News: Unicorn Sam named 2014 eLearning Designer of Year!
Unicorn Training’s Samantha Yates has been named the country’s top eLearning designer at the annual eLearning Awards at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square on Thursday (6 November). Sam won the eLearning Designer of the Year award for the boundary-pushing online learning innovation she has created over the past 18 months as more than 550 people from across Britain's eLearning world gathered at the industry’s premier gala awards, organised by e.learning Age. Second award This is Sam’s second prestigious award success in less than eight months following her win in the international LINGOs 2014 Global Giveback Competition at The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Conference and Expo in Orlando in March. Sam said: “I’m absolutely delighted, if a little surprised, at winning this award! The competition was very tough as I was up against some highly experienced designers, so this is a huge honour. "To win two prestigious awards in such a short space of time really is exciting, especially when it is still relatively early in my eLearning career. "While it is an award for ‘Designer of the Year’, everything we do at Unicorn is a team effort. It takes a team of very talented graphic designers, developers and project managers to bring a script to life and into creation, so thank you to all the team for your hard work, this award is for you too!" Following suit This is the second time in three years Unicorn has received individual honours for eLearning design excellence following Laura Hooper’s Instructional Designer of the Year nod at the 2012 Learning and Performance Institute (LPI) Learning Awards. Peter Phillips, Unicorn Training CEO, said: “We are all so delighted for Sam. To win two major awards in one year is a remarkable achievement and a richly deserved recognition of her skill and creativity. “At Unicorn scriptwriting excellence is at the heart of what we do, and that is reflected in Sam’s ability to create effective engaging learning, even with the most unpromising of subject matter. “Our instructional design is based on the principle of substance with style, and it is great to see this recognised by our peers in Sam’s award. “I think Albert Einstein summed up our philosophy best when he said ‘If you can’t explain it simply, then you don’t understand it well enough’.” Giving back Arguably Sam’s highest profile project has been her design for ‘Global Giveback’, an international programme where learning professionals volunteer with global development and relief organisations to develop learning resources to help non-profit organisations do their good work better. Sam worked with the not-for-profit organisation LINGOS, which provides world-class learning opportunities for people working to reduce poverty and alleviate suffering in the developing world, and The Nature Conservancy to develop an ‘Influencing without authority’ course. During the research phase, Sam was grateful for the advice of, amongst others, the Poole-Africa Link - a voluntary organisation at Poole Hospital, Dorset - who kindly shared their experiences and stories from working on aid projects in Africa. Sam, who also runs a photography and jewellery-making business, Beach Addict Photography, in her spare time, added: “Working with LINGOs was a deeply rewarding and humbling experience. “LINGOs have achieved an incredible amount for people working in Non-Governmental Organisations and made such a difference to the lives of so many, so being able to be a part of that was very rewarding.” Don’t forget The major eLearning players will again rub shoulders when leading industry voice, Craig Weiss, returns to the UK for the second E-Learning 20-20 event – Stay Ahead of the Game - at the Kia Oval in London on 26-27 November. Presented by e.learning age in association with Unicorn Training and Growth Engineering, Weiss will be joined by An Coppens, award-winning Chief Game Changer at Gamification Nation Ltd, and Mike Hawkyard, managing director of Amuzo Games, one of the UK’s most successful games development companies, to deconstruct how gaming and gamification are becoming more powerful in learning. Find out more about Unicorn Training and for details about E-Learning 20-20 event – Stay Ahead of the Game - visit www.unicorntraining.com while for more information about the 2014 eLearning Awards visit www.elearningage.co.uk/awards.aspx