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Category Archives: eLearning

Sia’s Story or The Job of an Instructional Designer

Remember?

That first Instructional Design assignment…

Waiting for the ID Reviewer’s comments…

Then clicking open the document with your heart pounding against your ribs…

And then seeing… RED!

Was this what you HAD signed up for?

Or

what is it that you ARE signing up for?

Meet Siya…and Rajeev.

If you want to become an instructional designer and find yourself wondering what it would be like to work as an ID, you’ll find your answers at https://anchor.fm/learninglights/episodes/Siyas-Story-An-Instructional-Designers-Job-ens9lk

A heads-up…

This is a podcast – and so you’d need to keep the audio on.

Click to listen to the Learning Lights Podcast.

In this episode, meet Siya, a mint-fresh instructional designer who is discovering what it means to be an instructional designer.

This episode is an introduction to what an Instructional Designer’s Job comprises, takes you through the fears and apprehensions of a new ID, and then puts them to rest through the knowledge of an experienced instructional designer.

With this episode, we are through with laying the basic groundwork. In the coming episodes, I intend to discuss a few concepts of instructional design and cognitive psychology within the context of their application in eLearning and/or training.

If you’d like to join me on this fun ride, do subscribe or follow Learning Lights on a podcasting app of your choice. It is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify too.

 

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The AFR Learner Types – Learners of the Future – Thrive, Jive, Survive!

I wrote about the AFR Learner Types a few months ago and the article was received quite well within the learning community. I’m sharing it here because I believe that understand the three types and determining where our learners and we ourselves as learners fall, could be instrumental in our surviving, even jiving and thriving in the new post-pandemic world.

While you can download the Free PDF of the article “The AFR Learner Types – Learning in this Changing, Evolving World” here, here’s a quick synopsis.

My two-decades worth of experience with adult learners both in online courses and classroom programs taught me that based on their traits and corresponding learning behavior, learners can be classified into three groups.

  • The Agile Learner
  • The Flexible Learner
  • The Rigid Learner

While most of us (almost 80%) fall into the Flexible Learner category, some of us are Agile Learners and a smaller fraction comprises Rigid learners – and as you can see in the following image, I’ve seen Flexible Learners turn agile, but the rigid learners, due to their inherent dislike for change, often stay rooted to their learning beliefs. However, through counseling they can be motivated to move left toward becoming flexible learners.

At this juncture, it’s important to review our capabilities and determine how we can evolve into the learning professional of tomorrow – and if we feel tied down by our expectations, self-image, and/or current beliefs, it’s time to take a hard look at ourselves and weed out anything that stops us from learning, changing, and growing.

If you like my articles and would like to hear my thoughts, I invite you to my Learning Lights Podcast.

 

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Who should be an Instructional Designer?

Do I have the right abilities and traits for becoming an instructional designer?

This is a question asked by many accidental content professionals and all those fresh job-seekers who are exploring the field of content development and Instructional Design. They want to find out if they are temperamentally suited for a successful career in ID and content development, whether they are creative enough, and what sort of skills they must possess.

If you too are trying to ascertain whether or not you have the right temperament and skills for becoming an instructional designer, then you should listen in.

Click to listen to the Learning Lights Podcast.

In this episode, I present to you the three most important characteristics of an Instructional Designer and attempt to dispel a debilitating myth about creativity.

After you’ve listened to this episode, please read more about this topic at: Four Key Traits of an Instructional Designer.

Also visit http://creativeagni.com to explore the world of creativity and instructional design.

Thank you 🙂

 

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Learning Lights – The Instructional Design Podcast

I am glad to announce the Learning Lights Podcast, and here’s the trailer. The podcast will publish weekly on Wednesdays, and if you think that the frequency should go up, please drop me a line 🙂

What does the Learning Lights Podcast cover?

This podcast covers topics on instructional design, eLearning content development, training design and development – and talks about how to create content that binds your audience.

Who is the Learning Lights Podcast for?

This podcast is for aspiring and practicing learning professionals, including content developers, instructional designers, trainers, and teachers.

