Archive for the ‘eLearning’ Category

Elearning Tip #5: Invest in a Good Microphone

March 27, 2012

Ten years ago, microphones were expensive and not very easy to use. You would have to buy the mic and a mixing board and figure out how to make the mixing board talk to your computer. Those days are gone. Now there are several great USB microphones that plug directly into your computer (no mixing board required). They are inexpensive and very high quality. I use the Blue Snowball microphone which, as of the beginning of 2012, is listed at around $70 on amazon.com. It is extremely easy to use and the sound quality is phenomenal. I use my microphone to create scratch audio for courses (which is basically placeholder audio so you can time animations and for review purposes) and to record my own podcasts. I love my microphone and have found it invaluable in my elearning development.

For more tips, check out my book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” now available in the Kindle bookstore. Or if you are new to elearning and want some advice, try my other book “Become an Elearning Developer Today!” It’s  a blueprint for getting into the field of elearning development.

BONUS!

For the next three days only, I am providing the following book absolutely FREE with the purchase of either of my two Kindle books.

“Photoshop for Business Pros: A No-Frills Approach for Learning Photoshop Fundamentals”

If you need to learn the most important aspects of Photoshop for the corporate world, enough to get that big project done on time, this is the fastest and easiest way to do it. The book is a series of how-to tutorials with videos embedded directly inside of the document. It’s cutting edge and it’s yours for free.

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Great Post on How Infographics can Help Elearning Courses

March 27, 2012

Infographics are popping up everywhere nowadays. Many are visually impressive and the text is chunked into very manageable sections. Tom has a great new post on his Rapid Elearning Blog. Check it out. It has alot of great correlations between elearning and these graphics.

Click here to read the post.

Don’t let your organization suffer from the “Sticky Note” syndrome

March 22, 2012

This post is not necessarily elearning related; rather, it’s training related…

I’m sure you’ve dealt with the “sticky note” syndrome before. You go to interview a SME for a new project and you find out they have most of the information that you need either in their head, or written down on a sticky note somewhere. If you find yourself in this position, it’s your responsibility to get this information out of their heads and onto paper. I don’t say this because it will make your job easier (it will of course). I say this because it will make the organization’s life alot easier. The problem with organizations that suffer from the “sticky note” syndrome is that when people leave, all of that vital information leaves with them. And once that information leaves, the next person who is tasked with creating training, will be in a very difficult situation.

Once you get all the knowledge documented, do not just leave it at that. Set up some kind of database, or Sharepoint site, and dump all of the information into it. This will make it accessible to anyone who needs it.

For more tips, check out my book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” now available in the Kindle bookstore. Or if you are new to elearning and want some advice, try my other book “How to Create an E-Learning Course.”  It’s  a blueprint for getting into the field of elearning development.

Elearning Tip #4: Focus on Teaching the Essentials in Your Elearning Courses

March 20, 2012

As elearning developers, we are sometimes guilty of trying to teach too much in one elearning course. After all, we are approached by SME after SME trying to get their content into a course. But it is our responsibility, as developers, to draw the line when it comes to the amount of content we include in one elearning course. Remember, a person taking an elearning course is not a captive audience. They can get up whenever the please; they can answer the phone, surf the net, etc. So we must be very specific in what we teach in a course and not waste the learner’s time.

That being said, don’t include a to-do list of everything a SME thinks a learner might need to know sometime in the distant future. Focus on the essentials that the learner needs to master in order to make them immediately more productive after completing the course. And if something seems very easy and simplistic when you are creating the course, it probably is easy and simplistic to the learner as well; so you might want to think of leaving out that content and focusing more intently on content that might be harder for the learner to wrap their head’s around.

For more tips, check out my book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” now available in the Kindle bookstore. Or if you are new to elearning and want some advice, try my other book “Become an Elearning Developer Today!” It’s  a blueprint for getting into the field of elearning development.

Use Elearning to Free up Valuable Classroom Time

March 13, 2012

Corporations love classes. Walk into any corporation in America and you’ll probably find two or three classrooms full of students learning about any number of topics. If you sit in on any of these classes, you’re likely to see the same thing: an instructor teaching from a PowerPoint while learner’s eyes are glazing over.

This is not how classroom time should be spent. It should be spent with learners interacting with each other through hands-on activities and role plays. All the introductory material should be taken care of before the learner even steps foot in the classroom. And you can present this introductory material in the form of elearning.

The blended learning method is effective for many reasons, and elearning can be an extremely useful tool in increasing this effectiveness.  The easiest approach to creating blending learning using elearning is this: take anything related to knowledge acquisition and convert it into elearning. Make the elearning course pre-work for the class and then take about 15 minutes of class time to review the content.  This will allow you to quickly transition from discussion to the application of knowledge through hands-on activities.

