eLN Interactive Webinar Series: Writing for Learning with Helen Hill

How much do you consider what you are writing in your learning beyond making sure it covers the right topics, the learning objectives and is grammatically correct?

In this session we will look at the key principles of writing for learning and what we can learn from the fields of Content and UX design. I will provide some tools and tips for creating an equal experience for all, making your content accessible and improving the flow and readability. In other words – putting the learners first.

We will be looking at topics such as:

  • Using plain language
  • The Readability Guidelines
  • The learner journey
  • Planning for translation and localisation
  • Helpful tools and resources

In this session, you will:

  • Learn how to improve your writing to account for all learners using Content Design principles
  • Identify points for improvement in your own work
  • Share experiences and knowledge of UX design and how you implement it in your work
  • Discover resources and tools to help you learn more
This content is for members only.  Annual individual membership is only £29, sign up today and start taking advantage of the benefits of being an eLN member! 

Design Thinking with Houra Amin

“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success”.

TIM BROWN, EXECUTIVE CHAIR OF IDEO

The coronavirus pandemic is a prime example of how complex problems can disturb everyone’s lives and businesses. We live in a volatile, unpredictable and complex world and although the problems we face with are not always as big as the pandemic, we still need to address a vast range of challenges not only to survive but to thrive and grow. 
Design thinking allows businesses and individuals alike to effectively address their challenges by enabling them to unlock their creativity. And creativity is our competitive advantage, isn’t it?

You may have heard examples of companies worldwide that suddenly shifted their strategy and/or production to fight the current pandemic and keep their business running. With every bar in the UK shut following the lockdown policies, many gin distilleries across the country switched their products to save the future of their business and help fight the spread of coronavirus. Many found themselves in the same situation as Carmen O’Neal, the managing director of a boutique London-based distillery, We suddenly had a business with no customers or income – and if we didn’t do something, and do it very, very quickly, we’d also have no business. How do we keep our business running? How do we save the team’s jobs?”

So what did they do? They focused on the market and what people needed most. They unleashed their creative thinking. The result? Sanitiser! A product that is badly needed and is feasible for distilleries to produce as they have all the required ingredients to make some.

Design thinking is a mindset that drives innovation and enables organisations, leaders, teams and individuals in different industries to do the right thing through empathy and collaboration.

One of the popular models for design thinking is the double diamond model which was popularised by the British Design Council in 2005. This framework outlines four core principles to enable effective problem solving:

  • Discover: Empathy is key. Put people first – start with an understanding of the people using a service, their needs, strengths and aspirations.
  • Define: Communicate visually and inclusively to define the problem or the opportunity so that everyone has a shared understanding of the situation.
  • Develop through collaboration and co-creation. It’s all about working together and being open to other people’s insights and ideas and getting inspired by what others are doing. We cannot apply design thinking in isolation.
  • Prototype: Iterate, iterate, iterate. We need to be able to embrace mistakes, fail fast and learn quickly. This will help to avoid bigger, more expensive risks down the road. As Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO says “don’t think of it as failure think of it as designing experiments through which you’re going to learn”. An iterative approach to solving problems is very helpful because the feedback we receive from the people we’re designing for is a critical part of how a solution evolves. By continually iterating, refining, and improving our work, we put ourselves in a place where we’ll have more ideas, try a variety of approaches, unlock our creativity, and arrive more quickly at successful solutions.

As Learning and Development professionals, we can apply design thinking to readjust the learning strategy by focusing more on people’s experience and performance and help solve real problems and challenges.

eLN Interactive Webinar Series: Storytelling & Best Practice for Authoring Tools with Tom Moore

iAM Learning are storytellers and wizards of animation. They also believe in the power of visual communication and weave all of that together into their own elearning courses. They believe that all learning content should be engaging and so, during this characterful webinar, will share their knowledge about how to create your own stories and bring them to life. More than that, they’ll show you how to create an end-to-end experience using your authoring tool and how that can truly enhance your users learning experience.

In this session you will learn:

  • How to use storytelling to create impactful and engaging
  • How to use the power of visual communication alongside the art of storytelling
  • The key steps to any content production line
  • The importance of learner experience and how you can build that into your content
  • How you can use your elearning authoring tool to support the learning experience
  • Hints, tips and key points to consider when authoring elearning.
This content is for members only.  Annual individual membership is only £29, sign up today and start taking advantage of the benefits of being an eLN member! 

eLN Interactive Webinar Series: Human Centred Approach with Kim Touhy

Curious about how you can become a better instructional designer and create more effective training? Human-centred design (HCD) puts the people you are designing for at the heart of the solution. It uses effective strategies from:

  • psychology
  • user experience
  • marketing
  • and heaps more.

Those that use the title “learning experience designer” tend to use HCD to differentiate themselves from “instructional designers”. It is important because it changes lives, improves behaviour and achieves learning objectives.

It is a repeatable process that you can learn and apply to every future project you work on.

