Present the Perfect Design Portfolio at Your Job Interview (Video Included)

If you work in learning and development, you have an automatic advantage walking into any job interview. Why? You know how to tell a story. You tell a story every time you step in front of a class, develop an e-learning course, or work in instructional design.

A job interview is just another story. You’re telling your prospective client or employer what you’ve done in the past, keeping in mind which details are going to be most important to them. You focus on the plot points most interesting to your interviewer. And you bring a portfolio that is a visual representation of your story.

Here are some tips to help you assemble your design portfolio:

Your design samples are not the main focus of your job interview. You are. Know your background and know what kind of story you want to share. Think of your portfolio as a prop.

The secret to an amazing design portfolio is simple. Keep everything you work on. At least, anything that shows your current level of skill and reflects your true value. Each time you prepare for a job interview, sift through your design samples and decide which pieces emphasize the most relevant plot points in your story.

Learn about the organization that is interviewing you. Know their branding, the scope of the project you are being hired for, and try to understand what they most value. For example, is the project on a tight budget? Is the organization cutting edge and willing to spend extra time and money for creativity? Bring design samples to the interview that will allow you to talk about your past efficiency, or your amazing creative efforts.

Bring more design samples than you need. More samples make for a more impressive portfolio.

Organize your design portfolio so you can lay it out quickly in front of the client or employer. Here is what I use to organize everything. Spread out the samples. Take at least half of the table. Encourage your interviewer to pick items up and look them over. Let the client or employer wander through your portfolio and pick up what is most interesting to them. Tell your interviewer the story of whatever pieces they pick up. Don’t be afraid to guide the interviewer to particular pieces and explain why you feel those samples are relevant to what they hope to accomplish with you.

In the past, have you produced confidential or proprietary content? Figure out what you are legally allowed to include in your portfolio. Your design portfolio is evidence of your skills. Even if you can’t show a full course or a high quality print of a final product, show what you are allowed to show, tell the interviewer that the sample is a fragment or a low res copy if that’s the case, and still use that sample to breathe life into your story.

What if you didn’t do all of the work on a design you’re showing? Just tell the interviewer and explain your role. Sometimes I show visuals I didn’t personally design. Why? Because they’re associated with training programs or curricula I developed. I tell the prospective client or employer that I didn’t design the poster they’re holding, but it was part of XYZ Training Program I created. I’m establishing credibility by showing my interviewer proof that I really developed that training program. They’re holding a piece of it.

If you haven’t been working as a designer or developer long enough to have lots of client work, feel free to create your own samples branded in the style of a specific company. You can even create examples using the branding of the organization that is interviewing you. Just be sure to tell your interviewer that you created the samples for personal development rather than for a client, if that is the case.

I used to work in retail L&D, and they say that if you can get a customer to pick up a product, there’s a significant chance they will buy it. You can apply that concept to your design portfolio. Go to the job interview prepared to hand your work to a prospective client and tell them who you are as a designer or developer. Good luck!

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Articulate Storyline 3 – Wide Variety of Interactive Templates to Make Content Development Easier

We release the next set of Articulate Storyline ready-to-use interactive templates to help budding developers and instructional designer. Click on each image to view the template details. 01. Tab Interaction- 056 The Tab interaction template helps in presenting related contents on a single slide. This makes navigation through the contents an easy task for the…

5 Productive Content Centered Templates to Simplify Your Work Day

We release the next set of Articulate Storyline ready-to-use templates to help budding developers and instructional designer. Click on each image to get template details. Text and graphic template- 01 This attractive template with unique presentation of content make learning process easy and effective. Though the template has simplistic design, yet very attractive and has an…

Articulate Storyline Interactive Quiz Templates

Collection of eLearning templates to help budding developers and instructional designer. Click on images to get template details. Quiz-003 Multiple Text Entry This Articulate Storyline quiz template has used a Text entry question type template. The template has an absolutely simplistic design yet the template is quite eye-catching. The interface appears to have a table…

How to turn the staff training to contribute in the goals of an organization?

 

Every business will have their own goals to achieve and they make every possible effort to accomplish these goals effectively and efficiently. A very common goal that we find in most of the product/ service based companies is, providing an effective on-job training to up skill the staff. The best approach to meet the training goal is to establish direct connection between business goals and training.

In this blog we will discuss how we can connect business goals with training outcomes i.e. learning objectives?

Organizations should adopt a Top-down approach to reap maximum benefits out of their training efforts. The business goals should guide to define the skill sets and knowledge it requires in workforce.

