SHIFT's eLearning Blog

10 Note-worthy Tools Every Instructional Designer Should Bookmark Now

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @ 11:59 AM

Finding a tool that makes your job as an instructional designer even a little easier is kind of like finding fairy dust to sprinkle over your projects. Bibbity bobbity done! That’s how it feels, so why is it so hard to remember to save these tools for future use? I cannot count how many times I have found a great app only to draw a blank as to what was it called or how to found it when I need it again.

Here I present to you some of our favorite bookmarked websites and tools to make our eLearning design job easier.  Save them all or just bookmark this article for all future eLearning design magic.

Read More

Topics: eLearning tools

DON'T Skip the Training Needs Analysis! Here's Why.

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 @ 12:23 PM

As an eLearning course designer, you will often encounter clients who don’t have the time or budget to do an assessment before beginning training. Some clients may simply feel they already know what their employees need. 

However, like with many scenarios, a skipped step today ends up costing way more in the long run. Training without asking the right questions is prone to give too much training, too little or just completely wrong training. 

While there is a variety of constraints pushing clients and you to rush the process, there are three much worse things that can happen when you skip the training needs analysis. 

Read More

4 Exercises to Improve Your eLearning Design Skills in 30 Days

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 @ 12:23 PM

The best eLearning designers are the ones that consistently hone their style and look to make their skills even tighter. Fortunately, this doesn’t require a drastic overhaul of your existing knowledge base nor does it mean taking time-consuming classes that reteach things you might already know. In this blog  post, we will show you some handy exercises to keep your eLearning course design skills sharp as a jungle cat’s reflexes. A jungle cat sitting at a computer desk anyway, but I digress.

With these easy exercises, you will see your eLearning courses begin to improve quickly and continuously. Read on to find out how a single month of simple tasks can make you a better designer.

Read More

A 5-Step Plan to Creating eLearning Courses on ShoeString Budgets

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 @ 12:20 PM

A sudden cut on eLearning budget can generate a panic storm for the project lead. It bars access to choices — tools, resources, the types of content that can be created, and the work that can be outsourced to speed up the process. And hence, the actual time available for completing it.

If you are in such a pinch, then know this: IT IS POSSIBLE to create quality eLearning courses on a shoe-string budget.  It’s a matter of prioritizing your efforts, focusing the core learning objectives and deliverables, planning ahead, using toolkits, and reusing content.

Here is a five-step process for delivering quality eLearning courses on a shoe-string budget.

Read More

Topics: eLearning budget

4 Things You Must Do Before Starting an eLearning Program. #4 Is Absolutely Vital

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

So you're going to start a new eLearning program? Are you apprehensive about getting buy-in from the stakeholders, developing the team, communicating and leading the program? Then here are some time-tested tips to significantly reduce the time you get your project onboard, minimizing risky surprises, and successfully closing the project.

Read More

Topics: eLearning strategy

9 Ways to Use Video in Your Online Training Courses

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 @ 12:19 PM

With the rapid rise of smartphone and tablet penetration across the globe, high-resolution screens and improvements in broadbands speeds and connectivity, online video consumption continues to grow. According to Cisco's 2014 Report, Mobile video accounts for 55 percent of all data traffic. The same trend is visible in eLearning.  For instance, Video was ranked 3rd on the list of top formats for mLearning (ASTD 2012). 

But why?

This is mainly because the human brain is hardwired to engage better with real conversations (where the tone of voice and moving images/gestures create a multi-dimensional experience). And that's what video is all about: it combine texts, images and sounds to create an immersive learning environment. Adding video to eLearning courses is a sure way of increasing engagement.

Additionally, creating videos has become easier for the eLearning designers, whereas it is fast becoming the de facto’ choice for learners. 

Read More

What is Responsive eLearning Design: MythBusters 

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Mon, Sep 07, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

“Responsive” is IN. It is the buzzword amongst web designers, website developers, and content creators. And it is time eLearning professionals learned it as well. Your learners have access to a host of devices with different display capabilities. After working hard to design and develop a course, you will want it to show up in all its glory and fidelity whatever the device it runs on. 

But wait… What is Responsive Design?

In Responsive Web Design (RWD), the on-screen content realigns itself automatically depending on the size and resolution of the screen it is being displayed on. This ensures optimal viewing performance irrespective of the nature of the device. 

For instance, if you are viewing a course that features a Responsive Design, be assured that you won’t be made to pan endlessly or squint to read the text even if you choose to access it on your hand-held mobile device whose screen is smaller than that of your PC. The various graphical and textual elements will size and orient themselves automatically to match the dimensions of the screen. Similarly, you won’t have to resize the various on-screen elements if you choose to view the course on your laptop.

See: 50 Examples of Responsive Web Design

Read More

Before Gamifying eLearning, Read This!

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Sep 03, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

What is Gamification?

Most people describe Gamification as “the application of game elements to non-game contexts to increase user engagement". But we especially like Karl Kapp's definition: "Gamification is the cover to add the interactivity, engagement and immersion that leads to good learning". 

Read More

Understanding The Difference Between eLearning and mLearning

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @ 12:28 PM

The need to disseminate education efficiently imposed that classrooms should no longer be confined within four walls. So distance learning came into being. Then as technology evolved, lessons were not only delivered to mailboxes (the ones on the curb) but also reached learners on their computers. Thus eLearning developed. And now, because learners are no longer tethered to their desks (the rise of the remote and mobile workforce), learning is being delivered to their hand-held devices where they can consume it on the go.

Although e-Learning and m-Learning are used synonymously in many quarters, the two modes of learning differ in many aspects. As a learning designer, you must know all about the two formats so that you can create effective instructional content for each.

We've gone over tons of articles that talk about the differences between eLearning and mLearning, so we've created this blog post to save you time doing your research. Here, we list down four of the main differences between both terms

You might want to check out these articles:

Read More

Topics: eLearning, mLearning

How Storytelling Can Improve Your eLearning Courses

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Aug 27, 2015 @ 12:24 PM

You have to schedule meetings with the SME. You have to speak with the business executives to figure out the learning objectives. You have to know the target audience. It seems you have your hands full. Why should you bother to rack your brains and think of a story? Why would you need to tell a story in an eLearning course?

Stories hold enormous power over our minds and hearts for a reason. They are how we think, how we make sense of information, how we define ourselves, and how we persuade others. According to a recent article in Psychology Today, stories continue to hold power in this digital age because the human brain hasn't evolved as fast as technology and it's only through stories that we can connect to the various digital platforms and media messages out there today. 

Stories can improve your eLearning courses, not only making then more instructionally effective but also more engaging.

Read More

Join our blog

Receive content directly into your inbox

This is a place to learn everything about eLearning and instructional design. Have fun!

Subscribe to Email Updates

Posts by Topic

see all