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Eight EGGcellent ELearning Blogs for Your Easter Basket

 By  Carrie ZensDirector of Marketing @carriezens

 It's that time of year again. And, like many holidays, it's super fun to see Easter through the eyes of children. Having three little boys, I love to see their creativity and joyful messiness explode while decorating Easter eggs. It brings me back to my childhood days of hunting for Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Eggs hidden in every nook and cranny of our house...and the thrill of discovering where that Easter Bunny stashed my long awaited basket which normally included a plush, stuffed bunny and candy. And it's just plain fun watching my oldest navigate a scavenger hunt to uncover the next clue to the end goal of Easter candy and other goodies (Auntie likes to spoil!).

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Four Instructional Design Lessons Inspired by the Lord of the Rings

By Kody Jackson, MA, Instructional Writer Intern

Instructional design is a lot like The Lord of the Rings. This isn’t the most obvious of comparisons, I’ll admit. Everyone in Middle Earth, after all, rides around on horses. We certainly don’t get to do that here at Allen Interactions...at least not until the Culture Committee puts in that petting zoo I’ve been begging for. We also don’t have swords. The pen may be mightier, but it definitely lacks the same “cool” factor.

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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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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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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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Context in e-Learning Design: From Routine To Remarkable

By Ethan Edwards, Chief Instructional Strategist

On Sunday I had the privilege of being in the audience at the final performance of The Chicago Lyric Opera’s spectacular production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Carousel. I could easily write about the many elements that made it a uniquely impactful performance, but one element strikes me as something that might enlighten us on one of the most persistent challenges for making e-learning design engaging.

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Q&A: Three Quick Ideas for Creating Interactive e-Learning

by , instructional writer/designer | @EllenBJohnson

More than 200 participants joined last week's 30-minute complimentary webinar: Three Quick Design Ideas for Creating Learner-Centric Designs. If you were able to attend, thank you for joining—and thanks for your kind words, insightful questions, and constructive feedback!

During the webinar we discussed several techniques for creating interactive e-learning designs that focus on the learner. The specific techniques aligned with these three high-level strategies:

  1. Ask for the learner's opinion
  2. Make the learner's choices count
  3. Make it about the learner from the start

There were several good questions that we weren't able to address during the session, so I've selected a few of these to answer below.

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3 Reasons Why Failure is Life's Most Honest Teacher

As a kid, I was terrified to ride a bike without training wheels. I told my exasperated father all the reasons why I was sure this crazy bike-riding plan of his would not work: “The sidewalk is hard and bicycles – have you seen a bicycle lately? Those wheels are very skinny and the seats are high up. Those things are deathtraps and I’m just going to fall and probably die.” But my Dad was determined and he eventually got me on the bike and peddling. I immediately crashed into a tree. However, I learned three very important lessons that day: 1) steering, 2) braking, and, most importantly, 3) falling isn’t something to be afraid of. The worst thing I thought could happen wasn’t that bad. I didn’t die. I didn’t even get hurt. Failing gave me the courage to persevere and the tools to do it.

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Make 'Em Laugh: 4 Ways to Create e-Learning Courses with Humor

by Ann Iverson, instructional designer | @iverson_ann

Everyone wants to laugh. Our inherent desire for humor leads us to share YouTube videos of laughing babies and frowning cats, and use acronyms like LOL in our text messages. But humor does not belong in serious e-learning courses, right? Well, think again. Making people laugh has been scientifically proven to relieve stress, improve productivity and motivate employees. Humor can even increase learner retention of concepts and situations that might otherwise be easily forgotten.

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