Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alice in Wonder - e- Land

If not an Alice in Wonderland, every one of us instructional designers are Alices in our own wonder e lands. And just as in a movie and the book, and just as everyone of our clan, I have a rollicking time, fiddling around with the colors and scripts. So here's an allude to the `Alice in Wonderland'.

I can count up to as much as six impossible things before breakfast-

Number One, there is a potion that can make long and boring e modules short and smart.

Every learner wishes to hear this dialogue in the first three minutes of the course - "This session will last for 30 minutes". The lesser, the better. Though the Alices like to dwell in the wonderland for more time, people (the learners) like to be out in less than half an hour.  

It is therefore a good idea to get the magic potion that can help you shrink the size of your course timing.

For courses that refuse to get over in half an hour, take out your knife, and cut it into slices. You can of course ask the learners to bite the slices one at a time, spread over a couple of days. And they will love it!

Number two, a cake can make you creative, every time.

I know how tempting it is to hit the CTRL (+ C +V) button every time. But bid a bye bye to the pedant in the course. Get more practical. Show your learners pictures from real life. If you are talking about cleanliness in office, don't just talk, show them. The courses would definitely breathe more life.  Here is another example -


Number three - Anything can talk.

Get creative with your narration style. You don't always have to be that unseen and unheard voice talking prophetic stuff to the learners. Make the session more dramatic. The easiest way (and the one that mostly clicks) is to pick up a central character. And yes, anything can talk. A chalk from a teacher's board can teach the best practices involved in teaching, for instance.

In this example shown below, our challenge was to make the topic of `Protecting the Environment' a little more interesting. So we made the planet Earth narrate the whole course, as a personal plea.  

Number four - Mouse can smile

Where to give `Proceed automatically to next slide' and where to give `Cleck by the user' is a definite conundrum for we Alices. O yes, the one on the navigation instructions is a separate book by itself. But do bear in mind that life in an e learning module goes certainly beyond the `Click next to proceed further'.

Number five - There’s a place called wonder- e – land

And there are heroes to save me.I always bump into the elearning heroes for any help or practical advice (yes, free templates included :) ).

They are here at

Number Six – I can slay the Chatterwokey dragon

If it was Jabberwockey that Alice had to fight with, we e Alices have to fight with the Chatterwockeys... Courses which just have a lot of chatters, with less of `learnable content'. They ultimately drone the learner to sleep and kill all your hardwork. Slay the Chatterwokey dragon and save your learners! 

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