Storyboarding Instructional Design

By Nicole Wylie

Introduction

Instruction designers (ID) develop educational experiences. This task comes with the challenges of developing a product that is user friendly in a timely manner. Storyboarding is a tool that instructional designers use to deliver instructional designs and experiences through a linear sequence of images. These images visually predict and explore a user’s product experience. Storyboarding can aid to streamline the creation of instructional products. Ideally storyboarding is the solution for instructional designers to enhance their workload; however, that may not be the case. It is important to compare the benefits of storyboarding to the disadvantages, allowing instructional designers to determine if the process will benefit them.

Advantages of storyboarding in ID

Storyboarding is known to solve problems that instructional designers face in their everyday workload. The two main problems ID faces are:

  1. Slow turn-around time.
  2. Lack of guidance from subject matter experts (SME).

A solution for both of these problems lies within storyboarding.

Slow turn-around time

Instructional design involves two groups of people—IDs and SMEs. Both parties have very different jobs and are required to find common time to work on a project, causing difficulty in collaboration. This process becomes increasingly difficult when both parties come from different departments or companies. Traditionally, once an ID project has begun development, changes are difficult to make due to the nature of the project, causing an slower output when designers have to backtrack.

Storyboarding is a way to streamline a lengthy communication and development process by creating a visual representation of the learning process. This allows a SME to look at an instructional product and point out errors, and places in need of improvement. A storyboard structure will limit communication errors that will hinder the development process. It is easier to change content in a storyboard, than in an instructional product. Before finalizing a product, this is the most efficient way to work out any issues an instructional designer may face after development has begun.

Lack of guidance

Due to the communication issues instructional designers face with SMEs, there also is a lack of guidance on the content they are developing. Instructional design is a field where many of the developers on not well versed in the content they are creating. With that, their SMEs often don’t dedicate time for questions and clarification. Storyboarding can help with that process.

By creating a visual map of your instructions, it is easy to point out areas where you need clarification, or issues in the users learning process. By having this map, you can easily share where you need guidance with little explanation. This can also help the designer develop questions that will help the overall process before a meeting, to ensure there isn’t an overwhelming need for back and forth the SME may not have time for.

Constraints

With the advantages of storyboarding to develop ID there are also disadvantages to the process. As the solution solves major issues in the process it develops others.

The two main issues surrounding ID and storyboarding are:

  1. Lack of software.
  2. Linear output.

For storyboarding to work there are assumptions about the ID development process that may not be true.

Access to storyboarding software

For professional instructional designers a company will give them a set of tools needed to do their jobs correctly. Seldom will an organization feel it is beneficial to invest in storyboarding software and training to develop content. With that, there is no software dedicated specifically to ID. The designer would have to invest their own money in it, and use a program that is made for film. That step would cause further issues as one member of a team would be working separately. Unless storyboarding is a solution a company is invested in or the designer is freelance, the process will not work.

Linear output

Storyboarding is a linear process causing a linear output. This approach to learning can hinder the user’s experience. A concept may be best presented in a matrix fashion where learning points can be cross-referenced or taught parallel to one another, in order to enhance an understanding of concepts. The design is not always going from point A to point B.

Conclusion

Storyboarding can be a useful tool in the world of ID but it is not for everyone. If a designer is creating a learning process that is best developed in a linear fashion, while having access to the correct software, it can help the ID development process in a positive way. Creating a storyboard when it does not best fit the learning plan can cause issues in development and user interaction. It is up to the designer to research and determine what development practice is best for them to make the most impactful user experience.

References

Sunil Kumar B. “Creating e-learning Content Storyboard Based on Instructional Design Principles”. 2013 https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/creating-e-learning-content-storyboard-based-on-instructional-design-principles-2165-7912.1000156.php?aid=16139

Cultta, Richard. “storyboarding”. 2018 http://www.instructionaldesign.org/concepts/storyboarding/

Bio:

Nicole is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Technical Communications at Seneca College, after receiving an undergraduate degree at York University in Professional Writing. She is excited to transition into the field of Technical Communications. Outside of writing, she is interested in Art History and enjoys reading.

