To make things simple, let’s do it through a flipsnack, a magazine capable of showing you so much more!
It started off on a day where I was late for class on my first lesson, travelling from work to school. The first lesson felt very tense, the session felt daunting and expectations were high. Questions were being thrown to give us an understanding of the module and the journey ahead of us.
So what did I do for my project? It was a topic of hypertension care for adults, it’s a really a topic that is close to me, that I felt could be shared with the world to understand that you can make changes to make your life a lot better than it is. I segmented into 3 components:
Right Food Choices – Selecting the right choices when eating in a hawker centre.
Get Active – Allowing learners to get physical and start exercising through small steps
A mystery component – Allowing learners to take ownership of their own lives and account for the areas of improving their lifestyle through the 1st two topics.
One of my first multimedia projects using Adobe Captivate and Powtoon. It was relatively customisable and I would rate it a 7/10 in using the software. Notably, the mark deductions came from the bugs I had to fix and realised that recreating or copying a project actually solves them.
It was a challenging process of picking up the software in an instant, and to become an overnight wonder in it. There were hours spent on designing the characters expressions, taking reference from some places such as freepik.com and Google search. These were inspirations that I took to design a more immersive experience for my learners.
The other element was spending time on storyboarding the entire process and trying to be both a content expert and also a novice in learning the materials. There were areas I couldn’t assume that learners will have, such as understanding what are the food types that were really high in salt/sodium. They were critical towards informing my learners that the food out there that you are eating is not as healthy as you think it is.
Thinking Gamification and Game-Based Learning
If I could make a choice today again on what I did, I would have chosen gamification elements into my project still. I find it relatively effective on learners as it engages them better. The things that I was short of were areas such as point systems, leaderboards, etc. It even went on to areas and inspirations from Khan Academy, where I saw the potential of evolving avatars. These factors will make the game more immersive and learners coming back for more even when they are already done. I was thinking of areas for improvement and drew inspiration from Kayla Itsines, maybe posting how your lifestyle improved will also motivate the learner and the community in general.
"The prize was more exciting than the game to get it" - Natalie Portman Harvard Commencement Speech
The difficulties in measuring in e-learning
Measuring 2000mg is REALLY difficult to measure. I was given feedback on how I could improve by giving better indicators on measuring sodium and not using 2000mg as a source. One of the things that were pretty weak, was failing to show learners that one bowl of noodle soup might have about 2500mg of sodium while replacing it with rice noodles may bring it down to 1000mg of sodium in total. There are metaphors that I felt I should have used and these are important learning points in my project as a reflection.
Text and voice appearing at the same time
I’m giving my alternative perspective to the use of voice and narration appearing at the same time. No doubt that I respect Mayer’s design principles and have aggressively defied it in an E-Learning project I did last semester. I defied areas like extraneous loads and redundancy principles during the conversations. I understand it is really difficult to read and hear at the same times, our sense just doesn’t work that way. but most importantly. These are elements that are shown in non-critical elements to create a scenario and using a light-hearted approach towards E-Learning contents. The light-hearted scenario(yet considered a bit weak in context) was aiming to place learners in a more immersed environment. I was thinking perhaps considering the use of ideas such as:
- Selecting a gender – Male or female character and role reversing.
- Creating and choosing a name. That will give greater depth in personalisation.
- Get fit in 5 steps must have the text and voice appearing together
This was one of the segments that had 5 green buttons, to encourage learners to get active and help themselves to become fitter during the course of hypertension. I was pondering for a long time, must I allow learners to listen to the narration in this segment.
The ability to replay is an important component that I valued through the gameplay of the E-Learning content. I felt that the conversations between the two parties (Sam and Jane) could be improved further. Possibly allowing learners to either replay the whole conversation, or to repeat certain segment. This is to cater to all ages of learners (young or old). I am pretty sure people will get bored of listening to the same scenario over and over again.
Other Design Elements for Improvement
The consistency of the Colours in the lady could have been improved, especially in the area of the park where both had contrasting Colours appearing. The colours were similar and might be a little too close for comfort. Suggestions for contrasting colours would definitely be plus points for my project.
Dwelling back to Mayer’s design principles, I thought about the use background music and voice together. I once asked a researcher who was doing music cognition, on whether the use of background music is going to immerse the learners better in the learning experience or is it just going to be another distraction for them. She gave me valuable insights on how it could hinder or make the experience even better. I believe that staying true to my principles was really important, at the same time taking new perspectives into consideration too.
I’m writing this despite not having a good grade from the institute’s standpoint, but there are worthy lessons that I have embraced from this entire module alone. To me, I felt like I reached the point where I felt grades were secondary, learning was primary. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my wife and friends who have helped me this project. They have also provided help in voice narrations and feedback.
I am almost a year into my Masters’ programme, this was definitely one of the highlights. So if you really want to take a look at how my project goes, just drop me a message and I’ll be most happy to share with you!