The Genie HTML Tool: Making your eLearning wishes come true
Genie is a HTML authoring tool, created to help Subject Matter Experts embed best in class instructional design methodologies into their online learning content. Find out how it came into existence and how it works below.
Not long into Growth Engineering’s existence, we began to build online learning. We had started life as a training company, collecting lots of content that we wanted to offer to the masses as learning.
So we grabbed our training course PowerPoints and notes, sat down with developers and told them: here you go, you have all that you need in terms of diagrams and content to produce the eLearning we need.
We did that a couple of times before we realised something was very wrong. We’d made a huge mistake: what we were producing was rubbish. Whilst the online learning material produced looked pretty good (with nice graphics and interactions), it was just not engaging enough for learners. The truth is that it was boring and did not work as well as it might. The student did not change their behaviour. They clicked through the piece (as quickly as possible), did a couple of quizzes and then promptly proceeded to forget everything.
We realised that we had to go back to the drawing board!
So, we decided we would recruit an experienced eLearning Manager, somebody with the expertise, wherewithal and character to take us to the next level. We were lucky enough to attract the eLearning super star that is Sridhar Subramaniam. Sri quickly put us straight on where we had gone wrong… there was no Instructional Design!
We learnt the hard way that Subject Matter Experts can’t upload content into an authoring tool and expect to conjure a good online learning experience for students.
We now produce awesome, award-winning eLearning, and the reason why our eLearning is so good is that we have great instructional designers. These IDs work around the following key steps:
1 – What changes do we expect this learning to deliver?
2 – How will the learner apply and embed this learning into what they do?
3 – How will the learning adapt to individual learners’ application?
4 – How will the learning deliver and embed culture changes and raise the bar of performance?
If eLearning is to work, it needs to do more than just impart knowledge:
- It MUST allow the user to apply the new knowledge.
- It MUST allow users to be aware of how that new knowledge and its application impacts others.
The way we do this at Growth Engineering is through a series of story-arcs. For example:
We may lay out a scenario that shows a group of people doing something that does not quite work out. We will then ask the user ‘why’ this was the case. This should spark some kind of recognition within learners: there’s a bad, better and best way of handling these situations.
The next step is to lay out the new knowledge framework. This may be the theory behind the learning content.
Next up, we will ask the user to apply it to their real-life work environment. We will then ask the users questions around how they have applied the knowledge to validate that they have completely understood the material.
Finally, we lay out a branching scenario where learners apply their new knowledge to achieve a specific goal.
For those of you acquainted with Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction, this will be familiar:
1 – Gain the attention of student.
2 – Inform students of the objectives.
3 – Stimulate recall of prior learning.
4 – Present the content.
5 – Provide learning guidance.
6 – Elicit performance (practise).
7 – Provide feedback.
8 – Assess performance.
9 – Enhance retention and transfer to the job.
The focus of the GEnie Tool is to provide a series of ready-made story arcs that can be adapted by the Subject Matter Experts to produce eLearning that makes a real difference to behaviour.
The focus is on helping the SMEs to wrap their content around best in class Instructional Design practices that deliver measurable differences to learning and development initiatives.
That’s the key to good learning and the key to our Genie Tool. Want to find out more? Please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org