But this transition is not simple as it appears to be. Generally, the business goals are defined in broader perspective and in different parameters – something which are defined in terms of monetary, market-share, technological advancements. These are quite different than an individual’s achievements as training outcomes.

This means,

“The broader organizational goals should be converted into learnable as well as measurable individual achievements – in terms of specific knowledge and skill sets that enable an individual (a human resource) to achieve broader goals of an organization”

Turn Business Goals into Learning Objectives

Learning and Development (L & D) professionals or Instructional Designers are responsible to align aims of learning with business needs.

Step 1 – Analysis: Analyze the business needs and workforce current capabilities

The business goals may not be described in measurable terms, but they must be put-in using plain and specific terminology that describes those best.

Sample business goal areas are as follows:

  • Increasing market share to ____% in 6 months
  • Lowering production cost to ___% in 12 months
  • Increase marketing team to ____ numbers in 3 months
  • Improve customer service with not more than 10% of tolerance in failing to fix complaints on-time

Against to these business goals, check the current capabilities of the corresponding workforce. This is to identify the gap between what is the current competency and what is required to meet these goals. List down all the gaps in accordance with their priority to meet respective business goals.

Step 2 – Define: Break broader business goals into specific and measurable learning objectives

Define all the gaps using specific and measurable terms such as Bloom’s verbs. Each gap may require multiple skills and knowledge areas, so list down the learning objectives as many as required to achieve business goals fully and effectively.

For example,

Business Goal: Improve customer service with not more than 10% of tolerance in failing to fix complaints on-time

Identified Gaps:

  • Customer care executives are not completely aware of the product features that company sells.
  • Customer care executives are not able to describe product features as mentioned in product manuals.

Learning Objectives:

  • List the product features as they are in the user manual supplied with the product.
  • Explain features using the terminology used in corresponding product technical manuals.

Conclusion

In step 2, you must have noticed how the business goal is transformed into learning objectives. The effectiveness of these transformation lies on the ability of L & D professional. After we develop learning objectives, we need to evaluate them; and the best approach is to develop sample content for each objective and check whether it is relevant in achieving the corresponding business goals.

Swift eLearning Services Pvt. Ltd. is one of the best eLearning companies in India helping organizations achieve their business endeavors using our custom eLearning solutions for workforce training.

Source link: http://www.swiftelearningservices.com/how-to-turn-the-staff-training-to-contribute-in-the-goals-of-an-organization/

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Section 508 and WCAG – Compliances to Increase Accessibility in Elearning

Section-508-WCAG_Compliant-eLearning

Have you ever imagined how a person with disability would access your eLearning course? May be you haven’t given a thought of designing eLearning in that perspective. But eLearning accessibility has been the industry hot topic now. And an eLearning course should be designed such that it works for everyone across the organization so that no one misses the training opportunities. In this blog, we will discuss the eLearning course accessibility challenges and corresponding compliances – Section 508 and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

According to UNESCO, “Education is a fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other human rights.”

eLearning courses are not completely accessible to hearing or visually impaired learners – they miss-out some or major portion of the course content. And brings the need to create eLearning courses for differently abled learners. So as a learning designer we should know the challenges that Differently Abled Learners face while accessing the content.

Elearning Course Accessibility Challenges For Differently Abled Learners

A non-compliant course will pose following challenges for differently abled learners:

  • Visually impaired students can’t identify graphic elements present on the screen
  • It is difficult for a color blind learner to recognize differences in colors
  • Cognitive impaired learners find it difficult to comprehend the logical branching of course topics
  • Hearing impaired learner may completely miss-out the course narration or sound signals

Section 508 and WCAG Compliances to Increase Accessibility in eLearning

In particular to US residents, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and for global learners, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed accessibility norms for differently abled.

Section 508 and WCAG compliances in corporate eLearning development follow learner-centered approach to ensure your course is accessible to all.

What is 508 Compliance?

Section 508 is a law from Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that states U.S. Federal agencies to develop their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.

What is WCAG Compliance?

WCAG is an international standard by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that suggests guidelines for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Note: Section 508 is a law in US, but WCAG is a recommendation for global learners.

