Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Better eLearning
Any professional eLearning designer would agree that users are always at the heart of what they do. The bulk of our articles last year focused on users. But what about designers themselves? Who are they? What impressive feats do they perform? What skills do they possess? How crucial is their role in developing educational materials for a new generation of learners? Let’s not forget about these oft-overlooked professionals who help make eLearning possible, personal, effective and immediately applicable.
That’s why we’re going to start the year with this quick list of super powers every excellent instructional designer has:
1. Passion for Learning that Borders on Obsession
Instructional designers share a passion for learning. But the great ones are obsessed with learning everything and anything that has to do with learning.
They constantly seek new topics to learn and teach, no matter which area or industry. They make time for reading—from studying the latest research in scholarly journals to checking out eLearning blogs and technology websites. And when they read, they’re also actively applying techniques and tricks they learn in their everyday instructional design work.
2. Deep Understanding of How People Learn
Non-professionals might have an idea of how people learn. Good instructional designers might know a set of strategies that aid students in recalling facts. Great IDs, however, go beyond the basics and not only rely on tactics and strategies. They clearly understand how people learn and have well-tested ideas on how to help them learn more effectively.
In sum, they design for how people learn. They don’t assume but rely instead on the contribution of experts and trained professionals even in other fields—psychology, neurology, usability, information technology and communications.
3. Strong Visualization Skills
The human brain, take note, is primarily visual. And it’s no longer a secret that we’re all visual learners. Great instructional designers know this. They know that people take in more information through the eye than in any other sense organs. But that’s not all. They also know the importance of seeing the big picture, of asking themselves “what’s the learning goal here?” They visualize it and see it from the perspective of a designer and a learner. They’re avid learners, remember?
4. Ability to Write Well
The ability to write well, they say, reflects the ability to think well. Great IDs, not surprisingly, are able to think and write way better than the others. They can craft a well-structured sentence, one that conveys ideas coherently and effectively. And they know which tone to use depending on the context too.
That’s why people should seriously consider their writing abilities before they begin a career as an instructional designer. It’s a rewarding yet tough career choice. There are ways to improve one’s writing skill, though, and potential designers can learn a lot from pros.
5. Creative and Analytical Problem-Solving Skills
Most of the time, super-powerful instructional designers are tasked to solve learning issues. And there are countless days when they’re compelled to come up with something new. The ability to tackle problems creatively and analytically is key here. That’s why the best IDs can quickly spot a problem, generate options and alternatives, and test them out to discover a solution.
6. Organizational Skills
Exceptional IDs have an eye for detail. They do, in fact, pay careful attention to every teeny bit of detail that goes into every learning material. Because they’re detail-oriented, these designers constantly organize, move, select, synthesize, summarize and edit information to make it effective.
7. Active Listening Skills
The International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction (IBSTPI) recognized the critical importance of active listening for a reason. Such a skill allows industry professionals to better understand a subject.
It also shows care and let others, especially learners, know that you are willing to see things from their perspective and are focusing on their needs. Asking relevant and well-timed questions is part of this active listening skill as well. Doing so helps clarify and define situations and statements, and eventually contribute to learning outcomes.
8. Technology-Based Skills
Exceptional IDs share a deep understanding of how technology can aid the field of instructional design and learning. They don’t blindly follow trends. They can, however, take a look at a piece of software, and see how it’s going to benefit their workflow or not. They can pick up almost any tool and learn how to use it without needing a month or two of formal training.
9. Innovation and Creativity
The hyper-connected and dynamic environment demands instructional designers to innovate and think of creative ways to keep the learner engaged. Such call for innovation, however, must consider the limitations of budget and client requirements. High-performing IDs know how to balance these. They know how to go beyond just providing interactivity, they know how to present the content intelligently.
What’s more, their creative minds find inspiration everywhere, from the books they read to a commercial they just saw on TV.
10. People Skills
It’s obvious why IDs need to possess strong people skills. They constantly work in collaboration with others. They simply cannot work alone. Great IDs who are able to create effective instructional systems have overcome objections from people and have worked closely with knowledge experts and students. They also have resolved an unbelievable number of issues and conflicts, and persuaded people into working with them toward their designed project goals.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Corporate Training
There can be a variety of reasons why an organization needs to create training for their employees. Sometimes it is for standard processes (think orientation training), but other times it is to ultimately change the behavior of the workforce to better the company.
If you have never created training before, or are new to the field, your first stop is probably to do a Google search for a valid training design approach. As a warning, there are many out there, and they can sometimes be quite confusing and theoretical.
Luckily, there are some higher-level approaches you can take when creating employee training. The 5-step process below, originally identified by performance improvement company EJ4, provides a viable path for the trianing development process.
Remember, these process steps are meant to provide you with the framework for your particular situation. You should analyze each step and modify it accordingly to your unique situation.
1. Identify the Problem – Before you create any training, you need to identify the problem you are trying to solve, and then provide an acceptable definition. If you don’t have a real problem that can be resolved, then a formal training approach is probably not needed.
2. Target the Training – It is often tempting to try to leverage past training materials for new training efforts – this is usually not a good idea. The most effective training is unique to the problem at hand. Target your training so that it directly address the problem you identified.
3. Timing is Everything – While creating your targeted courses, make sure you keep an eye on how added content affects course duration. The average attention span is in decline (12 seconds in the year 2000, today it is at 8 seconds). Keep this in mind when building out your lessons as well. If possible, include various levels of interaction through gamification.
