LMS Free Trial
Home > Media Center > e-Learning Articles and Resources

Documentation and e-Learning (Part 4): Get Real! − Use the Web’s Eyes

Text Size  - +  Print  Print

By Dave Powell, Documentation Manager, SyberWorks, Inc.

If you follow the SyberWorks “Lingo Podcasts” (at http://www.syberworks.com/lingo_podcast.htm), you know that (at this writing) I’ve defined more than 120 e-Learning terms and concepts there. Many of them describe established theories of learning that apply to both online and physical training. But one teaching tool I haven’t yet covered is “reality.”

Teachers know that it’s one of the best instructors. Biology field trips, chem-lab explosions, astronomical observations can generate faster real learning than textbooks. And the discovery and adventure that accompany real-world experiences can be powerful drivers for making students want to learn and to continue learning.

The closest that the documentation and e-Learning fields have come (so far) to getting real-world content into their training products may be the Flash demonstrations that show how to perform procedures. But these are canned presentations. Even if they appear to be highly interactive, their commands-responses, context-sensitive routing, and procedural steps are pre-planned. There is no real exploration in them to spark student inquisitiveness.

Is this a flaw? Not usually. It’s great for controlling the sequence in which facts and questions are fed to students. But at least some online training might be much more effective if it accessed real-world subjects… especially in real time.

Again, I’m not talking about using Flash movies created with tools like iSpring or Captivate. I’m talking about pulling real-time, real-world data and videos into online course pages and reference materials. The challenge, of course, is figuring out how.

This is the first of three articles that will show you how to bring the real world into your online training materials. And this first episode discusses pulling in real-time (or near-real-time) web cams and web-based data displays.

Teach Through the Web’s Eyes

How many of you already stream pre-recorded videos to, or play Flash animations in, online course pages? It’s not really a huge technical leap to similarly stream real-time web sites or live video to them. It actually can be pretty easy.

SyberWorks, Inc.
411 Waverley Oaks Road
Building 3, Suite 319
Waltham, MA 02452

Bobby/Watchfire Section 508 Approved level 1

Valid XHTML 1.0!

Home | LMS Product Suite | Industry Solutions | Services | Partnership | Courses | About Us | Free Trials | Media Center | Site Map