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Category Archives: instructional design

Our brain – the Illusionist and the Laws of Gestalt.

Our brain is forever engaged in the act of simplification…it’s always trying to cut a long story short – and in doing so, it creates illusions.

So, what do you see?

In this podcast, I talk about Gestalt and its five laws.

  • The Law of Figure & Ground
  • The Law of Proximity
  • The Law of Pragnanz
  • The Law of Good Continuation
  • The Law of Closure

If you don’t know of Gestalt, I promise that you are in for a cognitive treat.

Check out my Gestalt Laws Podcast here.

 

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Finally…Twitter!

Dear Readers,

I’d like to tell you that I recently discovered my Twitter Account that I made in 2009 – and I’ve started tweeting seriously about some serious matters, such as Instructional Design, eLearning, Training, and Creativity. If these topics interest you, please follow my account here.

My new love is Gestalt, and I’ll be talking about it in the next episode of the Learning Lights podcast 🙂 Don’t miss it! It’s going to be super-awesome!

 

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Kolb’s Cycle – The Experiential Learning Model (ELM) – The Learning Lights Podcast

I know that you aren’t really in a mood for a learning podcast…but hey, it’s only 12 minutes long, which means that it:

  • introduces and explains the 4-Stage Experiential Learning Model given by David Kolb,
  • illustrates it through two examples – one historical, the other contemporary, and then
  • provides tips that you can use for ensuring that you take your audience through each of the four stages…

All in 12-minutes!

So if you get a chance, do check out this episode of the Learning Lights Podcast – “The Kolb’s Cycle or The Experiential Learning Model.”

Click to listen to the Learning Lights Podcast.

And to pique your curiosity…here’s the gentleman from the historical example 🙂

Merry Chrismas to all my readers and listeners. Thank you for being with me through these years. You have been my strength.

 

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Sia’s Story or The Job of an Instructional Designer

Remember?

That first Instructional Design assignment…

Waiting for the ID Reviewer’s comments…

Then clicking open the document with your heart pounding against your ribs…

And then seeing… RED!

Was this what you HAD signed up for?

Or

what is it that you ARE signing up for?

Meet Siya…and Rajeev.

If you want to become an instructional designer and find yourself wondering what it would be like to work as an ID, you’ll find your answers at https://anchor.fm/learninglights/episodes/Siyas-Story-An-Instructional-Designers-Job-ens9lk

A heads-up…

This is a podcast – and so you’d need to keep the audio on.

Click to listen to the Learning Lights Podcast.

In this episode, meet Siya, a mint-fresh instructional designer who is discovering what it means to be an instructional designer.

This episode is an introduction to what an Instructional Designer’s Job comprises, takes you through the fears and apprehensions of a new ID, and then puts them to rest through the knowledge of an experienced instructional designer.

With this episode, we are through with laying the basic groundwork. In the coming episodes, I intend to discuss a few concepts of instructional design and cognitive psychology within the context of their application in eLearning and/or training.

If you’d like to join me on this fun ride, do subscribe or follow Learning Lights on a podcasting app of your choice. It is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify too.

 

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Who should be an Instructional Designer?

Do I have the right abilities and traits for becoming an instructional designer?

This is a question asked by many accidental content professionals and all those fresh job-seekers who are exploring the field of content development and Instructional Design. They want to find out if they are temperamentally suited for a successful career in ID and content development, whether they are creative enough, and what sort of skills they must possess.

If you too are trying to ascertain whether or not you have the right temperament and skills for becoming an instructional designer, then you should listen in.

Click to listen to the Learning Lights Podcast.

In this episode, I present to you the three most important characteristics of an Instructional Designer and attempt to dispel a debilitating myth about creativity.

After you’ve listened to this episode, please read more about this topic at: Four Key Traits of an Instructional Designer.

Also visit http://creativeagni.com to explore the world of creativity and instructional design.

Thank you 🙂

 

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Free Online Workshop on Instructional Design – Sunday, September 06, 2020.

Hello Friends,

Hope you are doing well and staying safe.

Creative Agni has just announced my free online workshop on Instructional Design. It shall be a 3-hour program that will start at 10 AM (Indian Time.) The program will be conducted through Zoom.

Creative Agni's Free Online Instructional Design Primer Workshop

If you are interested in attending, please visit the IDP workshop webpage, read the details, and register for the workshop. The invites with the Zoom meeting link shall be going out on Friday, September 4th.

The next session of the IDCD session shall be conducted online, and you are welcome to explore it at the IDCD Course web-page.

Thank you,

Shafali

 

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Splashing about in the Tub of Self-learning and emerging Enlightened.

Going Wrong is the First Step in Doing Right.

And I re-learned this lesson for the umpteenth time when I posted my first article on LinkedIn. Here’s the link to it.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tub-self-learning-hold-your-breath-shafali-r-anand/

The Self-Learning Tub Discovered during my learning LinkedIn article publishing.

Click the image to read how learning to publish my article on LinkedIn resulted in my descent into the Self-Learning Tub.

If you enjoy the article, do any or both of the following 🙂

  • Follow my feed on LinkedIn because I intend to write there quite regularly.
  • Subscribe to the Creative Agni eZine.

 

 

 

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Instructional Designer – The Conjurer of Learning Experiences.

A lot of confusion exists around the term “Instructional Designer.” In many e-learning organizations, it’s a designation; but thankfully, most understand it to be a role, which it is. And yet, most recruiters aren’t able to differentiate between a content developer, a content writer, or an author. This confusion seems to be acquiring another dimension with the advent of Rapid Authoring or Rapid eLearning Development.

