Formats of video to use in E-Learning

using videos in e-learning Following on from previous post – Using videos in E-Learning, we take a further look at some of the formats and types of videos available.

Rather than bombard you with information overload, in this post we will give you a quick overview of four video types, when to use them as well as useful tips;

  • Piece to Camera.
  • Interview Style.
  • Mini-doc.
  • Tutorial.

In our next post, we’ll be covering Scenario, How to, Explainer Animation, Digital Story.

Piece to camera

Format:

Short movie featuring one person looking into camera while reading a script or presenting (as used in news on TV or by TV reporters).

What is it?

A piece to camera is the television and film term used for when a presenter or a character speaks directly to the viewing audience through the camera.

When to use:

Positioning piece by a leader in the team or organisation to provide a strategic context and the bigger picture.

Peer learning for people sharing their experiences.

Key points

Pros:

  • Scripted in advance so ‘on message’.
  • Simple format one camera, tripod.
  • Controlled environment.
  • Quick to edit.
  • Efficient to use same set-up for multiple subjects.

Cons:

  • Not particularly visually engaging.
  • Need someone who can read out in a natural, animated way.
  • Effort in advance of shoot to create a detailed script.

Tips

Use an autocue app for iPad and experiment with speeds so suit delivery of person interviewing. A green screen can make video more visual and relevant by positioning interview in a different locations.

Interview Style

Format:

Movie featuring one or more interviewees who are responding to questions.

What is it?

Talking head refers to a person speaking directly to camera usually in a medium shot, meaning they’re cropped at the head and shoulders.

When to use:

  • If subject is not able to write or approve detailed script.
  • Basis for a more ‘mini-doc;’ approach with video footage or stills to illustrate key points.
  • If subject matter more discursive or sensitive and lends itself to a conversation as opposed to formal written delivery script.

Key points

Pros:

  • May end up with more natural delivery.
  • Basis for mini-doc.
  • You may be able to accommodate more than one interviewee.
  • Draws out reflections and narratives with emotional depth.

Cons:

  • Works best with two cameras – more equipment can impact costs.
  • Longer shoot time as not so tightly scripted.
  • As not tightly scripted, sometimes issues with answering in full sentences.
  • Some believe less engaging as subject isn’t looking directly at camera.

Tips

  • Ask interviewee to answer in complete sentences, repeating the answer.
  • Cut out the interviewer – they are not the focus.
  • Ensure you don’t interrupt the interviewees answer or make sounds or noises of agreement (this is harder than you think).
  • Warm up the interviewee with some lighter chat.
  • Send them key messages to be covered in advance rather than exact questions so responses not too wooden.

Mini-doc

Format:

A short documentary that tells a story with interview or voice over as the basis and a variety of action and static shots and sequences.

What is it?

A cut-away is the interruption of a continuously filmed shot by inserting a view of something else. It is usually, although not always, followed by a cut back to the first shot, when the cutaway avoids a jump cut

Video recording When to use:

  • Topic lends itself to sourcing interesting, visual footage.
  • Combine telling with showing to explore context or challenges.
  • Bring the learner visually into different situations and contexts.
  • Reinforce key messages visually.
  • Avoid jump cuts.

 Key points

Pros:

  • Potential for highly engaging storytelling that informs and motivates.
  • Makes it real.
  • Shows the evidence not just someone talking.
  • Makes learning relevant and real with actual footage.

Cons:

  • More effort and time needed to prepare and script.
  • Longer shoot as not simply capturing piece to camera or interview.
  • Variety of locations – consider permissions, noise etc.

Tips

  • When scripting consider sequences of shots that will tell the story.
  • Ensure the backdrop for key interview is ideally relevant to the story that’s being told.
  • Get shots from different distances and angles.
  • Think of establishing shots – buildings, doorways, signs etc.

Tutorial

Format:

Tutorial delivered via expert which mimics the experience of a lecture.

Get the lingo:

On screen graphics – lower thirds are commonly found in TV news and documentaries and in their simplest form, a lower third can just be text overlying the video.

When to use:

You have access to an expert in their field.

Teaching, information rich piece or complex concepts.

Strong presenter.

