Author Archives: Holly

About Holly

I am currently leveraging the tools of the digital age to develop effective eLearning, building skills to develop eLearning solutions that enhance reception and retrieval of gained skills. When not contemplating the above, I like a learning new things from my little one and cleaning my house (even if it is clean).

Lucky Charm, Baby: Pregnant and Promoted

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It is not less than winning a Grand Slam when you get the first promotion of your life! You start feeling a little closer to eminent athletes like Serena Williams, who literally won the Australian Open while being eight weeks pregnant!

Yes, I got promoted to a Senior Instructional Designer while being 25 weeks pregnant!

Not that I perspired on the court for more than an hour without dropping a set, but I simply did my job as good as I could!

In fact, working women undergo a huge dilemma as to when to reveal the pregnancy, will she be given a project during that period, how to deal with the limited maternity leaves, will she be fired for being pregnant and so on! Along with the hormonal turbulence occurring inside her, she has to additionally worry about the career that she has poured her heart and soul into.

Logically speaking, pregnancy lasts only for a few months, what lasts long is the maternity leave followed! But it is still perceived as a long-term handicap followed by a prolonged absence physically as well as mentally.

Personally, being pregnant has increased my enthusiasm for work. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I was determined to learn something new every day. I think this attitude helped me climb up the career ladder.

Again, my country and my employer have a huge role to play. Recently, the Indian government sanctioned a 26 weeks paid maternity leave for female Indian employees, along with having a crèche facility in close vicinity of the work place. The policy also allows work from home after the maternity leave.

And my employer considered my last project a huge success consequently appreciating my efforts, skills, and creativity by promoting a level higher!

I’m over the moon, of course…, but then fear sets in! May be my hormones are bouncing around for obvious reasons, or maybe I’m scared of losing the freedom to make mistakes. I think getting promoted is a double edged sword, exciting yet petrifying. It doesn’t matter whether it is your first promotion or the final one where you get the corner office. You realize how little you know about your new role, especially when you’re trying hard to cope with your boss’s big and bold expectations.

Getting accustomed to the new KRAs and being comfortable in your new role needs patience. To be able to swiftly get into your new role, you need to inculcate these new work habits:

  • Be frank to voice your opinion, but not rude to force them
  • Make new mistakes every day and learn from them
  • Don’t just set your goals blindly, meet your expectations
  • Keep yourself open to learn
  • Be bold enough to accept your fears to conquer them
  • Learn to celebrate the small achievements that contribute to a bigger goal

It’s not about how physically handicapped you are, what emotionally disturbing crisis you’re undergoing. All you have to do is be confident that you are the right person for the job.

In my opinion, irrespective of your gender, age, physical potential, and your job profile, you have to be pregnant with ideas eternally!

My aim is to prompt action, not just a thought. Regardless of your time in your current role, what idea can you take from this and apply in your work today?

Conditioning the NEXT button in Storyline 2

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It is a tough getting a job done from your spouse. Only ‘To do’ list does not help, but you have to tell what has to be done, when, how, and under which conditions!

Storyline is the spouse we all dream of!

It takes commands exactly in the order of ‘what you want to do’, ‘when you want it to happen’, and ‘under what conditions you want an action to be done’.

Here is what I want Storyline 2 to do for me today:

What: force the learner to attempt a question only once

When: at the end of a scene or the course

Condition: allow the learner to revisit the question without enabling it

The exact problem lies in intentionally disabling and enabling the NEXT button after the necessary conditions are met. In this tutorial, I will be using the T/F variable to fulfill my purpose.

Triggers need to be set such that the variable-True meets the condition that when the SUBMIT button is in its visited state, the NEXT button is enabled.

Let us begin!

Disable the NEXT button

After creating the question and content slides, you must first disable the NEXT button. To disable it, create a trigger:

Picture1

Decide the condition

There are many conditions that you can define on how you want your interactivity to be executed. These range from having an audio or a video clip play to completion or by having visited a number of objects on screen. For this tutorial, I want the NEXT button to be enabled after the state of the SUBMIT button is Visited.

