17 August 2005

Richard Mayer in Sydney!

Exciting news for elearning designers in Sydney. Multimedia learning guru (and I don't use that over-used epithet lightly), Richard E. Mayer will be giving two seminars at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Dr. Mayer has published a wealth of research-based koweldge on multimedia learning (such as his key work for designers: Multimedia Learning). Mayer's is exactly the kind of work that is directly relevant to visual and instructional designers of elearning. Much of his research deals with how different media can be used most effectively to foster learning and improve outcomes. Publications on visual design for elearning invariably site Mayer's work. A few examples of his research findings are listed below.

Generally speaking, according to some of Mayer's research, learning tends to be more successful where...
  • Text and images are used together (rather than text alone)
  • Related images and text are placed close together
  • Animation is used with narration, rather than by itself, or if by itself, then in small chunks
  • (These are just a few examples, see Mayer's work to find out more)

Seminar info

"The School of Education, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the upcoming visit of Richard E. Mayer, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Professor Mayer is a leading international researcher in education and psychology, having been ranked the most productive educational psychologist in the world for over a decade. He has published 18 books and over 250 articles covering the areas of cognition, instruction, and technology with a special focus on multimedia learning and problem solving."

Seminar 1

Topic : Constructivism, problem based learning, inquiry based learning and discovery based learning
Title : Reflections on "Should There Be a Three-Strikes Rule Against Pure Discovery Learning?"
Date : Wednesday, 31 August, 2005
Time : 5:00pm- 6:30pm
Location : Robert Webster Building, Webster B (2nd floor)
(Enter UNSW through Gate 14, Barker Street)

Seminar 2

Topic : Cognition and Multimedia Learning
Title : Multimedia Learning
Date : Thursday, 1 September, 2005
Time : 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Location : Law Room 1201, Library Stage 2 Building
(Enter through Gate 11, Botany Street)

To register:

For catering purposes, could you please indicate by email to this address if you will be attending the Wednesday (31 August, 2005) seminar:
Paul Chandler - p.chandler@unsw.edu.au

12 August 2005

Principles of interaction design

Interaction design is one of the primary duties of any elearning designer. The design of interactivity is often shared by the instructional designer, who thinks up and describes interaction types, and the visual designer who brings them to life and adds to them. Either way, good interaction design is essential to good elearning, and is inextricably linked to the interface and multimedia design.

Bruce Tognazzini (otherwise known as TOG) of the world renowned Nielsen Norman Group has published a set of fundamental principles of interaction design. All of these are applicable to elearning, all the more so if you're creating applications or self-contained tutorials. The 16 fundamental principles are:
  1. Anticipation
  2. Autonomy
  3. Color blindness
  4. Consistency
  5. Defaults
  6. Efficiency of the user
  7. Explorable interfaces
  8. Fitt's Law
  9. Human interface objects
  10. Latency reduction
  11. Learnability
  12. Metaphors
  13. Protect user's work
  14. Readability
  15. Track state
  16. Visible navigation

Don't sit there trying to decode the list -- take a look at the complete explanation here: