From Nothing to Something

An Online Learning Success Story (updated 4/28/2016)

Want to know how to move your team into the online PD world but not sure if it can really work? Learn how one team created something from nothing, what their feedback and outcomes have been, and how you can duplicate their success.

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Find the Opportunity

What is the discrepancy between what is expected and what is happening?

Reality v. Perception

Desired v. Actual

People, Time, Resources, $

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Plan the Work, Work the Plan.

Put it in writing.

Create systems for monitoring, sharing, feedback.

Hold team accountable.

Schedule work sessions and sufficient amount of time for building courses.

Schedule checkpoints.

Know the tools/resources and how to use the tools/resources.

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Review. Revise. Repeat.

Listen to the feedback.

Streamline processes.

Routine review of work.

Flexible adjustments in the moment.

Document progress and outcomes with data.

Have team members take each other's classes.

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1. Know thy audience and content. Well. REALLY WELL.

2. Use chunking.

  • Are there transitions? Is the anticipated pacing realistic? Is the information digestible?
  • Way too easy to add excessive content.
  • Recognize that people need time to understand the expectations, learn to navigate the learning environment, complete the tasks, interact with their colleagues, and process the information.

3. Reduce cognitive load.

  • Vary the activities. If you don't, you WILL lose 'em.
  • Include a variety of multimedia tools. If you don't, you WILL lose 'em.
  • Is the course engaging? Is the course repetitive?
  • Avoid irrelevant and useless content that clutters the participant's working memory. Less is more.

4. Don't forget the basics.

  • Make sure everything works ALL the time.
  • Include instructions.
  • Provide contact information for learner support.

5. Stay connected.

  • Invites
  • Reminders
  • Check-ins regarding progress

6. Be consistent in formatting. (within a course, across courses, and across team members' courses)

  • Have someone with an eye for details give feedback.
  • Watch fonts, size, spacing, white space.
  • Put words near pictures (no wide gaps).
  • View your layout in different browsers and on different devices.

7. Create a "grade book" to track progress.

8. Reserve time on your calendar to visit and review course participation.

9. Build your network.

  • Find your gurus.
  • Be a mentor.

10. Do not take it personally when a participant whizzes through your online course. There will always be people who are minimalists, quick learners, and current experts. Again, know thy audience and content. Well. REALLY WELL.


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