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What makes a great icon?

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Imagine; you’re in an airport and your flight has been delayed for a few hours. You walk around the terminal, go shopping, use the washrooms, get something to eat. You’ve

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Five ways to ‘gamify’ your elearning

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Is 2014 the year gamification can be taken of the ‘to do’ list and put into practice? While it has been a buzzword in the elearning industry for years now, it seems like this year the time has come for gamification to start delivering real benefits for online learning. Gamification – the use of game play mechanics for non-game applications – promises much: an engaging, dynamic, memorable and rewarding learning experience. But it can be very difficult to know where to start.

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We need to talk about me

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We need to talk about me. Nick Baum. Senior Instructional Designer. Saffron Interactive. Why do I want to learn this? What’s in it for me? What am I expected to do? Learners want to know what’s in it for them before they’ll even consider beginning to engage with a course. “If

‘I reflect, therefore I apply’: What Descartes can tell us about making elearning more applicable

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This post is part of a sequence of articles which draw upon a book called the Six Disciplines of Breakthough Learning. This month, I’m exploring one of my favourite chapters: Blog Blogs

[eBook] Make Better Business Decisions with Customer Training Data

Want to take your training data one step further? Download this eBook & learn how to demonstrate the full value of your program by combining traditional training metrics with the data in your CRM.

What works about the webinar for learning?

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Webinar is probably my favourite portmanteau (web + seminar). And that’s saying something, because I genuinely believe that ‘spork’ is one of the finest words (spoon + fork) to ever come into existence. But then again, webinars and sporks aren’t so different, when you think about it. I know what you’re thinking, I heard myself too. But let’s try and justify that seemingly ill-founded analogy. Stand back everyone, I’m going to attempt logic.

Infographics: overused, undervalued or still full of potential?

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Beyond winning points: reflections on ‘gamification’ (Part 1)

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Like most of Londoners, I rely on tube transportation to travel around the city. When on the tube, I usually spend my commuting time playing video games on my smartphone. When I look around I realise that many others, like me, are immersed in trying to solve puzzles, escape from zombies, shoot pigs, and so on. Games have been around for hundreds of years and video games are today becoming the preferred form of entertainment.

Why emotional outcomes matter just as much as learning outcomes

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This article is an edited extract from the upcoming June issue of Inside Learning Technologies and Skills magazine. Last month, Nicholas Baum explained some of the principles of something called ‘me-learning’. He outlined the mechanics of how an e-learning course can become a space in which learners can visualise new behaviours in action: ‘Here’s where I am; here’s where I could be; this is what I need to do to get there’.

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Take Charge of your eLearning environment

Learn how to maximize the impact of your learning by aligning to the goals of your organization, how to establish a learning culture with gamification including leaderboards and badges. Discover a learning content management system that is both powerful and easy to configure and manage.

Before, after, and beyond: why in 2014 we need to ‘design the complete experience’

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Recently I’ve been rereading The Six Disciplines of Breakthrough Learning , first published in 2006. It’s a fantastic toolkit for learning professionals who want to design programmes which make a genuine business impact. Pleasingly iconoclastic, the book challenges some of the bad habits and received wisdom which limit the scope of our ambitions. Most importantly, it also offers an easy-to-use framework for implementing breakthrough learning strategies.

Minimal design and e-learning: Why less is definitely more

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“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery , French writer (1900–1944). So you don’t believe me when I say that design is more about taking elements away than adding new ones? Try taking a look at the evolution of the Starbucks logo.

Toys, table-tops and the virtuous cycle of experiential learning

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Watching a toddler negotiate obstacles is fascinating, especially the ‘toy under the table’ scenario. Running full pelt, all the focus is on their favourite toy, not the height of the table … BANG! Need I say more?

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How can Instructional Design be visual as well as engaging?

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My dad used to explain astronomy to me using salt pots and oranges. The orange generally represented the sun, whilst the salt pots, ketchup bottles and whatever else was on the kitchen table stood in for planets and comets.

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Seven Simple Secrets to Off-the-Shelf Course Success

Off-the-shelf elearning is applicable for a wide audience, but it won’t address your organization’s unique situations or distinctive content. So are these courses all that helpful? For sure! Read on for 7 secrets to make off-the-self learning your own.

How can Instructional Design be visual as well as engaging?

Spicy Learning

My dad used to explain astronomy to me using salt pots and oranges. The orange generally represented the sun, whilst the salt pots, ketchup bottles and whatever else was on the kitchen table stood in for planets and comets.

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7 quick tips to improve knowledge management

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Following on from our webinar last week (you can find the recording here), we wanted to show that improving knowledge management doesn’t always have to cost a great deal of time.

5 Tips to make sure e-learning is effective

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I love Sheldon Cooper! I’m talking about the eccentric genius from the TV sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. He’s a know-it-all and knows it! So, why do I love him?

5 Tips to make sure e-learning is effective

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I love Sheldon Cooper! I’m talking about the eccentric genius from the TV sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. He’s a know-it-all and knows it! So, why do I love him?

