Top 25 Learning Management Systems

I love the eLearning Brothers. First, I love their name (they really are brothers!), their look, and their style. Their branding is seamless, tight-knit, and does not waiver or change. Plus, they keep an updated blog and their free templates are totally worth a look-through.

This blog post is from October of last year, but it is so relevant every day! The Top 10 Articulate Storyline Games of the Year make me smile because they prove that eLearning is fun and games are NOT just for kids. However, I’m noticing that the KISS method is applied here, generously. Especially if you’re taking handfuls of time and energy to develop something so engaging. In my line of work, these engaging and playful tools are never mandatory (aka they do not count as a grade if you play around with it) and always supplemental.

Think about using these games if you fall into a hairy situation like I did in my last course! In this project management course, students have to take a final exam that is 10% of their final grade. It sounds small, but that 10% can make or break a student who needs a 70% or above to pass.

For studying purposes, they had their textbook and two pages of sample multiple choice questions at the end of each chapter.

a) If I am a student, I’m grazing over those question/answer pages as fast as possible. Why? The answers are on the same page…my eyes dart RIGHT to that answer key and it’s all over.

b) As a graduate student, I have a full-time job, possibly a family. Do I have time to read and take notes on every little detail of my textbook reading this week? Probably not…will my studying habits falter? You bet!

c) Regardless of what I’m doing as a graduate student, I am in need of immediate feedback. Once I get that immediate feedback and I’m not correct, I need immediate information to replace my misunderstanding of the right answer and actually absorb the correct information!

That’s why I made these:

Easy breezy PowerPoints quizzes narrated by yours truly. They live on Office Mix, however guess what feature is lacking in the playback and interactivity? The clicky COLORS! :

Office Mix said that with their new updated software that the slideshow of any Mix shown within PowerPoint would be the exact replica that you would find living in Office Mix cyberspace…(fourth bullet from the top)

They are wrong! You cannot click triggered boxes to make them change colors UNLESS you created identical slides that link to the clickable boxes. Those identical slides would need to have color differentiation. Too many slides, too much linking, too much wasted time. I was NOT about to add 40 more slides to each PPT. Baloney. 

Needless to say, I gave students the ability to download the presentations so they will be able to preview them on their computer and take the interactive quizzes themselves. Oh, and did I mention I made 13 of them? 10 questions each! Yippee!

All in all, Storyline would have been a better match for my needs. Lesson learned!

