Tag Archives: elearning

Live from DevLearn 2010

Live from DevLearn 2010

The ELearning Guild produces an annual conference for elearning designers, DevLearn. Our team headed out to lead a couple of learning sessions and discover what’s new on the edge of elearning.  Here’s some interesting ideas shared during Day 1:

7:15 am Discussion on ROI

I was invited to lead a session on defining and measuring ROI in e-learning. I learned that there are some passionate e-learning folks who will get up for a 7:15 session to discuss metrics. One of the big themes of this conversation was a move from the term, “ROI”, to the term, “ROE”. “ROE” being return on expectations. What do the stakeholders expect? How do you narrow those expectations and clearly define the scope of work?

Keynote with John Seeley Brown, author of Push

The twitter dialogue (#dl10) that is  going on during this entire event connects the attendees and gives everyone a good sense of what is interesting . Kind of intimidating to a speaker, you can be “tweeted” off the island. The conference app was created using  Event Pilot.

Here are some big ideas being tweeted and re-tweeted on Brown’s presentation:

-Every 2 days we now create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization until 2003. This is the context we live in today.

-There is a huge shift away from collecting knowledge assets, referred to as “stocks” as competitive advantage. The new competitive advantage is anticipating and creating on the edge of where the information is being created. Think social spaces for collaborating and creating together.

Mark Oehlert-Social Learning Camp

Mark and I served on an ASTD speaker selection committee a few years back. He designs learning for the Department of Defense. Check out his blog. For DevLearn, Mark created an online message board on social media. The online tool he used to create it, http://www.linoit.com is free and could be a cool add-on tool to online class management or collaboration.

BJ Schoen 25 Mobile Learning Tools in 60 Minutes

BJ quickly ran us through 25 tools we should be aware of in building a mobile learning strategy. Here is a link to his slide presentation. These tools can extend the learning out in the final 4MAT step, Perform. 

Green Screen Video on a Budget

John Gillmore and Andrea Stone from the University of Oklahoma shared how to do green screen video production on a budget. Think cut-out video of a live instructor super-imposed on any background. Here’s a wiki they created with all the how-to.

Great learning community here at DevLearn. Even the conference hotel Starbucks is getting  into the power of sharing.

6 Social Activities for Elearning

I frequently get questions about how to do the 4MAT quadrant one in elearning. In Engage, the first step of the 4MAT model, we are creating a learning that encourages authentic sharing and meaningful dialogue. To do this, we must create a sense of community. This morning, I stumbled across this link highlighting 6 social activities:


I like the website idea–asking elearning participants to share three websites that illustrate their personal interests. Here is mine:

Margaret Wheatley on conversations: www.margaretwheatley.com

Brain Rules–reading this book now and loving it: www.brainrules.net

Facebook-join our instructional design community of practice: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=68125306923&ref=ts

How do you apply 4MAT to Computer Based Training?

We’ve seen great examples of 4MAT applied to synchronous and asynchronous learning by our clients. The major challenge in CBT is simulating the social interaction that is often missing in these programs. In synchronous, there are many features in most platforms ie webex that allow you to create this. I recently attended a sychronous course in which the facilitator asked us to draw an image that represented the concept of “process” to us. She then showed several line drawings on the screen, each labeled with a number. We were then polled to determine which drawing on the screen was closest to the image we drew. This was a clever way of having 1000+ people participate in an image exercise that explored concept.

In asynchronous, think about how you integrate stories, images and simulated dialogue to create the social experience. 

Underneath the content you are teaching is a core concept that is the key to understanding and applying the information learned. For example, what is the concept underlying division? If you were a third grade teacher, you might reply “sharing”. Think about how you animate the concept, before moving into the content. Identifying and animating the concept is the key to building brain-based online learning.

Some examples of content and possible concepts:

Content-“stuff” we have to teach                            Concept-the bigger idea

Leadership                                                    synergy, accountability, empowerment

Conflict Resolution                                       win-win, alignment

How to Cut Hair                                            weight distribution

Effective Presentation Skills                         energy, connection, authenticity 


The key to creating connection in computer-based instruction is animating the concept. Think about how you can pull from the learner their story, their experiences around the concept being explored. I recall seeing a great example of this in an asynchronous program. The content was emergency procedures. In each department of this company, one individual was responsible for the emergency procedure manual.  The desired outcome was to have the learner thoroughly review the emergency procedures manual for their department. The concept chosen was “preparedness”. The designer created a scenario with the learner viewing a typical employee receiving a panicked phone call that water was leaking from the roof. The employee portrayed on screen could not locate their emergency procedure manual. Phone calls escalated and the general panic really came through in the module.

This could even go deeper by having the learner thing about things they do on a daily basis that enhance their safety and well-being—wearing a seatbelt, taking a multivitamin. In an asynchronous environment, we must encourage the  the learner to imagine themselves in an experience. This draws out the connection to the content.

Does anyone have some great examples of ways to connect learners in CBT? We would love to hear what’s working out there.