Generically speaking, an instructional designer is someone who uses certain concepts of cognitive psychology and frameworks of learning, to create effective learning experiences.

The confusion that I talked about in the beginning starts with the scope of “Learning Experiences.”

Note that each of the following is designed to be a learning experience:

  1. A textbook
  2. A WBT (Web-based Tutorial)
  3. An m-learning module
  4. An online course
  5. A corporate-training program
  6. An instruction manual
  7. A coaching session
  8. An educational class

And so on…

Thus, anyone who uses the concepts of cognitive psychology and the established frameworks of learning, to make any of the above effective, can be said to play the role of an instructional designer.

This also means that a textbook author, a WBT storyboard developer, an m-learning content creator, a trainer, a coach, or a teacher, can all play the role of an instructional designer.

Read about an Instructional Designer’s role in the eLearning Industry here.

Written in response to the Daily Prompt “Conjure.”

 

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Creative Training Design & Content Development – What Inhibits Creativity?

Last week, I received a call from a young woman who was interested in exploring the IDCD (Instructional Design and Content Development) course. During our discussion, she asked me if her lack of creativity would in any manner hamper her performance in the course. It is a question that I’ve fielded many times in the last fourteen years, and fortunately, I’ve done it with a conviction that comes from a long experience with creativity.

I’ve been creative in at least three different areas, and all these areas, I’ve been sufficiently creative to be considered a professional. These three areas are art, fiction-writing, and training/elearning content development. My experience tells me that when I’m being madly creative in one area, I’m only marginally creative in the other two. Why? Because creativity begins by submerging yourself in a context.

Igniting, Harnessing, and Channeling your Creative Potential – An Example

Here’s a recent example. We’ve been thinking of bringing you the REDAC (Rapid eLearning Development with Adobe Captivate) course for a while now. So when in January end, I applied myself to designing this program, I had to break away from a historical fiction piece that I was writing. You could say that I could spend a few hours on my fiction writing endeavor and the remaining on designing the REDAC course. Unfortunately, this sort of multitasking becomes very difficult when you are trying to divide your time between two very different types of creative endeavors. (If your day job is that of a banker, an accountant or a shop floor engineer who works on job-scheduling, then you can be a creative writer in the evenings – because there isn’t a creative clash.)

You see,

  • Fiction writing is imaginative, colorful, descriptive where you must visualize scenes and characters and you must make them come alive through an interesting use of dialogs, its purpose is to entertain, and it uses the “Storytelling” framework to create the final expression. It also requires that I immerse myself in the context of the era in which I’m situating my story.
  • Training Design is logical, connective, direct, and its purpose is to impart learning, and it uses the “instructional design’ framework to create the final expression. It requires that I immerse myself in the context of the discipline/software (its capabilities, its connection with eLearning, and so on…)
  • The right way to begin was to pluck my mind out of the historical context (for fiction-writing) and drop it into the subject context (in this case Adobe Captivate, for training design.) Since I’m good with both the storytelling framework as well as the training design framework, all I needed to do was immerse myself in a new context.

    Read More for “How Creativity is Born?” and “What Inhibits Creativity?”>>>


Thus, in order to ignite, harness, and channel creativity, one must follow a method. Almost all those who are highly (and repetitively creative) follow one. It is usually a method that they develop themselves, but once they have developed it, they stick to it. Dan Brown is an excellent example of this phenomenon. I’ve been an ardent follower of his Facebook page and a relentless reader of his books, and I’ve noticed that he has a method. He approaches every book as a creative project and at the beginning of this project, he immerses himself into the context (information on what he wants to write about.) He reads, researches, watches videos, meets people, travels, visits places he thinks he’d like to situate his story in…but of course, this is just the beginning. Creativity isn’t only about coming up with ideas – there’s a lot more to it, including retaining the best ideas and sustaining the creative energy that will eventually turn your ideas into effective creative expressions.

I see this element in my own creative method too. I’ve talked about it at length in my new book, which is just a few months away from reaching your favorite book-store 🙂

“Our mind is a treasure chest of slumbering creative nodes that just need to be woken up in the right environment to let our creativity flow.” – SRA.

 
 

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The PowerPoint Coma, Dilbert, and Trainings.

Three days ago, on April 5th 2016, The Times of India ran a Dilbert strip about the PowerPoint Coma. About a week ago, on April 4th, I was in a meeting with a senior training manager, discussing an upcoming program for their organization, attempting to outline the focus areas. The training program would address senior and mid-level managers of the organization, who are often called upon to share their domain-expertise with others. “One of the areas,” said the gentleman, “is PowerPoint. They walk in with a PowerPoint presentation, dim the lights, and for the next hour, everyone dozes off! They can’t do away with the PowerPoint presentation, because it keeps their content grounded and ensures that they stay within the scope.”

Two days later, I saw the Dilbert strip, and the term “PowerPoint Coma” stayed with me. I’m not a fan of PowerPoint, but that doesn’t make me blind to its advantages. I know it has many, especially in the training scenario of today, where the rapidly reducing half-life of knowledge makes its almost mandatory that the trainers have a cue-sheet to keep them on track. How then, do we handle this double-edged sword? How do we use the strengths of PowerPoint without falling prey to its weaknesses?

Read “PowerPoint Coma – Causes, Effects, Prevention, and Dilbert,” for a rapid-fire round of quick tips.

 

 

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