Design for Learning

Good ways to learn stuff

Design for Learning


Design for Learning- Activities diagram

I’m on fire today. Actually, no I’m not. I’m just dumping interesting stuff in my Favourites menu into the blog as a displacement activity. I’m supposed to be writing interactive tests, and I promise I’ll get back to it at some point.

This is an interesting diagram (click on the image for the full image), showing possible activities for blended learning. The author is an instructional designer who blogs on 

We only cover a small part of this idea of learning. It’s interesting though.

Elearning instructional design ideas – Making Change blog

Measuring eLearning

Elearning instructional design ideas – Making Change blog.

We should be discussing learning styles more methodically. Though our team is so busy trying to keep up with various business demands, we rarely get a chance to sit back and discuss what works, and what doesn’t.  For example, how do you measure learning?

From our point of view, we could identify pain points with customers/customer support, measure the volume of calls related to those pain points, deliver elearning that supposedly addresses those pain points, and measure the number of calls after we launch the elearning.

One of the commenters makes a salient point about elearning being relevant to the user. We try to create real-life problems that can be addressed using our products (tadaaa!). We talk to the trainers and product people about good examples to use in our modules, and most of the time we get good stuff. But it’s a struggle: I’m still trying to reeducate our SMEs into using examples other than Microsoft, but they argue that Microsoft is a safe, global brand that everybody knows, so it’s perfect for quick demonstrations, such as the ones we promote here.

I’ve downloaded a list of the top 100 Global Brands from Whenever I have to come up with an equities list, I pick a number of top brands (eg, IBM, Microsoft, Google and Intel), and create a comparison chart or information sheet or whatever. I still struggle with anything other than equities examples though…apparently looking at cheese futures is flippant…

Thinking Cap Lab

Learning Management Systems

Hmmm…I’ve found an online “lab” of instructional design. Let’s see how this works out.

Thinking Cap Lab

Well, it seems to be connected to some LMS software called Thinking Cap. I tried to access Thinking, but the opening video was taking so long to load that I gave up.

We’ve  just put a major LMS project on ice: it was over-specified and it took about ten minutes to tag and upload a single module to the staging server, let alone test the thing and load it to the live server. Bearing in mind we already have nearly 200 modules after only one year of operation, that’s a whole lot of time for one highly-expensive ID to sit at a desk clicking a mouse and waiting for taxonomy lists to load.

So, what should a good LMS have?

Hello world!


I’m dipping my toe in the blogosphere again.

I’m not sure how this will pan out, but last year I made a leetle career change from all-round web manager and editor type to Instructional Designer.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Basically I design eLearning modules that teach Banking Types (mostly) how to use our horribly complicated products to do cool stuff with financial data. When I say “design”, I mean that I write the scripts, do the storyboarding, and run up the initial screen grabs. Then I pass it on to a developer to turn into something wonderful. Sometimes I’ll try to do something wonderful myself, but more often than not the developers tell me to go and write something while they sort the mess out, and not to touch Flash EVER AGAIN.

Now, it occured to me that I know not-a-lot about eLearning. Most eLearning types appear to be teachers who have made the move into instructional design. There aren’t that many writers out there.

This blog is my attempt to gather sources of good practice, cool gadgets, games and learning aids, and maybe pontificate a bit.

Sometimes I will post pictures of cats. Consider that a warning.