What you need to take note when designing your next Learning App
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
- First post in the discussion forum
- Top poster in discussion forum
- Most credible contributor in the discussion forum
- Most social learner in the discussion forum
- 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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.