Another advantage to the blended learning method is the fact that the person teaching the class no longer has to be an experienced facilitator. Since most of the presentation or lecture has been taken care of with the pre-work, the leader of the class can focus on helping with the hands-on activities. This means that someone who normally would not be comfortable teaching a class, say a subject matter expert, can confidently lead learners through scenarios by using their experience and knowledge.

Over the past few years, many corporations have started to embrace blended learning. If you’re corporation is not one of those, make a change. Look for opportunities to apply elearning to classroom training and your boss will love you for it.

For more tips, check out my book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” now available in the Kindle bookstore. Or if you are new to elearning and want some advice, try my other book “How to Create an E-learning Course.” It’s basically a blueprint for creating elearning courses for any industry.

2012 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation Report

February 14, 2012

 

Today is like Christmas for me. It’s the day the Elearning Guild released their Global eLearning Salary & Compensation report. I always look forward to this day because they do such a fantastic job of keeping their finger on the pulse of the elearning job market. For those of you not familiar with this publication, the Guild interviews close to 8k individuals from all industries. They find out salary information, benefits information, etc. Then they publish this report that tells you what you should be making, salary wise, based on several criteria. This year the average eLearning salary fell by 1.3% to $78,937. You must be a member of the Guild to access the report but membership has it’s privileges so you should definitely check it out.

Visit their website for membership information and access to the Salary Report.

Additionally, check out my book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” now available in the Kindle bookstore. Or if you are new to elearning and want some advice, try my other book “Become an Elearning Developer Today!” It’s basically a blueprint for getting into the field of elearning development.

Elearning Tip #3: Creating a Course Outline is Easy

February 9, 2012

You’ve just landed your biggest client. You are shocked that they accepted your bid for an elearning course and you cannot wait to get started. There’s only one problem: the client wants a Management 101 course and they have absolutely no content for you. And no content means no outline.  It may seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be that hard.

We now have access to a wonderful thing called Amazon.com. Located on Amazon.com are books about every subject imaginable. As of the writing of this post, there are over 600k books on management.  Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting you buy any of these books. You don’t have to…

Simply find a few books that interest you (titles will tell you a lot) and look for the “Look Inside” graphic above the cover image. If you see that graphic, that means you can glance at the table of contents and a few pages of introductory content. This is exactly what you need.

After you analyze the tables of contents for three or four books, you will have plenty of content for your outline. It’s good to be able to compare the tables of contents and see how each author has arranged their material. You might find one you really like and would love to emulate or you might combine the best topics into an outline of your own. Either way, this simple technique will jumpstart your elearning development process.

For more tips, check out my book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” now available in the Kindle bookstore. Or if you are new to elearning and want some advice, try my other book “Become an Elearning Developer Today!” It’s basically a blueprint for getting into the field of elearning development.

Elearning Tip #2 – To Storyboard or Not to Storyboard

February 8, 2012

I’ve decided to take a little different approach with this tip. I created a simple video with voiceover (using my Blue Snowball mic). I just wanted to break the monotony of my normal written posts. Hope you enjoy!

For more tips, check out my book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” now available in the Kindle bookstore. Or if you are new to elearning and want some advice, try my other book “Become an Elearning Developer Today!” It’s basically a blueprint for getting into the field of elearning development.

Elearning Tip #1

February 7, 2012

In honor of my new book, “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks,” I’ve decided to share some additional elearning tips  with you. Today, I’ll share a tip that is included in the book but I’ll follow up with tips that did not make the book. I hope you find these tips helpful and please feel free to share your personal tips and comments.

Elearning Tip: Use job boards to stay up to date on technology 

This is one I discovered by accident. I’m always surfing Monster or Careerbuilder, looking for freelance opportunities. As I researched job descriptions, I kept seeing a certain software mentioned that I had never heard of. It never failed. Almost every description for an elearning developer had this software listed under desired skills. I eventually Googled it and began conducting my own research. Apparently, it was a new, web-based rapid development software that was winning awards left and right. I had never heard of it before. And I would still be unaware of it if I had never surfed those job boards. Keeping your finger on the pulse of the job market is crucial in obtaining steady work. And there is no more current pulse to check than these websites. They are full of constantly updated jobs and job descriptions. It’s your tool into finding out what tools are in demand and what tools are losing popularity. Use this technique to keep your skills up to date and to keep yourself marketable.

For more tips, check out my book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” now available in the Kindle bookstore. Or if you are new to elearning and want some advice, try my other book “Become an Elearning Developer Today!” It’s basically a blueprint for getting into the field of elearning development.

45 Elearning Tips and Tricks Book Now Available

February 4, 2012

I’m proud to announce that my new book “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks” is now available in the Kindle bookstore.

It’s just a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned while developing elearning over the last decade. I feel that this book includes important tips for everyone who develops elearning, beginner to advanced. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Click here to purchase “45 Elearning Tips and Tricks.”