RSS

Moving On

After 44 posts and more than 19,000 views, this will be the last post on the Learning Snippets blog. A little over 18 months ago, I took what was for me a brave step into a whole new world and wrote my first ever blog post. Since then, I’ve connected with (even met) many other tremendous people who have challenged my thinking and helped me to become better at what I do.

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has followed along; read; liked; shared; or commented on any of my posts, I’m grateful and really appreciate it. While I’m still figuring this blogging thing out as I write, the act of writing itself helps me to reflect and clarify my thoughts (and I think my writing is getting better too).

So, while I’m moving on from this blog, I have started another called Learn. Show. Repeat.

The new site has come about as a result of the experiences and influences over the past year and a half and represents how I’ve changed along the way too. I still intend to document what I’m learning but as you’ll see on the new site, I’ll also be showing more of what I’m doing in the eLearning space and sharing some valued members of my PLN that might help you too.

I hope that you’ll join me there!

Cheers,
Matt

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , ,

The Journey Concludes

Last week I submitted my final assessments for my Master eLearning course through B Online Learning. It was somewhat bittersweet in that it meant that the course was coming to an end but at the same time I felt a sense of accomplishment now that I was finished.

The third and final part of the course focused on facilitating in an online environment which is something that I haven’t done before. Part of what we did was to put together a 15 minute webinar and facilitate it with other students. I found this wasn’t as easy as it looks but a good learning experience nonetheless.

I don’t have much online facilitation experience, I have however, been a student in a few online courses in the past and in my experience this is where they tend to fall down. There’s usually a lot of good resources to be found but not much in the way of involvement from the facilitator. This wasn’t the case in the MEC. In fact, one of the strengths of the course was our Learning Coach Ruth and it wasn’t so much what she taught in terms of content (which was good) but how she facilitated throughout the course. She set the example by being supportive, encouraging and providing regular updates and feedback. Even though there are quite a few people completing the course, there’s certainly a good level of personalisation and this is one of the things that sets the MEC apart from other online courses that I’ve completed.

I’ve written a couple of posts how if we can satisfy people’s needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness we can improve their motivation towards the course they are completing. The MEC is does this and is probably the reason the course didn’t feel like work as I was completing it. For me, some key takeaways include:

  • always keep the learner at the centre of eLearning design
  • the importance of supporting learners during their online course
  • the need to keep developing your skills, there’s always something new to learn.

I’d definitely recommend the MEC to anyone starting out in eLearning as it provides a solid foundation as to how much goes into creating an eLearning module or course. It would also be beneficial to anyone wanting to brush up on their skills. You do need to put in a fair bit of work into the course and manage your time but it’s definitely achievable even if you are working as well, you just need to pace yourself. My advice to anyone thinking of doing the MEC would be to commit some time each week to complete the work rather than leaving it until the end. You should also check out ‘Connect’ which is where you can share resources and make contact with other students.

So while the journey of the MEC has come to an end, my own journey in the world of eLearning has a long way to go…. Oh, and by the way, I passed the course! Yay!

This is the final in a series of posts describing and reflecting on my experiences of the Master eLearning Course by B Online Learning.

B Online logo_

 
12 Comments

Posted by on August 18, 2014 in eLearning

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Next OzLearn Tweet Chat is on 12/8/14

OzLearn

On Tuesday 12th August at 8:00pm AEST (UTC +10hrs), @OzLearn is having its next monthly twitter chat. The topic for the chat is based on the post You Can’t Predict the Value of Working Out Loud by @simongterry

To join the chat, go to Twitter at 8pm on 12/8, search for @OzLearn and join in the conversation (don’t forget to add #ozlearn to your tweets).

There is also an OzLearn LinkedIn group where you can view the Storify of the chat afterwards.

Hope you can join us for the chat!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 10, 2014 in OzLearn

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Journey Continues…

It’s been several weeks since my last post about B Online Learning’s Master eLearning course that I’m working through. We’ve moved through the second module and covered chunking content, writing for eLearning, using simulations, interactivity, checking for understanding just to name a few. I can’t believe that we’re well over half-way time is moving so quickly.

In this second stage of the course we were to develop a piece of eLearning that can be for use in your workplace if you want it to be. I’m not going down that path because I want to develop a sample for my portfolio of examples and to also tap into the expert guidance we have available during the course. While this will be beneficial for me, my brief is effectively “create a small piece of eLearning on any topic you choose” which is kind of daunting. Along with the topic, I needed to create a bit of a backstory as well – learner characteristics etc. so, as I have an interest in craft beer and brewing so I thought I’d go with that and I might learn a bit more about the topic too. I also wanted to showcase some of what I can do in terms of design and use of Storyline.

When I’m putting a module together I like to take a pen/pencil and write my ideas down on paper. I jot down random thoughts and think about how the module might look in terms of images, the theme of the course, anything really. While it looks a bit messy, it does help me to clarify my thinking and get my ideas down.

