine Today! August 20, 2014
Content—text, video, images, audio, links, blogs, websites—is everything on the web, including eLearning. This mass of content contains much that is useful to you professionally (when you can find it), and much that is frankly pretty sketchy. Learning Solutions Magazine is a free, organized island of useful professional information in this sea, and you should subscribe to it! Here’s why.
At mLearnCon 2014, The eLearning Guild recognized Guild members and conference attendees who have contributed their knowledge and expertise to the learning profession. Here are the names of the mLearnCon 2014 Guild Master and the winners of the 2014 mLearning DemoFest.
Two years ago, Cammy Bean’s article, “The Accidental Instructional Designer,” became one of the most- read pieces we have published in the last 13 years. Now she has expanded that article into a guide that will help many others to become a happy accident. This one belongs on your shelf!
In Memoriam: Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick May 15, 2014
Dr. Donald Kirkpatrick, professor emeritus, University of Wisconsin, and creator of the Kirkpatrick Four-level Evaluation Model, passed away May 9, 2014 at the age of 90. We remember his life and his contributions to the field of workplace learning.
What Are mLearning's Benefits, Challenges, Future? May 14, 2014
In this interview, Peter Phillips, CEO of Unicorn Training Group, offers his insights into the business benefits of mobile learning, particularly for continuing professional development. He discusses what drives adoption of mobile learning, what impedes adoption, and what to do about change management.
Book Review: Show Your Work, by Jane Bozarth May 8, 2014
Something is missing from your instructional content: The tacit knowledge that makes the difference in an expert’s performance. Jane Bozarth’s latest book will help you fill in that gap. Here is our review.
Clark Quinn’s latest book raises a lot of questions about the trajectory of the learning and development field and offers advice about process, architecture, and strategy for moving the profession and our practice forward.
Seven Things eLearning Professionals Must Do Now March 31, 2014
The buzz around talent and talent management, performance management, and human capital management (HCM) has grown to a building roar in 2013 and 2014. Is this important to eLearning professionals? How does it affect our work? This article opens the discussion of HCM in Learning Solutions Magazine and provides specific suggestions you should be implementing now.
2014: Business Strategy, Predictive Analysis, Game Changers December 23, 2013
Where are we, as eLearning practitioners, headed in 2014? Will our track be “the usual”? Or will it be “moving beyond business as usual”? We have more options than ever. Here are some thoughts on how to use them in the coming year.
IMS Global Learning Consortium: Interoperability Standards for Education November 18, 2013
Interoperability is a major concern as platforms and technologies for learning proliferate. SCORM and the xAPI, LMSs, and LRSs came about because of attention from government and corporate organizations. But what about the education field? The IMS Global Learning Consortium provides guidance and support for learning technology in organizations worldwide.
The eLearning Guild Awards: DevLearn 2013 Conference & Expo October 29, 2013
An important part of every eLearning Guild conference is recognition of those professionals who contribute to our eLearning community of practice. This year at DevLearn, the latest Guild Master, and the winners of the DemoFest received the applause and praise of those in attendance.
Performance Support Symposium 2013: Bigger Crowd, Bigger Message September 19, 2013
The eLearning Guild’s second annual Performance Support Symposium, September 9 & 10 in Boston, was attended by over 200 professionals. Here is a summary and links to additional resources, plus the presentation of the latest Guild Master award to Marc Rosenberg.
DevLearn Conference & Expo 2013: Shaping What's Next September 17, 2013
The eLearning Guild’s DevLearn Conference & Expo is the largest eLearning-focused event in the world. Here’s an overview of why you really should be in Las Vegas October 21 – 25 this year!
Performance support answers the question, “How do we give employees the information and guidance they require on the job at the moment of need?” The eLearning Guild presents the Performance Support Symposium 2013 on September 9 and 10 in Boston, Massachusetts. Attending the Symposium will give you a significant head start in this important area of practice. Read more about it here.
