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Educating for an authentic experience?

November 18, 2017, by barry ng

I went to the EduTech Conference which was held in Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore. It was a learning experience and gaining perspectives from different k-12 to tertiary levels.

I first begin with a perspective from Darling Hammond about classrooms being an unpredictable swampland. I strongly felt the messiness and complexity of every class that a teacher conducts, and the diversity of culture that a classroom offers. There were great insights when ideas from various Presenters across the education industry. I could see the value of students participating in conferences and interacting with visitors and delegates. Here are some samples of pictures that I took during the conference showing different uses of technology incorporated into learning.

Noticeably for me, I had gathered some insights about the conference that:

  • CEOs as faculty – CEOs from various industries will be sharing with the students and providing some insights to them. The lecturer will then be facilitating the session based on the lecture previously.
  • Students as collaborators – This is building upon Tony Wagner’s idea of collaboration and introducing students to create artefacts together. Are we ready to do away with risk avoidance and allow students to make mistakes to learn more effectively?
  • Neurotechnology- the impact it has on education and how it downplays studies like visual learners through brain scans.
  • 3D printing for the real world where people can use it in their museum. it was the notion of creating actual replicas that were usable in the real world context in education. It further blurs the line between virtual and physical items in learning.
  • Drone flying – incorporating drone flying in order to take pictures of hard to reach places, studying wildlife, etc. I was pretty inspired by ideas from the following link by HuffingtonPost too.
    Getting teacher/educators ready?
  • Delegates collaborating together – This offers diverse perspectives and cultural backgrounds for effective learning and sharing opportunities.

Impactful Insights

Then I reflected upon presentation from Mary George Cheriyan from Raffles Girls School where she discussed the development of professionalism in Teachers. The speaker took some ideas from John Dewey, highlighting the following:

  • Reflective practices that are enthusiastic, the dedication that is placed into intentionally changing the way teaching is conducted.
  • Awareness of the implication of what is not set or not set in the classroom. I would definitely agree how context really matters in a classroom.
  • Recognising the open-mindedness, so it’s about reframing the mind to become better in teaching. It is to consider alternative possibilities to see what works and what doesn’t really work. I would think of it as picking fresh fruits and discard fruits that have turned bad.

There must also be a comfortable culture of sharing and openness. This is to share good practices to see how things work. Teachers are allowed to have safe environments to share, to question what works and what doesn’t. Do teachers even dare to collaborate with students to discuss and work on new ideas. I reflect upon my work experiences and felt the importance of collaboration between peers. Without collaboration, there might not be any negotiation and exchange of ideas. This was predominantly seen It is putting them in charge of things that matter to them. However, we must be mindful of an Echo chamber effect, especially when the people have been communicating about the issue for a long period of time. There might be some areas where teachers compromise what is really critical that happens in the classroom. The key points about freshness imply how important how diverse teaching could help students learn more effectively and not get bored with many teachers doing things the same way.

During the EduSlam sessions I had, there were varieties of sharings and real collaboration taking place. As an administrator from the teaching and learning segment, there were varieties of experiences such as faculty-driven research collaboration projects and capstone projects that were shared during the session. The discussions were so intense, but possibilities of portfolio creation for both teachers and students are finally being realised. It finally sets the stage where I can envision video resumes really coming true and making students becoming more employable because of the initiative that the students made in the first place.

Beyond just entertainment, creating a gamification experience with an educational purpose behind it. It requires a structural process in development, coupled with lots of time and resources spent on developing this virtual world and taking students feedback into consideration during these developmental stages.  It is incremental yet student-centric, considering all the authentic experiences that are placed in the design and development stage. But I’m encouraged by the fruits that were reaped from the sharing by Dr Kevin Yap from National University of Singapore(NUS) by what it has provided to the students who were learning pharmaceutical. There were fun experiences to learn where you can get experts in during lectures to leverage on their technical expertise. Facilitating the session after the dialogue has completed. There are possible win-win situations that will benefit both the faculty member and the industry partners. Students benefit from industry experts and are facilitated by a faculty after that helps to deepen learning.