4. Reinforce the Learning – In general, it has been reported that people forget 50-80% of what they have learned after just one day, and up to 98% after a month. To help combat this, create various refresher training courses via elearning so as to keep the training points fresh in the employees’ minds.
5. Facility Growth – The least effective training for solving problems is a “one-and-done” effort. Try to foster a culture of continuous learning so that you can retain the talent in your organization and keep everything running smoothly. You can do this through refresher training, gamification, rewards when training goals are met, etc.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Uncategorized
What are the keys to developing successful learning processes, effective instructional strategies, and efficient knowledge-sharing processes?
The most effective instructional strategies and knowledge sharing processes are born out of an understanding of the learners performance measures and desired outcomes. One of the most common misunderstandings around instructional design is that its purpose is to make someone knowledgeable and “learn something”. Becoming knowledgeable is only one step in the process towards effectively performing. Knowing is not doing.
All instructional strategies should build from the moment of apply, back. Our greatest challenge is to help the learner become self-reliant and competent in what they do every day. Yes, competence is achieved through knowing first, but ultimately is achieved through applying what one knows in any given situation, and more importantly remaining current.
The most effective instructional strategies I have seen are built on the premise of enabling competency through performance support first and training in support of that. Knowledge sharing is a natural extension of remaining competent. If a learning ecosystem is built on a competency model, knowledge sharing becomes intrinsic to that model. It’s when we move knowledge sharing outside of competency and have it become a repository of information alone that it loses its effectiveness and the buy-in of the learner. Knowledge sharing processes die every day because they lack context and purpose, which are the ultimate drivers in these environments.
What more can you provide around the technologies involved in those processes?
As was stated earlier, learning processes need to be owned by the lines of business and learners themselves. All too often learning and development or HR feel that they own this outcome. Actually, they are stewards to this deliverable but do not own it. A successful learning process is “needs” based and exists across what are known as the five moments of need. These are elicited by the learner based on the performance requirements they find themselves in. They are as follows:
- Learning something new
- Learning more
- Trying to apply or remember what one has learned
- Keeping up with change
- Troubleshooting a problem
Any learning process or solution should be built around serving these five moments intentionally with both methodology and technology. This leads to your second question – Technology should be the enablers of these five moments. Historically training, and its related tools from the classroom to online, has supported moments one and two. Performance support meets the needs of moments three through five and there are many powerful technologies available in the performance support world. Any successful learning program offers both effective training and performance support strategies and solutions.
What do you believe will be the main challenges that instructional designers will have in 2014? How do you see them being undertaken?
I believe the main challenge instructional designers will face in 2014 is reengineering their thinking around moments three through five outlined above. Historically we have been schooled to create solutions that only serve moments one and two. We live in a world of constant churn and change. The old methodologies and design structures that used to help us keep up no longer can. New agile methodologies need to be put in place and adopted to allow instructional designers to keep up and build solutions across all five moments. Adopting these agile methodologies and design tools will allow instructional designers to develop more effective learning solutions than we have done in the past.
Source: America Learning Media
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Uncategorized
How can you achieve higher levels of efficiency in the learning process?
This begs the question of higher levels of efficiency for whom: the learning materials producer or the learner?
There’s no doubt that the use of technology can help the learning materials producer become more productive. It’s now possible to produce more learning materials – especially those intended for delivery online – than ever before.
Efficiency is one (highly commendable) thing but effectiveness is quite another. For example, in the days of ‘e-learning 1.0’, many university lecturers transferred their lecture notes to the internet as lengthy Word documents. This meant that more people than ever before could read their notes and glean some of their wisdom. However, few potential learners learned much from this because the documents were boring. They contained no interactivity – to intrigue the learner and encourage her/him to engage with the content and learn more.
When it comes to the learning process, the effectiveness of the learning materials is more important than efficiency involved in producing them. This means that learning materials producers need to imbue their work with the ‘Wow!’ factor. Again, technology can help to make this process efficient but no amount of authoring tools, for example, can compensate for a lack of understanding of the principles and practice of instructional design.
How can technology improve learning processes in organizations?
The case for using online learning technologies to augment traditional, instructor-led learning has been well made – and demonstrated – over the last 20 years or so. The relatively recent advent of new delivery technologies – best characterised by the term ‘mobile learning’ – and the modern trend away from formal to informal learning, especially via performance support, is continuing to have an important and positive effect on organizations’ productivity levels and competitive advantage.
Technology – and especially new technological advances – will continue to make more information available than ever before to more people, as and when they want it, wherever they are.
That availability, however, will only be useful if people access the information appropriately. That means that people need to be equipped with the appropriate technology to receive this information; the knowledge of where to get that information, and – vitally – the motivation to access and then use the information.
Technology is an important enabler in the learning process. However, it’s only people who learn and, thereby, prove the effectiveness of both the delivery technology and the learning content.
What will be the main trends for e-learning in 2014?
I believe that the key trends in corporate learning technologies in 2104 will be:
- Mobile learning
- Just-in-time learning
- Social learning
There are interactivity issues associated with most if not all of these trends – and at least four of these trends are moving ‘learning’ away from learning to become performance support. So, I would argue, we’re witnessing the beginning of the end for e-learning as a leading edge corporate technology. It’s merging into the ‘traditional’ end of learning, alongside classroom-delivered learning. Many of the industry’s early pioneers and champions would be shocked and horrified at this news. Of course, such a move does nothing to lessen (if anything it increases) the need for interactivity between the users (who were once called learners) and the information providers (once called learning material designers and developers).
