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Category ArchiveEducation

Educating for an authentic experience?

I went to the EduTech Conference which was held in Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore. It was a learning experience and gaining perspectives from different k-12 to tertiary levels.

I first begin with a perspective from Darling Hammond about classrooms being an unpredictable swampland. I strongly felt the messiness and complexity of every class that a teacher conducts, and the diversity of culture that a classroom offers. There were great insights when ideas from various Presenters across the education industry. I could see the value of students participating in conferences and interacting with visitors and delegates. Here are some samples of pictures that I took during the conference showing different uses of technology incorporated into learning.

Noticeably for me, I had gathered some insights about the conference that:

  • CEOs as faculty – CEOs from various industries will be sharing with the students and providing some insights to them. The lecturer will then be facilitating the session based on the lecture previously.
  • Students as collaborators – This is building upon Tony Wagner’s idea of collaboration and introducing students to create artefacts together. Are we ready to do away with risk avoidance and allow students to make mistakes to learn more effectively?
  • Neurotechnology- the impact it has on education and how it downplays studies like visual learners through brain scans.
  • 3D printing for the real world where people can use it in their museum. it was the notion of creating actual replicas that were usable in the real world context in education. It further blurs the line between virtual and physical items in learning.
  • Drone flying – incorporating drone flying in order to take pictures of hard to reach places, studying wildlife, etc. I was pretty inspired by ideas from the following link by HuffingtonPost too.
    Getting teacher/educators ready?
  • Delegates collaborating together – This offers diverse perspectives and cultural backgrounds for effective learning and sharing opportunities.

Impactful Insights

Then I reflected upon presentation from Mary George Cheriyan from Raffles Girls School where she discussed the development of professionalism in Teachers. The speaker took some ideas from John Dewey, highlighting the following:

  • Reflective practices that are enthusiastic, the dedication that is placed into intentionally changing the way teaching is conducted.
  • Awareness of the implication of what is not set or not set in the classroom. I would definitely agree how context really matters in a classroom.
  • Recognising the open-mindedness, so it’s about reframing the mind to become better in teaching. It is to consider alternative possibilities to see what works and what doesn’t really work. I would think of it as picking fresh fruits and discard fruits that have turned bad.

There must also be a comfortable culture of sharing and openness. This is to share good practices to see how things work. Teachers are allowed to have safe environments to share, to question what works and what doesn’t. Do teachers even dare to collaborate with students to discuss and work on new ideas. I reflect upon my work experiences and felt the importance of collaboration between peers. Without collaboration, there might not be any negotiation and exchange of ideas. This was predominantly seen It is putting them in charge of things that matter to them. However, we must be mindful of an Echo chamber effect, especially when the people have been communicating about the issue for a long period of time. There might be some areas where teachers compromise what is really critical that happens in the classroom. The key points about freshness imply how important how diverse teaching could help students learn more effectively and not get bored with many teachers doing things the same way.

During the EduSlam sessions I had, there were varieties of sharings and real collaboration taking place. As an administrator from the teaching and learning segment, there were varieties of experiences such as faculty-driven research collaboration projects and capstone projects that were shared during the session. The discussions were so intense, but possibilities of portfolio creation for both teachers and students are finally being realised. It finally sets the stage where I can envision video resumes really coming true and making students becoming more employable because of the initiative that the students made in the first place.

Beyond just entertainment, creating a gamification experience with an educational purpose behind it. It requires a structural process in development, coupled with lots of time and resources spent on developing this virtual world and taking students feedback into consideration during these developmental stages.  It is incremental yet student-centric, considering all the authentic experiences that are placed in the design and development stage. But I’m encouraged by the fruits that were reaped from the sharing by Dr Kevin Yap from National University of Singapore(NUS) by what it has provided to the students who were learning pharmaceutical. There were fun experiences to learn where you can get experts in during lectures to leverage on their technical expertise. Facilitating the session after the dialogue has completed. There are possible win-win situations that will benefit both the faculty member and the industry partners. Students benefit from industry experts and are facilitated by a faculty after that helps to deepen learning.

