There are numerous online degree courses as well as MOOCs that can guide you on the best possible ways to acquire expertise in the e-learning arena. At this article you will find a quick summary of some of the proven techniques that can help you become an e-learning pro!
How To Become An E-learning Pro
Nowadays, technology has taken the world by storm. It has invaded every sphere of our life, including our personal as well as professional areas of expertise. However, the advent of technology as a means to enhance the development of the educational process has been a relatively slow but steady process.
At the same time, the implementation of technology in the realm of education has facilitated the overall learning process in more ways than one. Thanks to the various products of technology, the modern classroom environment has evolved way beyond the traditional chalk-and-blackboard system of education – and participants are now ready to foray into uncharted territory.
A number of educational institutions are making dedicated efforts to implement technology inside classrooms as well as in corporate scenarios to be able to make a difference in the learning and training processes. And e-learning is a perfect example of a smart fusion of education and technology that has immense potential to benefit students. The growing popularity of this process of digitized communication has triggered a demand for expert professionals in this field.
- Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips and tricks that would help you become the nextsuccessful e-learning pro within the shortest possible time:
- First, you must know how to organize your learning objectives so that they complement the learning goals of your organization.
- Next, you must know how to employ the concepts of instructional design to obtain an outstanding learning experience.
- Enrich your course structure with some interesting elements of graphic design.
- Last but not the least, you require an in-depth idea about user-experience when you are utilizing online content to teach anything to your students.
How to become an expert in the e-learning industry
There are numerous online degree courses as well as MOOCs that can guide you on the best possible ways to acquire expertise in the e-learning arena.
Here’s a quick summary of some of the proven techniques that can help you become an e-learning pro:
- Know your organization well.
To start with, you should be well-acquainted with your organization if you aspire to gain dexterity in this niche professional space. Therefore, create e-learning strategies that directly contribute to the organization’s profits should be in sync with the overall organizational goals. As I have mentioned, make sure your training techniques are in sync with the aims of your organization and you are ready to achieve success.
- Make sure your course is relevant.
A golden rule that would enable you to be successful in the field of e-learning is to make your course as relevant as possible for your learning audience. Some questions that you might want to ask yourself before offering an e-learning course:
- Does the course meet the requirements of my learners?
- Am I certain that it would be interactive enough to generate interest in my pupils?
- Use PowerPoint.
Most students are attracted to lectures that are provided using PowerPoint presentations. PowerPoint is an excellent software tool that engages learners simply by making the course content livelier and more interactive. You can leverage this software to create compelling lessons using the concept of Flash-based learning.
- Avoid the traditional ‘PowerPoint’ look.
Although PowerPoint is a highly recommended aspect of e-learning, yet I suggest you refrain from being completely dependent on it. In simpler terms, try to experiment with the software while developing your slides. A smart trick worth mentioning: avoid the traditional PowerPoint slides that appear on your screen by default. Instead, let your creative juices flow and try to make your presentation as attractive as possible using animation and other such aspects! And that’s not all. There are a host of other technical applications that can make your e-learning courses truly stand out from the crowd:
- Leverage multimedia.
While designing e-learning courses, an essential tip you can use is to make the best use of the several available multimedia tools. For instance, adding copyright-free images pertinent to your course would enhance the look of your presentations considerably. Similarly, it is a great idea to employ videos when you want to make any company announcements.
- Use videos carefully.
Now when you are utilizing videos, you must be very careful about their length. The thumb rule of using videos in e-learning is that you should always keep them short and simple. I would recommend limiting the length of your videos to a maximum time frame of three to four minutes.
- Choose vector images.
Pictures speak a thousand words. However, to make your e-learning courses look more impressive, choose appropriate images. Ideally, you should always choose vector images. The beauty of using vector images is that they do not suffer in terms of quality even when they are resized, or in other words, ‘scaled’. Using such images would make your courses more interactive.
- Tell a story.
Once you start to familiarize yourself with the basic courses and online tools, try to represent your content in a unique manner. A smart tip for you: try to convey your message to your students in the form of a story. A story is an innovative way to capture the attention of learners and it retains their interest as well.
These are just some of the guidelines that you can employ if you aspire to become one of the best e-learning professionals among the rest of your colleagues. I can assure you that once you get started with it, you would definitely enjoy the process of designing your personal e-learning course a lot more than before.
eLearning at its core is about connecting with your learners. And to do this effectively, your content has to be relatable and humanized. The How to Humanize eLearning Infographic provides useful tips that can help you humanize your content in order to resonate with your learners.
