Checking in and going back

Good ways to learn stuff, Interactvity tips and ideas, Mmm...nice., What I do

This, apparently is a “Happy businesswoman”…

Yeah…so, about a week after I wrote that last blogpost, I had an interview with my old mates at Thomson Reuters. There was an opening for a role that was fairly similar to my old role from years ago, but with a new boss, new structure, and working on a knotty project that would require me to come up with some really creative learning solutions.


Oh, and a bit more money.

It turned out that I had missed the old place; the temperamental kettle taps, the meetings about meetings, the orange…so much orange… So, I’ve been back at Thomson Reuters for several months now. I’ve got more creative freedom and a bit less responsibility – in fact I’ve been told to be less intense.

So there you go, that’s the career update. But I wanted to show this:

It’s a video showing how to create an origami flower. I like origami. But I really just wanted to note how they use overlays and non-verbal cues to instruct the user on creating a very complicated paper flower.  The music is… reminds you that you’ve still got a video running.

It made me think, how could you do it better?

Could you, say, add a menu, so you can go back to cue points and re-run sections on folds. Perhaps a bit of navigation? Does it really need that music?




Audio in e-learning (eLearning? ELearning? E-Learning?….meh)

Interactvity tips and ideas, What I do

This isn’t Christopher Pappas, this is Phones from the classic Marionation series of my childhood, Stingray. Phones was Troy Tempest’s sidekick and endlessly patient friend who probably had to listen to an awful lot of lovesick moaning and shuffling from Troy and that wimp Marina…

Christopher Pappas has some useful tips on using audio in e-learning.

I’ve had some interesting issues with audio while working on the new QA APMP eLearning module. It’s a pretty intense course – trying to fit in five days of classroom-based learning into an online format while keeping the learner on board and interested.

If we had gone down the route of mirroring the text with the audio, we would have ended up with an endless drone. It would have compromised our attempts at interaction too. However, I’m not so sure that we used audio to its best capability. I would have liked to include interviews or audio from trainers and other subject matter experts, offering tips and and case studies that, while not necessarily vital to pass the exam, may inspire learners to think about how they could apply the concepts to their work.

Still, it’s something for the next iteration, I suppose.

100 Great Game Based Learning Resources

Good ways to learn stuff, Interactvity tips and ideas

Still not certain about the use of gamification, even in my newish job. Certainly our clients like the theory, but when we come down to the actual practice, we seem to find ourselves back on more conventional ground.

What people do seem to like are branching scenarios and role play to help learners get to grips with knotty compliance or legal situations.

Still, nice list.

iBooks authoring tool

Interactvity tips and ideas, Mmm...nice.

This iBooks authoring tool looks like a typical Apple product to me: lovely to look at, easy to use.  However, I started looking at the specs and the review in more detail. I’m not a Mac user, so I can’t comment on its performance, but the scope is rather limited. You don’t seem to be able to edit the file once you have uploaded it to the tool. You can add interactivity and polls, but how do you record the results?

Still, this tool, and the process for publishing to iTunes university look interesting. I need to investigate further.

Qualia Soup

Interactvity tips and ideas, Mmm...nice.

I really really like this You Tube channel run by an artist and secular humanist who uses animation and graphics to explain controversial scientific issues clearly and unambiguously.

I particularly like this overview of Evolution that demolishes many creationist arguments in under 10 minutes.

Qualia Soup has a lovely, slightly sardonic tone that manages not to tip over into sarcasm. His essay on the problems of “proving” paranormal activity with anecdotal evidence is a masterpiece.

Sew Mama Sew

Good ways to learn stuff, Interactvity tips and ideas, Mmm...nice.

From Sew Mama Sew website

One of my (recently taken up) hobbies is sewing. My mother’s family are all sewing demons, and I resisted the bug as long as possible.

I’ve never been able to learn from my mother (too impatient), so  I’m very interested in how people teach sewing skills without shouting.

The trouble with teaching sewing remotely is that you can’t get your hands on the fabric;  you can’t hold the fabric in your hands, try something, demonstrate a screw-up, show people where you went wrong, and how to get out of it.

Video tutorials are one way of working, but they go too fast, and it’s hard to pause and go  back over things you don’t understand.

So far, the best thing I have found have been illustrated tutorials like this one.

The tutor goes through every stage, with illustrations.

More importantly, she uses high-contrast fabrics, simple shapes, and clear photographs. Now…where can I find me some fusible webbing?

The next step, I suppose, would be an interactive session, where you post your efforts and ask questions…