#Simulations in #eLearning

I went to the I/ITSEC Conference back in November of 2015. I was able to witness and try a lot of physical simulators geared towards the field of aeronautics and military forces. Simulators from Lockheed Martin, Meggitt, and Engility are some companies that work directly with the department of defense.

In addition to these companies, there were many simulators that lined up directly with supportive e-learning. When I asked specificially if they could gear a program towards X, the cost went through the roof. How do universities combat the price of simulations just yet? Grants. Who has time to write grants when you’ve got a course to develop? When is it worth the time and effort?

Currently, I’m working with a course developer who wanted to add in a project management simulator to her IT-PM course. Awesome! So, where do we look for simulations that are cost-effective and worthy of students’ time?

Mind you, these are students will full-time jobs and families. They need to pass this class in 9 weeks to fulfill a degree to move up in their company and provide for their family! It is important that they receive worthy information and spend their time wisely to learn as much as they can.

I think it is awesome when someone can appreciate the free gems of the internet. That Project Management Game is a very simple tool that is free to use as many times as necessary. In our course, students will be using this tool to make notes on whether or not it would be a beneficial simulator for trainees. Is it comparable to the workplace? What could be added to make it better? What benefits or disadvantages do you see to this tool?

For a little more substance and rigor, we are also going to use the Havard Business Review’s Project Management Simulation v2 at an awesome price. With 90 minutes of simulation time, students can grab it for $15. For a masters degree program, that’s a pretty good deal!

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The second release of this simulation adds a new scenario with multiple unanticipated events and the ability to add prototypes to the project plan. In this single-player simulation, students take on the role of a senior project manager and manage a team tasked with developing a new product for an electronics manufacturing company. The primary objectives are to execute a project plan successfully and deliver a competitive product on time and on budget. Instructors can assign up to 6 scenarios that expose students to realistic challenges that project managers often face, especially when working in a highly competitive industry. Some challenges require students to react to unanticipated outside events, such as a staffing crisis, while others require students to respond to strategic changes mandated by upper management. A new project lever for specifying prototypes allows students to explore the benefits of this essential component of agile project management.

I am so excited for this course! I am thrilled to be working with my course developer. We have developed two courses so far and she’s a rockstar!

#Trends in #elearning

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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

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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

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.