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Poynter: Why Designers Matter

Poynter: Why Designers Matter

"The central act of journalism is reporting, the gathering and rendering of important information. But don't stifle your journalistic imagination. If you think of reporting as only a writer's act, you're missing the big play. A graphic artist who researches a diagram of how a new vaccine works is a reporter. A photographer who captures images from a war zone is a reporter. The designer is a reporter."

Comment: Mix learning design skills with online journalistic skills and you have a balanced repertoire for creating effective and engaging e-learning content.

Computer World: Smart Rooms

Computer World: Smart Rooms

"The Barn and its Thinking Surface have been constructed to facilitate meetings whose goal is to produce some kind of design, whether software, hardware or a consumer product. It's for brainstorming, idea generation, knowledge generation and knowledge transfer."

Learning Circuits: Strategies for Building Blended Learning

Learning Circuits: Strategies for Building Blended Learning

"There

Darwin: Science Sites Worth A Look

Darwin: Science Sites Worth A Look

The list of sites mentioned here are quite interesting. Some innovative learning strategies are used. For example, I found the use of basic and advanced to explain black holes very thoughtful.

Darwin: E-Learning Needs Analysis

Darwin: E-Learning Needs Analysis

"Creating e-learning content should not simply be about throwing your course books onto a website. Instead look at how the Web can enhance and improve the content of a course book.

First Monday: The Augmented Social Network: Building identity and trust into the next-generation Int

First Monday: The Augmented Social Network: Building identity and trust into the next-generation Internet

"The ASN is not a piece of software or a Web site. Rather, it is a model for a next-generation online community that could be implemented in a number of ways, using technology that largely exists today. It is a system that would enhance the power of social networks by using interactive digital media to exploit the transitive nature of trust through the principle of six degrees of connection. As a result, people will be able to inform themselves and self-organize more effectively -- in non-hierarchical, rhizomatic social formations -- leading to more opportunities for engaged citizenship."

Syllabus: Building an Access Ramp to Information Technology

Syllabus: Building an Access Ramp to Information Technology

"At many institutions, the technical departments have argued that all of the needs of students with disabilities should be handled by that office. Not only does that department

Step Two: Knowledge management for front-line staff

Step Two: Knowledge management for front-line staff

"Knowledge management is an approach that can benefit all staff within an organisation, from senior management, to front-line staff, and out into the field. This article looks at the way front-line staff operate, and how knowledge management can be used to meet their needs."

Gerry McGovern: Quality publishing is about saying no

Gerry McGovern: Quality publishing is about saying no

"Professional web publishing is not about getting lots of stuff up. It's about getting the right stuff up. There's a world of a difference between the two. Content can create value. Content can also destroy value. It can damage your reputation."

MSNBC: Putting your social contacts to work

MSNBC: Putting your social contacts to work

"Say you

HBS Working Knowledge: The Few, the Proud, the In Crowd

HBS Working Knowledge: The Few, the Proud, the In Crowd

"Think about it for a minute. The basic building block of organizations isn't the job, the team, the process, or even the share -- it's the decision. People in organizations collectively make hundreds of thousands of decisions each day, usually without knowing exactly what the results will be. These decisions are made amid a maelstrom of competing jurisdictions, commitments, desires, and needs, including each decision maker's own self-interest. We make sense of a particular decision by asking ourselves, consciously or not: "What would so-and-so think of this?" The organizational core group consists of the aggregate of all these individual so-and-sos."

elearnspace: If I Wanted to Make Money in Elearning… Here’s what I’d Do

elearnspace: If I Wanted to Make Money in Elearning... Here's what I'd Do

"A great product alone did not result in success. Neither did public awareness. Or superior instruction. Yet, people and organizations are making money in elearning. The revenue models are emerging - many innovative approaches have resulted in profits and promising careers. A strong commitment to listening to the "customer", experimenting with new ideas, going with the stream of how things work in the online culture, and a willingness to fail and learn are all needed. These are areas that I would explore if I were to focus on making money in elearning."

INC: The “4+2 Formula” For Success

INC: The "4+2 Formula" For Success

"Quality that significantly exceeds the customer's expectations doesn't seem to pay off. This "delight the customer" stuff isn't rewarding. One has to be careful about delighting customers too often, because it sort of reshapes customer expectations. You're better off being extremely reliable in terms of consistency, meeting the sort of expectations that are implicit in whatever value proposition that you have. Customers are enormously punishing when companies don't meet their expectations."

This relates to Nohria's article in the July issue of HBR: What really works

CIO: Wireless: Just What the Doctor Ordered

CIO: Wireless: Just What the Doctor Ordered

"That's why wireless systems, especially those based on the 802.11b standard (also known as Wi-Fi), are more widely deployed. This new conduit lets staff access and update records and make orders at the point of care. That reduces errors and delays, and fits into the doctors' and nurses' workflow. And they're inexpensive to deploy, costing a few percent of the total budget of an electronic medical records (EMR) system. Plus, they can be a springboard to services such as communications badges and mobile sensors."

Wired: Educators Turn to Games for Help

Wired: Educators Turn to Games for Help

"People will object to games that have a variety of choices because they can't limit the choices their children make. However, if you remove that type of ambiguity, you've removed any sense of morality from the game because there are no consequences to bad decisions."

DUX Case Studies: Personas: Practice and Theory

DUX Case Studies: Personas: Practice and Theory

"In three years of use, our colleagues and we have extended Alan Cooper's technique to make Personas a powerful complement to other usability methods. After describing and illustrating our approach, we outline the psychological theory that explains why Personas are more engaging than design based primarily on scenarios."
Download the PDF (340Kb)

Pew Internet & American Life: Daily Internet Activities

Pew Internet & American Life: Daily Internet Activities

On an average day, about 72 million American adults go online. Here are the kinds of things they do on a typical day:
Send E-mail: 52%
Get News: 32%
Use a search engine to find information: 29%
Create a blog: 1%

Stephen Downes: Design, Standards and Reusability

Stephen Downes: Design, Standards and Reusability

"In order to use a learning design with a set of objects, the learning design must specify the objects to be used, and if the objects to be used are specified, then the learning design is not reusable."

Interesting terms—“sensemaking” and “cosmology episode”

Interesting terms -- "sensemaking" and "cosmology episode"

A people-sized definition of sensemaking from Karl Weick:

There are many definitions of sensemaking; for me it is the transformation of raw experience into intelligible world views. It's a bit like what mapmakers do when they try to make sense of an unfamiliar place by capturing it on paper. But the crucial point in cartography is that there is no one best map of a particular terrain. Similarly, sensemaking lends itself to multiple, conflicting interpretations, all of which are plausible.

Weick’s definition matches the "Knowledge Representation" step in the design framework mentioned yesterday. Staying with Weick, here’s the definition of another one of his frequently used terms -- cosmology episode.

Basically, a cosmology episode happens when people suddenly feel that the universe is no longer a rational, orderly system. What makes such an episode so shattering is that people suffer from the event and, at the same time, lose the means to recover from it. In this sense, a cosmology episode is the opposite of a déjà vu experience.In moments of déjà vu, everything suddenly feels familiar, recognizable. By contrast, in a cosmology episode, everything seems strange. A person feels like he has never been here before, has no idea of where he is, and has no idea who can help him. An inevitable state of panic ensues, and the individual becomes more and more anxious until he finds it almost impossible to make sense of what is happening to him.

Interesting terms; they pack so much exformation in them. Yeah I know, here's the definition of exformation (this one's really interesting):

[E]xformation is everything we do not actually say but have in our heads when or before we say anything at all. Information is the measurable, demonstrable utterance we actually come out with.

The End.

RFID in Action: LobsterTales.org

RFID in Action: LobsterTales.org

"Currently in its pilot stage, LobsterTales.org is an educational project which helps students and lobstermen from small Maine lobstering communities discover their connections to a global market. If you purchased a lobster with a numbered claw band, please take a moment to enter your number and we

Design Process - Just the Essentials

Design Framework - Just the Essentials

Gary Klein, naturalistic decision making expert and author of Intuition at Work and Sources of Power, suggests a three-step process to analyze cognitive tasks. The steps are,

  1. Knowledge Elicitation. Here the intent is to gather first-hand information (observation, interviews, etc.), and not second-hand information (training manuals, PPT slides, etc.).
  2. Analysis. This phase is still a hunt for clarity (inspecting, selecting, simplifying, abstracting, and transforming information, developing explanations, and extracting meaning).
  3. Knowledge Representation. This is interesting. It is the transformation of the findings from step-2 into a more usable representation (process of displaying data and depicting relationships, explanations, and the meaning).

These steps seem to offer a simple design framework, especially for knowledge oriented work. Not because the steps follow the ubiquitous Rule of Three, but because they include just the essentials and thus are easier to communicate to team members and to clients.

Strategy+Business: How to Win the Information Battle

Strategy+Business: How to Win the Information Battle

Adaptive Path: Keep Office Politics Out of Your Design

Adaptive Path: Keep Office Politics Out of Your Design

"It happens again and again. You spend hours in design meetings debating a point, and then a single word from upper management squashes your decision. Or maybe your design debates just go on for weeks because of office politics. How can you streamline this process? By deriving your conclusions from research instead of just "experience."

Just for laughs!

Just for laughs!

Check these out. They're hilarious!

Learning Circuits: How Long Does it Take? Estimation Methods for Developing E-Learning

Learning Circuits: How Long Does it Take? Estimation Methods for Developing E-Learning

"Currently, there are many variations and techniques for developing a time estimate, but most of the methods revolve around four basic techniques. While none of these methods are flawless, they each contain strengths for developing an accurate estimate.

  1. Similar Projects
  2. Using Formulas
  3. Bottom-up Calculations
  4. Industry Standards

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