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6 TED Talks That Anyone Designing Online Training Should Watch

— by Bill Cushard

Learning developmentUncategorized

We all know that TED Talks are educational and inspiring, and most of us have watched them from time-to-time for general entertainment and inspirational purposes. However, as I watched one of these videos just the other day, I realized there are lessons that can be found about designing online training from talks related to design and education in general.

This is a short collection of TED Talks that I believe will give the online training designer a ton of great ideas for improving training courses. If nothing else, they are entertaining and inspirational.

Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education

You have heard of Khan Academy, certainly. But you may not have heard the story of why and how Salman Khan started Khan Academy. Trust me, once you watch this video, you will start thinking of ways to use video in all of your online training courses.

Design Explained

John Hodgman shares three examples of iconic design. I like this video because it is entertaining, but also because when he shares each example, the word utility seems to repeat itself. I begin to think about a product and the purpose of the design, which also makes me think about the purpose of my online training designs? Utility matters, and utility answers the question, “Why is this online training course [or anything] designed this way?” When we design a course, we should ask that question more often.

How Schools Kill Creativity

Maybe this talk is not precisely about design, but it is about education and how traditional education kills creativity. Not only is it just about the most amusing TED Talk I have watched, but it will make you think about how and whether the online training you design kills creativity.

What We’re Learning from Online Education

Coursera Co-founder Daphne Koller talks about how and why she is trying to convince top universities to put their courses online and available to everyone for free. It might inspire you to put all of your company training online.

Child-Driven Education

This video shows the powerful potential of learning that is driven by the learner and not by an instructor. It makes you think about how you can make available resources to your learners so they can learn at their own pace.

Designing for Simplicity

I like simple, so I found this video quite informative. You will also find that I have written about how to make our online training designs more simple to avoid learner overload. Our goal should be to simplify our courses.

What inspired you in these videos? What TED Talks have inspired you and why?

Bill Cushard, authorblogger, and learning experience (LX) designer, is a human performance technologist (HPT) with extensive, in-the-trenches experience building learning organizations at companies like E*TRADEAccenture, and ServiceRocket. You can follow him on Twitter or on Google+

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