The Virtual Reality Operating Room

The future of simulation in medical instruction

By Maxwell Delamere-Sanders

 

 

Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when you think of simulations is the flight simulator, maybe something like the Link Trainer (pictured in Figure 1). Flight training is well suited to simulation, as it is potentially dangerous and involves expensive hardware. The medical profession shares – and surpasses – these risks, making it fertile ground for simulation-based education. From antiquity, medical simulation used clay, stone or wood mannequins to allow students to practice medical procedures safely, as described by Meller.

The Link Trainer, the first flight simulator, built in 1929.
Figure 1: The Link Trainer, the first flight simulator, built in 1929.

Modern medical simulation still uses mannequins (though stone and clay have been replaced by silicone and circuitry) as well as virtual simulations. Most medical education institutions employ some form of both of these modalities of simulation as described by May. Multiple studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of simulation for medical education, such as those conducted by Underwood and McKinney. Fidelity refers to how closely a simulation resembles the real-world experience it aims to simulate. New materials and technology for mannequins have dramatically increased their fidelity in the last thirty years. Virtual reality is experiencing a similar boom in recent years as computer horsepower and rendering techniques come closer to matching the real operating room (OR).

To VR or not to VR

Developing training for medical professionals today means choosing an approach out of a large and varied toolbox. Virtual Reality (VR) is one of these tools and its appeal is only growing. VR is a cost-effective and versatile alternative to expensive mannequins or specialized trainers. The main barrier to VR replacing other simulation methods has long been fidelity, as described by Satava. However, fidelity seems to have a limited effect on learning outcomes as found by Yang. Isaranuwatchai evaluated the cost effectiveness of a series of training methodologies: VR, high fidelity mannequin and progressive (VR and mannequin). They found that, depending on the funds available for investment in training programs, VR provides good return on investment in terms of learning outcomes.

Just as medical training mannequins experienced a significant leap in fidelity in the 1990s with the improvement of materials available and computer hardware and software for information gathering and feedback as described by Meller and Cooper, VR is in the nascent stages of a similar revolution. Stronger computer hardware and rendering techniques, as well as commercially available, affordable VR hardware herald a new age for VR as described by Rothman. The technology exists for high-fidelity medical training simulations, but the investment does not. Even the most recent simulations lag behind video games for entertainment in fidelity by at least a decade.

A VR Simulation for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Training

A screenshot of Vankipuram and colleagues’ cardiac life support simulation (left) and an input device designed to simulate compressions (right).
Figure 2: A screenshot of Vankipuram and colleagues’ cardiac life support simulation (left) and an input device designed to simulate compressions (right).

Vankipuram and colleagues have taken a step toward closing this gap. They have developed a VR simulation for cardiac life support training using a modern game engine (UnrealEngine), VR headsets and customized input devices (see figure 2). Networking allows students to work together, each filling a role on the trauma team. A customized UI provides real-time feedback on performance, while detailed data is gathered for evaluation and debriefing by an instructor. One of the biggest advantages of VR simulations over their practical counterparts is their ability to record large amounts of detailed information. Traditional mannequin simulations rely on the instructor to observe and provide feedback on each team member’s individual performance, while VR simulations can record every detail of every action of each team member.

Remote Facilitation

Another benefit of VR simulations for medical training is the potential for remote facilitation. Availability of specialized facilitators can be a major impediment to effective medical instruction. Ohta and colleagues compared a remotely facilitated, VR simulation-based pediatric resuscitation training module for medical students with the same program facilitated locally. They found no significant difference in learning outcomes for the remote facilitator versus the local one. Remote facilitation has the potential to greatly improve access to high-quality instructors in specialized fields across institutions at lower cost and with greater flexibility than requiring an in-person facilitator.

