Learning 2.0: Accelerating Learning

Taking a conceptual look at the idea of "Social Learning", a string of ideas is apparent. Ease of access to information means that more people are on the network, and that information exists in more locations. This in turn causes more people to access information. At the next level: there is more interaction between people, and also, people and information have begun to interact.

Learning Theories 101: What they mean

Any e-learning courseware designer knows about Bloom’s Taxonomy of the cognitive domain. The taxonomy works as a theory that can directly be applied to e-learning. Others, like Multiple Intelligences, can be used to promote (or discourage) this or that learning system. Broader theories—like Humanism—look at people and learning in all their complexity, trying to arrive at How to Teach People. Why so many theories?

Courseware Unlimited: Knowledge Managers and the Internet

In terms of attitudes to Internet use, we see all sorts today. Some still use paper and pen, only occasionally looking up information online, while others do everything online. Just the same way, some read print newspapers, others read their news online, and so on.

Using Fonts Effectively: Why Standardise?

We’re all aware that fonts have a psychological impact, even if we aren’t sure exactly what the impact of a particular font is. I’ve always suspected that the psychological effect translates to an effect on cognition, or learning. (Some of you reading this might say that’s obvious.) It turns out that there have been a couple of studies along these lines. I’ll soon get to that, but what I’m wondering about is: If fonts make a difference to how text is perceived, how come we don’t pay much attention to them?

Testing Higher-Order Cognition: MCQs Versus MEQs

Testing Higher-Order Cognition: MCQs Versus MEQs

Top 5 E-learning Myths

For organisations looking for the first time at e-learning in training, the first step is to get a clear idea of what e-learning is—and what it is not. Ideas that were true some years ago might not hold now. Here are five notions about e-learning as a training solution—some true, some false.


Collaborative Versus Social (Learning)

I’ve often found worthwhile food for thought at the Internet Time Alliance. A recent post by Harold Jarche mentions a distinction between Collaborative Learning and Social Learning. I wasn’t aware of one, so I looked at the definition by the Human Capital Lab:


Probably the most common complaint about e-learning courses is "long, boring bullet lists."

Search Engines for Students

Apart from Google alternatives, it’s nice to see search engines designed specially for children and teenagers. Credibility, safety, and an orientation to learning are the common themes of these relatively new sites. Here are some.

Are Podcasts An Effective Way To Learn?

Is listening to a podcast—or watching a video podcast (a Vidcast)—really that appealing? Effective?

Wikis in Group Learning

Ever since wikis emerged, I’ve loved the idea of using them to learn as a team. That’s a large part of what we now call Informal Learning.

7 Little Things about Knowledge Checks

By “knowledge checks,” I’m referring to the short evaluations that punctuate a learning package. They’re also called recall screens, recall exercises, quizzes, or something else. Here’s a mix of ideas, random thoughts, and tips about knowledge checks.

10 Firefox “Do more” Add-ons

Online clutter is annoying, but we spend many hours a week surfing anway. Here are some Firefox add-ons to help with getting more done while we browse!


The Human Attention Span Non-debate

It’s sometimes an important question for a course/presentation designer: “How long is the average attention span?” or “How long can a person stay focused on a topic?”

YouTube EDU

YouTube EDU is news to me. I'm still wondering how I missed it—it’s pretty much like TV channels and classrooms right on the funny-videos site! So I took a good look, and here are the channels I liked best.

Levels of Interactivity

If you’ve decided to use an e-learning course for your training needs, you might hear the terms “Level 1 course,” … up to Level 4. These numbers indicate many things — the level of interactivity in the course, the complexity, the sophistication. Maybe you’ve been told that a Level 3 course is the best, while being the most expensive to develop. Or, maybe you’re just wondering what “level of interactivity” means. Here’s a primer. (We’re leaving out Level 4 because you won’t often hear it within the context of e-learning.)

Using Colour — In Learning?

Ask “What is the role of colour in our lives” and you’ll get one of two responses -- “Yes, colours influence us in many ways,” and “Hmm, perhaps they do… I don’t really know.”

Learning to Learn, Part I

More and more people are talking on the Web about the basic, yet the most important stuff: Is managing e-mail is worth your time? What should you use the Web for? What’s really important in life? Along those lines, here are notes about how to learn—as I’ve seen it.

PowerPoint Practices — In Learning

PowerPoint has been used, abused, and used again. Millions of people have made, viewed, and analysed presentations, so there’s a lot of existing wisdom about best practices. Also, PowerPoint is being increasingly used in e-learning development. So here's a look at what PowerPoint practices are applicable to courseware development.

Do We Need Instructional Theories?

I’ve been reflecting upon learning theories, and it just came to me that ID itself is based upon sound theories. (We don’t usually think of “doing ID” as “doing science.”) Pretty obvious, I know. But in my defence, it’s been a long time since I thought of ID as a field of endeavour.

Multiple Intelligences, Different Approaches

Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (MI) is roughly about the aspects of a person's brain (or perception/expression). When you look at just the theory, well, some people like it, some don't. The point is, it does relate to learning—in an indirect way.

A Picture is Worth a Certain Number of Words

A long time ago, illustrations and photos—in magazines, newspapers, books—used to be pretty much a straightforward affair.

Explaining What, How, Why

Pedagogy is about teaching things differently: differently based on who is being taught, who is doing the teaching, what is being taught. I tried to look at it from a clean slate, but that got muddied by too many established conclusions — each of them useful, no doubt:


Automate Translation — With Caution

The big tech news item for me in the past couple of weeks has been about Google Cloud Connect. It allows users to use MS Office within the Cloud. This is real news, and good for users—in the Cloud, on the fly, (almost) seamless between Office docs and Google Docs. Now Google Docs and Google Translate are integrated, so the “problem” as I see it is, maybe users will soon begin to depend exclusively on quick translations?