Slow Down You Move Too Fast

Help, eLearning is changing again.  It used to be that it was enough to truly understand the definition of an LMS, , to realize that SCORM output gives you an elegant way to share content and data between systems, and that making an eLearning course is a lot more work than just throwing up some old PowerPoints and popping in a few quizzes.

But now, there is the social media revolution.  Everybody is talking about the “new web”.  If you don’t know how to tweet, blog,  Facebook, and integrate social learning,   you are again going to be left behind.  And worst of all, if you are not maniacally following the thousands of articles on current social learning theory,  your courses will stop working, your students will not learn what you have set out to teach them, and you will have to start looking for a new career.

I realize I am oversimplifying, but when you distill everything that is going on, it comes  down to one basic issue: we need to get classroom chatter or shall I say, classroom interaction into the eLearning course.  Students need to talk to other students, students need to talk to teachers, and teachers need to talk to their classroom chatter needs to be easy and intuitive.  In looking at some of the social interaction eLearning solutions, I have found that the solutions are too difficult. Not only is social eLearning course construction complex, but these solutions are also hard for the students to navigate.  Most users are happy when they learn how to post pictures on Facebook, and that is the technical level our social eLearning courses need to be geared toward.

It is safe to assume that users can do the following:

  1. Register into the LMS
  2. Enroll in and load a specific course
  3. Click the next and back buttons
  4. Click submit when they answer quiz questions
  5. Navigate through well designed interactions such as Articulate Engage

And….. this is the big one

  1. Post to a forum/blog.

And, here is where you can add the social interaction that we have all learned to know and love.  Put the forum/blog right within the course.  At strategic points within the course, make the forum/blog available to address specific course content vs. having a general forum/blog that addresses the whole course.  This is what happens in a real course, topics are discussed as they come up, not all held in abeyance until you go to a general room afterwards to voice your thoughts and questions.

So give it a try. Write some posts to generate discussion around a very specific topic in one of your courses, and then put links to those posts right into your course.

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