I’m amazed at how often someone tells me that their organization’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes are sitting there in a bunch of PowerPoint presentations, just waiting to be extracted for juicy eLearning modules. The proposition isn’t that simple, so a tactical approach to using this content is helpful.
First, let’s consider what Captivate can do for you if you have a great deal of existing PowerPoint content. Here’s how Adobe puts it in the help file:
“You can import and edit Microsoft PowerPoint presentations in Adobe Captivate. Imported slides can be edited in a Microsoft PowerPoint environment from within Adobe Captivate. You can choose to link to the source PowerPoint presentation to keep it in sync with the Adobe Captivate project.”
What does all of this mean? First, it’s easy to import a PowerPoint presentation (or individual slides) into a Captivate file. Hint: this is the magic bullet (note: you can also start a new Captivate project from a PowerPoint).
Second, you can link up your PowerPoint presentation with the corresponding Captivate file and perform round-trip editing; the Captivate platform is smart enough to help maintain any edits in both files. This function is deceptively powerful: it will help you maintain version control (and your sanity).
Also, you can update PowerPoint presentation changes made outside Adobe Captivate. Time-saver: you can send the PowerPoint file to a subject matter expert for a sanity-check or updates. After the file is returned, you can use the synchronization function within Captivate to maintain the integrity of the content. In the old world, you would have had to go through an iterative process with lots of emails, gnashing of teeth, and general frustration.
The point is that you can get a lot of content into usable eLearning format pretty quickly. The trouble is that you can’t just convert PowerPoint into eLearning and usher in a new golden age. You’re going to have to tweak stuff. Here come the caveats, veiled threats, and suggestions.
- Garbage in, garbage out. We’ve written to excess about having an eLearning philosophy. Many presentations are death-by-PowerPoint. Page-turners. Too many bullet points. The unspeakable horror of comic sans. Check out Garr Reynolds’ excellent Presentation Zen blog for ideas on how to make your presentations sing/shine/soar. Follow him on Twitter — @presentationzen.
- Learn about the art and science of using PowerPoint as an eLearning artist’s canvas. Buy Dr. Jane Bozarth’s book, Better than Bullet Points. Jane is on Twitter, too.
- Get down with some theory. Here’s an amazingly lucid post from Dave Ferguson on Ruth Clark’s principles.
- Follow the practitioners; they’re in the trenches. Heed Cammy Bean‘s maxim to avoid clicky-clicky bling-bling in eLearning. Heed it.
It’s a paradox. PowerPoint can be an incredibly valuable tool, but if you rely on preconceived ideas of what a presentation “should look like,” you’ll probably create ineffective eLearning.
Practice, and test your output in your LMS. Contact the Litmos team if you have questions about testing.
In August 2010, Ambient Insight released a new report called “The US Market for Mobile Products and Learning: 2009-2014 Forecast and Analysis” with the subheading ‘US Takes the Lead in the Global Mobile Learning Market: Consumers and Healthcare Buyers Drive the Market.’ It is a US-centric report and there are some seriously good stats in it, so I’ve gathered together my favorites and quoted/paraphrased them below.
- The US market for Mobile Learning products and services reached $632.2 million in 2009. The demand is growing by a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.3% and revenues will reach $14 billion by 2014.
- US was a late adopter of mobile learning compared with Japan and South Korea (this was also brought up in Tomi Ahonen’s keynote speech at #mLearnCon. Click here to see his slidedeck)
- In 2009 the US passed Japan to become the top Mobile Learning buying country in the world.
Biggest adopters of mobile learning technology:
- South Korea
Popular US & Japanese Trends
- Consumers top the buyers list
- Mobile brain trainer games are popular and the top selling edugame category
- Device-embedded learning products for young children very common (This is when the primary purpose of a hand-held computing device is to enhance learning, access educational content and assess and support performance. Very common in the consumer and PreK-6 academic segments.)
The current US mobile learning market is being driven by:
- Healthcare buyers
And here’s a thoroughly interesting fact – since the recession began healthcare has added more than 730,000 jobs! The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) say healthcare has added an average of 19,7000 jobs per month over last 2yrs.