What are some of the changes you would like to see in the e-learning industry?
I’d like to see:
- A realisation and acceptance that e-learning is part of the technology sector rather than the education sector. The technology sector has a consistently higher profile than education – and, with more interest being shown in it, it attracts more people (and also attracts more talented people to work in it). Learning is now just one of the many things that technology can provide for us as and when we want, where we want and so on. The education sector has had its chance to embrace e-learning and make it its own but it hasn’t done so over the last 25 years and more. It’s been too conservative and wedded to instructor-led training. Now it’s time to let e-learning take its place among technology and let the technologists provide learning materials in the same way they provide entertainment, sport and so on, on demand.
- E-learning providers stopping talking to ‘HR’ and related people in organisations because these people have consistently failed to champion technology delivered learning (possibly because they have so little real power and influence in their organisations). E-learning providers should be talking to technology providers and doing deals with them to provide e-learning (or, more probably, performance support materials) to users.
What are your thoughts on personalized learning? What are the implications of it, if any, for content creators?
Developing truly personalised learning involves highly complex programming. First, the program has to determine the learning preferences of each learner/ user. These – as Honey and Mumford say – are likely to change over time (even over the time taken to complete one particular piece of e-learning). So the program must continually monitor the learner’s responses, in addition to providing the learning materials (in order to ensure that it is presenting these learning materials in the most appropriate way). Taking account of a variety of user learning preferences means that the same learning content must be available to be delivered in a variety of ways. This, alone, makes producing a truly personalised e-learning program extremely complex and cumbersome.
Then, the program must also take into account the various delivery devices that the user might select. This may not just be a question of personal (user) preference but also of circumstance – for example where the learner is at any one time; what delivery devices are available to him/her at any one time; what bandwidth is available and so on.
In addition, there must be some provision for interactivity (to help the learner cement and apply the learning) and feedback (again, this must be personal and adaptive/ interactive in some way).
Some of the world’s most complex learning content management systems’ producers have spent a lot of time and money working on developing (and, importantly, being able to monitor) personalised learning. It hasn’t been achieved yet – but ‘never say never’, as the saying goes!
The implication for content creators is, on the most basic of levels, don’t worry about personalised learning: it’s not happened yet and is very unlikely to happen in your lifetime. If it does, make sure you’re an early adapter rather than a pioneer because the pioneers won’t make any money at it (because of the large amounts of money they’ll have had to invest in the first place). For this reason, truly personalised learning is unlikely to happen – because no one wants to lose large quantities of money developing it. Besides, there’s no guarantee that there will ever be a market for it – not least because people tend to prefer quick (relatively cheap) learning fixes (some performance support) rather than a comprehensive (and expensive) piece of ‘catch all’ learning.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under eLearning
What’s at stake?: $400 billion: amount of money spent annually in U.S. on universities
The $400 billion represents: more than the annual revenues of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter combined.
Every educational institution wants a piece of that pie. MOOCs could jeopardize that.
The World Wide U
10 million: estimated number of students who have taken at least one MOOC
When it all began:
The promise of online education:
• low costs
• extreme accessibility by anyone
• customized pacing
• flexibility in scheduling
• more digitally based interactive tools
1985: Dave Cormier “coins” the term MOOC, for Massive Open Online Courses.
1993: Jones International University becomes first online U. [in the world]
1999: JIU became first fully online university in the U.S. to be accredited.
But it’s not free: tuition is $12,720
2013 enrollment (full and part time, undergrad and graduate): about 4,500
2012: Coursera founded by two Stanford professors
5.7 million: most recent enrollment, Coursera
83: number of universities and colleges around the world forming partnership with Coursera
$65 million: amount of venture capital raised to fund Coursera
56,000: number of students who signed up for courses in Udacity two weeks after 2011 launch
1.6 million students, to date
20: number of schools partnered in Edx, an online non-profit provider started by Harvard and MIT founded in 2013
21: number of British universities partnered to start FutureLearn (2013)
Who are MOOC students?
.3 % primary school
2.8 % some secondary
9.7% completed high school
3.8% some additional training (apprentices)
43.4 undergraduate university
How global are MOOCs now (top 10 countries of origin):
Greece: 2.2 %
Top 10 MOOCs (free courses)
• Udemy: Courses taught by teachers at Northwestern and Dartmouth (among others)
• ITunesU – Apple’s free app “gives students access to all the materials for courses in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.”
• Most popular free course: Introduction to AI. 160,000 students from 190 countries..
• UC Berkeley –Check out: Berkeley Webcasts and Berkeley RSS Feeds.
• MIT Free Courses – Check out MIT’s RSS MOOC feed. Also MIT’s Open Courseware.
• Duke Free Courses – Duke offers courses on ITunesU.
• Harvard Free Courses –Get a free Harvard education. No application is required.
• UCLA Free Courses –
• Yale Free Courses –The school offers “free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.”
• Carnegie Mellon Free Courses – Carnegie Mellon boasts “No instructors, no credits, no charge.”
Pros and Cons of MOOCs
• Provide a solution to overcrowding.
