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Dump the Drone: Livelier Elearning

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Information about Dump the Drone: Livelier Elearning

Published on January 26, 2008

Author: CathyMoore

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Ideas to help you create lively elearning. Intended for corporate audiences but useful for educators, too. Based on a presentation I gave at an eLearning Guild conference in April 2006.
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Dump the Drone Easy Steps to Livelier Elearning ElearningBlueprint.com

Who are your learners? How do they feel about elearning? ElearningBlueprint.com

Fantasy I love to sit at my computer and read read read! ElearningBlueprint.com

Reality They want me to take another online course? It had better be worth it. ElearningBlueprint.com

The problem ElearningBlueprint.com

What makes a course boring? ElearningBlueprint.com

A major cause Corporate Drone It’s a language! It’s a mindset! ElearningBlueprint.com

It’s a language • Buzzwords This course enhances the expertise of R&D staff so that they may leverage collaborative concepts to provide a competitive advantage. ElearningBlueprint.com

It’s a language • Buzzwords • Blather This activity will help develop an understanding of the basics of brand management and how it can be effectively used to inform a marketing strategy that ensures that the company's unique position in the marketplace is maintained. ElearningBlueprint.com

It’s a language • Buzzwords • Blather • Bogus “Because I am new to marketing, I would like to ask you some questions. First, how can I better communicate with the sales force to ensure a productive relationship?” ElearningBlueprint.com

It’s a language • Buzzwords • Blather • Bogus • Boring ElearningBlueprint.com

It’s a mindset • Big words are This course enhances the impressive! expertise of R&D staff so that they may leverage collaborative concepts to provide a competitive advantage. ElearningBlueprint.com

It’s a mindset • Big words are impressive! • Lots of words This activity will help develop are impressive! an understanding of the basics of brand management and how it can be effectively used to blah blah blah. ElearningBlueprint.com

It’s a mindset • We’re so busy trying to impress, we’ve forgotten how to sound like human beings. “How can I better communicate with the sales force to ensure a productive relationship?” ElearningBlueprint.com

Drone infects design Droning design: • Tells, tells, tells, then tests • Cares more about content than learners • Makes learners work harder than necessary • Fears humor, conflict, and creativity ElearningBlueprint.com

Why do we drone? We’re brainwashed in school. • Droners get better grades. • The higher the degree, the greater the pressure to drone. Assignments force us to be wordy. • “Write 12 pages on...” We bring this training to the business world. ElearningBlueprint.com

Nasty effects Corporate drone: • Makes it harder to learn • Kills motivation • Costs more to produce ElearningBlueprint.com

“But if we make our courses easy to read, our learners won’t respect them!” ElearningBlueprint.com

Language = interface Would you intentionally make your interface hard to use? Language is part of your interface. It’s a way to deliver content. ElearningBlueprint.com

Want respect? Make your content challenging, not your language. ElearningBlueprint.com

Techniques For Eradication of Demotivating Communication to Dump the Drone ElearningBlueprint.com

Clear, creative design inspires clear, creative language. ElearningBlueprint.com

Design 1 2 Make them laugh Vary your rhythm Content 3 You Who Do 5 4 Chop Run the numbers ElearningBlueprint.com

1. Vary your rhythm ElearningBlueprint.com

rhythm Design • Give the learner control • They’ll set the pace and rhythm • Vary the format (media, text...) • Present content from two perspectives • “Opposing viewpoints” • Break up text with headings and bulleted lists • Interrupt yourself (callouts, boxed quotes) ElearningBlueprint.com

rhythm Language, too Vary sentence... • Length • Short is good, but variety is more interesting. • Type • Have you asked a question lately? • Structure • Spice it up--change direction with dashes; tack on a thought with a semicolon. ElearningBlueprint.com

2. Make them laugh ElearningBlueprint.com

How can you add “safe” humor? ElearningBlueprint.com

laugh “Safe” humor Some ideas: • Use embarrassing situations that apply worldwide • Give a character a blind spot • Exaggerate • Use non-human characters that aren’t likely to be offensive • Use unrealistic examples • Give up on reality altogether ElearningBlueprint.com

laugh Spoof Who are your learners? • Do they make fun of themselves? • Can you make fun of them, too? • Are they experienced elearners? • Spoof elearning! ElearningBlueprint.com