Building the Student-centered learning experiences

For my experience, it was completed with some makerspace fun courtesy of Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). I was learning some fundamentals of microbit technology and what it could possibly offer for me as an educator/administrator and many other endless possibilities. There are so many possibilities in letting students create and experiment, reflecting on the experiences that they had previously.

Put students in front and let them help you in making the learning experiences better. No matter what levels are we educating them at, regardless of k12 and higher education, it is recognising that they can take ownership of their own educational needs. It was demonstrated through the Stamford American International school, showing how they could bring audiences for a Google Expedition. Even from local aspects, placing robotics and coding experiences through micro-bits are really helpful in helping students solve real-world problems. Creating crazy solutions and really tinkering with examples from different educational levels that offers wireless switches in home appliances to mini-games, moisturiser detectors and pancake flippers. These are generally allowing students to go in depth and look for solutions to support the problem. This includes getting water pumps and thinking about how the appliances can be switched on/off.
Small and incremental changes are readily happening everywhere around the world. It was also possible through flipped classrooms, where physics and Newton’s Law was brought through the lens of a movie, Interstellar. Inquiry questions and probing students, scaffolding new concepts one by one as the class gets guided by a facilitator. For example, you could begin asking a simple question of why is the ship being drawn to the black hole to scaffolding it into a question about what is exactly a black hole based on what the class has understood about gravity. These are small steps that students will take, and allow them to fail and get it wrong are very important in a classroom setting. This is because the classroom creates affordances for failures, opportunities to learn from mistakes. It is also argued by Tony Wagner during the conference when he highlights how people remember things better through mistakes.

From Bryan Alexander’s perspective, it was about students becoming prosumers, obtaining IP rights to products that were created by them. They are owners of new and incremental products that are developed constantly. Students will be sharing their stories(successes/failures) online and demonstrating it through digital storytelling. There will be a wealth of knowledge that are available for people to learn and react to. These students will be producers of many multimedia resources that they can tap on. The collaboration will be valued over individual effort, as teams are able to communicate and collaborate more effectively in this manner.

I conclude my word vomits (inspired by the digital storytelling workshop) with a thought for me to think about:

  • what are the implications of redesigning assessment? Do we need grades ultimately?
  • How should competency-based assessment be redesigned?
  • Are students ready for a student-centric learning experience? If not, how could we encourage them and bring them onboard?
  • Are we being inclusive in education?

And I tried digital storytelling from one of the software that I was recommended to use. It allowed me to type in my inputs and customised characters!

Learning Journey of my Multimedia Project

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.

Final Words?

I’m writing this despite not having a good grade in 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 in 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!

How are you from the past to the future.

Dear Son,

This is your dad, writing this so you could take a look in 10 years and understand if this blog is still around. I’m using a MacBook if it still exists in 10 years time, or typing away on my iPhone to make this as meaningful as possible. I’m not Howard Stark who could give you a formula to success. I’m just a dad who wants the best for you. We certainly love you dearly and as much as we could. I’ll be your best friend for a while, the one to keep you company. The one to read you some bedtime stories so you could sleep better. Your mum or I would also be the one who tugs you to bed when you feel uncomfortable, alongside with your mum. I’m sure your mum thinks the very same way as I do. We’ll be there until you slowly fade off and find your friends and clique to hang out with.

How’s the world like now?

It’s in the midst of change. We’re all changing in a world. We call it:

Change is always a constant

You’ll live in a world that automation is on its way, we’re not in a world where robots will take over the world. It’s more like they will take over mundane work(boring work). We’re in an aging population, where many of people similar to mum and I will be working through old age, slowly seeing retirement fade off our eyes. Barbara Kingsolver once said:

The world shifts under our feet, the rules change. Not the Bill of Rights, or the rules of tenting, but the big unspoken truth of generations.

Everything is so easily accessible now my Son. You could get a taxi by clicking a few buttons and even know how many minutes will it take to arrive. We live in a world so connected that I could still see you even when I’m overseas. In Mark Zuckerberg’s recent Harvard speech:

You are graduating to a world that needs purpose, it is up to you to create it..

