SHIFT's eLearning Blog

4 Types of Visuals You Can Use in eLearning, And Why They Work

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 @ 12:52 PM


As our world becomes more media-oriented, it grows increasingly clear that people show a preference for visual information over text. Graphs, diagrams, and other formats are more accessible than a block of text. However, poorly-presented data can do more harm than good. So, when using any of these visualization methods for eLearning, make sure they:

  • are clear and coherent;
  • aren't redundant;
  • add value to learning;
  • aid retention and recall;
  • and, of course, are within the scope of your budget.

To get started, here are four main types you can use.

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A Simple Technique You Can (and Should) Apply To Your eLearning Courses

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 @ 01:34 PM


It’s easy for an eLearner to “zone out” when faced with complex course content, especially with limited existing knowledge of a topic. The instructional design challenge is how to explain complex content easily. Start by considering some premises fundamental to eLearning design.

A Simple Technique: Identifying Similarities and Differences

The objective is creating content that enhances eLearners’ knowledge and ability to use it. Success is their mastery of complex content with a simple technique: using mental processes focused on identifying how items, concepts or ideas are alike and different.

That’s important because identifying similarities and differences requires comparing information, compartmentalizing ideas into categories and forging a connection to prior knowledge. Research by educators Marzano et al. found that strategies requiring learners to use comparative thinking upped their achievement by an average percentile gain of 45 points.

Plotting comparisons visually is particularly effective. Since the brain is always looking for connections between new concepts and prior knowledge, making comparisons creates more efficient learners.

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Make It Hard to Forget: 6 Principles to Help Your Learners Remember Anything

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 @ 01:07 PM

You've worked hard and are creating your best eLearning course to date. But do you wonder if people will remember any of the content a few weeks down the road?

Fostering effective eLearning requires understanding how memory works. Beyond that, we need to master crucial ways to help learners encode new principles in their brains. This requires a grasp of five premises.

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These Are The Reasons Why Learners Forget Your Training

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 12:31 PM


"Training doesn’t help one jot if people can’t remember it in the real world"  —Teresa Ewington

Our biggest goal in training is to get students to remember the material. In order to do this more effectively, it helps to understand exactly what causes the mind to forget things. By understanding what makes a person forget, we can incorporate things into our programs that help counteract those causes. 

Forgetting is an important function. It helps a human filter out trivial things that would clog the brain and override important information. Forgetting helps ease pain of tragedy and enables a person to continue living without constant sadness. There are times, however, when we not only need to remember, but need to do so at a time when the information is useful. Let's take a look at the five most common reasons your corporate learners forget your training.

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Targeting 6 Social Learning Needs in eLearning Environments

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Oct 07, 2014 @ 12:30 PM


It’s time to enable the social learning mode!

When it comes to successful eLearning design, everybody should agree that there’s no such thing as too much information about how the human brain operates. It’s wired for social learning. Our respective environments actually shape our brains and the rest of our bodies.

An interesting three-minute video by Paul Burow discusses the application of neuroscience to organizational development. It covers six social learning needs we think can be applied to eLearning. Targeting these needs will result in more effective eLearning courses.

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Add a Dose of Psychology to Create Great eLearning Courses

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Oct 02, 2014 @ 12:04 PM


Here’s a news flash: If you want to be really great at eLearning design, you need to know more than how to come up with an attractive look and content that gets attention. What’s the secret? Becoming savvy about psychology and behavior.

Why? Psychology plays an important role in creating content because it’s all about your learner’s emotions and perception. Simply put, as designers, we have to build effective eLearning courses based on needs and emotions to instill feelings in eLearners. Knowing a bit about social patterns doesn’t hurt either.

Design Based on Psychology

The whole point of taking psychology into consideration is the end product: individuals who are happier and who will probably experience effective eLearning. Take a peek at some thoughts on the psychology of design:

  • “Psychology is the science of behaviour and the mind. When design and behaviour match, the design will be superior.” Simon Norris, NOMENSA. 
  • “A great-looking design isn’t always a great working design and often design without psychology is a source of dangerously misapplied effort.” Paul Davies 
  • “Designers are actually psychologists who can draw.” Paul Davies 
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A 4-Step Recipe for Maximum eLearner Engagement

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 @ 12:23 PM


We’ve all met them. Ask about online courses they’ve taken, and they’ll roll their eyes. Current eLearners are bored and can’t wait for their courses to end. Whoever put together these courses – was it you? – didn’t have the right recipe for eLearner engagement.

In the past, most professionals who designed, taught or coordinated eLearning courses needed to understand how learning occurs and a bit about brain-based learning tips resulting from neuroscience research. That’s no longer enough. You need to know the key ingredients required to effectively engage eLearners by engaging their brains.

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A Simple Guide to Creating Your First eLearning Storyboard

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 @ 12:57 PM


What to know before you start:

Don't begin an eLearning course without a clear path in mind; like any other effort, planning is key. For that purpose, a storyboard can come in very handy.

What's a storyboard?  The term "storyboard" comes from movie production, where creators sketch out a film in a series of still images. An eLearning storyboard is the blueprint of the course, like a lesson plan - except a storyboard doesn't describe just general content, but everything else as well, from graphics to video. Start reading these helpful articles:

Why do I need one?  Storyboards provide many benefits, of which these are just a few:

  • Sequence instruction and show how different elements relate and fit together;
  • Generate a clear plan for project management;
  • Make sure you, clients, and team members are all on the same page;
  • Document changes and previous ideas.
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A Handful Of Tips To Kick Your Bad eLearning Design Habits

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 @ 12:13 PM


Every eLearning project is different, and comes with a different set of demands. However, when it comes to slide design, there are some best practices that fit all or nearly all situations. Following these basic tips ensures a clear and effective lesson, while still leaving room to customize and add your own personal touch.

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The 6 Laws of Learning No Instructional Designer Can Afford to Ignore

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

Today it is almost more likely to find companies pursuing eLearning than it is the traditional course in education. This makes good designers of eLearning programs a necessity. As a designer, you want to be able to stand out from the crowd and become known not as simply a good designer, but as a great one. You want your students to be able to learn and to see that they are progressing and you want to be sought out for your knowledge and skill in designing.

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Tags: eLearning design, eLearning