The first Episode, “Instructional Design? What’s that?!” is scheduled to publish later today.

More later,

Shafali

 

 

 

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Creative Agni’s Online Courses, Training Programs, and Workshops – At a Glance.

Dear Knowledge-seeking, Knowledge-sharing Friend,

In the coming week, I’ll be posting a few articles here. However, today I bring to you a consolidated list of all of Creative Agni’s online courses, training programs, and workshops on Instructional Design, eLearning, mLearning, storyboarding, and creativity.

I quote from the linked page, a bit about Creative Agni’s offerings…

Why a Creative Agni Online Course / Program?

Creative Agni’s Online Courses and Training programs are designed to forge you into a strong and analytical elearning or training designer whose work is fueled by pure instructional logic. Our Instructional Design, eLearning & Gamification courses and programs (IDCD Online, IDST Online, IDML Online, and GeLT Online) ignite the spark of contextual creativity in you, burnish your natural writing or training talent, and transform you into a creator and deliverer of powerful and smooth content or trainings.

This, of course, is possible only if you have the will to dive into an adventure that’s not just thrilling but also challenging. In other words, Creative Agni’s offerings are for the cognitive brave-hearts, who want to earn a certification that fills them with pride.

Well, that’s all for now 🙂

A quick note, the last date to apply for our IDCD Online course is October 01, 2020, so if you haven’t yet downloaded your form and applied for the same, do so now. Application is Free – registration follows acceptance of your application for a particular course.

 

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Register for Creative Agni’s Free Online Instructional Design Primer workshop

Hi Friends,

If you are a content professional, this workshop could be of interest to you.

Creative Agni's Free Online Instructional Design Primer Workshop

I’ll be conducting a 3-hour Free Online Instructional Design Workshop on September 06, 2020, which is a Sunday. It shall start at 10 AM IST and conclude around 1 PM IST. The workshop shall be conducted through Zoom, and all you’ll need to join is a free Zoom account.

So, if you’d like to attend an interaction and fun session on Instructional Design, please visit the IDP Page here, and register for it.

Here’s a bit about the workshop. For more details, please visit the link above:

Workshop Brief:

As we move into an era where our laptops and mobile devices have become a necessary extension of ourselves, the methods of learning and the psychology of learners both undergo a change. Along with these changes, the challenges that a content creator faces today, are different from the ones she faced before the century turned. The thread that strings together all these mediums of learning – traditional as well as modern – is Instructional Design.

From being an exotic, somewhat obscure discipline that was more misunderstood than understood, Instructional Design has emerged to be an important weapon in a content developer’s arsenal. The primary reason behind this evolution has been the growth of the IT and the ITES sector in India in the early 2000s. We have now reached a point in our journey where Instructional Design has transformed into an essential skill for almost every content development/training job in our industry.

All learning professionals, starting from the fresh content developers/trainers to the senior content/L&D managers, are expected to have a strong grip on the principles and methods of Instructional Design.

This workshop shall attempt to demystify Instructional Design and illustrate its connection with eLearning and mLearning, explain how being proficient in ID and related disciplines could put your career on a fast track, and of course; it shall also illustrate how much fun it could be to learn and apply Instructional Design.

Important Note:

This workshop shall require your video and audio presence. The workshop shall simulate the contact version of the workshop conducted in Noida, and will be different only in that the 3-hour session will be conducted through Zoom. The invites will be sent out to 12-16 prospective participants on first-come-first-served basis.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Provide exposure about the different roles and corresponding responsibilities that exist in the eLearning and Content Development industry.
  • Enable fresh instructional designers, content writers, and trainers to get a panoramic view of what ID practice and theory entails.

I look forward to meeting you this Sunday,

Shafali

 

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A First is always Fearful, sometimes Frustrating, but never Fruitless.

This morning I posted my first article on LinkedIn.

Are you wondering why this feat-o-mine warrants a dedicated post on my WordPress blog?

Well, it does, because this is indeed a victory of sorts for me.