Next Steps

This work is a step in the right direction, but greater investment in the development of high-fidelity VR simulations for medical training is needed. The role of fidelity in the effectiveness of medical simulations is disputed. Yang and colleagues found no correlation between fidelity and effectiveness, while Isaranuwatchai and colleagues found that high-fidelity mannequins provide some improvement to learning outcomes over low-fidelity VR simulations. As VR simulations improve, more research is required to compare their effectiveness with more traditional methods of instruction, especially high-fidelity mannequins.

Remote facilitation has long been touted as the future of education. With the advent of reliable, fast internet connections and high-fidelity VR and the sense of presence it provides, remote facilitation is becoming more feasible. The future of medical education is virtual.

References

Christensen, M., Tan, S., Rieger, K., Dieckmann, P., Oestergaard, D., & Watterson, L. (2013). A       Comparison of the Relative Effectiveness of Remotely and Locally Facilitated Simulation-Based          Training of Medical Emergencies by Postgraduate Healthcare Teams. Simulation in Healthcare:            The Journal of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 8(6), 526.

Cooper, J. B., & Taqueti, V. R. (2008). A brief history of the development of mannequin simulators for       clinical education and training. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 84(997), 563-570.

Underwood, L., Ginkel, C. V., Lee, D., Wong, M., Dizaiy, S., Fry-Bowers, E., Nguyen, H. (2008). 153:              Effectiveness of Medical Simulation on Knowledge in Septic Shock Management During Pre-    Clinical Medical Training. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 51(4), 517.

Dotson, M. P., Gustafson, M. L., Tager, A., & Peterson, L. M. (2018). Air Medical Simulation Training: A      Retrospective Review of Cost and Effectiveness. Air Medical Journal, 37(2), 131-137.

Fletcher, J. D., & Wind, A. P. (2013). Cost Considerations in Using Simulations for Medical               Training. Military Medicine, 178(10S), 37-46.

Isaranuwatchai, W., Brydges, R., Carnahan, H., Backstein, D., & Dubrowski, A. (2013). Comparing the         cost-effectiveness of simulation modalities: A case study of peripheral intravenous     catheterization training. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 19(2), 219-232.

Lin, W., & Song, Y. (2017). Effectiveness of different numbers of simulation training models on medical    students’ cervical examination performance. International Journal of Gynecology &              Obstetrics, 141(2), 255-260.

Mckinney, J., Cook, D. A., Wood, D., & Hatala, R. (2012). Simulation-Based Training for Cardiac     Auscultation Skills: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of General Internal              Medicine,28(2), 283-291.

Meller, G. (1997). A typology of simulators for medical education. J Digit Imaging, 10(3), 194-196.

Ohta, K., Kurosawa, H., Shiima, Y., Ikeyama, T., Scott, J., Hayes, S., Nishisaki, A. (2017). The Effectiveness of Remote Facilitation in Simulation-Based Pediatric Resuscitation Training for Medical          Students. Pediatric Emergency Care, 33(8), 564-569.

Rothman, J. (2018, April 2). Are We Already Living in Virtual Reality? The New Yorker.

Satava, R. (2013). Keynote speaker: Virtual reality: Current uses in medical simulation and future                opportunities & medical technologies that VR can exploit in education and training. 2013 IEEE Virtual Reality (VR).

Vankipuram, A., Khanal, P., Ashby, A., Vankipuram, M., Gupta, A., Drummgurnee, D., Smith, M. (2014).    Design and Development of a Virtual Reality Simulator for Advanced Cardiac Life Support      Training. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, 18(4), 1478-1484.

Yang, C., Wang, H., Chou, E. H., & Ma, M. H. (2012). Fidelity does not necessarily result in effectiveness –                A randomized controlled study in a simulation-based resuscitation training for medical        students. Resuscitation, 83.


