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Gamification: The Latest Buzzword and the Next Fad

By Guy Boulet / December 21, 2012

The term gamification seems to be the latest buzzword in the learning realm. The term describing the use of game mechanics in non-game contexts, has rapidly been hijacked by the industry as a marketing term. In a field where buzzwords seem to define the latest approaches, can we expect gamification to deliver the miracles the industry promises. When we look at the previous learning fads that were Virtual Environments and Web 2.0 we can sincerely doubt it. » [Full Article]

The Creativity Killers At Work

By Andrew Grant, Gaia Grant / December 18, 2012

Is your team creative? Perhaps you need to cultivate an environment that allows positive ideas to flow. » [Full Article]

The Best Assessment Tools for the Online Classroom

By Martin Sivula / December 4, 2012

More and more students at all levels of education submit e-documents for assessment, grading, and instructor review. While retaining an electronic format, there are several free or low cost software tools available to facilitate this process. Each of the tools mentioned here have been empirically tested in the classroom and/or online settinggiving feedback to more than 100 students. Results suggest selecting tools that fit your instructional methods and assignments (while not sacrificing quality) can save you time and actually improve your feedback to students. » [Full Article]

Can a Video Game Make Someone Nice?

By Karl M. Kapp / November 20, 2012

In this article, Karl Kapp questions the effectiveness of games in changing leaner behaviors and attitudes. More precisely, does playing a prosocial game result in a person exhibiting prosocial behavior outside of the game environment? And what does this mean for game design as it relates to learning? » [Full Article]

Disruptive and Transformative Education: Designing learning in the digital age

By Allison Miller / November 16, 2012

Emerging changes to the way education is being delivered means that educators need to increase their technological domain of knowledge as well as improve their information and communication technology (ICT) skills to be able to design and facilitate learning in the digital age. These disruptive and transformative learning experiences will then better equip learners for a life of learning in a rapidly changing world. » [Full Article]

Learning at the Speed of Links and Conversations

By Jon Husband / October 23, 2012

Virtually all of us now live and work in a world of constant and rapid networked information flows. The learning necessary to adapt effectively to these new conditions requires us to remain conscious and choose for ourselves what kind of learning and at what rhythm, so as to improve and grow our personal capability to adapt. » [Full Article]

A Recap of the 18th Annual Sloan Consortium Conference on Online Learning

By Melissa A. Venable / October 16, 2012

For nearly 20 years, the Sloan Consortium has held an annual conference on online learning. Keeping with this year's theme "At a Crossroads: Online Education in a Complex World," the conference drew a diverse group of instructors, administrators, support services providers, technology experts, and instructional designers. In this conference overview, Melissa Venable discusses the highlights of the event. » [Full Article]

Augmented Reality: A new way of augmented learning

By Xiangyu Wang / October 9, 2012

Augmented Reality has great potential to provide rich contextual customized learning environments for every individual. As AR rides the hype cycle, Xiangyu Wang explores the implications of this emerging frontier technology for education. » [Full Article]

How important is Twitter in your Personal Learning Network?

By Clint Lalonde / September 27, 2012

There is a growing interest in Personal Learning Networks (PLN) and Twitter among educators. In this phenomenological research study, seven educators were interviewed about their experiences using Twitter within a PLN to try to understand if Twitter played a unique and specific role within their PLN. While a PLN does not require Twitter, this research shows that Twitter does play a significant role in the PLN, and that there are unique characteristics of Twitter which makes it a powerful platform to connect and collaborate with a PLN. » [Full Article]


By Dan W. Butin / September 21, 2012

While MOOCs have much to offer to higher education, Dan W. Butin argues that they can only take us so far. Ultimately, MOOCs provide an apprenticeship into Wikipedia; faculty provide an apprenticeship into democracy. » [Full Article]


By Dan W. Butin / September 21, 2012

While MOOCs have much to offer to higher education, Dan W. Butin argues that they can only take us so far. Ultimately, MOOCs provide an apprenticeship into Wikipedia; faculty provide an apprenticeship into democracy. » [Full Article]

Army eEducation: The distance learning approach

By Jack Judy / September 19, 2012

The United States Army Command and General Staff Colleges Department of Distance Education delivers the Advance Operations Course curriculum in a distance-learning format. This article discusses how instructors facilitate learning through different delivery methods (synchronous and asynchronous) to a student body geographically dispersed worldwide. Using a combination of delivery methods and available technology facilitators achieve a robust learning environment comparable to resident studies. » [Full Article]

Teacher Preparation Trends

By Amy M. Williamson / August 21, 2012

Online learning can no longer be considered a "fad" that may quickly pass. Instead, teachers and teacher educators alike must prepare themselves for the increasingly technological learning of the 21st century. This article focuses specifically on the benefits of YouTube as a means of reflection, modeling, and assessment for online education courses. » [Full Article]

Book Review: 'Learning Through Practice: Models, Traditions, Orientations, and Approaches' edited by Stephen Billett

By Clark Quinn / July 31, 2012

Stephen Billett is the editor of "Learning Through Practice: Models, Traditions, Orientations, and Approaches," a collection of chapters by academics from around the globe, with a variety of analytic frameworks and based upon a wide variety of task domains. This is deep reading, not a practitioner-oriented review, but does have rewards for the patient and erudite reader. » [Full Article]

Book Review: 'Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning For Each Student' edited by Chris Dede and John Richards

By Laura Layton-James / July 19, 2012

Chris Dede and John Richards have amassed 20 years of research and development in using digital learning environment, which is shared in their latest book, Digital Teaching Platforms: Customizing Classroom Learning For Each Student. The material is presented in four parts, providing an overview of digital platforms and how they can be used to support individual student learning. » [Full Article]

Creating Your Own Stock Photos with Your iPhone: A camera app review

By Tracy Parish / July 6, 2012

The struggle to find images that balance cost effectiveness for the client along with relevancy to the learner is an all too familiar encounter instructional designers face. To solve this need instructional designers are creating their own collection of stock images using whats at hand; their iPhones. Choosing the right app for the task can be a daunting one, but here Tracy Parish reviews 11 different apps that will help make the amateur photographer look like a pro and expand their image resources. » [Full Article]

A Small Conference with Big Reach

By Jeannette Campos / June 28, 2012

The 8th Annual Innovations in eLearning Symposium (IEL) attracted a variety of speakers and attendees earlier this month. The event focused on three core areas: informal learning and social media, learning and performance analytics, and competitive edge(through innovation. In this recap, Jeanette Campos gives an overview of IEL12, a small conference with global reach. » [Full Article]

In the Google Age, Information Literacy is Crucial

By Andrew Brown / June 19, 2012

Students having instant access to information through Google or Yahoo is a double edged sword. While students can find answers through public search engines quickly, many are unable to discern valid information from bad information. Students must develop good habits before they enter the workforce. This article highlights higher education teaching strategies for information literacy. » [Full Article]

What MIT Should Have Done

By Dan W. Butin / June 12, 2012

The launch of MITx and similar online initiatives has sparked heated discussion on the future of higher education. In this article, Dan Butin offers an alternative perspective on the limits and possibilities of such MOOCs for teaching and learning in the college classroom. » [Full Article]

eLearning in a Foreign Language

By Danielle Geary / June 7, 2012

In this article, the author explores the challenges of learning a foreign language online and how the process differs from that of learning other subjects in ones native language. The author suggests adjusting first year credit hours to provide more language practice, increasing variety in lesson plans, and keeping up with instructional technology and the virtual classroom. Leadership themes and the magnitude of student autonomy in the virtual foreign language classroom are also discussed. » [Full Article]

How to Fail When Using Internal Social Media

By Kevin D. Jones / June 5, 2012

Advice on how to do internal social media is abundant. We constantly hear about best practices, case studies, and seminars, which relate successes. But as the industry has matured it has had its share of failures-companies who have badly botched their internal social media initiatives. From those, lessons are learned but rarely shared. This article shows five ways companies have failed implementing social media and extracts learnings from them. Studying these failures-and how to avoid them-help us to avoid the same fate. » [Full Article]

How to Build and Lead Successful Online Communities: Behaving appropriately

By Nic Laycock / May 31, 2012

In this final part of his series on learning communities, eLearn contributor Nic Laycock discusses how to avoid bad behavior and foster a real sense of community. » [Full Article]

A Practitioner's Dilemma: How can I calculate the value of communities of practice?

