How to create a memorable mini-scenario. Often we’re told, “Put this information into a course.”
But what happens if we put the information into a job aid instead, and then design mini-scenarios that help learners use the job aid? This approach not only keeps boring blather out of our elearning, it can also make our activities more memorable. Here’s how it could work. Example Let’s say we’re designing a course on needle safety for a hospital. Instead, we’ll plunge our learners directly into an activity that somewhat simulates real life and that includes real-life job aids. We’re tempting the learner to respond without thinking, but we’ve also given them access to more information. But our sample learner thinks, “Everyone knows you pour Betadine on that kind of wound,” and they choose that without looking at any other information.
Scenario design in elearning: Two types of feedback. You’re at the county fair.
Your kids are off watching the pig race, and you’re starving. There are only two food carts nearby. One sells deep-fried pork skins from a pot of bubbling grease, and the other sells sushi from a styrofoam cooler. You decide to buy the sushi. As you hand over your money, a disembodied voice suddenly booms from the clouds above. You’ve just met The Omniscient One. “I know everything, and you have no brain” The Omniscient One (the OO to its friends) is a big fan of telling feedback, because it knows everything. An alternative: show the result In the real world, we’d remember the sushi lesson best if we ate the sushi and then spent three very unpleasant days.
Six hours after you eat the sushi, you begin vomiting. We’ve described the result in a memorable way. With this small change, we’re letting people learn from somewhat realistic experience, and the more realistic and vivid we can make the experience, the more likely they are to remember it. Creative Process: Designing a Hollywood Movie Poster. As many of you know, the Academy Awards of E-learning, aka Articulate 2010 Guru Awards, is coming up.
The Guru Awards are a great opportunity for e-learning designers to showcase their best Articulate work while competing for fame and prizes. One of the biggest challenges for many e-learning designers is coming up with a visual theme for a course. Designers know the value of the learning voice in their course designs, but often struggle with creating the visual voice and theme for their courses. Sometimes it’s important to look outside our industry to learn how other design professionals go about the creative design process.
And what better industry to learn from than Hollywood movie poster design. Creative Process Slideshow Here’s a slideshow on the creative process used for designing the Burn After Reading movie poster. It was refreshing to learn advertising designers have similar challenges as e-learning designers: Hasn’t anyone in Hollywood heard of ADDIE? Happy the Hedgehog and How to Create Engaging E-learning. Mobile phone companies continue to raise the bar for the most creative compliance public service announcement (PSA).
It continues to amaze me (read: annoy) how groups *outside* the training department regularly design more creative and engaging training than those in the training department. Consider the most recent Sprint PSA reminding moviegoers to turn off their cell phones before the show: Awesome! Talk about creative compliance training. Can you imagine something similar in your next compliance, ethics or Code of Conduct e-learning course? Presentation of Content Matters Understand that this is not unique content that lends itself to creative interpretation. Don’t launder moneyDon’t steal from the companyDon’t commit insider tradingDon’t <Anything!
Using the same approach from Happy the Hedgehog, we could have created intros showing people from various departments in the company. Find a connect and use it. Most elearning is predictable. Low-tech Works! Can you believe that audio? Slide Makeover: 5 Design Ideas to Rock Your Learners Into Compliance. Let’s face it, no one takes compliance e-learning seriously.
Slide after slide, learners glaze over the rules and regulations while unconsciously clicking the next button. The problem is that most compliance e-learning uses the same visual and narrative voice across all their courses. That’s like using the stop sign for all roadside communication. The reality is we use different voices every day. For example, I use one voice when my 2-year old is about to spill her water: “Ellie, remember both hands with the water” and she usually adjusts. That’s why I’m proposing a more direct, in-your-face approach to compliance training.
Consider this: Select the fictional compliance officer for whom you’re least likely to pad expense reports. Rick AstleyDee Snider Without knowing either Rick or Dee, I’m inclined to perceive Rick as more lenient and forgiving. Metalheads have long recognized the sense of power and toughness umlauts create. David St. “It’s like a pair of eyes. “This course just got real!”