Maxwell Delamere-Sanders is a student in the Seneca Technical Communication Certificate Program at Seneca College. He completed a degree in English and Psychology at the University of Toronto in 2016, and is excited to bring his passion for language and the human mind to bear on the field of technical communication.

Evaluating Simulations in Medical Education

By: Serena Zaccagnini

Simulations in medical training are a realistic cross-disciplinary method of training and feedback. In simulation-based learning learners can repeatedly practice and review tasks in lifelike circumstances using physical or virtual reality models to identify and understand the factors that affect systems and the problems that can arise. Simulation-based medical education (SMBE) allows students the chance to refine their skills in a safe and controlled environment where they can increase their skills and reduce their margins of error. SMBE creates a safe and controlled environment that exposes trainees to dangerous conditions.

The State of Medical Education

Research by Jones, Passos-Neto and Braghiroli indicates that, despite advances in technology, teaching strategies and learning theories, it is not uncommon for medical students to be taught with decades-old syllabi. The current model of medical training has been in use for at least a hundred years, but a developing movement for patient safety has forced institutes to revise the medical education system.

Several external factors are driving the movement for medical education reform:

  • Increased awareness of information overload and stress on medical students.
  • Recognition of the need for students to be effective junior doctors after undergraduate studies, not during residency; students are often ill-prepared for their roles.
  • The need for continuing education for higher specialist training, coupled with the drive to revalidate.
  • New interest in outcomes-based education, focusing on the student’s ability to perform what they have learned, rather than the typical goal-based education, which focuses on student satisfaction.

Some institutions have already adopted simulations for use in examinations. For example, Scalese, Obeso and Issenberg indicate that the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Canada uses simulations with computers and mannequins alongside patient participants in their Internal Medicine certification exams.

Simulations, Past and Present

Any person attempting to determine the origins of simulation-based education would find themselves mired in information dating back millennia. While the first dedicated use of simulations in medical training took place in the USA in the 1960s, use of simulations in medical training can be found across cultures and ancient civilizations. In the past, these simulations used active participants or mannequins as the test subject. Over the last several decades, the educational tools shifted from the real-world to the virtual.

A Shift toward the Virtual

Medical education is one of many disciplines experiencing a significant increase in the use of simulation technology for teaching and assessment. From the military and aviation industries training pilots on flight simulators to construction workers training on virtual cranes, simulation-based education has seen a boom in trust and satisfaction.

The shift to virtual education for medicine follows the trends of society. Many medical students and practitioners have adapted their methods to better fit the 21st century:

  • Many medical students view lectures online or listen via podcasts.
  • Residents consult information stored in Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) to make patient management more efficient.
  • Practitioners can receive continuing education credits by attending teleconferences.

Much of the movement toward simulations occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, when sophisticated computers and software capable of reproducing and mimicking physiologic responses and feedback were produced. The first wave of simulated patients combined a Macintosh computer with a mannequin and waveform generator to mimic a patient during anaesthesia. Specialties such as anesthesiology, critical care and emergency medicine have long been at the forefront of the push toward SMBE.

Technological innovations have paved the way for a wide range of simulators that can facilitate and supplement learning in numerous medical disciplines.

The Limits of SMBE

Primary concerns regarding simulation use in medicine involve cost, efficiency and simulation quality.

  • Cost: The best medical simulations are available at considerable costs. Machines require maintenance and updating, which continually adds to the initial purchase price.
  • Efficiency: Incorporating time into current medical curriculums is problematic and would require the medical curriculum to be updated. Dedicated and exclusive resources are seldom available. For simulations, an instructor-to-learner ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 is ideal, where the current ratio is between 1:10 and 1:15.
  • Simulation Quality: Human systems are complicated and varied, thus models and instruments can never completely mimic each iteration. Poorly designed simulations can inhibit learning, such as causing students to neglect checking for physical signs because they are absent in the simulation. Participants will naturally approach simulations differently than they would real life. Students will either be hypervigilant or negligent.

Long-term studies must be conducted to analyse the effects of SMBE on patient care and general effectiveness as a teaching tool. It is only after the impact of SMBE has been evaluated that simulations can begin to replace all outdated teaching materials.

Where To, Next?

The current model of medical education has changed little over the last hundred years, but an increase in demand for experienced doctors has pushed educational institutions to reconsider the system. Simulation on its own cannot guarantee learning, but it is a game-changer.

Future studies should be conducted regarding the effects of SMBE on improving patient outcome. Without strong evidence, a field as costly and vital as medical education cannot be altered with any severity. At best, simulations will be a periphery in medical education and training. The potential growth for SMBE alongside technological advances is unmeasurable and may be the key to training medical professionals in the future. However, institutions and practitioners must analyse the current education system and the validity of SMBE research to determine if the jump can be made now or later.

The shift toward heavy technology use is unavoidable; medical professionals, as other professions, have started to rely on computer- and cloud-based materials to improve their patient care. What remains to be seen is if they will fully accept this paradigm shift and trust simulations to train the next generation of doctors.

Resources

Bradley, Paul. "The History of Simulation in Medical Education and Possible Future Directions." Medical Education 40, no. 3 (March 2006): 254-62. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2929.2006.02394.x.

James, John T. "A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care." Journal of Patient Safety 9, no. 3 (September 2013): 122-28. doi:10.1097/PTS.0b013e3182948a69.

Jones, Felipe, Carlos Eduardo Passos-Neto, and Oddone Freitas Melro Braghiroli. "Simulation in Medical Education: Brief History and Methodology." Principles and Practice of Clinical Research 1, no. 2 (July/August 2015): 56-63.

Krishnan, Divya G., Anukesh Vasu Keloth, and Shaikh Ubedulla. "Pros and Cons of Simulation in Medical Education: A Review." International Journal of Medical and Health Research 3, no. 6 (June 2017): 84-87.

Scalese, Ross J., Vivian T. Obeso, and S. Barry Issenberg. "Simulation Technology for Skills Training and Competency Assessment in Medical Education." Journal of General Internal Medicine 23, no. Suppl 1 (January 2008): 46-49. doi: 10.1007/s11606-007-0283-4.


Serena Zaccagnini is a student at Seneca College in Toronto, Ontario studying Technical Communication. She is looking forward to a career in the Technical Communication field. I have a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Professional Writing with emphasis on Digital and Institutional Communication from York University. In my spare time, I enjoy reading and baking.

Engaging Your Audience with Effective Instructional Methods

By Minyu Anna Philip

A classroom or an office is a blend of personalities. Just as educators develop preferences for methods to teach, learners develop preferences for a specific way of learning. As we set out to instruct, it is our responsibility to build up methodologies to effectively communicate to our unique audience. Every instructional method comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. The type of learner and the level of knowledge they possess are two essential considerations when designing any instructional plan. The physical settings of the teaching space and the materials available also play an important role in the selection of an instructional method. A novice would have to be taught from scratch whereas what a subject matter expert probably needs to learn is probably a new perspective of approaching a problem. Any instructional method requires a level of preparation by the educator and sometimes, from the learners. However, one scenario or subject could be taught in several different ways and here you shall see different types of effective instructional methods.

Role Playing

In role playing, learners take the role of another person to understand what it is like to be in their shoes.

The preparations required for this activity are that the educator defines the problem situation and provides clear instructions, topics and roles.

This activity helps to introduce the scenario dramatically. It enables the learners to assume the roles of others and thus appreciate another point of view. It is also an excellent method of practicing their skills in a practical environment and helps them to explore real-time solutions for problems.

The activity could be time-consuming to set up and execute and it could make a few of the learners self-conscious.

Games

Games introduce active participation to learners in a team-building activity.

