What’s been on your mind this year? One way to find out is to see which pages you’ve been visiting on this blog. A review of Google Analytics revealed our ten most popular e-learning posts in 2018. Join me for a bit of speculation on what the popularity of these posts signify.
One thing I’d like to point out: only three of these posts were published in 2018, three were published in 2017, and four in 2016—evidence that some topics, like digital badges and LMS selection basics, continue to resonate with our readers.
Our most popular post was written by James Sheil, lead UX and design architect at WBT Systems, back in December 2016—proof of the power of high-quality evergreen content to attract readers. Our top ten posts include two on digital badges, probably because they “provide a viable and recommended solution for bridging the gap between traditional education and the skills required for successful employment.” Digital badges are a hot topic for good reason.
James explains how to use a digital badge strategy design canvas, and walks you through “key areas that should be researched and considered to help decide whether the badge is of value in the first place.” I wouldn’t suggest going down the digital badge path until you’ve done this exercise.
Still curious about digital badges? Take a look at this related content:
• Associations have the advantage in the digital badge market
• The benefits of micro-credentials for members, employers, and your association
• Don’t ignore the non-dues revenue potential of digital badges
We all recognize ineffective instruction when we see it. I’m looking at you, 60-minute lecture sessions. But do your programs fall into the same traditional trap? Even if you’re not an instructional designer, you need to understand the basic principles of adult learning so you can improve your educational programs.
“Unfortunately, you might still hear people espousing some old learning myths, despite the progress neuroscientists and professional development experts have made in understanding how adults learn.” This November 2017 post debunked 12 of those myths about learning styles, right and left brains, old and young brains, and more.
More good reads:
Our friend John Leh, CEO and lead analyst at Talented Learning, wrote this popular post for us in March 2016. Did you know there are more than 700 LMS on the market? Where do you even begin? (Well, I could give you a hint.)
LMS selection is tough, especially if you’re doing it on your own. John explains why you should focus your search on the two dozen or so LMS designed specifically for association needs, not corporations.
Bone up on the LMS selection process with this extra reading:
At last, a 2018 post—and additional evidence of our readers’ interest in improving the online learning experience. Everyone involved in program design and presentation “must understand not only how learners learn but also how to leverage technology to help them take in and retain information… When students become more engaged in the learning experience, they’ll get more out of the course, and they’re more likely to come back to you for additional education.”
Read about other ways to engage online learners:
This was the first post we published in 2018, inspired by Rohit Bhargava’s book, Non-Obvious 2018 Edition: How to Predict Trends and Win the Future. Every year Bhargava publishes a new edition. His preview of the 2019 book includes trends such as Innovation Envy and Retro Trust. We’ll dig deeper into his 2019 non-obvious trends once we get our hands on his e-book.
One of the 2018 non-obvious trends was light-speed learning aka microlearning—although I’d say that one was pretty obvious for those of us in the learning business. Bhargava said, “The road to mastery on any topic gets faster through the help of bite-sized learning modules that make education more time efficient, engaging, useful and fun.”
Take a trip back through the trends of yore:
Your members may have the desire to learn, but what if they don’t have the money? Back in December 2017, we explained why some employers don’t support their staff’s professional growth and how you can convince them otherwise. “An organization’s best asset for dealing with change and disruption is a workforce with up-to-date skills and knowledge. Help the employers in your industry see the contrast between the talent they have and the talent they could have if only they invested in professional development.”
• How to get your association to support its staff’s professional development
• Learning pathways: how to fill your industry’s skills gap
• The many benefits of selling online education to corporate members
What do these most popular posts tell us?
• Digital badges are top of mind. No surprise since they provide exceptional value to both learners and employers—and a new stream of non-dues revenue to associations.
• You want to improve the design and delivery of your online learning experiences.
• Persuading industry employers to support their team’s professional development is a win-win for everyone involved.
• You like to keep an eye on the trends coming our way.
• When it’s time for new technology, you need help navigating the huge LMS market.
The remaining four of our most popular posts echo these topics.
In May 2018, we wrote, “Dozens of studies have come to the same conclusion: online discussions strengthen student engagement and learning… We’ve been doing some studying of our own and found a dozen tactics that will help you get students more involved in online discussions.”
This September 2017 post is a good complement to the #4 post on this list about 8 new ideas for engaging online students.
A good one from November 2016 to read if you’re confused about the difference between these technologies and wondering which one is best for your association.
We wrote this one way back in August 2016, and stand by our argument, especially since a post about designing a digital badge strategy was our most popular one this year.
If work is slowing down for you over the holidays, take some time to invest in your own professional development. Read, reflect, and make a commitment to develop a learning habit in 2019.