Someone once said “there’s nothing new under the sun”. Except maybe format changes. With social learning being one of the buzzwords today, here are a few thoughts on the topic.
Is social learning a new thing? Cut back to the past, where cavemen gathered around their evening fires, telling each other stories of their hunt, also sharing a couple of best practices on hunting techniques and challenges no doubt. Less experienced huntsmen huddled around, lapping up all the collective wisdom being shared, getting ready for the day when they would be able to start recounting their stories toinspire, teach, and of course to brag.
Fast forward to the present. Has a lot changed? Technology-wise, everything of course – we are not using a sharpened stone to carve our success stories on the walls of caves, but are broadcasting them within our communities of practice using sophisticated discussion and collaboration tools. The sharing of our experiences continues, like never before. Web 2.0 and social media has changed the way users ‘talk’ to each other, individually and within a community of fellow users. Our powerful collaboration and communications tools such as discussion boards, live chat, virtual classrooms, journals, groups and blogs, enable connections between like-minded individuals around the world. We congregate around virtual evening fires, warm our hands, recount our stories, share our problems, get opinions from experts within our communities of practice, celebrate our successes and learn from each other’s failures. So what’s new? Nothing- and yet everything, in a sense. It’s still all about participating with others and engaging with them to co-create value and arrive at shared understanding and meaning. That said, technology has been a game changer as far as the reach and format of our learning and sharing goes.
So welcome to the brave old world of social learning -of the people, by the people, for the people -that’s the simple beauty of it all. Now we come to the interesting aspect of it – How do we harness the power of social learning and integrate it into our eLearning solutions? Thoughts anyone?
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In the previous post, we looked at the approaches to design e-learning courses on food safety; in this post, we will look at a few instructional and visual components that we used to engage learners. Let’s see what they are.
A Subject Matter Expert (SME) is an expert in an organization on a particular area or topic. To create good e-learning courses, inputs from SMEs are vital. To get the best out of your SME, you need to first understand him and know his role. The SME’s role is to help instructional designers (ID) understand the content. An SME is a knowledge hub looking for the best ways to transfer it, and we IDs are the people who lay the path for it. We generally face many challenges while dealing with SMEs such as variation in timelines (the major challenge), lots of changes in the content and few in the GUI, huge variations in visualization, etc., once the course gets developed. In order to overcome all these issues, and to get the best out of your SMEs, you need to follow a few steps. Let us see what they are.
Medical representatives face many problems while promoting their companies’ products to doctors. It’s a well-known fact that doctors are more knowledgeable about medicines than the pharmaceutical sales representatives. So, how can a representative gain as much knowledge as the doctor about the medicine? Well, e-learning is the best solution for this problem because it helps to impart highly effective training.
As instructional designers, we always aim to design courses that reach the target audience effectively. We would never want to hear our learners say that the course was boring. We put all our efforts to make the course interesting and engaging.
But, it is essential that these efforts are put in a right way. Engaging the learner doesn’t mean just including interactivities. It is much more than having a few clicks of interactivities.
In my last blog, 20 Must Know Acronyms of E-learning – Part 1, we have seen some acronyms that are used in the world of e-learning. In this blog, we will look at some more acronyms.
11. JIT (Just-in-Time): Just-in-time learning systems enable learners to access online learning resources at the point of need. Today, what will you do to find directions to a place or find out the movie that is playing in the theatre close to your home? You just go online for information. To employees, m-learning provides a similar facility to access information pertaining to their jobs at the click of a button.
Training enhances skills and abilities of employees to be aligned to changing business needs. It is well understood that assessments are vital components of e-learning courses. They are a medium to measure training outcomes. Assessments not only strengthen learning but also help evaluate the learner’s comprehension of a course.
It is well-known that assessments are a vital component of an e-learning course. Good assessments play an important role in enhancing the efficacy of the online course by helping evaluate the knowledge gained by the learner and reinforce the learning.
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases. In order to adhere to food safety regulations, one of our clients came up with a requirement for an e-learning course.
E-learning and m-learning are powerful learning methods; both are dynamic and effective ways to teach people. So then, what are the differences between and e-learning and m-learning methods?
E-learning involves a series of modules with in-depth subject-matter while m-learning involves smaller chunks of information which can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Modules are designed differently, depending on the kind of format used to learn. M-learning breaks the barriers of time and place and provides easy access to courses. E-learning also enables learners to access information anytime, anywhere through a laptop, and a stable environment is needed for the learner to take training.