1. Put learners at the center
Learning starts at the individual level. When the eLearning designer finds a way to allow a learner to embrace learning set up to maximize their own needs and talents, the learner is taking more responsibility, and the atmosphere becomes more learner-centered. When eLearning courses pay attention to the diversity between learners, take into account how learners learn best, their feelings and desires, and there is an atmosphere that respects each learner, the learner self-directs their learning to find their purpose and goals for learning. Failing to do this can make a huge difference in the success of the course.
2. Address the human, personal need
An important part of any eLearning course is the content, but learners don’t just need to know what they are supposed to learn, they want to understand the practical application of that content. Behind the professional, logical need there is a human need.
3. Speak like a human, not like a corporate robot
- Write in the second person. Call the learner “you” to personalize “your” writing.
- Write in a conversational tone using fairly short sentences.
- Read what you write out loud. You can catch many mistakes in your own writing by following this rule of thumb.
- Don’t waste words. Whether spoken aloud or in writing, wordiness loses the audience.
- Use contractions. It makes you sound less robotic.
- Ensure that what you write is clear. No one wants to read something that they have to decipher, and that is especially true when trying to reach a learner on a personal level.
4. Use human faces
Use pictures of humans who can adequately express feelings and values you could otherwise not express. A picture really can be worth 1000 words, as long as the right picture is used. It is also wise to use faces that resemble the target audience.
5. Use realistic and personalized images
Photos of real people, at real locations, and if possible even in real situations can also make things feel more personal. By using real photos, the learner develops a sense of trust and develops a feeling of personalization.
6. Human interaction is important
eLearning is at its best when the learner is regularly exposed to consistent feedback from a faculty member or instructor; when there is a community of learners to give various points of view on topics, as well as feedback; and when feedback is given and that feedback can encourage growth. Online discussion forums and video links are great opportunities for learners to communicate and provide feedback to each other.
7. Keep your content authentic
Real eLearning involves access and engagement to learning and to the process of learning. One incredibly important part of authentic learning is applying knowledge to situation that is either real world, or a very good simulation of a real world situation. The other important part of authentic learning is reflection. Communicating with other learners and instructors about what was learned, or perhaps what is still fuzzy from attempted learning makes eLearning authentic.
e-Learning isn’t just for college classes anymore. Today, the many sides of e-Learning include everything from MOOCs and the education industry to workplace gamification and engaging scenarios. Because e-Learning has so many benefits, it continues to become more popular as a way to engage learners through games, interactive assessments and more—even in a corporate environment.
4 Trends eLearning Trends Every Educator Must Know
by Deloris Rivera
The wise Peter Drucker once said, “The future of learning is outside the conventional mode of education, i.e. outside brick and mortar educational institutes. Distance learning is coming on fast.” He said this 16 years ago and, considering today’s eLearning trends, it seems he was absolutely right.
Nearly every day new eLearning trends crop up, along with supporting technology, and today’s educator must keep up.
1-Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC)
In today’s fast paced world, a large number of universities have implemented the concept of flexible online education, which is delivered through online videos in interactive environments. A MOOC provides this environment for all learners, looking for alternatives to the traditional classroom. The MOOC empowers learners to build their own path the the knowledge they seek.
This is a new eLearning trend gaining traction in the corporate world. Micro learning is about providing mini bytes of content that include short videos, one page documents, focused topics, and other small bits of information, which may be perfect for a busy working adult or a student with an attention deficit. Micro learning is best suited for handheld devices like mobile phones and tablets, which may assist learners with accessing content on social networks and chatrooms, either in a classroom or on the go.
3-Open Educational Resources (open source)
Open source content changes the role of the educator. Open educational resources include free documents and media, shared with tools like SlideShare and Wikispaces, among others. These platforms allow teachers and learners to not only locate content from experts in various subjects but also to annotate existing material and to add their own content. Open source is a rapidly growing eLearning trend that is opening up new worlds for students both in and out of the classroom.
A virtual learning environment eliminates the need for students to travel from one building to another or even one country to another, as the highest standard of education is provided online by educators around the world from top colleges and high schools; in fact, many elementary and middle schools are now creating their own distance learning programs, using platforms like Skype and Google Hangouts to tear down the barriers that brick and mortar schools create.
The future of digital education is bright, as evidenced by the latest eLearning trends and by the advent of the advance technologies that support them. As the demand for flexible learning increases, universities, colleges and schools, like National High School, are consistently updating their online education structure.