Key points

Pros:

  • Fast way to convert classroom to virtual learning.
  • Lends itself to efficient use of templates for implementation.
  • May be a stand-alone topic in a programme design – less ID effort.

Cons:

  • Push – may be passive experience for learners.
  • Heavily dependent on presenter for engaging delivery and content.

Tips

  • Include graphics and illustrations.
  • Intersperse with learning activities, pause points, questions and reflections.
  • Reinforce key learning with summary screens.

As part of our video production service at Aurion, we produce high quality and aminated content that can be used as a stand-alone asset or enhance and support E-Learning.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

 

Using videos in online learning.

Videos

The theme for our 2015 E-Learning Masterclass series held in Edinburgh, Dublin and Belfast throughout October was ‘Getting the most out of E-Learning’ and focused on three core topics:

  1. Learning platforms
  2. Creating efficiencies in E-Learning
  3. Using video in E-Learning

Over the coming weeks, we will share with you insights and practical tips from these topics.

In the spotlight this week is using videos in online learning. In this post, we’ll share the rationale for choosing to create different video types, some tips and the formats available.

video 2Why use videos in E-Learning

We are all aware that the more learners are engaged, the more they will learn. Using videos in learning can improve and support E-Learning content. The video takes them from reading or interacting on screen to become immersed with a story or interview and ultimately increasing retention.

  • Engages learners
  • Make topics real and relevant – no longer theoretical, illustrating real world impact
  • Demonstrate process/best practice
  • Motivates and inspires
  • Informs and help memory retention
  • Ability to share on multi-platform
  • Offers just in time learning

Things to consider when using video in E-Learning

  • Keep it simple and short – ideally 3-5 mins. Reinforce messages visually so audio script can be tight.
  • Make it credible – poor quality video can distract and be funny for the wrong reasons.
  • Ensure it’s accessible – make sure that your audience has access to transcripts, sub-titles where necessary.
  • Focus on learning outcomes and key messages – start with the learning objective, key messages, purpose of the video informs the format. What competent behaviour do you need learners to recognise and replicate? Or how can you motivate them about consequences of actions or inactions, not following processes. Reinforce competent behaviour.
  • More than just show and tell – show-and-ask or watch-and-identify. Add questions and activities that requirement watching the video to answer.
  • Think budget and time– anything that adds time, adds cost. Record as much as possible in one location so time not wasted travelling.
  • Opportunity – look at opportunities you have, strong presenter, staff with stories to share, visually engaging locations etc, ideally a two person crew with subject matter expert.
  • No video is an island – weave the videos into your programme design. Include within structure and flow. Consider activities and challenges for learners to complete during or after watching a video.

formats of moviesFormat of videos available

Although not an extensive list, the formats outlined below are those which we regularly use to support content in online learning programmes and some move beyond the traditional norm usually associated with video.

When we are working with clients on developing a programme design, we think of which format of movie or ingredient fits best in terms of learning outcomes, scope, topic, opportunities.

  • Piece to Camera
  • Interview style
  • Mini-doc
  • Tutorial
  • Scenario
  • How to
  • Explainer animation
  • Digital Story

 

Over the coming weeks, we will explore each video format and detail when to use it as well as outlining pros and cons and some useful tips.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Are you getting the most out of E-Learning in your organisation?

Masterclass-email-image

As L&D professionals we tend to be busy bees. Planning, implementing and tracking training and development initiatives takes time. Often though, this results in little opportunity to lift our heads from the day to day busy tasks to take stock of where we are in our overall strategy.

Ideally, what we should be doing is taking a leaf out of our own books and practice what we preach.

Next month we will provide busy Learning and Development Managers, Learning Consultants, Trainers and Facilitators the opportunity to attend a free morning of e-learning. Our free-to-attend, half day e-learning masterclasses will provide attendees with a better insight into what’s happening in e-learning and how it can help improve learning and development throughout their organisation.

Held in Edinburgh, Dublin and Belfast throughout October, these events will also deliver  a quality programme of content and real-world speakers from organisations in Ireland and the UK will also share their insights deploying e-learning, and how the team have embraced the new challenges and opportunities.

What’s more, our masterclass events will also offer an unrivalled opportunity for networking.

