When it comes to E-Learning, there are certainly levels and layers in terms of how well the material and activities add up to become a memorable experience for learners.
For many developing E-Learning Designers you can almost follow a trail that begins with downloadable assignments, works through the introduction and integration of rich media and quizzes, moves on to more in the way of interaction and personalisation, and then onwards and upwards towards the creationof more intricate and genuinely absorbing online learning experiences.
It's true that any E-Learning activity is, in some way or another, an 'experience'. However, how rich and meaningful that experience becomes for the learners depends a great deal on the layers of design underlying the resource and the versatility of the tools drawn on to facilitate the final product.
In terms of tools, getting your hands on (and head around) a tool like Articulate Storyline (generally my tool of choice) or Adobe Captivate can make all the difference. It's also worth looking at options for image and sound purchasing (I'm pretty happy with what I get access to with a service like iStockphoto and iStockaudio).
From the design perspective (when it comes to generating a richer overall experience), I like to remind myself of four 'experiential' Ss:
Scenery, Sound, Self-Awareness and Scenarios.
Below you can watch a presentation of an E-Learning resource that demonstrates both the tool (Articulate Storyline) and the four Ss of experiential design.
Please note that I am not pretending that these four Ss are the only aspects or criteria for creating richer online learning experiences. But personally, I find it helps to remind myself of those four considerations in the design process.
Note also my point in the video that generating the extra wrapping and framework for a richer overall experience takes as much (if not more) time as putting together the basic core material and quiz items. It does for me, anyway, and it can be an interesting quick assessment tool: if I haven't invested as much time into these aspects, I could very well be detracting from the overall experience for the learners - even if I might be checking the boxes in terms of basic content objectives and performance criteria.
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