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Dump the Drone: Livelier Elearning
 

Dump the Drone: Livelier Elearning

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Ideas to help you create lively elearning. Intended for corporate audiences but useful for educators, too. Based on a presentation I gave at an eLearning Guild conference in April 2006.

Ideas to help you create lively elearning. Intended for corporate audiences but useful for educators, too. Based on a presentation I gave at an eLearning Guild conference in April 2006.

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  • Online learning is perfect for students who can't be in school, professionals who has a full-time work or parents that can't leave their children. If you are not used to online learning you will get really bored because there are no interaction between students and teachers.
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  • Very useful presentation! Thanks, Cathy!
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  • Excellent presentation! Thank you Cathy. Many points that I will be applying from now on.
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  • Excellent and very helpful. Great Presentation.

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  • The gist of this is, be direct, be concise and be relevant!
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    Dump the Drone: Livelier Elearning Dump the Drone: Livelier Elearning Presentation Transcript

    • Dump the Drone Easy Steps to Livelier Elearning ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Who are your learners? How do they feel about elearning? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Fantasy I love to sit at my computer and read read read! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Reality They want me to take another online course? It had better be worth it. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • The problem ElearningBlueprint.com
    • What makes a course boring? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • A major cause Corporate Drone It’s a language! It’s a mindset! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • It’s a language • Buzzwords This course enhances the expertise of R&D staff so that they may leverage collaborative concepts to provide a competitive advantage. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • It’s a language • Buzzwords • Blather This activity will help develop an understanding of the basics of brand management and how it can be effectively used to inform a marketing strategy that ensures that the company's unique position in the marketplace is maintained. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • It’s a language • Buzzwords • Blather • Bogus “Because I am new to marketing, I would like to ask you some questions. First, how can I better communicate with the sales force to ensure a productive relationship?” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • It’s a language • Buzzwords • Blather • Bogus • Boring ElearningBlueprint.com
    • It’s a mindset • Big words are This course enhances the impressive! expertise of R&D staff so that they may leverage collaborative concepts to provide a competitive advantage. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • It’s a mindset • Big words are impressive! • Lots of words This activity will help develop are impressive! an understanding of the basics of brand management and how it can be effectively used to blah blah blah. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • It’s a mindset • We’re so busy trying to impress, we’ve forgotten how to sound like human beings. “How can I better communicate with the sales force to ensure a productive relationship?” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Drone infects design Droning design: • Tells, tells, tells, then tests • Cares more about content than learners • Makes learners work harder than necessary • Fears humor, conflict, and creativity ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Why do we drone? We’re brainwashed in school. • Droners get better grades. • The higher the degree, the greater the pressure to drone. Assignments force us to be wordy. • “Write 12 pages on...” We bring this training to the business world. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Nasty effects Corporate drone: • Makes it harder to learn • Kills motivation • Costs more to produce ElearningBlueprint.com
    • “But if we make our courses easy to read, our learners won’t respect them!” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Language = interface Would you intentionally make your interface hard to use? Language is part of your interface. It’s a way to deliver content. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Want respect? Make your content challenging, not your language. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Techniques For Eradication of Demotivating Communication to Dump the Drone ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Clear, creative design inspires clear, creative language. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Design 1 2 Make them laugh Vary your rhythm Content 3 You Who Do 5 4 Chop Run the numbers ElearningBlueprint.com
    • 1. Vary your rhythm ElearningBlueprint.com
    • rhythm Design • Give the learner control • They’ll set the pace and rhythm • Vary the format (media, text...) • Present content from two perspectives • “Opposing viewpoints” • Break up text with headings and bulleted lists • Interrupt yourself (callouts, boxed quotes) ElearningBlueprint.com
    • rhythm Language, too Vary sentence... • Length • Short is good, but variety is more interesting. • Type • Have you asked a question lately? • Structure • Spice it up--change direction with dashes; tack on a thought with a semicolon. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • 2. Make them laugh ElearningBlueprint.com
    • How can you add “safe” humor? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • laugh “Safe” humor Some ideas: • Use embarrassing situations that apply worldwide • Give a character a blind spot • Exaggerate • Use non-human characters that aren’t likely to be offensive • Use unrealistic examples • Give up on reality altogether ElearningBlueprint.com
    • laugh Spoof Who are your learners? • Do they make fun of themselves? • Can you make fun of them, too? • Are they experienced elearners? • Spoof elearning! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • 3. Say... “You” “Who” “Do” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Say “you” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • you Example 1 This activity will help develop an understanding of... ElearningBlueprint.com
    • you Rewrite 1 This activity will help develop an understanding of... This activity will help you understand... ElearningBlueprint.com
    • you Benefits • Puts you in conversation mode • Makes you care more about your learner • Makes your language more concrete • Identifies who does what ElearningBlueprint.com
    • you Example 2 The fire extinguisher should be recharged every six months. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • you Rewrite 2 The fire extinguisher should Who does it? be recharged every six months. Recharge the fire extinguisher You do it! every six months. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Say “who” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Example 1 Each quarter, a new sales report is created. Who does it? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Example 1 Each quarter, a new sales report is created. “divine passive” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Rewrite 1 Each quarter, a new sales report is created by the product manager. Now we know who does it, but it’s still passive. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Rewrite 1 Each quarter, a new sales report is created. Each quarter, the product manager creates a new sales report. stronger verb than “is” We’ve added a human being! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Who does what? Make clear who is doing what to whom. • You’ll be easier to understand. • You’ll use stronger verbs. • Your course will have more people in it. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Example 2 The field of child advocacy helps children who... ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Rewrite 2 The field of child advocacy Abstract noun helps children who... turns into human beings! Child advocates help children who... ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Add even more people • Create composite characters • Add audio or video of real people • Learners • Leaders • Customers • Risky: Introduce a guide who appears throughout the course • Make people up ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Make people up... ...but make sure they’re interesting! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • What makes a character interesting? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Which man is more interesting? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Suffering is interesting! Make your characters suffer. • A flaw, such as • Arrogance • Over-enthusiasm • Jumping to conclusions • An embarrassing situation • Email gone horribly wrong ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Cluelessness is boring No one cares about the clueless newbie! She’s just a blank slate. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • who Happiness is boring ...unless the character has suffered first ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Say “do” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Nouns are boring • They’re not people (usually). • They don’t DO anything. They just pile up: the product management process workshop ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Nouns are sneaky • Often, you can’t even picture them: functionality leadership • They try to trick you into thinking they’re verbs: Buying is an important consumer behavior. Boring noun masquerading as verb! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Change nouns to verbs The only verb in the entire sentence The vetting group services are centered on researching, reviewing, and approving wording in customer documentation. The vetting group researches, reviews, and approves wording in customer documentation. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Pick a lively verb lift is grab push touch ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Tell a story Even the most dry material has a story. • Make chronology clear. • Make actors clear. Then, before final scripts are written, the content is vetted by Legal. First Legal vets the content, and then the writer creates the final scripts. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • What are some ways to use fiction in a course? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Tell a story: fiction Some possibilities: • Immediately plunge learners into a story. Give them info and tools as they need them. • Write a story that appears as scenes throughout the course. • Introduce each course section with a scenario. Revisit the scenario at the end of the section. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • What makes a story interesting? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Is this interesting? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Is this any better? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Conflict is interesting Conflict is any challenge. Your characters could: • Disagree • Want something but face a barrier • Make a mistake • Need to rescue others • Get an unpleasant surprise ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Keep moving! • Your story probably needs less setup than you think. • Every scene & every bit of dialog should move the story. • Add urgency--put characters under pressure with a deadline. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Show, don’t tell When you tell, you explain everything: At the conference, Jacob told someone about the planned widget enhancement. This was a mistake, because a competitor overheard and enhanced their widget first. Jacob’s boss was upset and wondered who had leaked the secret. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Show, don’t tell Show instead. We’re going to enhance our widget next quarter. At the conference... ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Show, don’t tell One month later... Our competitor just enhanced their widget! How did they know? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • do Show, don’t tell Let your learners draw conclusions. And the moral is... ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Design 1 2 Make them laugh Vary your rhythm Content 3 You Who Do •Identify actors •Add verbs •Add people •Tell a story We’re here 5 4 Chop Run the numbers ElearningBlueprint.com
    • 4. Chop it! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • chop Why cut text? • We read 25% more slowly online • We’re used to scanning, not reading, online text • Younger learners are used to games • A quick pace is more interesting • Nielsen and others: “Cut text by 50%” ElearningBlueprint.com
    • chop Chop these • Sections that don’t directly support an objective • “Duh” sentences Buying is an important consumer behavior. • Blather ElearningBlueprint.com
    • chop Chop blather We’re not writing literature! One fine day near the end of spring, when the wild roses in the hedges had reached their peak of heady perfume, Little Red Riding Hood walked into the woods. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • chop Chop blather One fine day near the end of spring, when the wild roses in the hedges had reached their peak of heady perfume, Little Red Riding Hood walked into the woods. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • chop Chop blather Most adjectives and adverbs are blather. To successfully avoid unforeseen problems that could negatively impact costs, we must proactively search for errors throughout all phases of product development. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • chop Chop blather Most adjectives and adverbs are blather. expensive To successfully avoid unforeseen problems that could negatively impact costs, we must proactively search for errors throughout all phases of product development. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • 5. Run the numbers ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers A tool, not a solution Best uses for readability analysis: • Check progress during rewriting • Set standards for writers • Reassure clients Your course could get a good score but still be boring or confusing! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Word: Step 1 ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Word: Step 2 Click this ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Word: Step 3 Make sure this is checked ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Word: Step 4 Complete the spell check. You’ll see this. ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Ignore grade level Use this! Ignore this! ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Ignore grade level Grade levels don’t apply to adult materials. • Use Flesch Reading Ease • Higher score = easier to read • Compare your score to the scores of familiar materials, like magazines ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Find your score Reading ease = 40.4 ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Compare Reading Material Easy Ease Reader’s Digest 65 Time 52 Business Week 51 Wall Street Journal 43 Harvard Law Review 32 Auto policy 10 Hard ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Compare Reading Material Easy Ease Reader’s Digest 65 Time 52 Business Week 51 Wall Street Journal 43 Our course: 40 Harvard Law Review 32 Auto policy 10 Hard ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Compare Our two-hour course is slightly harder to read than the Wall Street Journal. Would our learners enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal for two hours straight... ...online? ElearningBlueprint.com
    • numbers Rewrite to raise your score Reading Material Easy Ease Recommended Reader’s Digest 65 for online Time 52 Business Week 51 Wall Street Journal 43 Harvard Law Review 32 Auto policy 10 Hard ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Design 1 2 Make them laugh Vary your rhythm Content 3 You Who Do •Identify actors •Add verbs •Add people •Tell a story 5 4 Chop Run the numbers ElearningBlueprint.com
    • Want more? MakingChangeBlog.com More ideas like the ones in this slideshow ElearningBlueprint.com Interactive job aid that helps anyone create lively elearning Cathy Moore ElearningBlueprint.com