Mar 25, 2007

Clips of learning (3) - ISO reference process

The last clipping I find worth sharing is one on the ISO reference process for the development of a new e-learning program.

Mar 23, 2007

Clips of learning (1)

I often copy some pages from magazines or other sources of information to read later. After some time when the pile on my desk becomes too high, I start going through them. The samples below come from some of the clippings I find interesting. However, I have forgotten where I got them from, so please forgive me if I cannot recall the source.

For the first clip, the source is luckily still included. It is a categorisation of 4 quality preference profiles: individualist, result-oriented, pragmatic and avant-gardist. Not everyone finds every aspect of the learning activities spectrum as appealing. (click on the picture to enlarge)

The second clipping comes from a survey amongst learning professionals and lists the learning roles most in demand. Instructors and instructional designers are on the top of the list. Our industry is expecting a revival because of the war on talent that is emerging (and in some sectors it is already war time). But so far the learning industry doesn't expect this war of talent to affect herself... I think we might also see a fight over scare learning profiles in the years to come.

Mar 22, 2007

Learning Dashboards

Companies want to be able to manage the learning function just as any other function or business. Therefore, CLOs need relevant data to base their decisions on. One way is to construct a learning dashboard.
According to Jeffrey Berk in a recent article (Designing and Delivering Learning Analytics Dashboards), there should be 4 categories of data available in such a dashboard: operational, financial, performance, cultural.

  • Operational
    • Number of students trained / training hours performed
    • Usage rates of instructors, e-learning
    • Average class size
    • Completion and cancellation rates
  • Financial
    • Cost per student day
    • Learning as a percentage of payroll
    • Development budget
    • Productivity and ROI
  • Performance
    • Satisfaction (level 1)
    • Test scores
    • Time-to-competence
  • Cultural
    • Average hours per employee
    • Management support

Mar 20, 2007

Elliott Masie on changes in LMS systems

Elliott Masie will be hosting another LMS conference in April, and as a warmer up to that you can listen for free to a 20-something minute flash audio presentation on what he sees as changes in LMS systems. I found this once again a very insightful talk. Basically he sees changes in LMS systems technology, content models, new learners, processes, Services & IT and a changing marketplace.
So, how does your current LMS cope with all these? Because the bar for LMS systems is raising...

LMS Selection and Implementation webcast replay

There is a free webcast replay available on the Brandon Hall site on LMS Selection and Implemantion. Three panel speakers go over selection, implementation, governance, completion and other topics of their LMS projects.

It is also a nice example of an Adobe Breeze live meeting if you never been in one. Breeze is a popular web meeting/training tool. I also enjoyed the format of the webcast: a well moderated panel discussion where key topics were written down on the slide templates by the moderators.

Best in learning content sample

The Brandon-Hall awards are like the Oscars for e-learning. You can now find a link to a flash movie on one of the winners of last year: the course 'Sustainability: Step by Natural Step'. The course pleased the judges because of the many case study examples, high level of interactivity, effective presentation, simple but engaging, ...

Another example is the course 'Launching your business'. The link to a flash example is on

Mar 19, 2007

Cisco acquires WebEx

In a move I didn't see coming, Cisco will acquire the WebEx web conferencing services for $2.9 billion. We all know the education and collaboration software market is in consolidation, but I never would have thought Cisco entering it. In a way, Cisco also touches the learning market now because WebEx is a very popular tool for web conferences. And web conferences and virtual classes are very closely linked. It also puts them right in the face of vendors like Saba (Centra), Microsoft (Office Live Virtual Meeting) and IBM (Quickr, Sametime).

Mar 15, 2007


A new kind of learning activity is the web quest. It can be seen as an educational 'treasure hunt'. There is a clear task and goal and all activities are done via the web. It's an example of learning by doing.
There are some places where you can find ready-made web quests, such as or A problem with web quests is 'link rot', you need to constantly check if all links are still valid.

E-portfolio's: what should be in it?

Components of e-portfolio's might vary, but this is a list made by George Siemens (2004)

- Personal information
- Education history
- Recognition such as awards and certificates
- Reflective comments
- Coursework such as assignments and projects
- Instructor comments
- Previous employer comments
- Goals, plans
- Personal values and interests
- Presentations, papers
- Personal activities such as voluteer work, professional development

Avatars in e-learning is another example of a company that provides avatars/agents for e-learning.
This is a link to a course sample on 'tires'.

Mar 14, 2007

New book on learning and games 'I'll take learning for 500'

Among the myths they debunk (as excerpted from their book)?

Myth 1: A game show wouldn't appeal to my trainees; they're too shy, too professional, too blue-collar, too serious.
Truth: Games have the uncanny ability to engage even the shyest, most skeptical or most professional of trainees. Everyone from a white-collar executive to a blue-collar factory line worker likes to have fun and compete. They will appreciate a training experience that is exciting and engaging.
Game shows have multiple elements that appeal to a wide spectrum of people, from the most competitive salesperson to the shyest "newbie." They include competition, socialization, fun, learning and a chance to express themselves and their knowledge.

Myth 2: They won't work for my subject; it's too technical or too sensitive to have fun.
Truth: Game shows can take a subject that is particularly touchy, tough, and tedious and transform it into a truly tantalizing training experience. Any subject can be made into a game show.

Myth 3: They're too difficult to create and take too much time to construct; I don't have that kind of time to spend every week.
Truth: Game shows can be as elaborate as you want to make them or as simple as you need them to be. Software shells can take a lot of the grunt work out of the creation process. In most, all you have to do is type your questions and answers. If you're really pressed for time, there are companies that offer content modules for common training topics; import the questions into your game, and you're ready to go.

Myth 4: I don't have time in my training session for a game; I have too much material to cover.
Truth: Game shows don't have to replace the time you devote to training. Most people have reviews and recap sessions during or after the main training session anyway. This is where game shows can be used as a quick review. Although television game shows last half an hour, yours doesn't have to. Even a five-minute review with a game show can be beneficial to capture trainees' knowledge and ensure that your information is in their heads.
Think about this: when you review with a game show, you gain insight into knowledge gaps that your students may have. Knowing what they know and don't know can help you focus and leverage the time you have remaining in your training session -- saving you time overall and helping you achieve your training goals. Because game shows also increase retention, you'll save time in your training session, especially if the upcoming material builds off of the material you're reviewing with the game show.

Myth 5: Game shows don't fit the company culture; we just don't DO that kind of thing here.
Truth: We've been raised to believe that because training is serious, training methods must be serious. Training IS serious, and that's why it is so important to present information in a way that people will remember and use. Sometimes that means using unconventional methods in a conventional environment. Game shows don't have to be tacky, loud or over-the-top; they can be tailored to match your culture and your needs. Something as simple as changing the description or name can affect the reception and perception of a game show. Instead of introducing a game show as a "game," you could call it a "content review challenge."

MIT puts all courses in open source

MIT will put 1800 courses online for free in its program ‘OpenCourseWare’ by the end of the year. That means all the courses of the famous institute of technology will be available. Today that is a few hundred courses and 1,5 million people have studies them in February.
It is the first institute to put ALL its courses online.

Mar 2, 2007

List of open source LMS

This is a listing of open source LMS. Moodle is the most used worldwide, but there is something for every taste and platform...