E-Learning Grab Bag

Here are some items related to e-learning that have caught my interest lately…

TOP OF THIS LIST: Keyser Soze and Organizational Learning. One of Maish Nichani’s favorite films (and mine) is The Usual Suspects. In this article, Nichani describes the key scene where the incognito mafia kingpin Keyser Soze (Kevin Spacey) uses random bits of information in a police interrogation room to spin a bizarre but believeable story which throws the cops off track.

Building on that insight, Nichani writes, “A rich experience base is what distinguishes an expert from a novice. One way to build an experience base is to wait for experiences to come to you. This is the natural way. The other way is to create an environment where experiences can be accelerated. This is the realm of training. But how much of our training is based on accelerating experiences? How many training outcomes are based on interpretation and sensemaking capabilities?”

An excellent question. Nichani explores it briefly, but I’d love to see other e-learning creators and participants discuss this further.

Read the rest of this list…

  1. eLearning is not ePublishing, by Bill Bruck, Collaborative learning, Dec. 1. Excerpt: “Rapid development is the latest catch phrase, but all too often it amounts to converting a PowerPoint slideshow to a Flash presentation and calling it e-learning. Here’s a news flash – reading isn’t the same as teaching.” Absolutely. Bruck’s article is an excellent complement to my earlier piece, Corporate E-Learning: Focus on Tasks.
  2. Aha – just listening doesn’t work well, Designing for Civil Society, Oct. 21. Here, David Wilcox emphasizes how important interactivity is to learning. Passive activities like listening or reading alone don’t cut it. Includes links to a few other key articles on this theme.
  3. Teaching and learning online with wikis, by Naomi Augar, Ruth Raitman and Wanlei Zhou (Deakin Univ., Australia). This paper was presented at the 2004 conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE). It’s an excellent overview of what wikis are and how educators can put them to practical use – including an ingenious “icebreaker” exercise.
  4. E-learning podcasts: So far, I’ve heard of two podcasts related to education and e-learning. Subscribe to the feeds for Weblogg-ed and EduPodder to get an educational earful. Neither podcast has published many episodes yet, but keep listening.
  5. More e-learning and podcasting. In case you missed it, the Dec. 20 Croncast podcast featured an interview with Dr. Susan Manning, who is on the faculty of the Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality project (Univ. of Illinois). Manning has developed some fun e-learning techniques. I especially like her “online party� approach to teaching conversational social English.
  6. Moodle. I found out about this free, open-source course management system in the Croncast interview with Susan Manning mentioned in the previous item. It sounds pretty cool. If you want to try it, make shure you go to Moodle.org, not moodle.com.
  7. Eportfolios, by George Siemens, elearnspace, Dec. 16. A great basic primer about a cool tool for e-learning. Excerpt: “Electronic portfolios (also referred to as eportfolios or webfolios) are gaining recognition as a valuable tool for learners, instructors, and academic organizations. …Definitions of eportfolios vary, but generally include the notion of a digital resource (personal artifacts, instructor comments) demonstrating growth, allowing for flexible expression (i.e. customized folders and site areas to meet the skill requirements of a particular job), and permitting access to varied interested parties (parents, potential employers, fellow learners, and instructors).”
  8. Learning is unlearning. Sweet Madness offers this brilliant quote by G.K. Chesterton: “The chief object of education is not to learn things but to unlearn things.�

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  1. E-Learning Grab Bag
    Here are some items related to e-learning that have caught my interest lately… TOP OF THIS LIST: Keyser Soze and Organizational Learning. One of Maish Nichani’s favorite films (and mine) is The Usual Suspects. In this article, Nichani describes the…