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Joe Schultz eLearning & Multimedia
   

Joe Schultz

 


How my experience in educational theater taught me to adapt to my audience
Arpil 7, 2013



Background, Goals and Roles

I started developing computer-based multimedia presentations in the 1990's when the industry was in its infancy. Since then, I've logged thousands of hours as a multimedia developer, instructional designer, art director, graphics designer, illustrator, animator, web developer, project manager, sound technician, and video editor. Using my extensive and eclectic background in art, theater, digital communications and eLearning, I carefully craft presentations and learning experiences to meet the needs of my client. With each project, I hone my skill of making complicated concepts easier to understand. Using a combination of still and moving graphics, I illuminate a subject and invite the learner onto a higher plane of understanding.

My cutting-edge presentations have been used by CH2M HILL, Kaiser Permanente, CISCO and Hewlett Packard. I am a lifetime learner as well as a lifetime teacher. I'm currently pursuing a Masters degree in Instructional Learning Technologies with an eLearning emphasis. I take pride in designing graphics with an understanding of instructional design and adult learning theory. My background in theater and live performance lends a dramatic flair to my work in the digital medium. With a strong foundation in technical problem-solving, I bring a unique ability to illustrate technical concepts in an artistic and exciting way.

How I work:

I approach each project with an open mind. I understand that the creative process is a living, breathing thing and needs room to mature. I also know that clients come to me because they need help manifesting their ideas. After listening carefully to their needs, I develop an understanding of their vision. Then, in the spirit of Rapid Development, I mock up something pretty quickly. Through countless creative cycles, I've learned that the client’s opinion crystallizes fairly quickly once they have something to react to.

Whether it’s an informational website, a catchy marketing piece, or an eLearning course, design is an iterative process. It’s critical to allow time for feedback and creative problem-solving. Ususally, after this first iteration, I have a very good understanding of the client's vision. Once I have a firm grasp of where we're headed, I employ a number of techniques to get us there.

Best Practices:

  • I’m a huge fan of dual-coding – the practice of using words AND images to increase a learner’s ability to retain and recall information.
  • I'm one of those who has left the more traditional ADDIE (Analysis / Design / Development / Implementation / Evaluation) instructional design modelfor SAM (Successive Approximation Model). Michael Allen and Richard Sites (2012) describe the shift toward SAM in their book Leaving ADDIE for SAM.
  • When designing learning activities, I like to use William Horton’s Absorb/Do/Connect model to help discern whether we’re designing an engaging course. For more information on Absorb/Do/Connect, see Horton (2006).
  • In my own creative process, I do my best work when I have time to step back and let ideas percolate. So, even though I need to meet deadlines, the final product is always better when I have time to let the cretive process work, fully consider feedback from the Subject Matter Expert, and arrive at an elegant solution. My reflective methods are more fully described in my Pecha Kucha presentation titled Letting the Creative Process Breathe.
  • In keeping with Cognitive Load Theory, I like to keep the “chunks” of information to 7 or less (preferably 1 or 2). I also prefer to keep learning modules to less than 7 minutes in duration (preferably 2-5 minutes). This leads to cleaner, simpler designs, which are easier for the learner to process, retain and apply.
  • I adhere to CARP Principles (Contrast, Alignment, Repetition and Proximity) in my graphic design approach. For more information on CARP Principles, see Reynolds (2008).

These are only some of the techniques I use. I develop new techniques and skills on every project I do.

My ultimate goal is to make your ideas come to life through solid instructional design, simple and clean visualizations, and engaging interactions.

References

Allen, M., & Sites, R. (2012). Leaving ADDIE for SAM: an agile model for developing the best learning experiences. American Society for Training and Development

Horton, W. (2006). E-Learning by design: Essential resources for training and HR professionals. SanFrancisco, CO: Pfeiffer.

Reynolds, G. (2008). Presentation zen design: simple design principles and techniques to enhance your presentations. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.

 

 

720-539-1351 1011 Cottonwood Circle, Golden, CO 80401 joe@makeitsojoe.com