• Force professors to improve lectures.
• Create a dynamic archive.
• Are designed to ensure that students keep up. MOOCS are real college courses, complete with tests and grades.
• Bring people together from all over the world.
• Allow teachers to make the most of classroom time in blended classes.
• Offer interesting business opportunities. MOOC companies launched in 2012: edX by Harvard and MIT; Coursea, a Stanford company; and Udacity, which focuses on science and tech.
• Low graduation rate: estimated at about 10%
• Easier for students to drop out
• Do not offer much support for struggling students?
• Interactivity, a challenge. [When you have…150,000 students]
• Grading papers is impossible.
• Miss the magic of human interaction (in small groups)
• Will shrink faculties, eventually eliminating them.
And now…. something new in 2013 (an alternative to MOOCs):
SPOCs: Small Private Online Courses
• New B-to-B concept: create an online course and license it to a university or an organization or corporation.
• Colorado State Global Campus, first to offer SPOCs as an experiment
• SPOCs have 17-25 students
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under eLearning
First, a timeline:
The origins of online college education
1960: The first computer-assisted instruction system, PLATO, was developed at the University of Illinois.
FACT: It was used to provide coursework at more than 1,000 terminals in all, and operated for more than 30 years.
1969 The U.S. Department of Defense commissioned ARPANET, the first to use many of the technologies that form the foundation of the modern Internet.
1980: Usenet is established. Unlike ARPANET, Usenet took a different approach to connectivity, with distributed servers rather than a single central server.
1982: The Computer Assisted Learning Center (CALC) is founded. Rather than focusing on the distance provided by online education, CALC uses computers to provide an improved educational experience.
1989: The University of Phoenix offers first online undergraduate and graduate degrees.
1991: Electronic performance support systems, which help employers with employee training, are conceptualized.
1996: Jones International University becomes the first totally online college to receive regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, offering accredited online university courses and legitimizing online education.
2005: Online education becomes one of the cornerstones of the American higher education system, with more than 3 million students taking at least one online class.
2009: The federal government provides more than $500 million for online courses and materials.
2013: More than 6 million U.S.students projected to take at least one online course.
2013: European consortium begins offering free online courses (MOOCs)
ALERT: Catching the Wave: Universities around the world going online
FACT: Beginning in Mid-September, top U.K. universities began offering free online courses to anyone around the world.
More than 20: number of institutions, including Southampton, Warwick and Reading have signed up to provide short courses in subject areas such as science, maths and technology.
FutureLearn: the online hub for U.K. degree level courses.
FREE: It is the first time that U.K. based organization has offered MOOCs (Massive open online courses)
FREE: Students in any country will be able to sign up for a course through the FutureLearn site and study for free.
And then…on Sept. 25, 2013: European Commission launched an open education resource Web sitehttp://openeducationeuropa.eu/
Institutions affiliated with openeducationeuropa include:
Institute of Technology, Sligo (Ireland) Sligo is a national leader in online learning in Ireland. a. 1200: number of students taking 25 online courses primarily in engineering and science. URL: http://itsligo.ie
Rooter (Spain) is an international strategic consultancy specialized in education, legal services, technology and other activities within a digital economy. One of its main lines of activity is online education. URL: www.rooter.es
National Research University – Higher School of Economics (HSE) is one of the top research universities in Russia. Established in 1992 to promote new research and teaching in economics and related disciplines, it offers programs at all levels of university education including business, law, Asian studies, media and communications, IT, mathematics, engineering, and more. URL: http://www.hse.ru/
Maasricht University, the Netherlands. The most international university in the Netherlands. With almost 16,000 students and 4,000 staff. URL: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl
University of Porto, Portugal. With origins dating back to the eighteenth century, the University is currently the largest education and research institution in Portugal. URL: http://sigarra.up.pt/up/pt/web_page.inicial
The Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium. Founded in 1425, is one of Europe’s oldest universities. The university has more than 28,000 students from bachelor’s level to doctorate. URL: http://www.uclouvain.be/index.html
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, is one of the world´s leading medical universities.
Open MOOC, in Spain. OpenMOOC is an open source platform (Apache license 2.0) that implements a fully open MOOC solution.
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. The second largest business school in Europe with 20,000 students.
HEC Paris, France. founded in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HEC Paris specializes in education and research in management sciences.
Another university partnership:
Semester Online : Consortium partner schools: Semester Online programs offer rigorous, for-credit online courses from prestigious colleges and universities to college students worldwide
In the U.S.
U. of North Carolina
Washington University, St. Louis
Trinity College Dublin
University of Melbourne
Foreign universities offering online coursework include:
Art: The Elements of Drawing – Stephen Farthing, Oxford University. Find on: The Web and iTunes
Demography: Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World – David Coleman, Oxford. Find on Web, iTunes Viedeo, iTunes Audio.
Economics: Advanced Political Economy – Steven Keen, University of Western Sydney. Find on: You Tube.
Economics: Behavioral Finance – Steven Keen, University of Western Sydney. On You Tube.
Languages: Icelandic Online -University of Iceland.
Linguistics: Old English in Context – Stuart Lee, Oxford University.
Music theory: Dave Conservatoire (Music Theory Lessons) – David Rees, Royal College of Music, London.