3. Say... “You” “Who” “Do” ElearningBlueprint.com

Say “you” ElearningBlueprint.com

you Example 1 This activity will help develop an understanding of... ElearningBlueprint.com

you Rewrite 1 This activity will help develop an understanding of... This activity will help you understand... ElearningBlueprint.com

you Benefits • Puts you in conversation mode • Makes you care more about your learner • Makes your language more concrete • Identifies who does what ElearningBlueprint.com

you Example 2 The fire extinguisher should be recharged every six months. ElearningBlueprint.com

you Rewrite 2 The fire extinguisher should Who does it? be recharged every six months. Recharge the fire extinguisher You do it! every six months. ElearningBlueprint.com

Say “who” ElearningBlueprint.com

who Example 1 Each quarter, a new sales report is created. Who does it? ElearningBlueprint.com

who Example 1 Each quarter, a new sales report is created. “divine passive” ElearningBlueprint.com

who Rewrite 1 Each quarter, a new sales report is created by the product manager. Now we know who does it, but it’s still passive. ElearningBlueprint.com

who Rewrite 1 Each quarter, a new sales report is created. Each quarter, the product manager creates a new sales report. stronger verb than “is” We’ve added a human being! ElearningBlueprint.com

who Who does what? Make clear who is doing what to whom. • You’ll be easier to understand. • You’ll use stronger verbs. • Your course will have more people in it. ElearningBlueprint.com

who Example 2 The field of child advocacy helps children who... ElearningBlueprint.com

who Rewrite 2 The field of child advocacy Abstract noun helps children who... turns into human beings! Child advocates help children who... ElearningBlueprint.com

who Add even more people • Create composite characters • Add audio or video of real people • Learners • Leaders • Customers • Risky: Introduce a guide who appears throughout the course • Make people up ElearningBlueprint.com

who Make people up... ...but make sure they’re interesting! ElearningBlueprint.com

What makes a character interesting? ElearningBlueprint.com

Which man is more interesting? ElearningBlueprint.com

who Suffering is interesting! Make your characters suffer. • A flaw, such as • Arrogance • Over-enthusiasm • Jumping to conclusions • An embarrassing situation • Email gone horribly wrong ElearningBlueprint.com

who Cluelessness is boring No one cares about the clueless newbie! She’s just a blank slate. ElearningBlueprint.com

who Happiness is boring ...unless the character has suffered first ElearningBlueprint.com

Say “do” ElearningBlueprint.com

do Nouns are boring • They’re not people (usually). • They don’t DO anything. They just pile up: the product management process workshop ElearningBlueprint.com

do Nouns are sneaky • Often, you can’t even picture them: functionality leadership • They try to trick you into thinking they’re verbs: Buying is an important consumer behavior. Boring noun masquerading as verb! ElearningBlueprint.com

do Change nouns to verbs The only verb in the entire sentence The vetting group services are centered on researching, reviewing, and approving wording in customer documentation. The vetting group researches, reviews, and approves wording in customer documentation. ElearningBlueprint.com

do Pick a lively verb lift is grab push touch ElearningBlueprint.com

do Tell a story Even the most dry material has a story. • Make chronology clear. • Make actors clear. Then, before final scripts are written, the content is vetted by Legal. First Legal vets the content, and then the writer creates the final scripts. ElearningBlueprint.com

What are some ways to use fiction in a course? ElearningBlueprint.com

do Tell a story: fiction Some possibilities: • Immediately plunge learners into a story. Give them info and tools as they need them. • Write a story that appears as scenes throughout the course. • Introduce each course section with a scenario. Revisit the scenario at the end of the section. ElearningBlueprint.com

