The Online Learning Idea Book Volume 1: 95 Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning
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More About This Title The Online Learning Idea Book Volume 1: 95 Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning


Patti Shank, Ph.D., CPT, is the president of Learning Peaks, an internationally recognized instructional design consulting group. She's listed in Who's Who in Instructional Technology, is a popular speaker at training and instructional technology conferences, and is the coauthor of Making Sense of Online Learning, from Pfeiffer. Patti was an award-winning contributing editor to Online Learning Magazine, and her articles are found in eLearning Guild publications, Macromedia's eLearning and Training Solutions, Adobe's Resource Center, Magna Publication's Online Classroom, and elsewhere. She was the winner of a 2002 EDMEDIA best research paper award.






Chapter 1. Ideas for Supporting Learners and Learning.

Learning Agreements.

Prework Verification.

Study Schedule.

Performance Tips.

Move It.

Confirm Exercise Instructions.


Anonymous Weekly Survey.

Personal Wishes.

Really Simple Syndication Feeds.

Contingency Plans.

Virtual Office Hours.

Chatbots. Chapter 2. Ideas for Making Collaboration Work.

Group Formation.

Prep for Collaborative Work.

Team Agreement Template.

Team Assessment.

Rules of Engagement Agreement.

Team Review Form.

Chapter 3. Ideas for Making Discussions Work.

Discussion Message Protocols.

Evaluate Your Contribution.

Karma Points for Contributions.

Acronym and Emoticon Help.

Chapter 4. Ideas for Self-Directed and Asynchronous Activities.

Table Organizers.

Red Dog.

Enter, Compare, Print, and Discuss.

Tell Me Why.

Time Me.

Digital Stories.

Share Bookmarks.

Tell Me About Yourself.

An Expert View.

Email the Author.


Blog It.

My Chair.

Easy Peer Editing.

Introducing Critical Evaluation.

Chapter 5. Ideas for Synchronous Activities.

Chat Moderator.

Come (Back) Early.

Low-Tech Listening Exercise.

Trainer-Expert Collaboration.


Before Ninety.

Daring Feats.



Gordon Mackenzie-Style Lecture.

Vanity License Plate.

Lighten Up.

Where Are You?

Word Search.

Chapter 6. Ideas for Self-Check Activities and Assessments.

Adapted Classroom Assessment Techniques.

Review Puzzles and Games.

Flash Cards.

Know Your Flooring.

Board Game Self-Check.

Drag-and-Drop Self-Check.

Fact-or-Fiction Self-Check.

Mixed Signals.

Millionaire Game.

Show Training Value.


Chapter 7. Ideas for the Design and Development Process.

Process Flowchart.

Design Guidelines.

Learner Stories.

Personalized Learning Model.

Content Templates.

Fast E-Learning Templates.

Chapter 8. Ideas for Navigation and Usability.

Concept Maps and Causal Loops for Navigation.

Collapsible and Movable Text Layer.

Automated Back and Next Buttons and Page Numbering.

Double Use Glossary.

Automated Reference.

Here’s What’s New.

Chapter 9. Ideas for Creative Design.

:Funny Stats.

Take the Metro.

Metaphors to Aid Learning.

Stories to Understand the Big Picture.

Virtual Coach.

Field Clinic.

Outrageous Nonexamples.

What I Really Think.

Virtual Campus.

Visual Ideas.

Chapter 10. Ideas for Creative Media.

Show Me.

Slow or Fast Images.

Energy Balance.

Interactive History.

Interactive Physics.

Inside a Cell.

Sea Vents.


Movement Sensors.

Genome Timeline.

DNA Sliding Clamp.

DNA Sequence Explorer.

Build Your Own Instructional Game.

It’s NOT Ninety-Five.


Your Ideas.


About the Editor.


"This book offers more than 95 ideas for designing and delivering online instruction as a creative spark for distance learning." (Journal of Continuing Higher Education, Fall 2007)"For those who think online learning can't be truly interactive, Patti Shank and her colleagues clearly demonstrate—in hundreds of examples—that it can be. The real lesson in The Online Learning Idea Book is that technology doesn't build interactive learning; creative thinking and good, solid instructional design does. Using even a smidgen of the great ideas in this book will increase the learning effectiveness of any online program."
—Marc J. Rosenberg, consultant, and author of Beyond E-Learning

"Harness these ideas and multiply your expertise! There's nothing like tried-and-true activities to help increase the value of your online content. This book is a veritable smorgasbord of creative and engaging ideas!"
—Cynthia S. Wehmer, CPT, IT training manager, Coors Brewing Company

"E-learning is a rapidly changing field with new best practices being discovered every day. The Online Learning Idea Book is a fantastic resource for designers, developers, and training professionals to find innovative ideas and proven approaches that make e-learning effective."
—Josh Bersin, CEO, Bersin & Associates

"This book manages to be concrete, yet theory based; innovative, yet practical; and—miraculously for the training-book genre—light on its feet."
—Bill Ellet, editor, Training Media Review

"Looking for practical, insightful, tried-and-tested ideas that you can quickly apply in your online learning programs? Get The Online Learning Idea Book now. I'm sure you'll find an idea you can apply in your very next project (I did), and the book will pay for itself!"
—Harvey Singh, founder and CEO, Instancy, Inc.

"McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, now in its 12th edition, has been distributed for years to new faculty members in higher education. As more instructors go online, I predict that instructional support personnel will also provide them with the latest edition of Shank’s TheOnline Learning Idea Book."
—Thomas C. Reeves, professor, department of educational psychology and instructional technology, College of Education, The University of Georgia

"Patti Shank has collected great ideas about online learning and teaching from all over the globe. If you are an online instructor or instructional designer looking for new ways to involve and engage your learners, you’ll be inspired by this book!"
—Terry Morris, associate professor, William Rainey Harper Colleges