Sociology: Cosmologies of Capitalism – Web – Alan MacFarlane, Cambridge University. http://www.alanmacfarlane.com/theorists/cosmologies.htm
Business: Introduction to Strategic Management – R. Srinivasan, IISC Bangalore. Also found on You Tube.
Computers: Data Structures and Algorithms – Richard Buckland, and Design in Computing both taught by Richard Buckland, University of New South Wales. Find on You Tube.
Top rated: World Universities with global reputations
University of Cambridge (UK)
University of Oxford (U.K.)University of Edinburgh (Scotland)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Ecole Normale Superieure de Paris
University of Copenhagen in Denmark
Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg in Germany
Top Asian Universities
The University of Hong Kong,
National University of Singapore
University of Tokyo
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
National Taiwan University
Top Latin American Universities
Universidad de Chile
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
Universidade de Sao Paulo
Universidade Estadual de Campinas, in Brazil
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under eLearning
How can you achieve higher levels of efficiency in the learning process?
Matthew Guyan: As people learn they use their working memory to process information and their long-term memory to store information. Working memory has a very limited capacity and can only handle a limited amount of cognitive load. According to cognitive load theory (CLT) there are three types of cognitive load:
- Intrinsic: this is the level of complexity inherent in the material being studied. There isn’t much that we can do about intrinsic cognitive load; some tasks are more complex than others so will have different levels of intrinsic cognitive load.
- Extraneous: this is cognitive load imposed by non-relevant elements that require extra mental processing e.g. decorative pictures, animations etc. that add nothing to the learning experience.
- Germane: these are elements that allow cognitive resources to be put towards learning i.e. assist with information processing.
The three types of cognitive load are additive so according to the theory, for instruction to be effective: Intrinsic load + Extraneous load + Germane load < Working memory capacity
So designers should do the following to assist learners in efficiently processing information:
- Present some information via the visual channel and some via the verbal channel.
- Break content into smaller segments and allow the learner to control the pace.
- Remove non-essential content – this includes background music and decorative pictures that don’t add value.
- Words should be placed close as possible to the corresponding graphics.
- Don’t narrate on-screen text.
- Synchronise visual and verbal content i.e. don’t place them on separate screens.
What are the factors that can derail a project of eLearning?
Matthew Guyan: An eLearning project can be quite complex. There are several factors that can derail an eLearning project. Some factors that are within your control to prevent the project from becoming derailed are:
- Regular communication between the designer and the subject matter expert (SME)
- Being organised and follow a development process e.g. meet with the SME then create a high level design then create a storyboard then create the eLearning module
- Involve the SME throughout the eLearning project (not just at the beginning and end)
- Ask questions if you are unsure or need clarification
- Follow-up the SME if they are taking too long to review or provide input as this will help the project to be delivered on time.
What are the success keys to improve learner motivation for eLearning?
Matthew Guyan: There are three things that you can do to help improve learner motivation for Learning and they are based on research findings. As humans we have three basic psychological needs and satisfying these needs will improve motivation.
- Firstly, give the learners some autonomy as they complete their eLearning course such as the ability to choose the order of topics or areas that they can explore.
- Secondly, eLearning provides a safe environment so give the learners opportunities to develop their competence as they complete the course, for example practice questions, the ability to make decisions that have consequences or simulated environments.
- Thirdly, allow learners to interact during the eLearning or if this is not possible, provide space for them to connect outside of the learning event as this will satisfy their need for relatedness.
How can integrate motivation with instructional design?
Matthew Guyan: John Keller’s ARCS Motivational Model of Instructional Design comprises four major factors that influence the motivation to learn – Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction. It’s described as a problem-solving model and helps designers identify and solve specific motivational problems related to the appeal of instruction.
The four categories of motivation variables consist of sub-categories along with process questions to consider when designing:
- Attention = Capturing the interest of learners, stimulating their curiosity to learn.
- Perceptual Arousal: What can I do to capture their interest?
- Inquiry Arousal: How can I stimulate an attitude of inquiry?
- Variability: How can I maintain their attention?
- Relevance = Meeting the personal needs/goals of the learner to affect a positive attitude.
- Goal Orientation: How can I best meet my learner’s needs? (Do I know their needs?)
- Motive Matching: How and when can I provide my learners with appropriate choices, responsibilities and influences?
- Familiarity: How can I tie the instruction to the learners’ experience?
- Confidence = Helping the learners believe/feel that they will succeed and control their success.
- Learning Requirements: How can I assist in building a positive expectation for success?
- Success Opportunities: How will the learning experience support or enhance the learners’ beliefs in their competence?
- Personal Control: How will learners clearly know their success is based upon their efforts and abilities?
- Satisfaction = Reinforcing accomplishment with rewards (internal and external).
- Natural Consequences: How can I provide meaningful opportunities for learners to use their newly acquired knowledge/skill?
- Positive Consequences: What will provide reinforcement to the learners’ successes?
- Equity: How can I assist the learners in anchoring a positive feeling about their accomplishments?
Using this model can helps to design the eLearning with the learner as the focus.
How can students become producers of content? Do you think the appearance of learning solutions based on social networks such as Izzui (e-learning app for Facebook – www.izzui.com) can help increase this trend?
Matthew Guyan: Students can and should be producers of content! Social media is a great tool that students can use to share information, ideas and experiences. However, teachers and facilitators need to support and encourage students to uses social media like twitter, Facebook or Pinterest and well as learning solutions based on social media like Izzui. Teachers should incorporate activities that allow students to create content and share with others.
