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Linda Rening

Recent Posts

Five Steps to Seeing the Big Picture of Microlearning

By Linda Rening, PhD, Senior Instructional Designer

It doesn’t matter what assessment I do, because a common theme always emerges. On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory, I scored very highly in “N” (Intuition), which means that I see the big picture first and then the details. (That may seem like a good thing until I’m so busy walking through the forest that I don’t see the tree right in front of me.)

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The Lonely Instructional Designer

By Linda Rening, PhD, Instructional Designer

From time to time, all of us as Instructional Designers have experienced what we do as an “austere and lonely office,” to borrow the words of poet, Robert Hayden. Even if we are lucky enough to be part of an Instructional Design and Development team, when the brainstorming and collaboration are done, it is each of us alone facing the fear of the blank screen, and trying to do our best for our learners.

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5 Strategies for Leveraging the Best of ILT for Designing Engaging e-Learning

By Linda Rening, PhD, Instructional Designer

At a conference recently, someone said, “We’ve taken the worst part of instructor-led training, put it online, and called it e-learning.” He's absolutely right. From what I’ve seen, most e-learning consists of PowerPoint slides converted to Storyline, with full narration of everything that is on the slide.

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E-Learning Design: CCAF It!

By Linda Rening, PhD, Instructional Designer

Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a brat when it comes to grammar. Please do not use a split infinitive in my presence, always put your end punctuation inside your quotes, and don’t even think about using a plural pronoun (they) with a singular antecedent (everyone). (I know the construction “he or she” following “everyone…” is clunky, but it’s correct, so deal with it.) Given that, why would I, of all people, use a noun—and an abbreviation at that—as a verb? The best rationale of all: to make a point.

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e-Learning Design Challenge: Dump Next or Stump Linda

by Linda Rening, PhD, Instructional Designer

I have a challenge for you. And, it’s a tough challenge. I believe you are up to it, but I’m not sure you will believe that you are. Here’s the challenge: Design an e-learning course with no Next or Back button.

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Incredibly Obvious e-Learning Design

by LInda Rening, instructional designer

Have you noticed that everyone seems to be an expert in “training?” It seems curious that folks who have deep knowledge and experience with things like: sales, pharmaceuticals, electrical engineering, marketing, customer service, etc. also believe themselves to be experts in training. And yet that’s what I see: highly-educated and deeply-committed Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who want to step out of their field of expertise, and into ours.

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Generous e-Learning Design, Part 2

by instructional strategist

My Great Aunt Belle was a wonderful cook. She spent days in her prairie farmhouse in Southwestern Minnesota getting food ready for any family gathering, and the family spent weeks looking forward to her delicious meals.

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Generous e-Learning Design

by instructional strategist

From the time we were children, most of us heard things like:

  • Don’t be selfish
  • Take turns
  • Share your toys
  • It is better to give than receive
  • Remember the Golden Rule

I did some reading and discovered that generosity is extolled as part of every major world religion. In fact, generosity seems to be a universal part of being human. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi: Gentleness, self-sacrifice, and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion.

Who can argue with that?

And, what could all of this possibly have to do with e-learning?

Since Allen Interactions believes in teaching through challenges and feedback, here’s a challenge for you. See if you can tell who the most important person is in this e-learning selection:

Screen 1:

There are 8 steps in the sales process [yes, I made these up]:

  1. Discover
  2. Listen
  3. Ask questions
  4. Determine needs
  5. Confirm
  6. Describe
  7. Overcome objections
  8. Close the sale

Screen 2:

Quiz: Multiple choice questions:

  1. What’s step 3 in the sales process?
  2. What comes after “Describe” in the sales process?

OK, so who’s the most important person in that e-learning selection? You’re right! The most important person is the one who came up with the sales process. Clearly, he or she is a valued Subject Matter Expert (SME), who is probably a favorite with the training department because he or she will actually review something and provide timely feedback.

But, should an e-learning course really be about the SME? Should an e-learning course be about the training department?

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SAM: The Only Vocabulary You Need to Know

By Linda Rening, Ph.D., studio executive

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e-Learning for Drama Queens (and Kings)

by Linda Rening, PhD - studio executive

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