Archive | April 2010

Sign-offs for e-Learning Courses

John Hancock

When creating e-learning courses I ask stakeholders to sign-off on the final product. This is only after the review process is complete. Very often the stakeholders are also the subject matter experts for the course. Either way, I find that a sign-off provides confidence for me and my team that the course meets the approval and needs of the stakeholder, the content is accurate, and that we have a commitment from the stakeholders/SMEs for future reviews.

Here is what I include in a typical sign-off form. Granted, this may change depending on the project and any addendum requested by the stakeholder/SME. I keep it as simple and succinct as possible. The following points are included in the agreement.

  • That the design and content for the course provides accurate information and complies with the organization’s current policies and procedures.
  • To conduct future reviews on a specific scheduled basis to verify its accuracy.
  • To inform the course designer(s) of any future content, policy and procedure changes that affect the on-line learning program.
  • The course will not be released on the learning management system (LMS) or Intranet without the completion of this form/agreement.

Please keep in mind, I am referring to a sign-off for courses created for internal use. A sign-off for an external client would be approached with greater detail.

Are there additional things you include in a sign-off? Please feel free to share in the comments section.

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e-Learning and Games in Healthcare

After six years in banking, I have recently returned to the healthcare industry. Thankfully, e-learning is prevalent in healthcare and very receptive to the use of games. Games are a fantastic way to challenge learners and keep them engaged and interacting with the content at hand.

Like many in e-learning, I am responsible for both design and development along with playing the role of graphic artist too. This is what I refer to as my “one-man workshop.” I think some in our field who are also a one-man, or woman, workshop may shy away from the use of games in e-learning because of the level of resources and time required to produce a game. Yes, we do see some great games out there that required large teams of designers, developers, graphic artists, etc., but that does not mean we can not create  e-learning games too. For me it is more of a matter of scale and taking advantage of the resources that are available.

I have been able to produce what I call mini-games, which I incorporate into courses and occasionally use as small stand alone games. In order to be able to produce games, I keep them small and not too complex. This reduces both design and development time. I also rely on some great resources that help make the seemingly impossible Flash development possible. Here they are:

  • ActionScript for Fun and Games by Gary Rosenzweig – The last edition is from the days of Flash MX, but it is still a great resource when it comes to developing games that can be tweaked into e-learning games. Gary also has more updated resources online at www.garyrosenzweig.com.
  • Flashkit game tutorials – They not only have a good collection of game tutorials, but also provide the source files which help immensely in dissecting and learning the ActionScript.

Back to healthcare, here are a few articles on use of games and e-learning in healthcare I would like to share:

Here are also few examples of courses in healthcare/health sciences, including a few games (in bold), that I dug out of the Free e-Learning page:

It is very exciting to be part of an industry that sees such value of games in education and training. FYI: There is  also a conference next month (May 25-27) on the role of games in healthcare – Games for Health Conference. I won’t be able to attend, but it looks great.

A Run Through of Flash CS5 From Adobe TV

Here is a video from AdobeTV of Greg Rewis’ run through of some of the new features and improvements in Flash Professional CS5. These include text layout framework, code snippets, ActionScript editor, Spring for bones, video improvements, new deco brushes, and Flash Builder & mobile content.

http://images.tv.adobe.com/swf/player.swf

e-Learning via the BBC

BBC

I was adding another course on the  free e-learning page and what really jumped out at me is there are an awful lot of examples from the BBC. They have been producing a lot of great stuff, so I thought I would share all the BBC examples I have found. I am sure there are even more to be found on the BBC site.

e-Learning I have found at the BBC

Archaeology Games – BBC

Caveman Challenge – BBC

Computer Tutor – BBC

WebWise – BBC

Ancient History – BBC

British History – BBC

British History Timeline – BBC

Climate Challenge – BBC

Interactive Body – BBC

The Tsunami Disaster Explained – BBC (2004)

Ancient Greeks: The Olympic Games – BBC

Guide to the Basics of American Football – BBC

Viewing these and other quality courses and interactives is a great way to get inspiration and ideas for creating your own engaging courses. There are plenty more examples of e-learning on the Free e-Learning page.

Something You Won't See on The iPad

http://images.tv.adobe.com/swf/player.swf

The devices shown have Adobe Flash, but the iPad does not. So much e-learning is made in Flash, or published as SWF files, and iPad users will not have access to it. What a shame.

Keeping Up – April's Big Question

April’s Big Question from Learning Circuits is “How to Keep up?” This is in reference the immense and rapidly expanding technology tools.

It is tough to stay on top of all the emerging tools. However, being involved in an e-learning community is a big help. For me it is a blog community and following many experts on Twitter. Not only am I often made aware of new tools, but also get opinions, tips, and examples of their use. You can never keep up with it all, but access to many experts who are also finding and sharing the lastest tech tools make it much less daunting.