Primary inhibitors in the buying segments are:
- Rapidly-evolving devices
- Competing mobile operating systems
- Incompatible development platforms
- Non-standard mobile Web browsers
Primary catalysts that are accelerating adoption of mobile learning across buying segments
General market conditions:
- Roll out of 4G networks in the US and incredible rate of innovation in device tech
- Increase in VC and Private investment flowing from suppliers
- Custom content service suppliers landing new deals with educational publishers
- New devices coming to the market that are designed specifically for educational purposes
- Demand for new types of Location-based learning using new mobile augmented reality technology
A few facts:
- Mobile app stores – as of July 2010 these are growing at 1-2 per month
- 18% of Audible‘s 50,000 audio books are tagged as ‘Educational’.
- In the US the ratio of feature phones to smartphones is still 4 to 1, but it’s changing fast in all developed regions
- In developing regions it is higher, more like 8 or 9 to 1 and not evolving so quickly
- As of early 2010, 65-70% of all mobile device Web traffic is going to social networking sites
Most recent mobile learning innovations are around:
- Location-based learning enabled by mobile augmented reality – GPS chips, RFID chips, and 2D and 3D bar codes are often used in this type of learning, particularly in clinical healthcare environments, first responder situations, museums, consumer education and int he tourist industry.
You can read the report’s 10 page Executive Summary or purchase the full report on their website.
For the downlow on the 2009 Ambient report “The US Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2009-2014 Forecast and Analysis.” check out my post US eLearning Market Booming.
Thanks for reading…
There’s a lot of pressure when it’s your first blog post of a new year! So, I’m just going to take the pressure off by mentioning a post (or many posts to be precise) that I was reading earlier today and found to be very interesting and useful.
- Google Wave in Education – Dont Waste Your Time, November 16, 2009
- 12 eLearning Predictions for 2009 – eLearning Technology, January 26, 2009
- Twitter in the classroom: 10 useful resources – Social Media in Learning, August 12, 2009
- Should Educators be Afraid of Having a Facebook Profile? – Learning Putty, November 20, 2009
- eLearning Conferences 2010 – eLearning Technology, November 19, 2009
- ZaidLearn: 75 Free EduGames to Spice Up Your Course!- ZaidLearn, December 11, 2008
- Top 100 Learning Game Resources – Upside Learning Blog, June 24, 2009
- Twitter Tips: for Teachers & Educators – Dont Waste Your Time, May 9, 2009
- Top 100 eLearning Items – eLearning Technology, April 7, 2009
- 9 Free Tools That Help Me Build Better E-Learning – Rapid eLearning Blog, May 5, 2009
- ‘Don’t need no SMEs [Subject Matter Experts]. Need subject matter networks instead.’ Jay Cross
- ‘Are tomorrow’s SME’s today’s customers?’ Harold Jarche
- ‘I think the days of “designing learning” are numbered…research shows that people need a place/space to connect.’ – Jane Bozarth
The general theme surfacing along with the prevalence of Social Media (SoMe) and the availability of cool collaborative learning tools, in combination with Gen Y coming through the ranks – is that even corporate learning is [very slowly] coming to terms with more of a ‘provide the tools that encourage learning’ approach, instead of a one-way information dictatorship.
If there’s one thing that I re-learned at DevLearn09 it’s that the old saying: ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’ rings very true. Or alternatively and maybe more appropriate: ‘you can put a man through school but you cannot make him think’ (now I’m quoting Ben Harper lyrics).
But new social and collaboration tools mean even the ‘reluctant’ learner – and those Gen Y’ers – can create their own canvases to share knowledge and in doing so, they help chisel out the learning needs of the group and pro-actively find the answers.
I’ve always considered ‘travel’ to be the ultimate learning experience. Travel is usually a voluntary choice as a result of a pro-active decision. It’s often about putting yourself in to unfamiliar situations where you must adapt, learn new languages, culture, history, life skills, art – you name it – and it’s such a fun way to learn! Therefore, maybe a very positive form of learning comes when a learner voluntarily places them self in to an unfamiliar environment and has to adapt?
