I've been doing a bit of recording work recently so I decided to compile a handy how-to guide for audio recording for elearning. The guide walks your through finding and setting up a recording space all the way through compressing the final audio files into MP3 format. Just follow the below link and click on the "Audio Recording for eLearning Guide" link.
Hope you find it useful. I'd love any additions or feedback on it for improvement so do share.
Before cruising down the road to developing an elearning lesson, it's important to answer some key questions about it. This will help you avoid pitfalls further down the road, and help match what you create with the needs and expectations of your client.
The below link takes you to a template I use to scope new projects. Whether you're a developer or a project manager, answering all the questions within it will give you a very good idea of what and how you need to complete your project. Keep in mind though that this is only an initial list of questions. You'll need to answer more questions as you proceed through your project, but I've found this to be an excellent resource when working on elearning projects. I hope you will too.
Please feel free to take this template, redesign it, add to it, and otherwise do what you like with it. Also, if you have any comments, improvements, or additions for it, I'd love to hear about them. Always looking to improve my process.
This seems like a silly question, but how many of you have heard this challenge voiced? When I’ve heard it, it’s more often referring to the value of our learning and development team versus learning and development in general. Everyone seems to agree that learning and development is important. That’s not the issue. The issue more often seems to be that we don’t quantify or successfully explain HOW important the work we do is.
Our business partners and clients aren’t interested in whether their teams score an 80% on their online quizzes, can define corporate terms, describe a business process, or even demonstrate a certain skill. At the end of the day, what they care about is performance. Will the training and deliverables we provide improve the performance of their team? Will their sales increase or their costs decrease as a result of the training they receive? Will their errors, injuries, and incidents reduce as a result of what we teach?
Our clients and business partners care about the improvement of their team’s business metrics because this is what makes them successful or not successful. This is what’s in it for them when it comes to training.
Thus, the value that a learning and development team provides is primarily two-fold:
1) to improve the performance of employees (which decreases costs or increases revenue)
2) to ensure employee compliance to external and internal training requirements (which reduces risk and expense from injuries, errors, fines, and law suits.)
This should be our teams' ongoing mission statement. It should be printed in big bold letters in conspicuous places.
Lacking this focus on performance and compliance as our mission is the root cause of so many of the most common woes in learning and development. Without these guiding principles we don’t have consistent performance metrics, objective/performance-based compensation for employees, the ability to prioritize projects fairly and consistently, or properly functioning and easy-to-use learning management systems.
Realizing this and setting this in stone is the first step in the process of becoming a successful learning and development business. Without this pivotal step, the rest of our business is built on a wobbly foundation and will not achieve its full potential.
In the following articles in this series, I’ll be utilizing the process and models provided in Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” to outline how to build a successful learning and development business.
Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough (or perhaps what I'm finding just isn't making me all that giddy), but I thought I'd see if I couldn't get the ball rolling on this by sharing some tools, templates, and other things from time to time. With that in mind, here's my first humble contribution: a rapid elearning development template. You can download it here or preview an example here. Don't worry. You don't need to subscribe to anything, send me money, or lend me your firstborn to use it.
The template was built using Captivate 4 so you'll need Captivate 4 to repurpose it. If you like, you can download a free 30-day trial of Captivate 4 from Adobe's website. Feel free to tweak the template design a bit, swap out the logo, change some of the text around, and then brag to all your friends about the cool new elearning template you created from scratch.
The template contains a variety of page templates with rollovers, popups, video, and quiz questions. It's also SCORM and AICC compliant for scoring and tracking.
I'm hoping that this will be something that I add to and improve upon as time goes by. (Well, actually, I'm hoping I'll be far too busy making absurd amounts of money doing other things that I won't have time for such trivialities as updating a free template, but... you know what I mean.) So I'll make updates to it as I find the time. I'd love to hear your feedback, questions, bug reports, or recommendations for additional features. You can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyway, I hope you find this useful, and perhaps my selfless little act inspires you to toss a little elearning karma back at the rest of us. In fact, post a link to it in a comment below, why don'tcha. We could get a list going of free elearning stuff.
Many learning and development teams seem to have a bit of an identity crisis. Our overarching mission and vision changes annually and no one can quite seem to remember what they are. Our teams are often stuck in silos supporting different areas of the business. Our hiring practices vary by hiring manager. Our annual review scores and incentives are based almost solely on the opinions of supervisors without having consistent, quantifiable performance metrics. We use the ADDIE Model to design training, but each team seems to have a slightly different twist on it. We each use different tools to create our training modules, design our graphics, and build our storyboards. We even have separate learning management systems for different areas of the same company.
Any of this sounding familiar?
This blog is about sharing some simple solutions to these issues and their ilk - it’s about creating a foundation for building a successful learning and development business. Whether you call your business learning and development, organizational effectiveness, training, or some combination thereof, I think this will be a useful series for you. In the following series of articles I’ll help you figure out how to set a clear and consistent vision, hire the best talent, select the right technologies, manage instructional design projects, and more. I’ll outline the high-level steps of establishing your business, provide you with some tools and templates, and (hopefully) generate some great discussion.
With this in mind, if you have particular topics you’d like to see covered in this series (or if you have a completely different question entirely), I’d love to hear from you and see if I can help.
Next time we’ll kick things off by answering the question “What Value Does L&D Provide Anyway?”