They are incorporating eLearning trends, utilizing better resources as well as integrating the latest technologies to assist students in achieving their academic goals easily. Today’s educator must understand and share these trends widely to present a hassle-free education to all learners.
Prof. Priyanka Sharma
Institute of Technology
Nirma University, Ahmedabad, India
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has influenced every domain of human existence and has become pervasive with our day to day life. We have a persistent urge to remain online and wish to remain acquainted with the latest in the world at any point of time. This is a result of large amount of content generation for web resources by the educators, students, media personals, researchers, commercial entities, and many more. Also, the information browsing and retrieval by a varied number of users worldwide. Hence, the influence is both ways. It is on the content generators, as well as the content users. Education is an intrinsic part of the growth of the human race, and hence, cannot alienate from the impact of the tremendous growth in technology. ICT is known to empower the educators and the learners to foster the development of the 21st century. It can play an instrumental role in the transformation of the teacher centric education philosophy to student centric learning philosophy. The clarity of expression, freedom of thoughts, creative aura, critical analysis that is promoted in today’s times can be strongly felicitated by various ICT based tools. It has also been largely advocated globally that ICT can promote learner autonomy. Hence, people can easily opt to get acquainted with other domain knowledge base. The easy access to information availability facilitates the learning aptitude in people and equips them with many modes of educating themselves.
The reminiscence of my early education comes from a small school in a village, where the children used to carry their own gunny sacks and lay it on the floor to study in a class under the open sun, among green trees and windy environ. Little did we know those days that it would be possible to educate ourselves in virtual classrooms, in the large open world of information and telecommunication. The path breaking tools like the virtual classrooms, Massive Online Courses (MOOCs) are largely responsible for facilitating open and free education to a wide variety of people, right from housewives, to working professionals, to student from schools, colleges and universities. The issue has been recently addressed by our very own Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, who is an epitome for exhaustive usage of ICT for reaching to a large majority of people globally in a flash of a second. The “Learning should go on” mantra has become highly popular with the open mindedness of people and hence, there is a constant urge to learn and update their skills and excel in whatever field they would like to explore.
The colleges particularly are encouraging a massive exposure to the MOOCs and ICT based tools like course website, blogs, etc. for a collaborative teaching-learning environment. Gone are the days, when you could propose an idea without worrying about its novelty. In today’s world, the novelty needs to be proved and therein comes the role of communication technology. Professional Social Networking sites like ResearchGate and LikedIn give an exposure to a wide variety of research going on in similar domains and hence narrowing down your scope of work has become a lot more feasible now. Also, the advent of blogging by teachers and Learning Management Systems have provided a larger reachability between students and the teaching community.
Students these days do not like the rudimentary style of teaching. This is also because they are easily exposed to a lot of learning material freely available on the internet. So, it becomes all the more essential for teachers to adapt to and regularly keep themselves updated with the current trends and technologies in the market. In this era of social growth and awareness, anything spoken in the class is not just accepted as the golden words from teachers. Student critically analyse the knowledge imparted and need to be convinced about the concepts that are put across them in the class. The other day, I was going to teach a particular concept in Computer Networking and realised that this concept, although explained in the book has become almost obsolete in Networking domain. Hence, as a teacher, it is not feasible anymore to go and say in the class that “this is what is in the book”. This is not at all an expected doctrine in today’s times.
Every time a new concept is taught, the teacher also gets acquainted with the latest in that field and accordingly shares the information in the class. In majority of the lab work assessments I prefer telling the students to access the internet or any other resource to solve the problem I give. And in spite of that, if they find it challenging to solve, then that’s my credibility as a teacher. This also doesn’t mean that I give them a problem to solve, which is not at all related to what I had taught them. No, then that’s again not assessment. So, with the given set of knowledge, that I had imparted, if I can frame questions, that they find challenging to solve, with all the resources available to them just a few clicks away, then that’s the challenge I like to face as a teacher. What I mean to say, by this is, teachers of today should keep in mind the amount of already available resources while teaching the students. This helps us to develop a stronger bond with the students and also in getting the due respect of our credibility in imparting knowledge to our progeny.
I particularly believe in making a student independent to think, to analyse problems, to solve problems and finally conclude. I don’t wish to ever make them parrots that exactly speak the way they have been taught. And, by accepting the role of ICT in the evolution of teaching learning process, greatly affects and emphasizes these goals. My teaching should be able to help a student to invent new paths on the dead ends of long roads.
