Category Archives: Education

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?

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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:

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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:

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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?

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.

The story of education

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The ability to think differentiates us from all other animals. Thinking gave rise to ideas and in turn to education! Decades back stories were the only method of education & this method was evolved from the ancient man who swapped stories around fire. Story telling was learning for them and this is how they imparted their wisdom to the next generation.

Stories always sound interesting and when related to the listener they are heard and absorbed carefully.

Every story that we hear, either at bedtime or around the coffee machine is the proof that stories are the way humans share experiences and learn. Learning is an experience and this experience can be lived if narrated in the exact words that connect every student. Learning from stories is very helpful as it tickles the human anxiety to search the deeper meanings of words used by the narrator.

Stories are all around us. They are in books, daily soaps, blogs, advertisements, videos etc. They are sprinkled all over our lives but we fail to anticipate them likewise. Every person is different and so are their stories. The language, the meaning of words, voice, the climax build up equally contributes to evoke feelings and desperation in the learners.

I came across an interesting article which spoke about learning through story telling. What caught my eye was this sentence- “Teaching is most effective, I believe, when students come to feel that the subject matter is worth caring about, that it has something to do not only with the world around them, but with their own lives.

I have a suggestion for everyone who is into teaching or training, tell stories, and encourage this mode of learning. The battle of teaching will be half won with story telling. Stories give birth to ideas; open gates of imagination, create a culture and inculcate an attitude among the learners and this gets associated with the mythology of the organization. Like the story of Apple, great companies have interesting stories about them.

What is your story?

The Two Escobars

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Last year ESPN completed 30 years; to commemorate the 30 years benchmark, ESPN released 30 documentaries on 30 sports personalities directed and scripted by 30 renowned directors.
The two Escobars happened to be one of them. At first I thought this is going to a normal documentary about a football player Andreas Escobar and may be the ‘two’ signifies his two greatest achievements! But as the documentary proceeded it revealed the Robin hood Pandey of Colombia aka Pablo Escobar.
Pablo was a drug mafia of Colombia and the owner of the world’s fastest grown football team “The Nacional.” Again my already tuned brain guessed the film to be a path exchanger between the two Escobars, but my spine shivered when I saw the patriotism of the heroes!
Both crossed lines very often because of soccer. One was brought up by the moral values of his mother while other by the poverty ridden frustration. One believed in the game to unite the country and change its image while the other helped the country to be free from extradition. The ways were different but the motive were same, to restore peace and freedom! Pablo and Andreas both were assassinated by the friend within the country!
This isn’t the entire story but just a glimpse of it. The best part of the two different personalities was their humility towards the poor. They both did mistakes which affected their country, families, careers as well as their lives. Pablo was a mafia with principles, Andreas was a player who played from heart. The mistakes they both committed were genuinely not on purpose or with a good intension to free the country!
The society then and now hasn’t changed even a tiny bit. The immediate judgemental attitude based on the actions of an individual without a second thought of his intensions killed the two. I was deeply saddened when a humble player like Andreas was assassinated by a drunkard who thought Andreas scored a goal for the USA on purpose.
The aim to write about this is to promote the film, yes; also some sense into the people. Let it be Colombia, America or India people are the same. When we look at someone who has committed a mistake let’s not overlook the achievements he has bestowed upon our society.
As Andreas would say,”Life does not end here” We have to make a choice to let anger rule us or rule the anger and help others. This documentary has won a permanent place in my laptop and the two Escobars are definitely going to be passed on to my next generation. To be a Pablo or Andreas is the task.