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Six Achievable & Effective Techniques to Enhance Learner Motivation

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist/ @ethanaedwards

We often talk about the importance of motivation in e-learning instructional design. In fact, we’ve even said that motivation is often more important than the specific content when seeking to maximize the impact of instruction—particularly in e-learning, where relatively few social or external environmental factors are likely to inspire learners.

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What Makes e-Learning Work?

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanaedwards 

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Q&A: 10 Practical Principles for Creating Impactful e-Learning

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanaedwards 

I recently conducted a webinar sponsored by eLearning Industry on 10 Practical Principles for Creating Impactful e-Learning. We had a lively discussion, but there were a number of questions submitted during the session that we didn’t have time to address. In reviewing these questions, it seemed that many of these topics are probably of concern to the participants.

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Je n’en crois pas mes yeux! Unexpected E-Learning Insights in a French Cathedral

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanaedwards 

I had the great good fortune of traveling to Paris in March. I spent a couple of days engaged in consulting work, and then added a few extra days just to be a tourist. I’d never been to France before, and I was delighted to spend three or four days exploring a place filled with so much history, art, and culture.

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Five St. Patrick's Inspired Instructional Design Traditions

By CARRIE ZENS, Director of Marketing

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! In celebration of this religious and cultural holiday here's a blog Ethan Edwards, chief instructional strategist, wrote last year about five instructional design traditions inspired by its celebratory customs and green-filled festivities.

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The Power of “Test Then Tell” in e-Learning Design

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanedwards 

One of the most powerful design ideas for creating good e-learning also seems to be the one that designers find hardest to accept and adopt. It is the “test then tell” approach at the heart of learner-centered design. Simply put, “test then tell” encourages us to begin an instructional sequence, not with content, but by presenting the learner with a challenge—some specific task or test of performance—and then provide content by way of feedback based on how learners did.

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5 Lessons for Designing Engaging e-Learning Interactions from Project Runway

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanedwards 

Earlier this month, I had the honor of speaking at the ATD TechKnowledge Conference in Las Vegas. At the conference, I talked about sketching and prototyping as a design methodology for designing effective e-learning. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to explain or illustrate a novel approach to a familiar task. While I am firmly convinced that sketching is far and away the best method for coming up with ideas for new engaging interactions, the tradition of detailed storyboarding as the design tool of choice for instruction is so deeply entrenched in our field. Thus, I think it may be helpful to refer to something unexpected to make sense of new ideas.

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3 Key e-Learning Design Steps From Pixar's Design Story

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanedwards 

I had the pleasure to spend some time earlier this month in the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City. It is great to be reminded of the design aspect of instructional design. So often we get obsessed with the technical and management aspects of creating e-learning that the importance of powerful design thinking gets overlooked.

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Avoiding Ugly e-Learning: Lessons From Holiday Sweaters

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanedwards 

'Tis the season of holiday sweaters—each lovingly created with good intent, sometimes gaudy, sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes utilitarian, but rarely as beautiful as imagined. The same can often be said about e-learning course designs. We start out with the intention to create something uniquely satisfying for our learners, but after accounting for strained resources, limited time, imperfect development tools, complex subject matter, and unpredictable learners, we end up with something not quite as beautiful as we’d hoped.

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5 Powerful Ways to Improve Instructional Feedback in Your e-Learning Designs

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanedwards 

The feedback in your interactions might be the most critical element contributing to the effectiveness of your elearning designs. Context, challenge, and activity engage the learner by communicating relevance, activating prior knowledge, elevating motivation, and engaging learners through meaningful gestures, but it is in the feedback where teaching and learning meet.

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