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2012 eLearning Predictions and How to Cope

December 28, 2011 5 comments

With 2011 nearly behind us, I’d like to look ahead to the New Year and share my predictions for the eLearning industry and how to cope with the changes.  As is constant in the technology field, I believe eLearning will continue to evolve and change to better meet the needs of upcoming tech-savvy generations. I’ve divided my predictions into three categories: eLearning Management, eLearning Design, and eLearning Technology.

2012  Prediction How to Cope
eLearning Management
eLearning Groups Formalize Position Credentials – Movement takes off to qualify various positions within eLearning.  eLearning Master’s degrees proliferate. Get over your reluctance to invest in professional development. As Patti Schank says, “It’s your brain and skill set and your employability at stake.” If you’re in the technology field, it’s all about change.
eLearning Integrated into High School Curriculum  – Idaho is on track to became the first state to require high school students to take at least two credits online to graduate following a board vote to incorporate eLearning into the curriculum. More states will follow suit. Stay young. Make a commitment to enroll in an online course in 2012.
eLearning Design
Professional Development Courses Integrate – Integration of formal discussion threads with social media platforms. Read more about my thoughts on Social Media vs. Formal Education. Reach out to the silo that controls your social media to collaborate and connect to formal courses.
Declining Interest in Tutorial Format – More emphasis on performance support tools (at least to supplement tutorials). Stay ahead of the curve, establish community to promote process mapping and come up with different ways to assemble just-in-time information.
Rapid eLearning Morphs for Tablet Use – Alternatives to Articulate gain speed. Alternatives to PowerPoint conversion emerge, watch for an app to do this.
LMS will Synch and Control Tablet – Picture a teacher synchronously turning the page for all students. The paperless classroom gains ground. Sit back and enjoy formality of all learners being on the same page in live classroom.
Online Micro-Lectures Impact eLearning Design – Resources like Khan Academy will continue to impact the design of formal eLearning and advances in learning object indexing. Think short, learning nugget. Develop ways to sell this concept to the non-believers.
Technology
Game Development Platform Chaos – Chaos will continue as online game developers seek alternatives to Flash as their development software of choice. Development tools like Unity will be the benefactor. Dedicate one project to using an alternative platform in 2012.
HTML 5 Struggles to Replace Flash in eLearning – Flash will continue to dominate as the quality eLearning development tool of choice. Read more about my thoughts on Flash vs. HTML 5. Chill, do not react unless someone wants to invest in your foray into HTML 5 as a replacement to Flash.
LMS Satellites Grow – Corporations and associations contract with SaaS-based companies for eLearning initiatives. One size LMS does not fit all initiatives. Get over it. As long as it’s in the cloud, its ok to maintain more than 1 LMS for your educational initiatives.

Online Learning Idea Book – Top 10

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Patti Shank has been prolific through the years in terms Patti_Shankof sharing ideas on how to rapidly create self-paced eLearning with a focus on strong instructional design. With the second edition of her book, The Online Learning Idea Book, Volume Two: 95 Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning, she has once again successfully aggregated actionable ideas from a variety of eLearning colleagues. Although many contributions refer to PowerPoint plug-in tools, there are also good ideas for authors of higher education courses who utilize an LMS.

Here are my top 10 favorite ideas:

  1. Frustration Check List – This is a practical check list that will encourage your development team and instructor experts to do a quick evaluation of courses under development.  Hopefully viewed as a continuous improvement exercise.
  2. My Personal Learning Network – Use Twitter’s Favorites feature to bookmark tweets by eLearning pundits.
  3. Online Classroom Clickers – What a great idea.  Use third party software to embed instant polls.  Suggested free software:  www.polleverywhere.com, www.micropoll.com or www.twtpoll.com  Also (my comment) some LMS questionnaire modules can also act as “classroom clickers”.
  4. YouTube You Talk – Create a video and post on YouTube as a learning activity.  The instructor on video presents a problem or idea.  Learners can post answers or insights in the comment box.
  5. Branched Scenarios with Three Cs – This is a template system to help with the writing and design of branched scenarios for self-paced modules.
  6. Reduce OnScreen Text – Lists several ways to reduce onscreen text.  Got it; use fewer words, animate graphics. Long live self-paced page turners!
  7. Easy Video – Apparently http://animoto.com allows for easy creation of video and upload to YouTube and Facebook.
  8. Easy Mobile Learning Content: PowerPoint to MP4 – Rapid eLearning for the smart phone!  Screen capture technology i.e. www.techsmith.com/jing/ to turn PPT into MP4
  9. Interactivity Calculator – Create a tool that helps you communicate interactivity levels or use mine at www.webcourseworks.com/custom-learning/games-and-simulations/game-calculator
  10. Pre-work Verification – A simple form that helps instructors confirm that students completed the required pre-workshop material.

Check out the book on Amazon.

Full disclosure: I have contributed two ideas to the book,Online_Learning_Idea_Book “Idea Title: Complexity Analysis” and “Better Collaboration with Your Subject-Matter Experts.” In Complexity Analysis, I discuss how knowing what level of complexity is needed and desired up-front helps all stakeholders understand the cost/time/resource implications of more complex projects. In my section on SMEs, I explain how two-way communication and expertise sharing with SMEs improve the quality of the final deliverable. 

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