Copyright and Intellectual Property in Instructional Design

Posted Jul 17, 2018 by Amanda Costa

You loved that picture of a grumpy cat. But are you allowed to use it? Make sure your company/clients are protected from liability by carefully respecting copyright and intellectual property laws.

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From Game of Thrones to Adult Learning

Posted Mar 27, 2018 by Tom Stell

We tell stories – that’s what we do. Studies have shown that toddlers understand the demands of storytelling and that 5-year-olds can craft elaborate narratives rife with characters and conflict. Test subjects watching a simple animation of geometric shapes moving on a screen will imbue those shapes with character and motivation. From a campfire in some forest primeval to binging on Netflix we process and understand our world and ourselves through the narratives we tell and consume. All of which are elements that explain how we naturally gravitated toward storytelling as a vital tool in learning.

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What is the Cone of Experience?

Posted Jul 19, 2017 by Lubos Janoska

Gather 'round kiddos, Uncle Lubos wants to tell another crazy but true story. This one is about an innocent kid, an abused model—and if you stick around till the end—a wholesome apple.

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Instructional Design Resource: ADDIE Infographic

Posted Feb 21, 2017 by Fred Lu

Obsidian has been in the learning industry for quite some time. We feel lucky to have assembled a team of talented, creative, experienced professionals whose common aim is to create superior and effective learning experiences. We keep abreast of learning trends but realize that refreshing basic learning principles can help ground a project, whether a slick CBT or a simple ILT, and ensure that its learning objectives are met.

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Designing Learning in 2017: Part 3

Posted Jan 25, 2017 by Amanda Costa

If I had to narrow down 2016 to one lesson learned, I think it would have to be the importance of failure in learning.

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Designing Learning in 2017: Part 2

Posted Jan 23, 2017 by Amanda Costa

Tools that I've personally found useful, thought-provoking, and that I hope to be more conscious of when designing learning in 2017.

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Designing Learning in 2017: Part 1

Posted Jan 16, 2017 by Amanda Costa

Happy New Year! It was a busy, productive 2016 at Obsidian Learning, and before we dive into new learning adventures in 2017, I’m taking stock of what I learned in 2016, who I learned it from, and how I hope to apply it in my work over the coming year. The learning personalities listed below have blogged, presented, and/or written about things that I have personally found useful, thought-provoking, and that I hope to be more conscious of when designing learning in 2017.

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Problem-Based Learning: Is This a Problem?

Posted Dec 9, 2016 by Shannon Hart

Recently I attended the AACE conference on eLearning in Washington, D.C. It was a great event, if far more academically focused and therefore more reserved than some of the flashier, more commercial conferences we attend. On the first morning, we had a keynote address by Marc Prensky of the Global Future Education Foundation & Institute about Problem-Based Learning (PBL). With great enthusiasm, he extolled the virtues of learning through problem solving, explaining that we should be raising our kids to grapple with the question: How Can I Make the World Better? Rather than just delivering content for later accomplishment, we should allowing our students to accomplish while getting educated.

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Instructor-led Material Development Made Easy

Posted Oct 20, 2016 by Stephen Victor

Our GuideDocs solution lets you quickly generate classroom manuals from your PowerPoint presentations – complete with formatted headings and a linkable table of contents – saving your developers time and your company money.

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Gamification

Posted Aug 27, 2015 by Heather Carter

The term “gamification” seems to be popping up everywhere lately, and for good reason. What is gamification? In a nutshell, it’s incorporating gaming into learning. It could actually be developing an instructional game for a course, but it’s typically used to describe adding game-like ideas and activities, such as leaderboards and badges learners earn after completing activities.

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What’s My Motivation? Building Learner Interest.

Posted Mar 31, 2015 by Stephen Victor

Why do learners choose to learn? What keeps them going in an eLearning course? We all want our courses to be engaging and effective. We want our learners to want to take our courses. In other words, we want them to be motivated to learn.

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Making Connections: Trends in Social Learning

Posted Mar 11, 2015 by Stephen Victor

Building on the concept of communities of practice, Etienne Wenger (2009) has proposed a social theory of learning. The focus of this theory is “learning as social participation,” in which learners actively participate in the practices of social communities and construct personal identities in relation to these communities.

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That’s Not My Style: Learning Preferences and Instructional Design

Posted Mar 5, 2015 by Stephen Victor

In a recent blog post published by the New York Times, Anna North noted that the concept of "learning styles" is still prevalent among educators, even though there is little empirical research to support it. In fact, students preparing to be teachers are often taught about "learning styles" in their courses.

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Informal Learning in the Workplace

Posted Feb 26, 2015 by Stephen Victor

How can you make learning continue to be effective after the learner closes the browser window or leaves the classroom? Here are a few ideas for encouraging informal learning in the workplace.

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Adult Learning Theory and Training Design

Posted Feb 20, 2015 by Stephen Victor

As designers of learning for corporate environments, we often use the phrase “adult learning theory” to describe the principles that underlie our work. What do we mean by that?

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Project File Management for Instructional Designers

Posted Feb 13, 2015 by Bill Jacobs

By consistently using a template for project files within your organization, you pave the way for smooth transitions when passing projects between designers/developers, or when re-visiting a project for updates after months (or even years).

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What’s On Your “Not To Do” List?

Posted Feb 3, 2015 by Monica Savage

Being in the business of developing custom learning programs, we at Obsidian work with a lot of clients and face a huge variety of problems. We have learned to tailor our approaches to respond to different audiences and overcome many obstacles. And we have definitely learned what not to do.

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