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4621 N Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
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CUSTOM E-LEARNING

NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

The custom e-learning digest: my favorite posts from the labs@nogginlabs

Labs-Blog

The custom e-learning digest: my favorite posts from the labs@nogginlabs

Sara Jensen

One of my very favorite parts of my job at NogginLabs is managing our blog. I love coming up with ideas for posts, seeing the creative twists the writers take with their topics, and working with my colleagues all over the company to bring you all sorts of inspiration. When we launched the blog back in August (coincidentally, the first post was published on my birthday), our goal was to start talking more about our work, our thoughts on the e-learning industry, our sources of inspiration,  and all the other odds and ends that happen when you bring together a dynamic group like the Noggins. But I'll be honest: I wondered if we would have enough to say. 

Well, I should've known better, because NogginLabs is a nearly infinite pool of creativity, innovation, and links to random stuff on the web that somehow (legitimately) relates back to our trade. In the spirit of the year's ending, I've rounded up a completely subjective list of my 5 favorite posts. If you missed them the first time around, consider passing those final moments until you head out for New Year's Eve here with us.

5. HOW TRAINING IS LIKE MARKETING: E-LEARNING AND THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

The sooner the training world learns to embrace the conventions of consumer marketing, the better for learners everywhere. Check out Ryan O'Neill's post  for some ideas about how you can create an experience out of e-learning. 

4. NOGGINLABS' HOLIDAY SHOPPING LIST: GAMES THAT INSPIRE

Thank you, Matt Young, for giving me a great gift idea for my brother this year. I gave him 7 Wonders, and we enjoyed figuring it out and playing it several times during the holiday. It hit a sweet spot I'm always looking for in games: complex enough to be entertaining, but not so involved that it takes an entire evening to learn how to play it. 

3. GAMIFICATION DONE WRONG: WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' (MEANINGLESS) BADGES!

Jim Drummond hit on one of my biggest pet peeves with the gamification of nearly everything: meaningless rewards. It happens when every single store you walk into wants to invite you into their rewards club (and the cashiers never seem to believe you'll never buy anything there ever again). It also happens in boring e-learning. You can't spice up your read-click course by throwing the learner some random badges. Just don't bother.

2. A STOCK PHOTO FIELD GUIDE TO UNDERESTIMATING YOUR AUDIENCE

Who doesn't love nature's most bountiful resource: stock photography? I still occasionally see advertisements that include stock photo models who were in the very first e-learning course I worked on at NogginLabs. In between the entertaining bits, Jonathan Baude's post gives some helpful parameters for designing engaging e-learning, too.

1. MILLENNIALS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM; YOUR TERRIBLE E-LEARNING IS

Everyone loves to talk about Millenials, right? They Millennials are coming, and nobody can stop them! Lindsay Bland's interview with NogginLabs' Founder Brian Knudson was our top-viewed post of 2015, and can be summed up with this quote: "Just dumping content online and forcing people to take it is never going to work, no matter what generation you’re in."