By Julia Storberg-Walker / May 24, 2012

The purpose of this article is to describe a process for evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of communities of practice. Adapting Kirkpatricks four-step model, Wenger, Trayner and deLaat produced a revolutionary new method for connecting specific CoP activities to organizational results. This article describes the method in order to help practitioners "prove" the value of CoPs to executive-level decision makers. » [Full Article]

Rapid Power Tools: The top performers of eLearning authoring software

By Judy Unrein / May 22, 2012

Not all authoring tools are created equal. Some require programming skills and a long lead time for development, others are too simplistic to effectively address all of your needs. Enter "rapid power tools." They are easy to use and powerful enough to to create custom learning experiences. In this article, Judy Unrein looks at what's available on the market. Find out which ones make the cut. » [Full Article]

An Inside Look at ASTD's 2012 International Conference and Exposition

By David Kelly / May 18, 2012

In this article, David Kelly shares some of the lessons learned at the ASTD's 2012 International Conference and Exposition and discusses what makes the conference unique and valuable for attendees. » [Full Article]

Book Review: 'The Gamification of Learning and Instruction: Game-Based Methods and Strategies For Training And Education' by Karl Kapp

By Connie Malamed / May 8, 2012

Connie Malamed, the eLearning Coach, reviews Karl Kapp's latest book in which he skillfully explores the depth and breadth of gamification. » [Full Article]

The Classroom in the Palm of Your Hand

By Aaron Iffland / May 3, 2012

In this article, the use of student mobile learning technologies is discussed. The author then goes on to examine how he, as a college instructor, needs to implement better mobile learning interactions in his math classes. By connecting to the current literature on mobile learning, the author has tried to show how the development and implementation of mobile learning should occur. It is the authors hope that this article will motivate other college instructors to implement mobile learning interactions in their courses. » [Full Article]

How to Build and Lead Successful Online Communities: Getting Started With An Online Community

By Nic Laycock / May 1, 2012

In Part 3 of 4 in his series on learning communities, eLearn contributor Nic Laycock discusses how to get started in building an online community by having a clear purpose and having all your ducks in a row at launch. » [Full Article]

The Universal Campus: An open virtual 3-D world infrastructure for research and education

By Pierre Baldi, Crista Lopes / April 26, 2012

The Universal Campus is a 3-D virtual world infrastructure consisting of a campus with multiple buildings and meetings rooms together with a set of avatars. The Universal Campus is built using a server-client architecture, with an OpenSim-based server and a Second Life-based client. The entire infrastructure is open and can be fully downloaded, replicated, shared, and customized. » [Full Article]

Lights, Camera, Learn!: Five tips for using video in eLearning

By Veronica Phillips / April 24, 2012

Video is steadily gaining popularity as a valuable design tool for visually demonstrating soft skills in eLearning courses. But people tend to shy away from them because of misconceptions of high productions costs or the draw on resources. This article provides five tips on when to use video, how to maximize its effectiveness, and how to keep costs reasonable. The article focuses more specifically on using video for behavioral modeling of soft skills, keeping video length short and sweet, generating interactivity with video, considerations for resources and budget, and notes on self-production. » [Full Article]

Redefining, Reinventing, and Rebuilding Schools for the 21st Century

By Jennifer Levin-Goldberg / April 18, 2012

In the words of acclaimed author, Thomas Freidman, our world has gone flat. The workforce has gone global galvanizing international competition. The billion dollar question is Do our students have the skills to succeed and excel in this 21st century market? According to an exhaustive 2006 study conducted by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Society for Human Resource Management, the answer is a grim no. The next question should be "How do we rectify this?" The potential solutions are to redefine, reinvent, and rebuild our schools to mirror 21st century exigencies. » [Full Article]

Managing the Unforeseen: An Interview With Abigail Wheeler

By Jeannette Campos / April 12, 2012

Abigail Wheeler talks us through the project management required to develop creative eLearning while remembering the importance of developing yourself along the way. » [Full Article]

The Space Between: An Interview with Craig Wiggins

By Jeannette Campos / April 10, 2012

Craig Wiggins prioritizes paper and pencil over authoring tools and talks to eLearn Magazine about storyboarding as the essential for all designers. » [Full Article]

