Visual Design Principles for e-Learning, Part 2

Uploaded by ADLInitiative on 18.02.2011

Hi, my name is Peter Berking. I’m an instructional designer with the Advanced Distributed Learning
Initiative. This is Part 2 of the 8-part webinar Visual Design Principles for e-Learning. This
part is about designing for reusability. So if your content is based on sound universal
design principles, you have a better chance of being able to mix-and-match with other
content. It’s going to be more consistent. Basically, adherence to universal design principles
means that you’re more likely to hit a common denominator of good design. And it’s also
more desirable for reuse; people will see it as easier for them to read when they try
to mix-and-match it. And it’s the foundation for establishing and sharing style guides,
templates, skins. These design principles really should be the foundation for your organization’s
internal visual standards, which can be shared with others. So you have to be careful with
reusability in terms of visual design, because if things aren’t planned to be visually
combined with each other, they can be totally different and can result in a visual train
wreck. In other words, the “ransom note effect.” And here’s an example of the
ransom note effect. So, reusability in terms of visual design requires consistent use of
navigation elements that are standardized, interfaces, etc. etc. CSS is one of the best
ways to do that. Templates, skins, and style guides very good too. And context neutral
interfaces, so, interfaces that don’t corporate logos on them, etc. And it’s not as hard
as it sounds. So to enhance reusability, you need to design the interfaces so that they
can be reused, by avoiding things like highly stylized elements, unusual colors, unusual
screen placement. Here’s an example of an interface that’s not very reusable. So graphic
slices are a good way to enhance reusability. Here we see 3 different graphic slices for
3 different audiences. Each one is a separate graphics file. These are the descriptions
associated with each audience for transporting hazardous material. Again, each one is a separate
graphics file. And now you can see how they’re joined together by one reusable slide. This
process can be implemented using a script that looks at the user login and determines
their need for one of these sets of slices. Slices enable the radioactive symbol to be
flexibly reused. The radioactive slice file is only stored once. And as far as visual
design and SCORM, it’s important to understand that SCORM is a technical enabler for reuse,
and the visual design principles are the visual enabler for reuse. So, both of those working
together give you high reusability. And SCORM is silent on design; it does not dictate anything
in particular about either the instructional design or visual. SCORM doesn’t address
anything about content markup or structure. It’s very open-ended. So using visual design
principles and SCORM will make it easier for you to reuse SCOs that you design within your
current project, for you to reuse SCOs that you design in other projects, other people’s
projects perhaps, or other projects of your own, and for others to reuse your SCOs in
their projects. And here you have the 4 reuse paradigms that we talk about in ADL: redeploy,
rearrange, repurpose, and rewrite. And pretty much the whole universe of reuse scenarios
can be covered by these 4 categories. And the first one, redeploy, is where you’re
just taking your SCOs and just deploying them for another audience on another LMS, but you’re
not making any changes to the SCOs. Rearrange is where you’re actually making some changes.
You’ve got those first two SCOs, as in the first set, you’re keeping those, but you’re
taking out the last two SCOs. Or maybe you’re reordering the SCOs. But you’re not adding
SCOs in from another source. In the repurpose paradigm, you are actually adding SCOs in
from another source. So you can see those last two SCOs, “Recognizing Engine Problems”
and “Engine Safety Precautions,” have been added in from another source, so now
you’re mixing and matching SCOs from different sources. And the repurpose paradigm is where
the visual design principles really come into play, where you have to make sure that you’re
using standard look and feel that will ensure that the SCOs from both sources are visually
in sync. And then the rewrite paradigm is where you’re actually going into your authoring
tool, not through SCORM, but you’re actually going into particular screens and changing
text or graphics to customize SCOs for a particular audience. So, you can see in this case, the
first and third SCOs are customized for a particular car owner. Now you can write different
SCOs for those first and third SCOs that will address particular audiences who own those
particular cars, and you can use SCORM 2004 sequencing to deliver the appropriate SCO
to that user. So, for the first SCO you could have one recognizing a flat in a 4x4 SUV,
recognizing a flat in a sedan, etc. etc. And you can deliver that particular SCO for that
user at runtime using SCORM 2004 sequencing. So that is a way, using SCORM, to cover the
rewrite paradigm. That concludes Part 2 of the Visual Design Principles for e-Learning
webinar. To learn more about the Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, visit,
where you can also register to receive our newsletter. You can follow us on Twitter at
@ADL_Initiative or join our group on Linkedin. Thank you for watching Part 2 of this webinar.
You can watch all 8 parts on Join us for Part 3 where I’ll discuss designing
for usability. Thanks for watching.