The groundwork of game-building activities includes choosing relevant games that can be reasonably expected to achieve the learning objectives. The educator must introduce the game, provide clear, thorough directions and make the objectives known beforehand. It is important that the atmosphere is friendly and pinpointing of losers is avoided so that the confidence of the participants is not shaken. The educator must be able to handle all kinds of situations and not take sides or be partial.

The advantages of this activity are that learners are usually challenged by and interested in games. It brings about a fun and stimulating experience and improves team-building activities.

The disadvantages of having games as an activity are that it could be demotivating for non-competitive learners. It could also instill a feeling of shortage of skill as compared to the more competitive and talented learners. If the focus is on who wins the game rather than the activity itself, it might discourage creativity.

Group discussion

The class is divided into groups and a topic is given to each group to be discussed.

This activity requires the educator to decide on a purpose for each group. It is also necessary to invigilate the group so that the learners do not deviate from the topic in discussion.

The advantage of this activity is that it allows an active participation from everyone in the group. The learners might feel more comfortable sharing in a smaller group as opposed to a larger group.

The disadvantage in this activity is that a few students might dominate and it might not be as effective when there are a lot of students in one group.

Debates

Learners form two groups take different sides of a topic and debate on the pros and cons on a specific topic.

The preparation required for this activity is to come up with a topic that will not create a scene that the educator might not be able to moderate.

The advantages of this activity are similar to having a group discussion. This activity also includes a smaller group and enables active participation. The learners feel more comfortable expressing their thoughts regarding a subject knowing that there are others to support it. This, in turn, encourages team spirit.

The disadvantage of having a debate is that there could be an argument that gets out of hand.

Surveys

Learners prepare questionnaires, online or on paper, and collect information. The educator could also prepare a questionnaire and make the learners fill it out, then form a discussion based on the output.

This activity requires careful thought about the various topics on which a survey could be conducted. It also demands research by the educators to prepare handouts for the students.

The advantages include the possible use of social media to get survey input, encouragement of reflective observation, analysis of direct feedback from the audience and active experimentation.

A disadvantage is that this activity is time-consuming. The learners might be required to go to a variety of audiences to obtain an accurate analysis which can be physically taxing as well.

Service learning

Learners volunteer to provide meaningful help to the community thereby learning from practical experiences.

The preparation for this activity is for the learners to find an area of genuine interest. They might have to travel, ask difficult questions and help those in need. This might require prior counseling before setting out on their course of activity.

The advantages of this activity are getting a first-hand experience of being in the field of work and a sense of giving back to society. It also encourages reflective observation and active interaction with the audience.

The disadvantage is that this could be time-consuming and could cause mental and physical challenges to the learner.

Conclusion

Learners come from different backgrounds, with varying capabilities and areas of interests. It might be difficult to find a method that suits all the learners in an equal way. Having a healthy assortment of instructions and teaching methodologies ensure that all the learners are benefitted.

References

The Use of Media in E-Learning

By: Julian Hoh-Il Synn

The use of media has been a great benefit to education. There are many ways that media has impacted our learning such as message boards, social media, and various software. This article will explain the use of various forms of media in e-learning. Additionally, the article will discuss which form is the most useful and efficient, and which ones are less so.

Message Boards

There are many resources online that very intuitive and easy to use. For example, Internet message boards can be helpful. These include websites like Stack Overflow (https://stackoverflow.com) which helps programmers with their code if something isn’t working properly. There are also various forums around the Internet that can be very helpful. People can help each other out by posting a problem, and multiple people can post solutions. This could be even more helpful than sending e-mails. Not only can the sender and receiver view the message, but so can other viewers on the message board and the rest of the Internet. This is more efficient because anyone can view the problem, and if the solution is posted, then there will be fewer people asking the same thing. People can simply search it and the answers will show up.

