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Posts Tagged ‘instructional design’

Focusing on the experience rather than the “product” – so why do IDs focus on “training” all the time?

October 10, 2014 4 comments

Steve Jobs focused on the Apple “experience” rather than the product – you can see a GREAT YouTube video here that shows this.

In the same vein – why do Instructional Designers seem to focus so much on the “course”, and the “training” – rather than the REASON we spend all our hours producing all of this content?

I had a discussion earlier this week on “An Ebola Course”. But for me it was not “…an ebola course”, it would be online content that saved lives. This is a mind-switch.

I would LOVE to see a forum or group of IDs have “No Training Words Week“, where – just for a week, just 7 days, we NEVER used words like “training”, “course”, “authoring”, “quiz”, “test” or ANY of the other “learning’y” words.

Could we/they do it?

Could we get through ONE working week with nothing but discussions on VALUE, or workflow, or profit/loss, or process re-engineering, or risk, or profit, or production or technique or re-financing, or loss, or problem-solving, or creativity.

Is it really too hard? Those are the words our customers and clients use in THEIR daily lives.

Try to talk the same language your customer/prospect/client uses – do you even know what language they DO speak?

Freelancer Instructional Designers – take a risk, sometimes it guarantees success rather than putting the next invoice at risk! Take up that flag of professionalism, but become a “business pro”, not just a “training pro(vider)”. It makes sense doesn’t it?

That mind-switch can be hard, and sometimes, your prospect, customer or client does not want it – but that is no reason not to TRY it. You owe it to yourself don’t you? If nothing else you certainly owe it to your profession.

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Just wanted to say “THANKS!”

October 10, 2014 1 comment

Somehow, based on “Social Appeal”, this little blog reached #2 in the rankings at http://elearningfeeds.com/top-elearning-blogs/

So – I just wanted to say THANK YOU to anyone and everyone that might have looked, circulated, retweeted or any other social thing. Hugely appreciated.

I’ll try and keep useful and provocative (?) thoughts coming.

Number2Ranking

Articulate Challenge – Audio Setup and Tips

August 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Quick post – my entry for this weeks Articulate Elearning Challenge – audio tips and tricks.

A really GREAT thread appearing on the Challenges page, superb hints and tips for anyone wanting to try voiceover on an eLearning course.

Learning Technique – from the window of a high street butcher, (warning, contains pork).

August 1, 2014 Leave a comment

I was walking to a client earlier this week, and I passed an old-fashioned high street butchers shop. On the window was an advert which read “Pork…it’s tasty…try some now!

I laughed to myself, thinking about the simplicity and almost child-like communication. How “quaint”. 7 hours later, after a heavy day of Articulate Storyline examples and semantic juggling, I walked back to the station, once again passing the same advert.

It was a GREAT example of learning technique

  • State the case for something to your learners – “Pork…
  • Explain the potential benefits to the user – “…it’s tasty
  • State the solution to an assumed problem (lack of pork), with a specific behavioural action – “…try some now

I had just spent a day largely doing just this – taking words and messages, and simplifying them with/for a client into learner actions. Perhaps we should all, occasionally, look back to the past to see where we are going.

In the interests of keeping the “pork” theme going – I remembered a simple flowchart I once produced using Articulate Storyline – so I’ll leave you with the “Should I Eat Bacon” flowchart“.Portrait of a pig

And now for something completely different…

July 2, 2014 1 comment

Apart from the fact that a good Instructional Designer should probably not begin ANY sentence with “and”, this blog post celebrates the triumphant return of The Monty Python Team, (nearly all of them…) to the London stage last night, and some complete silliness from a Skype discussion I had earlier.

I was trying to discuss the merits of 14:9 Articulate Storyline slide dimensions with a colleague versus 4:3.

When I type :3 something wonderful happened….

It interprets :3 as a cat licking its paw.

14_3 on Skype

I never knew that, and I suspect you did not either. Unless you are cleverer than me and understand social media more. Or talk about eLearning or PowerPoint slide dimensions a lot in your Skype-life.

If you did NOT know this, promise me that next time you Skype someone, at an opportune moment you will just type :3, and then pretend you have no idea what you did.

We all have to right to be silly once in a while – and on that note “Hurrah for Monty Python!”

I just need to slap someone with a fish now…..

 

#Freelancers – original thoughts anyone?

July 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Like you, I get bombarded by feeds from social media, and frankly, I’m getting bored by most of them.

For me – social media is about sharing thoughts, sharing observations, helping other freelancers, perhaps give away the odd company secret and/or technique for success.

I am bored of getting endless re-posts, re-tweets, recommendations, and posts purporting to share knowledge that hide under a thin veil of “Buy my/our product”. I appreciate the concept of “curating”, but it does NOT just mean “Here’s a collection of stuff that you could probably find yourself if you learned how to use a Search Engine correctly”.

Many instructional designers, and many freelancers live in 1-person worlds, where communication time is short, and valued. I’d much rather receive a post from a co-worker, colleague or friend that asked an original question than get an In-Box full of content that was supposedly showing me the “52-best ways…” to do something, or covertly advertising something I do not need.

I’d love to see more questions, more engagement, and more relationships formed rather than the same information going round and round. Let’s give more – more of us, not more of others.

The value of REAL networking in your freelancer community.

June 28, 2014 5 comments

There’s an old business saying along the lines of “Never annoy anyone on your way to the top, because you may need their help when you are on the way down“. Basically, I take that to mean try and treat everyone right, and they will treat you right when you need them, (even if you are still on the way up).

Earlier this week I got a call from a very influential/well-known UK Institute. They had a problem. They had contacted me because I have 2 specific skills – #Articulate #Storyline and #Sparkol #Videoscribe – two products that are essential for their project rollout.

They need nearly 100 short, 10/12-slide, 10-minute courses produced – originally the deadline was sometime early in 2015, it is now late August 2014. It is almost the end-June now. There will be around 30-40 standalone Videoscribes to produce after that.

I went to see them, to see what I could do to help, if anything. To cut a long story short, after the meeting I placed a call to a Storyline colleague, to see if he could help, because there is no way I can do this on my own. He told me that he had diversified from Storyline, and had entered the Video Marketing world too using a new product – had I heard of a product called “Sparkol Videoscribe”?

He also knows of another resource who can help us with these skills. Sometimes – the planets just align perfectly.

In the meeting, both the client and I accepted the project dates were bordering on insanity, however, after a couple of hours, some laying down of the production “rules”, and some networking, this project has become completely realistic. I’m not saying it will be easy, but 1 person has become 3, and the light at the end of the tunnel is certainly brighter than it was. In contacting this colleague, and giving some work AWAY, a project is now more likely to happen, with me at the middle, managing it, and client panic (hopefully) turning to client delight and future repeat business.

I believe that effective Freelancer networks are ESSENTIAL, especially in my own eLearning business world . There are so many products and tools, no-one can be effective in them all. Work with REAL people, contact REAL people, and do not just be “Social Media Friends”. Be REAL friends and REAL colleagues. I am totally sick and tired of social media contacts to “Like” and “Friend” and so on – where they just ask, but offer no explanation WHY they want me to like, friend, buddy, connect and generally add to my Inbox.

That way, a massive piece of business, crazy to look at on paper MIGHT just become a workable reality with one phonecall. Freelancers often on PC/mobile tools to be effective, but do not, ever forget the value of ongoing contacts, and the occasional social call just in case you need their help.

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