Building the Student-centered learning experiences

For my experience, it was completed with some makerspace fun courtesy of Info-communications Media Development Authority (IMDA). I was learning some fundamentals of microbit technology and what it could possibly offer for me as an educator/administrator and many other endless possibilities. There are so many possibilities in letting students create and experiment, reflecting on the experiences that they had previously.

Put students in front and let them help you in making the learning experiences better. No matter what levels are we educating them at, regardless of k12 and higher education, it is recognising that they can take ownership of their own educational needs. It was demonstrated through the Stamford American International school, showing how they could bring audiences for a Google Expedition. Even from local aspects, placing robotics and coding experiences through micro-bits are really helpful in helping students solve real-world problems. Creating crazy solutions and really tinkering with examples from different educational levels that offers wireless switches in home appliances to mini-games, moisturiser detectors and pancake flippers. These are generally allowing students to go in depth and look for solutions to support the problem. This includes getting water pumps and thinking about how the appliances can be switched on/off.
Small and incremental changes are readily happening everywhere around the world. It was also possible through flipped classrooms, where physics and Newton’s Law was brought through the lens of a movie, Interstellar. Inquiry questions and probing students, scaffolding new concepts one by one as the class gets guided by a facilitator. For example, you could begin asking a simple question of why is the ship being drawn to the black hole to scaffolding it into a question about what is exactly a black hole based on what the class has understood about gravity. These are small steps that students will take, and allow them to fail and get it wrong are very important in a classroom setting. This is because the classroom creates affordances for failures, opportunities to learn from mistakes. It is also argued by Tony Wagner during the conference when he highlights how people remember things better through mistakes.

From Bryan Alexander’s perspective, it was about students becoming prosumers, obtaining IP rights to products that were created by them. They are owners of new and incremental products that are developed constantly. Students will be sharing their stories(successes/failures) online and demonstrating it through digital storytelling. There will be a wealth of knowledge that are available for people to learn and react to. These students will be producers of many multimedia resources that they can tap on. The collaboration will be valued over individual effort, as teams are able to communicate and collaborate more effectively in this manner.

I conclude my word vomits (inspired by the digital storytelling workshop) with a thought for me to think about:

  • what are the implications of redesigning assessment? Do we need grades ultimately?
  • How should competency-based assessment be redesigned?
  • Are students ready for a student-centric learning experience? If not, how could we encourage them and bring them onboard?
  • Are we being inclusive in education?

And I tried digital storytelling from one of the software that I was recommended to use. It allowed me to type in my inputs and customised characters!

Learning Journey of my Multimedia Project

July 21, 2017, by barry ng

To make things simple, let’s do it through a flipsnack, a magazine capable of showing you so much more!

It started off on a day where I was late for class on my first lesson, travelling from work to school. The first lesson felt very tense, the session felt daunting and expectations were high. Questions were being thrown to give us an understanding of the module and the journey ahead of us.

So what did I do for my project? It was a topic of hypertension care for adults, it’s a really a topic that is close to me, that I felt could be shared with the world to understand that you can make changes to make your life a lot better than it is. I segmented into 3 components:

  • Right Food Choices – Selecting the right choices when eating in a hawker centre.
  • Get Active – Allowing learners to get physical and start exercising through small steps
  • A mystery component – Allowing learners to take ownership of their own lives and account for the areas of improving their lifestyle through the 1st two topics.
    One of my first multimedia projects using Adobe Captivate and Powtoon. It was relatively customisable and I would rate it a 7/10 in using the software. Notably, the mark deductions came from the bugs I had to fix and realised that recreating or copying a project actually solves them.

It was a challenging process of picking up the software in an instant, and to become an overnight wonder in it. There were hours spent on designing the characters expressions, taking reference from some places such as freepik.com and Google search. These were inspirations that I took to design a more immersive experience for my learners.