MOOCs at ERAU

mooc

What I didn’t add on my Facebook is that none other than YOURS TRULY will be developing the October MOOC for ERAU! Yippee skippy! I learn all about it tomorrow! Select the image above to learn more!

~~~

In OTHER awesome news…the WAVE OF THE FUTURE IS HERE LADIES AND GENTS!

like love

DID YOU SEE?? THEY DID IT!!! THEY ACTUALLY DID IT!!! Our world is changing, folks. After so long of just being able to Like a status, FACEBOOK unleashed new emotions! We’ve got Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry! I can’t even contain myself! This is incredible!

Okay, am I overreacting? I think not. The Like Button is a house hold term and phrase.

Did you like my photo?
Did you see ____liked it?
I just unliked and liked this again because I like it so much!

The controversy I am afraid of is the like vs love icon. Is someone going to have a hissy fit because their boyfriend only liked their photo and didn’t love it? Just imagine the controversy. I’ll just sit back with my popcorn and watch =)

#Trends in #elearning

00111-e1430371722225

Universities won’t survive. The future is outside the traditional campus, outside the traditional classroom. Distance learning is coming on fast.” – Peter Drucker, 1997

The article below is a great read. A lot of the trends listed are obvious, but the reasons behind them dig deep into that quote. Wow, 1997. I was just venturing into second grade at that point. Little did my brain know that my career would engage in the wild and crazy future of education.

IF, and only IF universities do not survive, what does that mean for the world as we know it? Forget freshman year on campus and Leadership Safari – I did not build my social skills from those instances.

My main focus and worry is the lack of human-to-human interaction. If universities do not survive, what does that mean for K-12 education? We are already glued to our electronic devices and human communication is dwindling- where do we go from here? Is this a world we want to be a part of 20 years from now? 50 years?

All these trends are great and will keep a nice cash flow in my bank account, but that quote is something to really think about. That means that it is OUR job as IDDers to incorporate as MUCH human interaction as possible.

How? What is the best method of including human interaction in e-learning courses? Do you think the quote is valid? Why haven’t universities crashed and burned yet? Will it ever?

The following article was created for my virtual presentation “Global Trends in the eLearning Industry” at the International Congress on eLearning 2013 organized by the Philippine eLearning Society.

Source: Future eLearning Trends and Technologies in the Global eLearning Industry

Balancing the Holidays and Your Education

4034computer_santa512
lol, look at that floppy disc!!

You’ve taken this vow of completing your Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Ph.D. online because you have X, Y, Z reasons that you’d rather go online than to a brick and mortar.

I get it. I’ve been there. I don’t even have kids, and I get it.

What happens when it’s the holidays, kids are home, family is around, shopping is not done, you STILL NEED TO CLEAN THAT LITTLE CORNER BEHIND THE CANDY DISH BECAUSE GOD FORBID ANY OF YOUR GUESTS LOOK AT THAT LITTLE FLECK OF DUST…

oh… AND school? Wait, what?

Brick and mortar schools are off on vacation before you can sound out the D in December and then leisurely pick the pace back up sometime in the middle of January. You don’t have to think twice about any sort of obligations during that entire month! NBD…

But you chose an online education because it would be beneficial to your lifestyle! Sometimes online education never truly stops until your mind stops because there’s always something you could be doing or you want to get everything done beforehand because some genius decided to make this term overlap over Christmas and nobody got time for that.

I went to Western Governors University. This school run by six-month-terms. You can complete as much or as little of your degree within those six months. That meant I got as MUCH as I could get done prior to driving all the way up to MI from SC for Christmas and didn’t look at a single thing while I was there. HUGE reason why I loved attending that school. If life was happening, my school didn’t need to be my number 1 priority.

Did I mention I finished all of my coursework for my degree in 15 months? Yep.

How do you complete your course work before and during the holidays?
Have you had to shorten your vacation because of school obligations?
Do you change your study schedule to fit the needs your many gatherings?
How understanding is your family of your obligations?
What comes first, family or school during this time of year?

The Sway Way

SocialMedia_Logo_Sway_400x400x32If you have Microsoft 365, you have Sway. And it’s awesome.

Is Sway® going to replace PowerPoint®? No
Is Sway® better than PowerPoint®? No
Is Sway® worth the effort? YES YES and YES!

Sway is like if PowerPoint® and Instagram got together and had a little adorable, mostly easy-going, but sometimes stubborn, child.

Sway is something else on its own. You tell a story with Sway. With just a little wiggle-room for creativity, Sway builds your pictures, text, and social media into a collage of awesomeness. If you’ve got a bunch of stuff to upload and you don’t mind an algorithmic display, Sway is the way to go.

So many video tutorials and a suggestion box make this program incredibly easy to use. I would say if you’re going to use it for the first time, play with it THEN view a tutorial.

