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Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional Users Group September 26, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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If you use Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional (from here on, let’s call it AACP), you’ll want to join the free users group over at http://www.ConnectUsers.com. They’ve got news, forums, tutorials, and information about upcoming events – all related to AACP. It’s great stuff. I learned a few new tricks within 5 minutes, and I also found out there’s a new service pack available for AACP.

This users group is a great idea. I love this product, but it seems hard to connect (ha!) with other folks who use it. It’s probably because it is so expensive. I look forward to trading ideas and tips with the group. Join if you’re an AACP user, or if you’re interested in learning more!

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Large-scale Applications Training September 20, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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I’m about to face an enormous challenge at work: Our company is getting ready to do a major upgrade to our core business operating system (PeopleSoft). This upgrade has been in the works for quite a while now, and it’s time for our department to start discussing a plan to train hundreds of employees on the new system. I don’t know much about the new system, but I understand that it is quite an overhaul; one estimate said we would need 80+ hours of face-to-face training. However, due to logistics, time, and money, it appears we will be training about 80% of these employees using a combination of self-study eLearning courses and webinars (using Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional). Everything will be tracked in our LMS.

Sure, this is a big task, but here’s why I’m concerned: If you’ve ever used a system like PeopleSoft or SAP, you know that it’s not very engaging. In fact, applications training like this can be excruciatingly boring, especially when taken as a self-study eLearning course. These courses generally consist of step-by-step instructions where the learner watches a task as it is performed, and then they try the task on their own in a simulated environment. This type of training can be effective, but with this upgrade, we will have a HUGE amount of training for the end-user. I’m worried that we’ll bore people to tears and that they’ll mindlessly follow along with the step-by-step directions…and then not retain anything. Luckily, I’ve got a few more weeks to get my thoughts together.

How would you tackle this? What ideas do you have?

Now Online: eLearningPulse.com September 19, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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In case you hadn’t heard, I recently launched eLearningPulse.com along with Ben Edwards from Redbird Software. We’ve been working over the past few months to come up with a resource for (e)Learning professionals that could offer news, forums, job postings, and more on a daily basis. We think we’ve got a good start, and we’re already coming up with several more ideas for the site. Keep an eye on it, and please provide ideas, too. Our goal is to keep 99% of the features on the site free to all users. We may end up adding training resources, webinars, tutorials, or other premium features (which would cost $). But this would be done at a very reasonable rate. We’re not in this for the money; we’re more interested in building and nurturing a community of people (like us) who work to improve learning using technology. Feedback is encouraged and appreciated!

Check it out: eLearningPulse.com

Free PDF: Top 100 Tools For Learning 2007 September 11, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Jane Hart, from the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, released a free PDF summary report of the Top 100 Tools For Learning 2007. Jane did a ton of work to gather, research, and organize this information – and it shows. This is a great reference for anybody who wants to learn about new and exciting tools for sharing and teaching information. You will undoubtedly learn about several new tools, and there’s an excellent breakdown that shows which tools are free, which cost money, and which platform each tool utilizes (ex. PC, Mac, or online).

The report is a fantastic resource. Take a look – and share it with your co-workers! (I did!)

Also, here is another reminder to take a look at Jane’s directory of over 1,700 learning tools. I’ve written about it before, and I continue to be a big fan. Thanks, Jane!

Free eBook: Engaging Interactions For eLearning September 6, 2007

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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I am constantly looking for ways to make learning experiences interesting and engaging. It can be really difficult; some content is just dreadfully boring. I decided to compile 25 eLearning interactions that improve the learning experience, and I put them into a new eBook, Engaging Interactions For eLearning. You can download a copy of the eBook from its official web site: http://www.EngagingInteractions.com. I also plan on blogging about the different learning interactions over the next several weeks on the eBook’s web site. I look forward to comments and (constructive) criticism to help me improve what I have so far. Please contribute! And I hope you enjoy the eBook!