Creativity is the key to good instructional design. When learners experience something creative and interesting, it makes them pay attention and absorb what we are trying to teach them. Because of this, learning experiences should avoid straightforward “telling” whenever possible and focus instead on “showing,” using whatever creative resources are available....
How many phone numbers do you know by memory? Five? Six? If you count the phone numbers of relatives you memorized as a child, maybe as many as 10?
Here at SwissVBS, we take pride in many things: our talented team of designers, writers, and programmers; our commitment to customer-driven learning; our obsessive attention to detail.
But if you were to ask our employees what accomplishment they’re most proud of, one answer would probably come up again and again: “My ping pong game.”
I was recently reflecting on the power of story-telling and how, like a song with a good hook, it has the power to really engage a learner and take up residence in one's long term memory. Stories provide relevance, build empathy, make concepts relatable and stimulate emotion. The more heightened our senses are in a learning experience, the more likely we are to be intrigued and remember.
A good story is even better when accompanied by stimulating media, audio and visual cues that support the learning and trigger the imagination. In L&D, a good story requires an experienced and passionate writer with a deep understanding of learning design, brain science, pedagogical theory and a ton of creativity. To then translate that story into a compelling visual experience requires another set of talent all together.
If content is king, then the role that media (visual assets, animations) plays is critical.
SwissVBS is happy to announce that we have been awarded the 2016 Comenius EduMedia Seal for multimedia, educational technology and media didactics.
After 15 years of enabling more than 1.5 million learners to transform behaviour, increase skills and impact performance, we thought it would be a good time to actually start winning awards for all of this work!
We hear it all the time in our industry: To succeed, eLearning needs to be engaging, fun, even different.
At SwissVBS, we tend to agree. At our core, we believe that learning shouldn’t feel like “capital L” Learning – something that’s good for you, but not necessarily good. As an instructional designer, I always say that my job is to create immersive experiences.
It’s a noble aim, but have you ever stopped to think about what “immersive” really means? It’s a term that’s thrown around so much that its meaning can sometimes get lost. What exactly is immersion, and what are its essential ingredients?
When you’re truly immersed, you forget that you are participating in an artificial construct. Think back to the most fun you’ve ever had playing a video game, whether it’s Grand Theft Auto or Pac-Man. You know that feeling when you look up at the clock after a few minutes and realize that hours have gone by? That’s immersion. It’s giving yourself over entirely to an experience, losing yourself in a constructed reality. For instructional designers, we need to be thinking constantly about how to reproduce that feeling, regardless of context or subject matter.
For a digital onboarding program for a major organization specializing in household consumer goods, we wanted to recreate the anxiety and excitement of the first day on the job. The end result was an experience that mimicked what a first day would look like through the eyes of a new employee – from a first-person point of view.
Luckily, a lot of research has been done to help us break down the various things we can do to create these kinds of experiences.
Ah those long-term memories...
Where the Wild Things Are and The Story of Ferdinand - two books that I haven’t read in decades but remember with great clarity. Why can I recall those books so clearly 30 years later, but struggle to remember what I ate for dinner last Sunday? Why can I remember the guitar solo note for note to Hotel California and all the lyrics, but can’t remember the emails I sent out yesterday?