50+ Best Instructional Design Software Tools You Should Bookmark

Eine nützliche Übersicht: „We’ve made an extensive list of the best instructional design software and resources and, for simplicity, divided it into categories, from authoring toolkits to audio-video software and photo sharing platforms.“
Helen Colman, iSpring, 4. Juni 2019

Bildquelle: royalty free (Flickr)

6 Ways To Find Design Inspiration For Your eLearning Course

Instructional Designers run into the problem of finding inspiration a lot throughout their career, and that is when they must know where to look and what to do. This article is written to help Instructional Designers with exactly that. Let’s find you some inspiration! This post was first published on eLearning Industry.

4 Ways to Move Past Click and Read E-Learning

move past click and read e-learning

It’s easy to make a list of things one needs to know and create courses focused on that information. That’s why we have a lot of click and read content.

However, knowing information and understanding the information are two different things.

Most e-learning is designed to present information through a series of screens. Then the course ends with a simple quiz to confirm a rote understanding of the content. However, a good course develops understanding rather than merely present information.

Here are 4 ways to move past information sharing and create courses that present a deeper level of learning and understanding.

Present Clear Learning Objectives

What is the expected outcome of the learning? This seems so obvious; but most courses I see are a little weak on clear objectives. And with fuzzy objectives there’s path to learning and then no way to measure success or prove understanding.

Learn to build meaningful objectives.

Prove Understanding

With clear objectives, the course can establish how to know they’ve been met. What evidence can the learner present that demonstrates how well they understand the content?

Create objectives that are measurable and prove understanding.

Provide Information within a Learning Experience

Build the course to provide content AND create a learning experience. Courses start with content. But learning and understanding is demonstrated not by consuming but by using the content. I like to craft the course around real-life activities. This allows the person to see the content in a real-world context. And then demonstrate their understanding by using the content in that context.

How to build real-world interactions.

It’s All About E-Learning Emancipation

Every day I get questions on how to lock course navigation. I get why it’s a question. That’s what the client wants. But it still makes me cringe because it has little to do with learning and more about controlling the experience.

Free up the course design and let the person navigate the content the way they choose. If you need to lock it, lock it at a point of decision where they need to demonstrate understanding before they advance. Don’t lock it thinking that’s how they’ll learn.

Find ways to move past the locked navigation.

Click and read content exists because we tend to focus on pushing information out. A good learning experience focuses on using the information to craft a desired level of understanding.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events


Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Thank you for the resources and question where to start

I am totally new to captivate, and want to thank the community for the incredible resources here. In fact,

There are so many resources, any advice on where to start? I see both introductory videos and then introductory how to videos. Trying to prevent overwhelm at this point.

The post Thank you for the resources and question where to start appeared first on eLearning.

How to Build Meaningful E-Learning Courses

meaningful e-learning courses

We spend hours building courses that look great and have rich interactive elements, but often we’re missing the key component to an effective course: tapping into the learner’s motivation.

When you frame the e-learning content into a meaningful context, you’ll not only tap into the motivation of the learner, but there’s also a good chance you won’t be tempted to stuff the course with meaningless interactivity (that has the appearance of value).

When building courses, can you answer the following three learner questions?

Meaningful E-Learning: Why Am I Taking This Course?

Good e-learning courses start with solid, actionable learning objectives. The goal is to help the learner to see the value of the objectives. Sure you can start with a bullet point list of objectives and what they’ll learn.

But you really want to convince them that this course has value. And once they understand the value, their more motivated to succeed. And learner motivation is the foundation of a great learning experience.

Meaningful E-Learning: What Am I Supposed to Do with All of This Content?

There are three main parts of e-learning course construction:

  • What content needs to be in the course?
  • What does the course look like?
  • What does the learner do?

Not only does the course need clear objectives that convince the person of it’s value, it also needs clarity around the action required to use the content. What is the person to do with all of this new information?

A real challenge with e-learning is that we’re good at pushing content out. And the reality is most e-learning is rooted in some sort of compliance or regulatory training with little focus on more than a final quiz to certify course completion. But even those courses are rooted in performance expectations.

Help the learner to see the value in the course and then create a means for them to use the new information to improve or enhance their performance.

Meaningful E-Learning: How Can I Prove I Know it?

If you don’t answer the two questions above, the incentive is to click through the course to get to the final quiz and get back to work.

Quiz questions are fine for simple assessments, but do they really measure true understanding of the content and the ability to use it in real life?

Ultimately, the course mimics real world experiences and expectations. In that environment, the learner gets to learn meaningful content and practice using it in a way that demonstrates their understanding. That’s how they prove they learned the information.

It’s easy to build content heavy courses with simple quizzes at the end. That’s why there are so many. And maybe it’s not always wrong. Let people take a course, quick quiz, and get back to work. However, if we want course to be effective we need to engage the learner and create meaningful learning experiences. And that starts by answering the three questions above.