The Secret to Getting Learning Results May Not Be What You Think

Do you struggle to achieve measurable results with your learning solutions? If so, you’re not alone. According to CEB, traditional training only creates 37% learning transfer. This guide explores the causes of poor transfer and concrete steps to achieving better outcomes.

A brief history of pictograms and ideograms

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A pictogram, also called pictograph, picto or simply icon, is the most simple and efficient way to convey a message or an idea and has been used throughout civilization – Blog Design

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Does the glove fit? How to make the most of HTML5 in e-learning

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The HTML5 mark-up language has now been around for about three years. It’s not yet fully recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) but, as of last December, it’s well on the way. Some of us have already embraced the change, thrown out Flash and welcomed HTML5 into our e-learning content. But what does HTML5 actually deliver above and beyond Flash? Is it right for you? This post takes a look at some examples from a recent Saffron course to offer some guidance.

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The app effect: why playfulness is indispensable to learning

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My name’s Jasper, and I’m one of the new instructional designers at Saffron Interactive. I’m also an information junkie. I love learning new things, and the more fun I can have while doing that, the better. So with that in mind, I decided to write my first blog post on the subject of apps, play, and flags (you’ll see), and what they can bring to the table in an e-learning, or m-learning, environment. I’d like to begin my post with a quick moment of reverence for the mobile phone.

How personal stories help learners and organisations grow and change together

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Having been raised in a household of oral storytelling, stories have been in my life blood since the day I could understand language and narrative. Being able to explore human behaviour and cultural differences through stories has always fascinated me. So when. I listened to a webinar involving Pat Kenny, a national e-learning manager from the Health Service Executive, that discussed using storytelling in e-learning it, it made me think.

[eBook] Training for a Millennial Audience

Want to keep your training relevant for modern learners? Download this guide and learn key strategies to engage with Millennials in your customer training program.

‘Learner as producer’: what Amazon can teach us about the activist LMS

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In a recent post, I mentioned that the order of the training transaction is currently the wrong way around. We treat learners as passive consumers, and don’t recognise their potential as producers. It’s an idea which is underlined in an excellent recent post by Steve Wheeler, from whom I’ve borrowed the first part of my title (although I suspect that Walter Benjamin got there first ). Wheeler points out that: “The importance of the situatedness of learning at all levels cannot be overemphasised.

An illustrated guide to illustrating elearning

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Who doesn’t like cartoons? Illustrations are designed to break up large amounts of text, introducing fun and laughter into the process. More than any other type of television, I can still remember the cartoons that brought me so much joy as a child.

Why most compliance e-learning doesn’t actually work

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Why do companies offer compulsory compliance training to their employees? To meet the company regulations that are in place. When staff training is approached in this way, many individuals may have reservations before they even begin, because ultimately, they do not have a choice in how their learning material is delivered. Let’s look at the bigger picture. I’ll take a simple example. In hospitality, employers have a duty to inform their staff about food and hygiene.

Square pegs and round holes: How to make e-learning more mobile responsive

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A few days back I was browsing my favourite website on my sister’s new smartphone. Even though I made sure I was accessing the mobile version of the site, I still wasn’t able to see content I could see when browsing the same site on my PC.

The complete eLearning journey

As an eLearning designer wouldn’t it be great if you could take charge of your eLearning environment right from storyboarding your ideas to generating responsive eLearning courses to being able to effectively deploy and track your learners’ performance?

Respect the system! – Creating engaging systems training

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When I started as the new Instructional Designer at Saffron, I had to get my head around an abundance of new ‘systems’ in a short space of time. Of course, Blog Blogs e-Learning Instructional design

Education 3.0: How can the corporate world learn from children?

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I recently watched an inspirational and informative YouTube video on a TED talk by Sugata Mitra on the Self Organised Learning Environment (SOLE). Mitra explored the natural inquisitiveness of children and their thirst for knowledge using just a simple computer. He found children sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas and teaching each other. The child became the teacher. The result of his research and observation is SOLE: collaboration on a global scale.

Saffron Interactive’s learning portal named on Top 20 Watch List

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Saffron Interactive has been named as ‘one to watch’ on this year’s Learning Portal Companies Watch List. Training Industry has recognised Saffron and its open source LMS, Saffron Grow, as.

How can you tell if a training programme is working? Run a trial

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Something is happening in the world of public policy and it ought to be happening within learning and development.

5 Key Aspects of Accurate Learning Management Systems Pricing

Simplify your software evaluation process with this free Learning Management Systems software pricing guide! Don't let price confusion keep you from selecting the best LMS software for your organization's needs. Download your free guide today!

Does magenta make me mellow? The truth about how colours affect behaviour

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Once upon a time, I thought that my interest in communication was only in words, grammar, and syntax. Thrilling though those subjects are, I’ve discovered that communication runs deeper than characters on a page, or even spoken language. It is something that we experience with every one of our senses. Visual communication is a huge part of this, but it’s often dismissed as less important, or less fundamental than speech and writing in delivering a message.