Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Poll Results: Learning Visions' Readers

The poll results are in. Thanks to the 34 of you who responded.

You are:

Male 38% (13)
Female 52% (18)

Under 20 5% (2)
21-30 23% (8)
31-40 26% (9)
41-50 26% (9)
51 + 17% (6)

None of this surprises me very much. Except for the two readers who reported they are under 20.

Otherwise, the results are fairly evenly split among age group, with 79% of readers falling in the 21-50 range.

Does this better explain the results of my gaming or second life polls? Maybe. Maybe not.

My fabulous graphic chart above was created from the Create a Graph page at the Kids' Zone: Learning with NCES (National Center for Education Statistics).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Instructional Design Stress

I have to confess that although I call myself an instructional designer, it's been quite awhile since I've done anything like that.

If you've read my current job description, you know that I do a lot of other things for this small company. Over the past year, I've been focused on sales and marketing activities, project management, and content conversions -- "No ID needed, thank you." I've thought about instructional design as we've been building eLearning Templates and certainly made a lot of recommendations.

But I haven't "done" a course in ages. I haven't worked with a SME and thought about appropriate learning activities and chunked out the content. In fact, it's been almost two years since I've written a storyboard and gone through the whole process.

And now I've got a two-hour custom course on my plate. With a whole bunch of other custom projects cued up right behind it.

I'm excited. I'm eager. I'm nervous.

I've spent a lot of time in the past year thinking about ID, connecting with other training and eLearning professionals, reading books, learning about better ways of doing eLearning. I've blogged about much of what I've learned, right here.

And now I've actually got to do some better eLearning myself.

I feel some procrastination coming on. I feel the need to review a lot of books. I was delighted to see Cathy Moore's post with examples of good eLearning -- much needed inspiration.

It's time to put the pedal to the metal. Wish me luck!

Friday, October 12, 2007

College Women on Gamers: They Giggle

I came across this on Wired: Giggling Girls Fail Videogame-Related Quiz, in which college-aged women are asked a series of somewhat spoofy questions on games and gamers. The responses are generally preceded by a giggle and a "what's that?"

According to Wired, this video is from the folks at PurePwnage.com

I find these young womens' clueless responses interesting, especially in light of the rise in gaming culture and the onslaught of Gamers that is about to hit the corporate workplace (and perhaps is, right now, as we speak) -- at least according to Karl Kapp who wrote an entire book on it! (You can read my review of Gadgets, Games & Gizmos for Learning).

Will young women be speaking a different language from their male counterparts? Will they be left out of the Guild Master corporate cult?

New Survey -- What's Your Demographic?

Because people are wondering. How old are all of you? Some of you call yourselves gamers. Some of you have been in Second Life. So where do you fit into the demographic, dear readers?

You'll have to come visit the blog to respond to the new survey. It's on the blog's side bar at the top.

(All survey responses are completely and utterly confidential!)

Thanks ~

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Women Gamers on the Rise

According to an article today in Times Online (Nintendo's women gamers could transform market) , Japanese women gamers have overtaken men to become the biggest users of the Wii and DS.
"If the change repeats itself around the globe, said analysts, it could force a complete change of business model for many of the world’s largest games makers."
I don't doubt that women's use of the Wii will be on the rise, especially with games like Wii Fit on the way (although, I wonder if that's really a "game"?)
"Wii Fit, which uses an innovative floor-based sensor to register body movement, takes players through a daily regimen of yoga, balancing exercises and other fat-fighting activities."
So maybe the Guild Master Ceiling will get replaced with a Wii Ceiling?

Check out the full story: Nintendo's women gamers could transform market at Times Online.

Photocredit: "Eva" by milopeng from Flickr.

Second Life and Gaming Poll Results

I don't claim to be a researcher, nor can I claim that the results of polls conducted on this site are in the least bit statistically significant. But I am interested in the responses I've been getting.

Last week, I asked "Have you ever been in Second Life?" There were 20 responses.

Never (9) 45%
A few times -- I don't get it. (3) 15%
A few times -- I'll go back. (5) 25%
A lot. (3) 15%

Over at Mission to Learn, Jeff cites these stats and then wonders about the demographics of my site -- the answer to which I can vaguely guess at: eLearning professionals in their 30s-40s -- on average? (Perhaps another poll is needed?)

I think that all that my Second Life poll can really tell us, is that there are a lot of folks who still haven't tried Second Life...and some folks who see the potential.

I'm also interested in the results of the poll question I asked, "Are you a Gamer?" This poll -- to-date -- has had 29 responses. Again, not statistically significant I'm sure.
  • But 62% are willing to call themselves Gamers. This surprised me.
  • I fell into the NO category along with another 34%.
  • 1 person called themselves "Other", stating "I would be if I could afford the time."
I you'd like to add your two cents, and tell us what kind of Gamer you are, that poll is still open. Unfortunately, the Second Life poll is closed.

Friday, October 05, 2007

You're So Immature: e-Learning in Some Organizations

Earlier this week I was musing about messes in Messy Learning OK. Messy Training Not OK. This post had some great comments which got me thinking about maturity cycles in e-Learning among organizations.

Karl Kapp commented, "We need to create formal learning events and surround them with messy learning opportunities for people to exchange ideas and try things out but we can add just enough structure and direction to make it possible."

So that's a vision of the future of e-Learning. That's mature e-Learning.

I'm just about to kickoff a new project with a manufacturing organization to produce some custom courses. I'm gonna call them an "immature e-Learning organization." They seem to want page-turners, more or less. Games are scary. No collaboration. Nothing too "messy." When pressed, they respond "That's not in our budget" or "That's not in our plan" or "We don't have the resources for that."

Contrast this to a project Karyn Romeis is working on. She says, "One of the things I am trying to do is to include in my designs the means for learners to interact with one another and with acknowledged experts in the subject at hand." That is forward-thinking; very hip and now; very "mature" e-Learning. It includes some of those messy learning opportunities.

Vendors -- of which I am one -- are often in the position of just answering the mail. By the time a project gets to my door, the organization has often decided upon their approach. Our influence, in these cases, can be minimal. Needless to say, it can be a hard process to educate these clients.

And maybe such clients just aren't ready. Maybe they're immature. Maybe they need to go through the process of creating linear, page-turning e-Learning before they're ready to move into the here and now. Maybe they need to create old-school e-Learning before they can start adding messy to the mix.

Dan Roddy was expressing a similar frustration. He was venting about Kirkpatrick evaluations. What stood out to me in his post was this, "Perhaps, sadly, what it made me think about was just how out of the loop I am when it comes to the whole training cycle. For our clients we are simply a means to an end - nothing more than the design phase of the training - so I never get to learn how the training went down; I never get any learner feedback or statistics."

These are the challenges of being the external vendor.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I've Gone Pink For October

I'm not a pink-ish kind of a girl. But October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I've gone pink.

Web sites will Go Pink during the month of October to bring attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get people talking about breast cancer, and raise money for research.

But to be clear, raising money isn’t the primary purpose of this web event.

The hope is that you turn your site pink (in whatever way works for your site), go out to that World Wide Web thing (in fact you’re on it right now! :) ) and educate yourself about the multiple issues related to Breast Cancer, then take that newfound knowledge and tell someone else what you’ve learned.

Learn more at pinkforoctober.

Thanks to Laura Whitehead for inspiring me to go pink. It really wasn't that bad.