Following that logic the new wave of learning could well be more about the acquired knowledge base that develops as a result of an organization putting itself in to the ‘unfamiliar territory’ represented by the social media, collaboration, and knowledge sharing tools and adapting. It’s kind of like a package tour where all learners are safely seated inside the bus (organization), yet they are exposed to and can safely interact with the new environment on their own terms, and learn.
Now, just to solve the problem that ‘traveling’ isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…
I’ve just joined the group on LinkedIn called ‘Adobe Captivate‘. It was the only relatively populated group that I could find in there focused on this topic, which surprised me. So far though, it looks like a really great group of supportive Captivate users.
Scanning through the discussions I can see that there are over 350 members asking all sorts of questions and helping each other out. Their topics range from removing the company logo from published files, to help with screen resolution and Captivate 3 vs. 4 debates. I’m impressed with the level of people involvement and help offered. There’s nothing worse than joining a group that just does…nothing!
Aside from this group (and the actual Adobe Captivate forum), are there any other Captivate focused communities online that I should know about? I’d be really interested in any suggestions that other people are finding useful.
I just want to share some interesting results I found from a Social Learning poll, designed by participants in the Masie Center Social Learning Lab and Seminar and done March 12th, 2009. It was sent out to Learning TRENDS readers – Global Learning Professionals, to which they received 1069 responses.
It’s a great snapshot of where organizations are at with feelings on social learning and plans for implementation. Here’s a link to the results, complete with comments from Elliott Masie:
It looks like Web 2.0 online training and eLearning systems have reached another plateau and they’re in need of the next stage of development: the integration of social and collaborative tools to enhance the learning process.
From a technical point of view I find this very exciting because historically Learning Management Systems (LMS) offer a relatively static one-way learning experience from content –> learner. The bundling together of what I consider to be more ‘fun’ social concepts like wikis, blogs, social networks and microblogs in with an LMS not only transforms it in to a more dynamic offering for teacher/learner, it also gives the learner a voice to contribute, share their knowledge and become part of a collaborative learning program. It’s that idea of ‘transforming people from content readers into publishers’(Wikipedia).
A recent study I read, which I can’t seem to find again for the life of me, (will update this post when I find it again) showed that people using social media enjoy sharing knowledge and answering people’s questions, not because they selfishly enjoy knowing the answer, but because in sharing they help educate and raise the level of knowledge of their connections. I find that to be a very hopeful message because it supports the notion that people will happily and actively engage in knowledge sharing if given the opportunity. Maybe people won’t have to hate training?
Now all of this resulted in the team at Litmos having a long, hard brainstorming session a wee while back to nail down the next steps in development for our LMS. It’s like the barriers have come down and a new era is unfolding where online learning can become a two-way process because the concept of social, collaborative learning is now being endorsed by many learning professionals such as Harold Jarche here in this quote “Successful collaborative efforts are the measure of a successful organization.”
We’ve got some exciting developments on the way to compliment our current formula for course delivery, so watch this space as we prepare to incorporate ideas of knowledge sharing and collaborative learning.
It’s been talked about for years, but ‘Social Learning’ is more recently becoming the big buzz word in learning, and you should probably pay attention because it’s being pegged as the next generation of eLearning (heavily debated of course, as is everything in learning).
My definition of ‘social learning’ as I understand it is learning that takes place through the use of a collection of web-based tools like wikis, blogs, and social networks which build community and conversation around a topic encouraging a collaborative knowledge sharing environment. There’s a fair amount of literature coming out regarding what it actually means for learning, how effective it is and will be, security considerations and many other interesting arguments for and against.
I’ve just chosen 5 recent social learning resources /articles to share that I’ve found really interesting of late (in no particular order):
- Jane Hart of C4LPT on Social Learning
- SLQOTD – Social Learning Question of the Day (read how it works here on the Engaged Learning blog)
- ASDT ISPI Social Learning Workshop – Dave Wilkins
Overcoming the Top10 Objections to Social Learning – Dave Wilkins /Kevin Jones
- Effective Knowledge Sharing – Harold Jarche
- A Practical Guide to Implementing Web 2.0 (AKA Social Networking Tools) in Your Organization – Dave Pollard (also What’s Next After Knowledge Management for some background on the ‘problem’ social tools solve)
That’s not really 5, it’s more like 7, and then there’s such an amazing web of links within these articles that you really could be busy reading for days on end. Enjoy!
I’m on LinkedIn and in there I belong to a number of groups relevant to my interests, one of which is a group called “Generation Y”. As far as I can tell it’s the main group for this topic, and I joined up for some exciting insights and good debates.
To this end, I posted a discussion in the Gen Y group called “Is there another Gen Y Group on LinkedIn with more action?”, because I really thought I was missing out. Funnily enough, this discussion topic has one of the highest number of comments (8), some echoing my thoughts – where are all the Gen Y’s hiding, because they sure as hell aren’t on LinkedIn joining a group called Gen Y!
So, I have come to loosely conclude, that since society created the tag of “Generation Y”, it is only ‘they’ who continue to pigeon hole those in the decided age range in to being ‘Gen Yers’. In reality, they’re the only ones using this term! (Gen Y’ers will use it only when it works for them, almost as a kind of ‘you named us, you gave us the characteristics, so deal with it’ excuse.)
To really connect with this age group, the ‘pigeon holing’ must stop. Get on with talking to them and being their friends – not in a fake way – for real. Because these people (myself included) are not too different from the generations that have come before. So what if they don’t respect the hierarchy of ‘old business’. So what if they don’t want to just be a cog in the wheel not knowing their part in the bigger picture. So what if they don’t just sit down and do what they’re told. The time for innovation is now, ‘old business’ is falling down around us, so what have you got to lose?
Embrace your younger colleagues, don’t bemoan their attitudes, instead show them they are truly valued for their continual quest for knowledge, for their ethics and for their desire to be recognized as individuals. Invest in them, in their ideas and in their futures. The rewards that come with adopting this new attitude will see your company cross the line in to the ‘new business’ world and I believe that it is these adaptable, agile and edgy businesses that will survive the current crunch.
So, where is Gen Y hiding? Well they’re all around us, and in 10 years time they’ll be the majority of the workforce. So it’s a good idea to get to know them now, while you have the chance.
You’ll probably be hearing a lot more of the term ‘electronic water cooler’, if you haven’t noticed it already. It’s a reference to the ideas and discussions that come up while hovering around the office water cooler, that are now happening online. Any social media tool (blogs, wikis, Facebook) could represent an electronic water cooler, but most often these days I’m hearing people talk about it in terms of Twitter – a million ideas buzzing around, conversations happening all over the globe, and you can choose to tune in to the ones you want to hear and discussions you want to be a part of.
If you’re already using social media tools (and have successfully managed to filter out the ‘noise’) then I’d imagine you know exactly what I’m talking about. They allow you to meet people and discuss topics that you could never find within the confines of your company, friend group or even locale.
So in the midst of the buzz of ideas, the thought has arisen that the electronic water cooler should be harnessed as a tool to ‘manage’ Gen Y and tap in to the new thought-pool, because it’s a perfect way to encourage development without actively telling anyone what to do (because that just equals rebellion). In a recent article called Five Ways Gen Y will Change the Way You Work, Nick Heath of silicon.com explores a new approach to training, recruitment and retaining staff which is well worth the read.
Some of Heath’s ideas sound pretty theoretical, and so I wonder how they would actually work in reality. But he sites some valid examples (Best Buy, Proctor and Gamble) where the ideas are proven to work. I like the image the electronic water cooler conjures up, and I agree that with such a wealth of information out there, the learning process needs to integrate the more interactive and collaborative features of social media if we want to remain relevant to the Gen Y audience.