Using social media tools helps students to learn from each other and to also create a culture of sharing and collaboration before, during and after the learning event. This will support the content that is being delivered and extend the learning beyond the eLearning module or course.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Knowledge Management
What is Knowledge Management in 2013?
Chris Collison: In one way, it is the same as it was in 2001 – a set of tools, processes and behaviors which enable organizations to improve performance by sharing, learning, connecting and creating know-how.
The one thing which has changed, and is very relevant, is the rise of social networking and social media. Some people would say that these have redefined KM. I don’t hold that view. What I would say is that social media have been like a shot of adrenaline for KM. They have accelerated the connections, the collaboration and increased serendipity to that we all get connected with new people, new knowledge and new sources far more than we used to.
However, the fundamentals of KM are unchanged. It’s about people and creating an environment to help them get the maximum value from what they collectively know.
How the companies can build capability to close the Learning Loop? You might mention 10 essential tips…
Identify the high-value, repeatable activities or processes in your organization. Start here!
Look at the quality of learning that currently goes on after one of these activities or projects. Does some kind of a review actually happen? Do people ask the right questions? It is superficial, or an in-depth conversation, designed to help the “next team”?
Look at how knowledge is captured. Are lessons learned reports sterile documents, or high-level PowerPoint bullets? Find ways to put the life back into them. Use quotations (with permission), links to the people involved, links to examples and templates, video and audio. Ultimately a lessons learned report should be an advertisement for a conversation.
Consolidate multiple lessons into guidance – find the common themes and capture the practical actions people should take. If you can embed these in a process – rather than a checklist, than make the change!
How the technology can improve learning processes in organizations? What are the training methods (technology-based) you suggest to implement?
We now have far more ingredients to use in blended learning. Back-channnels for classroom learning via twitter, virtual coaching and support via desktop videoconferencing and data sharing. Social learning opportunities for learning sets using networking and collaboration tools like Ning, GoogleSites and Basecamp.
I run a week-long KM training programme with the UN regularly, which includes a real mix of experiential, social and classroom learning. This year, the UN Course owner has replicated most of the course through blended learning, with videos, assignments, live virtual classroom presentations via video, real-time chat and on-line discussions. I’m amazed at how much you can achieve now without all those air miles! I think expectations of training are getting higher and higher as people make more use of technology in their personal lives. It’s an exciting time!
Sometimes, we are successful, sometimes we fail. But what do we learn from these situations whatever the outcome?
I think we focus learning more often on failure, rather than success. There’s an imbalance here. If organizational learning is only taken seriously when something goes wrong, then it’s an expensive education!
Management guru Chris Argyris wrote an excellent paper called “Teaching smart people how to learn”, which explores how intellectually clever senior people tend to blame “the system” rather than accept their part in a problem. Entrepreneurs who have worked their way up, are far better at accepting failure as a part of life, and a good teacher.
Learning from success is rarer because there is less of an imperative. There is no government minister looking for a response; no tragedy to respond to; no lawyers asking difficult questions. It requires a more strategic, proactive mindset, and I think it needs to be focused on the activities which really matter – the high value, repeatable, predictable ones.
What are the 5 most significant innovation in recent years to manage knowledge?
- Instant messaging – knowing when you can get a rapid response without adding to the email burden.
- Social Networking tools, and the shift in world culture to be more open, transparent and willing to connect, blurring business and personal. Knowing where people are in the world, and having smart technology suggest the people you could meet whilst on a business trip.
- Microblogging, and the serendipity it adds to life.
- Better use of stories and narrative analysis – getting smarter at spotting trends, patterns and signals.
- Desktop video conferencing and data-sharing – have added hugely to the effectiveness of virtual teams.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under Uncategorized
The world of online education requires constant reinvestment to “survive” the indifference of today’s students, exposed to various interactive visual stimulus from their first years of life.
Courses developed for Internet access are implemented in most cases through educational platforms (LMS) such as Moodle, whose characteristics require participants to have great determination and willingness to study on their own. But the profile of the new generation of users today demands online courses that by design are sufficiently attractive and synthetic that the content can be easily assimilated.
QuickLessons is a platform for online courses from Brazil that has many resources to create fun and interactive educational content that encourages the participant to engage quickly with the information contained in an online course.
The platform is a powerful collaborative development tool for developers to be able to create courses together from different location sharing in real time information.
This solution can be very useful to promote training within companies, especially those that have staff distributed in different locations in a country or distributed in several countries that require a online tool to build gradually updating courses regarding the new features of a product or service.
The course interface design is aided by an extensive library of templates that can be customized and set according to the needs of the organization. Additionally you can incorporate animated characters that can be assigned as a virtual tutor and serve as support throughout the course training.
Each of the topics covered in a course can be supported didactically with embedded images or videos whose contribution can be significant for those students who do not have the ability to absorb part of the written information.
To strengthen certain areas of knowledge, QuickLessons has tools for quick and effective assessments including multiple-choice tests, false or true, relationship columns, etc.
What is the main benefit QuickLessons brings to the training? Without doubt the great advantage is that a person skilled in the area of education, can produce a fully featured course without the services of a graphic designer and a programmer, since the platform is designed for the person responsible for content to deploy that content without any complications.