You see, I had been planning to make this post for more than two weeks now. I had been reading posts done by my connections, and their connections, and wondering how with such meager accouterments (an extremely basic formatting bar and a minimalist environment,) could one make a reasonably good looking article? I was battling the fear of the unknown.

The Fear of the Unknown

My main cause of anxiety stemmed from the unknown. I didn’t know the interface and I didn’t know how the LinkedIn audience would receive my content, but I knew that I had to take the first step in order to take the next, and then the next…that’s how we learn to walk then run – don’t we?

The fear of the unknown is one of the most debilitating fears of all, and the only way to over come it to learn about the unknown. It may take a while, but it works. I’ve seen it work all through my life. So armed with this hope, I started writing “5 Instructional Weapons to Win the Microlearning War.

About 5 Instructional Weapons to Win the Microlearning War

It worked with this article too. Microlearning has always intrigued me. Even in our online ID courses that I had designed for Wavelength, I had ensured that none of the learning interactions went beyond 10-15 minutes, and that they did their job in that time – gaining the learner’s attention, establishing relevance of the content for them, providing the learning/providing practice/quizzing them – as the case might be, and leaving the learner satisfied. True that each course had more than a couple of hundreds of those, but each of those learning interactions did their job, and the fact that we had happy and satisfied learners who remember us even after a dozen years, proves that those learning interactions worked.

But those were different times. In the last decade or so, smartphones have changed the whole learning eco-system. In fact, they’ve changed the learner’s persona as well as her expectations.

5 Instructional Methods to Win the Micro Learning War - Infographic

Never before we had a learner whose attention was so difficult to gain and retain – this obviously means that only those learning providers who would have the right arsenal will win – others will be left behind.

I thought I had something to say – and so I wrote and then made an infographic to go with it. Here’s it. Please head over to LinkedIn and read the full article.

About the 3 Avatars of the Micro-learner

And while I was at it, I saw the true persona of microlearning audience – the triumvirate with three different avatars. Read more about them in the article.

The Microlearning Audience - Avatar 1 - the Scout

The Microlearning Audience - Avatar 2 - the AssessorThe Microlearning Audience - Avatar 3 - the Ambassador

Meanwhile, I’m pleased to announce that I’m feeling rather comfortable with LinkedIn articles now, and if you have any question, I’ll be happy to answer (but remember that little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and I’m still learning.)

The Thrill of Discovery Replaces the Fear of Unknown

Now that I’ve gotten used to the basic format of the LinkedIn article editor, I’m looking forward to making my next post. I am not sure what I shall write about – but it’s definitely going to be a thrilling experience. I hope to meet you on this ride. If you are on LinkedIn and are passionate about making learning effective, let us connect. Find me on LinkedIn here.

 

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Creative Training Design & Content Development – What Inhibits Creativity?

Last week, I received a call from a young woman who was interested in exploring the IDCD (Instructional Design and Content Development) course. During our discussion, she asked me if her lack of creativity would in any manner hamper her performance in the course. It is a question that I’ve fielded many times in the last fourteen years, and fortunately, I’ve done it with a conviction that comes from a long experience with creativity.

I’ve been creative in at least three different areas, and all these areas, I’ve been sufficiently creative to be considered a professional. These three areas are art, fiction-writing, and training/elearning content development. My experience tells me that when I’m being madly creative in one area, I’m only marginally creative in the other two. Why? Because creativity begins by submerging yourself in a context.

Igniting, Harnessing, and Channeling your Creative Potential – An Example

Here’s a recent example. We’ve been thinking of bringing you the REDAC (Rapid eLearning Development with Adobe Captivate) course for a while now. So when in January end, I applied myself to designing this program, I had to break away from a historical fiction piece that I was writing. You could say that I could spend a few hours on my fiction writing endeavor and the remaining on designing the REDAC course. Unfortunately, this sort of multitasking becomes very difficult when you are trying to divide your time between two very different types of creative endeavors. (If your day job is that of a banker, an accountant or a shop floor engineer who works on job-scheduling, then you can be a creative writer in the evenings – because there isn’t a creative clash.)

