5 free downloadable resources on effective E-learning principles

June 26, 2012

Here are some excellent downloadable resources that clearly outline basic e-learning principles in clear, easy-to-understand language:

Six principles of effective e-learning by Ruth Clark (Free 10-page .pdf from the eLearning Guild)

E-Learning: A Guidebook of Principles, Procedures and Practices by Som Naidu, Ph.D. (a free 100-page .pdf book published by the Commonwealth of Learning)

Efficiency in e-Learning: Proven Instructional Methods for Faster, Better, Online Learning by Frank Nguyen and Ruth Colvin Clark (Free 8-page downloadable .pdf from the e-Learning Guild)

E-learning Tools and Resources: Putting Principles into Practice by Wendy Chambers (A 41-page .pdf. I’ll put in plug for Wendy here. She’s a personal friend of mine and I can tell you, she really knows her stuff.)

Back to Basics: Using Adult Learning Principles to Create E-Learning Success by Steven R. Aragon (a 10-page .pdf. Note: This document opens in a separate window.)

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


Engaging through eLearning: Key factors to make webinars and virtual learning effective

June 6, 2012

Tomorrow I’ve been invited to do a professional development workshop for the Calgary chapter of the Canadian Society of Training and Development. The session is:

“Engaging through eLearning: Key factors to make webinars and virtual learning effective”

We are going to talk about:

  • What makes e-learning (in)effective
  • Best practices for e-learning and webinars
  • Increasing learner engagement
  • Effective e-learning assessment

If you’re in Calgary, come and join us. Here’s the link to register: http://www.cstd.ca/events/event_details.asp?id=228664

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If you are interested in booking me (Sarah Eaton) for a presentation, keynote or workshop (either live or via webinar) contact me at sarahelaineeaton (at) gmail.com. Please visit my speaking page, too.


Freelance teachers and tutors beware: New webinar scam targets professional educators

March 20, 2012

Are you a freelance or contact teacher? Are you interested in offering online courses or webinars?

If the answer to either of these questions is yes, you’ll want to beware of a new webinar scam that targets teachers, trainers, tutors, coaches and consultants. Do not be fooled…

The scam

The scam goes something like this:

You are contacted by a person or organization offering to pay you a handsome sum for a webinar or a one-hour e-learning or Skype tutoring session ($500 to $1000 USD — or more).

You are invited to communicate with the organizers via phone, e-mail or Skype. If you agree to a phone or Skype session, they will keep you on the line, telling how great their organization is and the great results they get for their clients. (In other words, “blah, blah, blah…”)

This introduction could go from anywhere between five and twenty minutes. If you only agree to e-mail, they will likely push for a phone or Skype meeting. They want your undivided attention to engage you in all the hype, get your heart rate up and sweep you up in all their excited sales fluff.

When they think you are suitably convinced, you are then invited to give a webinar (or Skype tutoring session) for them. If you agree, this is where the scam goes into full force…

You will then be told that you will be billed or sent an invoice for $10,000 (or some other outrageous amount) which you must first pay, in order to take part in their program.

So, first they will offer to pay you, then it will be flipped around so that you have to pay them, in order to “be registered”, “be affiliated” or some other such nonsense.

Do not be fooled. The entire purpose of this scam is to get you to give up your hard-earned dollars and give them to someone who does not care about you, your teaching or your programs.

But wait… It gets worse…

You may then be told that they DID told about the costs from the beginning. If you challenge them on this, they will swear up and down that you are wrong. They will claim that they have been perfectly transparent and either you weren’t listening or you were negligent in not paying attention. They may go so far as to indignantly proclaim that you are insulting their professionalism and ethics.

They play with your emotions in order to try to make you feel guilty… This is part of the scam. The idea, of course, is that you’ll feel bad and then cough up the money that you already (supposedly) promised to pay. Do not worry, you are not crazy. You did not promise anything. This is part of their hook.

Do not be taken in by this, or any other con artists.