The Blackboard Tool

Blackboard (https://blackboard.com) is a more formal version of an Internet message board that is used in many schools today. It is used for sending announcements, uploading documents, writing journals, and keeping up with course content. Students can even post on the discussion board, which can be helpful. However, most students never post on the discussion boards unless the teacher makes it mandatory for a grade. They mostly use it for submitting assignments, completing quizzes, and checking announcements, which may already appear as an e-mail anyway. In this regard, it may be better for a student to look up their solutions online, through Stack Overflow or otherwise. Perhaps e-learning modules could be implemented into Blackboard in the future, such as how Adobe Captivate helps people learn in a more visual way. This could give more of an incentive for students and help them learn better. However, students can use other means to get help. The answer is social media, our next topic.

Social Media

Social media can potentially provide a helpful form of learning. People can form groups on Facebook to ask questions about what they missed or concepts they didn’t understand. A classmate can then answer their questions. They can also upload files to encourage further discussion. YouTube can be helpful because of videos that people can post online. For example, if one needs help in Adobe FrameMaker, they can go online to check useful videos so they can see a demonstration. Anyone can search for help on any subject. It could be troubleshooting issues, advice on installation, tips on using different software, and so on.

LinkedIn can be helpful since people in high positions in important companies, recruiters, or employees in a field of interest can inform others of relevant trends. They could post articles to showcase their skills and relay information to others. Connecting with experts in the field can prove to be useful. Videos can also be posted on LinkedIn for viewing relevant information.

Video Tutorials

Teachers can upload videos for complex topics like engineering or medicine to help students learn better by using visual examples and demonstrations. This is especially helpful for a visual learner. Not everyone will have certain software installed on their computers. Therefore, in this case, they can utilize the videos to learn quickly without having to visit their school or library to use the software. Lynda.com (https://lynda.com) is also a website that people can use for learning through videos.

Video tutorials may have some potential to replace in-class learning. However, some people may prefer actual classroom interaction rather than videos. This is usually because videos feel more distant and informal. What if someone wanted to ask a question? Asking in person will take five minutes. E-mails could potentially take days. Learning online can be efficient but the lack of personal interaction could cause issues for some people.

While videos may be informative, some argue that not everyone has the time to watch videos. It may, however, appeal to those who want to learn visually as opposed to reading walls of text. Shorter videos would increase retention as a result because viewers would pay more attention if the video was short and concise. However, through video usage, these days there are several tools for learning. For example, people can use Adobe Captivate, PowerPoint and Prezi to present information in a more visually appealing way. Images should naturally fit with the page and be easy to view for best results. Google Docs can be used to edit in real time so everyone can see what’s being edited. WordPress is also used for editing and creating websites, and can be used for informing others of certain topics.

Final Comments

In conclusion, there seems to be many possibilities for e-learning. However, we also notice that there are advantages and disadvantages to these different types of media in e-learning. Message boards are more archaic, but can get the job done for simpler tasks. Social media can be helpful to many groups of people who can help others simply by viewing the posts and uploading files. Using software has become a helpful way to display information in an appealing way. Depending on the topic at hand, one must judge for themselves which tool is the best for learning, because each type has its own uses.

References

Justin Ferriman, July 21, 2013. https://www.learndash.com/how-to-effectively-use-video-for-training/

YourTrainingEdge, April 12, 2017. http://www.yourtrainingedge.com/how-social-media-is-effective-for-e-learning/

Laura Lynch, March 27, 2018. https://www.learndash.com/6-social-media-platforms-and-how-to-use-them-for-your-e-learning/


Julian Hoh-Il Synn is a student at Seneca College in the Technical Communications program and has an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto. Julian decided to go into the technical writing field and so joined Seneca to further hone his skills. Julian has several other skills including web programming, SQL, content management systems, and knowledge in software development. Julian believes that by using these different skills, he can excel in the technical writing field greatly and gain an edge. He is currently in a work-study position and hopes that by getting actual hands-on experience in the field, he can finally confirm that technical writing is right for him.