What makes a story interesting? ElearningBlueprint.com

Is this interesting? ElearningBlueprint.com

Is this any better? ElearningBlueprint.com

do Conflict is interesting Conflict is any challenge. Your characters could: • Disagree • Want something but face a barrier • Make a mistake • Need to rescue others • Get an unpleasant surprise ElearningBlueprint.com

do Keep moving! • Your story probably needs less setup than you think. • Every scene & every bit of dialog should move the story. • Add urgency--put characters under pressure with a deadline. ElearningBlueprint.com

do Show, don’t tell When you tell, you explain everything: At the conference, Jacob told someone about the planned widget enhancement. This was a mistake, because a competitor overheard and enhanced their widget first. Jacob’s boss was upset and wondered who had leaked the secret. ElearningBlueprint.com

do Show, don’t tell Show instead. We’re going to enhance our widget next quarter. At the conference... ElearningBlueprint.com

do Show, don’t tell One month later... Our competitor just enhanced their widget! How did they know? ElearningBlueprint.com

do Show, don’t tell Let your learners draw conclusions. And the moral is... ElearningBlueprint.com

Design 1 2 Make them laugh Vary your rhythm Content 3 You Who Do •Identify actors •Add verbs •Add people •Tell a story We’re here 5 4 Chop Run the numbers ElearningBlueprint.com

4. Chop it! ElearningBlueprint.com

chop Why cut text? • We read 25% more slowly online • We’re used to scanning, not reading, online text • Younger learners are used to games • A quick pace is more interesting • Nielsen and others: “Cut text by 50%” ElearningBlueprint.com

chop Chop these • Sections that don’t directly support an objective • “Duh” sentences Buying is an important consumer behavior. • Blather ElearningBlueprint.com

chop Chop blather We’re not writing literature! One fine day near the end of spring, when the wild roses in the hedges had reached their peak of heady perfume, Little Red Riding Hood walked into the woods. ElearningBlueprint.com

chop Chop blather One fine day near the end of spring, when the wild roses in the hedges had reached their peak of heady perfume, Little Red Riding Hood walked into the woods. ElearningBlueprint.com

chop Chop blather Most adjectives and adverbs are blather. To successfully avoid unforeseen problems that could negatively impact costs, we must proactively search for errors throughout all phases of product development. ElearningBlueprint.com

chop Chop blather Most adjectives and adverbs are blather. expensive To successfully avoid unforeseen problems that could negatively impact costs, we must proactively search for errors throughout all phases of product development. ElearningBlueprint.com

5. Run the numbers ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers A tool, not a solution Best uses for readability analysis: • Check progress during rewriting • Set standards for writers • Reassure clients Your course could get a good score but still be boring or confusing! ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Word: Step 1 ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Word: Step 2 Click this ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Word: Step 3 Make sure this is checked ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Word: Step 4 Complete the spell check. You’ll see this. ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Ignore grade level Use this! Ignore this! ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Ignore grade level Grade levels don’t apply to adult materials. • Use Flesch Reading Ease • Higher score = easier to read • Compare your score to the scores of familiar materials, like magazines ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Find your score Reading ease = 40.4 ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Compare Reading Material Easy Ease Reader’s Digest 65 Time 52 Business Week 51 Wall Street Journal 43 Harvard Law Review 32 Auto policy 10 Hard ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Compare Reading Material Easy Ease Reader’s Digest 65 Time 52 Business Week 51 Wall Street Journal 43 Our course: 40 Harvard Law Review 32 Auto policy 10 Hard ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Compare Our two-hour course is slightly harder to read than the Wall Street Journal. Would our learners enjoy reading the Wall Street Journal for two hours straight... ...online? ElearningBlueprint.com

numbers Rewrite to raise your score Reading Material Easy Ease Recommended Reader’s Digest 65 for online Time 52 Business Week 51 Wall Street Journal 43 Harvard Law Review 32 Auto policy 10 Hard ElearningBlueprint.com

Design 1 2 Make them laugh Vary your rhythm Content 3 You Who Do •Identify actors •Add verbs •Add people •Tell a story 5 4 Chop Run the numbers ElearningBlueprint.com

Want more? MakingChangeBlog.com More ideas like the ones in this slideshow ElearningBlueprint.com Interactive job aid that helps anyone create lively elearning Cathy Moore ElearningBlueprint.com

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