Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How to Make an Elearning Session More Engaging

For a successful Elearning session, identifying the key requirements of the learners is extremely important. Determining the learning objectives of the student helps an Elearning session to cater to the specific requirements of the students. The process of learning in recent years has undergone massive changes. Hence, mere lectures with a one-way communication style are no more capable of engaging the learners' attention and involvement. Here, we have come up with a few tips that can help you make an Elearning session more effective and enjoyable.

Deliver content through practical stories

Using specific stories relevant to the context helps you in delivering content effectively resulting in greater engagement within learners. In this way, you can personalize the learning session by making it interesting. It is better to use familiar information, whenever you are introducing new concepts or content to the students.

Increasing interactivity

Collaborative and interactive aspects in the process of learning, help in making the education process more enjoyable. Knowledge garnered through interactivity enables students to use it more effectively with a practical approach. Through interactivity, learners gain enough opportunity to practice what has already been taught in the training sessions. Through regular assessments, quizzes and puzzles in the program, the knowledge base is widened.

Add attractive visuals

With visual effects, you can keep the Elearning course modules attractive. It is likely to help your learners remain attentive to what they are learning. Going through a long and protracted textual content is outright frustrating. You can make it interesting and balanced by using images or video content along with the text. It not only helps in better comprehension of the subject matter, but at the same time makes the learning experience enhanced. Try using info graphics, pie charts or diagrams for better results.

Make humor part of the content

Adding, jokes, quotes and cartoons in the learning content are likely to increase the interest of the learners towards it. The process helps students to be comfortable thereby reducing anxiety and stress, increasing attention, motivation and excitement.

Provide additional resources in the Learning Content

Always provide additional resources to keep people engaged. Any feedback given on the results of the assessments, quizzes or puzzles can be added as a positive input. Moreover, you can also provide additional resources such as job aids, interesting facts, tips or guidelines relevant to the subject matter.

Keep in mind that Elearning Sessions can only be effective and enjoyable when learners are engaged in the learning process. Hence, emphasis should be given on planning the course content, so that it can be visually enriching, inclusive of interactivities.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The History and Development of the Microphone

The various histories of music technology, microphones. Converting sound to an electronic voltage and then back again is the task of a microphone and an amplifier/ speaker. The microphone can change a sound source into an electronic signal and then send this signal through to a speaker to re-produce the sound. This signal is then able to be recorded for a permanent reference of the original sound.

Like so many inventions the ideas and developments have come from a need in this particular case the need was the telephone and later the radio. Below is a brief timeline of the existence and development of the microphone.

1827 - Sir Charles Wheatstone was the first person to coin the phrase "microphone"

1876 - Emile Berliner invented the first microphone used as a telephone transmitter. The Bell company later bought Berliner's microphone patent for $50,000 to improve their own telephone device

1878 - The carbon microphone was invented by David Edward Hughes. Hughes carbon microphone forms the basis to many of the microphones still in use today.

1916 - The condenser microphone invented at Bell Labs by E. C Wente and can also be referred to as a capacitor or an electrostatic microphone

Mid 1920s - The invention of the Electronic vacuum tube amplifier gave greater volume output for devices including the microphone

Late 1920s - The omni directional dynamic microphone was developed by Wente and Thuras and called 'The Westenr Electric 618A'.

1942 - The Ribbon microphone was invented for the new format of radio broadcasting the most popular were the 44BX and the 77DX developed by Harry Olson at RCA. The first ribbon microphones were extremely fragile and needed to be handled with care to maintain their high quality sound.

1962 - Bell Laboratories researchers James West and Gerhard Sessler patented The Electret microphone which offered greater reliability, higher precision, lower costs and smaller size and revolutionized the microphone industry.

The history of the microphone is a lot bigger than this brief overview and other areas that could be researched include: makes and models of microphones, polar patterns, types and different designs and also recording techniques using singular or multiple microphones.

