ID and E-Learning Links (7/19/15)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Course Review Tracking Template

How do you track revision comments in your e-learning or online courses? Most of the time, I use a spreadsheet based on the revision tracking template below.

Review Tracking Template

My spreadsheet includes a formula to automatically add the page title once reviewers enter the module and page number. That makes it easier for reviewers. However, if I don’t have visible page numbers (either directly on the slide or in a table of contents), I remove the formula and ask reviewers to type the page title or description.

Depending on your reviewers, you may want to protect the sheet and lock down the page title column to keep them from overwriting the formula. If you use continuous numbering throughout the course, you can also probably use a simpler formula than this template.

The spreadsheet has three hidden columns. I keep these hidden when I initially send it to reviewers so they can focus on just their part. After I have gotten the feedback, I make the columns visible to add my comments and questions.

I use Google Docs when I can for reviews because multiple reviewers can all see each others comments. They can avoid duplicating feedback. Everything is all in one file and doesn’t need combining later. However, if Google Docs isn’t allowed in an organization or it’s important to get independent feedback from each reviewer, I use Excel instead.

Feel free to copy this spreadsheet and adapt it for your own use. You can also download it for Excel.

How do you track feedback on your courses? Do you use a spreadsheet like this, or do you use a custom-built tool like ReviewMyElearning or OQAR? If you have your own cool spreadsheet, I’d love to see it. I’m constantly tweaking this form to improve it, and I might learn something from your version.

ID and E-Learning Links (7/6/15)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Learning Experience Design: A Better Title Than Instructional Design?

How many times have you told people, “I’m an instructional designer,” only to be met with a blank stare? How many people are thoroughly confused about what we do for a living?

Last month, Connie Malamed proposed a new name for the field of instructional design: Learning Experience Design or LX Design. This moves the focus away from “instruction” and more to learning. Instead of focusing on the instruction or the materials, our starting point is thinking about the learners and how they will experience what we design. Connie argues this may help us focus more on learning science as well as being deliberate about designing valuable experiences.

Calling ourselves Learning Experience Designers acknowledges that we design, enable or facilitate experiences rather than courses. This gives us a broad license to empower people with the tools and information they need to do their jobs, regardless of the chosen format.

This isn’t an entirely new idea. Back in 2007, I wrote What Does An Instructional Designer Do? In that post, I used this as my definition:

What does an instructional designer do?: Design and develop learning experiences

I’m emphasizing “experiences” here deliberately, even though that isn’t always how others would describe the job. I think one of the crucial things instructional designers can (and should!) do is make sure that students have opportunities to actively practice what they are learning.

This is still the most popular post on my blog, averaging about 100 views a day. Based on the traffic, it seems there are a lot of people confused about the title instructional designer. It doesn’t immediately convey meaning. While I think learning experience design would still require explanation, I suspect that more people have an immediate positive association for the word “learning” rather than “instructional.”

Learning Experience Design or Instructional Design

Change Is Hard

Realistically, changing this in the field as a whole would be challenging, if not impossible. “Learning Architect” has a lot of advantages over “Instructional Designer,” but it never really caught on. And although we use instructional design as a generic term, actual titles in the field are quite varied. James Tyer collected a list of over 65 L&D job titles. Although that list includes training and other jobs, many of those could apply to instructional designers/LX designers too.

Besides the general challenge of rebranding a whole industry (as if that wasn’t enough), we have the added challenge of being quite varied in what we actually do for our work. Instructional design is used as an umbrella term for a wide range of skills. People who just tweak PowerPoint slides, wizards at rapid development tools with no writing skills, and fabulous designers and writers who rely on research to guide their decisions, and those who do a little of everything are all lumped into the same category. That’s another whole topic (and perhaps a post in the future), but a new title might help differentiate people who work on the entire learning experience from start to finish from those who focus solely on development. I think the field has become so varied that one title can’t cover everything, so LX Design won’t be the only solution; we need to talk about e-learning developers, multimedia developers, or other titles too.

Your Thoughts?

This topic generated some great discussion on LinkedIn, so I’m hoping for more thoughtful comments here. What do you think of this title? Would you use it? Would you recommend something else instead? Do you think we should stick with instructional design and try to reclaim the title?

ID and E-Learning Links (6/28/15)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.