Best Practices & Tips

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Best Practices/Tips

Finding Your Niche During the MOOC Revolution

By Donna Gardner Liljegren, Lisa Trombetta / December 5, 2014

Elmhurst College, a small, four-year, liberal arts college, identified its niche and used partnerships to develop and market a successful MOOC promoting its programs in geospatial science. The authors explain how the same process may help you to identify and launch MOOCs to a niche audience. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy, Lifelong Learning, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

Three Questions to Ask Before You Embark on Gamification

By Yi Yang / November 21, 2014

What's the difference between game-based learning and gamification? When shall I use game-based learning and when shall I use gamification? Many instructional designers and instructors struggle in differentiating those two terms and debate on which learning strategy to choose. The article will reveal the answers to these questions and posit three questions for instructional designers and instructors to consider to help them make the decision. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development, Games and Simulations

Best Practices/Tips

Creating Instruction for Ubiquitous Learners: Three paradigm shifts that are changing the foundations of instructional design

By Timothy Stafford / November 21, 2014

Learning is shifting, but in many ways it is the foundations of learning that are having the most profound effect on contemporary instructional designers. Defining social media, digital literacy and learning, knowing, and expertise are only the tip of the iceberg for the future of learning within digital environments. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development

Best Practices/Tips

From MOOCs to Learning Analytics: Scratching the surface of the 'visual'

By Jeremy Knox / November 13, 2014

The visualization of big MOOC data enables us to see trends in student behaviors and activities around the globe, but what is it that we are not seeing? » [Full Article]
TAGS: News and Trends, Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

The Importance of Setting the Stage

By Glenn Johnson, James L. Rosenberger, Mosuk Chow / October 1, 2014

The motivation for engaging in peer review of teaching vacillates between providing opportunities to improve teaching and evaluating teaching performance. We strive to find ways to maximize the benefits of peer review of teaching because this activity provides a valuable opportunity for peer collaboration and curricular coordination within a program. This article discusses a range of strategies that we have used to engage online instructors in thinking critically about the quality of their online instruction; we show how these strategies help set the stage for maximizing the benefits that a well structured peer review of online teaching can provide. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

Training Online Teachers Through A Badge Driven Course

By Joe Cozart / September 30, 2014

The Georgia Virtual School is a supplemental online school that employs more than 200 teachers. Due to growth and attrition new teachers must continually be hired, which created a large burden for the school. The problem was addressed through the creation of an open online course driven by badge credentialing. Interested teachers now complete this training course prior to the hiring process. This ensures job applicants have a basic knowledge of online learning and a better understanding of the requirements to teach online, thus decreasing attrition in the first year. Course participants go through five modules and earn a badge after successfully demonstrating an understanding of the material in the respective module. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy, Lifelong Learning

Best Practices/Tips

eLearning and Higher Education in Pakistan: What may hamper it

By Abida Ellahi, Bilal Zaka / September 23, 2014

As part of higher education, universities have been increasing their efforts to promote learning growth and innovation. In Pakistan private and public institutions of higher educations have undertaken eLearning initiatives. This article draws from the research literature and a preliminary descriptive study to describe the current status of eLearning systems in a few universities within Pakistan, and discusses the challenges faced in implementing eLearning projects in Pakistan. In order to play an important role in democratizing education and contributing toward creating knowledge workers, higher education needs to play a more active role in promoting and supporting eLearning initiatives. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy

Best Practices/Tips

A Balancing Act Part III: Technical support on the front lines of modern-day online education

By Jennifer A. Shamsy / September 12, 2014

Though a team approach is desired, many online instructors/trainers still fulfill an informally defined and delegated technical support role at least in part when time and skills allow. As we look to the future, there will be an increase in technical support demands further emphasizing the need for a comprehensive team approach to technical support. » [Full Article]
TAGS: News and Trends, Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

Attitude Plus Aptitude Will Determine Altitude

By Brooke Bennett / July 31, 2014

Online learning offers many advantages. However the expanding use of technology does not come without challenges. As educators, we are forever trying to find ways to motivate students in our online classrooms. Are there specific tactics and activities that could help enhance student motivation? It is shown that through our behaviors, such as consistent feedback and prompt responses, we can create an environment that encourages and motivates students while enhancing student engagement and participation. » [Full Article]

Best Practices/Tips, Reviews

Design for Online Learning Using a Learner's Perspective Approach

By Simone C. O. Conceição / July 2, 2014

A variety of instructional design models provide pathways for developing courses using different philosophical approaches. However, many design models tend to focus more on the teaching than on the learning portion of the process. Roderick Sims, in his book "Design Alchemy: Transforming the Way We Think About Learning and Teaching," provides an innovative approach to design online instruction that focuses primarily on the learning rather than the teacher or content. He uses the term "design alchemy" to explain how a designer can think about learning and teaching as a practical and effective means to creative online environments that maximize the educational experience. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development

