DevLearn….. a word from Jackie

DevLearn….. a word from Jackie One feature of DevLearn is the concurrent sessions. In each 1 hour timeslot there may be a dozen or more of these sessions to choose from, so Jackie and I generally split up and cover different topics.

Here are a couple of reports from Jackie on the pick of her chosen sessions.
Wednesday started with an excellent morning buzz discussion group led by Jay Cross. Jay is an interesting guy, very knowledgeable and the theme was about working smarter with the information that is available to us. The discussion centred around the use of social media and how we aggregate the enormous amount of information available into a meaningful collection of data.

He described the information flow as a river that once he thought he had to swim in,  but actually he can fish out the information that is useful to him (the flow is way too fast I think people would drown trying to keep up) and organise appropriately.
Useful information can be found at www.jaycross.com and you can follow him at #LRNCHAT on Twitter

The information overload theme continued into the keynote speech by Steve Rosenbaum, take a look at the following facts:

·         From the dawn of time until 2003 approximately 5 exabytes of information was created. I in today's world this amount of information is created every 2 days.

·         In March 2010, 24 hours of video per minute were uploaded to YouTube, by November of 2010 this had increased to 35 hours, and March 2011 this was up to 48 hours.
It is easy to see that the expanding amount of information will cause confusion, it will be impossible to keep ahead or up to date. Imagine, by the time you have arranged a training course the subject area/best practice guidance may have moved on!

How do we organise the information to be useful? The requirement is to be a curator providing clarity of information to your audience, in an information 'noisy' world.
The next session on Jackie's agenda was to visit the presentation given by Cammy Bean titled Clicky Clicky Bling Bling, or CCBB for short!

Cammy is an experienced instructional designer who works for Kineo. The discussion centred around creating content that is emotionally engaging and arousing not CCBB!  These are some notes/thoughts about the session.

Content should have a strong visual identity. Give graphics a purpose, a reason for being, make them an emotional hook for the content, use them wisely, don't be afraid to have a text screen. What do the experts say, research suggests that we should avoid adding irrelevant images and interactivity. Cognitive interest occurs when a learner is able to mentally construct a model that makes sense.

Who reads learning objectives, are they really necessary at the outset of a module, especially in a formal bulleted list, in fact it is suggested that they can be off putting and users rarely read/they click straight through. Try introducing the module and as it unfolds the learner understands the coverage and the information in context. Goal based scenarios, simulations, challenge the learner, populate individuals experience portfolio.

Remember seductive details are interesting but might be irrelevant, and there is little evidence to suggest that this improves the learning experience.

Adding audio can be deemed to be CCBB, if the course is boring to start with audio will only serve to make it more boring!

We Brits have to stick together, so the only concurrent session that we both attended was the last one titled “The New Learning Architect” by the Uk’s very own eLearning guru Clive Shepherd.
After an entertaining rant about the problems of putting learning theory and best principles into practice, Clive went on to sketch out his architecture for organising the learning process to match the means, motives and opportunities of the target learners.

The issue that aroused most interest came towards the end as Clive made a point close to my own heart. We should not forget, he said, that, like architects, we are professionals. We need the confidence to advise and guide our clients not just build what they want no matter how misguided.  It’s tough but sometimes we should just say no.
The conference ended with an entertaining “Impact” session – 6 presentations each of a single idea in 5 minutes and 20 slides. For some obscure reason we call it “Pecha Kucha” in the UK.

Then home, with plenty of new ideas and some old ones refreshed. Thanks to the eLearning Guild for once again organising a top quality event.

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