SHIFT's eLearning Blog

How Digital Trends Are Impacting Learning within Companies

Posted by Brigg Patten on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 12:12 PM

We’ve come a long way in the ways of corporate training and learning. The history of corporate training and development dates back to 1872 where Hoe and Company established factory schools to help train machinists during the Industrial Revolution. By 1917, corporate training had expanded into “Show, Tell, Do and Check” method from Charles R. Allen where he would walk his shipyard workers through complex processes. By the 1950’s and 1960’s, computers help introduce virtual reality and technology-assisted instruction. 

As the world becomes more innovative, so are the ways we learn in school, at our jobs, and in life. Gone are the days where onboarding and corporate training is a one size fits all video for employees to learn and engage in. Today, corporate training programs have the choice, from microlearning to custom eLearning development, on how to best train their incoming workforce. As such, these training programs will most likely incorporate current digital trends to not only help engage top talent but help them grow within their career and stay with the company longer. 

Below are four digital trends that are impacting corporate training and learning, and why organizations should consider incorporating them.

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Topics: learning trends

Improve Your eLearning Design Workflow with the Pyramid Method

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jun 23, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Product designer William Newton wrote a compelling article some time ago on the tiers of good design and the pyramid they form. But this idea can be applied to more than physical product design; it can be used to create better eLearning courses, as well.

Find the original article here: The Design Process: A Pyramid

Using this same structure, we explore just how the pyramid can help you improve your eLearning design workflow.

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Topics: eLearning design

What are Personal Learning Networks?

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Jun 21, 2016 @ 12:10 PM

If you assume students are only learning from eLearning courses, you are failing to leverage a huge part of the learning process. 

Ask yourself where do you learn?

Most of us might answer “in a classroom”, but, in reality, the majority of learning comes from other places, like Personal Learning Networks. And these networks are personal, meaning there are no two PLNs that are equal; each of us has a unique range of people we learn from including peers, coworkers, supervisors, experts and other professionals. Today more learners use tools like Google and Wikipedia to acquire new skills and knowledge. They subscribe to personal and professional blogs. Or they ask questions through their social media networks to get the most relevant answers from the members of their PLN.

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Topics: Personal Learning Networks

Design Tools to Build Visual Hierarchy in eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jun 16, 2016 @ 12:16 PM

How do you read an article in the newspaper?

You start with the headline that screamed at you from the newsstand. Then you read the sub-headline, which is printed in a smaller font size. Next, you proceed to read the body copy.

Why do you read in this order? You read the headline first because its large, bold font grabs your eyeballs as soon as you glance at the newspaper. Next, the sub-headline catches your attention. You are compelled to read in this order because of the way the text is presented.

This is visual hierarchy, where information is ordered based on its importance and visually presented using contrasting forms to influence the viewing order.

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Topics: eLearning design

5 Methods to Achieve Visual Consistency in eLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Design resources never stop reminding us how important it is to be consistent when creating any graphic piece. We don’t argue. But as an eLearning designer, you know how challenging it is to walk the talk when it comes to maintaining a consistent look-and-feel throughout the course. After all, we are creative folks and artists at heart. Our brains get weary and scream for some zing by the time we get through a couple of slides. 

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Topics: eLearning design

Understand These 10 Principles of Good Design Before You Start Your Next eLearning Project

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jun 09, 2016 @ 11:30 AM

A good-looking course is not a guarantee of its instructional effectiveness. Think of all those magazines with glossy covers that you flip over expectantly only to find that the pages are filled with trash. Unfortunately, many course developers have no clue of how visual design can increase (or decrease) learnability of the material.

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Topics: eLearning design, eLearning, eLearning tips

The Do’s and Don’ts of Writing for eLearning

Posted by Yael Escamilla on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 12:16 PM

Have you ever read something where it seems like the material was written by someone who simply wanted to show off how smart they are? When this happens, do you find yourself thinking how brilliant the author is? No, it’s far more likely that you get annoyed with the person who wrote the piece and possibly frustrated with yourself. This is NOT the way to write your courses.

As an eLearning designer, there will be times when you know the material far better than the average student, but the last thing you want to do is create a course that goes over students’ heads. You need to strive to be clear without talking down to your audience and engaging without being letting the entertainment value overshadow the information.

Additionally, there are certain things that you need to consider when designing for people who will be viewing your eLearning course on a computer screen or other device. People who are learning online have far more built-in distractions over people reading from a piece of paper, which makes online learners:

  • Focus on tasks not an overall experience
  • Read up to 25% slower because there are distractions like links to click on
  •  Read only about 20% of text on the average page
  • Skim information instead of reading every single word

Because of these factors, your eLearning courses must be concise and organized into easily manageable parts. 

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Topics: writing tips

The Why’s and How’s of Social Learning in the Workplace

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Jun 02, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Social Learning is not a new concept that has just come out of the factory—cloaked in layers of jargons and giving off the appearance of something that is impossible to wrap your wits around. We have been learning socially since ages and doing great at it; we just didn’t know it till Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory started to gain prominence in recent times.

According to this theory, we learn best when we observe another person and imitate his behavior and actions. When we see our “role models” better their lives and that of others with their actions, we are inspired to learn more.

You follow your favorite blogs to learn new ways of writing and how the masters play with the language. You follow art and photography sites to pick up Photoshop tricks and learn DSLR hacks. At work, you observe your peers and seniors to learn the tricks of the trade. We read self-development write-ups to learn how the achievers in our society begin their day, keep away distractions at work, and remain consistently productive. We are learning “socially” almost always.

It has been proven that Social Learning is an effective training strategy for the workplace too. What is exciting is that with the advances in digital technology and the influx of social tools, the “social” element can be easily incorporated into eLearning. Because this concept is gaining ground steadily, you would want to know more about it, how your organization can implement it to create more effective training modules, the myths that surround this concept, and how to design an immersive learning experience. 

Luckily, experts have penned tons of material on Social Learning, and we have cherry-picked 10 of the best resources on the Web to help you find your way through the sea of information out there.  The following resources are for you if you are new to the world of Social Learning.

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Topics: Social Learning

The Best Tweets From #ATD2016

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

ATD International Conference & Exposition 2016, the world’s largest event dedicated to training and talent development was held last week. A massive turnout of over 14,000 L&D professionals attended the annual 4-day conference which included keynote speakers such as Brené Brown, Simon Sinke, Jeremy Gutsche and many others. Networking opportunities and a chance to learn about cutting-edge techniques and trends also greeted attendees of this world-class event. 

Even if you weren’t able to attend, you can still catch all the leading thoughts, opinions, and insider insights of industry professionals who tweeted about the event using the hashtag #ATD2016. And we’ve captured the highlights for you here:

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Topics: Events and Conferences

What an Effective Onboarding eLearning Course Should Look Like

Posted by Marry McAleavey on Thu, May 26, 2016 @ 11:53 AM

Modern Employee Training Goes Beyond Company Handbook Distribution 

Staff retention within a company is an aspect that can be difficult to master. Losing a valuable employee has damaging financial and managerial effects. When someone in your company leaves, you are left with a gaping hole where a wheel used to be. In order to fill it, you will need to enlist your recruiting team to find new candidates, manage to hire the right one, then re-train the next wheel to function as well as or better than the last one. Retention is not about luck.

High performance within a company is directly dependent upon the intellectual capital you build internally, and this is where onboard learning comes in. Information herein pertains to ongoing education inside your company, NOT new employee orientation. The most effective contemporary onboard training will most certainly contain or be mainly comprised of elearning strategies. In this post, we'll go over how it should look like.

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