Like-minded attendees with a passion for E-Learning looking to get the most out of it and optimising its potential for the future have already signed up, meaning there are no shortage of chances to expand your professional network with the right contacts.

Whatever stage your online journey is on, you’ll also get practical tips and techniques on how to put a plan in place to make informed decisions on the best learning design, tools and technology for you and your organisation. It’s a morning of e-learning not to be missed.

So busy bee, what’s stopping you? Take a look at what you can learn at these free events.

Register for free and find out more.

E-Learning Motivation Made Easy: How To Keep Learners Engaged

E-Learning Motivation Made Easy: How To Keep Learners Engaged

We think E-Learning is great. It’s cost-effective, time-efficient and ideal for delivering standardised training to huge groups of learners spanning even greater geographical areas. However, it does not come without its challenges. One of the key issues with E-Learning lies in its struggle to retain, engage and motivate learners. Today, we’ll tackle the topic of motivation, giving you sound advice and simple ideas to help you excite and motivate learners.

At some point in our education, we’ve all sat in a classroom or lecture hall, tuned out the voice of our teacher and let our thoughts drift off to other things. Many traditional classroom trainers find it difficult to recognise when students are there in person but not in mind. Often it is not until assessments are introduced that they discover whether learning has occurred or whether all of the knowledge they have so painstakingly put together and delivered has went in one ear and out the other.

With online learning, however, the difference is often much clearer. Learners who are not engaged or enthusiastic can be recognised easily because they simply close their browser and fail to complete their learning. A key worry faced by many E-Learning practitioners is whether or not E-Learners will be motivated enough to complete their programmes and have a greater understanding at the end.

Luckily for us, we are not the first people to face the challenge of E-Learner motivation. Today we’ll explore some tried and tested techniques for learner motivation and give you some advice to help you avoid common pitfalls. The ARCS model of Motivational Design by John Keller is a useful starting point for the basics of motivational theory in learning and can be applied to E-Learning. The model outlines four ways of motivating learners; Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction. We’ll cover each element in more detail now:

Attention: In order to motivate learners, it is important firstly to gain their attention. Keller proposes two main ideas for achieving this; through perceptual arousal or inquiry arousal. In other words, attracting learners’ attention by doing something out of the ordinary or else by appealing to their inquisitive nature.

Relevance: If learners are to deem content worthy of their attention and the application of their motivation, then the learning must be grounded in real life applicability. This can be achieved by giving examples of the learning’s relevance or even by profiling individuals who have already used the learning for their own betterment.

Confidence: By instilling a sense of achievability and by ensuring learners are aware that the work they put into learning will reap merit, it will give them reason to fully apply themselves. It’s important to map out the learning journey they are about to set out on, give guidance on how much work will be involved and directly link this to potential success.

Satisfaction: Each of us needs to feel like the efforts we are making are worthwhile if we are to continue to replicate them. If you are able to develop a meaningful rewards system for your learners, it will reinforce the relevance of their learning and recognise that their hard work has paid off, thus creating motivation for further learning.

Keller’s theory is easy to understand and for many L&D practitioners components of it may seem fairly obvious. However, often in practice many people deviate from these principles in favour of more superficial or gimmick-filled learning solutions. It is important both when planning your next E-Learning programme and also when assessing its success to consider whether it meets Keller’s four principles of motivation.

How can you avoid gimmicks and inspire real motivation?

In pursuit of the latest trend, it can be easy to get carried away and forget about the simple and effective ways of motivating learners. By adopting a range of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational techniques, you can expect to see more leaners completing your courses and applying the learning within your organisation. We’ve identified three areas where you should be particularly cautious:

1. Gamification

Like many others in the industry, we’re excited about the rise of gamification in E-Learning. In our blog about the gamification of E-Learning in 2015, we predicted that it is to become more practical, more integrated, more fun and more common. Because of the hype created around gamification, however, many have raced to embrace it without fully understanding how to utilise it in a learning context. When we adopt superficial games with low relevance to learning content, we distract from learning instead of encouraging it. Our advice is to carefully consider how you can use game mechanics and gaming narratives to motivate your learners.

