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Tips for Making Courses That Count


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While eLearning is no longer in its infancy, the broad conversations and debates about best tools, best practices, and best approaches reveal unanswered questions about the best ways to develop eLearning. Too often, organizations take the shotgun approach with both content and design: The more, the better! But more content and design doesn’t necessarily mean more learning. Instructional designers need clear, actionable techniques that maximize learner engagement and minimize wasted development time on frills that do not support improved outcomes.

Participants in this session will learn tips for effective eLearning design based on feedback from customers and best practices from the more than 260 content developers in the OpenSesame marketplace. OpenSesame is working to synthesize this information into a set of design guidelines to support improved content worldwide. For example, course developer ej4 uses video in both traditional and mobile courses to help clients achieve compliance and sales goals. You’ll examine their guidelines for designing for mobile and using video, with examples of courses that worked for ej4’s clients. In another example, you’ll explore Art Kohn’s view on the cognitive science behind using interaction strategically in video.

In this session, you will learn:
Strategies for simplifying eLearning content
How to divide eLearning content into manageable “chunks”
How to incorporate media elements to keep online learners’ attention

Published in: Technology
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Tips for Making Courses That Count

  1. 1. Tips for Making Courses That Count Kelly Meeker
  2. 2. Sessionoverview Session Overview The marketplace for online corporate training Session Hashtag: #IDtips
  3. 3. Sessionobjectives Break it down. Break content into logical, spaced chunks. Mix it up. Incorporate multimedia elements to keep learners’ attention. Keep it real. Focus courses on supporting desired performance outcomes.
  4. 4. Break itDown Chunks & Spaces
  5. 5. Break itDown 11 Minute Chunks inpractice “Each employee spent only 11 minutes on any given project before being interrupted and whisked off to do something else. What’s more, each 11-minute project was itself fragmented into even shorter three-minute tasks, like answering e-mail messages, reading a Web page or working on a spreadsheet.” - From Meet the Life Hackers
  6. 6. Break itDown The 11 Minute Rule inpractice 11 minutes Most learners have only 11 minutes between interruptions
  7. 7. Break itDown The 11 Minute Rule inpractice And even if they have longer, their attention spans are unlikely to last longer.
  8. 8. Break itDown The 11 Minute Ruledesigntip Subdivide information into short “chunks”
  9. 9. Break itDown Making the Most of Navigation You are here
  10. 10. Break itDown Don’t Skip the Objectives
  11. 11. Break itDown Make Them Measurable
  12. 12. Break itDown Spaced Learningdesigntip 4-hour span Crash course lecture
  13. 13. Break itDown Spaced Learningdesigntip SLEEP HUNGER STRESS MOOD 4-hour span Crash course lecture
  14. 14. Break itDown Spaced Learningdesigntip 1 week span Four one-hour packages of instruction
  15. 15. Mix itUp Mix It Up
  16. 16. Mix itUp Storytelling
  17. 17. Mix it Up Storyboards Are Essential design tip Image credit:Mike Sansone on Flickr
  18. 18. Mix itUp Create the Unexpecteddesigntip • Many courses aren’t courses, they’re textbooks • They have a narrator read the slide verbatim • They might lock navigation so that learners need to sit through the narrator reading the slide verbatim • They rely exclusively on bullets of text to communicate the information See what I did there?
  19. 19. Mix itUpdesigntip Adding the Human Touch Tip #9: Sonic Performance Support
  20. 20. Mix itUp ej4 on Using Video TipVideo is an opportunity. #: Using Video
  21. 21. Mix itUp Meet the TV Generation Average television consumption in America per individual in 2010: 34 hours / week (Nielsen Company)
  22. 22. Mix itUp When is video right? Applications: social interaction: Onboarding Safety HR Policies Compliance Product knowledge Customer service Process knowledge Sales Corporate communications
  23. 23. Mix itUp Beg, Borrow or Stealdesigntip Produce Curate Make it yourself! Find something that works! Challenges: Challenges: Resources Availability Logistics Applicability Expense
  24. 24. Mix itUpdesigntip Tip #10: for Using Images Tips Vivid Learning
  25. 25. Mix itUp Choosing Imagesdesigntip
  26. 26. Mix itUp Choosing Imagesdesigntip
  27. 27. Mix itUp Penguins Don’t Wear Shoesdesigntip
  28. 28. Mix itUp Don’t Use Everything At Oncedesigntip
  29. 29. Mix itUp Mobile Learning Life Cycledesigntip Early adopter phase Primarily experimental pilot projects Costs are high Big in select verticals
  30. 30. Mix itUp Choosing Mobiledesigntip Trying to Things remember change Something Wanting to goes wrong learn more Learning for the first time
  31. 31. Mix itUp Why mobile?designtip “Gotta” make business sense. The content must make/save the learner/company money or it is not worth pushing to mobile. Sales and product specific content is the best for mobile.
  32. 32. Mix itUp How to use mobile?designtip “Gotta be…” Fast If content is pushed to the device it has a higher chance of being completed. Customized Could just be a logo
  33. 33. Mix itUp Mobile Tips & Tricksdesigntip Keep the interface simple. If you have to tell them how to use it, it is too hard. It is a SMALL screen - develop backwards.
  34. 34. Keep itReal Focus on Performance Outcomes
  35. 35. Keep itReal Promoting Retentiondesigntip
  36. 36. Keep itReal Engage Emotiondesigntip
  37. 37. Keep itReal Think Leandesigntip Innovate Iterate Improve Repeat
  38. 38. Keep itReal Think Leandesigntip Ship early, ship often
  39. 39. Questions? Kelly Meeker @OpenSesame 503-808-1268 ext. 314The marketplace for online corporate training