Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Flash drives for learners

USB flash drive
Fleeting thought for the morning. What if ITL classrooms have dedicated laptops for each learner seat. Then each learner will be given a USB flash drive that has been programmed to autolaunch some sort of knowledge storage, such as a standalone wiki like Tiddlywiki, that contains the participant's guide and links to other job aids.

USB flash drives are dirt cheap nowadays and would make a great takeaway from the training.

Monday, June 18, 2007

How much is too much?

So I have a client who expressed concern about reusing certain images in an elearning course my employer is creating for them. The problem is that the size of the course is so large and its subject matter is so intense (WMD response) that the number of images are limited.

So as I review images being used I am wrestling with the question of how much is too much. I recall that Ken Burn's lengthy documentary on the Civil War seemed to reuse certain images that had emotional impact repeatedly. Of course he also zoomed in close to the image and then panned across it to create a sense of moving pictures.

I would like to think that certain reuse of dynamic pictures is acceptable if it helps to either:
  1. Reinforce the surrounding content
  2. Serve to make the information more memorable.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Valuable Tips for Running Small Wikis

The folks at Teaching
posted a lengthy article offering valuable recommendations about
running a small wiki. They observe that a small wiki with 50
contributors cannot be run the same way as Wikipedia, which has 43,000 contributors. Read the whole article: Tips on Developing a Wiki Community.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Back to the basics

Sometimes its the little, common-sense things we often forget about when we are subject matter experts. That's why I found this little wiki page fascinating.

The 30-minute masters - Learning 1.5 Wiki

I think all instructional designers should have to read this at least once every six months.

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"Coursels:" I love the term.

One of the great things about where I work is that people are always sharing great sites. This morning we were pointed to the Articulate blog and to a particular blog entry titled: 5 Myths About Rapid E-Learning. What particularly caught my eye was a bullet point under Myth 2: Rapid e-learning is important, but it's a second class product!

Develop a coursel mindset. Coursels are “course morsels.” They are bite-sized chunks of information and learning. Instead of building large training programs, make your strategy to build a series of coursels that address very specific topics. With the coursels you can develop just-in-time material to address immediate needs. In addition, you can tie your coursels together to create whole courses. You can also use the coursels to blend with and augment other training in the organization.
This has been a thought that has been rumbling around in that huge vacuum I call a brain. Coursels could be another term for microlearning, which is already growing in the European community. These could be real simple how-to's for a lot of the small tasks that all workers are confronted with such as:

  • how to complete an expense report
  • how to submit a narration report for audio production
  • how to record your voice mail greeting
All those things that are shared over the cube walls.

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