Design considerations to follow while developing Section 508 or WCAG compliant courses:

  • No information should be conveyed using colors or variations in colors
  • Have fewer variations in slide layouts
  • Maintain consistency in structure, content, and other elements
  • Provide transcript for course general narration, videos and animations
  • Provide alternative text (alt text) for every non-text elements such as images, graphs, interactions
  • Provide brief descriptions about the links that take learner outside of the course such as internet / intranet
    Do not have automatic navigations
  • Allow learner to access the complete course using short-cut keys in parallel with mouse interactions

Conclusion

As Instructional Designers, we must not only consider the special needs of differently abled learners but be equipped with required expertise to develop an accessibility-compliant eLearning course that meets Section 508 and WCAG standards.

We will come-up with more on Section 508 and WCAG accessibility compliances in our next blog post. So stay tuned.

Original blog post: http://www.swiftelearningservices.com/section-508-wcag-compliances-increase-elearning-accessibility/

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How to measure effectiveness of an eLearning Program? Here is a checklist!

How to measure effectiveness of an eLearning Program? Here is a checklist!

It is a challenge for training managers to ensure quality of eLearning programs that are developed by internal teams or external eLearning vendors.

In this blog, we will equip training / Learning and Development managers with a benchmark checklist that helps them test effectiveness of an eLearning program.

Here is a checklist…

Logical organization of the content (concept) flow

Randomly compare two consecutive concepts and check whether the first concept is serving as an advance-organizer to the second concept. Similarly, continue this process till the end of the course. At micro level; put a check within each concept by comparing sentences.

Content relevancy to the immediate need

To check the relevancy of the concept with the immediate need that it fulfils; put a check on following two areas:

List of learning objectives – It is very important that each objective should be relevant to the learning need.

The content covered for each objective – The content should corresponds to any one or more objectives listed in the beginning of the course. Every line of text should help learner to achieve the defined knowledge or skill – the content scope should be very focused to meet its objective.

Content writing style and the size

Writing content to help someone acquire knowledge and skill is different than helping someone to accept a viewpoint. The instructional content should be self-explanatory, easy to comprehend and retain for longer time.

Check for the following:

  • Concept building approach – it must flow from,
    • Known to unknown
    • Simple to complex
  • Presence of jargon or complex sentence formations – content must be drafted in plain English
  • One concept should be expressed in one sentence or one paragraph or one topic. Do not mix two concepts in one unit of content

Instructional graphics style and convey-ability

If we believe that ‘a picture is worth 1000 words’, then it is quite important to ensure they look beautiful and convey the intended meaning.

Check following essential features of a graphic:

  • The color – minimal color usage limited to branding guidelines
  • The arrangement of sub-elements in collage of graphics; and off-course shapes and strokes
  • The overall graphic layout meaning –infographics such as circular layout for life-cycles, star layout for components etc.

Learner Engagements

There are variety of strategies using which an instructional designer engage his/her learners. Here is the list of essential engaging techniques – an effective eLearning course should feature each or most of these techniques.

  • Scenarios – create virtual contexts similar to the real-life workplace conditions
  • Gamification – a simulated scenario that engages learner deep into the content
  • Explainer videos – demonstrate desired skills that help learner imitate at workplace
  • Intuitive Learner Interactions – to keep learner attentive throughout the course
  • Emotions – to an extent, effective use of avatar can replace the benefit of real human element
  • Formative Assessments – practice opportunities along with appropriate guidance
  • Avoid distractions – avoid less necessary graphic animations, sounds and interactions

Responsive Design for multi-screen course delivery

Launch the course in common screen dimensions such as Desktop, Tablet and Smartphone. Check even in rotational screen modes. The course should scale to fit in different screen sizes smoothly.

Tracking

The course must be compliant in any of the online course delivery protocol such as SCORM or Tin Can. This helps training managers to implement course globally and with descriptive user analytics.

Conclusion

The blog covers the essential features and there are other features specific to the given unique learning need. Being one of the best eLearning companies in India; we delivery variety of eLearning courses that best suits to your unique eLearning requirement.

Source link: http://www.swiftelearningservices.com/how-to-measure-effectiveness-of-an-elearning-program-here-is-a-checklist/

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Incorporating Infographics in eLearning

As instructional designers, we aim to design eLearning courses such that it reduces cognitive overload and gives a sense of accomplishment to the learner.

But what is the secret sauce to create effective eLearning courses?

Declutter the screen with irrelevant images, graphics and heavy on-screen text. And your 50% job is done. Yes, it’s just that. Whether it is custom eLearning, rapid eLearning, mobile learning or even microlearning; Relevancy is the key. And incorporating infographics in eLearning can take your eLearning courses to the next level. In this blog, we will highlight the relevancy of infographics in eLearning.