This eLN webinar is human-centred, which means it’s purely driven by your needs through a Q&A format. Come with your questions, receive coaching support to help you extend your toolkit and become a better instructional designer.

Learn how to:

✔️ Identify the true problem that exists

✔️ Identify the needs of the people who are facing that problem

✔️ Experiment with possible solutions to solve the problem

✔️ Implement the solution that best meets the needs of the problem faced.

Human-centred design applied by instructional designers helps you:

✔️ Identify what your learners really care about so that you can speak to their motivation.

✔️ Identify the need to know information and what is nice to know so that you can craft a story that aligns to what your learner cares about.

✔️ Launch a solution that is contextual to the needs of your learners and your organisation/customer.

Hannah and Kim recommend reading “10 Strategies for Analysing Your Training Project” prior to the interactive session.
This content is for members only.  Annual individual membership is only £29, sign up today and start taking advantage of the benefits of being an eLN member! 
Play Video

We help people develop, improve and grow to meet their future needs. From freelancers to in-house teams to agency owners, we exist to help instructional designers and eLearning developers like us live their ultimate lives, doing what they love in a fulfilling and effective way.

Click on the links for Kim and Hannah on LinkedIn and delve in to the Belvista Studios YouTube channel.

eLN Interactive Webinar Series: Design Thinking with Houra Amin

In this workshop, Houra walks through the principles of design thinking with examples and explores how readjusting the learning strategy to put the focus on experience and performance helps solve real problems and adds business value.

Join Houra to explore:

  • Principles of design thinking
  • Business benefits of design thinking
  • Practical tips and actions to uncover real challenges/opportunities and find creative solutions
  • Useful resources
This content is for members only.  Annual individual membership is only £29, sign up today and start taking advantage of the benefits of being an eLN member! 

Measure twice, CLICK ONCE

A Do’s and Don’ts guide for eLearning design process by eLN Director Paul Service

The first time Paul heard the expression ‘Measure twice, cut one’ was in the literal sense on a DIY project with his granddad.  Measure twice, CLICK once, is an approach and an attitude that has stuck with him and carried through into his work today running a bespoke eLearning development team. In this blog, eLN Director, Paul shares the headlines of an approach founded on this principle that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail!

1 Preparation & Background

Don’t: Just start building!

I’ve fallen into this trap many times in my early days, getting swept up in the ideas in my head the second I had received the project brief. Before I knew it I had fired up Articulate and was building screens interactions in a blur. STOP.

Do: Follow the steps (Or your version of them)

Define your scope with your stakeholders, formally and in a document. This doesn’t have to be ‘War & Peace’; in fact the best scopes are often the shortest. Less is more. But clear on WHAT change you are looking to effect with WHO.

2 Define the box

Don’t: Listen to your SME’s!

Of course that’s not meant literally, but don’t forget they are experts in their subject, NOT eLearning development.

Do: Set a duration / length and stick to it

I find the easiest way to do this is to do two things (One tracking length and the other duration).

To track length (or size) use the storyboard to set a number of screens that you are aiming for (i.e. 20-30).

3 Form your team & get organised

Don’t: Do EVERYTHING yourself

Unless that’s your only choice, play to your strengths and let others play to theirs. A lesson I learned very early on is that although I enjoyed the visual side of eLearning development I wasn’t very good at it! Call on experts for help when you need them.

Do: Ask for help

Make friends with your marketing and creative time – You might need them! Knowing the resources and skills you have access to is critical.

4 Build it

eLearning design is obviously a large topic in itself which I won’t attempt to cover here other than to say you need to have a process and stick to it!

Don’t: Get distracted

Follow the stages outlined below, paying particular attention to the Storyboarding and don’t allow yourself to get pulled off track.

Do: Stay laser focused

If you put the work in up front by storyboarding well, then there is something wonderfully calm and focused about the build process that follows.

5 Review & Closedown

Storyboard (Alpha)

These days with builds becoming less complex and rapid authoring becoming the norm we tend to merge the old Alpha build stage with the storyboard.

Beta

It’s debatable how different this is from Gold other than it’s one review loop earlier. Some people may leave out some of the more complex / costly / fixed elements such as animation, custom graphics or voiceover at this stage.

Gold

This review should be in your opinion ready to release, but allowing your stakeholders to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Changes at this stage should be extremely minor.

Closedown – Tidy up the playroom!

An often overlooked phase tidying things up at the end of the project which can feel like tidying up your kids playroom after a week of chaos! Take an hour or two to ensure all the source files are stored neatly in your folder structure. Is the final storyboard saved with an appropriate name (Old early versions only cause confusion at this stage so delete them). Check that you’ve got a FINAL APPROVED GOLD copy of the deliverable output in an appropriate folder.

If you would like to learn about Paul’s team’s “Measure Twice – CLICK ONCE” approach then sign up to the webinar today. This will be the first of an interactive series, allowing you the opportunity to ask questions of Paul as well as share your own personal experiences with the other members.

Sign up today and join us on January 26th 1145 – 1300 – I look forward to meeting many of you online shortly.