Recognition has always been part of eLearning Guild events. At mLearnCon Conference & Expo 2013, the latest Guild Master joined the previous honorees, and the conference attendees determined the winners of the first mLearning DemoFest Awards. Read all about it here!
mLearnCon 2013: Getting Results with Mobile Learning June 24, 2013
This year’s mLearnCon Conference & Expo provided a complete package for attendees, whether they were just exploring mobile learning or were already involved. But the biggest message came from those who are already leading this learning revolution: Mobile learning is here, it is working in many places, and it is changing the way we think about supporting learning and performance.
mLearnCon 2013 Opens in San Jose June 19, 2013
Almost 1000 participants came to San Jose to add to their skills and knowledge in mobile learning and to network with their colleagues at this year's mLearnCon Mobile Learning Conference & Expo. Find out some of the highlights from the conference's opening day here.
Mobile Disruption and mLearnCon 2013 May 29, 2013
Mobile learning and support is challenging traditional models of learning that rely on courses. It is happening quickly, and the details can be overwhelming. “Business as usual” is not an effective strategy. The eLearning Guild’s mLearnCon 2013 will be extremely helpful to your efforts—here are some sessions you will want to consider attending for maximum benefit.
Widespread media attention is raising expectations for the use of mobile technology in learning and performance support. The next steps are to consider the strategies and the specifics of application that will benefit your organization and to make practical plans. The eLearning Guild’s mLearnCon Conference & Expo 2013 will help you as you chart your course—here’s how!
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!
Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2013 Opens in Orlando March 13, 2013
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 2013: Expanding Your Horizons February 11, 2013
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!
The Challenge of Professional Development in 2013: Keeping Up February 4, 2013
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.
Book Review: What the Plus?, by Guy Kawasaki January 31, 2013
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.
Open Badges: Portable Credentials for Learning January 28, 2013
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.
Supporting Critical Thinking in eLearning January 21, 2013
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.
New eBook: 62 Tips on Effective eLearning Instructional Design January 21, 2013
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).
Book Review: Teach Beyond Your Reach January 15, 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!
What's Your Strategy for 2013? December 17, 2012
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 Conference and Expo 2012: Recap November 5, 2012
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!
DevLearn 2012 Enters the Record Books November 1, 2012
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.
In Memoriam: Joe Harless October 16, 2012
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.
Interview: Jason Calacanis on the Future of eLearning October 3, 2012
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!
Book Review: Video Nation, by Jefferson Graham September 25, 2012
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.
Interview: B.J. Fogg on “Tiny Habits” and Learning September 19, 2012
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.
The Resurgence of Performance Support: Allison Rossett August 15, 2012
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.
Making History: mLearnCon 2012 Rocks Attendees June 25, 2012
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!
“Bring Your Own Device”: Are You Ready? June 4, 2012
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.
Book Review: Managing Projects, by Lou Russell April 18, 2012
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.
Just One Question: Brenda Enders on Gamification April 5, 2012
“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.
Contexts and Choices: Learning Strategies in 2012 December 30, 2011
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.
Book Review: The Mobile Academy, by Clark N. Quinn November 16, 2011
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.
Book Review: E-Learning by Design, 2nd Edition, by William Horton November 10, 2011
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 Recap: Expanding the Possibilities for Learning November 9, 2011
DevLearn 2011 broke new ground in many ways: A new venue (Las Vegas), new themes, and on-site curation. Read about it here!
Book Review: 100 Things Every Online Student Ought to Know October 28, 2011
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.
Review: The Online Learning Idea Book, Vol. 2
(Patti Shank, Ed.) September 28, 2011
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.
Digimodernism and Learning August 15, 2011
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.
Review: Michael Allen's Successful e-Learning Interface July 13, 2011
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!
Book Review: Consulting Basics by Joel Gendelman June 28, 2011
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.
Book Review: Michael Allen's e-Learning Annual 2012 June 16, 2011
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.
Updated Classic: Peter Block's Flawless Consulting June 2, 2011
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.
Why You Need a Mobile Learning Strategy June 1, 2011
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.
eLearning Global Giveback Finalists Named February 4, 2011
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.