Posted by Admin QL | Filed under eLearning
Pursuing an undergraduate or post-graduate degree can be one of the most important, rewarding, and daunting challenges of your life. While many students still opt to pursue a traditional on-campus schooling experience, opportunities for remote learning through online education are rapidly expanding in scope, quality, and respectability.
When choosing whether or not to pursue an online education, a number of factors should be at the forefront of your mind. Affordability, quality of instruction, and future marketability of your degree should be carefully weighed against your own personal goals. Our guide is here to provide you with the highest quality information on the do’s and don’ts of online education. Also, suggestions for enhancing the quality of your online learning experience.
Some questions to ask yourself while reading this guide should include, what do I hope to gain from an online education? How much time do I have to devote to an online education? What am I willing to pay for online education? Am I willing to go into debt? Do I have the time management and willpower to complete assignments on my own? And, for my purposes do I need a degree or a skill set? These questions should be carefully considered before deciding if online education is the proper choice for you.
- Quiz: Are you ready for college?
- Are you really ready to go back to school?
- Are you a non-traditional student returning to school?
Who does it?
6.7 million students took at least one online class in the fall of 2011. This is an 8.5% increase from the year before. With the two years before showing 10.1% and 21.1% increases, there has been a 39.7% increase in online students over the past three years. This brings the total number of online students to 1/3 of all higher education students. The number of online learners is much higher if you include certificate or skillset centered programs, as well as non-degree courses online.
Online education has been a staple of continuing education in the workplace for years. With the expansion of curriculum and affordability it has become a viable alternative to night school and traditional continuing education classes, as well as normal schooling. 65.5% of all academic chief officers report that “online education is critical to their long-term strategy.”
This being said, business men/women, working parents, returning students, new students, traditional students, and those just wanting to learn a skill or fill out their education are all a part of the online education community. And the prevalence, affordability, and ease of access to quality online education is projected to continue to rise for some time.
- Babson Surveys on Online Education
- Profiles of online students
- Future online education growth projections
- Types of online learners
- “Online courses are easier”: Online courses from reputable institutions may very well be harder than the same course in a classroom setting. Along with covering the same material, students must be self-motivated and good at managing their time. Unlike some classroom courses, no one is babysitting you, and you probably aren’t surrounded by people taking the same class.
- “Online degrees are not respected”. The key here is, are you attending an accredited program? The same accrediting bodies monitor online education as monitor traditional colleges. Institutional accreditation refers to an entire institution’s accreditation status. Programmatic accreditation refers to one particular program (i.e. an engineering, nursing, or social work school). If you are not sure whether or not an online program is well respected in regards to accreditation practices. Some important questions to ask include:
- Does the organization allow accredited status (or degrees) to be purchased?
- Are few, if any, standards for quality published by the organization?
- Is the organization’s name similar to those used by recognized accrediting agencies (but not exactly the same)?
- Does the organization make claims for which there is no evidence?
- Are there few requirements for accreditation (or graduation)?
- “Online courses only take place on the computer”. Just as traditional courses begin in the classroom, and oftentimes send students out into the world around them. Online courses often prompt students to begin field research, projects in the community, and research at local libraries. Just because a course is online does not mean it doesn’t involve utilizing resources elsewhere.
- “Online courses do not tailor instruction to individual students”. Here is where you really need to be honest with yourself about what type of learner you are. Some students are comfortable working through online materials alone, and others need interaction with their peers, demonstrations, and Q and A time with their instructors. The latter type of learners should check to see if the courses they are embarking upon offer virtual meetings with the instructors. Many courses offer weekly consultations on skype, via chat, or even on the phone with instructors. This component of a program is oftentimes mentioned on the program’s website, or on a course by course basis on syllabi.
- “Students are much more likely to cheat online”. Studies have shown that students are no less likely to cheat in an online environment than in a traditional classroom setting. Many online testing programs provide ways to track and deter cheating behavior, and, over time professors become good at identifying the “voice” of student writing, answers, and test taking habits.
- “There are no attendance policies in online classes”. For some classes this is true. But for many classes, particularly with live video feeds, there are attendance policies very similar to traditional classes. If you are not able to commit to saving the time for when the class is held, make sure to check the attendance policy!
- “Online classes do not require the purchasing of a physical textbook”. For some classes, all of the materials are online. And many online classes do have more materials online than traditional classes. Many online courses, however, do require the purchasing of many of the same materials a traditional class would require. Consult the class syllabi.
- “All I have to do is turn in the homework on time and take exams”. Online discussions are often required. Even if not required, those that participate in online discussion often receive higher grades in the course. Discussion is a crucial part of mastering a topic.
- “Online education works for everyone”. No, online education works best for somewhat skilled and highly motivated students. Many studies show that students that are already struggling very much benefit from having face to face interactions with a student peer group and professor.
- Council of Higher Education’s Database of Accredited Schools
- List of regionally accredited online schools
- Test whether online education is for you
- Common accreditation questions
Assessing your options
Are you seeking an online degree and planning to take a full course load online until you graduate? Are you supplementing traditional courses with a few online courses? Are you just seeking a skillset, or to brush up on some skills? These are important questions, the answers of which will dictate your options in online education.
