As a longstanding active member of what has now been labelled “the world’s largest and brightest e-Learning community”, I couldn’t resist creating a submission for the e-Learning Heroes weekly challenge #180 – Using LEGO bricks to design interactive lesson plans in e-Learning.
Create a short, interactive lesson using LEGOs.
I started this design challenge by looking through the resource links and searching for relevant images I could use.
I downloaded a few images.
My first slide just didn’t grab my attention as I believe an interactive e-Learning slide should.
I wondered if “lego bricks” were only the brick shaped ones, or if we could use characters, etc. I re-read the challenge constraints…
I thought more deeply about the LEGO theme…
I drew inspiration from the LEGO website.
How do you start transforming static learning lessons into interactive learning experiences?
Here’s some strategies I use:
Animation – take the elements on each slide and animate some/all of them. Don’t go overboard – sometimes less is more.
Navigation – intuitive navigation is a must. If a learner hesitates, unsure of what to do next, this detracts from the overall engagement.
In this design, I spent time thinking about how many elements were on the screen at the one time. By hiding some elements (buttons) until the appropriate time for them to be access, there is less confusion/hesitation on the part of the learner. Having said this, I’m not a big fan of incorporating too many instructions on where to click next. Getting this balance right is not always easy.
Instructions – provide clear instructions that can be accessed and re-read at any time.
Use a theme – this is something that I’ve investigated and worked on a lot this year. Following a theme throughout the whole design makes the course more cohesive and engaging.
In this design, the look of each of the elements I incorporated was inspired by the LEGO website – from the colours and fonts, to the shapes, and look and feel of the slides. You don’t have to replicate these exactly, but referring back to such a resource ensures that you have some standards to work from.
Personalise – allow the learner to make choices that personalise their experience.
In this design, I started the interactive course by allowing the learner to choose a character that would keep re-appear throughout the whole course. I also added a “menu” slide where the learner could select from three different activities, with no restriction on which activity they chose to do first.
Provide feedback – everyone likes to know what’s happening and how they’re doing if they’re being asked to interact with a slide or course.
Design features to incorporate could start with simple hover/selected effects (eg – changing a button to a different colour when the learner hovers over it and/or selects it). I’ve become so accustomed to incorporating these now, I look for this in every design I come across.
In this design, feedback elements included LEGO-inspired correct/incorrect feedback layers (complete with animations), completed states on the challenges menu buttons to provide feedback on learner progress, and a final “congratulations” message on completion of all challenges.
I myself have a very short “attention span” when I’m looking at interactive design examples. If the navigation is not intuitive, or if I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing, or if I don’t receive feedback on my interaction, I lose interest very quickly.
I think about this situation when I’m designing anything. I want my learners to be engaged from the very beginning, know what is expected of them, and be rewarded for their interactions and achievements.
Have I achieved this with this design?
I’d be interested to know your thoughts.
Download my PowerPoint working file for some of the LEGO brick shapes here.