Elearning And Its Uses In Multiple Streams

By Donna Niemi Barrett

Elearning And Its Uses In Multiple Streams

When you think of e-learning, what comes to mind? I think everyone now uses e-learning in some form and most of us do so without realizing it. In the simplest possible terms, just hooking onto the Internet and reading how to use a piece of software you recently purchased is e-learning because you’re using an electronic means to learn something. Get it? Now, that’s not exactly what I’m talking about, but maybe you’re getting the idea of just how much you may be using e-learning unwittingly.

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Collaborative Learning in Academic and Corporate Environments!

Collaborative Learning Benefits

In a traditional e-learning setting, learners learn the content in a secluded, self-paced environment. Here, learners have little chance of meeting their fellow learners to share their learning experiences. On the other hand, collaborative learning encourages active learning where each learner has an opportunity to take an active part in learning activities.

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Rapid e-Learning: Advantages and Disadvantages!

Rapid e-Learning: Advantages and Disadvantages!

The traditional development process of an e-learning course needs a team of professionals that comprise Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Content Developers, Flash and Multimedia designers and programmers. In addition, it is a long process requiring around 10-15 weeks to complete. These professionals have their own roles to play with little scope for content authors to take up a designer’s or a programmer’s job. As a result, more investment and time goes into creating an e-learning course. However, with the advent of Rapid e-Learning, things have changed.

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Storytelling An Effective Training Method!

Storytelling An Effective Training Method!

Story-telling methods, if used for training, can ensure a captive audience. It is a wonderful means to establish rapport with a group. Real-life experiences narrated in story form can help forge better relationships in a team and build credibility with the team members. Stories are an effective method to communicate important messages to people as they can be fun and interesting.

Stories can be used to teach ideas and impart complex concepts. Trainers who have successfully used story-telling techniques in their training sessions will vouch for their effectiveness as a teaching or training tool.

There are a lot of aspects of learning that are concrete or measurable, while others are abstract or those that cannot be measured, but only imagined and understood. Stories can be used to explain both concrete and abstract concepts. A story, when used as a study or learning technique, is a chain or thread that can be used to link different facts, whether related or unrelated.

The story doesn’t really have to make a lot of sense by itself as much as it needs to be the medium that links different facts that we know. This kind of linking is what makes it easy to study or remember and use it later. Stories can be used to introduce new ideas and reinforce old concepts. Existing stories can be modified and reused to accommodate newer ideas.

Story-telling techniques, when incorporated into training sessions, make the session effective and engaging. It also increases the listeners’ enjoyment quotient tremendously. Research has shown that the efficacy of stories is not due to the story itself, but more because, people generally relate the story to an incident they may have experienced at some time. Thus, they can actualize the message and internalize the essence of the story.

A calculated use of story-telling can include reflections of past experiences, understanding and conveying the meaning embedded in those instances and using them to channelize key messages in a host of contexts. These can be used to guide values and priorities, promote desired behaviors and share learning. Using one’s life experiences can be a sure-shot success strategy for your training session purely because you can convey its inherent integrity, credibility and passion first-hand. A story should ideally create a timeline, proceed to focus on a related task or event and end with a focus on the acquired learning. The stories used in the session can then be used to elaborate on the meaning it holds for you, the influence it has on your thinking or approach to work and the value it can provide that makes a difference to others.

Do share your thoughts on the same.

View E-book on Instructional Design 101: A Handy Reference Guide to E-learning Designers

How to make Lectora Courses Compatible to Cross LMS?

By Sudheer Panchumarthi

How to make Lectora Courses Compatible to Cross LMS?

Recently we were working on an assignment where we have to share the Lectora courses from a file server that will be hosted by the course provider, and the courses will be accessible through the client’s LMS using the AICC files (AU files).

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How to Customize the Questions Functionality using Variables in Lectora?

In this blog, you will learn how to add our own variable to the question in Lectora, a rapid elearning tool. If you want to customize the question functionality, you can do it using variables. In this example, you will check whether the learner has attempted the question or not.

First you need to create questions using the question tool of Lectora. Follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Right Click on the Lectora page icon.
  2. Click on New from the list.
  3. Click on the Question from the menu.
  4. Follow all the steps to create the question.

After you create the questions, you need to create a new variable using the “New Variable” button present in “Action Properties” dialog box.

Action Properties Dialog Box

Click on the “New Variable” button to open “Add Variable” dialog box.

Add Variable Dialog Box

Enter the name of the variable “attempt” and enter the initial value as “0”. This variable should be updated after the learner has attempted the question. You need to add an action on the question submission button to modify the value of the variable.

You can enter the attempt variable value to 1 if learner attempted the question. You need to add below action to the submit button:

On : Mouse Click

Action : Modify Variable

Target : attempt

Value : 1

Modification Type : Enter Variable Content

Now as per your requirement, add extra functionality using the “attempts” variable value. For example, you can check the status of the question in the next page and recommend user to go back and complete the exercise first.

Similarly, you can create as many as variables and modify the values for all the questions. In the quiz summary page, you can show the complete status of the questions attempted and the questions not attempted. You can also display customized feedbacks pop-ups with messages.

Free Lesson on Lectora 2008

How to market social media as a learning tool?

How to market social media as a learning tool?

This month’s Big Question in The Learning Circuits “PRESENTING THE VALUE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR LEARNING” is an interesting one for us, the professionals and votaries of learning, training and change.

How do we ‘market’ the use of social media as a new tool or avatar of learning?

First, are we sold on it? Many of us have mixed experiences and opinions about using social media in an organizational setting to learn and improve workplace performance. I think I find blogging and LinkedIn more useful than Facebook or Twitter. I am sure many of you have opposing views.

Social media represents universal wisdom, present on such platforms that are moderately accessible, despite most IT departments’ reluctance to open them up for lesser mortals like us :). Of course, it has its own negative features just like any other tool.

If you are convinced in principle that social media, with all its shortcomings, is still a very powerful medium that can really empower people with JIT (Just-In-Time) learning on anything under the sun, it is our responsibility to present it to our ‘customers’, so that they benefit from it and thereby benefit our organizations.

Let’s see how you can do it. Research shows that when any new innovation is presented, potential users go through five distinct stages of adoption:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Evaluation
  4. Trial
  5. Adoption

It is advisable to keep in mind that educating people on new innovation takes time and effort.

We should also keep in mind that, people vary in the time to adopt new things. This process of “Diffusion of Innovation” was first popularized by Everett Rogers (1962) in his text book, Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers 1964). He defines diffusion as “the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system.”

It helps us immensely to take a quick look at adopter categorization on relative time taken.

The normal curve distribution above shows people differ greatly in their readiness to try new products or services. The graph shows that after a slow start, thanks to the innovators and the early adopters, an increasing number of people will adopt the innovation. The number reaches a peak and then drops off, as the innovators and early adopters rush off to try some new alternatives.

Research shows that:

  • Innovators are adventurous and take risks.
  • Early Adopters are guided by respect. They are opinion leaders who adopt early but carefully.
  • Early Majority are deliberate in their choice, though not leaders.
  • Late Majority are skeptical and wait till the majority have tried.
  • Laggards are traditionally the last set of people to adopt change.

How do we use this knowledge in popularizing Social Media as an innovation in learning methodologies especially in Corporate Training?

My suggestions are:

  1. First target the Innovators and the Early Adopters through free workshops and contests. They are risk takers and get attracted by anything new.
  2. Present success stories and case studies collected from the Innovators and the Early Adopters to the Early Majority.
  3. Once these groups are behind you, the others (Later Majority and Laggards) will automatically follow.

I think we should give adequate time to see results.