 

2. Badges and Reward Systems

A potentially useful way of motivating learners is through awarding badges or by developing a rewards system. It can serve as a form of intrinsic motivation by appealing to the learner’s sense of achievement and is useful as a type of extrinsic motivation because it can give the learner status amongst their peers or qualify them for a reward or promotion. The counterfeit cousin of a good reward system is one which recognises trivial achievements with meaningless rewards. In order to use badges and reward systems to truly motivate learners, it is essential that the achievements are tangible and worthy of recognition and that the rewards are meaningful and roughly equivalent to the amount of work the learner has put in.

 

3. Graphics

The rapid advances within graphic design and constantly growing industry of web-design means that people are increasingly used to highly-stylised web-content with high-quality images and beautifully presented content. This is exciting because it means that we can produce digital learning that is easy on the eye and attention-grabbing. However, in order to maintain learners’ engagement and motivation, ensure that the instructional designer holds the reins in decisions about layout and that content design is not decided by graphic designers. The work of graphic designers should complement the aims of the instructional designer. For more advice on using graphics in E-Learning, download our recent infographic, The Six Golden Rules for Using Graphics in E-Learning.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

The Six Golden Rules for Using Graphics in E-Learning

We are all forced daily to trundle through reams of written content to get to the information we want. We have learned to quickly scan text, pick out the points of interest and ignore the rest. Today we’ll tell you how you can use graphics to highlight which information is most important for your learners and to help them to memorise it.

Why are graphics so great?

Graphics are amazing because they can easily summarise huge amounts of written information in a small space, not to mention in a memorable and aesthetically pleasing way! The rise of the infographic and the popularity of memes are just small indicators of the potential in graphics to capture learners’ attention and act as a platform for our bright ideas and learning materials.

It would be a shame for the instructional designer to put together killer learning content, for the web development team to create a robust and multi-functional platform to deliver the content on and then to fail to think through how the content will appear to users visually. Without great UX design and appealing graphics, learners will simply switch off. So we’ve created six golden rules for using graphics in E-Learning:

Six Golden Rules for Using Graphics in E-Learning

This infographic is available to download here.

1)    Graphics should simplify learning content, not complicate it.

2)    Choose graphics that will be memorable and make learning content memorable.

3)    Consistency in style is key to creating beautifully designed E-Learning.

4)    If graphics aren’t self-explanatory, be sure to include a caption or explanation.

5)    Avoid including graphics just for the sake of it – they should add to the learning, not distract from it.

6)    Always use high quality graphics.

 

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

 

The difference between chimpanzees and us: Social Learning?

The difference between chimpanzees and us: Social Learning?

Our ability to learn from one another and build upon each other’s wisdom (known as social learning) means that we can find new, quicker and more effective ways of doing everyday tasks. In this blog, we’ll explore why social learning is one of the things that makes us unique as humans and discuss why it is so exciting.

We recently watched biologist, Mark Pagel’s TED talk, How language transformed humanity and were blown away by the things he had to say. There are few better ways as a learning and development enthusiast that you could spend your next 20 minutes, so watch the talk now:

It’s difficult to sum it up more succinctly, so we’ll have to quote Pagel:

“Each of you possesses the most powerful, dangerous and subversive trait that natural selection has ever devised. It’s a piece of neural audio technology for rewiring other people’s minds. I’m talking about your language, of course, because it allows you to implant a thought from your mind directly into someone else’s mind, and they can attempt to do the same to you, without either of you having to perform surgery.”

Our capacity to communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings through language means that we can connect with others and work together to achieve mutually beneficial goals. In his talk, Pagel explains how chimpanzees can use simple tools to feed themselves but lack the ability to learn from each other and to innovate. This prevents them from building the social and physical structures (such as supermarkets, for example) which would allow them to feed themselves more easily and efficiently. Our ability to innovate and grow through social learning is a remarkable gift which allows us to achieve things which our monkey counterparts could simply never realise.

Social learning allows us not only to pick up good habits and useful knowledge from others but it also allows us to form close-knit groups of people who we can bounce ideas off and pursue innovation with.

We often talk about learning as if it were an individual pursuit to be undergone at a lonely study desk or whilst sitting by ourselves in front of a computer screen. Academics Lave and Wenger speak about learning in a different way. They talk about communities of practice which are “groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.”

