Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Learning Beyond the Course (eLN event)

Once again I have been lucky enough to attend a fantastic CPD event in the shape of todays eLN event – Learning Beyond the Course.

@RobHubbard was our compère for the day, decked out as usual in a gloriously flowery shirt


(where do you get them from Rob?)

In line with my previous Blog post ‘Small Chunks‘ I was committed to taking away 1 Action Planning point per session that I could actually do something with back in my organisation.

Here we go…

Ben Betts – And Now For Something Completely Different…

If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a paper clip, a stick, some constraint and a carrot then you’ll be gutted that you missed Ben’s session. But ‘cos he’s a good bloke he’s blogged about it in some detail here.

Which leads me to my action planning point(s)

Try and sweet-talk Ben into sending me the game that he kicked his session off with (very clever and innovative)Read Daniel Pink’s Drive (Ben referenced this several times and as we have it sat in our library it makes sense to have a look)

Graeme Duncan – Breaking Down Barriers: The Ubiquitous Delivery of Thin Client Immersive Simulations

I’ll be the first to admit that the title of this session was more than a little off-putting when I read about this event on the eLN website, but once I realised that we were going to be ‘virtually’ running around a Type 22 RN frigate, putting out fires and catching saboteurs I was hooked! It was certainly enlightening  to hear that Caspian Learning have been creating some realistic virtual environments for some VERY security-conscious clients…. interesting…

Log into Thinking Worlds and request a demoInvite Graeme into my organisation to demo Thinking Worlds.

Ed Stonestreet – Not eLearning

Ed reminded us that the elearning industry is worth $10bn and is almost without exception dull, dry and academic. As I work within a highly-regulated Industry I could certainly relate to Ed’s point that it is focussed on those who have a mandate to learn, those who need to tick a box. Apparently only 20% of any audience is motivated and inspired to act, the other 80% may have a latent interest but they need to be engaged, entertained and wowed in order to get them to participate. How can this be done….? Well Ed went on to explain in not so many words the Affective Context model, which I aren’t going to attempt to explain here, instead I’ll direct you towards Nick Shackleton-Jones blog.

Ed made such a good job of raising the issue of ‘engagement’ and ‘interest raising’ that I am going to direct our internal Learning Facilitators towards the Affective Context model video.Review the YooDoo tool that Ed is involved in.

Rob had promised us an excellent lunch and Holborn Bars certainly didn’t disappoint!!!

Following lunch we had 3 great Pecha Kucha presentations, I’ve come to realise that these appear to be a staple element of an eLN event and I look forward to seeing them; who knows I may even present one at the November event (if anybody from the eLN board is reading this, that wasn’t a formal commitment!)

Jane Hart – Transforming Workplace Learning with Social Media

Jane Hart – Transforming Workplace Learning with Social Media

It was great to see Jane Hart again after lunch as the last time we met was at a Twitter workshop that she ran back in the Spring at the Informatology conference. Jane (as always) did a great job of proving the power of Twitter as a crowd-sourcing tool by calling upon her Twitter followers to respond to various questions that she was ‘auto-tweeting’ during her presentation. I was quite surprised to discover how few people in the immediate audience were Twitter users, although this is a pattern that I have noticed emerging at the IITT conference and the eLN showcase…. I wonder why….?

Patrick Fitzpatrick – Living in a World Without ‘Click Next to Continue’

Patrick addressed an issue that I have been working on for sometime in my organisation which is “how can my learners progress through a piece of elearning’ without a next button on the screen. He had some great examples of using visuals to act as menu screens, which mirrors an approach I have taken with a Display Screen Equipment awareness package.  This visual approach seemed to split the audience into 2 groups; those that ‘got it’ and those that thought that introducing a ‘fun’, visual component was a distraction and on some occasions set a false impression of how dull, boring and repetitive working life can be :-(

Patrick made a great reference to the level of elearning interaction over the years:

Yesterdays elearning = dictationTodays elearning = investigationTomorrows elearning = exploration (hopefully!)

So what were my action planning points?

Continue the work I am doing on removing the next button from my elearning module and then…publicise this to the remaining elearning authors to show them that it ‘is’ possible.

Throughout the day the entire conference had taken the form of a crossword/wordsearch/game of battleships which I thought was really innovative and brought an interesting element to the event, my only concern with taking this approach was that I (and perhaps my learners) would be so distracted by the gaming element that the learning could suffer… not something I’m instantly dismissing though, and as with the rest of the day has provided food for thought….

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