He challenges not only you, but both mum and I to take on New challenges. So, be afraid to fail not once, twice, thrice maybe a thousand times. As many times as you can to reach what you aspire to do. I hope one of us could be a pleasant role model to you,

We’re in a tiny red dot, we need more grit, determination and understand that every of us in whatever age you may be, there will still be setbacks that will prevent you from moving forward. But your mum and I will try our best to mould you into what you are and want to be. So whatever we give, we always offer the best like what parents usually do. If we can’t and as you age, try to understand why it is so.

How’s school?

Schools will be digitally enabled. There will be a variation of technology such as augmented reality and virtual reality for you to experience. Examinations may not require teachers to administer examinations. You might be sitting in front of a computer to take your test and examinations. The people around the world are all trying to make it better all for you. The Teachers in schools are working very hard for your future. So do respect them, as they are trying hard to impart mathematics, science, English or Mandarin to you. Don’t be disheartened when your grades are bad at times, we’ll try to find ways to improve on your weakness. I had times where I felt I worked pretty hard but still failed somehow. It might have been the way I studied last time.

I’m not sure how homework is going to evolve, will it be meaningful work and not mindless problem solving such as spotting keywords in mathematic questions that will get you distinctions. We will find out as we work it out together. I’m sure your teacher will know what’s best for you. Sometimes both of us maybe upset at how things turn out, how you might think homework is irrelevant and unnecessary and rather engage with the latest video games, toys and gadgets. Mum and I will then be upset and may start scolding or nagging because you chose ‘entertainment’ over seriousness. Do understand we are upset at you not for the moment, but for your long and bright future ahead of you. There are many careers choices and things that we wish you could do to help the world be better to live in. We love you, and that’s why we chose to intervene instead of leaving you alone.

We’ll bring you to places that you could try out the career that you aspire. Will you be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or a programmer? I’m not really sure too. But whatever you want to achieve, go all out to get it for us. We’ll be proud of you when you reach there, we’ll also support you at the lowest point of your life.

We’re your full time coach and mentor to overcome the smallest or biggest problems you face. When we’re not, gather up your strength and overcome it. Cause you know there are times we want you to be independent. Don’t despair if you wonder why you can’t always get the sleekest and best toys at times. Sometimes you just have to earn it. There are many things you should treasure more than just toys.

There will be lots of digital tools for you to experience the world around you by the time you’re in school. You will be immersed in 3D technology, playing with virtual items more often than your toys at home.

Don’t worry, there will be time for you to see nature, smell the breeze near the beach and feel the wind passing through the pores of your face. My Son, many friends of yours will forget this experience and only recall the fun and excitement technology offers them.

Your friends, choose them well. For some will lead you astray, some will lift you up when you are down. Friends are important as you collaborate in projects, work together to solve a problem. Play in a Soccer team that you love. Hang out after school and reflect on how fun it was. Work alone and you achieve your goal, but work together and achieve a miracle together.

Discover new things with your friends And both of us, it will help you learn a lot better. Treasure your childhood like how your mum and I did, these are important moments in your journey, to make meaning in your life. There are lessons to learn from your peers, friends and people you communicate with.

Lastly, don’t give up on whatever you strive to do, even if the whole world goes against your thoughts. I take one of the finest quotes from Steve Jobs during his 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech:

Stay Hungry, Stay foolish.

Reflecting a learning experience

Think about the last time you tried to recall and tell someone about your travel experience, really providing the details to your friends/colleagues or someone. All you wanted was to tell the person how much you enjoyed it. Was it really difficult? What aspects did you recall that you were able to tell someone.

When we talk about experiences to people, sometimes we go down to the most detailed conversation we ever had. For example, I was in London last year during this period. I would tell people who fantastic the Emirates stadium looked and how crowded the place was, judging and assuming people are all like minded arsenal fans (which i know I’m pretty much wrong there).

I failed pretty much in one thing. Following some of Asubel’s theories on learning to make them more meaningful, we sometimes deliver experiences that we assume people have an understanding. We tell our friends how the Sakuras and climate was great in Tokyo. That lesson could have been altered through media rich experiences when we related it to meyes principles in designing multimedia.