According to Wenger, there are three distinguishing features of a community of practice:

 

1. A shared domain

Members share a discipline or sphere of interest.

2. An active community

Members interact, assist one another and impart information to one another.

3.    A shared practice

Members form a way of functioning. Through past experiences, they decide how to deal with future challenges.

 

Without realising it, many of us already belong to communities of practice; in our work units, sports teams and even our social circles. Social learning can often feel a lot more natural and appealing than formalised, traditional learning so it’s helpful as E-Learning practitioners to find ways to incorporate it into our teaching. Fortunately, there are limitless possibilities to introduce social learning online, including forums, group assignments and blended learning approaches.

The inclusion of social learning in E-Learning is exciting because if we are able to form communities of practice free from geographical boundaries and limitations, we can equip people to learn at any time of day, gaining knowledge from any number of sources so that they can use it immediately within our organisations. Social learning is interactive, attention-grabbing, inexpensive and potential filled.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Loud and Clear – Four Questions to ask before using audio in your E-Learning

'Loud and Clear - Four Questions to ask before using audio in your E-Learning' and a picture of a speaker

Not all E-Learning programmes need to have audio, but it can help learners and create interest, if used well. This blog forms the first of a two part series which will highlight the different questions you should ask before using audio in your E-Learning and the different ways to incorporate it.

There are a number of practical questions you can ask yourself before you think about using audio. These will not only help you decide if you need audio but also how you might manage the recording and updating of it.

1. What technology do your target audience use?

 Is it likely that your target audience:

    • Have speakers or headphones in which to hear the audio?

 You can of course add audio transcripts for those that don’t have speakers or headphones, but it would be unnecessary providing audio if the majority of your learners don’t have them.

    • Have sufficient bandwidth to cope with a larger file size?

 Audio increases the file size of your E-Learning and it can significantly slow down loading times.

 

2.    What are your budget limitations and timescales?

Consider if you are willing to:

    • Invest in good quality audio.

This can be as simple as investing in a good quality microphone, and investing some more on soundproofing equipment. But don’t compromise on your audio. According to Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass at Stanford University, audio quality matters a lot so online learners are unforgiving when it’s recorded badly. If you are in doubt about the quality of your audio, have it recorded professionally.

    • Take the time to add audio to your programme and sync it up with onscreen text.

 This can take some time, especially if your text builds onscreen. Be prepared to add your audio at the end once all of your text is finalised and agreed, otherwise your audio will be out of date very quickly.

    • Provide and update an audio transcript.

 An audio transcript will help users with hearing difficulties read the audio at their own pace. If you add audio, make sure you are prepared to add this and update it when you make any changes to your content.

 

3.    Will your programme require any updates and if so, how often?

If you anticipate that you will make a lot of updates to your content over time, consider if you are willing to record new audio each time you make the changes. This is why deciding on the approach to audio is especially important from the onset – if you choose to record all of your onscreen text, are you prepared to record all of this content if you make even minor updates to your content?

 

4.    What is the nature of your content?

The subject(s) you will be covering will of course help you decide how much audio you will use in your programme. We’ll cover this in our next blog where we’ll explore the different approaches for the use of audio.

 

About Maresa

Maresa Molloy, Instructional Designer at Aurion Learning

 

Maresa is an Instructional Designer at Aurion Learning. She is also an avid fan of hill-walking and would love to be stuck in a lift with Andy Murray!

In her role as Instructional Designer, Maresa is responsible for working closely with Aurion client Subject Matter Experts and the in-house e-learning development team in the design and production of online and work-based learning materials for a range of programmes.

 

 

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

 

Two heads are better than one: Five ideas for E-Learning team collaboration

This infographic is available to download here.

The E-Learning profession is a high-paced and demanding industry. Many E-Learning professionals feel they are constantly racing to the next goal or to finish their next project. We’ve come up with five tips that will help your team to communicate with one another, enjoy their work and use their time efficiently.

1.    Use the best tools

As learning technologists, we know that using the right technology can transform a process or task. By spending time researching the best project management tool for your team, you will save time, money and the sanity of your team. We recommend checking out Basecamp and Trello.

2.    Be clear about who is responsible for what

A common frustration for team members is the feeling that they are undertaking work which is not necessarily under their remit. To overcome this, set out clear roles and responsibilities at the beginning and remember to reinforce these when they go astray.