Best Practices/Tips

Evaluating Interactive Learning Content in an eLearning Environment

By Khalil Ajami, Maher Suleiman / June 30, 2014

The interaction between teacher and learner, as well as the interaction between learner and content, has a significant impact on the effectiveness of any learning process. In this paper, we discuss interactivity in the context of eLearning and we focus on the interaction between the learner and the content. The objective is to provide clear metrics to measure learner-content interactivity from the design perspective and at the level of learning objects. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

A Balancing Act Part I: Technical Support and the Online Instructor

By Jennifer Shamsy / May 30, 2014

Technical issues can create a barrier to fully accessing and engaging in online classrooms. The need to support learners in overcoming these barriers may be addressed through a team approach or by individual instructors/trainers taking on the technical support role. While this role may not always be clearly defined or formally delegated, assuming the role of technical support in an online classroom has both benefits and drawbacks. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy, Program Evaluation

Best Practices/Tips

Putting the Classroom in the Cloud with Virtual Desktops and Bring-Your-Own-Device

By Shawn Mills / April 30, 2014

IT departments in educational environments must constantly balance expenses while implementing new technology to engage learners and empower instructors. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is one method IT administrators can implement for simplified computer lab management, increased security measures, and to allow students and teachers to work with their mobile devices. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Mobile Learning, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

Speaking Your Mind: Using elements of narrative storytelling in eLearning

By Chris Jennings / April 29, 2014

To compensate for the lack of human presence in online courses, consider adding narrative story elements to your eLearning that situates the learner in immersive, real-world scenarios. Framing learning in the context of relatable stories can add tremendous value and enjoyment to students instruction. Employ an appropriate course voice that attracts users to the content, inviting them to explore, rather than overwhelming them with information. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development

Best Practices/Tips

Developing Engaging Content

By Randhir Vieira / March 20, 2014

Companies need training that is not only flexible and affordable, but can be deployed and consumed quickly. Enter eLearning. Trainers have the dual challenge of helping employees meet compliance or other industry requirements and respond to changing customer needs. These pressures mean trainers must create new online courses on the fly while ensuring the content is easily consumable to reinforce rapid learning. By using existing material and frequently measuring feedback, among other ideas, you can transform your online training program into a highly efficient machine for learning and competing. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Lifelong Learning

Best Practices/Tips, Interviews

A Look at Web-based Instruction Today: An interview with Badrul Khan, Part 1

By Ann Taylor / February 28, 2014

In the first of this two-part series, Ann Taylor and Badrul Khan discuss how Web-based instruction has grown since its inception and explore the particular case of MOOCs. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Theories and Principles

Best Practices/Tips

Using Game Mechanics to Enhance Leadership Education

By Zack Bodnar / February 24, 2014

Gamification has significant advantages for incentivizing learning and professional training as a complement to traditional learning management systems. This article highlights how the Deloitte Leadership Academy introduced game mechanics into its executive training program using Badgeville's Behavior Platform to leverage the same intrinsic motivators--namely peer recognition and a bit of friendly competition--to spur participation and convince busy executives to invest their valuable time to fully engage with the program. With the addition of gamification to their online learning system, Deloitte saw a 46 percent increase in student retention and significant improvements in course completion time. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Games and Simulations, Lifelong Learning

Best Practices/Tips

Getting Out from Under the Contract: The risk of over relying on third parties for eLearning

By Chris Jennings / February 10, 2014

eLearning requires a specific set of development skills and specialized technologies to support learning goals and program needs. To offer a dynamic program that evolves to meet the needs of users, try to use internal talent and systems that allow you to control as much of the content creation and supporting technologies as possible. This will create a program independent of third parties and keep your program relevant for years to come. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development

Best Practices/Tips

The Art of Aligning Business Expectations with Learning Effectiveness

By Chris Jennings / December 19, 2013

In the first in a series of articles about building a an effective online training and certification program based on principles practiced at Google, Chris Jennings discusses how to get stakeholders on board when it comes time to invest in eLearning. » [Full Article]

Best Practices/Tips

Infographics: A visual link to learning

By Nathan Bellato / December 10, 2013

In a world of information overload, infographics are fast becoming a powerful learning tool in the context of the modern day learner. In this article we look at the concept of infographics and explore the ways these visually engaging mediums can become not only an effective learning tool, but advantageous to your learner. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development, Digital Literacy

Best Practices/Tips

Online Training for the Online Instructor

By Katura M. Lesane / November 26, 2013

Institutions across the nation are developing online education programs that offer learners access to higher education. In addition to increased access for learners, instructors have increased access to career opportunities through online learning environments. With this access for instructors comes the responsibility of institutions to properly train instructors with skills necessary to educate the growing number of learners. This article focuses on the before, during, and after training strategies institutions should employ to prepare instructors for online teaching. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Lifelong Learning, Social Learning

Best Practices/Tips

Improving Motivation in eLearning

By Matt Guyan / October 8, 2013

Learner motivation is an important aspect of the overall learning experience. This article looks at Ryan and Deci's self-determination theory and how satisfying learner's basic psychological needs can lead to greater internalization of their motivation towards eLearning courses. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Theories and Principles

Best Practices/Tips

Synchronous Learning: Is there a future?

By Martin Sivula / September 26, 2013

Over the last several years many studies have addressed eLearning, and distance education, by asynchronous learning methods. This survey research study applies principles of augmented or mediated reality together with Blackboards Wimba collaborative tool to explore students perceptions of the effectiveness of the synchronous classroom. Students were able to self-select their favored method of instruction by using principles of observation research: full participant (on a computer at home); participant-observer (on laptop in class); and observer-participant (in class observing and participating, no laptop). Davis (1986) Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Rogers' (1995) Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) were used to guide the creation of a survey instrument utilizing Google Drives Form tool. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Needs Analysis, Theories and Principles

Best Practices/Tips

eLearning and Digital Cultures: A multitudinous open online course

By Jeremy Knox / September 24, 2013

The fields of eLearning and distance education are long established, as are cultures of openness in tutoring and institutional instruction. So whats new about MOOCs? This article considers what huge enrollment numbers and an increasingly global audience mean for education in the digital age. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Lifelong Learning, News and Trends, Social Learning

Best Practices/Tips, Interviews

The Rock Stars of eLearning: An interview with Connie Malamed

By Rick Raymer / September 19, 2013

Connie Malamed shares her inner vision in this final interview of The Rock Stars of eLearning series. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development, Lifelong Learning

Best Practices/Tips, Interviews

The Rock Stars of eLearning: An interview with Karl Kapp

By Rick Raymer / September 5, 2013

Pushing boundaries is the sign of a true rock n roller, although marching to the beat of your own drum doesn't hurt. Frank Zappa did it for music, and Karl Kapp is doing it for eLearning. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

Mobilizing Knowledge to Create Convenient Learning Moments

By Chanin Ballance / August 22, 2013

Employees are craving convenient learning moments between meetings, at home or in transit. By providing access to relevant information on-demand, organizations can improve time-management, boost performance and increase productivity. But, successfully mobilizing knowledge requires a special skillset. This article explains how to make information available on any device--smartphone, laptop, PC--in a way that is effective and engaging. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy, Lifelong Learning, Mobile Learning

Best Practices/Tips

Yammer in the Classroom

By Victoria Raish / August 22, 2013

Having a debate is a very effective way of engaging students with the class material that requires higher-level thinking skills such as creation, synthesis, reformulation, and communication of original ideas. The traditional face-to-face debate is difficult to transition to a completely asynchronous virtual learning environment. Using a social media platform in a Learning, Design, and Technology course at Penn State University allowed virtual students to engage emotively with the material in the same manner as their residential peers. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Digital Literacy, Implementation, Social Learning

Best Practices/Tips, Interviews

The Rock Stars of eLearning: An interview with Tracy Bissette

By Rick Raymer / August 13, 2013

With an indie spirit and an artists soul, Tracy Bissette is one of the most talented instructional designers in our industry, which is why she is an eLearning Rock Star. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Lifelong Learning, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

Transition from Tradition: 9 Tips for successfully moving your face-to-face course online

By Patricia MacGregor-Mendoza / July 31, 2013

Many successful face-to-face educators who are interested in moving their courses online feel overwhelmed by the prospect of transitioning to a virtual delivery format. This article offers a set of practical tips to address some of the most common challenges of this process and make the teaching of online courses constructive and enjoyable for students and teachers alike. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Implementation

Best Practices/Tips, Interviews

The Rock Stars of eLearning: An interview with Reuben Tozman

By Rick Raymer / July 29, 2013

Leadership and vision are characteristics of most influential people, and Reuben Tozman has these qualities in spades. » [Full Article]

Best Practices/Tips

Should Instructional Designers care about the Tin Can API?

By David Kelly, Kevin Thorn / March 6, 2013

The Tin Can API is an extremely hot topic in the elearning industry. But what exactly is it, and what does it mean to today's instructional designer? In this article, David Kelly and Kevin Thorn explain what the Tin Can API is, and explore just how much it may impact the world of today's instructional designer. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Delivery Technology, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

PowerPoint as a Graphics Editor

By Kevin Thorn / February 13, 2013

As a preview to the Training 2013 Conference & Expo, this article will serve as an introduction to Kevin Thorn's session "PowerPoint as a Graphics Editor." With a focus visual design and communication, Thorn delves into how our brains work and perceive visual signals. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development, News and Trends

Best Practices/Tips

7 Student Myths of the Online Classroom

By Jo Macek / January 16, 2013

Students have misconceptions of online college course. This article discusses the top seven common myths, and presents remedies for instructors to resolve these inventions. The focus is on specific resolutions of student issues before they become student problems. » [Full Article]
TAGS: Design and Development, News and Trends, Program Evaluation