The other element was spending time on storyboarding the entire process and trying to be both a content expert and also a novice in learning the materials. There were areas I couldn’t assume that learners will have, such as understanding what are the food types that were really high in salt/sodium. They were critical towards informing my learners that the food out there that you are eating is not as healthy as you think it is.

Thinking Gamification and Game-Based Learning

If I could make a choice today again on what I did, I would have chosen gamification elements into my project still. I find it relatively effective on learners as it engages them better. The things that I was short of were areas such as point systems, leaderboards, etc. It even went on to areas and inspirations from Khan Academy, where I saw the potential of evolving avatars. These factors will make the game more immersive and learners coming back for more even when they are already done. I was thinking of areas for improvement and drew inspiration from Kayla Itsines, maybe posting how your lifestyle improved will also motivate the learner and the community in general.

"The prize was more exciting than the game to get it" - Natalie Portman Harvard Commencement Speech The difficulties in measuring in e-learning

Measuring 2000mg is REALLY difficult to measure. I was given feedback on how I could improve by giving better indicators on measuring sodium and not using 2000mg as a source. One of the things that were pretty weak, was failing to show learners that one bowl of noodle soup might have about 2500mg of sodium while replacing it with rice noodles may bring it down to 1000mg of sodium in total. There are metaphors that I felt I should have used and these are important learning points in my project as a reflection.

Text and voice appearing at the same time

I’m giving my alternative perspective to the use of voice and narration appearing at the same time. No doubt that I respect Mayer’s design principles and have aggressively defied it in an E-Learning project I did last semester. I defied areas like extraneous loads and redundancy principles during the conversations. I understand it is really difficult to read and hear at the same times, our sense just doesn’t work that way. but most importantly. These are elements that are shown in non-critical elements to create a scenario and using a light hearted approach towards E-Learning contents. The light-hearted scenario(yet considered a bit weak in context) was aiming to place learners in a more immersed environment. I was thinking perhaps considering the use of ideas such as:

  • Selecting a gender – Male or female character and role reversing.
  • Creating and choosing a name. That will give greater depth in personalisation.
  • Get fit in 5 steps must have the text and voice appearing together

This was one of the segments that had 5 green buttons, to encourage learners to get active and help themselves to become fitter during the course of hypertension. I was pondering for a long time, must I allow learners to listen to the narration in this segment.

The ability to replay is an important component that I valued through the gameplay of the E-Learning content. I felt that the conversations between the two parties (Sam and Jane) could be improved further. Possibly allowing learners to either replay the whole conversation, or to repeat certain segment. This is to cater to all ages of learners (young or old). I am pretty sure people will get bored of listening to the same scenario over and over again.

Other Design Elements for Improvement

The consistency of the Colours in the lady could have been improved, especially in the area of the park where both had contrasting Colours appearing. The colours were similar and might be a little too close for comfort. Suggestions for contrasting colours would definitely be plus points for my project.

Dwelling back to Mayer’s design principles, I thought about the use background music and voice together. I once asked a researcher who was doing music cognition, on whether the use of background music is going to immerse the learners better in the learning experience or is it just going to be another distraction for them. She gave me valuable insights on how it could hinder or make the experience even better. I believe that staying true to my principles was really important, at the same time taking new perspectives into consideration too.

Final Words?

I’m writing this despite not having a good grade in the institute’s standpoint, but there are worthy lessons that I have embraced from this entire module alone. To me, I felt like I reached the point where I felt grades were secondary, learning was primary. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my wife and friends who have helped in me this project. They have also provided help in voice narrations and feedback.

I am almost a year into my Masters programme, this was definitely one of the highlights. So if you really want to take a look at how my project goes, just drop me a message and I’ll be most happy to share with you!

How are you from the past to the future.

June 6, 2017, by barry ng

Dear Son,

This is your dad, writing this so you could take a look in 10 years and understand if this blog is still around. I’m using a MacBook if it still exists in 10 years time, or typing away on my iPhone to make this as meaningful as possible. I’m not Howard Stark who could give you a formula to success. I’m just a dad who wants the best for you. We certainly love you dearly and as much as we could. I’ll be your best friend for a while, the one to keep you company. The one to read you some bedtime stories so you could sleep better. Your mum or I would also be the one who tugs you to bed when you feel uncomfortable, alongside with your mum. I’m sure your mum thinks the very same way as I do. We’ll be there until you slowly fade off and find your friends and clique to hang out with.

