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The Return of Code March 14, 2011

Posted by Eric Matas in eLearning Tools.
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So much work has been done to take code out of the equation. We’ve become a WYSIWYG generation with all the convenient tools for web and elearning development. This WordPress blog you are reading is a perfect example, and the proliferation of blogs in the past 5 years is a direct result of WYSIWYG tools.

These DIY tools are getting better and better, and there are more and more of them. Still, I see coding making a comeback.

Why is code going to become more important and popular? Three reasons:

1. Cookie Cutters Not Cutting It

Rapid elearning tools offer anyone the capability of publishing flash modules, SCORM or AICC compliant. But, for many, the templates and functionality have replaced instructional design. Although modules  can look amazing, integrate multi-media, and offer interactivity, designers and developers find the tools guiding the development: what the tools can do replaces what designers set out in storyboard. Coding allows for custom work within the rapid tools.

2. The Many (Inter)-Faces of mLearning

The most intriguing mobile device, the iPad, doesn’t support Flash, demanding app development or web-apps developed for many devices. Since the competition is finally showing up, Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy, for example, web-apps might be ideal so any device learners have can display the elearning. Native apps, though, offer the most in user experience. Organizations might want to invest in a specific mobile device so communications and elearning can be created for that device.

3. The Web Teaches HTML

Just google HTML or how to code and you will see what I mean. The web is full of HTML tutorials by passionate coders. From simple HTML to more advanced CSS code, you can find help for any stage of your coding needs. If you are a beginner, you have some easy reading to do. If you are getting better, you’ll want some HTML Goodies. I also imagine elearning teams will hire coders to come in and create some HTML templates that the team can copy and paste and edit for variety. It seems far easier to edit existing code than to come up with it in the first place.


eLearning Skills Then and Now June 11, 2009

Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
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Have you noticed a change in the focus of your eLearning skill set over the past few years? I’ve noticed a change in mine. I’m doing more work with existing products and services, instead of developing things from scratch. And I find that I’m doing more research and development of learning technology tools now that so many options are available. I’m also doing less and less work with the LMS. I’d like to know: Is it just me? Have you seen your role change? And if so, how?

Here’s a summary of my most-heavily used skills, then and now, ordered by most-used to least-used:

Old skills

  1. LMS skills (SCORM / AICC)
  2. Development skills (ex. HTML / CSS / JavaScript)
  3. Adobe Flash
  4. Adobe Photoshop
  5. Adobe Captivate
  6. Troubleshooting
  7. Project management
  8. Internal marketing and communication of learning initiatives

Current skills

  1. Project management
  2. Research and evaluate learning / technology tools
  3. Internal marketing and communication of learning initiatives
  4. Development skills (ex. HTML / CSS / JavaScript)
  5. Troubleshooting
  6. LMS skills (SCORM / AICC)

How about you?