You see,

  • Fiction writing is imaginative, colorful, descriptive where you must visualize scenes and characters and you must make them come alive through an interesting use of dialogs, its purpose is to entertain, and it uses the “Storytelling” framework to create the final expression. It also requires that I immerse myself in the context of the era in which I’m situating my story.
  • Training Design is logical, connective, direct, and its purpose is to impart learning, and it uses the “instructional design’ framework to create the final expression. It requires that I immerse myself in the context of the discipline/software (its capabilities, its connection with eLearning, and so on…)
  • The right way to begin was to pluck my mind out of the historical context (for fiction-writing) and drop it into the subject context (in this case Adobe Captivate, for training design.) Since I’m good with both the storytelling framework as well as the training design framework, all I needed to do was immerse myself in a new context.

    Read More for “How Creativity is Born?” and “What Inhibits Creativity?”>>>


Thus, in order to ignite, harness, and channel creativity, one must follow a method. Almost all those who are highly (and repetitively creative) follow one. It is usually a method that they develop themselves, but once they have developed it, they stick to it. Dan Brown is an excellent example of this phenomenon. I’ve been an ardent follower of his Facebook page and a relentless reader of his books, and I’ve noticed that he has a method. He approaches every book as a creative project and at the beginning of this project, he immerses himself into the context (information on what he wants to write about.) He reads, researches, watches videos, meets people, travels, visits places he thinks he’d like to situate his story in…but of course, this is just the beginning. Creativity isn’t only about coming up with ideas – there’s a lot more to it, including retaining the best ideas and sustaining the creative energy that will eventually turn your ideas into effective creative expressions.

I see this element in my own creative method too. I’ve talked about it at length in my new book, which is just a few months away from reaching your favorite book-store 🙂

“Our mind is a treasure chest of slumbering creative nodes that just need to be woken up in the right environment to let our creativity flow.” – SRA.

 
 

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What is Rapid eLearning Development or Rapid Authoring?

Rapid eLearning Development has been around for almost a decade now. As I see it, Rapid Authoring Tools such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, and others, would be the development tools of choice for large and even mid-sized organizations. In about ten years from now, nearly all the employees of every corporation would have held a smart-device since they were in their diapers, and they would naturally prefer to learn using their mobile devices. The makers of the Rapid Authoring Tools are already ensuring that the content that’s published using their software is not only cross-platform (with HTML5 output becoming a norm,) but also responsive (responds to the device on which it is displayed and displays without breaking.)

In “Demystifying Rapid Authoring or Rapid eLearning Development,” I’ve differentiated traditional elearning development from Rapid elearning development, discussed the pros and cons of rapid authoring, and attempted to project the future of rapid elearning development. I believe that for higher Bloom Level courses traditional eLearning development will still rule the roost. While the Rapid Authoring Tools are becoming better with each new version, automation always constrains creativity.

I’d also like to introduce Creative Agni’s “Rapid eLearning Development with Adobe Captivate (REDAC) Certificate Course.

Rapid elearning development with Adobe Captivate course by Creative Agni.

This course is designed to ensure that the content professionals who take this program become independently capable of developing and delivering content to their audience.They would become at home with the Adobe Captivate interface and would know exactly how to use the capabilities of the software to deliver impactful content. For those who already are working as Instructional Designers, Content Developers, or Trainers, this course would lead them toward developmental freedom and enable them to explore such opportunities that require rapid authoring capabilities.

I hope you like the article 🙂

 

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Gamification of Learning Experiences and Training Programs

In 2014, I had set myself the task of writing a series of articles on gamification and its application to the learning domain. Until recently, health concerns kept me from working on the articles further, but now that I am better, I’ve started working on them again. The first article in the series is already up.

Gamification of Learning and Training - the essence of it.

Click the image to read the article.

Read the first article in the series “Gamification – What does this new-fangled, star-spangled term mean?” here.

More article in this series would follow. I’ll be announcing the new articles on Twitter, and they’ll also find their way into the Creative Agni eZine – so if you are interested, you are welcome to follow me on Twitter, or Subscribe to the Creative Agni eZine (a short monthly e-newsletter.)

 

 

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