Friday, April 22

The Interface is the Content

One of the big "ahas" of the next generation of elearning designers is that the interface is a significant piece of the content, not just a conduit to the content. We are learning that the interface should line up to the real life activity at some level, high or low, to enable transferability of content.

Computer games designers get this, in that they think about the interface and the complexity of interaction, although they also mislead us, in that they don't care about transferability of skills to the real world; they also rely quite a bit on established genres (first person shooters, real-time strategies).

Not realizing the learning opportunity of the interface, as is the case with traditional designers and learners used to traditional models, has a feedback loop of problems.

If the learner does not realize that the interface is part of the learning, they think the time spent learning the interface is wasted time, which they resent.

Because traditional designers think of the web, with ease of navigation, as a model of a good interface, they design content that is very difficult to transfer.

We are getting over this. But it is slow.

4 comments:

Dub Dubs said...

I think that the current generation of e-learners has been fairly unsophisticated. You bring up an interesting thought that the next generation of learners would be incredibly bored with current learning UI's. Today's teenagers expect dynamic and self defined environments to explore at whatever pace they want. I think that when these teenagers start entering the workforce in droves, learning thechnology is going to have to adapt quickly. Hopefully the vendors are already tapping into this. Perhaps they need to recruit a few gaming designers and architects to get ahead of the curve.

Dub Dubs said...

By the way Clark: here's a post of mine also saying e-learning had better get more dynamic in the future: http://hrtech.blogspot.com/2005/04/tough-adoption-for-e-learning.html

Clark Aldrich said...

I agree; see next blog.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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