Designing Enduring Structures for the Virtual Workplace

For centuries, architects have been building structures that do more than protect us from the elements. In Ancient Greece, temples were designed as powerful testaments to Greek society’s rising civilization. In the Renaissance, Italian cathedrals were designed to enhance and amplify choral music. And in the 18th century, a growing number of buildings were designed with an eye to modifying social behaviors. Continue reading

mLearning: Bringing Learning to Life

The majority of training professionals already recognize that the most effective training is interactive, continuous and takes place outside the formal classroom. In a nutshell, it happens in life, not in stand-alone training sessions. But how do you bring training to life? Continue reading

Mentoring Skills through eLearning

When you read about the robust mentoring programs that have been in use at Sun Microsystems since the 1990s, you can’t help but be envious of the fact that their estimated return on investment (ROI) has exceeded 1,000%. Whether you’re considering the launch of a mentoring program or wish the one you have could be improved, leveraging eLearning to make sure your mentors and mentees are both equipped to succeed can make a huge difference. Continue reading

Humor in eLearning: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Great Recession was no laughing matter. It left a lot of companies and organizations hurting. However, a myopic focus only on the bottom line can become a rather mind-numbing affair. There is more to an organization than its bottom line. I’d like to suggest that in this post-recession environment it’s very important to make sure we give plenty of attention to the laugh line of our organizations. Keeping a sense of humor alive and thriving in the workplace is essential for keeping employees engaged and happier than they might otherwise be. This also necessarily depends on knowing how to exercise your sense of humor appropriately. Continue reading

The Future of MOOCs for Education

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have generated a lot of support, as the potential to educate enormous numbers of people at once appears to satisfy the popular notion that better education throughout the world can improve the lives of many. The development of MOOCs is particularly exciting in an era where the teacher to student ratio has increased to where there are now often courses with one instructor for hundreds of students. MOOCs allow an almost limitless numbers of students to view the instruction of the highest quality professors from top education institutions while also providing means for interacting with other like-minded students from across the globe. Continue reading

How to Leverage Data to Improve e-Learning

As new eLearning tools are developed and existing tools are optimized, we are collecting more and more data that will hopefully allow us to more systematically approach digital learning. In the early era of digital education, our analysis of the field has been limited due to the complexity of the relevant research and the number of variables involved. Many of the pros and cons of tools like massive open online courses (MOOCs) are purely anecdotal and thus offer little value in the development of evidence-based educational strategies. As the technical obstacles of MOOCs will likely be overcome quickly, new challenges regarding the efficacy and efficiency of MOOCs will likely become a major focus of digital education. Continue reading

eLearning for Corporations: Leveraging the MOOC

Though online tools like massive open online courses (MOOCs) were developed for educational purposes, with the goal of reaching larger and more diverse audiences than is possible with traditional classroom settings, MOOCs can also be used by corporations for marketing purposes. Just as the top universities have the reputation of providing the highest quality educational content, the biggest and best companies may begin to be viewed as those providing the best content related to their industries. Continue reading

How Blended Learning Can Improve Education

As massive open online courses (MOOCs) and other digital options for education become both more abundant and of higher quality, the landscape of education is sure to change. How exactly digital education tools will be implemented into education programs is not yet clear. Some believe that digital offerings will take over education and replace traditional universities, while others feel that the current digital trend will fade, leaving traditional universities to continue their hundreds of years of dominance in education. Perhaps the most likely outcome, however, falls somewhere between these extremes and will involve the incorporation of new resources into older techniques for learning. Continue reading

eLearning Assessment of Emotional Intelligence

If you’ve taken to heart the latest trends in eLearning for soft skills training, then you know that emotional intelligence (EI) is a high-priority area for learning. Indeed, Daniel Goleman, who played a key role in popularizing the concept, conducted competency research on hundreds of companies all over the world and found that technical skills and IQ could only account for one third of performance variance. The remaining two thirds of variance could be accounted for by emotional intelligence, which means there’s a lot at stake here. But once you’ve got your learning content in place to leverage emotional intelligence among your employees, how will you measure the effectiveness of their learning and practice? What you need is an EI assessment tool. Continue reading

An Example of eLearning for Soft Skills

To wrap up this series of postings about eLearning Soft Skills (see eLearning and Soft Skills: What Went Wrong? and New Directions in eLearning Soft Skills), I want to share some great examples of content that will spark your own thinking. For companies that don’t have the resources to jumpstart their own course designs, you don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel. Luckily, lots of people have been putting time and effort into designing eLearning content for soft skills, and the State of Michigan is making theirs available to anyone and everyone. Continue reading