Create the Variable

To define the variable, click on the (x) symbol in the top right corner of the trigger panel.

Picture2Conditions to state changes

I have set the variable for this slide ‘Question1’ with a ‘False’ default value. You have the liberty to change it to ‘True’. Now, I have to condition it such that when the variable changes to ‘True’ the state of the NEXT button must be normal. For this, create a new trigger as such:

Picture3

This trigger is telling NEXT button to go back to its Normal state when Question1 is set to True.

Set True and False in the variable

This is the most important step in conditioning the NEXT button. This is where Visited states come into action. In this tutorial, Question1 goes from False to True when the SUBMIT button is in Visited state. To set this condition on the variable, create the following triggers:

True:

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False:

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That’s it! You’ve successfully applied T/F variable to your Storyline file!

This activity conditioned the NEXT button such that the learners will not have it automatically disabled when they revisit the slide.

But keep in mind, for every slide you’ll have to create separate variables and condition them separately!

After all, you instruct your spouse to pick up the dry cleaning and the vegetables separately!

 

 

Instructional Design: The Art of Making

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Are you struggling to come up with your first branched scenario? Is it mundane to read about the difference between ‘Gamification’ and ‘Game-based learning’? Do you become an eLearning Nazi when people around you use the two terms interchangeably?

Yeah! Then you are doing instructional design the correct way!

This means that you are upbeat with the latest trends; you have the constant urge to learn new things. You are obsessed about the terms and their meanings. And most importantly, you have a constant yearning to learn and make new stuff!

The art of making stuff is not just a point sitting in our job description eternally, but it also is the very reason and motif of our designation.

The stuff that we make is courses, info-graphics, games, micro learnings, infomercials, simulations and so on! For which we have instant access to a plethora of ‘how to’ data on the internet. But what these videos/tutorial/ articles/ discussions don’t have is the emphasis on the importance of actually making stuff! What I mean is that once you have read and seen everything about branched scenarios, you cannot develop a masterpiece immediately. The bottom line is that the practice of consistently making and releasing projects makes all the difference in your ability as an Instructional Designer. Having said that here are three reasons why I think you should take ‘making’ seriously in our field:

Because creativity comes from practice

‘Wait for inspiration’ is closely associated with creativity. And inspiration is regarded as a shooting star that makes you wait to get anything done until it shows up! Well, it turns out that this is a myth. And it is dead wrong!

Creativity is showing up and making things consistently! 

Because you can practice on the job

Any tool, technique, or design trend you learn takes time and practice to master. You have to figure out what works, observe, and implement. At work, we have the opportunity to work on projects after projects. Look at it as a chance to experiment the acquired knowledge and expand your horizons.

Practice is implementing the learnt changes in your day to day work!

Because you can afford to fail

Let me remind you one fact, “You have the freedom to rehash all the stuff you made in a safe environment.” Although spending time on novel options only to fail is not an option for many of us. We can certainly record our failure on one technology and apply it on a new one!

Failure is having the guts to stand up after falling down!

So what are you making lately?

Thanking the Prince of Mathematics: Carl Friedrich Gauss

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This post first appeared on Function Space.

Carl Gauss a prodigy mathematician born to a poor, working class parents in Brauschweig, Germany surprised his elementary school teacher by adding all the integers from 1 to 100 simply by observing that the sum of 50 pairs of numbers is 101. The story goes that he had figured that 100 numbers could be determined by the equation n(a+b)(1/2)=50(a+b) where n=100, a = the first digit in the sequence and b = the last digit in the sequence.

His mathematical talent befuddled his teachers and mentors such that he grew up to become an influential mathematician of his century.
Gauss’s wide range of discoveries, from his fundamental theorem of algebra to his ground breaking work in number theory has shaped the field to the present day.

The true genius of his work, experts think is how he ultimately took these theories and applied them to in many fields, including number theory, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, electrostatics, astronomy and optics.