How’s the world like now?

It’s in the midst of change. We’re all changing in a world. We call it:

Change is always a constant

You’ll live in a world that automation is on its way, we’re not in a world where robots will take over the world. It’s more like they will take over mundane work(boring work). We’re in an aging population, where many of people similar to mum and I will be working through old age, slowly seeing retirement fade off our eyes. Barbara Kingsolver once said:

The world shifts under our feet, the rules change. Not the Bill of Rights, or the rules of tenting, but the big unspoken truth of generations.

Everything is so easily accessible now my Son. You could get a taxi by clicking a few buttons and even know how many minutes will it take to arrive. We live in a world so connected that I could still see you even when I’m overseas. In Mark Zuckerberg’s recent Harvard speech:

You are graduating to a world that needs purpose, it is up to you to create it..

He challenges not only you, but both mum and I to take on New challenges. So, be afraid to fail not once, twice, thrice maybe a thousand times. As many times as you can to reach what you aspire to do. I hope one of us could be a pleasant role model to you,

We’re in a tiny red dot, we need more grit, determination and understand that every of us in whatever age you may be, there will still be setbacks that will prevent you from moving forward. But your mum and I will try our best to mould you into what you are and want to be. So whatever we give, we always offer the best like what parents usually do. If we can’t and as you age, try to understand why it is so.

How’s school?

Schools will be digitally enabled. There will be a variation of technology such as augmented reality and virtual reality for you to experience. Examinations may not require teachers to administer examinations. You might be sitting in front of a computer to take your test and examinations. The people around the world are all trying to make it better all for you. The Teachers in schools are working very hard for your future. So do respect them, as they are trying hard to impart mathematics, science, English or Mandarin to you. Don’t be disheartened when your grades are bad at times, we’ll try to find ways to improve on your weakness. I had times where I felt I worked pretty hard but still failed somehow. It might have been the way I studied last time.

I’m not sure how homework is going to evolve, will it be meaningful work and not mindless problem solving such as spotting keywords in mathematic questions that will get you distinctions. We will find out as we work it out together. I’m sure your teacher will know what’s best for you. Sometimes both of us maybe upset at how things turn out, how you might think homework is irrelevant and unnecessary and rather engage with the latest video games, toys and gadgets. Mum and I will then be upset and may start scolding or nagging because you chose ‘entertainment’ over seriousness. Do understand we are upset at you not for the moment, but for your long and bright future ahead of you. There are many careers choices and things that we wish you could do to help the world be better to live in. We love you, and that’s why we chose to intervene instead of leaving you alone.

We’ll bring you to places that you could try out the career that you aspire. Will you be a doctor, lawyer, teacher or a programmer? I’m not really sure too. But whatever you want to achieve, go all out to get it for us. We’ll be proud of you when you reach there, we’ll also support you at the lowest point of your life.

We’re your full time coach and mentor to overcome the smallest or biggest problems you face. When we’re not, gather up your strength and overcome it. Cause you know there are times we want you to be independent. Don’t despair if you wonder why you can’t always get the sleekest and best toys at times. Sometimes you just have to earn it. There are many things you should treasure more than just toys.

There will be lots of digital tools for you to experience the world around you by the time you’re in school. You will be immersed in 3D technology, playing with virtual items more often than your toys at home.

Don’t worry, there will be time for you to see nature, smell the breeze near the beach and feel the wind passing through the pores of your face. My Son, many friends of yours will forget this experience and only recall the fun and excitement technology offers them.

Your friends, choose them well. For some will lead you astray, some will lift you up when you are down. Friends are important as you collaborate in projects, work together to solve a problem. Play in a Soccer team that you love. Hang out after school and reflect on how fun it was. Work alone and you achieve your goal, but work together and achieve a miracle together.

