Monday, September 24

Clive's 33 Columns (Dummies Guide to e-Learning!)

Clive's Columns (pdf):
Clive's Blog:

This excellent free resource is "A compendium of 33 of Clive Shepherd’s columns on e-learning and blended learning, originally published between 2003 and 2007 in IT Training and Learning & Development magazines."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works License. You are free to share - to copy, distribute and transmit the work, under the following conditions:
  1. Attribution: You must attribute the work to Clive Shepherd, Fastrak Consulting Ltd, accompanied by a link to .
  2. No derivative works: You may not alter, transform or build upon this work.

If you have never heard of Creative Commons, I suppose it is about time to acquaint yourself with it, because it is the future of publications in the education sector (Trust me! At least for Higher Education!).

After spending much of the weekend reading and reflecting most of the 33 columns, I felt that this resource is especially great for people that are new to e-learning, or using technology to facilitate effective learning. I would call it the free "Dummies Guide to e-Learning!".

Why? Firstly, I really enjoyed Clive's exceptional ability to simplify complexity (or simple stuff!). It is joy to read through the columns without needing to refer to some jargon dictionary to figure out what this and that is. In a nutshell, instructional design is really about simplifying (information, knowledge or skills) and engaging the learner, and Clive has managed both without a single graphic or illustration (Splendid!). Now, that reflects a bit his amazing ability to simplify and engage using just words and stories (Hmm, I got to test this properly with someone new to e-learning! Proof of concept!).

Secondly, these 33 columns cover all sorts of areas related to getting started with e-learning, including rapid e-learning, blended learning, podcasting, Flash, open source learning tools, fourth paradigm (Learning is doing it for yourself), interactivity, learners, instructional design, story-telling, standards, and change management.

Thirdly, he has more than twenty five years of experience in the e-learning (and blended learning) field, and has won numerous of awards, including the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Training Industry at the World of Learning conference (2004). His experience alone is worth some attention, because he can relate the different e-learning areas discussed to real stories (no need to refer to a book!).

Finally, I love the fact that the columns (or articles) are chunked, concise, relevant and engaging. Each column can be read and digested over a 5-15 minute period (excluding the reflection time!). Coming to think of it, these columns are 33 chunks of learning wisdom.

However, I suppose e-learning beginners would like to see some visual examples and illustrations, and perhaps a more progressive content structure (outline). But then again, Clive is simply sharing 33 of his articles, and probably never thought that someone might see it as a Dummies Guide. As for me, I am simply trying to find ways to suck out the juice and utilize this resource to the maximum.

If you really like what Clive has shared in these 33 columns, you might want to check out some of his e-learning related books, too (They are not free, though!)

Hopefully, these four books will use Creative Commons in the future, too. But then again, I suppose we all need to be rewarded financially for our hard work sometimes :)

No comments: