As an Assistant Professor, I taught an undergraduate course focused on introducing students to the fields of Instructional Systems and Performance Technology. For learners newly exploring our field, it can take a long time to build a functional understanding of the nuanced approaches we use to improve organizational performance. To help learners make sense of it all, I wanted to provide a small instructional experience which focuses on some of the more challenging core elements (i.e., definitions, relationships, roles).
In this mini-course, I used Articulate Rise to introduce learners to the field of Instructional Systems Technology. This training consists of instruction and some activities focused on the following objectives:
Define Instructional Technology
Situate Instructional Technology within Performance Technology and with consideration to Instructional Design
Examine the role of technology in Instructional Technology
This training is informational, so there isn’t any type of assessment built in (although there are some interaction activities). This type of training could be scaled up to become a more in-depth course itself; included as part of another training (modular); or presented as is to build engagement.
The idea stemmed from a course I was teaching as an Assistant Professor aimed at introducing students to the field. From here, I did some research and reflection on what the core of the field is, and where new learners stumble the most. I drew upon some of the foundational work of the field, including Saettler’s histories of the field, Reigeluth’s early volumes of the “green book”, and other classic and foundational texts. I also reflected on my own experience, and had some conversations with others who were both experienced and new to the field to identify important topics. I also drew upon more recent sources for information, including professional organizations, and modern reflections on technology.
Design & Development
Given the information rich subject, I wanted to play around with the presentation of fairly text heavy content in a way that reduced cognitive load and increased engagement. Rise was good for this, in that it is responsive and allows for interactive activities, bullet points that move in without being disruptive, and provides ways to break up the content without distracting from the flow (it actually enhances it!). Some challenges with the tool are limited control over specific elements, and a limited range of behaviors authors can produce.
Because I already had much of the content built out for an undergraduate course, the main task here was sorting and chunking the information, paring it down to the most essential bits (the learners engaging in this didn’t sign up for a 16 week course, after all!), and transitioning it to be suitable for a broader audience.
All in all, I am pretty happy with how it turned out, and believe there is a role for Rise in smaller projects which are focused on information delivery, require a quick turnaround time, or which may contribute to a larger course or instructional system.
Given an interest in open education, I found a static infographic flowchart walking people through publishing research papers in an Open Access format and reworked it as an interactive decision process where the user is faced with each question in the process.
As the user works through the flowchart, they are taken to the next steps or the branched conclusion, depending on their answers. They are also provided with information or resources about the outcome they landed on.
The interaction is a good example of taking existing static content and converting it into an interaction eLearning scenario. The minimalist design could be easily adjusted to make the interaction modular to fit into different eLearning situations.
Overall, making static process charts interactive reduces the cognitive load on the user and enhances the motivation and experience.
I needed to create a small elearning course demonstrating the One Touch Email System and providing learner engagement and interaction. Using Twine allowed for a quick prototype to experience the interaction before it was developed.
The idea was to have a fun way learn the best way to sort some emails and engage other systems for the action items they produce. Twine enabled the quick design of the interaction path and provided an interactive experience for the client and learner to experience the instruction before committing to a larger development cycle.
The project paths were established and tested in Twine, before being constructed in Storyline.
The interaction captures the path of the instructional experience well, and it is clear from the low-fidelity prototype what the larger experience is like.
Twine enabled the full experience in a quickly developed low fidelity setting, which allowed design decisions to be made early in the process based on feedback and user experience.
Click the picture below to work through the scenario prototype!
This interaction is intended to show meaningful comparisons among different types of aircraft given the provided airplane images and information.
I tackled this by creating a semi-minimalist design showing comparisons between an individual plane against the shadows of the remaining planes, and through providing the data on height, width, and depth for each plane.
I established meaningful comparisons by overlaying the aircraft and providing measurements and identification through shape and color. Users can switch views and overlay any aircraft over the others.
The interaction is effective for showing meaningful comparisons, and the minimalist design can be adapted for a variety of courses.