blogs as elearning tools

31 01 2004

here’s a great example of how a blog can be used as an educational tool. blog on blogs: a weblog review was a the collaborative class project of the introduction to new media studies course at richard stockton college of new jersey this past fall.

see jill walker’s definition of weblogs and the class’s analysis of weblogs using nine common factors of blog make-up:

  1. identity
  2. design
  3. content
  4. time
  5. linking
  6. blog roll
  7. inbound links
  8. discussion/comments
  9. audience analysis

a very thorough rubric by which to examine the quality and scope of a blog. i would think that an instructional designer charged with creating a blog for educational purposes would do well to examine how they are addressing these nine factors.

a great contribution to the world of educational blogging, alas, it seems, the authors have abandoned the site now that they are on to a new semester.

if you know of any other solid examples of blogs as educational tools i’d love to hear about them so i can include them here. just email dave with the link.

fasten your seatbelts!

27 01 2004

Well, it’s the beginning of a new year and the various newsletters, magazines, and websites who follow elearning are full of predictions of what 2004 is going to be like. It seems, if you follow the general reasoning being put forth, that 2004 is going to be the year every dream comes true. I’m a little skeptical that we as an industry (are we an industry?) will be able to accomplish all that is dreamed of in 12 months, but reading through these predictions does give me an understanding of where this rollercoaster is headed. Here are links to a number of the predictions I’ve found. I’d love to get this blog started by hearing everyone’s take on any of the comments raised in the articles. happy new year!!!

five drivers that will change elearning in 2004
this consulting group advises that we’ll be dropping roi and blended for tvc and blurred!?!?! stop the insanity!!!!!

what will 2004 bring? chief learning officer magazine columnist kevin kruse looks at key areas of elearning and discussed what he sees over the next 12 months.

the year of great change is dawning consultant kevin wheeler sees massive systemic change in the way HR professionals and their customers conceive of themselves and their work.

it’s all about productivity nowsam adkins of the workflow learning institute sees upcoming advances in technology platforms and tools as the lever that will open a rush to bringing learning to the workstation of every employee.

top ten trends for 2004 identifies the key trends for e-business as developed by 80 industry experts. while this is broader than elearning, the trends will impact elearning and are very provocative.

evaluation resource links

14 01 2004

these links provide resources to help in the development of an approach to developing a comprehensive evaluation system to support the learning and development function. you should also look at the measurement and reporting resource links for more the more specific discussion of what specific metrics and how they are calculated and reported. if you have any comments regarding these links, please hit the comment button at the end of this post and share them with everyone. if you have suggestions of links i should include here, then email dave.

an overview of kirkpatrick’s model
if you’re not familiar with the kirkpatrick levels of evaluation, this is an nice concise overview. the kirkpatrick levels have been the dominant evaluation paradigm in corporate training for 35+ years. however, with the onset of the metrics movement, they are being called into question by some.

elearning: gaining business value through six sigma
an intriguing proposal to use the six sigma process to measure, and manage to, for the conduct of elearning. the author does, correctly in my mind, wonder if elearning professionals are ready for this.

beyond roi – 7 levels of training evaluation –
in this article from, the author proposes adding two more levels to the kirkpatrick + phillips five – sustainability and sharing the benefit. interesting proposal when many are saying that kirkpatrick level 4 is not measureable.

metrics for elearning
this sight provides a nice framework for developing and evaluating metrics and the why and how you get to them. be sure to look at the decision model. it’s the last link provided just before the article gets going.

evaluating elearning –
a wonderful primer on evaluation of training. the author discussed the models and issues in evaluation, benchmarking, the four target populations, planning and execution, and findings and conclusions. all in about six pages.

measuring training roi and impact
as best as I can tell, this is a student paper. however, it is a very clear and competent summary of the criticisms being levied against kirkpatrick levels for evaluation of training. if you are new to the criticism of kirkpatrick, this is a gentle start. the authors also summarize a proposed alternative to kirkpatrick.

start measuring your elearning programs now – linezine
this artile by josh bersin appeared in the last issue of linezine. josh puts forward a 5 level taxonomy of evalation focusing on client satisfaction and business impact.

evaluation: the connection between learning and performance
a nice article by roger chevalier, cpt, that discussed both the positives and negative aspects of kirkpatrick. his conclusion is a bit sweet for my taste – measure with instrument that already exist and once you get started, you find all kinds of reasons to measure training. Bag please!

the myth of roi
in this article in the january 2004 chief learning officer , bob dust puts forward a very strong argument against roi as a measurement of training. but in the meantime the author also calls into question some of the other leading concepts of what training can do and how to measure it. He does finish with offering four measurements which he believes are solid measures of training.

what’s all the fuss about measurement
this article from performance improvement october 2002 by alan ramias sets out four fundamentals for evaluation. pretty common sense when you read them, but not many others have joined in his chorus until recently.

evaluating leaning – nickols
a very thorough introduction to workplace training evaluation.

evaluation- the link between learning and performance
in this article from apqc’s website, roger chevalier argues that evaluation, when done properly can have a significant impact on improving the quality of training and the performance of the trainee. unfortunately, he concludes, it is seldom done properly.

