Monday, March 19, 2012

Five Things I Love and One Thing I Wish They'd Change

I've been asked to review e-learning and give feedback, and to be honest, I don't see much out there that is very good. The academic realm is the worst, by far. Many professors thing that e-learning = a video of them talking. Oh dear.

But even the professionally made materials can be pretty uninspiring. And then I found Wow. Here are five things I love about

1. The clips are the right size. A long one might be nine or ten minutes. They cover a topic in a single clip, and they don't have many clips that seem to be "orientation" or as someone I used to work with called it, "throat clearing."  I didn't buy the course files with my subscription, so the way I work with the material is to play the file, and stop at each step. Then I work on my own project, doing whatever was just taught. Then back to the clip. If the clips were longer, it would be much clunkier (is that a word?) to do this.

2. The content is task oriented. Because they aren't just running through menus (and yes, some people actually still train this way), I can switch back and forth from a real project to the clip. Because they are doing things I want to do. There will be a higher rate of retention for me too, because I am learning it like I will use it in the future. And I have already used the clips for "just in time" reminders of how to do something.

3. The navigation and interface is intuitive. I didn't have to have a lesson on how to use the interface. If you find yourself adding this to your project, know in your heart that there is a big fundamental problem with your interface. This isn't 1988.

4. The content is captioned. You didn't think I was going to ignore that, did you? I'm shocked at how much in the world is NOT accessible. Again, this isn't 1988. Because the content was captioned, I could buy subscriptions for my 14 team mates. Some of whom are deaf.

5. The tone of the instructors is great. They have a friendly, easy to follow approach that I liked. The instructors also come across like they actually use the software they are teaching. They seem like they are a trusted friend, someone who knows what they are doing, and they are giving you the inside scoop on the software.

One thing I do wish would change is their purchase options. I wanted to buy 14 licenses for my team -- one each. This should be easy, right? Just give them a list of email addresses, type in my credit card info and bang, you are done. Right? No. The level of service wants me to purchase, since I was purchasing for a group,  was more than I wanted to buy. Instead I was forced to give the team "gift cards" for the subscription. Please, Lynda, make it easier before I have to renew all those subscriptions!

Check out I think you will like it as much as I do!


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