He once wrote, “All the measurements in the world are not worth one theorem by which the science of eternal truth is genuinely advanced.” It was at the same time he took up the job of geodesic survey mapping irregularly shaped curved surfaces across the country. Although, he failed to produce an accurate map of Hannover, he succeeded in creating a number of important advances in mathematics of curved surfaces, development of curvilinear coordinates and established ideas on non Euclidean geometry.

To which Einstein later wrote, “If Gauss had not created his geometry of surfaces, which served Riemann as a basis, it is scarcely conceivable that anyone else would have discovered it. The importance of Gauss for the development of modern physical theory and especially for the mathematical fundamentals of the theory of relativity is overwhelming indeed.”

Gauss’s list of discoveries extends to modular arithmetic, prime numbers, number theory, squares, quadratic reciprocity etc. But it was more astonishing that he worked on these discoveries independently without any collaborators or co workers!

This Thanksgiving lets be grateful to the man who overcame all the difficulties while pursuing mathematics and continued to discover more and more fundamentals that shaped the field to what it is today!

Happy Thanksgiving!

gauss-infographic

Click here to enlarge the above infographic.

It’s Einstein’s world that we live in.

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This post first appeared on Function Space.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, meaning it’s time to start thinking about things and people you are grateful to. It’s time to sit and celebrate the day of gratitude with Turkey on the table, Tofurkey for vegetarians!

If you are still wondering whom to thank this Thanksgiving Day, here is a food for your thought that will certainly imbibe you with gratitude towards this great man who started it all.

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists in a century dominated by science. The man who made the milestones of the era – bomb, quantum physics, big bang etc.

Without realizing we encounter Albert Einstein in different fields of everyday life. For example, our cars navigate through traffic using GPS, we make purchases in supermarket through a scanner and we use digital cameras to capture memories. Einstein did not make these discoveries, nor did he write any papers stating the practical applications of his theories. But his abstract thoughts on time, light and space time led us to the innovations that seem to be normal today.

Most of us know Einstein either associated with the atom bomb or with his famous equation E=mc^2. But did you know that in 1905, he was the first person to prove the physical existence of atoms. And the mass of atoms contains enormous energy. This theory was indeed an indirect basis of the atomic revolution.

His theories had direct influence on inventions like television, digital camera etc. Thanks to his Special Theory of Relativity that we are able to broadcast sharp images and capture memories today. Electrons inside the television are accelerated and according to the theory of relativity, the mass is increased measurably. If this phenomenon of increasing mass was not taken into consideration electrons would have never exhibited divergence in millimeter range, resulting into blur images.

While all technologies that employ laser beams are based on Einstein’s theories, he was the first to recognize the principle of monochrome and the concept of bundled laser light. All the devices that work on the Global Positioning System or Satellite assisted positioning system are inspired from Einstein’s ideas.

Pieces of equipment which can relay their position with an accuracy of less than 30 meters divergence take into account the effects of relativity on time measurement by atomic clocks when these circle the earth at great speed in satellites.

Even 50 years after his death, his invention and theories have huge influence on our technologies. Where physicists have now begun dreaming of quantum computers, Einstein revolutionized it in 1935 when he discovered that particles can be in different states at the same time. This is the same observation that paved a way for an altogether new area of development called as quantum computers that certainly has revolutionized the 21st century!

He was the embodiment of pure intellect, the bumbling professor with the German accent, a comic cliched shaggy-hairstyle. Let us thank him for the unfathomably profound genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.

Thank you Einstein!

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Congratulations ISRO. You have made India proud yet again.

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Space programs have always excited and intrigued mankind. The urge of finding life beyond earth has urged a tremendous sense of wonder among countries of the world.

And among these countries, a country that is still considered developing, has been moving ahead in her scientific space voyage rapidly and steadily. Soon it is about to embark the magnanimous leap to the red planet. In less than 48 hours, India will add another feather to its cap with Mangalyaan reaching mars.

Billion hearts are beating harder than the thrust of LAM engine which will place MOM (India’s Mars Orbiter Mission) into the Martian orbit. Now, the pulse of the nation can be gauged by the tremendous support ISRO is getting on almost all social media sites.

