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Ethan Edwards

Recent Posts

eLearning Lessons From the Road with Ethan Edwards

Ethan Edwards discusses eLearning Design from the Bronx High Bridge in New York. 

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ELearning Design: The Eye of the Beholder

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist/ @ethanaedwards 

I recently had the pleasure to pay a visit to Gunston Hall in Fairfax County, Virginia. We had a little time to fill before heading for the airport, so we took a quick tour through this beautiful 19th Century Plantation that was the home of George Mason. Mason’s ideas formed the basis of the Virginia Declaration of Rights and later the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. 

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The Great e-Learning Bake Off: Lessons From the Holiday Cookie Exchange 

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist/ @ethanaedwards 

As the year winds down, I find myself preparing for the annual rituals that embrace traditions and mark the progress of time. So naturally, my thoughts turn to the Annual Allen Interactions Holiday Webinar.

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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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Erase Boring e-Learning: Show What You Know

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanaedwards 

I love finding inspiration for better instructional design in unlikely sources. My eye stumbled across one of these sources this week in an unplanned exposure to a book title in a Facebook post. The book in question is Rabbinic Literature & the New Testament, by Biblical/Talmudic historian Jacob Neusner. Now I want to make clear, I haven’t actually seen, read, or even have much interest in the topic, but the subtitle captures some essential wisdom about learning: What We Cannot Show, We Do Not Know. Lifted from its original context, this strikes me as a particularly significant principle to guide the design of e-learning modules.

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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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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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