Many of the blogs I follow are part of the eLearningLearning community. So, I browsed “Tools” by keyword on  eLearningLearning. Here are the results and the level of exposure to technology tools this community provides:

Twitter (2482) Social Network (1999) Wiki (1610)
LMS (1346) Podcaster (1239) Facebook (1176)
Flash (980) PowerPoint (922) YouTube (843)
RSS (814) LinkedIn (798) Second Life (687)
iPhone (602) Director (584) Moodle (550)
PDF (521) Captivate (515) Wikipedia (502)
HTML (367) Mac (359) Camera (352)
iPod (342) Slideshare (292) SCORM (291)
Delicious (261) Camtasia (255) Calendar (254)
Blackboard (231) Ning (229) LCMS (223)
MySpace (216) Firefox (214) SharePoint (203)
Skype (199) iTunes (193) Adobe Captivate (192)
VLE (183) Technorati (148) Juice (138)
Microphone (138) Photoshop (134) Google Wave (128)
Google Docs (124) WebEx (123) Elluminate (100)
Jing (100) Dreamweaver (82) Audacity (82)
VOIP (80) Lectora (76) Friendfeed (75)
Adobe Connect (74) Articulate Presenter (74) Flash Player (73)
Blog Tool (62) Pipes (60) CD-ROM (57)
Drupal (54) Adobe Presenter (48) iPad (46)
ActionScript (46) Lotus (46) Diigo (43)
MediaWiki (42) Google Calendar (41) Authorware (41)
Quicktime (40) Flash Video (39) Learn.com (39)
Vodcaster (37) Wink (37) DimDim (37)
Quizmaker (37) Raptivity (37) Evernote (36)
PBwiki (36) Centra (35) OpenOffice (35)
Jive (32) WizIQ (31) SocialText (31)
VoiceThread (28) eXe (28) Google Scholar (28)
OnDemand (28) Ustream (27) Webct (27)
Zoho (25) Joomla (25) Udutu (25)
MySQL (24) Articulate Engage (24) Blogging Software (24)
Blog Software (24) Wetpaint (24) Podium (23)
Toolbook (23) Google Buzz (20) Cornerstone OnDemand(20)
Clipart (20) Wimba (20) Unison (19)
SlideRocket (17) ScreenToaster (16) Xing (16)
iTunesU (15) Connectbeam (15) Propaganda (14)
One Note (14) Jive Software (14) Yugma (13)
OneNote (13) Seesmic (12) Firefly (12)
Lithium (12) TalkShoe (11) Flashform (11)
Qarbon (11) Lotus Connections (11) Cooliris (10)
RapideL (10) SkillPort (10) DHTML (9)
Knowledgeware (9) Assima (9) Apple Keynote (9)
IntraLearn (9) LearnCenter (9) KnowledgeHub (8)
CollectiveX (8) Odeo (7) Swish (7)
KickApps (7) Xerte (6) Wondershare (6)
Prospero (6) MindTouch (6) Moveable Type (6)
Scuttle (6) LearnHub (5) Articulate Online (5)
NetDimension (5) Knowledge Planet (5) Dokeos (5)
Learningware (5) PowerCONVERTER (5) Microsoft Producer (5)
ReadyGo (5) Vuepoint (5) Respondus (5)
ViewCentral (5) CourseMill (5) iCohere (5)
PodPress (4) Odiogo (4) Miro (4)
Xerceo (4) ooVoo (4) Elicitus (4)
Xstream (4) GeoMetrix (4) TopClass (4)
Twiki (4) YAKiToMe (3) Wimpy (3)
Gcast (3) Proform (3) Docebo (3)
CourseLab (3) SimWriter (3) STT Trainer (3)
Impatica (3) GeoMaestro (3) HiveLive (3)
Dogear (3) BEA Pathways (3) Sclipo (2)
LearnFlex (2) ziePOD (2) Widget Podcast (2)
RSS Radio (2) Hipcast (2) Feed2Podcast (2)
BlogAmp (2) RapidShare (2) Atutor (2)
iVocalize (2) KnowledgePresenter (2) ViewletBuilder (2)
SoftSim (2) RapidBuilder (2) SCATE (2)
Learnframe (2) TotalLMS (2) WBT Manager (2)
ResultsOnDemand (2) Bea Pages (2) Apache Roller (2)
WildVoice (1) WebPod Studio (1) Tool Factory Podcasting(1)
Talkr (1) slapcast (1) ReadtheWords.com (1)
ProfCast (1) PodshowCreator (1) podOmatic (1)
PodNova (1) Podlinez (1) Podifier (1)
Podesk (1) Podcast Ready (1) Podcast Blaster (1)
Podbean (1) Podango (1) Podadmin (1)
OdeoStudio (1) Nimiq (1) myPodder (1)
Mixcraft (1) Mirpod player (1) Ksan Player (1)
iRadeo (1) iPodder (1) HuffDuffer (1)
Fonpods (1) ePodcast Producer (1) ePodcast Creator (1)
Easypodcast (1) ClickCaster (1) CastRoller (1)
Castblaster (1) BoxPopuli (1) blubrry (1)
BlogTalkRadio (1) BadApple (1) Audio Bay (1)
Audio Acrobat (1) 1pixelout (1) Gabcast (1)
NetExam (1) Phasient (1) SimBuilder (1)
SAPTutor (1) ViewletACE (1) HyperSnap (1)
TurboDemo (1) SimCorder (1) InfoPak (1)
KnowledgeSolutions (1) InstallShield (1) Datango (1)
iMediaCONVERT (1) PresenterOne (1) Oracle iLearning (1)
Microsoft eLearning (1) Google Info (1) WSSsearch (1)
del.irio.us (1)

That is a lot of tools this blogging community has discussed and introduced to its readers. I also like to make occasional visits to Google Labs and Adobe Labs to “keep up” with the tech tools they are working on and to test drive any beta versions available. When I do find interesting tools I will keep track of them using my Delicious account. Tagged either under Development Toolsor Cloud. When it comes to free cloud apps, I also share them on my blog’s Free Cloud Apps page.

It is tough to stay on top of all the great stuff being offered out there, but the blogs and social media certainly help.