3.    Make a clear and concrete plan at the beginning

Be sure to have a project kick-off meeting where all team members are present either virtually or in person. A kick off meeting should communicate the vision for the project, the limits in terms of resources and map out a pathway to be followed. If you can pull this off, it will ensure buy-in from your team and make it easier for them to recognise and rectify any challenges that arise.

4.    Make allowances for set-backs and delays

Even with the best of planning, unexpected set-backs are bound to happen; whether a member of your team needs to take a few days off or you have technological issues. By anticipating unexpected and uncontrollable events in your planning, you can ensure that you reach project milestones on time.

5.    Create a culture of appreciation

A recent survey by Monster found that 58% of British workers feel they don’t get thanked often enough at work, leading many to feel both under-appreciated and demotivated. If you can lead by example and encourage your team to recognise success, hard work and talent then you will find team members are more engaged, more eager to share their ideas and generally more happy.

 

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

How does Tin Can API work in the real world?

How does Tin Can API work in the real world?

I’m sure that by now many of you will already have come across the biggest buzzword to hit E-Learning town since the second coming of SCORM in 2004.

Yes folks, a new standard has landed on our shores and it’s called Tin Can API (AKA Experience API).

So what is Tin Can? What does it do? What does it look like? And what can it do for your organisation? Well let’s have a look.

To fully understand Tin Can it’s necessary to appreciate the history and indeed the limitations of our old friend SCORM. SCORM has been the leading industry standard since 2001 for the tracking and recording of many a learner’s online training history. Quite simply SCORM will record the following details of a learner’s achievements:

  • Has the learner begun their course?
  • Is the course complete or incomplete?
  • Did the learner pass or fail?
  • What score was achieved?

There are a few extra functions that never became common practice, so in essence that’s really all that SCORM does.

“But what’s so wrong with that?” you may ask. No doubt much of SCORM’s success has been down to the simplicity it offers, both for content designers, LMS developers and administrators. But since those bygone days of 2001 the world, and indeed technology, have progressed to now offer us a much more comprehensive means of recording our learning experiences.

So how does this work in the real world? Well gather round and I’ll tell you a tale….

Once upon a time, in a business far far down the road, a young accountant called Alice decided she would like to further her knowledge and skills by learning more about accountancy law. She spoke with her colleagues from learning and development who enrolled her on an online course. “Woohoo!” she said when she completed her online course with a pass mark of 95%, before going on to read 2 accountancy law books, several journals, and learned from many discussions with colleagues and online peers.

Not long afterwards, Alice seen an opportunity for promotion to a job in which accountancy law was a big factor. Feeling enthused she asked her learning and development team to provide a report on her training so far. But when she received the report all it said was that she once did an online course and achieved a 95% pass mark.

“Awww” thought Alice. “It’s just a pity our L&D team were not able to record all the other studying, research and practice I got after I did my online course. If only there was another way…”

Well folks, dry your eyes and put your hankies away, because the answer is here and it’s called Tin Can API.

You see, the main benefit of Tin Can is that it is designed with the simplicity to make it easily adoptable, whilst remaining dynamic enough to record much more of the everyday life experiences that are fundamental to our learning and development.

So here it is in a nutshell…

Tin Can works by recording just 3 simple variables, those being a noun (Object), a verb (action), and another noun. Quite simply, this can be translated into the following:

[Person X] [Had] [This particular learning experience]

Here are some examples:

Noun

Verb

Noun

Alice

Read

The fundamentals of accountancy law (a book)

Alice

Visited

www.Accountacylaw.com
(a website)

Alice

Watched

A presentation on YouTube of accountancy law

Alice

Commented

In an online discussion on accountancy law

 

Simple, eh? The truth is that Tin Can API is the first standard that strives to embrace what we learn in the ‘University of Life’. And with the progress of modern technology (Smartphones, Tablet PCs, Cloud computing etc.) we now for the first time have the means to record much of the informal learning that plays such a big part in our professional and personal development.

And there’s more! Tin Can is independent from specific LMS’s, so no need to remember your username and request a password reset. Mobile and desktop apps are now becoming available that can record your learning activity at literally the touch of a button.