Discover new things with your friends And both of us, it will help you learn a lot better. Treasure your childhood like how your mum and I did, these are important moments in your journey, to make meaning in your life. There are lessons to learn from your peers, friends and people you communicate with.

Lastly, don’t give up on whatever you strive to do, even if the whole world goes against your thoughts. I take one of the finest quotes from Steve Jobs during his 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech:

Stay Hungry, Stay foolish.

Reflecting a learning experience

May 12, 2017, by barry ng

Think about the last time you tried to recall and tell someone about your travel experience, really providing the details to your friends/colleagues or someone. All you wanted was to tell the person how much you enjoyed it. Was it really difficult? What aspects did you recall that you were able to tell someone.

When we talk about experiences to people, sometimes we go down to the most detailed conversation we ever had. For example, I was in London last year during this period. I would tell people who fantastic the Emirates stadium looked and how crowded the place was, judging and assuming people are all like minded arsenal fans (which i know I’m pretty much wrong there).

I failed pretty much in one thing. Following some of Asubel’s theories on learning to make them more meaningful, we sometimes deliver experiences that we assume people have an understanding. We tell our friends how the Sakuras and climate was great in Tokyo. That lesson could have been altered through media rich experiences when we related it to meyes principles in designing multimedia.

In order to blend in learning and making it meaningful, i took a TED video by Simon Lancaster on speak like a leader. There were areas that i felt were extremely important in not only making meaningful connections, but also consider the cognitive load of each individual during the learning process.

Taken from treehugger.com on Bill Gates releasing Mosquitoes in a TED talk in 2009

an example of Bill Gates talk in which he released a swarm of mosquitoes to his audience. Those are great triggers that would ignite the learners’ experience and make them remember a lot better. It becomes more than getting them to understand beyond just memorising things or words. The full video can be found here

To conclude, let’s make our experiences more meaningful to people by elaborating on our personal experiences to people and let them digest components that only makes sense to them. I woild have told my friends about how cheering when Arsenal scored a goal was really awesome and seeing the many people that are wearing the same jersey chant along with you was simply priceless

A blend of Thinglink and comics

April 11, 2017, by barry ng

As educators, we always ponder how to make classroom learning more engaging and fun for our students. As for me, it’s all about working offline to engage them in their own time, harnessing technology to propel self-directed learning. I want to make learners more curious about the contents that surround them, and give educators perspective and tools they can consider for their learners during class using Blended Learning approaches or take it offline by placing contents on Learning Management Systems or simplier tools such as Blogs(WordPress, blogspot, etc.)
It’s all about working with a few web tools so we could get things working.


Thinglink is an interactive image tool that provides users with the ability to turn any image into a multimedia launcher. Users can create multiple “hot spots” on specific parts of an image and turn the image into a multimedia launcher. Embed video, record audio with the click of a button and a free SoundCloud account, or link to any website. Compatible with any blog or website that has a widget to support javascript, this is a great tool for those of us who use Blogger, Wikispaces or WordPress. The basic account allows you to put coloured circles and when you hover over it, it will start blinking and alerting learners to mouse over it. You can mouseover an example as such above!

Pixton (Comic Creation)

Pixton introduces the world to Click-n-Drag Comics™, a revolutionary new patented technology that gives anyone the power to create amazing comics on the web. From fully posable characters to dynamic panels, props, and speech bubbles, every aspect of a comic can be controlled in an intuitive click-n-drag motion (Source: Pixton). It’s really a comic-creating tool to provide some humor relief to your learners in case your subjects maybe too dry. Pixton has many existing templates and comics to ride on. Do consider one of the existing templates to begin your comic creation.