In order to blend in learning and making it meaningful, i took a TED video by Simon Lancaster on speak like a leader. There were areas that i felt were extremely important in not only making meaningful connections, but also consider the cognitive load of each individual during the learning process.

Taken from treehugger.com on Bill Gates releasing Mosquitoes in a TED talk in 2009

an example of Bill Gates talk in which he released a swarm of mosquitoes to his audience. Those are great triggers that would ignite the learners’ experience and make them remember a lot better. It becomes more than getting them to understand beyond just memorising things or words. The full video can be found here

To conclude, let’s make our experiences more meaningful to people by elaborating on our personal experiences to people and let them digest components that only makes sense to them. I woild have told my friends about how cheering when Arsenal scored a goal was really awesome and seeing the many people that are wearing the same jersey chant along with you was simply priceless

What you need to take note when designing your next Learning App

Apps are prominent in today’s context as mobile devices becoming more prominent and great advances in technology. Almost everyone owns a smart device these days.

Teachers and educators are also jumping on the bandwagon to see how it can benefit learners in classrooms and lectures. Let’s explore some design considerations during the development of an App

The simplicity of instructions in the app


The icons that create meaning and provide heuristic support for learners when they view the App. Certain Icons already have meaning in our daily lives so we can harness the heuristics that each person possess through common icons and pictures.

Your icons are able to immediately provide learners with the pathway and direction in learning. I have actually placed a few keywords associated with certain design.

If you refer to the picture above, you can see ‘Create’ and ‘Design’ is closely associated with ‘painting and the palette’.

A calculator is also closely associated with the word ‘solve’. These clean and simple words actually help learners to understand more effectively. It is also supposed that using plain English is also one of the ways to help learners understand and learn more effectively, especially when concepts are pretty steep and difficult to understand.

You may refer to the following link to download and use one of the references I have found recently online.

The interaction it encompasses.

What applications will u place into the app to create more dialogue between learner and instructor? Interactions in the App ensures that your learners don’t only read, but also interact with the contents and your thought process.

it is crucial to lay out the design of the App carefully, as well as creating small components of interactions for learners to engage in during the course of learning. There are 3 categories of interaction in that I will be discussing:

  1. No interaction – it is mainly for a user to read or watch a video using the App. there is very minimal interaction involved. It only serves for learners to read and try to interpret or use the information that they have learnt in future. This of course, has no guarantee that the learners will remember what they have just read.
  2. Minor interaction – it refers to clickable links that you place for learners to reference materials. There are clickable links for learners to click and refer, when designing instructions or information for learning. There will be clickable links for learners to access as part of additional materials for them to read and understand the topic fully.
  3. Moderate interaction – this is the toughest segment to achieve. Thete are animated videos and quizzes using online quiz tools such as qzzr.com. and Padlet discussions that you set as a social interaction platform. they provide learners a platform to give feedback on what they think or feel about a concept they have just learnt about.

A variety of interaction and activity.

[qdeck style=”width: 100%; min-height: 0px; ]
[q] In the diagram, guess a common phrase with reference to the diagram below

Unfortunately, learners get bored easily in this digital age. There are lots of distractions that bring them away from the intentions that you set upon.

Providing learners with activity time engages learners and give them the golden opportunity to voice opinions that have been internalised.

At the opposite end of 2 spaces, there are 2 perspectives to consider during activity design. Taking note of the correct level of activity to engage the correct instructional procedure and serve the correct learning needs:

  • Open spaces for learners to input their personal thoughts provides freedom to express their thoughts. Using open-ended questions can give a variety of answers from learners yet it requires more validation to ensure the learners are on the right track.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, quizzes provide a quick validation on learners’ understanding of a topic. it is ultimately dependent on the knowledge that those educator wish to impart to the student.

The Gamification element

The gamified element, what scores, leaderboards, badges can motivate an individual to work harder by looking ahead at what’s available for them. Gamified elements in its simplest form provide the platform for challenge and healthy competition.

When it is set at a correct level and pace, learners can compete to stay on top of the chart, providing rewards if they stay on top or successfully completing a task. For example, a badge can be given to learners who are in the leaderboard  for 2 consecutive weeks or have posted multiple times in a week.