Google Apps as a campus collaboration tool on our University Campus greatly helped in bridging the gap between a student and a teacher. Students now-a-days come up with new ideas of information sharing via wireless access points, Virtual Private Networks. This does not essentially mean that, the students have become demanding, but rather it means that students have started playing active roles in the teaching learning process. They have also become entities or agents for sharing and imparting knowledge! Isn’t this required to make education a pleasurable experience? As long as “Leaning is fun”, it keeps getting innovative day by day. The moment learning only remains a decorum, it becomes bounded and curbs the growth of an individual. We, as teachers also don’t wish to inculcate directional growths in our students. We wish to make them develop as independent individuals and decide their own direction of growth.
Even in schools, now-a-days, students browse the internet and compare the prospects of various professional fields, before deciding what stream they would like to choose. Of course the final decision may be only after discussion with their parents or guardians, but the students are well read to be a part of the decision taken related to their future prospects. Likewise, the students in colleges, even though are exposed to a wide range of online materials and collaborations; but the role of a teacher to guide them to choose what could be best for them remains indispensable. One of the best parts of an Indian Parenting and University Guidance is the role of the teacher as a guide and a mentor to stop the students from drowning in the whirlpool of information. And hence, a balance, harmony and cohesion between the uses of ICT in Education is appreciated.
Top Instructional Designer’s Skills Infographic
A skillful Instructional Designer brings both technology and learning combined together not only in a digestible format but also at an appetising pace. An Instructional Designer breaks down content that involves any learning material, into something that is easy to comprehend; he or she also creates the content to be appealing to the target audience. The Top Instructional Designer’s Skills Infographic presents 8 skills you need as an Instructional Designer.
- Make content friendly: A skillful instructional designer must be able to convert formal and heavy content into an understandable and uncomplicated resource in an innovative manner
- Make learning fun: Break away from just delivering facts and content. A skillful instructional designer must include different activities and exercises to make the process seem less like learning and more like fun.
- Wear many hats: Don’t just be an instructional designer. Step into learners’ shoes to come up with great content and design.
- Troubleshoot problems: Simplifying content, technical issues, meeting deadlines, sticking to a budget – there are many problems to solve if you are an instructional designer.
- Innovation is thy game: A skillful instructional designer must break away from traditional and stereotypical methods of producing instructional curriculum.
- Course architect: A skillful instructional designer builds, reviews and assists in the organization of the course and look and feel of the layout.
- Be techno-savvy: A skillful instructional designer must be comfortable with various kinds of media, devices and authoring software.
- Team player: A skillful instructional designer needs to be a good team player because he must understand the needs of the various functions of the organization before he designs a suitable training curriculum with his teams.
- Instructional Designers’ Roles Infographic
The Learning Pool LMS is a Moodle based learning management system for organisations that require maximum impact from their training. Check the 7 Reasons to Love the Learning Pool LMS Infographic to find our why Learning Pool’s customers love it.
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Building skills in developing and delivering online learning are integral to addressing the task of training online. As companies increasingly recognize the value of online learning, training functions must keep pace with advances in instructional methodologies and new technology. It is critical that training professionals remain up-to-date with changes to how training is produced and delivered.
This program includes topics on the methodology, skills, and techniques necessary for aligning e-learning strategies with business strategies. This program provides the foundation for today’s instructional development that focuses on aligning skills and knowledge needed to achieve organizational strategic goals and objectives. Content also provides the knowledge and skills for planning and designing e-learning instruction in training areas to match today’s varied company business needs based on identifiable learning objectives, rapid authoring tools, content requirements, and outcomes.
- Explain the differences between traditional and online learning instruction
- Construct and deploy an online lesson and incorporate e-learning technologies
- Analyze the management and cost issues associated with deploying online instruction
- Compare and contrast popular rapid authoring tools
- Explore current learning theories incorporating principles of the traditional ADDIE and more contemporary rapid prototype models
- Exhibit knowledge, skills, and creativity related to e-learning instructional design in the practicum course
Who Should Attend
This program is designed for:
- Instructional designers
- Individuals seeking a career change or position within the e-learning instructional design field
- Training managers or coordinators
- Human resources professionals
- Professionals who have taken on a training role within their department
Certificate Eligibility and Requirements
A certificate is awarded upon completion of six required courses (a total of 15 units) with a grade of “C” or better. To become an official candidate in the program, students pursuing the certificate must submit a Declaration of Candidacy. Students are encouraged to declare candidacy as soon as possible, but no later than after the third course in the program. To receive the certificate after completing all program requirements, students must submit a Request for Certificate. All requirements must be completed within five (5) years after the student enrolls in his/her first course. Students not pursuing a certificate are welcome to take as many individual courses as they wish.