The Final Product

It will somewhat appear like what you see below, where a mix of pixton comics and thinglink icons will appear to attract the learners to engage in them. In this example, I am portraying on how to inspire people with e-learning technology. Considering that learners must also be placed in a context, you could consider the following storyline when you design and develop an engagement tool as such:

  1. The context you wish to set, this gives learners an understanding of the scenario that is taking place and what it encapsulates.
  2. The learning objective, this gives learners an understanding of what your interactive content offers.
  3. Create a series – If you would like to expand knowledge and skills, how would you sequence the series to attract learners to come back again and again.
  4. The key takeaway message – What is the one thing you can think of that you wish to deliver to the learners.

Once you are done with these key areas. Consider creating the comic in this manner.

  1. Create the initial comic on Pixton, the original text and all the images you wish to place inside.
  2. Secondly, Copy the comic and make one that has no dialogue or conversation.
  3. Lastly, gathering all your resources and placing it into thinglink. Start creating the links with the respective conversation dialogue you created initially.

Last message to tell all of you, do give me some comments on what you think about this particular method. Does it sound too crazy to be true ot just not worth the effort. Have fun trying!

Designing for rich media content

April 8, 2017, by barry ng

  1. Use a variety of media rich contents

    A variety of media rich content including pictures, quizzes, videos and other interactive medium provides learners with more opportunities to engage with the content. You can consider simple ones such as Prezi to present a concept for self-directed learning. This offers learners an opportunity to engage learning contents on their own time, and take time for them to absorb the relevant content.

  1. Use thought provoking questions

    Add thought to provoke questions to trigger learners thoughts, trigger their mind with a familiar sound that triggers their brain. It refocuses their attention towards the content and examines the understanding level of the contents taught. At the same time, you could consider how you may present a video of a marketing or promotional material you wish to show, followed by a question that follows.

  2. Use a decision tree

    Decision trees are great gamification elements that can be added to your e-learning content to make it engaging. An example of such an element can be seen by the Chase Interactive video above. It gives the learners ownership of the content and relevance when the concepts taught are complex. Decision trees question the learners understanding of the content and reinforce concepts that are taught. At the same time, it helps learners to get engaged to the contents that they are learning.

  3. Link media to meaning


    An example of an E-Learning Object that provides calories for the food choice that the learner makes.

    Provide the meaning to your media content so learners can interpret definitions better and use metaphors if it’s possible. Studies have shown that metaphors help in learning retention and constructing meaning to a concept. In learning theories such as cognitivism, learners usually tap on their prior knowledge that they understand and link it to a new thing that they are trying to learn. So metaphors such as apples, books and graduate hats linking to education are examples of how you can link them all up together.

  4. Use a surprise element

    Surprise your learners. They will appreciate the effort!

    Using a surprise element in your content, provide similar answers that surprise your learner to make them learn more effectively. From a recent article by Elearning industry, it has shown that the surprise element has actually allowed learners to retain knowledge much more effectively. But try not to do it too often though, because surprising them too many times may bore them. Consider only surprising them 2 or 3 times will be the magic number.

Persuing further education perspectives

January 30, 2017, by barry ng

There are 2 perspectives that I felt as I progressed in education. It was kind of expected to me, but it sort of formulated as time progresses and I had the ability to write out my thoughts. It sums up my first few thoughts of 2017 as Jan comes to a close. It was a really difficult journey as time progresses, but I certainly feel I had the wits and grit to move on this journey that will possibly end by 2019 or 2020. I hope to look back at this post and say I done it!1


What you need to take note when designing your next Learning App

December 9, 2016, by barry ng

Apps are prominent in today’s context as mobile devices becoming more prominent and great advances in technology. Almost everyone owns a smart device these days.

Teachers and educators are also jumping on the bandwagon to see how it can benefit learners in classrooms and lectures. Let’s explore some design considerations during the development of an App

The simplicity of instructions in the app


The icons that create meaning and provide heuristic support for learners when they view the App. Certain Icons already have meaning in our daily lives so we can harness the heuristics that each person possess through common icons and pictures.

Your icons are able to immediately provide learners with the pathway and direction in learning. I have actually placed a few keywords associated with certain design.

If you refer to the picture above, you can see ‘Create’ and ‘Design’ is closely associated with ‘painting and the palette’.