For the A2 music technology (GCE 2008) exam (Question 4) if a relevant question came up the above information would be enough to get you the full 16 marks, but remember your answer needs to be well written and structured (bullet points are not excepted for this question).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

6 Key Tips for Success in Online Classrooms

Just as there are some tips for success in traditional classrooms, there are some key tips for successfully launching and continuing online classrooms. Both academic experts as well as corporate houses support the growing significance of online classes. They believe that internet-based classes can easily overcome the drawbacks associated with regular on campus classes.

In this article, I have tried to discuss the 6 key tips to achieve success with online classrooms.

Focus on Your Goals and Objectives

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish via these online classrooms. Try to focus on key areas which need to be addressed first and then create a list of online classroom courses and progress in a step-by-step fashion.

Utilize the Online Environment

Try and maximize utilization of the online, virtual environment. Besides, using the visual elements, add the audio and multimedia components to achieve greater success in creating and managing online classes. There are many software products available in the market that can help you to convert your regular offline classrooms into technologically advanced virtual classrooms.

Emphasize on Interactivity

Communication is one of the best ways to gain acceptance amongst students. Unlike traditional classrooms where you can see your fellow students and converse with them directly, online classes offer no such face to face interaction. In such circumstances, teachers should nurture more interactivity and togetherness amongst learners to let them feel comfortable in attending a virtual class. Through online forums, daily chats and emails, you can help them solve their doubts and in the process prepare them for various class activities.

Set High Expectations for Online Participation

Many people believe that online classrooms are not monitored properly. However, the time has come for you to prove these people wrong by carefully monitoring the progress of each class. Create high expectations by setting a deadline for submitting a specific project and informing students to follow the schedule as set by you. In this way, you can create more responsible students by integrating online activities in their daily learning schedule.

Encourage Group Discussions

Teachers should work towards encouraging group discussions amongst learners. Teachers can even invite a guest lecturer from a reputed school or college to conduct a learning session with the students. Create a virtual environment for the learners to freely discuss and chat about a specific lesson or an assignment.

Conduct Opinion Surveys

It is always good to gather feedback from students to know how far you have succeeded in fulfilling their expectations. In case you receive a negative opinion, improve on that area to meet the objectives.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What's the Secret Behind the Rapid Success of Online Training Programs?

More and more companies are shifting towards introducing online training programs from the conventional model of offline face-to-face training sessions. It is important to find out why this sudden shift in learning patterns is showing a positive growth trend amongst organizations, irrespective of the size and complexity. It is because, as the industry experts and training organizers say, is due to a high amount of accessibility and flexibility to arrange training sessions as and when required.
Administrators don't have to search for a suitable location to hold the program nor do they have to hire external staff to manage registrations and look after similar administrative works. The new age online training programs can be organized in minutes using any computer with an internet connection. Potential trainees also find it extremely user-friendly in the sense they can attend a session from any corner of the world without thinking of travelling to venues and accommodation expenses.
Let's discuss the key benefits of arranging an online training session.
Anytime Access to Courses
Employees as well as customers can join a training session from wherever they are at present. Registrations can be done, 24x7. Again, individuals can send their registration fees online at a convenient time before the event day.
Automated Process
Starting from the registration process to fee collections can be managed over the internet. Hence, one does not need to worry about how he/she will single-handedly manage such a significant event. All registrant data (including all personal information and payment details) gets automatically collected and stored in the company central database for future reference.
Instant Delivery of Course Content
Trainers can instantly deliver a learning material or course content by uploading the same on his/her training website. Training attendees can then view this content or download any important document for future referrals.
Mixed-media Training Initiatives
Not only online training programs allow the usage of audio-visual elements, but they also encourage a blend of traditional face-to-face learning environment with a more advanced multimedia learning system. To be precise, you can easily arrange an onsite training program for a specific number of employees, making the registration process to be completed online. Another example can be introducing the Skype video conferencing facility to simultaneously arrange a training session at multiple locations.
Measure Learning Effectiveness
A trainer can measure the learning effectiveness of his or her attendees by conducting a post-training survey. Online surveying can be arranged quickly wherein you request all your participants to comment about the session and review its overall performance. You can generate survey forms online and upload the same on your website to let people fill it up at their convenience. You can even send the forms on their mobile devices (Smartphone, iPad, etc) to add more flexibility to the whole process.