Category : course-development

How to Be Ready for Your Big Budget Increase

You are in your CEO's office and she says to you, "I am happy to increase your training budget next year. But here's the catch. The training better be shorter, faster, and more targeted at our top three company goals than training you have delivered in the past. If you can do that, I hardly care how much it costs. Can you do that?"

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Designing Engaging E-Learning with PowerPoint

Recently, I took on an e-learning design project that had me wanting to refresh my perspective. For this particular project, I did not want to fall into the trap of producing the same old style of e-learning with which I am comfortable. I wanted to enter this project with some fresh ideas. We all get comfortable with what we do and how we do it, and those phases last far too long. For me, the best way to break the spell, is to read a new book, or even an old book as if I were reading it for the first time.

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Getting Started in Mobile Learning

In a recent post, I talked about a new feature in Mindflash that allows you to create training modules that work beautifully on the iPad. This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities for reaching learners with effective and relevant learning opportunities. Based on the numbers and predictions, mobile is going to be bigger that we can even imagine, and learning experience (LX) designers need to be ready. So now that you know designing mobile learning is possible with Mindflash, the next question is, "How do I get started?"

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The Secret to Designing Training For Busy Schedules

When one gets started in e-learning, it is easy to think, "This is great, now we don't have to do classroom training anymore." This is certainly one benefit of e-learning. However, you do not have to think of this as an either/or proposition. In fact, an effective and popular way to use e-learning is in a blended approach that combines live training and self-paced e-learning.

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Learning Design Models Are Fine: But Are They Practical?

One of the most important things a learning experience (LX) designer can do is apply a sound, repeatable process to one's designs. The problem I have with design processes is that they are often too vague and do not actually tell you what to do in the moment. For example, take a look at the A in ADDIE. Analyze. The books on ADDIE will generally tell you that before you begin creating a learning experience, you will want to figure out what is needed. Of course this makes sense, but what I really want to know is how to actually determine those needs.

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E-Learning Designs: Don't Underestimate Learner Overload

I am at the beginning of a long-term project to create an internal certification program for a specific job type in my organization. The method for the learning content will be primarily asynchronous, so that people can go through the program at their own pace. Moreover, a self-paced e-learning program has the added benefit of being a resource that can be referred to over and over again.

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Learning Design: When You Just Don't Know Where to Start

ADDIE is good, SAM is good. DMADDI is good. AGILE is good. Rapid instructional design is good. But sometimes a course design project can be overwhelming, and these design models are not specific enough to answer the question, "OK, so what do I write on the page right now?"

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Employee Development Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes

There has been much written about employee development lately. All of these articles say two things that I find important. First, employees value it when an organization provides opportunities to develop skills beyond just for the job they are doing today. Employees express this value by being more engaged in their work, are more likely to perform better in their jobs, and stay longer with the organization. Second, the employee development opportunities must by well-aligned between what employees value and what the organization needs.

Employee Training and College Credit
At a networking event and product demo luncheon I attended on Thursday, October 25, one of Cornerstone's clients, an HR leader at a well known satellite TV provider, told a story about how they were using on-line courses in their learning management system and partnerships with universities, to offer employees opportunities to learn valuable career skills, and also credit towards college degrees. This is an excellent way to show employees you care about their development and to align what employees value with what the company values.
Everyone knows employee development is important. The problem is that if you are a small to medium-sized business, you likely do not have the resources to either purchase a catalog of courses or hire a training staff large enough to create the opportunities your employees are beginning to expect. So, what to do?
Free or Flexible Options
If you do not quite have the budget to partner with universities or purchase a catalog of on-line courses, an alternative is to assemble a list of free college courses or other reasonably priced on-line courses that your employees can take. Coursera is a service that partners with universities to offer free on-line college courses. Although these courses do not count towards college credit, they do provide an opportunity for someone to learn new skills, if they apply themselves.
Alternatively, Opensesame offers on-line course on a variety of topics from Sexual Harassment to Microsoft Excel at reasonable prices for which you can pay as you go. This is an excellent alternative to purchasing an entire catalog of courses. You can set up an annual budget for each of your employees that they can spend on a service like Opensesame, and allow employees to choose whatever courses they want to take.
You do not necessarily have to spend a ton of money on employee development, but you do need to figure out ways in which employees believe they have opportunities to grow their careers. The secret to success here is to be creative about how to provide opportunities for your people to develop careers that matter to them but that also contribute to the success of your organization.
What employee development opportunities does your organization offer?
Bill Cushardauthorblogger, and head of learning at Allonhill, is a learning leader with extensive, in-the-trenches experience building learning organizations in start-up and hyper-growth organizations like E*TRADE, the Knowland Group, and Allonhill.
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Three Ideas for New Learning Experience (LX) Designers

Starting out in any new job is a challenge, but new instructional designers and learning experience (LX) designers have a particular challenge in that they must learn their own role and the tools associated with their job, and they must learn about the business they serve and the learners for which they will design training and learning experiences.  It is quite a challenge. In thinking about what advice could be valuable for new LX designers, I decided to turn to my personal learning network. I posed a few questions on Twitter and in Linkedin groups. I wanted to find perspectives from a variety of professionals who do this job every day. Surely they would have great advice for new designers.

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Practical Ways Social Learning Can Enhance Formal Learning

In a recent Chief Learning Office Magazine article,  How to Create a Dynamic Social Learning Space, Julian Stodd makes the point that social learning is not a replacement for formal learning, but a "supplement" to it. In a practical sense, this is true, and the good news is that learning experience (LX) designers do not have
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