Thumbs Up

  • Preset designs make me feel like someone else is in control of how my Sway looks – this is good because I can spend HOURS trying to figure out what colors and fonts go well together
  • Accessibility built RIGHT IN! How cool!!
  • Easy – no true learning curve here. Everything you’d like to do is drag and drop
  • Super duper easy to collaborate with others!
  • Fancy shmancy privacy and sharing settings
    • Did I mention the embed feature?? ^^
  • Instant save/Instant update – Cloud storage is the best. It’s kind of scary to not have to worry about a save button! For us and our LMS it’s great because wherever the SWAY lives it updates instantaneously – no more having to go back into copies of courses and adjusting any edits that need to be made!
  • Pretty tech savvy-looking without the coding. This will make your presentation just a bit more enticing- may give it the edge you need.

Thumbs Down

  • Images from Bing and Flickr  could be removed in an instant – I would suggest not including those kinds of photos in your Sway
    • If you do, down/upload them and insert – make sure to get your permissions!
  • The only social media site you can embed is Twitter, and you cannot embed a live feed, just single tweets
    • Apparently they’re “working on” adding social media sites to their catalog
  • Small vs Medium vs Large – Design needs tweaking
    • Any media ‘card’ can be placed on the Sway but the way it falls may not be as cute as an IG picstitch.
    • If you’re picky about how a presentation looks, Sway is not for you. If you’re easy going, make that Sway!

Wow…you go, ERAU!

Embry-Riddle To Offer Reduced Tuition for Newly Accepted-Florida Students

“Creating opportunities and access for these students is a win for everyone,” said Embry-Riddle Interim President Dr. John R. Watret.

I think it is fascinating to be a part of this incredible institution. Every day I am reminded of why everyone boasts about the university, working here, and the community feel that people get when they arrive on campus or speak to anyone with a connection. I can definitely say, “they know how to pick ’em” because I sure do work with some intelligent and astounding individuals who have one goal in mind: Let’s do better for future generations.

The decision to move and start my new career here has already been incredibly rewarding…in just four months!

Why do we limit ourselves?

“When you walked in here today, many of you didn’t believe you could draw, and I’ve got a question for you about that: How many other beliefs or limiting thoughts do we carry around with us every day? Beliefs that we could potentially challenge and think differently about. And if we did… what else could be possible for us all?”

Today I learned how to draw five different characters!

Found this enlightening TedTalk at JohnOlaughlin’s blog and it spoke to me immediately. I have strong feelings about mind-over-matter situations. If you try and believe that you can do something you can do it. However, you may not do it as well as another person – and you want to know why? Your outcome level is usually based on your own perceptions! I could go on all day, but there’s another reason I am sharing this video.

Modeling is, first and foremost, an excellent way to showcase expectations and proper methods. You, the model, is stating that “this” is an acceptable form of the outcome.

However, when does modeling take away from creativity? From thinking outside the box? We ask students of all ages to be the pioneers of the newest, greatest, and most fabulous thing that haven’t even been thought of or invented, yet we model everything.

There is only a handful of ways to tie shoe laces; there’s even a rhyme about bunnies to go with it! So what was the final straw for the inventor of the no-lace shoe? Did that idea of modeling tying one’s shoe over and over again irritate someone so much that they decided to invent the million dollar idea? If we teach people to do something one way, is it beneficial? If so, at what cost? In what terms? What subjects or situations?

Modeling is beneficial, don’t get me wrong, but I think it needs to be done at an appropriate time with a lot of room and focus for creativity.

Modeling for proof of self-ability and gratification is the goal. Add a sprinkle of creativity and free-form and you’ve got yourself the best type of modeling!

image1

And it Begins

Worldwide-Headquarters-SignageFour months ago I was traveling from Charleston, SC to my new, but temporary, home in South Daytona, FL. Weeks away from graduating with my Masters in Instructional Design from Western Governors University, I earned a position as an Instructional Designer at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide.

I left behind my husband and dog to sell our townhouse and meet me in temporary housing while our new home was being built. A month prior, we had three days to pick where to spend our next part of our lives together.

At the same time, I started my new job and learned to be flexible and transition with ease. However, if we fast forward to today I have developed so many relationships and have already enhanced my craft. My superiors are so motivating and supportive in my creative decisions. I’m learning about new and innovative software and simulations.

My goal for this blog is to connect with other instructional designers and e-learning fanatics as well as showcase my opinions from my many experiences.