Immersive Learning for Teacher Professional Development

By Mary Burns / April 5, 2012

Immersive environments, such as Multi-User Virtual Environments and virtual worlds, are increasingly being prototyped, explored and assessed as tools to help students master content, domain-specific thinking skills, and general problem-solving ad decision making skills. This article suggests that immersive environments may hold the same learning potential for teachers as for students.This article explores a few of these programs while outlining strengths and weaknesses of immersive environments as professional development mechanisms. It argues for more comprehensive examinations of immersive environments for teachers' professional learning. » [Full Article]

Peeling Back the Layers: An Interview with Kevin Thorn

By Jeannette Campos / March 29, 2012

In part 2 of this 4 part series, Kevin talks with eLearn magazine about designing before developing eLearning and understanding the layers of instructional design. » [Full Article]

The Incomplete Designer: An Interview with Cammy Bean

By Jeannette Campos / March 23, 2012

In part 1 of this 4 part series, Cammy Bean talks with eLearn Magazine about the four quadrants of the eLearning pie and how to build from your strengths to become a more well-rounded eLearning designer. » [Full Article]

Learning in the Semantic Web

By Reuben Tozman / March 20, 2012

As our use of technology becomes more social, the amount of information shared and distributed has exploded. Understanding how to organize and manage our online experience will be the work of computers not humans. This is the idea behind the semantic Web. In his latest article for eLearn Magazine, Reuben Tozman explores learning in the dawning age of the semantic Web. » [Full Article]

The Scourge of Abstract Abstracts

By Ryan Tracey / March 15, 2012

In his latest "My Turn" column, Ryan Tracey takes issue with article abstracts. All too often, abstracts are an afterthought. A well-written abstract can make all the difference; if an article gets overlooked, the abstract may be the culprit. Tracey shares some tips how on to make your abstract more substantive. » [Full Article]

The Scourge of Abstract Abstracts

By Ryan Tracey / March 15, 2012

In his latest "My Turn" column, Ryan Tracey takes issue with article abstracts. All too often, abstracts are an afterthought. A well-written abstract can make all the difference; if an article gets overlooked, the abstract may be the culprit. Tracey shares some tips how on to make your abstract more substantive. » [Full Article]

Power to the Learners

By Christine Hipple, Karen Mattingly / March 14, 2012

The ISD graduate program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County is well established in educating training and development professionals. Six graduate students who recently experienced an informal learning course reflect on their transformational learning experience: tweeting, blogging, reading, sharing, and growing personal learning networks. Here's their story, along with a number of tips and tricks for using various Web-based tools to help to discover, create, organize, and share. » [Full Article]

Moving From Paper to E-Book Reading

By Joan Vinall-Cox / March 6, 2012

Reading in the digital world has both similarities and differences from reading on paper. Books as tangible objects elicit powerful responses linked to the pleasures felt in reading them. Although our eyes scan differently when reading online, reading e-versions of books initially seems similar to reading on paper. However digital books have some significantly different aspects that will be especially powerful in academic work. » [Full Article]

What It Means To Modernize

By Ryan Tracey / March 1, 2012

Modernization means thinking differently about how you design learning environments. Not following the latest trends. » [Full Article]

Connecting Mobile Learning To The Cloud

By Rovy F. Branon, Moses Wolfenstein, Chris Raasch / February 28, 2012

Amazon's SimpleDB provides a low-cost, scalable solution for applications requiring robust, potentially processor-intensive database tasks. This article describes lessons learned by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Extension's Academic Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Laboratory (AADLC) while using Amazon SimpleDB as a cloud storage solution to support a new mobile learning application. » [Full Article]

Jane's Gems: 10 Must-Read Articles from January

By Jane Hart / February 23, 2012

In her monthly column, Jane Hart shares some "gems" useful or valuable tools, resources, and products she has unearthed for learning and performance improvement/support. In this month's column she lists her 10 favorite articles from January 2012. » [Full Article]

How to Build and Lead Successful Online Communities: How Is A Community Different From A Network?