Like other space programs gave us velcro, pocket calculators, they also inspired the youth to take interest in science/technology and promote international cooperation among nations. The Indian Mars mission seems like something that lifts our spirits literally high.

Congratulations ISRO. You have made India proud yet again.

It is an inspiring journey of a developing nation to catch up with a huge chunk of aeronautical  achievements on a bullock cart ridden MOM. (Mars Orbiter Mission)

What began in 1962 in a fishing hamlet near Tiruvananthapuram by two Indian visionaries was actually  to vivify INDIA’s space dream. Some of its operations were operated in a cowshed and some in a  Bishop’s office. There have been instances that the scientists have scouted the satellites to and fro the launching site on bicycles, bullock carts and trucks.

ISRO

 

This was just a humble beginning but over the years, India achieved the capability of building its own launch vehicles, remote sensing, communication, defense and navigation satellites, launch interplanetary and lunar missions design and develop the closely guarded and cutting-edge cryogenic engine. Its first achievement was the launch of the Aryabhatta satellite using a Russian rocket.

ISRO was also responsible for the first large scale launch of remote sensing satellites for television broadcasts.

India now has the largest fleet of remote sensing satellites in the world.

With two Mars probes, one Indian and one American approaching mars with a difference of 48 hours, the fever of Mars odyssey has gripped the world; every news channel be it local newspaper or an online platform while trending Mars articles almost reached a research class. Credit goes to ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) for their hard work and resourceful efforts in making their nation first Asian country to enter the Martian atmosphere in its first attempt!

Here is an infographic on all the proud moments that ISRO gave India!

Click here to enlarge.

history of ISRO

This Post first appeared on Function Space.

Being Woman. Her side of Marriage!

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radha and Ma

Even though majority girls start thinking about marriage, prince charming and other pink things associated with it at the age of five, marriage is not easy! It is more than a letter you write to your future husband.

Even though the wedding card says your name, it is more than you. It is more than one day.

This is a story of a woman who was luck to marry her prince charming and also the one who just couldn’t gather enough courage to marry her man of dreams. Here is the ultimate truth that every woman, lives every day.

“Maaa..” shreaked the house when Radha yelled at the top of her voice, Ma must have skipped a heart beat hearing her daughter shout aloud. This was not the first time she had heard this.

Right from a lizard to a serial rapist all thoughts crossed her mind in fraction of a second. She rushed to here as if she was practicing for the Olympic run. The words ‘towel please’ made here angry and relieved at the same time. She handed it and walked away swearing about what would she do at her husband’s place in this situation!

Madly in love with the concept of marriage, Radha answered, “He will happily hand me the towel!”  Little did she know, about HIM. She had painted him in her colors and she was all ready to fall in love. And she did. He was here change and he was her only constant in any change!

Radha was well versed with what is a marriage. She had been planning this day for practically majority of her life. And her happiness grew in leaps and bounds as the day approached from 8 months to 6 months to 3 months. She was excited to travel together, eat together and go to bed together.

But as the date came close she had a new definition of marriage. The one which involved making someone the epicenter of your world, the one which is made her listen to instructions carefully, the one which her mother described in one word, ‘sacrifice.’

Not the sacrifice that sucks your own happiness but the one which adds to it. How can making the pizza for him be tiresome for me if it puts a smile on his face and belly? How can helping his mom be a responsibility if she is who he cares about? How is spending a penny more for his sisters birthday making me poor, if I am gaining a new best friend?

“What is it that I am sacrificing Ma? Am I doing marriage correct?” “Radha, you are sacrificing your childhood. Do you remember, the vanilla pudding I used to make just the way you liked it. And do you remember, it was the same day when your dad use to come back from an official tour?” Radha in anxious tone, “yeah Ma”, well you are now me; Ma said, “Marriage is  not just making everyone happy. Marriage is not responsibility or a burden, it is being your mother. And how difficult is it to be someone whom you know so well?”