A calculator is also closely associated with the word ‘solve’. These clean and simple words actually help learners to understand more effectively. It is also supposed that using plain English is also one of the ways to help learners understand and learn more effectively, especially when concepts are pretty steep and difficult to understand.

You may refer to the following link to download and use one of the references I have found recently online.

The interaction it encompasses.

What applications will u place into the app to create more dialogue between learner and instructor? Interactions in the App ensures that your learners don’t only read, but also interact with the contents and your thought process.

it is crucial to lay out the design of the App carefully, as well as creating small components of interactions for learners to engage in during the course of learning. There are 3 categories of interaction in that I will be discussing:

  1. No interaction – it is mainly for a user to read or watch a video using the App. there is very minimal interaction involved. It only serves for learners to read and try to interpret or use the information that they have learnt in future. This of course, has no guarantee that the learners will remember what they have just read.
  2. Minor interaction – it refers to clickable links that you place for learners to reference materials. There are clickable links for learners to click and refer, when designing instructions or information for learning. There will be clickable links for learners to access as part of additional materials for them to read and understand the topic fully.
  3. Moderate interaction – this is the toughest segment to achieve. Thete are animated videos and quizzes using online quiz tools such as qzzr.com. and Padlet discussions that you set as a social interaction platform. they provide learners a platform to give feedback on what they think or feel about a concept they have just learnt about.

A variety of interaction and activity.

[qdeck style=”width: 100%; min-height: 0px; ] [q] In the diagram, guess a common phrase with reference to the diagram below

Unfortunately, learners get bored easily in this digital age. There are lots of distractions that bring them away from the intentions that you set upon.

Providing learners with activity time engages learners and give them the golden opportunity to voice opinions that have been internalised.

At the opposite end of 2 spaces, there are 2 perspectives to consider during activity design. Taking note of the correct level of activity to engage the correct instructional procedure and serve the correct learning needs:

  • Open spaces for learners to input their personal thoughts provides freedom to express their thoughts. Using open-ended questions can give a variety of answers from learners yet it requires more validation to ensure the learners are on the right track.
  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, quizzes provide a quick validation on learners’ understanding of a topic. it is ultimately dependent on the knowledge that those educator wish to impart to the student.

The Gamification element

The gamified element, what scores, leaderboards, badges can motivate an individual to work harder by looking ahead at what’s available for them. Gamified elements in its simplest form provide the platform for challenge and healthy competition.

When it is set at a correct level and pace, learners can compete to stay on top of the chart, providing rewards if they stay on top or successfully completing a task. For example, a badge can be given to learners who are in the leaderboard  for 2 consecutive weeks or have posted multiple times in a week.

Reward system can differ time to time, it is up to the designer to decide the magnitude or complexity of the reward system. looking at badges as rewards, some can include:

  1. First post in the discussion forum
  2. Top poster in discussion forum
  3. Most credible contributor in the discussion forum
  4. Most social learner in the discussion forum
Think about these questions when we place reward systems into our Learning App:
  • What rewards systems are in place to engage learners?
  • How simple is the reward system for learners to easily understand how to get there?
  • What do they get in return for attending the course?

As learning designers, we need to think about the return of investment when each learner invests time and resources into learning. these can include certificates of completion to recognise their contribution. are there badges that learners can place onto their portfolio website to signify their credibility.

If no certificates or badges are issued, is there a skill or knowledge that the learner can use once they been through your learning app. Could learners use this skill in their workplace instead of attending a 3-day course on it.

Think about the return on investment when each learner invests time and resources into learning. these can include certificates of completion to recognise their contribution. are there badges that learners can place onto their portfolio website to signify their credibility.

If no certificates or badges are issued, is there a skill or knowledge that the learner can use once they been through your learning app. Could learners use this skill in their workplace instead of attending a 3-day course on it. these are important things for consideration during the design phase as you set out the objectives for learning.

It also encompasses the learning journey that each learner will go through when using the App for learning.

