E-Learning Challenge #149 – Using Notecard Interactions in E-Learning

The Concept

This week’s challenge was to share an example of how notecard interactions can be used in e-learning. My gut instinct was to go with my favourite style for learning objective click and reveal interactions:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 2.47.15 PM

But then I haven’t participated in the ELH Challenges lately, so I figured it would be nice to whip something up quickly.

The Method

In considering this challenge, I got Pantone colour chips in my head…not sure why, but that’s where my Saturday night brain was going, so I thought it might be neat to have Pantone-style chips that when clicked, reveal the year in which the colour was Pantone’s colour of the year.

To do this, I created the chips, with two shapes: 1 rectangle with a white fill, no border, and a lower-left shadow. The next shape was used for the text, it was a rectangle with white fill and no border. I then looked up a group of Pantone’s colours of the year, took a screenshot, and tossed the image into Storyline as a basis. For the colour section of the chip, I used the colour picker to achieve accurate swatches, and then added the text to the lower rectangle.

I copied these shapes three more times, for four shapes in total and repeated the process. Once finished, I grouped each chip’s shapes, added a trigger to show layer, and created a new layer for each chip; on this layer, I simply added the year in which the colour was Pantone’s colour of the year.

The Result


Click Here to view the full interaction.

Terminology Tuesday: Learning Styles – The Great Debate


After searching through my Terminology Tuesday posts, I was shocked I had yet to discuss learning styles. Oi. I recently had a great discussion with my graduate students about their thoughts on learning styles, so it seems appropriate to share some of that discussion here with you lovely folks!

Learning Styles

The idea behind the concept of learning styles is that everyone receives and processes information differently. This may be correct, but that assumption places a lot of pressure on the teacher to be able to correctly identify each student’s learning style and THEN accommodate that learning style. In classes of 20, 30, or 200…that just doesn’t seem like a feasible task.

It has not yet been proven that ”designing instruction to meet the specific learning styles of individuals increases academic achievement” (Ellis, 2005). However, awareness that learners comprehend information differently should remind anyone responsble for designing instruction to provide a number of activities that stimulate learners’ thinking in a variety of different ways.” (Brown & Green, 2016, p. 76).

The main argument against learning styles right now is that they don’t exist and are merely preferences. Every learner has individual learning preferences.

Within the Ted Talk video, below, the speaker discusses the emergence of learning styles and it seems almost conspiratorial in that we’ve been so brainwashed to believe in learning styles that the sheer suggestion they don’t exist can take some time to process and investigate further.


What do you think about learning styles?!


Brown, A. H., & Green, T. D. (2016). The essentials of instructional design: Connecting fundamental principles with process and practice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ellis, A. K. (2005). Research on educational innovations (4th ed.). Poughkeepsie, NY: Eye on Education.

Terminology Tuesday: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs


In the 1950s, psychologist Abraham Maslow sought to determine what motivates people. He identified a set of needs and desires that individuals attempt to fulfil. The needs and desires have been modified over time,  but the comprehensive hierarchy includes:

  • Transcendence – An altruistic means of helping others identify their own potential – this form of self-actualization is a higher form, considering not just the self, but others.
  • Self-Actualization – Realizing our own potential and achieving self-fulfillment
  • Aesthetic – Symmetry, order, beauty, balance
  • Learning – Knowing, understanding, and mentally connecting to content
  • Esteem – Achievement, competence, receiving approval, becoming independent
  • Belonging – Love, family, friends, affection, community
  • Security – Protection, safety, stability
  • Physical – Hunger, comfort, thirst

Maslow’s needs are viewed as a hierarchy where transcendence is at the peak of the hierarchy, and physical needs are at the bottom of the hierarchy. As Maslow viewed it, you had to move from the bottom up, without moving to fulfil higher needs prior to fulfilling lower needs. Since it’s inception, research has found that individuals today fulfill needs simultaneously versus sequentially.

Without considering this hierarchy, most appeals are to the basement – the physical or psychological needs that are closer to the bottom of the hierarchy. In considering the hierarchy, you can design instruction to appeal to higher motivations, such as Learning, Self-Actualization, and potentially Transcendence.

Within Instructional Design, there are many ways that the development of training and/or instruction can appeal to most of the needs in Maslow’s hierarchy.

Physical needs are typically met before students come to the instruction, but you can appeal to physical needs by structuring the instruction in order to provide ample opportunities for students to take breaks; this is often observed with self-paced e-learning, as the student can take breaks at any point to satisfy physical needs, such as eating and drinking. Another example of appeals to the physical need include school breakfast or lunch programs.

Security needs can be appealed to by creating supportive environments that don’t trigger an individual’s need for security. You can do this within the design and development phases, supporting instruction with calm audio or imagery that allows learners to feel safe and secure. A good example of this is pixelthoughts.co, which is a 60 second meditation tool. This tool teaches individuals meditation tactics, while appealing to the security needs of individuals.

Belonging is an easy one; you can appeal to the belonging need by designing your instruction to support a community-based approach (e.g. including opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction and engagement).

Esteem – The no child left behind act is an example of education appealing to the esteem need, but it’s not necessarily the best example, and can often backfire. A better example of appealing to the esteem need is to design instruction with frequent opportunities for reflection, discovery, and frequent feedback.

Learning – Learning is also an easy one; to appeal to the learning need, instruction needs to be designed in such a way that learners can achieve knowledge, skills, or attitudes. Promoting curiosity can also help appeal to the learning need

Aesthetic – In appealing to aesthetic, you can design and develop aesthetically pleasing instruction, based on proven design principles.

Self-Actualization – To appeal to self-actualization, instruction needs to be designed to include opportunities for reflection, goal setting, check ins (on those goals), and opportunities to track progress.

Transcendence – By attempting to appeal to all other needs, your instruction can be designed in such a way to offer an opportunity for transcendence; although this is hard to come by.

Terminology Tuesday: Instructional Design Models


For those unfamiliar, the concept of Instructional Design (ID) Models can be confusing. For those familiar, which ID model to use can seem overwhelming.

Instructional Design Models

ID models are just that – a model for ID. But what does that mean? It means that an ID model will represent different elements of an ID project, such as project management, design, development, etc. Within each phase, like items will be represented. For example, within a design phase, you may group elements such as: instructional strategies, style guides, branding, assessment plans, authoring tool to be used, etc.

They’re tricky to explain because they’re designed to make more complex concepts easier to understand by breaking them down into palatable chunks of similar items. They create a project to do list of sorts, and some team members may work in one phase or another or they may work linearly across all. The model you choose will ultimately dictate the process used throughout the project.

With ID models, the possibilities are really endless. You can create your own or you can use an existing model. One size does not always fit all, and you can adapt models as necessary based on your needs.

Examples of ID Models

Popular ID models include: