April 7, 2017
What content makes a Course in your LMS?
I can't remember the last time I heard someone say when asked their opinion of something, "I just don't know." To be uncertain of something used to be a sign of having an open mind and mature decision-making skills based on weighing facts and considering the opinions of others. Now, regrettably, "I don't know" suggests indecisiveness and weakness. Perhaps this epidemic of certainty stems from our addiction to news sources and social media networks that mostly confirm that our beliefs are 100% correct and shield us from different ways of looking at the world. We know what we know, and no one can convince us that other ideas and opinions have merit. This mental rigidity permeates all aspects of life. Politics, of course, comes immediately to mind. But, we even see it in learning and development.
Openness to new learning experiencesIn an average week, I typically meet with representatives of about a dozen different organizations to discuss their learning and development requirements. I'll often ask these professionals to describe their courses. This often generates a pause, not because they don't know the answer but because they assume I know what their courses are like.
"A course is a course, no?"
- For some, a course is something that takes place at a specific point in time, taught by an instructor in either a virtual or physical classroom.
- For others, a course is a PowerPoint-like presentation, containing pages that the learner clicks through.
- Others are certain a course is a video.
- Still, others think a course is a document such as a user manual.
- And so on.
To help get your creative juices flowing, here are a few learning activities that can be used, either alone or in combination with others:
- Reading documents
- Watching videos
- Navigating Powerpoint/Prezi-like presentations
- Analyzing diagrams
- Playing games
- Studying animations
- Experiencing screen recordings created with tools such as Camtasia
- Attending instructor-led events, either in physical or virtual classrooms
- Watching recordings of past instructor-led events
- Interacting with embedded external Web pages (Wikipedia, blogs, wikis, Google Docs, etc.)
- Testing their retention with quizzes and exams
- Completing surveys
- Performing tasks, either self-reported as completed or requiring a review by a supervisor
- Completing written assignments
- Discussing the content with other learners
- Asking questions of experts.