The Video for your Learning Needs

Videos are great resources for learning, Through visual and auditory means, learners are able to capture knowledge and understand it much more effectively these days. It supersedes pictures as the next level of learning resource. The only constraint it has are two things:

  1. An amount of time and resources required to invest in the video production – Think of the countless video editing that you may go through as you edit the video for the first time. There might be times that after the first time you used the video, you might have to go back to the drawing board and start reworking the entire video for better understanding. However, once this is done properly, it will be a great and valuable resource that will reside around for a long time.
  2. Proper Planning – Videos requires storyboarding so learning becomes more effective. Without a storyboard, the flow of the story will be blurred and unclear. The video might end up looking scattered and impromptu. The sequence and structure of the video play the most important element in video creations.
  3. Video Length – Video length must never be too long, or else you might risk boring the audiences in general. It must never be over 20 minutes, as learners might skip through important element during the videos. It is ideal for the video to be hovering on a maximum of 5 minutes, to a minimum of 2 minutes. If there are lots of areas to cover, consider splitting the video into a smaller element. This is also to enforce the need for proper storyboarding and planning process in order to make this happen.

Rediscover the basics of learning through video creation

December 5, 2016, by barry ng

Learning resources and platforms are readily available for everyone to use and teach others. Technology has also enabled the progression of knowledge to be dispersed to everyone to understand each other’s culture,beliefs and differences. The future is about access, anywhere learning and collaboration. Learning is going to become a more social process where people get to interact with one another using different technological platforms such as Skype, WhatsApp, wechat, etc. Idea generation can be across many regions and everyone will be globally connected to create and spur ideas together, it has evolved into areas such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. This occurred due to major crowdsourcing and support from the community, where a large majority of them support the creation process.

Today, I’ll explore opportunities where you will create videos so learning can take place for the individual. Creating snippets of learning through video has never been easier through a smart device. Imagine the possibilities of creating videos that enhance and retain knowledge better, it gives you meaning to your experiences and how it can formulate and reasonate with you better. You will take ownership of learning and find and use video resources, possibility to create your own avenue of thoughts. It is the right time to embrace the cloud with its wealth of resources and platforms available.



  1. Start with a mobile phone to record the experiences ( I’ve recorded some places where I visited and what I have seen over there.)
  2. Have a theme and flow in mind and start recording. (I’ve placed focus on creating experiences for people who visit the Taiwan for the first time to experience it virtually) The flow is very important in a video, it demonstrates how it should start and end. What are the important messages to bring across to the audience?
  3. Record by segments, it can be a snippet of 10 second video. It is recommended that you record more segments.
  4. Piece them together using a video editing software. (WeVideo, MovAVI, iMovie,etc.) Review and upload it to your nearest social video platform (Youtube, Dailymotion,etc)

Innovating through teaching and learning

November 10, 2016, by barry ng

I was recently testing out something on canva.com, where I was using a restaurant menu to show different sorts of learning activities with your learners.


On one end, it kept my ponder about what I learnt yesterday from Adam Torrens where we were told to go back to the basics of education. He argued how learners are now sitting down in smaller  groups to share their learning experience with each other. It demonstrated how learning can take place with the basic tools such as keynote, where he presented several activities in a short period of time.

  • Interactive worksheets – going pass thr conventional worksheets. you can now place pictures where learners can decide where the answers belong to.
  • Posters – sharing posters with peers.
  • Quizzes – creating quizzes and marking them
  • Mockup Apps – demonstrations of an App without using an app builder

Here I am wondering about the most innovative tools, but there he is, making me reflect on the things that I was doing. Am I being overly ambitious in innovating?Should I then look at the basics of what I have, and the powerful tools that is lying around me.

On the other end of he spectrum, I see fabulous innovation through HP demonstrating their learning capabilities. harnessing technology to its fullest for students to create even more.


it is important to recognise the avenues that are given to learners to create new things and innovate continually. these may include opportunities for self creation.

Creation  can take place through different avenues such as powtoons or adobe spark that allows learners to create new animations for presentations. it is also critical for learners to break down learning experiences that they go through each time.