Top 10 (or so) Things to Know About Elearning


This post is in response to Articulate’s Elearning Challenge #187: The Top 10 Things to Know About Elearning. (If you don’t know what the elearning challenges are, click here. They are a great way to test your skills and grow and step into the unknown.)

Here is my list, written from the perspective of me talking to a new elearning professional:

  1. You’ve sat through horrible elearning. Learn from it, and try your hardest not to repeat the same horribleness.
  2. You MUST have a private network of friends in the industry with whom to vent, share, discuss, laugh, and cry. Trust me. If you don’t, the elearning world is a lonely place.
  3. Help others learn how to learn from elearning. You may get feedback from the people taking your courses or their managers complaining that the course isn’t engaging or no one learned from it. Sometimes this is because you’ve created a poorly designed course. However, often it is because the people taking the course don’t know how to engage with the material. So, for example:
    • Tell people to take the course, and at the end of each module, write 5 quiz questions they would ask to test other’s knowledge.
    • Suggest that an entire group take the course together, and share what they’ve learned with the others in real-time.
  4. Everything will take WAAAAAAAAAAY longer than you think. Everything.
  5. Become an expert cat-herder.
  6. Celebrate your failures, and don’t delete anything. What was a failure in one course can easily be a winning show-stopper in another.
  7. Always make everything simpler. Simple ain’t easy, but it is always better.
  8. Learn to say NO. No is not a bad word.
  9. Reach out and ask other people what they would do. Here in the ELH community, online, anywhere. We all want to help each other.
  10. Just know that sometimes task analysis/user analysis/course analysis will be done in a 5-minute conversation with the key stakeholder.
  11. You will make horrible courses. We all have at some point. Accept it, learn from it, and move on. And then laugh about it.
  12. Don’t rely on autosave. Never ever. And know that the one time you forget to CRTL+S, it will be the one time you have a complete hard-drive crash. It has happened to all of us. It sucks. It hurts. But you’ll have to deal with it. Come up with plans now to save yourself a tiny bit of pain later.

BONUS: Laugh. Learn to laugh about everything. If you can’t laugh, then you’ll go crazy.

Have I covered everything? Use the comments to add any other suggestions.


Posted in 2018, ELC, elearning, Elearning Challenge | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

ADD, Squirrels, and Focus


I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), which usually is fine for me. I like the way my mind can make leaps and jumps from one branch of thoughts to another, rather like a squirrel. And speaking of squirrels, this ADD person sits in a window cube. Outside the window are 3 large pine trees – home to now 4 squirrels, 2 hummingbirds, and some really big and mean crows (they steal the squirrels’ food).

So I ask you, how can I focus with the squirrel playfulness and hummingbird wonder and crow drama unfolding outside my window?

Here’s how:

  1. Don’t: When I need to focus on creating something like an idea or concept, this is perfect distraction to let my mind fly and be free.
  2. Change location: I often sit in other cubes when I really need to focus on churning out a deliverable.
  3. Timers: I’ll set a timer for 45 minutes, close all social media and email, and blast my headphones. I promise myself I will go outside at the end of the 45 minutes. Works amazingly well.

Do you have any ideas? Share them in the comments!


Posted in 2018, learning, Mini Post, Random Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Best Practices Are Mediocre Practices

I have a big problem with the phrase “Best Practices”. When I hear it, I automatically assume there is an easier, more efficient way to do whatever it is I’m trying to do.

Here’s the thing with Best Practices – by the time they’ve been around long enough to be considered “best”, they are obsolete.

So let’s chat about who gets to determine the BEST way to do something? What if there is a better way?

When I’m new, or first learning a thing, I usually accept the advice of “experts” and follow their Best Practice. However, invariably I start asking myself why must their method be my method? Am I not smart enough to develop a practice that works best for me at this time and place?

Share your thoughts about Best Practices in the comments. I’m interested to hear what you guys think.


Posted in 2018, Random Thoughts | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

What If


What if?

6 letters that can change your life or paralyze it.
Back in May of 2017, I wrote a post about My Forgotten Blog:

Late at night, when it is quiet and still, and I can clearly hear my inner self, the answer comes. I’m afraid. What if no one will read it? What if too many people will read it? What if people won’t agree with me? What if ….? What if….

What if. This can be such a powerful phrase and yet such a paralyzing phrase. What if we do something differently? What if we dare to dream? What if no one likes me.

And yet…what if I let go of the fear? What if I can be better? What if I dare to be Tree?


Photography Credit
Photograph by Jim Watkins who is my most wonderful husband and extraordinarily talented photographer. Check out his work at

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Where Did Imagination Go?

(note: this is an old draft from about 2013 or so that I never posted)


When I was a kid, we took everyday objects and made them into toys. I grew up in a neighborhood with about 20 kids and we were all the same age range. You get that many kids together, and you can’t stop imagination! Continue reading

Posted in 2013, Random Thoughts | Tagged , | Leave a comment