Patti Shank has been prolific through the years in terms of 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:
- 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.
- My Personal Learning Network – Use Twitter’s Favorites feature to bookmark tweets by eLearning pundits.
- 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”.
- 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.
- Branched Scenarios with Three Cs – This is a template system to help with the writing and design of branched scenarios for self-paced modules.
- Reduce OnScreen Text – Lists several ways to reduce onscreen text. Got it; use fewer words, animate graphics. Long live self-paced page turners!
- Easy Video – Apparently http://animoto.com allows for easy creation of video and upload to YouTube and Facebook.
- 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
- 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
- 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, “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.