Why eLearning Infographics Make Sense?

Infographics or Information Graphics – a visual representation of information or data.

Did you know?

“An infographic is 30 times more likely to be read than a purely textual article.”

Infographics are one of the best visual tools to hook learner’s attention and convey message effectively. It presents well chunked content with relevant graphics to help learners understand the content in less time and retain for a longer duration.

Learners scan the infographics and interpret the meaning well, especially the complex data, when compared to other visuals.

Let’s consider the below example.

If you closely look at the infographic, large amount of content is broken into small pieces and organized in a meaningful structure with suitable graphical representation.

Incorporating Infographics in Elearning

In eLearning, infographic has a major role to play. It will not enhance the effectiveness of eLearning course, but increases its visual appeal.

Based on a rough estimate, one Infographic may convey the message of three to five eLearning slides loaded with text.

Following are the two greatest advantages of infographics in eLearning:

  • It motivates learner with its visually appealing graphical representations
  • Significantly reduces number of eLearning course slides

In eLearning, infographic can be made interactive and animated.

Notable Areas Where We can use Infographics

We can use infographics in almost all content types, such as:

  • Concepts
  • Storytelling
  • Comparative Analysis
  • Process and Procedures

Infographics Vs Photographs

There is a famous Chinese saying about image, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words; it’s more true for infographics.

Photographs convey unclear meanings – the learner may confuse or may infer different meaning.

Infographics are self-explanatory; the graphic structure and small content nuggets guide learner to the intended meaning.

Tips to Develop Infographics:

Define goal to focus – Keep related and moderate content

Create scannable content – The graphic structure and content chunks should be skimmable in seconds

Maintain horizontal flow of content – Learner’s prefer to read left-to-right

Draw a wire-diagram – Draw high-level structure to plan size and placements of graphic elements and text

Create graphics – Develop graphic elements; be consistent in shapes and colours

Avoid large sizes – Try to avoid scrolls

Conclusion

If you want to convey the complex information succinctly and help your learners digest the content easily, then infographics in eLearning should be the best choice.

Source link: http://www.swiftelearningservices.com/infographics-in-elearning/

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2 Great Story-Based Learning Examples to Create Engaging eLearning

From times immemorial, stories have been used to pass knowledge and wisdom through the generations. Using stories for eLearning (or Storytorials) is an established creative Instructional Design approach that creates relatable and engaging learning experiences.

In this blog, I share two story based learning examples on professional skills training.

Background

A story-based-tutorial or a storytorial blends the power of storytelling and principles of Instructional Design to create engaging learning experiences.

What are the key benefits of using a storytorial or story based learning approach?

The key advantages of using a storytorial or story based learning approach are:

  1. We all love a good story and it makes the learning fun
  2. It leads to a higher retention, we always remember a good story
  3. A compelling narrative will keep the learner hooked even when the content is dry or difficult

How can you design a storytorial or story based learning approach?

Like a story, this Instructional Design approach can have a single narrative that connects all components of learning into a single fold or multiple plots (scenarios). All we need to watch out for is the fact that the story should uplift the way content is presented and it must be relatable. Else, it will not create the required impact.

Let me showcase this through 2 examples that illustrate how can you create the required learner engagement, create a sticky learning experience and uplift the content by stringing it through a story.

Example 1: Writing Effective Storyboards

Learning mandate: Explain the key components of a storyboard and provide the tips and guidelines for creating an effective storyboard.

Instructional Strategy: Writing a storyboard is one of the primary and essential requirements expected of an Instructional Designer. How can we present the relevant information in a manner that is not preachy or prescriptive and will enable learners to apply it in an actual work environment? These two aspects formed the basis selecting a storytorial or story based learning  approach for this course.

A story-based learning approach (a storytorial) has been used as an innovative and engaging strategy to present information that would serve as a refresher to most IDs in the field and enable new IDs to apply the learning to create effective storyboards.

The Story: The Course highlights key aspects of storyboard creation through the character of Nina, who is an Instructional Designer and has bagged her first job as an ID:

  1. The interview process, preceded by the preparation for the interview serves as a tool to reinforce or refresh some basics of storyboarding skills.
  2. Nina’s first assignment, after bagging the job, forms the remaining part of the “story” and highlights the key aspects to remember while creating a storyboard.

storytorial or story based learning approach Example 1

storytorial or story based learning approach Example 2

storytorial or story based learning approach Example 3

Example 2: Content Types and Their Visualisation Approaches

Learning mandate: Explain the content types and how each can be presented visually to build an engaging and interactive course.