Reward system can differ time to time, it is up to the designer to decide the magnitude or complexity of the reward system. looking at badges as rewards, some can include:

  1. First post in the discussion forum
  2. Top poster in discussion forum
  3. Most credible contributor in the discussion forum
  4. Most social learner in the discussion forum
Think about these questions when we place reward systems into our Learning App:
  • What rewards systems are in place to engage learners?
  • How simple is the reward system for learners to easily understand how to get there?
  • What do they get in return for attending the course?

As learning designers, we need to think about the return of investment when each learner invests time and resources into learning. these can include certificates of completion to recognise their contribution. are there badges that learners can place onto their portfolio website to signify their credibility.

If no certificates or badges are issued, is there a skill or knowledge that the learner can use once they been through your learning app. Could learners use this skill in their workplace instead of attending a 3-day course on it.

Think about the return on investment when each learner invests time and resources into learning. these can include certificates of completion to recognise their contribution. are there badges that learners can place onto their portfolio website to signify their credibility.

If no certificates or badges are issued, is there a skill or knowledge that the learner can use once they been through your learning app. Could learners use this skill in their workplace instead of attending a 3-day course on it. these are important things for consideration during the design phase as you set out the objectives for learning.

It also encompasses the learning journey that each learner will go through when using the App for learning.

The Video for your Learning Needs

Videos are great resources for learning, Through visual and auditory means, learners are able to capture knowledge and understand it much more effectively these days. It supersedes pictures as the next level of learning resource. The only constraint it has are two things:

  1. An amount of time and resources required to invest in the video production – Think of the countless video editing that you may go through as you edit the video for the first time. There might be times that after the first time you used the video, you might have to go back to the drawing board and start reworking the entire video for better understanding. However, once this is done properly, it will be a great and valuable resource that will reside around for a long time.
  2. Proper Planning – Videos requires storyboarding so learning becomes more effective. Without a storyboard, the flow of the story will be blurred and unclear. The video might end up looking scattered and impromptu. The sequence and structure of the video play the most important element in video creations.
  3. Video Length – Video length must never be too long, or else you might risk boring the audiences in general. It must never be over 20 minutes, as learners might skip through important element during the videos. It is ideal for the video to be hovering on a maximum of 5 minutes, to a minimum of 2 minutes. If there are lots of areas to cover, consider splitting the video into a smaller element. This is also to enforce the need for proper storyboarding and planning process in order to make this happen.

Learning in 21st Century Workforce

I recently came across contents that i personally felt were relevant when it came to learning and what actually drives all of it to make it work. There were actually personal reflections that i took while undergoing some learning transformations while reading some books while upgrading myself in education.

Reinforcements matters

Our roles in our career evolve rapidly through our lives. One moment we may be tasked to do higher order thinking task as we progress. there’s a need to reinforce our mindset and set our minds growing constantly. Technology and ever-changing needs have evolved our roles in workplace drastically. It becomes necessary for us to absorb fundamentals and principles more effectively in this age and time. Working professionals must be even more proficient in absorbing concepts. Therefore, does learning to perform a task really matters? Or is it the process of learning that truly matters in our professional careers? Take a look at this video and see what you can learn and summarise from this video Learning how to learn by Barbara Oakley

Learning task matters even more

If your task is irrelevant to your learners, there’s a chance that your learners will not pick up and take an effort to appreciate whatever that you prepared for them. it must also be seamless while producing it. Learners will soon be equipped with VR technology so they can see a simulation of the real world, yet at times we forget our purpose of learning through simulation. Learning experiences are unique to each individual and not one task would learners engaged in a similar fashion. Placing a learning task that is guided when necessary provides a unique experience
There are questions to reflect on as we view technology progress:

  1. Can real world experiences really be brought to a learning environment?
  2. Must learning necessarily be driven by a set of task to be done?
  3. Is task customised to a unique experience to a learner? (Personalised)

Continuous learning

In a knowledge-based economy where skills and knowledge get obsolete quickly, does learning task relating to an authentic environment and reinforcement of task actually matter? We need to constantly upgrade ourselves to make us more technically inclined. Through certifications, we achieve higher order thinking and become more proficient in the things that we do. We can also obtain learning through online sites such as Coursera and EDX offer many great courses organized by known professors and individuals of some of the best Universities in the world. Learning can also be short to obtain gaps in current knowledge and skills. These can be obtained through sites such as CreativeLive or highbrow. Skills such as effective email conversations, or learning an Adobe software is now possible through these sites.