For those seeking full time online education
Synchronous (literally, “at the same time”) online courses offer experiences more similar to traditional courses. This form of course involves live communication by sitting in a computer lab, teleconferences, videos, or live message boards. If you’re going to invest enough time, energy, and money into an online program to obtain a degree, synchronous courses give you greater support with which to get the most from your education. Synchronous courses also offer better chances at forming lasting relationships (professional and otherwise), an important part of college particularly for first-time degree seekers.
For those supplementing traditional courses
Asynchronous (literally, “not at the same time”) courses offer flexibility to fit around the rest of your traditional courses. These courses largely allow students to proceed at their own pace, with assignments answered via email and message boards on your own time. This type of course, however, should be avoided unless you are disciplined enough to complete the work in a timely manner, and will not need much one on one attention or customized instruction to master the material.
For those building up a skillset
There are a variety of certificate programs and unofficial programs of study centered on skills. If you are not in need of a certificate or proof of completion, there are many free courses from top universities that allow you to study everything from philosophy to photography to computer science on your own time.
- Compare average college prices by type of instutution
- Mashable’s 100+ online educational resources
- Over 1,600 free courses from MIT’s open courseware
- Indian Instutute of Technology’s tried and true IT education with 50 courses for free
- Open Courseware Database by subject
- W3 schools offer free courses and certificates in computer science topics
There are a few prerequisites to participating in any online course. Online education is almost impossible without basic computer literacy. Strong reading and writing skills are required as most of the material will be in written format online and the ability to communicate in writing with professors and on discussion boards is a must. Self-motivation and the ability to be an independent learner will also be more important than in a traditional classroom setting. Even if there is no set time for each class online, time to study and work through the material is essential. 12 hours a week for every 3 credit hour class is a good rule of thumb. You must also be a good self-starter. As it is your responsibility to speak up if you do not understand something. There is no one looking over your shoulder making sure you’re completing your assignments in online education.
For online branches of traditional schools, admission standards are the same as the traditional classroom setting. This typically involves taking the SAT or ACT, completing high school or obtaining a GED equivalent, and writing one (or several) admission essay(s).
For certificate or skill based programs, it’s all about learning the skill set well enough to apply it in a work setting. Certificate programs can range from a certificate in java programming to midwifery. Many programs, however, simply afford you the opportunity to learn a skill without the certificate. For these programs “the proof is in the pudding” and the program was a good choice for you if it enabled you to learn a marketable skill.
- Are you ready for online learning?
- Course in Computer Basics
- Remedial Writing course
- List of online colleges
- Application Checklist
For-Profit Online Universities
There is a common misconception that all online universities are for-profit. Several years ago this might have been closer to the case, with Kaplan College and University of Phoenix boasting massive enrollments. However, due to exposure of high student debt rates and low job prospects for graduates, enrollments to the previous two colleges have dropped enormously. Coupled with the rise of online education at more traditional schools, most online universities are no longer for profit.
While schools like Devry, Kaplan, and University of Phoenix are accredited, they are also regularly sued for not preparing students for the workplace, or under review in regards to their accreditation status. While there is hope that for-profit colleges will enact meaningful reform in the coming years, the fact that they are “for-profit” and not for education in and of itself should cue you in to a potential conflict between what the University wants and what is best for the students. Some students do come out from for profit institutions and do just fine, but others are quite ill-prepared for the work force and have massive student debt. This being said, if you plan to go to school for a particular skillset (IT skills, graphic design) then a for-profit institution can teach you that trade. But if you are really a self-starter, you might also be able to teach yourself the skillset on your own. Online courses at traditional non-profit colleges serve as a good middle ground if you are unsure as they tend to provide good counseling on your own career and funding options.
Paying for an online education
Online education can be cheaper than traditional education, depending on several factors. If you are working to develop a skill set, you may be able to find courses for free, or only complete part of an online degree. And if you are continuing your studies part time, you can spread the expenses out over more time. Online courses taken as part of a traditional course degree, however, are often equally as expensive as normal courses. Here are a few resources to help you deal with your educational expenses.
- Be your own advocate. No one else is going to help you with funding, or remind you to do your homework. If you are having trouble keeping up with a topic, let a school administrator or professor know what you are dealing with.
- Assure the quality of educators. Phd’s are a good sign of quality training, but we’ve all heard of research professors that care nothing for their classes. Reach out, interact on forums, check rankings, and ask the opinions of those with firsthand experience with the school.
- Relevance of Curriculum. For those heading back to school to further their own career, choosing a program that fits your personal goals is particularly important. If you know the particular skills that you need to advance your career, you’re ahead of the game and can find a program that fits your needs.
- Start out part time. For those balancing work with returning to school, or heading to school after a while off, start off part time. This allows you to slowly work your way up to a manageable amount of work. Otherwise you might overcommit yourself and perform less well with everything.
- Create a study space in your home. For those out of school for a while, create a quiet space in your homes. Make a break from your previous routines and head into “school mode.”
- If employed, seek support from your employer. Whenever you further your education, it makes you a more valuable employee. Your employer wants to work with you to increase what you have to offer. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and consult your boss.
- Make money plans. If you’re in a degree program, it may not mean much unless it’s finished. Make the proper plans and don’t run out of money part way into your program.
Obtaining an online education can be an important turning point towards a life of opportunity and stability, a way to keep your mind active, or a way to attach yourself to unnecessary student debt and an unaccredited institution. Be careful and realistic when considering your options, if an option appears to be too good to be true, beware. And most of all, take advantage of the connectivity of the digital age to enhance your education and life.