May 24, 2011

New to E-Learning? Read this post by Tom Kuhlmann

Another interesting post by Tom Kuhlmann (who has over 15 years of hands-on experience in the training industry and currently runs the community at Articulate).

Amplify’d from
The Rapid E-Learning Blog - simple steps to get started with elearning

To a novice even simple things seem complex.  And when things appear complex, we can become frustrated or feel like we don’t have the skills to accomplish what it is we want to do.

I recall years ago when I was learning video production.  I felt like my skills were inadequate (which they were).  So my instructor told me to record some television commercials and then break them down into pieces to see how they were built.  He said that this would help me focus less on the glossiness of the commercials and more on their construction.  So I recorded commercials and then built a storyboard around the different scenes in them.  I made notes of the scenes, where the edits were, and what might have motivated the edits. 

This exercise was one of the best learning experiences for me.  It slowed things down and helped me shift my focus away from the slickness of the commercials (which made my lack of skill more apparent) and move it towards the production process.

For new elearning developers, I recommend a similar process.  Find elearning courses you like and then break them down into chunks so it’s easier to understand how the courses were created.  This will help you understand some of the techniques used to transition the content and move a learner through the course.  But more importantly, it will give you a sense of what’s common about elearning courses and help you think through and plan for those things in your own course development.

Take a book, for example.  While every book is different, the structure of every book is similar.  There’s a cover, table of contents, chapters, an index, and perhaps an author bio.  The same can be said for elearning.  Different content, similar structure.


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