Elearn Single Source Nne Stc 09may


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David Locke describes single-sourcing with elearning at the May 2009 meeting of the Northern New England chapter of the Society for Technical Communication.

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Elearn Single Source Nne Stc 09may

  1. 1. the end of single source? e-learning David Locke WordSmith, LLC
  2. 2. e-learn: end of SS? <ul><li>how it evolved and costs </li></ul><ul><li>e-learning sources and paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>maybe, maybe not </li></ul>
  3. 3. evolution of SS <ul><li>Technical writers’ Crusades against the twin barbarians: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Just document the application.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Gimme that help stuff on paper, too.” </li></ul>
  4. 4. evolution of SS <ul><li>1990: a paradigm for single sourcing: John Carroll </li></ul><ul><li>Minimalism: Beyond The Nurnberg Funnel </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>User assistance: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>task-oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>least intrusive display </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>embedded, CSH variant </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>browse-able </li></ul></ul>evolution of SS
  6. 6. evolution of SS 1680 to 1980 1998 + 1990 The evolution of help, 1680 to the present: 1992 “ documenting the app” fake single source dies user assistance/ true single source Minimalism
  7. 7. <ul><li>Online help : context-sensitive, user-task-centered information </li></ul><ul><li>Paper/PDF : reference data </li></ul><ul><li>Paper : beginner’s bridge information: use, learn, and toss ---and more to come. </li></ul>evolution of SS
  8. 8. <ul><li>small example: </li></ul><ul><li>PsychData.com </li></ul>evolution of SS
  9. 9. training evolution of SS developers customers suits other writers marketing users sales
  10. 10. <ul><li>SS core issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>chunking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>information typing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>structured documentation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tool demands: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>data storage ,conditionals, outputs </li></ul></ul></ul>evolution of SS
  11. 11. evolution of SS <ul><li>evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>not bad: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>tools, methods evolved </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>understand users, information better </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dirty little secret: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>maintenance </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. e-learn sources, paradigm <ul><li>Good e-learning needed a paradigm </li></ul><ul><li>Slow in coming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(just as help sinks our of sight: e.g., Office 2007) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. e-learn sources, paradigm <ul><li>What engages memory? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual when possible, then text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Medina: “Visual trumps all other senses.”) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Combination of sensory data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>lots of research: richer is better but: take care with sequence </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spaced repetition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>let content suggest intervals </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. e-learn sources, paradigm <ul><li>Combination of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Michael Allen Repurposing: “…turning a toad into a prince...” Chunk materials specifically for e-learn formats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>John Medina </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best sequence for attention, memory: large statement, hook, details, paraphrase summary </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Richard Mayer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Combine text, visuals in ways that enhance rather than override or obscure </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. e-learning: tools <ul><li>In order of complexity, sophistication of product: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Captivate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lectora </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adobe Visual Communicator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… and a lot more </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>examples </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. e-learning: organizations <ul><ul><li>e-Learning Guild </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>focused on learning: research & practice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>small, local events (plus large national) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ASTD – American Society for Training and Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>by contrast w/ STC: more commercial, more glitz and glam </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>at far end: e-learn morphs into “employee development & career management,” folds into/ becomes extension of HR department </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. e-learning vs single sourcing <ul><li>Summary, implications - 1: </li></ul><ul><li>good e-learning materials function best as partners with text-based information systems or in blended (e-learn, classroom) combos </li></ul><ul><li>single source systems continue to provide a rich, stable base </li></ul><ul><li>e-learning: supplement, not supplant </li></ul>
  18. 18. e-learning & single sourcing <ul><li>Summary, implications - 2: </li></ul><ul><li>e-learning: new opportunities for writers </li></ul><ul><li>who better to understand from the user perspective, to distinguish task from concept </li></ul><ul><li>will require learning: tools, some methods, jargon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(don’t be put off by “instructional designers” – that’s what you’ve been doing all along) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>References: </li></ul><ul><li>John Medina, Brain Rules </li></ul><ul><li>( www.brainrules.net ) </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Allen, Michael Allen’s Guide to e-Learning (John Wiley, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Richard Mayer and Ruth Colvin Clark, e-Learning and the Science of Instruction (John Wiley, 2008) </li></ul>e-learning & single sourcing
  20. 20. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>and thanks. </li></ul>e-learning & single sourcing