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Genie is a powerful, all-knowing e-learning guru. He’s the righteous counterpoint to the world of dull online learning and he’s launching a one-spirit crusade against all things drab, tedious and mundane. Got a question? Want to offer your approval of his neatly-trimmed lip sweater? Give his lamp a vigorous rub at:

Dear Genie,

I’m in charge of an e-learning development team: Mr White sources the images, Mr Pink writes the storyboards, Mr Orange is in charge of code and Mr Brown makes sure there are no errors. But here’s the problem – we keep missing deadlines. The team has all the get-up-and-go of a sloth on its day off! I’ve tried cracking the whip but it’s not helping. I wish I knew how to motivate my team!

Mr Blond

It seems you’re really stuck in the middle of this situation, Blondie! But you’re not alone – If I had a banana for every time I heard the ‘I want people to listen to me’ wish, I’d be able to train my own monkey army to do my bidding! Now, being an all-powerful e-learning guru, I could just snap my fi ngers and turn your team into drones that obey every

word you say, but I’m a big believer in helping others to help themselves. Here are my THREE top tips for creating tip-top e-learning at lightning speed:

1. Set your team targets. Not simply ‘Create e-learning’ – that’s far too broad – but smaller goals, like ‘Upload questions’, ‘Build unit’ and ‘Select template’.

2. When they hit these targets, reward them! Give them a pat on the back. Tell them they have a beautiful soul. Give them your last Rolo. Gamify the production process. Share badges, points and prizes to increase engagement.

3. Make it obvious when people aren’t pulling their weight. There’s no need to put them in stocks and pelt them with tomatoes, but using a leaderboard is one way to show who isn’t contributing enough to the project. Point the fi nger and get them moving! Good luck, Mr Blonde. Don’t make a dog’s dinner of managing your team!

Genie Dear Genie,

My face’s default colour has been set to beetroot red and I can’t stop the steam from bursting out of my ears! Over the past few months I’ve been working with an e-learning production company to create training content for my organisation. Despite my protestations, they still get the branding and images wrong! How many times do I have to tell them, we don’t want cartoons in our e-learning!? I wish they would get our brand right! Mrs O. F. Brand

Well, I hope you’re not implying there is something wrong with cartoons – you really don’t want to get on the wrong side of an almighty sorcerer…

The problem lies with the e-learning company. They should be e.learning age april 2015 19

using a program with out-of-this-world project management functionality that allows them to upload all the correct, on-brand images to your organisation’s project library – no more cartoons cropping up to crash the party! Put them in touch with me and I’ll soon show them how to perfect their project management – they’ll be able to keep their projects on track and see what their teammates are up to without violating any restraining orders, and you’ll have peace of mind that there’ll be no more mistakes!

Genie Dear Genie,

You won’t be able to relate to this (you’re the most powerful being in the world, so every day must feel like your birthday and Christmas rolled into one), but I feel completely overwhelmed and stressed out right now! I’m the only person in my organisation that can create e-learning units, so all the work has been dumped on top of me – I’m drowning in slideshows! I wish I knew some cheat codes to make content creation easier! Dr Doitall

Thanks for the compliments, Doc, but don’t underestimate yourself! With the right tools, you can unleash your own inner superhero and start creating epic e-learning yourself – you don’t need to live in a lamp for a millennium to harness the magic that lies at your fi ngertips! Here’s a wishlist to get you started. You’ll need:

 An authoring tool: cloud-based, preferably – imagine being able to continue working from wherever you are in the world, rather than chained to a desk!

 e-learning templates: these’ll let you go from one to fun in a matter of seconds.  Libraries: not real-life, of course, but libraries of content that you can reuse, drag and drop, and edit en masse.

 A trigger fi nger: to select ‘Go’ and have all the pieces come together to really simply create a fab e-learning unit.

See? No need to panic! Get the right tools and e-learning creation is like a wish come true! Genie

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