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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5 Stages of Instructional Video Development Process and Case Study

Posted Apr 10, 2018 by Stephen Victor

In this article, we’ll take a look at Obsidian Learning’s process for creating instructional videos as well as a case study that covers this process to move from a concept to a finished, cohesive video.

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Software Tools for Instructional Video Design and Development

Posted Apr 9, 2018 by Stephen Victor

Choice of instructional video design and development methods should be guided by the needs of the learners as well as the complexity of the content. Here are some great software tools to use during video production.

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6 Top Tips to Design Effective Instructional Videos

Posted Apr 6, 2018 by Stephen Victor

What principles should Instructional Designers use to develop effective instructional videos? In this article, we’ll discuss best practices for creating effective videos for training.

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Transforming Learning: Applications of Instructional Videos

Posted Apr 5, 2018 by Stephen Victor

Because videos are easy to create, they are frequently used for instruction, for example as tutorials on YouTube or lectures on Khan Academy. But is video always the right choice for instruction? What does it take to develop effective instructional videos?

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3 Cognitive Theories for Transforming Learning

Posted Apr 4, 2018 by Stephen Victor

In this article, we will take a look at some cognitive theories for transforming learning experiences.

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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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Back to Basics: Instructional Analysis

Posted May 22, 2017 by Stephen Victor

In this post, we will focus on the first stage of ADDIE and describe the methods used by Obsidian Learning for instructional analysis. After a discussion of the activities and outputs of analysis, we'll present an example of a curriculum targeted at two different learner populations.

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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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Evaluating Training – Capturing the Benefits Aspect of ROI

Posted May 10, 2016 by Monica Savage

Training evaluation is necessary and, in many ways, critical to the success of a business. But because short term priorities always seem to take precedence, it is typically something we plan to do better in the next course, or maybe next month, or even next year. After all, we’ve managed pretty well up to now, so surely another year can’t hurt!

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6 Best Practices for Applying Spaced Learning in Online Training

Posted Mar 1, 2016 by Christopher Pappas

Are you concerned about cognitive overload undermining the effectiveness of your online training program? In this article, I'll highlight the best practices for applying Spaced Learning in your online training strategy, so that you can improve knowledge retention and recall among your staff members.

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Tips for Measuring Course Effectiveness and ROI

Posted Oct 30, 2015 by Stephen Victor

How do you know if a course is working? Are your learners actually learning what they need to learn? To answer these questions, we’ll look at several ways you can measure the quality and effectiveness of the learning activities you develop.

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Back to Basics: Instructional Design Terminology

Posted Sep 1, 2015 by Heather Carter

This week, we wanted to cover some common terms that you are bound to hear in almost instructional design setting. This list isn’t meant to be all inclusive, but it’s a great starting point to give you the initial vocabulary you need.

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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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Back to Basics: What is Instructional Design

Posted Aug 14, 2015 by Heather Carter

With our Instructional Designers, Learning Strategists, and others throughout the company, we are developing a brief blog series to tackle the basic instructional design principles the way we see them.

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Serendipitous Learning

Posted Apr 26, 2015 by Monica Savage

I have been fascinated by the concept of serendipitous learning from the moment I first heard it. First of all, I love the word “serendipitous” and its meaning. I am not a very spontaneous person, and I like structure, so the thought of “fortunate happenstance” is beautiful to me.

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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

As instructional designers, we're aware of various theories about how and why people learn. And, of course, we've heard about social learning. As mobile technology advances, learning has moved from the classroom and the desktop computer, to the world. And just as technology has advanced, learning theory has advanced. So, where are we going with learning theory in the 21st century? Here are some possibilities.

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

Posted Mar 5, 2015 by Stephen Victor

Why do we still speak of people (or ourselves) as having a "visual" or "auditory" (or "tactile" and so on) learning style? Let's take a look at what the research literature has to say on "learning styles" and how they apply to instruction.

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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

In this article, we'll take a look at the assumptions of adult learning theory and explore ways in which to apply it to the design of corporate eLearning.

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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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3 Helpful Meeting Templates Most Project Teams Do Not Use

Posted Feb 13, 2015 by Monica Savage

If your learning development process involves a sales team, project managers, graphic designers, and instructional designers, you may find these templates useful.

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What Are You Doing to Support Your Online Learners

Posted Feb 13, 2015 by Stephen Victor

We all know that online learning is on the rise. But what are we doing to support learners in the online environment?

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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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