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!

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Fads in E-Learning: Microlearning

digitalchalk-what-is-micro-learningWhile reading Jennifer Yaros’ new post, it lead me to Microlearning: The e-Learning method taking off around the world. Then, I thought about my own learning and experiences.

I am a trivia geek. My husband and I can slay anyone in trivia matches. Not to mention I’m gaining momentum in the iOS app, Trivia Crack. I love learning useless (IMHO – not so useless) facts. I love nonfiction ANYTHING and thrive on the humanities and science as a way to live my life passionately. I take a lot of the knowledge that I possess and develop common sense strategies and answers for questions that pertain to any subject. I find that this way of info-blasting and microlearning has helped my overall well-rounded knowledge.

Microlearning defines learning experiences that are much briefer than a traditional course – referring to relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities.

Chunk it UP & dice it! Pick out only the best pieces and roll with it!

This idea of spewing a ton of information in a short amount of time has been going on for a few years now. Headings and subheadings with small paragraphs that get to the nitty-gritty are my most favorite pieces of literature, and I hope this style never goes away. I LOVE the idea of reading “just the facts” without any lingering details (which are always completely unnecessary). But that’s how my brain works! My brain does not have time or energy for fluff.

I have a feeling, though, that the world will eliminate the fluff sooner or later.

So, let’s transition from Buzzfeed-esque articles to e-Learning. Microlearning is a blast of information in a short amount of time. Isn’t that what everyone is given? A short amount of time? How appropriate! Translate this idea to all 9-5 job situations: “Mr. So-and-so…I need you to learn this new aspect of your job by yesterday. Can you do that for me? That’d be grreeaaatt.”

Yeah well, yesterday already happened…so…

From a business perspective, almost 90% of associations use some form of technology to enable or enhance learning and more than half (52.8%) of associations that use technology for learning have increased their organisation’s net revenue from educational offerings.

Fewer than a third (31.5%) of organisations that report using technology for learning say they use technology to repeat, reinforce, or sustain learning after participants complete an educational product or service. Another 29.4% say they plan to in the coming year.

Close to 50% of organisations integrate the data they collect in their learning technology platforms with the data from other technology platforms they use.

Well, I’m happy. Why? I am not too sure microlearning is just a fad- it could be here to stay!