5 Key take-aways – iDesignX

How good is it to attend an event and don’t have to explain what instructional design is? I had this pleasure while meeting other ID’ers and elearning developers at the iDesignX event in Sydney (26th February). Although a small event, there were plenty of interesting presentations to choose from. Let me share my 5 key take-aways with you.

1. Write better scenarios

Miranda Verswijvelen – LearningWorld Design – is in the middle of a PhD, researching how we can use scenario-writing from mobile games in learning.

Part of good scenario-writing is designing the characters. Miranda pointed out that apart from the facts, like age, gender, cultural background, you should also think about the character traits. Is your character quiet, passionate, generous etc. ? This will help you to write better responses and actions. Another point she made was not to give all the details at the start of your scenario. In real life we also get to know a person better during a conversation. Applying this to scenario-based learning will make the scenario more real and engaging. I look forward to hearing more about her research!

2. Implement design systems

Joyce Seitzinger – RMIT – implemented design systems for RMIT’s online course portfolio. For ideas, they looked at businesses like Atlassian and AirBNB, who’ve made their design system publicly available. Every course at RMIT is now a sequence of activities and these activities are a combination of tasks, that all give the learner an idea of their progress. By systemising the design, they created consistency for the learner, while working with several contractors on the learning design. Some tasks are content specific, others can be used across different courses. The time it takes to design a course went from down from 28 to 16 weeks!

3. Try this for better videos

John Stericker – Learning Plan – showed us different examples of video and shared tips on how to improve the quality, like:

  • Use two cameras to film from different angles as it will make the video more interesting
  • Think outside the box , e.g. make an old-fashioned silent movie
  • Try to find engaging SME’s who don’t mind to be on camera
  • Use a bit of humour, e.g. leave a blooper in
  • Get inspiration from news programs and documentaries like Four Corners and try different shots.

4. Gamify learning without technology

Kuva Jacobs – Red Point Consulting – held an interactive presentation including 4 simple steps to design playful activities. She showed and let us experience how you start with setting a Challenge that is related to the learning outcome. With the Rule Engine, you add the rules, for example a a time limit.  After the activity, you look at the Outcomes and determine whether you have achieved the learning outcomes.  Benchmarking the outcomes is the fourth step, verbally or e.g. with a scoreboard. This might add a competitive element to your learning activity. If you haven’t tried play in facilitation, do give it a try.

5. Learn from marketing

Vanessa Trower – GWA – explained how we could use marketing techniques to better promote courses, for example:

  • Include time for a marketing campaign in your quote or course budget to market the course
  • Brand all your learning materials and communications about training so the learners will recognise them immediately
  • Use the AIDA technique to write better email comms to invite learners to enrol in a course. AIDA stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. These elements should be included in your email to get better results, and more employees signing up for your course.

Let’s get better

It was already hard to choose on the day, let alone to pick a few take-aways now. Great to have so many professionals at the event willing to share their experience and knowledge about instructional design, including design thinking, video, elearning and facilitation. It can only make learning a better experience.

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