Displacing ADDIE in a modern world

ADDIE model was developed during the 1970s as an instructional design framework for the US army for its military training. While it fundamentally guides the design of learning, its drawback constantly involves the time taken to develop. When we look into a fast paced the world that is changing so rapidly, with technology displacing each other in a blink of an eye. Are new approaches such as SAM and rapid application development applicable to new business practice.

We would be considering new approaches to designing how our curriculum will look like. At times, there are implications of a cost incurred for training. We speak to many stakeholders and most of the concern is about getting the process across and to minimize the error caused by lack of knowledge to handle certain areas.

Sequencing of content

sequencing content and how do we do it? picture courtesy of 1001freedownloads

The sequencing of contents is usually guided by the learner’s needs and requirements. A great designer will take into considerations the mix and match of instructional approaches during the analysis and design phase. That takes into consideration that certain approaches can help to scaffold knowledge when a learner is new to a subject, or it may help learners critically think of a problem that they been facing for a period of time and use approaches such as problem-based learning to address and solve a related problem in hand. It also takes into consideration aspects such as simple to complex contents and relevance. There are also considerations such as learners who have a short attention span that may require learning designers to sequence the important contents in front and the optional ones behind.

Relevance of content

what is the relevance of the content to the learner (Picture courtesy of 1001freedownloads )

There is a load of contents and resources available online. They are so reachable within efficient search engines such as Google. Relevance of content reminds us that whatever placed on the learning resource must relate to the learner. Carefully designed content allows learners to not only understand the content but relate it to the real world, where skills and knowledge become applicable to them. Topics in a textbook are now more subjective and are used as a foundation for a new generation to understand its strengths and limitations.

Implementation of content

Bringing your own device, courtesy of 1001freedownloads.com

In the recent years, the keyword ‘BYOD’ has been dominant and we have colleges who are heavily embracing the use of BYOD. A survey by Educause suggests that over 85% of students purchase and use a laptop for academic purposes. According to a CTools survey conducted by Information Technology Services & USE Lab University of Michigan, the computer expertise of both faculty members and students are over 80%. It shows not only the need for Information and communication technology to be embedded into a curriculum and its content, it also means that colleges must be prepared to embrace more BYOD into a curriculum. There is also a need for content to fit into a variety of devices in the market.Network and security companies such as CISCO are working towards providing and hardening security for colleges and other relevant sectors.


CTools – https://ctools.umich.edu/portal/site/!gateway/page/d73c5aac-2fc3-48a0-802b-bff1e3cd031f
Use of Laptops in the Classroom: Research and Best Practices -http://www.eos.ncsu.edu/soc/laptops/why_laptops

How you can reconstruct knowledge?

Piaget’s focus was on human development through the experiencing. Ideally, a person can learn a skill better through interaction by their own. The interaction between the object and the person brings other experiences closer to him, thus the skills and knowledge are strengthened. The interaction brings about prior knowledge and similar experiences which builds a new one. The individual will continuously improve and become better through these interactions.

Fast forward, this theory has been used significantly used in our core subjects such as mathematics, english and science. It’s usually associated when an educators tries to relate something familiar and link it close to the concept that he/she is trying to bring across. Piaget allowed all of us to see light from different angles, relate different concepts  with different subject. He allowed us to reflect on questions through provocative questions. What was it that made James want to brave through the forest himself despite the number of predators in that region?

Constructivism is an element where you can build stories where your students by allowing them to experience a concept. For example, gathering the students together and asking them relevant questions such as “How do you think James might prevent any predators from attacking him?”. These questions might trigger the thoughts and experiences of the individual and make them reflect further on the concepts that they are to learn.

