BLOG: Creative Recipes Bubble In Unicorn Labs…..
We were really pleased to see Articulate showcase one of our projects at the eLearning Guild’s behemoth DevLearn Conference and Expo in Las Vegas last week! The project in question followed a call to arms from Articulate to the eLearning community to create a learning interaction around the Ebola outbreak using its Storyline2 rapid development tool. Possible suggestions included guides on current knowledge, what is required to treat an Ebola patient each day and interactive maps and timelines for example. This was a perfect project to get the creative juices flowing in our new Unicorn Labs, and Joanna Kurpiewska from our Content Development Team wasted little time in rising to the challenge, creating an piece of eLearning focussing on volunteer recruitment using varying Storyline2 interactions to display information in new and interesting ways. Click on the image below to see the demo Officially launched in September, Unicorn Labs provides a home for our content developers to really push their creative minds to the max, developing ideas and designing learning that may currently be outside the scope of ongoing client briefs, but that can provide inspiration and lay foundations for future project proposals and course developments. So what does Unicorn Labs mean for you? Laura Hooper Head of Content Development, spills the beans. 1) So what is Unicorn Labs? There are so many brilliant ideas that people have which never get the chance to be developed because everyone is always so busy. But we want our team to have the chance to develop ideas for a projects they’ve always wanted to work on and we want them to have fun doing it because that gets reflected in the learning they produce. Unicorn Labs is a chance for our team to develop that idea at work using their existing skills or by learning new ones for personal development. There are no limits to ideas that can be explored; nothing is too offbeat, weird or wonderful. If the idea gets a positive reaction within Unicorn, we’ll make it a internal project and create a template to add to Unicorn’s armoury! And if it doesnt work, at least we know! 2) What does that mean for clients? That we have a constant stream of fresh new ideas, which push the boundaries of creativity but that have been tested with the principles of good instructional design and learning outcomes at their heart. There’s no point having awesome ideas that look great if the learning falls down. That’s why we create an internal project first, so that by the time a client sees it the ID principles behind each idea have been tried and tested. It also gives clients interested in bespoke content an idea of just the level of creativity and design excellence that our team is capable of. They might want to pursue a completely new idea or concept but Unicorn Labs provides them with a glimpse of exactly what could be possible. 3) Where does the inspiration for themes come from? Ideas really can come from anywhere, they don’t just have to be driven by the content team. But one channel we have used as inspiration for pushing creativity is through the weekly Articulate Challenges. This is where Articulate throws down the gauntlet to the global eLearning community to meet a need or answer a question through designing an effective piece of eLearning using Storyline. It gives eLearning designers the chance to learn, share, try new skills, find inspiration, and build their portfolios, which in turn benefits the eLearning companies they work for and ultimately clients. Joanna’s showcased Ebola Outbreak Training interaction was one idea that came out of an Articulate Challenge as was this ‘Zombies Are Coming’ – also designed by Joanna – example. Click on the image below to see the demo 4) How else is Unicorn pushing the creative boundaries? One of our content team, Steve Andrews, has been part of the Articulate Storyline beta testing groups and committees. These activities and the profile its gives us through Articulate and the Storyline community, enables us to establish ourselves as experts in our field. It also give us a mouthpiece on and input into how tools can be developed to ensure they are up-to-date with what is actually wanted by clients day-to-day not what the eLearning community thinks clients will want just because there’s some cool new technology. *The Unicorn Labs demo site is coming soon – you won’t want to miss out!