e-Learning Leadership Blog


A Commencement Address for e-Learning

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist

It’s that time of year when our children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews are wrapping up the traditional school year, and many of them are graduating from some defined course of study—high school, college, etc.—marked by graduation ceremonies. Along with commencement exercises come commencement speeches that provide the opportunity to comment on the just-completed shared experience and set the learner on his or her way to future success. Sometimes inspiring, sometimes sentimental, sometimes clichéd, sometimes predictable, these speeches do offer a final review, of sorts, of the experience of education. 

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To LMS or Not to LMS...Is That The Question?

By Steve Lee, Co-founder

AICC, SCORM, xAPI, TinCan, LMS, LCMS, LRS, wow so many acronyms, so much confusion, so much promise and yet so much frustration. If you are like me you may be asking: “why is this so hard?”

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10 Blogs for Working With SMEs To Create Performance-Changing e-Learning

by Nicole Mellas, instructional writer/designer

 On Wednesday, June 24th, I’ll be presenting a complimentary 30-minute webinar on 3 Strategies For IDs to Get More out of SME Interviews. In it, I’ll be offering some more in-depth tips and tricks to get you off on the right foot when you’re drafting those learner-centric scenarios when building performance-based learning. In the meantime, here are my picks for getting the most out of your SME relationships throughout the design process. 

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Context in e-Learning Design: From Routine To Remarkable

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist

On Sunday I had the privilege of being in the audience at the final performance of The Chicago Lyric Opera’s spectacular production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Carousel. I could easily write about the many elements that made it a uniquely impactful performance, but one element strikes me as something that might enlighten us on one of the most persistent challenges for making e-learning design engaging.

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The World of e-Learning Design Through a Child

by Angel Green, senior instructional strategist | @LearnerAdvocate

Last week, in the US, we celebrated the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day (http://www.daughtersandsonstowork.org/) and for the first time, I participated. Well, I participated with two of my three children and until just after lunch. That was about all of a day any of us, or my coworkers, could handle.

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The Drawing Board: Using Paper Prototypes to Proof e-Learning Design

by Hannah Hunterinstructional writer

There are some things that words just can’t describe. Articulating a highly complex, branching e-learning instructional interaction or game is a daunting task for even the most experienced instructional designers. Trying to communicate to writers, developers, media artists, and clients exactly how the e-learning design will function is often challenging. I’d like to share with you a solution that worked for us recently (and hopefully can work for you, too): turn off your computer, herd your team into a conference room, and role play your ideas with a paper prototype!

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Q&A: Three Quick Ideas for Creating Interactive e-Learning

by , instructional writer/designer | @EllenBJohnson

More than 200 participants joined last week's 30-minute complimentary webinar: Three Quick Design Ideas for Creating Learner-Centric Designs. If you were able to attend, thank you for joining—and thanks for your kind words, insightful questions, and constructive feedback!

During the webinar we discussed several techniques for creating interactive e-learning designs that focus on the learner. The specific techniques aligned with these three high-level strategies:

  1. Ask for the learner's opinion
  2. Make the learner's choices count
  3. Make it about the learner from the start

There were several good questions that we weren't able to address during the session, so I've selected a few of these to answer below.

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Creating e-Learning Designs That Fit

by Ethan Edwards, chief instructional strategist

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege to travel to Shanghai to speak at the Online Learning China Summit presented by the Leadin Group in partnership with Training magazine. It was great to be able share design ideas with training specialists from all over China who are at various stages in implementing e-learning solutions within their organizations.

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3 Tips to Counter 'They Just Need To Know It'

by Edmond Manning, Senior Instructional Strategist

"They Don't Need To Do Anything, They Just Need To Know It."


Wrong, wrong, wrong.

When it comes to training, it's almost never about knowing. It's almost always about doing. When kicking off a project last year, I had a client vehemently disagree with this assertion.

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The SCORM Guide for Instructional Designers

by Ann Iverson, instructional designer | @iverson_ann

If you’re like me, you have a basic understanding of the technical side of what we do. You try to follow along when developers speak their language, but when the conversation turns to closing loops, debugging code, or programming arrays, your eyes sort of glaze over. At that point, I might as well be at the market in a faraway land, and I kind of wish I was. Even though it’s tempting to leave the tech talk to the techies (note: you’re not a techie if you use the word), we just can’t ignore that side of our business. Instructional designers need to be able to communicate the technical design aspects of our courses to developers, LMS Administrators, and other IT Professionals. Also, technical specifications almost always surface in stakeholder meetings and, while we don’t require a high level of technical expertise, IDs do need to be able to speak intelligently about the business side of technology. So here are some FAQs that will help you in discussions related to SCORM, an important technical consideration in e-learning:

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