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eLearning Design Certificate – Day One

This was an excellent course taught a very knowledgeable teacher. It was a 3-day eLearning Design Certificate. The instructor, Ray Jimenez, has published 3 books. Check out his blog here. Below are some of the major points I took away with me from the Day One of the Certificate Program:

  • The page turning device is dying. Students are no longer willing to read 100 pages and just sit there clicking ‘next page’.
  • New method of design: Understand Behaviors, Design Programs based on Behaviors, Select Methods of Media, THEN select software, lastly, Execute. Most times the software is selected first; this is a mistake.
  • Students feel impatient when they are locked in front of a PowerPoint with no control. Relinquish control to the student; let them choose which section they can jump to.
  • Most instructors have designed many courses – but few have taken the course themselves. Why? Because it’s really boring.
  • Online learners NEED to control. They want to be able to Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward, etc. ALL media presented.
  • How do people learn in real life? By DOING.
  • Traditional Classroom models cannot be used to design online courses.
  • New students to online learning suffer because we do not do enough to properly train them how to learn online.
  • Working Competency/Full Competency.
  • Working Competencies are the things we MUST learn, the NEED to learn.
  • Full Competencies are the other things: large manuals, guides, formulas, references, etc.
  • Why do we transfer ALL the guides, formulas, references online? Use the 20/80 rule.
  • 20% is the things we MUST learn, the really important stuff. That should be presented first.
  • The other 80% is usually reference stuff, guides, formulas, but that lastly as separate links so it doesn’t interfere with the really important main topics.
  • Settle down on concentrate on Value/Content BEFORE media. Sometimes the media is over hyped and not necessary.
  • Why do we love Google? Simple interface, not fancy, straight to the point – BUT very valuable and usable.
  • http://vftsystems.com/elearn/prototypes.html
  • The Power of Story Telling – create characters. Take a picture of someone expressing different feelings and use those characters throughout your lesson. It can be you or a co-workers with a small bubble with some text over their head.
  • Keep lessons very short; no more than 6 or 7 pages. Studies show students prefer smaller bits of information rather than long lectures. A longer Table of Contents is better than longer modules.
  • Use links on the margins to provide the resources, guides, extra info.
  • Always have a Reflections page. This allows them to see the value of what they are learning by seeing how it applies to their everyday.
  • Biggest mistake: The content is boring because we only transfer the book stuff, the mechanics. We don’t transfer the organic stuff.
  • Nobody learns online unless you put it in an organic format.
  • Why is story telling or organic information so important? Read: Roger Shank. ‘Tell me a story’.
  • Our brain’s indexing mechanism learns information from stories.
  • Stop writing e-learning as a technical document
  • Stories must be emotional and shocking to really make an impression.
  • Before you write a story, answer 2 questions: Whats the worse thing that can happen? And what’s the best thing that can happen?
  • Organics – stories, metaphors, cases, illustrations, examples, etc all to do with real life situations. Ask questions to see the real life implications. Think of problems in real life to move the learner.

OK, that’s what we covered in day 1. I’ll post Day 2 and 3 soon. Let me know if you have any questions.

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