The Story: We felt that instead of listing out or describing various content types and their visualisation techniques, it would be helpful for learners to go through a story that reflects this information in a much more engaging and interesting format.

The story introduces us to a team of Instructional Designers, who have been assigned the task of creating an eLearning course. Their analysis of the storyboard and its review and discussions around the ways to present the content of the eLearning course form the premise to present the information on content types.

storytorial or story based learning approach Example 4

storytorial or story based learning approach Example 5

storytorial or story based learning approach Example 6

Note: Both examples featured here are part of our suite of 15 online courses for Instructional Designers. This series features many other creative Instructional design approaches.

I hope this blog provides you with insights on how you can use story-based learning strategy to enhance the learning experience. If you have any queries, do contact me at apandey@eidesign.net.

Need More?

Want more insights on how you can use creative Instructional Design techniques and achieve a better learner engagement?

Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.

Source: https://www.eidesign.net/story-based-learning-examples-to-create-engaging-elearning/

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Instructional Design Tips to Create eLearning to Train Corporate Millennial Workforce

Millennial-Employees_Swift-Elearning

“Modern Instructional Design can address the millennial learning needs and help you create an effective eLearning.” In this blog, we will discuss the modern digital learning needs along with the corresponding instructional design tips to create learner-centered corporate eLearning.

But What is the Need?

Retaining talents is one of the biggest challenges in the corporate world. Despite every effort, corporates now have a hard time to retain employees and achieve their strategic business goals.

In the current business landscape, Millennial generation also known as Gen Y represents a major proportion of the workforce. Typically, they keep on switching their jobs throughout their career. One of the major reasons for this could be the ineffective learning and development initiatives. And traditional training approaches may not address their learning needs and preferences. Therefore, it essential to assess, review and modify the learning and development practices to effectively develop Millennial talent. The best solution would be to devise online training based on modern instructional design.

But Who Are Millennials?

Millennials, are the most diverse, tech-savvy, confident generation who tend to be little impatient at times. And surveys suggest that the good work-life balance and appropriate learning and development opportunities could create an ideal job environment for them.

Characteristics of Millennials

Tech Savvy Conventional Ambitious Team-oriented
Highly Optimistic Multitaskers Gadget Lovers Self-directed
Open-minded Competitive Self-centered Impatient
Collaborative More Diverse Flexible Skeptical

How to Design Training for Millennial Employees?

As an instructional designer, it is imperative to understand the learning preferences of millennials and design the learning that better aligns with them. So, before we move further, let’s meet Mr. Jack, a young professional. Lets understand his learning preferences better along with the top four instructional design tips to create effective eLearning.

Are you ready?

Meet Jack, Gen Y, to Know His Learning Preferences

Learning-Preferences_Swift-Elearning

I love relevancy: Well, I am driven by a strong sense of purpose. I feel disconnected when the training is no more relevant to me. I always wanted to know what am I doing and why am I doing it. So make the learning more meaningful, contextualized and personalized for me.

Bite-sized learning interests me: Though I am a quick learner, my attention span is considered to be short – less than gold fish. Bite-sized learning or microlearning strategy would be ideal for me because I can digest the short, sweet, succinct learning nuggets easily. So please do not dump the text-heavy content and increase my cognitive load. Video-based eLearning can as well be effective for me to retain the information.

Encourage me during the training: Appreciations and rewards give me a sense of accomplishment during learning and this certainly motivates me to do better. I also need immediate feedback and direction to proceed. You can provide me virtual rewards such as badges, points and currencies throughout the course. Gamification can be the best strategy to completely engage me.

Traditional learning methodologies are boring: As an experiential and exploratory learner, I prefer active learning methods that incorporate more multimedia, gamification and collaboration. In one word, the learning should be interactive and provide me with immediate and continuous feedback.

Embrace digital learning technologies such as mobile learning, learning analytics, gamification, augmented reality and virtual reality to get the best out of online training.

Conclusion

So let’s adapt the modern instructional strategies as part of on-going training to meet the needs of ever growing digital millennial workforce. Hope this post would help you focus on the areas in creating an effective and engaging eLearning courses.

Please do share what other instructional design strategies do you adopt to bring the desired learning outcomes in the corporate online training.

Source linkhttp://www.swiftelearningservices.com/instructional-design-tips-to-create-elearning-to-train-corporate-millennial-workforce/