Building Bridges

SME Syndrome: Symptoms and Prevention Tips

Are you – or is someone you work closely with – a SME (subject matter expert)? Instructional designers often require a SME’s knowledge and input to develop training. And it can be a challenge to obtain the key content (and only the key content). First, let’s introduce a typical SME, Simone. Simone is the director [...]

The Blue Lagoon: Using Multiple Senses to Improve Learning

In our last blog post we saw how immersive, sensory events can help us remember experiences, using the example of my trip to the Blue Lagoon spa.  We don’t need to visit a spa to help learners remember, though...we can create immersive experiences to enhance our instructional design. Here are two examples of physically immersive [...]

Soaking in an Icelandic Spa: How Senses and Memory Intersect

This summer, my husband and I traveled to Iceland. Among other wonders of nature, we visited the Blue Lagoon, a spa formed 40 years ago during the creation of a geothermal power plant. Today, people come from all over to bathe in the warm, soothing water. There are a surprising number of things to do [...]

Heating Things Up: Pilots Provide Useful Feedback

Practicing a classroom course polishes and improves it. Typically, practice comes with a pilot, during which instructional designers and trainers iron out classroom kinks. Two pilots (an abbreviated pre-pilot and a full pilot) were employed in a class entitled Operationalizing Emergency Plans: Incident Command in Action, on which EnVision consulted for a public agency. The [...]

Helping Learners to Digest – even Savor – Your eLearning

When you eat at a restaurant, the food arrives in a specific order.  First, there’s the bread (for those who still eat carbs!).  Next, you may get a first course, a salad or soup. Then the waiter brings the main course, the heart of the meal. This takes longer to eat than the bread or [...]

Short Can be More Than Just Sweet!

What do stained glass windows, intricate marble carvings, and richly symbolic murals have in common? Give up? They are all easily seen from just one spot in the Library of Congress. Why do I mention this? I recently visited Washington, DC and toured the Library of Congress. If you haven’t been to the Library, I [...]

The Pick of the Crop

Have you ever gone berry picking? Usually, you fill a container and pay by its size. Those juicy berries look so appealing you want to fit as many as possible into the container, right? Would you squish them in to get more? Or would you select the ripest berries to ensure excellent quality and highest [...]

When Learning Becomes Too Much: Seven Ways to Reduce Cognitive Overload

Have you ever been in a class where everyone’s eyes are glazed over? By the end of the first half-day, participants stop, well, participating? Perhaps the course just isn’t engaging them. Or, perhaps (cue music: dut, dut, dut) they are experiencing cognitive overload. So, what is cognitive overload? Cognitive overload is an inundation of short-term […]

Creating Your Own Sweet Adventure

“When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.” – Regina Brett Like many people, I have a weakness for chocolate. For a while, I had wanted to take a chocolate walking tour in Boston, enjoying the city while sampling delicacies from various specialty shops. This would be a tasty way to be a tourist in […]

Ingenious Ways to Improve Learner Retention

As instructional designers, we focus on improving employee performance through knowledge and an increased skill set. We strive for learners to retain what they learn and implement it in their jobs. Yet, with so many competing demands at work and home, retaining what we learn can be easier said than done. For the instructional designer, […]