Monthly Archives: February 2013

eLearning to dance

The dimensions of child protection come to life in an animated visual with the addition of an English speaking Indian voice to reflect the international nature of the issue.

There is a plethora of software out there now to create online learning experiences. My new toy is Articulate for that purpose. It was very easy to learn and full of nifty ways to make the content come to life through audio, visuals, animations and video. Like quilting or stained glass, it allows you to take a range of individual elements and weave them together into a creative and engaging whole.

But the task of online learning goes much beyond the actual mechanism. Learning is an active process and must combine meaningful interaction with the content together with ways to connect with colleagues and subject matter experts to embed knowledge in real life situations.

It helps create a pathway for a bunch of facts, policies or methodologies to take up residence in the working memory of staff so that they can apply their learning to the situations they face on a daily basis.

It can be a very useful part of broader strategies to build capacity across an organization. Here’s what it has going for it:

  • It knows no time zones, and location and distance are not an issue—learners can access the materials at their convenience
  • It can create a number of pathways through challenging material to accommodate different learning styles and interest levels
  • Adding audio and animation to visuals helps create better memory links to important  information in people’s heads
  • It gives you many mechanisms for highlighting critical information and grabbing a learner’s attention
  • Building in time and questions for reflection and application to real life situations helps create meaning for the learner.

The flexibility of the online learning platform also allows you to deeply respect the most important tenet of communications and learning—keeping the audience at the centre of the design process. Good learning is rooted in understanding the compelling core needs and circumstances of your audience. Good online learning makes that understanding start to dance.

“Learning experiences are like journeys … [but] the end of the journey isn’t just knowing more, it’s doing more.”
                                                 Design for How People Learn by Julie Dirkson