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Being Better e-Learning Designers by Doing Less

by Ethan Edwards, chief instructional strategist | @ethanaedwards

Ethan Edwards, chief instructional strategist, Allen Interactions | ZebraZappsI hope you can join me for the ASTD Webinar this Monday, “Five Critical Design Activities for Creating Impactful e-Learning.”  I’m looking forward to sharing some insights and experience on the struggle to build learning programs that take advantage of all the wonderful benefits of e-learning while keeping the learners at the center of the instruction—engaging them, challenging them, and inspiring them to improved performance.

Any of you who give presentations from time-to-time may find familiarity in the paradox that I stumbled on in preparing for this presentation.  The title of this offering was established before I had finalized my precise message, and so I’ve been working hard to prepare a message to fit the theme while discovering some surprises.

My biggest surprise was that in many ways, we can be better designers of e-learning by doing less.  At least we have to drop some of the rules and practices that have almost become second-nature to us as content developers.  Instead of putting content online, we need to challenge ourselves to create online experiences.  In that light, some of the traditional core e-learning design activities (storyboarding, content writing, evaluation questions, etc.) recede a bit in prominence and alternative strategies result in more effective and engaging learning experiences.

So in my “Five Critical Activities,” I include both actions you should take to improve your designs and activities you should quit doing in order to make the most effective and engaging use of your e-learning experiences. 

So please join me on Monday, August 5th as I share these guidelines that have, for me, transformed the design process in thinking about what our responsibility and real challenge is in creating the best learner experiences possible.

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