Book Review: Designing mLearning, by Clark N. Quinn February 2, 2011
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.
Review: Casio Prizm Graphing Calculator (fx-CG10) January 31, 2011
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.
Book Review: Virtual Presentations That Work – Joel Gendelman, Ed.D. January 25, 2011
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.
2011 Continues Significant Changes in e-Learning Companies January 10, 2011
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.
Looking Back, Looking Forward December 30, 2010
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.
Book Review: The Mobile Learning Edge December 29, 2010
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.
DevLearn Conference & Expo 2010: Wrap-Up(s) November 19, 2010
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!
The eLearning Guild Announces DemoFest 2010 Winners! November 10, 2010
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.
DevLearn|10 Opens in San Francisco November 3, 2010
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.
Book Review: Tools of Engagement, by Tom Bunzel October 13, 2010
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.
Mobile Platforms and mLearning: Challenges and Solutions October 7, 2010
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.
Book Review: Social Media for Trainers, by Jane Bozarth September 15, 2010
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 Corp. to Acquire Learn.com, Inc. September 9, 2010
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.
Social Networking: A Platform for Training New Managers Online? September 6, 2010
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?
CMI Data Model Harmonization Summit Meeting August 24, 2010
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 Introduces Lectora Inspire™ August 10, 2010
Trivantis Corporation has released Lectora Inspire, which adds screen capture, screen recording, and Flash animation technologies to the company’s flagship tool.
Wipeout! Google Stops Development of Wave Messaging Platform August 4, 2010
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.
mLearnCon 2010: Mobile Gets Real July 5, 2010
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.
Mzinga Releases OmniSocial 2.0 June 29, 2010
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.
Learning Solutions 2010: Making Connections for Success April 1, 2010
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.
Apple's iPad: What does it offer for e-Learning? January 27, 2010
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!
New Features Added to Google Wave: More useful for e-Learning January 26, 2010
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 Coming Sooner Than You Think January 22, 2010
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 January 4, 2010
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.
2010 Predictions December 21, 2009
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.
DevLearn 2009: Building the Future of Learning December 2, 2009
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!
Catching the Google Wave November 2, 2009
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 September 14, 2009
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 August 10, 2009
How to design visuals that will totally engage your learners and add value to your e-Learning applications!
aLearning: A Trail Guide for Association Learning July 20, 2009
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 June 22, 2009
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!
Book Review: Michael Allen's e-Learning Annual 2009 June 15, 2009
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.
E-Learning Evolution Panorama: Annual Gathering 2009 March 23, 2009
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!
What's Ahead in 2009? January 19, 2009
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.
Surviving 2009 January 5, 2009
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.
Profile: David Wilkins December 15, 2008
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 2008: Learning 2.0 On The Ground November 24, 2008
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.
Nine Trends That Will Shape E-Learning in 2008 January 28, 2008
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.
Taking a Big Gulp From the Firehose: DevLearn 2007 November 19, 2007
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.
Virtual World-Building: Designing Environments for Learners October 15, 2007
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.
Give Your E-Learning Some (Second) Life: Simulation Made Easy October 8, 2007
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.
Learning Together: The eLearning Guild Annual Conference April 23, 2007
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!
Looking Both Ways: The eLearning Guild After Five Years December 18, 2006
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.
Insights: e-Learning Gurus, Challenges, and Solutions March 28, 2005
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.
Leading Through Design: Five Guidelines for e-Learning Success February 7, 2005
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 October 11, 2004
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.
Style Points: Adapting e-Learning to the Learner May 10, 2004
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.
Connect e-Learning to Business Objectives April 12, 2004
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!
Quality Assurance for e-Learning Design April 5, 2004
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® Development Experts Tell All March 29, 2004
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!
Last Things First: The Power of Backward Chaining October 13, 2003
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!
What To Do When There's No Time To Do the Job Right October 6, 2003
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.
Improve Your Interface May 14, 2002
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.
Curriculum Planning and Knowledge Half-life May 14, 2002
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.
Here's Looking At You April 30, 2002
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.