Beating the Dreaded Design Slump

If you work in any sort of creative field, you’re going to fall into the occasional rut. Your work feels repetitive and boring. Uninspired. You find yourself taking convenient solutions rather than best solutions. Or, maybe you just can’t think your way through a problem and you have no solution at all. Your brain starts to slow down. You churn on the same thought patterns for unreasonable amounts of time. You’re just stuck.

Getting stuck sucks.

Continue reading “Beating the Dreaded Design Slump”

Budget (but not free) eLearning Content Creation Tools

Can we all agree that paying recurring costs for licensing software, particularly when you are a small (or even one-person) team, sucks? It ends up being a large, recurring cost that can be difficult to justify or subsidize, particularly in lean times. Oftentimes you don’t even need all the new and shiny features that a regular subscription provides.

But purchasing software outright (when it’s still an option, as many companies no longer offer it) can have a prohibitively expensive up-front cost—high-end software often costs upwards of $1000 dollars, even for just a single license.

But, free tools aren’t always the answer either. Continue reading “Budget (but not free) eLearning Content Creation Tools”

Review: Tim Slade’s “The eLearning Designer’s Handbook”

***Model eLearning has no affiliation with Tim Slade. We purchased the book on our own, and we’ve provided an honest review based on our opinions.***

It’s often said that instructional designers (ID) fall into the field of eLearning. Some, like Michelle, have a whole career of experience before making their way into it. Others find their skill-sets and interests draw them into the field. Elearning designer Tim Slade had a similar experience, and that led him to write, design, and self-publish The eLearning Designer’s Handbook: A Practical Guide to the eLearning Development Process for New eLearning Designers. Continue reading “Review: Tim Slade’s “The eLearning Designer’s Handbook””

Choosing the Right Tool to Design Interactive Scenarios

Have you ever had an idea you knew was good but didn’t truly understand the work involved until you began laboring to make it a reality?

This happened to me when I started changing one of the assignments in my history class into a branching scenario. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Tool to Design Interactive Scenarios”

Efficiency: The Trap of Modern Design

We live in a culture, and work in a field, that prizes and demands efficiency. A million things always need to be done immediately, and at least a thousand projects needed launch yesterday. We make endless to-do lists, debate time tracking and performance metrics, hire project managers by the truckload, and do everything in our power to wring every last drop of “efficiency” out of our daily lives.

And often, we’re making a mistake. Continue reading “Efficiency: The Trap of Modern Design”

Practical Tips for Staying Student-Centered

We use the term student-centered in instructional design all the time. And that’s good. We obviously want our eLearning to focus on the students and their needs. Sometimes, it can be tricky to do that though, particularly when Continue reading “Practical Tips for Staying Student-Centered”

Making your eLearning Assignments More Interactive

History is rich and vivid, and it shouldn’t be presented in a way that students see as dry.  As an adjunct history instructor, I am always looking for ways to motivate students to explore history and to look at it from different perspectives. I’ve discovered that infusing a scenario-based assignment engages learners and encourages them to think outside the box. Continue reading “Making your eLearning Assignments More Interactive”

4 Tips to Survive Rapid Course Development on a Deadline

We’ve all been there. The course launches in two days. Your SME just gave you another laundry list of ‘essential’ revisions, and entire sections of the course need to be added. So, other than starting an intravenous drip of caffeine, how do you tackle rapid development without going insane? Here are four tips and tricks to help you meet your course development deadline.

Plan

You’ve heard it a hundred times: “Plan the Work. Work the Plan.” When you’re in crunch mode, however, Continue reading “4 Tips to Survive Rapid Course Development on a Deadline”

Game Design Principles for Your Course, Round 2

This week, I’ll continue our series on lessons that can be learned from game design and applied to the world of instructional design. We’ll keep exploring Mark Rosewater’s “10 Things Every Game Needs” for our comparison.

In my last post, I outlined how goals and rules clearly lay out the learner’s expectations to ensure they understand the structure and outcomes of the course. Today, we’ll focus on three design elements to retain and increase learner engagement throughout your course. I’ll also include a couple of practical tips for implementing these features in your course.

Let’s get started. Continue reading “Game Design Principles for Your Course, Round 2”

Engage your Learners with Interactive Video

“In addition to enhancing learning, video can also reduce training time. It’s easier and takes less time to watch a well-made video than it does to read through pages of dense text or complicated diagrams to grasp a concept.”

Andy Cole (Via Brainshark; originally included in The Benefits of Video in eLearning)

In my last post, we explored some benefits of using scenarios in eLearning. Today, we will examine the value of learning with interactive videos using PlayPosit. Continue reading “Engage your Learners with Interactive Video”