The recent eLearning Network Award Winners Showcase at Aviva’s Digital Garage in London showed several innovative approaches to eLearning, and more to the point, projects that ranged from the massive (22 modules, 3,800 shared resources, discussions & comments – in 6 months) to the small but beautifully crafted (teaching code to the early years with a playful physical interface – an interactive wooden toy).
First up was the massive project for Novartis. A blended learning project with the challenge – ‘6 months to become Effective Business Partners’ for the global Novartis enterprise.
Following a 3 month design (for a pilot with a pioneer group and sponsor), the actual project took 3 months in production and post-production, the trick being to design and deliver so many different facets within a uniform framework – a single platform enabling multiple learning methods, personalised and flexible to fit each learner’s schedule and experience level in multiple time-zones on a global scale.
This used the full armoury of approaches: community engagement through animation, nudging and gamification, with self, team and group learning activities – supported by experts. All involved participated in a structured learning journey, with practical applications through personal business challenges and line manager involvement. And, of course, real-time feedback and assessment was a must.
For any trainer, HR manager or producer, this volume is massive. Unless it is project driven from day one, and includes a large amount of material that is already available. TED Talks is a good example of existing material, as well as recommended reading.
Yes, a project of this scale can cost between 6 and 7 figures, but the increase in excellence throughout more than justifies the budget. This provides for greater turnover, greater customer retention, greater staff retention and bigger profits. QED
And then there was the small and beautifully crafted – Primotoys winning Gold for the most innovative new learning technology, Cubetto, aimed at teaching code to the early years (3 to 7).
Established with a Kickstarter in 2013, the small team designed a playful physical interface which was LOGO-inspired (constructionism), Montessori approved (structured play), with a zero barrier for learners (play, storytelling) and a low barrier for teachers (language and pedagogy).
After an initial period of manufacturing by hand in the UK (a very slow process), followed by further crowdfunding, the team established serious volume manufacture in China and by October 2016 were taking orders from 92 countries world-wide.
What’s so neat about this project?
Because it does not require the use of an app, Cubetto is accessible to children who don’t have a smartphone or tablet whenever or wherever they play. Primo Toys’ focus on a “screenless” experience for young children makes its toys more socially engaging.
And it works!