 Here are tips to avoid being taken in by a webinar scam

  1. Check out every organization or individual who invites you to do a paid webinar or e-learning class for them. Legitimate organizations who are interested in 21st century technologies will almost certainly have a valid website. (Even humble non-profits have websites these days. The site may be badly outdated, but they likely have one.)
  2. Be wary of e-mails coming from a public, free service. Ask yourself, “Why is this person not writing to me from a professional e-mail address?” I say that with tongue in cheek though, because I also use a Gmail account for some of my work… But not all of it. I am also highly searchable on the web, with books published on Amazon with papers published in peer-reviewed journals  and so forth. My point is: Investigate these new “friends”. Make sure they are legitimate and well known in their field.
  3. If the client, school or organization is unknown for you, treat an e-learning program, an online tutoring session or a webinar as any other course you might teach. Get a signed contract. Even the most meagre non-profit organization will agree to a contract for your professional services. Even a simple, one-page agreement will do. I always get an agreement with any school or non-profit I am working with. It helps both sides understand what is expected.
  4.  Trust your instincts. If a deal feels “off”, then it probably is. At the very least, it is likely not a good fit for you. Decline invitations that do not align with your professional values, ethics or area of expertise. Don’t waste your time (or your money) on professional “offers” that feel “off”. There are other organizations out there waiting for you and who would love to work with you.

You are a professional educator, tutor, instructor or presenter and you deserve to be treated as a professional — and get paid for your knowledge and expertise… not be scammed out of your hard earned money.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Webinar: How to Develop a Social Media Policy

February 14, 2012

Sarah Eaton social media technology speaker presenter webinarThis week’s webinar with Chinook Learning is “How to Develop a Social Media Policy“. Its designed for organizational leaders and managers who have to cope with guiding employees’ use of social media in the workplace.

Social media has changed how people interact with each other on line. Marketers talk about social media strategies, but that is different from an organizational policy that is designed to guide and govern users’ behaviour in social media settings. This course is based on this article “Anatomy of a Social Media Policy” that I wrote last fall, published by Social Media Today.

Participant outcomes

By the end of this webinar you will:

  • Understand the differences between a social media strategy and a social media policy.
  • Understand the basics of social media governance.
  • Know the critical elements of a social media policy.
  • Understand the importance of dialogue when it comes to striking a balance between users’ rights and responsibilities.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of what a social media policy is and how to go about developing a relatively simple, straightforward policy for your organization.

Content

  1. Social media policy – Definition and overview; Differences between a social media strategy and a policy.
  2. Social media governance – What social media governance means for organizations, employers and employees.
  3. Anatomy of a social media policy – Learn the critical elements of a well-constructed social media policy and how the various elements work together to create a fully functioning and effective policy. Learn what they key parts are so you can build your own simple, straightforward policy.
  4. Balancing users’ rights with their responsibility to their employer. Why it is important to dialogue with users in your organization and tips for doing this effectively.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Tomorrow’s webinar: Webinars for professional speakers (sponsored by CAPS)

December 12, 2011

I’m a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) and tomorrow I’m volunteering to help out my association with a professional development webinar designed to teach other speakers, presenters and facilitators how to integrate webinars more effectively into their professional practice:

Webinars for Professional Speakers

Webinars have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years. What does this mean for you as a speaker? What critical things do you need to know to do webinars successfully?

Join us to learn how you can use webinars as part of your own professional practice.

December 13 10:00PST/1:00EST (60 min)

Free for CAPS members (non members $15) Register HERE

You will leave this session with:

•    A clear understanding of what webinars are and why they work.

•    The pros and cons of teleseminars

•    Ideas on how to incorporate webinars successfully into your overall business strategy.

•    Why the majority of webinars stink and how to make sure yours don’t.

•    When and how much you can charge for a webinar.

•    Tips and tricks for producing your own exceptional webinars.

Bio: Sarah Elaine Eaton, Ph.D. (CAPS Calgary), is one of Canada’s leading authorities on webinars. A professional speaker and educator, she teaches others how to incorporate webinars successfully into their own businesses and deliver high quality programs.

December 13 10:00PST/1:00EST (60 min)

Free for CAPS members (non members $15) Register HERE

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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