Designing Culturally Inclusive Learning Environments

An inclusive learning environment is one in which every learner feels welcome, able to access and engage with course materials, and safe to express personal viewpoints. Because eLearning creates the possibility of a global classroom, with students representing many different cultures and backgrounds within a single course, inclusivity becomes both a necessity and an interesting challenge for online instructors. How can you facilitate a learning environment in which all voices are both able to be expressed and heard? How can the teaching materials accommodate everyone?
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6 Ways to Create Authentic eLearning

Educational courses and training programs have often followed a very familiar route: instructor presents information, learners ingest information and prove they’ve understood it via a test, and then instructor releases learners into the world to utilize their newly gained skills.
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Cultivating Instructor Presence in an Online Environment

One of the toughest parts about leading online instruction is the missed opportunity for face-to-face contact time with students, which some course leaders believe can establish authority, strengthen the instructor-learner relationship, and set the tone for learning. And research shows that a strong instructor presence leads to better student learning, cognition, and motivation. But how can you do this in the online environment?
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What Learners Really Think about eLearning

Want to know what eLearners really think about online courses? Below are the top three complaints we’ve heard from online learners, as well as remedies that can help you sidestep learner complaints and start basking in positive feedback.
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Increasing Learner Motivation with Gamification

Games have long held a position of power in the world of online content. Even before mobile devices became a popular form of game consumption, computer games were an excellent way for a user to interact with the online world. Gamification is so powerful because it is fun and addictive. People want to keep playing, they want to compete, they want to win prizes, and are happy to learn some important lessons along the way. So, if you are at all interested in exploring how gamification can play into your eLearning strategy, read on for 5 surprising benefits of this learning strategy.
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When the Going Gets Rough: Surviving the Top 3 Hassles of Being an Instructional Designer

It may be fun at times, but no one said this line of work would be easy. Developing courses for outside audiences can be difficult, especially for designers who are neither content experts nor teaching the course once it’s launched. In fact, instructional designers are called upon more and more often to be project managers in addition to their regular responsibilities.
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Rubrics: The Scaffolding of Quality eLearning

Rubrics are a necessary part of any effective training, but many instructors and designers struggle with creating them. Rubrics serve as a guide for determining whether or not the learning process was successful, and once written, they can guide design decisions, such as the appropriate types of assessments to use.
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Online or Blended: Which is Better?

If you Google “online or blended?” you’ll find a number of opinions, the surprising majority of which offer a concrete answer: blended. But is that true? Is one delivery method really superior to another?
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Once Upon a Time, Stories Transformed eLearning

Story-based learning (SBL) uses narrative as the main way to present course material. And there are multiple formats this strategy can take on: video or audio production, written text, dramatic scripts, live storytelling, interactive narratives (“choose your own adventure” stories), and gamification are a few examples. Courses may present content to learners in the form of stories, or learners may tell their own narratives as a way of integrating new concepts into their lives.
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Is Your Training Effective?

What makes a learning and development leader effective? It’s the ability to understand and deliver the needs of both instructors and learners—in other words, to manage the development process while expanding the capacity for learning.
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Effective Employee Onboarding: What You Should Know

When we talk about organizational transitions, we are often talking about the large scale—structural reorganization, mergers, new leadership, or going public. But smaller, ongoing transitions have a profound impact on the wellbeing of the overall company. One of the most important of these smaller transitions is onboarding new employees.
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Experiential Learning Theory: Learning by Doing

Let’s say you want to teach someone to drive a car. You, as the instructional designer of Driver’s Ed, might choose to assign a hefty textbook—perhaps the manual to the car—as well as a pamphlet about traffic laws. You may quiz your student on the contents of the reading material and find that he can answer all the questions correctly. So you give him an A, and hand him a set of keys. But when he gets into the car, he is dumbfounded. After all, he has never put keys in an ignition before.
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