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Michael Allen

Michael W. Allen, our CEO, has been a pioneer in the e-learning industry since 1975. He was the innovative force behind one of the most successful authoring tools ever created, Authorware, and our recently launched authoring and publishing system, ZebraZapps. Michael Allen has nearly 45 years of professional, academic, and corporate experience in teaching, developing, and marketing interactive learning and performance support systems. He has led teams of doctorate-level specialists in learning research, instructional design, computer-based training, and human engineering. For decades, he has concentrated on defining unique methods of instructional design and development that provide meaningful and memorable learning experiences through “true” cognitive interactivity. He developed the advanced design and development approaches we have used at Allen Interactions for the past two decades, including CCAF-based design and the SAM process for iterative, collaborative development. Michael is a prolific writer, sought-after conference speaker and recognized industry leader. In 2011, he received ASTD’s Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award. In 2012 Michael was selected by The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) Advisory Committee as a recipient of the 2012 Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He holds M.A and Ph.D. degrees in educational psychology from The Ohio State University and is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Michael Allen was the director of advanced educational systems research and development of Control Data Corporation’s famous PLATO computer-based education system used around the world. He was the founder, and former chairman of Authorware, Inc. and also the primary architect of Authorware Professional, which was based on Allen’s extensive research on creativity and creative problem-solving. It became a groundbreaking authoring tool combining power and ease of use, and ultimately the industry standard. Authorware, Inc. merged with Macromind/Paracomp to become Macromedia, which was later acquired by Adobe.

Recent Posts

eLearning Design: Assess? When? How?

By Michael Allen, Chairman & CEO, Allen Interactions 

eLearning can’t do everything. It can’t detect frustration by observing facial expressions and body language (yet). It doesn’t know if a learner is just throwing out any answer to see what feedback happens or if a learner is sincerely thinking the answer is correct. Today, elearning is pretty much blind to many of the cues a personal mentor or instructor would note and use to guide a learner.
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Why is Good eLearning So Rare?

By Michael Allen, Chairman & CEO, Allen Interactions 

One might ask a broader question, just for perspective: Why is good training so rare? Indeed, all of us have been in programs where we wished the clock on the wall would tick faster. We’ve tried to stay focused. Tried to stay awake. But annoyance and thoughts of how great it will be when the class is over become all we can think about.

So, perhaps elearning doesn’t have a greater share of the boring training market than any other form of instruction. But I can’t take comfort in that.

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Tips for Faster, Easier, Better eLearning Design

By Michael Allen, Chairman & CEO, Allen Interactions 

Instructional design determines the effectiveness of training. In all of my presentations, demonstrations, books, and webinars, I contrast what can be achieved through great design with what is so often not achieved because basic design principles were not applied. 

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My eLearning Hopes for 2017

By Michael Allen, Chairman & CEO, Allen Interactions 

Years seem so short as I’ve reached, um, maturity. And each year is shorter than the previous one. As the years fly by, I always wonder about the accomplishments of each previous year and how the coming year might contrast with it.

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A Tribute to e-Learning Thought Leader, Jay Cross

By Michael Allen, Chairman & CEO, Allen Interactions 

Jay Cross. A friend and thought leader we’ll all miss dearly. 

Jay Cross was one of those people who lifted your spirits the moment you saw him. Even before he said a word, you saw a welcoming expression on his face and you knew the next few moments would experience encouragement and challenge.

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Michael Allen Interview–Crystal Balling with Learnnovators

Crystal Balling with Learnnovators’ is a thought-provoking interview series that attempts to gaze into the future of e-learning. It comprises stimulating discussions with industry experts and product evangelists on emerging trends in the learning landscape.

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Embracing the Serious eLearning Manifesto

 

Given decades of informative research on instructional paradigms, human learning, and performance measurement, it seems the burgeoning e-learning industry would have achieved enormous success in bringing each learner to a state of performance mastery economically and as quickly as possible.

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