E-learning Infographic

I ran into a neat infographic today on what people love and hate about E-learning.

https://articulate.com/what-people-love-and-hate-about-elearning

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about engagement and e-learning. Engagement definitely plays a role in what people love and hate about e-learning.

One of my takeways from yesterday’s blog was that we cannot forget about the basics of teaching. Demonstrating the learning’s value is still important, regardless of how interactive the content is. This infographic shows the importance of value throughout.

Finally, an interesting point in this infographic is accessibility. Learners are looking for content that is compatible with all devices. However, accessibility can also be a downside, as there are times when we may be away from the internet and thus content cannot be accessed.

interesting thoughts.

E-learning and Engagement

As you’ve probably guessed from previous blogs, I am a huge fan of technology and e-learning. I was born right at the intersection of Gen X and Millennial generations, so I’ve spent most of my adult life immersed in technology. I also work in technology, so it’s ingrained in most things I do.

This means that when it comes to being an educator I’m always looking for ways to incorporate technology. When it comes to education, I also think face time is declining. There are so many factors that make face time difficult. For an example, in my company, our employees are spread across different timezones and locations, so it can be difficult to facilitate anything synchronously. This has led me to bridge more into e-learning development.

I think my predisposal to e-learning may have gone a little crazy. While I’m always thinking ‘is this an interactive project?’ when creating content, I have forgotten some of the basics of teaching–the why and motivation. Sure my content is pretty and interactive, but what ensures learners actually engage with the material? This is a drawback with e-learning.

While I have an LMS that I can track adherence to assignments, I need to spend more time showing learners the value of learning. There’s nothing wrong with the content I’m creating–it is fabulous! But I need to contextualize and vary the methodoly.

I think it can be easy to get lost in the technology. Technology is not bad. It is and will continue to become an important part of our lives. However, we can’t lose sight of the basics. Teaching is more than content creation.

 

Weekly E-learning Challenge

As I’ve discussed in a few other blogs, I recently started using Articulate 360.

One of the reasons I chose Articulate over other course authoring programs is they have a well developed community where you can get support, advice, and learn new tricks. This community is called E-learning Heroes–cool name!

https://community.articulate.com/

One of the coolest things about this community is there are weekly e-learning challenges. These challenges involve creating a project that uses different features.

I am proud to say I completed this week’s challenge! This week’s challenge was to create an interaction that resembles a store checkout process. It was quite difficult, as it involves working with variables to add interaction to content. This not only involves a little bit of design, but is also getting dangerously close to programming. Sure I’m tech savvy, but I’m not a programmer!

But in the end, I was able to make something I am quite proud of and it works!

Please take a look: https://360.articulate.com/review/content/07cc405b-dcbd-466c-a136-d51dcbc31233/review

Digital Project Sneak Peak

Hello everyone,

For the first time in forever, I am taking a full two week vacation from work. What’s even stranger is I am not travelling anywhere!

This has left me with quite a bit of time on my hands, so I am planning to finish my digital project for a course even thought it’s not due until early February!

Recently, I also got a new course authoring suite, so I will be using this to build my project. Self-directed learning for the win!

Here’s a sneak peak:

The course authoring suite I am using is Articulate 360. I’m thinking I will be using the Rise platform to present the material while building out some components using Storyline.

Kahoot!

Please see the below video that a fellow learner created on the teaching strategy Kahoot!

This is a great outline of a way to introduce gaming to the classroom.

In a workplace training environment like my teaching context, this would be a very easy strategy to organize and implement because it takes away some of the ‘cons’ indicated in the video. In a workplace environment, you typically have company supplied devices, like phones or laptops, and usually wifi connection. Additionally, it is likely that you would have a shared communication tool, such as skype for business or go-to-meeting. These programs typically have polling features built it, so setting this up would be as easy as scheduling a meeting.

This is also a great way to engage remotely located learners. When you are training remotely, it can be difficult to gauge whether learners are understanding the material. If you’ve ever attended a conference call, I’m sure you can empathize with the doozy feeling you get from listening and watching a screen that just does not progress fast enough. Or on the flip side, the frustration of screens that move too quick and comments that make you feel like you missed the first half of the meeting. Using polling or “Kahoot” can be a way to keep remote learners engaged AND feel like they are part of the team!

Trends in Adult Education: Online Learning

 

Online learning is a major trend in adult education (even education as a whole). This trend is of interest to me for several reasons. First, as someone working in learning and development, it represents a method by which I can reach a wider audience that is separated geographically. My company has several offices working in different time zones, so physical presence is a challenge. Additionally, arranging convenient times to maximize audience is a challenge, not just due to different time zones, but other conflicting professional obligations amongst employees. Online learning can solve the temporal spatial conflict ever present in the workplace.

On a personal level, there are few years of my adult life where I have not taken some sort of course or workshop either for professional or personal reasons. Online learning is a convenient trend to makes doing so easier.

As side from the convenience factors, many are starting to discuss additional benefits to online learning platforms. Breaking away from the physical classroom also allows us to reconceptualise learning in the online classroom–it need not be bound by the traditional way classroom way of doing lectures. New tools can allow online courses to personalize the education experience. While this video is focused on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses which is a wide enough topic in itself), it describes the potential of personalizing education through online modules:

In this TED talk Daphne Koller discusses the Coursera platform. While Coursera courses often have 100s of thousands of students, the platform is able to personalize the education experience using smart technology and active feedback. She discusses the “Sigma 2 problem” in which different teaching styles affect learning outcome–ranging from lecture style, mastery (where students cannot move  on until mastered module), to finally individual tutor.The learning outcomes of those taught by individual tutor are 2 standard deviations above those taught using traditional lecture style. Koller suggests that the personalization potential of online platforms presents the opportunity to create an education experience to that of an individual tutor.

Online learning platforms also have the potential to provide better content. Student feedback is easier through rating and ranking systems. Those that fail to meet expectations will disappear, but those that are engaging will go ‘viral’. This forces online educators to keep material content engaging and current. Josh Bersin discusses this in the following article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2016/01/05/use-of-moocs-and-online-education-is-exploding-heres-why/#61a10c2f7f09

In this article he discusses that not only can students rank and rate courses, but anyone can create new content–from top university professors to business leaders. The ease of use and access also appeals to a wider audience. People will enroll in courses for interest, where in the traditional classroom module many would be detracted by the effort needed to enroll, let alone show up to weekly classes.

Finally, one benefit that is starting to garner attention is the learning community aspects that the online platform provides. John Green’s talk on online learning focuses on the learning community:

Using social media and forums, online learning communities allow students to engage in problems or ideas around the world. This can also present students to new perspectives and ideas that one would not have in traditional learning classroom. The exploration in online communities are engaging–much more rich experience where learning can be fun at the same time as informational.

I have seen the online learning experience evolve quite a bit since I took my first online class in the early 2000s. Some have been structured similar to traditional classroom with powerpoint modules, quizzes and assignments. Others have been well developed series of video lectures. There’s still a lot of room for growth.

As I am a committed life long learning, I’m certain online learning will continue to be a large part of my learning experiences. What excites me most though is that broader use of these technologies will attract more life long learners with it’s ease of use and accessibility.

Let’s keep developing!