By Nic Laycock / February 22, 2012

In Part 2 of 4 in his series on learning communities, eLearn contributor Nic Laycock discusses what distinguishes a community from a network. » [Full Article]

Rapid eLearning: Building a House Without an Architect

By Guy Boulet / February 17, 2012

According to some, rapid eLearning solutions would allow subject matter experts to create eLearning without the intervention of learning professionals. Of course, this way of doing things may save time and money by reducing the number of steps required to design and develop eLearning, but are the end results worth those savings? Rapid eLearning tools have their place in the eLearning toolset, but it takes more that just mastering a software tool to build learning events: It takes good instructional design. And this does not come boxed with the tool. » [Full Article]

A Place to Call Our Own

By Allison Miller / February 14, 2012

The need to stay up-to-date is becoming ever more important. Sole reliance on traditional forms of education and training, which are orchestrated by others, means a lot of informal learning and practical experience goes unnoticed and unrewarded. To overcome this more and more people are using eportfolios as personal, online learning spaces to capture experiences and earn recognition or credit toward a qualification; gain employment, a promotion or industry accreditation; or simply achieve their personal/professional learning goals. » [Full Article]

The Four Tech Tools You Should Be Using in Your Classroom But Aren't

By Bridget Leising Brown / February 9, 2012

This article details four online tools that classroom teachers can utilize to generate new instructional ideas and streamline organization: Prezi, Dropbox, Pinterest, and Springpad. » [Full Article]

Chasing Down the Elusive Credits for Facts and Fictions in Learning and Improvement

By Brett Christensen, Guy W. Wallace / February 7, 2012

"Only 20 percent of performance issues are rooted in the individual versus the system (or environment)." You may have lost count of the many times this well-known phrase has been repeated. It's popular, but is it true? And more importantly from whence did it come? » [Full Article]

Going Mainstream

By Reuben Tozman / February 2, 2012

L & D professionals bemoan the unenvious position of being first on the budget slashing table when businesses need to cut back. We believe in the value we can offer to our organizations and yet, regardless of everything we've worked on to prove our value we still seem to be relegated to "nice to have" when push comes to shove. The problem lies squarely on our shoulders. It is up to us to remodel and re-engineer what we do as part of core business operations. » [Full Article]

ASTD TechKnowledge 2012

By Jane Bozarth / January 31, 2012

eLearn Magazine's Editor in Chief, Jane Bozarth, provides a thorough overview of the American Society of Training and Development's Tech Knowledge (TK) 2012 conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Keep reading for some key highlights. » [Full Article]

A Curator's Tools and To-Do List

By Kelly Meeker / January 26, 2012

A curator takes objects and creates a meaningful experience by organizing them within a useful context. This model is a blueprint for the future of learning, where the role of the learning professional is to enable meaningful consumption of information.This to do list is your guide to start implementing curation in your organization, with recommendations for creating, collecting and sharing-and building a culture of open conversation. » [Full Article]

Jane's Gems: My 10 Favorite Articles From 2011

By Jane Hart / January 24, 2012

In Jane Hart's monthly column for eLearn she shares some "gems"—useful or valuable tools, resources, and products she has unearthed for learning and performance improvement/support. In this month's column she lists her 10 favorite articles from 2011. » [Full Article]

Book Review: 'E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning (Essential Knowledge Resource)'

By Laura Layton-James / January 19, 2012

Laura Layton-James checks out the latest edition of Clark and Mayer's book "E-Learning and the Science of Instruction" and explores the evidence-based research it offers. Her overview explores how the authors provide invaluable support for any instructional designer who wants to create engaging eLearning that delivers. » [Full Article]

Book Review: 'The Mobile Academy' by Clark Quinn

By Stevie Rocco / January 12, 2012

eLearn magazine contributor Stevie Rocco explores Dr. Clark Quinn's "The Mobile Academy," which provides a comprehensive, strategic overview of mobile within the context of higher education. » [Full Article]

How to Build and Lead Successful Online Communities: What makes a community a community?

By Nic Laycock / January 10, 2012

In this first in a series on learning communities, eLearn contributor Nic Laycock defines what makes a community and discusses the importance of online communities for learning and development. » [Full Article]

What Are You Working On?

By Simon Townsend / January 5, 2012

Is it possible to hold a conversation with thousands of voices? Multinational firm Deloitte uses Yammer to strip away distance, hierarchy, and service line divisions to enable real-time knowledge sharing among its employees. Simon Townsend was there from the start and watched the micro-blogging tool grow from a small virtual water cooler to a global network of more than 180,000 users. » [Full Article]