MEC Notes

 

In the MEC we’re using PowerPoint to create our storyboard which is ok, and although I’ve used Word in the past this way works well too and it’s clear how the screens will be set out. I found that storyboarding in ppt was great for a couple of reasons – the SME gets a much better idea about how the course will look and also because you can get some of the decisions about layout sorted earlier in the development process. I found that using Master slides saved heaps of time and I’m loving using them! Here are some of my screens from the PPT:

MEC PPT

 

Once the storyboard was completed I sent it to Ruth for some feedback. What I liked about the feedback I received was that it was both positive and constructive. It was detailed for some screens and Ruth offered some great suggestions for improvement that I have since incorporated.

I’ve now built the module in Articulate Storyline and here are some samples screens from the finished product:

Explore the Pub

This screen is my ‘Home’ page. I have four topics, each is a different area of the pub that learners go to – The Cellar is about beer and brewing, The Bar is about pouring beer and using the right glass, The Lounge is about different beer styles and The Restaurant is about matching beer with food. Different areas unlock when other areas are completed. The quiz appears once all areas have been completed.

 

Brewing Beer2

This screen depicts the brewing process and I’ve included it because each icon was made using the ‘Insert Shapes’ functionality in PowerPoint. Learners hover their cursor over each icon to find out about that stage of the brewing process.

 

Bringing it Together

This screen is the opening of the ‘Quiz’ instead of having a pass mark, learners just need to fill their glass of beer and they can do this by answering questions correctly. A minimum of 10 questions will do it but if they do get a question wrong they receive a different question. If they get that one wrong they go back to the original question. In all there are 20 questions in total.

 

In the MEC, like many other courses, you do need to be disciplined and allocate a few hours each week to work on the course otherwise it’s easy to fall behind. In addition to the assessment tasks there’s self-paced modules to complete and webinars to attend. While there’s plenty to do, Ruth’s weekly email updates are a good source of information and encouragement to help keep us on track.

In the course itself, it’s good to see things picking up in the forum area ‘Connect’ as other people share articles and comment or ‘like’ others. As someone who uses twitter as part of my own development, it’s nice to be able to interact with others and hopefully encourage them to keep this going after the course has finished.

I’m looking forward to the final stage of the course, where we will be learning how to facilitate in the online environment – something that I haven’t done much of at all.

This is the second in a series of posts describing and reflecting on my experiences of the Master eLearning Course by B Online Learning.

B Online logo_

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Showing My Work #5

The Showing My Work series of posts are what I’m using to ‘narrate’ the projects that I’m working on or have developed.

In the spirit of Work Out Loud Week #WOLweek and because it’s been a while since I’ve written a Showing My Work post, I thought it was time to jump in and share some stuff that I’ve done over the past few weeks.

I’ve participated in a few of David Anderson’s eLearning challenges now and I’m enjoying connecting with other terrific designers, being inspired by what they create and share as well as developing my own skills. In this post, I wanted to share how I created three recent challenge activities using Articulate Storyline.

Tabs Interaction

This challenge was about creating an interaction using tabs (like the tabs in a folder or book). The beauty of tab interactions in eLearning is that they allow learners to choose which parts of the course they want to complete.

While I did create a very basic tab interaction at the end, I took this challenge on a bit of a tangent to begin with by playing on the word ‘Tab’. Firstly, I took an image of the Tab key from a keyboard and using layers, the image would move or tab across the screen each time it was clicked.

Tab Interaction1

Secondly, I created a screen with a fridge and cans of Tab Cola in them. Each time you take a can from the fridge (by clicking on it), a fact about Tab cola appears in the fridge door. I created the fridge using standard shapes found in Storyline and used a picture of a fridge as a guide.

Tab Interaction2

You can view my Tabs Interaction by clicking here.

Meet the Theorists

This challenge was about creating an interaction that introduces an instructional design principle that could be used by someone new to the field.

Typically, what you’d see is the image of the theorist along with information about them and their research or discovery. This type of content can be a bit dry so I wanted to make it more interactive. I started with three theorists and found an image of each. Then I added picture frames that have a question inside them and the learner drags the image of the theorist and places it in the frame to reveal some information about them. Again I used a layer, one for each response (nine layers in total) along with the drag and drop interactivity.

Meet the Theorist

You can view my Meet the Theorist submission by clicking here.

Interactive Step Graphics

The objective of this challenge was to bring a sequence of steps in a process to life. I wasn’t sure about this one and almost didn’t participate but I saw a fridge magnet that had the steps to DRABCD, which is an emergency response acronym. When I read the steps, I was thinking about imagery and I wanted to do something different so I decided to take my own photos. Instead of using real people, I borrowed some Lego from my nieces and then using my iPhone I took the images myself. The photos were taken on our kitchen bench. I positioned the characters into positions to represent each step.

Interactive Steps

You can view my Interactive Step Graphic by clicking here.

Reflections

All three challenges are different and I did some things I hadn’t done before – using the play on words in a fun way, involving the learner with some dry content and taking my own images for use in a module. I’ve said in other Showing My Work posts that I do struggle at times with look and feel as well as being creative but by making time to participate in the challenges, I’m learning to think differently in my approach to creating eLearning. It needs to be more than just presenting content to learners, there needs to be interactivity. What they also show is that you don’t always need big budgets to create an interactive piece of eLearning.