Download the fully revised, free 63-page ebook: The Insider's Guide to Becoming a Rapid E-Learning Pro

Upcoming E-Learning Events


Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for elearning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly elearning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool elearning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This elearning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 

Learning Thursday #12: Five Ways to Promote Training Team Productivity Using Your Email Application

Learning Thursday is a blog series that features a new L&D article every other week along with discussion points.  Read and then share your own ideas by commenting below!  Check out the last Learning Thursday here.

Although learning professionals wear multiple hats, we hardly ever work in a vacuum.  When we develop a course for instance, there is often a subject matter expert, multiple instructional designers or developers, a technical editor, and others providing oversight or input into the final product.

Sometimes the hardest part of our job is not the actual instructional design process.  It’s coordinating with everyone involved in a project so everything is completed on time.  Here are five ways you can use your email application to better coordinate projects and team activities.

  1. Create a shared out of office calendar. (Here are instructions to create a calendar in Outlook.)  Make sure your team members use the calendar to indicate their scheduled time off and any dates they plan to work in another location.  This calendar allows the team to plan deadlines, upcoming meetings, and coverage of tasks.  The CIO at one of my former employers implemented this calendar and personally made sure everyone in management participated.  It was great for productivity and also helped us find opportunities to meet each other in person while traveling between offices.
  2. Create a calendar or repository that lists upcoming meetings across your organization’s locations. Some organizations use an event management system to track and coordinate meetings across teams so expenses and resources can be shared.
  3. Require all team members to set an auto-reply message when they are out of office. Ask that all team members include at least one alternative contact in their auto-reply so that issues can be addressed while they’re out of office.  When I managed multiple sub-teams, my auto-reply contained four names and email addresses/distribution lists and an explanation of what each contact could handle.  Here’s an example:

Thank you for your message.  I will be out of office until <date> with limited access to email.  If this is an urgent matter, please contact:

  • <My director’s email address> for matters requiring management approval
  • <Trainer team’s distribution list> for questions related to new hire orientation, classes, and one-on-one coaching
  • <Instructional design team’s distribution list> for assistance with project intake and updates to documentation
  • <eLearning development team’s distribution list> for assistance with the LMS or e-learning courses
  1. Manage your team’s email volume. Here’s another wonderful idea from my former CIO: Outlaw Reply All.  Some teams have a real issue with email volume, especially if team members are remote and coordinating projects through email.  Having a full inbox makes it hard to find the information you need, and every time a team member receives an email that doesn’t relate to them, they’ve lost a few seconds of productivity.  Set a cultural expectation that emails should only go to the people who will benefit from the communication.
  2. Create targeted distribution lists for your team. If you have multiple sub-teams within your training team, consider creating a distribution list for each sub-team so it’s easier to route emails to the appropriate people, making the entire team more productive.  Advertise the new distribution lists so people outside your team know which team handles what tasks.

How do you use your email application to help your team’s productivity?  Please share your ideas in the comments section.

Try Adobe’s learning management system, Captivate Prime, for free.  Connect with the author on Twitter or LinkedIn, and follow me on Adobe’s eLearning blog.

The post Learning Thursday #12: Five Ways to Promote Training Team Productivity Using Your Email Application appeared first on eLearning.

How does the brain learn?

How does the brain learn?

As instructional designers, we all know how people learn, but do you know the science behind it? How can we use what we know about science to help us engage the brain and improve learning?

The brain is constantly restructuring in response to learning and the environment. This is known as plasticity. Plasticity involves creating and strengthening neural connections and weakening or removing others. Every time you learn, your brain uses plasticity to develop new neural pathways.

Repetition is key

How do we avoid losing the knowledge we want to retain? Well, the most simplistic way to put this is ‘use it’. If you don’t, you may lose neuronal pathways that haven’t been used.

So how do we avoid this? If you can, set your learners up with frequent knowledge refreshers. This could be a quiz about the information they learned, or a repetition of key information later on in the course.

How we remember

One of the most recognizable learning studies was one done by BF Skinner. In this study, he evaluated the interaction between rats and pigeons and food levers. Animals were placed in cages with levers that would release food pellets if the correct item was selected. With success, these selections gradually became more difficult. Based on this study, he concluded that complex tasks can be learned through practice and reward for behaviors.

Similarly to this study, people learn complex tasks quickly and more effectively with practice and rewards upon success. Adding practice items or badges and points to your learning materials may improve the knowledge retained by your learners.

The overload effect

Popular learning types may result in learning overload, or too much information being given for the brain to process. With a hefty amount of information, users may run into an effect called ‘cognitive overload’, which causes the brain to become overwhelmed.

To avoid this, chunk pieces of information into small sections (ideally, five minutes or less at a time) and avoid information that isn’t essential. Materials that are sectioned into separate, smaller learning sessions will allow the brain to fully process information and will avoid cognitive overload.

Takeaways 

When you’re creating instructional content, it’s important to know how the brain learns. By keeping in mind how the brain remembers, you can create more effective learning content and help your users retain the knowledge that they’ve gained.

The post How does the brain learn? appeared first on eLearning.