Saturday, October 27, 2018

Tracy Parish: Actual Rockstar

I'm just home from DevLearn, always a fun, exciting event. This year was especially meaningful for me as I watched one of my best friends, Tracy Parish, achieve well-deserved stardom as she won not just the annual shirt design contest but also the top prize in the 71-entry Demofest event, "Best Mobile Solution" category.

I'm guessing I've known Tracy for upwards of a decade, first online as #lrnchat participants (we're both moderators now) and later as conference buddies. In that time I've watched her emerge as a leader in our industry, offering practical real-world help for those working on limited budgets through her dazzling aggregation of low-cost tools and products, to helping lead the Toronto Storyline user community, to helping run the Canadian eLearning Conference. She's a stellar example of a pragmatic practitioner, always happy to help and to show and share her work. It has been fun and energizing watching her evolution and I think I was as thrilled as she was when she took the stage to receive her award.

Here's one of my own favorite photos, taken the day we snuck away from a conference to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I love Tracy dearly, and am proud of her both as a colleague and a friend. I look forward to seeing what she does next.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

iSpring 9! Lots of New Features

I always enjoy hearing from my friends at iSpring, who apart from being excellent humans with a great product are fun companions at minigolf. So I was delighted to get an email asking me to take a look at the newest release, iSpring9. 

Usually when a tool gets a refresh there are a few updates, but this new version of iSpring has advanced the product by leaps and bounds.  My three favorite changes:

1. New Video Editor

In this release iSpring greatly expanded the capability of the earlier, basic iSpring Cam. The newly-renamed iSpring Cam Pro includes a video editor that provides annotation/captioning as well as robust features such as adding in other video and audio elements, so you could have, say, timed text steps or a talking head video alongside an animation. 

2. LOTS more Interactions
This release offers a much-larger array of 12 interactions, including easy-to-animate charts. 
I was always a fan of iSpring's "timeline" interaction and am pleased to see the accordion available now as well.  

3. Drag and Drop! 
The iSpring quizzing tool goes to the next level with drag and drop capability. Honestly, I'm amazed whenever I play with these tools now: I remember 100 years ago (when we had to do web design by candlelight :-) )  when it took half a day and an instruction manual for me to code a drag and drop by hand in Dreamweaver. It feels almost magical to be able to do it now in a matter of minutes. 

Well, those are my favorite new features. Everything has more options that I haven't outlined here, from annotation and transparency setting on the videos to choices of how you work with the interactions and quiz types.

If you haven't yet checked out iSpring9 I encourage you to go download the trial and see what might let you check something off your own wishlist. 

Friday, May 11, 2018

Blended Learning in Practice

This month's research report comes from Insync Training's Jennifer Hofmann: 

Blended learning can be applied in a variety of ways. This report examines some common critical success factors for incorporating blended learning into organizational training and offers recommendations for a successful move towards blending learning.

Blended Learning in Practice, by Jennifer Hofmann, explores data collected in interviews with organizations in order to answer the question: How are blended learning programs being implemented, and what are the associated benefits and risks?

View the executive summary and download the report here

Friday, March 23, 2018

Social Tools for Learning: Updated Report for 2018

Social tools have emerged, disappeared, and evolved over time. The question is whether or not these tools are being used successfully in the modern L&D landscape. Are organizations leveraging social tools to support training and performance efforts today?

Earlier this year The eLearning Guild conducted a survey with its members on the topic of social tools. Using Social Tools for Learning, by Jane Bozarth, delves into the data collected from the survey and shares key findings. Access the executive summary and full report here

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Crash Course for New Instructional Designers

Classroom trainers are often recruited to create eLearning content that is nothing more than a regurgitation of classroom materials. There are lots of reasons why this happens: Managers who don’t understand that “training” involves more than just presenting content; purchasers who believe an authoring tool will allow any user to magically crank out gorgeous, interactive programs; well-meaning classroom trainers who perhaps lack a background in design or have trouble making the leap from face-to-face to multimedia approaches; companies that can’t invest in external products or developers; and individuals who just won’t say, “No.” Whatever the reason, it happens. Often. This month in Learning Solutions I offer ideas for a "crash course" in learning design for those who may find themselves thrown into the role.

Monday, March 12, 2018

What's Your Reality? AR and VR

The eLearning Guild's April research report examines the benefits and barriers of using augmented reality and virtual reality in organizations and how these organizations access and utilize the data derived from the AR and VR systems.

The eLearning Guild conducted a survey with its members on the topic of augmented reality and virtual reality. What’s Your Reality? AR and VR for Learning, by Jane Bozarth, explores the data collected from the survey and shares key findings. In the report, find action items on how you can get started.

See more at:

Monday, February 12, 2018

Creating Significant Learning Experiences

This month in Learning Solutions I take a look at Dee Fink's Five Principles of Good Course design. 
A “good course” is one which meets the following five criteria:
1. Challenges learners to higher-level learning
2. Uses active forms of learning
3. Gives frequent and immediate feedback to students on the quality of their learning
4. Uses a structured sequence of different learning activities
5. Has a fair system for assessing learning
Fink also offers ideas for taking a more expansive view of our work and beginning with the end in mind. 

The items are explained in more depth in the column proper. See