You can see more eLearning challenges and other community members showing their work by clicking here and some have written blogs too!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on June 12, 2014 in Show Your Work

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Journey Begins

A couple of weeks ago, I began the Master eLearning Course (MEC) that is run by B Online Learning and over the next three months along with the rest of my cohort we will design, deliver and facilitate an eLearning course.

I find that eLearning courses fall into one of two categories, either stand-alone modules developed in an authoring tool (which is usually what I create and develop) or ones like the MEC that are facilitated by a person, a Learning Coach in this case, over a period of weeks or months. I’ve had some experience of this type of facilitated online delivery as a participant and it has generally consisted of a list of resources to be read, activities to maybe complete and very little contact from the facilitator. However, this not how the MEC operates, the structure is clear and defined and the support has been terrific.

Our group is also fortunate that our Learning Coach is Ruth McElhone who is very experienced in this form of design and delivery. She’s like the Obi-wan Kenobi of online facilitators (with Princess Leia looks) and by the end of the course I’m sure our group will become eLearning Jedi.

Luke Skywalker

MEC combines the use of Articulate Storyline modules within the LearnFlex LMS that also has discussion forums and other places to interact and share with students via Connect. So far, there’s been a good amount of information delivered in a variety of ways. Interaction is encouraged and rewarded by using gamification to motivate us to reach ‘Contributor’ status. There are also plenty of resources to download and refer to later depending on what you want to learn more about.

One of the strengths of MEC is that even though it’s mapped to two Units of Competence from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, it doesn’t have the feeling that we are just working through the elements and performance criteria of each unit that you get from other VET courses.

My initial thoughts are that it’s a great course for those who are new to the world of eLearning design and development. MEC lays a good foundation in these areas and while I do have some eLearning instructional design experience, I haven’t been bored and if anything it’s been a good refresher. I wish I had done this or something similar earlier in my eLearning career.

Already in the first module of the course we’ve looked at rapid eLearning, scoping a project, stakeholders involved, copyright, health and safety, learner characteristics, accessibility, authoring tools, Learning Management Systems, SCORM and eLearning development teams.

There’s a lot to take in but like any form of study you need to dedicate time and effort into learning and developing your knowledge and skills. It’s self-paced so you can complete the topics in your own time and as much or as little as you like. I believe that it’s also beneficial to get involved in the discussions and sharing with others in the group. Not because you have to as part of the course but because that’s what helps to build and sustain a community of professionals long after the course is finished.

I’m looking forward to what the next few weeks have in store and as well as sharing the development of my own eLearning course.

This is the first of a series of posts describing and reflecting on my experiences of the Master eLearning Course by B Online Learning.

B Online logo_

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Next OzLearn Tweet Chat is on 13/5/14

OzLearn

On Tuesday 13th May at 8:00pm AEST (UTC +10hrs), @OzLearn is having its next monthly twitter chat. The topic for the chat is based on the third article in a series written especially for OzLearn by Jonathan Kettleborough (@JKettleborough):

Alignment Requires Consistency

The chat will be moderated by Con Sotidis (@LearnKotch) and the questions will be around the need for L&D to be consistent with the needs of the business.

To join the chat, go to Twitter at 8pm on 13/5, search for @OzLearn and join in the conversation (don’t forget to add #ozlearn to your tweets).

There is also an OzLearn LinkedIn group where you can view the Storify of the chat afterwards.

Hope you can join us for the chat!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 11, 2014 in OzLearn

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
Learn. Show. Repeat.

Learn - Show - Repeat

John Stepper's Blog

Working Out Loud

Work Smarter Not Harder

Ask. Learn. Share | Mike Taylor's Weekly Tips & Tricks

LearnHaus

Encounters and details of how the creation of learning that is focused on our brain's ability to transfer that learning into performance.

technologyinstructorblog

A topnotch WordPress.com site

LearnKotch

L&D from a different perspective

coffeeanDesign

let's have coffee & discuss the design...

Jackie Van Nice

eLearning Goodness by Jackie Van Nice

Michelle Ockers

Continuously learning, and supporting others to learn

The Knowledge Project

making e-Learning a better experience

Ripple Effect Group

Be smart. Get social. Do business.

Learning Rebels

Lifting Learning in Workplaces Today

Learning as I go...

Just another WordPress.com site

Activate Learning Solutions

Where Work and Learning Merges

Lost and Desperate

Random ramblings that might, or might not, relate to training, learning, development, and management

chat2lrn

Conversations to take learning forward

Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies

Jane Hart's resource site about learning trends, technologies and tools

ISPI's 50th Anniversary

Where Knowledge Becomes Know How

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to Learning

Tripping through the galaxy of Learning & Development

fuchsia blue

learning development change

Paul Batfay is the FreeFacilitator

Facilitation | Learning | Community

Building Creative Bridges

Training Learning Collaboration Innovation

Learningcreep

A blog by Helen Crump: to take my learning forward.

Gather with Purpose

intersection of community, learning and technology

Joanne Even's Blog

My journey through learning

Azhar's Reflections

Edu Journeys and Reflections

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,097 other followers

%d bloggers like this: