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Megan Torrance

Articles by Megan Torrance

Agile Learner Personas for Instructional Design  September 7, 2015

The mantra of all IDs is “design for the learner,” not “design for the demographic statistics.” Putting a name and face (well, almost) to the stats makes it much easier to understand what the learners will really need. And that’s the point of creating personas as part of instructional design. What’s a persona? This article explains the what, why, and how of personas.

Adopting Agile Project Management: Corporate Culture Must Match  April 20, 2015

Agile project management offers project teams the ability to refine scope, check in often with project sponsors, develop and release iteratively, and estimate tasks at a very granular level. It’s a solid method that expects and accepts change. The promise is huge. But there’s a catch: Your team, your clients, your boss, and your SMEs must all be on board with it.

Adventures in the xAPI: The Stroke Ready App  April 9, 2015

The University of Michigan Health System’s Stroke Center team wanted a way to educate the public to recognize symptoms of a stroke and to get potential stroke victims to the emergency department quickly. A combination of the xAPI and tablets is providing a solution that they are now testing. Read about the Stroke Ready App in this spotlight!

Adventures in the xAPI: The Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum Project  April 2, 2015

The Experience API (xAPI), in connection with RFID tags or beacons, makes it possible to assess learning interactions that go beyond what SCORM can do. This is the first of several articles that will provide specific real-life examples of the kind of work that eLearning designers are doing today with the xAPI.

Fearless Estimating: Agile Project Management Answers  December 15, 2014

We account for the unknown in project planning by padding our estimates of time and budget. Everyone does it, out of fear of the consequences of failing to meet commitments. A key shift necessary in adopting agile project management is to shed this mode of estimating the work at hand. Here is some expert advice on becoming fearless.

The Secret of Better Project Management: Task Cards  October 20, 2014

Project management needs to be flexible, simple, and client-friendly. It must also accommodate client suggestions and designer inspirations after the project starts. While ADDIE summarizes the important steps in a systems approach to instructional design, it has trouble with common scope issues: task management, time, and budget. Task cards are a key innovation that resolves this.

Reconciling ADDIE and Agile  July 28, 2014

Many instructional designers know and use the linear ADDIE approach to development projects. At the same time, many are also aware of agile methods that offer significant flexibility and facilitate changes. Does a designer have to choose one or the other? Not really—and this article explains why.

Better eLearning: Agile, LLAMA, and Lean  June 18, 2014

Agile project management and lean manufacturing influence many activities today. LLAMA (lot like agile methods approach) applies those two processes and instructional-design best practices to deliver effective eLearning. At the Learning Solutions 2014 Conference, we crowd-sourced ways to reduce waste in instructional design, and we present the results of that work here.

What Does It Mean to Be Agile?  April 21, 2014

Agile project management is an approach for managing a creative project process, where team members accept and expect change throughout the life of the project. Here are the hallmarks of the agile process, and a way to begin learning how (and why) to put this effective, fluid approach to work for your eLearning development projects.

Photeo Development: Dynamic Linking and Animation (Part 5 of 5)  April 30, 2012

Wrapping up this series on the creation of Photeo presentations, this article will help you use After Effects and Premiere Pro to move compositions between these applications, dynamically link projects, animate your Photeo, and create simple 3-D effects. These are skills that will serve you well in many projects -- not just Photeo!

Photeo Development: Making a Scavenger Photeo (Part 4 of 5)  April 23, 2012

This week in the Photeo series, you will learn how to use Photoshop and After Effects to decompose images and to animate words and letters. These are essential skills in the creation of scavenger Photeos, and the process is faster than creating the same effects by using Flash!

Photeo Development: The Tutorial (Part 3 of 5)  April 16, 2012

A Photeo is the digital evolution of the movie montage: it supports continuity and engagement by telling a story. In the first two articles of this series, you learned what a Photeo is, and you got an overview of the production process. In this article and the next two, you get the hands-on tutorial you’ve been asking for, beginning with Articulate Presenter!

Putting a Photeo Together (Part 2 of 5)  March 26, 2012

In Part 1, you learned what a Photeo is and how you might use one. In this Part, you will walk through a Photeo needs analysis and the creation and execution process, and you will learn about the software it takes to make a Photeo!

Photos + Movement = Photeo (Part 1 of 5)  March 5, 2012

A photeo is a video-like experience that creates a sense of movement and emotion out of still photographs, short video clips from other productions, music, and narration. Readers in North America may be familiar with photeos from Ken Burns’ series on Public Television, “The Civil War.” This three-part series will show you how to use the low-cost photeo technique appropriately in eLearning.