thinking differently about training evaluation
donna abernathy, in this article in argues that the two dominant forms of evaluation in corporate development – the kirkpatrick levels and the balanced score card – are out of sync with today’s evaluation needs. her suggestions for change are not very specific – outlining some possible best-in-practice cases and stressing the “intangibles” inherent in the new knowledge economy.

other elearning blog links

12 01 2004

athese links take you to blogs that are much more mature than my little venture here. as you will see, the real key to blogs is that they have the 2p’s perspective and personality. just as e e learning will explore corporate learning development from the perspective of someone trying to do it, each of these blogs is focused in one, or a few, direction. if you have any comments regarding these links, please hit the comment button at the end of this post and share them with everyone. if you have suggestions of links i should include here, then email dave.

this is a solid resource for anyone working in elearning. it covers the basic issues and is well traveled by elearning folks.

internet time group links
hosted by jay cross this blog is one of the centers of thought at the cutting edge of elearning. jay isn’t shy about voicing an opinion or about bringing in resources from far flung disciplines (i.e., neuropsychology or social networking) to make his point. your brain may be overstimulated here, but isn’t that the point!

JOHO the blog
david weinberger addresses metadata, design, digital right, politics, politics and politics. his perspective is that of a knowing skeptic. i like those.

a blog dedicated to exploring the future promise of mlearning. using the same blogging software that I am! the “m” is for mobile. can learning for employee populations at a distance, such as retail sales associates, be delivered through mlearning more efficiently and cost effectively than through instructor led training or elearning? seems we’re going to find out.

how people learn
a great site, stephen downes’ blog is dedicated to what we know about how people learn and how that knowledge can be applied in the classroom and online. Definitely a blog worth checking out.

the future of elearning research blog
mark oehlert’s blog covers new research in elearning. he also provides an incredible array of links on his blog.

a very taste full blog done in red and brown by scott leslie. the site covers course management tools, learning objects, and elearning standards – as well as whatever scott wants to post (ah, blogs are so freeing!)

michelle lamberson’s online learning freakout party zone
i can’t believe i’m adding this one to the list, but hey – charity starts at home – or in vancouver if you have a toonie on ya! i made the wonderful mistake of hiring michelle to work with me at webct what seems ages ago. the joking aside, michelle is a dedicated elearning profession. in fact, i think she’s been preachin’ the good word longer than me. i have no idea what her site is about, but i’m sure it’s good. (was that sincere enough michelle?) seriously take a look. but don’t be too surprised. she is a geologist by training.

and if blogs aren’t wild enough for you, try out a wiki. what’s a wiki? well cliki quicki here to a wiki that wambles about rikis…..ohhhhh, darn tongue twisters! wikis: hypertext on steroids.

here are a couple of nice wikis from my friend michelle up in vancouver where she’s some sort of elearning, online goddess at the university of british columbia.

UBCWiki: Homepage

UBCWiki: Collaborate

learning theory resource links

10 01 2004

these are links to articles and discussions I find helpful in thinking through what is important when considering learning in the work environment. they are often more succinct that comprehensive. because I believe most people, like me, don’t have the time to read volume after volume. also covered in this area are the related topics of motivation and instructional theory. if you have any links that you think I should add here, just use the comment section below or e-mail dave.

maslow’s hierarchy of needs
one of the foundations of humanistic psychology, abraham maslow’s hierarchy of needs seems to explain why we make decisions (caring for ourselves or those we love) which harm the more societal needs (money, job, wealth). this chart nicely maps business behaviors and goals in line with the hierarchy.

headshift smarter, simpler, social
a very interesting study of the advantages provided to a business education environment by various (including blogs) tool designed to exploit social networks in learning.

merill’s “first principles of instruction”
this is a summary of a conference presentation at AECT, but is a very clear presentation of a sometimes difficult to understand theory by the most influential theorist to develop out of Piaget’s thought.

preparing students for elearning
this “collection of thoughts” is the result of a collaborative course on preparing students for the elearning experience. I tremendous resource for understanding the dynamics of learning about learning (now becoming popularized as “meta-learning”) that students need to cope with when first coming to elearning.

learning theory – models, product and process
an entry in the encyclopedia of informal learning, this is a succinct overview of the major theories of learning. well worth a half an hour sit with a cup of tea.

mcClelland’s achievement motivation
david mcClelland’s work has been a leading component in leadership scholarship for the past 25 +/- years.

david a. kolb on experiential learning
kolb presents a very simple process for learning. Americredit, Inc. has adopted kolb’s learning cycle as the basis of their implementation of learning strategies in their LMS.

theory into practice (tip)
the theory into practice (tip)
database contains descriptions of over 50 theories relevant to human learning and instruction. a must have link for any new student of education.

how do learners define blended learning
in this article first published in elearning magazine, now reprinted in workplaceXpert, peter cheese starts out with what learners percieved as blended learning, he ties their answer to theory and methodology, then to appropriate techonology solutions and back to his case study with solid examples of what could be done fo training in a call center. A really nice article.

vygotskys zone of proximal development
while this page definitely needs design help, it does provide a very nice introduction to the complex theories of vygotsky.

a nice, succinct description on the constructivist theory of learning.

the optimal taxonomy of human learning capacities
from chief learning officer magazine online

gagne’s nine events of instruction
gagne is definitely one of the leading voices in education in the 20th century. his nine events of instruction are the basis for much of the education that happens in the western world today.