Here’s an example:

Alice is sitting at home surfing the net. She comes across a website all about accountancy law which she finds very informative. Once finished, instead of just moving on, Alice hits a ‘Tin Can’ link on her browser which automatically records the website she was on. Alice can also add comments which will aid her with reflective learning, or she can even share it with colleagues or with peers from a social learning group. All at the touch of a button.

On another day, Alice reads a book. The book doesn’t have a link (as most books don’t!). But Alice can use the Tin Can API App on her smartphone to take a photo of the book, or even to scan the book’s barcode, before sending the precious data off to be stored online. Again, all at the touch of a button.

In essence, we are only beginning to realise the potential that Tin Can API can offer. The simplicity of the ‘Noun, Verb, and Noun’ approach means data can easily be shared across systems and with other learners. It also means that our offline learning can now be captured, reflected upon and reported with ease.

So there you have it. Now that you’ve seen how it works and how it can be applied, maybe now is the time to begin thinking about how you too can implement Tin Can into your organisation to give a richer, more fulfilling learning experience to your learners.

About Ciarán

Ciaran Friel - Instructional Designer

 

Ciarán joined the Aurion Learning team as an Instructional Designer in 2014 and has held a number of positions within the educational and training sector over the past 12 years.

In his role as Instructional Designer, Ciarán is responsible for working closely with Aurion client Subject Matter Experts and the in-house e-learning development team in the design and production of online and work-based learning materials for a range of programmes.

 

 

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Gamification of E-Learning in 2015

Image of a trophy and gamification icons, accompanied by the name of the blog article.

The use of game mechanics to increase learners’ motivation is not a new concept, but this year gamification is set to come of age, moving away from being viewed as a gimmick to becoming a real contender as one of the key techniques used to motivate and engage learners. We can all expect to see gamification become more practical, more integrated, more fun and more common so we want to share why it’s so exciting!

In our predictions of the top digital learning trends for 2015, we noted an influx in the use of gamification in E-Learning and we were far from the only ones. A report by Ambient Insight placed the annual global growth rate for game-based learning at 8.3% and predicted that revenues would amount to a massive $2.3 billion by 2017.

Why is gamification so effective?

Keller’s Model of Motivational Design outlines four strategies for motivating learners:

  1. Attention
  2. Relevance
  3. Confidence
  4. Satisfaction

Gamification is brilliant because it incorporates all four of these tactics to draw in and engross learners. The use of gaming narratives, mechanics and graphics will draw the attention of learners whilst the application of knowledge will reinforce the relevance of learning materials. Learners will have their confidence boosted by the progress they witness during their learning adventures and E-Learning which incorporates rewards and recognition will create a great sense of learner satisfaction.

In the digital age, learners have various forms of information and entertainment competing for their attention. The challenge of the educator is to deliver their information in the most relevant and gripping way.

What will be different in 2015?

Gamification will be:

  • More practical – digital learning creators have often confused gamification with the introduction of badges and reward systems. These superficial styles of gamifying E-Learning can complement more sophisticated game mechanics but most learners are not placated by trivial rewards. Instead, in 2015, we predict the employment of gamification techniques that really motivate learners. Expect to see more simulation, animations and narrative based games.

 

  • More integrated – it isn’t necessary to create a whole new virtual world to gamify your E-Learning and motivate learners. The most successful gamification efforts are those that create interactivity for learners in simple and effective ways. If you want to adopt gamification without having to invest huge amounts of time and resources, consider using puzzles, scenarios and short, fun games regularly throughout your E-Learning.

 

  • More fun – the exciting emergence of new technologies and innovations within the gaming industry is spilling over into the gamification of E-Learning. New technologies that create the potential for virtual and augmented reality mean that games have become more realistic and life like. Whilst few organisations will immediately be able to implement these technologies in 2015, the adoption of sharper graphics and high definition displays will bring games to life for learners and create more fun!

 

  • More common – as we noted before, gamification is growing. Mike Liebhold,  senior researcher and distinguished fellow at The Institute for the Future captures the driving force behind this growth perfectly when he says, “The development of ‘serious games’ applied productively to a wide scope of human activities will accelerate simply because playing is more fun than working.”

 

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