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Do we need those stinkin’ badges? Social or Pro?

BadgesOf the various strategies embodied by the latest ‘gamification’ trends, Badging may be one that holds significant, longer-term promise. That’s not to say other gamification strategies are not also worthwhile; leaderboards, game mechanics, incentives and rewards, and even virtual environments can all be effective when implemented properly.

However, a badging strategy can have a wider purpose. Continue reading Do we need those stinkin’ badges? Social or Pro?

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The State of the MOOC

random datapointsSo after a couple of years since MOOCs become a recognized eLearning strategy (and for the sake of our readers, I’ll suppose you know what generally defines a MOOC), where do they stand? Still the possible future of education? Still a developing concept? Or perhaps a failed experiment?

I’ll stand in the middle, aligning myself with ‘developing concept’, as there is promise, hype, and both encouraging and discouraging results. Continue reading The State of the MOOC

Lynda and Link get married; LynkedIn and skills training

The news that LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com (for a cool 1.5 Billion) has been full announced and increasingly expounded upon, but there’s always room for additional perspective, right?

First, congratulations and kudos to Lynda Weinman (and her team) on a great American success story; a small site started in 1995 to help teach her own college students, expanded to assist a wider audience, wrote a few books, grew the company, and sold for $1.5 billion 20 years later.
Well done!

LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.”

So I guess they’ll be updating that access with “skills training” too, moving toward a wider professional development platform than simple networking and job-seeking. Continue reading Lynda and Link get married; LynkedIn and skills training

Cloud Applications, Anecdotal Support

I’m not 100% sold on ‘cloud-based’ (SaaS, whatever-current-term) applications. Generally, I want to be able to work with my installed applications without being dependent on an internet connection. Despite the ever-rising prevalence of ‘always on’ connections, such connections DO go down…or have unusable latency, or are just saturated, or the Cloud service is unreachable, or…cloud-what

Continue reading Cloud Applications, Anecdotal Support

New eLearningChef Logo

eChef-Logo_src2What do you think of our new logo?

I really liked the lighthouse, an ‘enhanced’ picture we took of the local , historic Thomas Point lighthouse…but it didn’t have much to do with eLearning…
(plus the lighthouse theme is one better suited for our CapeMedia website)

eChef-Logo_photo
So we whipped the new logo together last Sunday – took a pot, put in some related books I’ve had on the bookshelf for a few years, added a small tablet and a whisk (can you see them?)…then brought into Photoshop and cropped and cleaned a little, added a handle, overlaid a word-cloud, then some ‘simmering’ effects…

Does it work? I think it works well. And, hey, I’m an overall chef, not a sous-chef. If I wanted a professional logo, I’d have hired a professional graphic artist :)

Interactive Video in Adobe Captivate 8

We’ve talked about this a bit on our Recipes page, but eLearning Brothers asked for a more detailed contribution, so here it is:

Helpful Tip: Interactive Video in Adobe Captivate 8

In brief, Captivate allows you “to place a video on the actual Captivate timeline as ‘synchronized’ video. With the video playback extended along the timeline itself, you can match other Captivate components with that playback….So not only can you time captions and callouts with the video, you can also overlay click boxes.”

Need to step someone through the any particular process? Film the process, integrate the video into a Captivate project, then overlay click boxes to stop the video and ask the learner to ‘click the next step’ – maybe it’s a button to press, or select the correct piece of equipment, or identify a safety hazard…

Provide feedback on the learner’s click and continue the video playback, showing the correct ‘next step’ in the process.

Video is a great way to demonstrate any given procedure…and you can enhance actual *learning* by asking the user to actually interact with the video (albeit to a limited degree).

Visit the eLearning Brothers site to learn more and for links to a sample published project and the source file (Captivate 8). The sample project uses two videos from the eLearning Brothers rather deep ‘Stock Assets’ portfolio.

Any other tips or suggestions regarding video and Captivate 8? Share those thoughts here in our Comments, or head on over to the ‘eLB’ site and share there!

Camtasia Studio 8.4.4 Update & Tutorials

Techsmith released their Camtasia Studio 8.4.4 update in November (!); guess it had been a while since I loaded their software. I was notified when Camtasia asked if it should check for updates. If that doesn’t happen, you can click Help > Check for updates.

So just a quick post in case anyone else out there was in a similar position and hadn’t checked in a while, whether not having occasion to load Camtasia or dismissing the ‘should I check’ dialog in their eagerness to develop…

Fair warning, it’s a large download at 247.23 mb!

Per the Version History page… Continue reading Camtasia Studio 8.4.4 Update & Tutorials

Lectora 12.0.2 update…

Lectora has another service pack release…so quickly after their 12.0.1 release in January!

On one hand, now that’s responsive! On the other, maybe they should have QA’d the 12.0.1 release a bit more closely :)

Patch for Inspire

Patch for Publisher

Only a few updates in this release…

  • Using the “Go To Web Address” action to open a PDF document in Run Mode no longer crashes Lectora.
  • Issues that prevented button actions and effects from rendering properly in Internet Explorer have been resolved. Tags have been added to all published pages to prompt IE to run in compatibility mode in order to ensure the most modern browser experience.
  • Users can now use the Enter key to select a button in published content when JAWS is running and the Web Accessibility Settings option has been set.
  • Issues have been resolved that required users to select the “OK” button twice in a pop-up message when working with published content from titles using Web Accessibility Settings.

“As with all Lectora updates, users will receive the service pack through the auto-update inside the product, or they can download the service pack update program on our website: http://lectora.com/service-pack-downloads/. You can navigate to this page by selecting Support > Downloads & Release Notes from the main menu.”

See our previous post on the initial Lectora 12.0.1 patch release for a bit more detail and insights on Lectora…

TED Blog: video editing tips

Very informative article on the TED Blog covering 10 tips for video editing. I’m surprised I’ve not come across this before, the post is almost a year old! While these are focused on edits of live sessions (i.e. TED), they’re timeless and certainly can apply to a variety of settings.

http://blog.ted.com/2014/05/12/10-tips-for-editing-video/

Cutting angles on movement and words is a long-standing principle, as is editing out mistakes. In this article, I specially like the interview example with Bill Gates.

Great suggestions overall by the author, Kari Mulholland, and an excellent use of good/bad examples throughout.