We moved on to the 21st century, where the presence of social media and networks have benefitted learning in tremendous ways. People now spend time on trying new recipes by watching and replicating the actions of the chef on the video. People spend time interacting with other peers from across the globe to understand different perspective of history and to find out top 10 hidden mysteries in the world. What is valuable in today’s context will be providing a platform that students themselves can record their experiences to share it around the world. They can create more interactive mode of engaging their students through creating videos and animations. Using barristar learns, you’re able to achieve creative methods of presenting yourself online, you’ll be accessible anywhere and anytime. Make your students learn and create something that is relevant to the new world.

They could also experience the world through 360degree photos where they can interact around.

Here’s an example of a 360 degree photo.

Courtesy of www.AirPano.com

In conclusion, the world is evolving and constructing itself in many ways. Look forward to innovative and exciting ways for your students to experience! You might not know what experience you have provided for your students.

Image: Google, inhabitat

Reflecting on Gamification in a classroom

As i was sitting by the corner listening to the gamification concepts that were taught to me. These thoughts linger within my mind so I can reflect and think about these aspects if I were to develop a game for learning purposes. There are 4 aspects of learning that provides me some thoughts during my development.

  • Concentrate on the learning value of each individual outcome.
    Can a game define or provide an in depth learning experience for the learners to understanding subject specific content? Can the game provide an immersive experience yet keep all the learning values and outcomes that it wishes to portray.What are the feedback that you will provide to each learner? How do you intend to provide feedback to your learners so you can clear misconceptions? Do you intend to use the game as a whole to clear misconceptions, or do you intend to only clear misconceptions through feedback when they experience difficulties or got the wrong answers. Do you provide hints so the learners can understand how to play the game better?
  • Enjoying the game
    Enjoy the gaming experience yet understand the concepts and learning deeper than just purely surface level. The amount of engagement will be a determinant for the learners wanting to come back more for the game. It’s a question of how much you want your players to enjoy the game, and how do the learners relate a concept the next time they apply them. Think of it as an ‘AH-HUH’ or eureka moment for them.
  • Visual aspects of the game design
    We also think of what particular design of the game are we looking for visually. Not all games have to be visually pleasing to your eyes, it doesn’t require the most stunning graphics to be the most entertaining. Instead, choose to include aspects such as visual cues to the learners that allow them to understand what is required to perform the task to complete the game. Also, provide assistance to the player if he keeps having difficulty with the quest. This can be through help links or through information after the person has failed in the quest.


Show hint function,when and where it should appear?
  • Customisation Level
    What is the level of customisation you will provide to your learners? Why do you want them to customise their character? The purpose maybe relating to the change in certain aspects of the game affecting the design. For example, a customised character might affect the perception of how each learner feels about the game as they are able to control how they look. Secondly, the customisation affects how they perceive difficulty of the game because they are able to customise the characters with items that they pick up along the game.
Are you able to customise your character fully?

To summarise, game design and mechanics (i.e. the reward systems, the way the game is played) will determine how successful your learning outcomes will be achieved. Careful planning on the game through storyboarding and testing will allow games to be played meaningfully and more engaging.

Image credits: EIDesign,Mekorama, Angry Bird Transformer

Symbaloo Syllabus

This is the implementation of the Symbaloo Syllabus. It had me thinking quite a bit on how I should design the syllabus based on what I had in possession. There are great features on Symbaloo such as implementing the entire syllabus into one single page, with everything either embedded or external links. It was kind of interesting that I even placed distractors to keep the mind off for students in a short period of time.
3 things I was thinking about while doing this

  • How is it possible to attract and catch the attention of the user? – There are several colours that catches the eye better. So do take that into consideration when designing a symbaloo.
  • What are the things that I should place and should not place into the site? – There are possibilities that people want to place everything for people to read, but to make it more accessible and readable. I would recommend limiting the size of symbaloo.
  • What are the icons and questions I should set for instructions? – What are the instructions and how I should place them in symbaloo.

So I recommend you try it out too. You wouldn’t regret trying symbaloo I would say.

Here’s the sample of my Symbaloo implemented on barristar learns.