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Ethan Edwards

Recent Posts

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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Achieving a Bountiful e-Learning Harvest

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanedwards 

I don’t know what it means that my random activities so often trigger comparisons to the challenges we face in the field of e-learning, but the latest example occurred last week in regard to walnuts.  Black walnuts, specifically.

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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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3 Tips to Get More from E-Learning Course Reviews

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist / @ethanedwards 

Recently I was speaking in New Orleans and had a little bit of time to kill before heading to the airport for my flight home and was searching for a place of interest to occupy my time.  I spotted the New Orleans Museum of Art online and a few clicks took me to the TripAdvisor reviews. 

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Three Tools for Your e-Learning Design First Aid Kit

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist

We’ve all seen great e-learning designs—engaging interactions that motivate learners, engage them in meaningful and memorable experiences, and challenge them to perform tasks that directly relate to later on-the-job performance. Unfortunately, due to the challenges in mastering authoring systems, unrealistic organizational expectations about time and resources for developing e-learning, well-intentioned but faulty standards for deliverables, negotiating content with subject matter experts, and simple lack of practice, these great interactions (I call them “irresistible e-learning”) may seem out of reach for some designers. 

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3 Reasons To Attend ATD's E-Learning Instructional Design Training

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist, @ethanedwards 

We at Allen Interactions have partnered with ATD for more than a decade to deliver the two professional instructional design training workshops for e-learning design. The two workshops (E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate and Advanced E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate) cover important aspects of mastering the art and science of creating motivating and impactful e-learning programs.

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Declare Your Independence From Boring E-Learning Designs

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist

This weekend is Independence Day, when amid fireworks and barbeques we will celebrate those critical events in the formation of the United States. No doubt in civic celebration (and the unfortunate but unavoidable appearances by politicians) we’ll hear plenty of references to the patriots who worked so diligently in the cause of independence.

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Does Your E-Learning Create Learner Indifference? Try These Five Ideas

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist

One of my greatest frustrations as an e-learning designer is how impervious the field seems to be to improvement. I began my interest in computer-based instruction back in 1982 as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I undertook an independent study involving the PLATO instructional system, which had been invented there at the Computer-based Education Research Laboratory.

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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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