To dot point or not to dot point?

I had a client yesterday ask the question, ‘Why am I using dot points and not numbering?’. Today I was asked the same question in an Instructional Design forum.

I prefer using dot points to full paragraphs because:

  • it is cleaner and simpler for the learner
  • it creates white space
  • it only provides the learner with the information that they need.

puzzledWhen should we use dot points? Dot points should be used when you need to list items, ideas, fragements of sentences or concepts in no particular order.

Numbering on the other hand should be used wehn you need to demonstrate a sequence or process; for example when showing a process or procedure, an agenda, or legislation.

It begs a bigger question though. Are dot points an effective tool for engaging learners? When used correctly they are a great way to organise content and increase readability. However, Instructional Designers do tend to misuse and overuse dotpoints.

Here are some creative ways to reduce dot points:

  • rewrite as a question and allow the narration to answer the question
  • shorten bullet points from full sentences to a phrase or even a word
  • use one bullet point per slide
  • use an image, graphic, chart or animation in place of each bullet.

For more examples go to eLearning Heroes.

 

 

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The opposite of NETwork is NO work!

A part of any job whether it be a start up, freelance or even working for a corporation is networking. These days there are so many ways to network whether it be face to face, virtual (Skype, webconferencing) or via social media (Facebook, LinkedIn).

So what characteristics makes a great networker?

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Characteristics of a great networker as reflected by Jimmy Fallon:

  1. sincere
  2. genuinely interested
  3. positive
  4. enthusiastic
  5. team player
  6. humble
  7. confident
  8. current
  9. respectful
  10. thankful

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Or according to Entrepreneur:

  1. ask insightful questions
  2. add value
  3. learn ‘their’ story
  4. share a memorable fact
  5. keep a list
  6. make small promises and keep them
  7. reward your ‘power contacts’

What are you doing to build your networks?

 

Creatively organised

I find it hard when I am in a creative burst, particularly when I am in ‘dream big’ phase to keep my thoughts ordered. I have recently discovered Trello. A fantastic list/organisation tool. It is fairly generic and can be used in a multitude of ways. I have separate boards for work and home, but you could create particularly boards for each of your projects!

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It’s also really useful to use for group projects as you can share boards with colleagues or family members! There are also mobile apps so that you can use Trello on the go!

 

Humble, proud, rebellious or conservative; the paradox of creativity

creativity_is_boundless_by_pixelnase1This blog is dedicated to creativity in all its forms, dreams and goals and achieving success.

But when I talk about creativity and creative people, what do I mean?

Research by Mihaly states there are 10 contradictory personality traits of a creative person.

1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest.

2. Creative people tend to be smart yet naive at the same time.

3. Creative people combine playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.

4.Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality.

5. Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted.

6. Creative people are humble and proud at the same time.

7. Creative people, to an extent, escape rigid gender role stereotyping.

8. Creative people are both rebellious and conservative.

9.Most creative people are very passionate about their work, yet they can be extremely objective about it as well.

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain, yet also to a great deal of enjoyment.

You can read more here.

Science and art merge!

colour-finger-1440x900Colour for every creative is so important. Whether you be a fashion designer, artist, writer, poet, sculptor or any other creative dreamer, colour plays a tremendous part.

A neuroscientist in the US, Beville Conway, has studied the relationship between neuroscience and colours. Imagine studying colour for a living!

His studies have value for artists and designers alike as he unpacks the neural properties of emotion. The article can be read here.

Maybe your dream will include science and art?

Am I a fantasiser or a dream-builder?

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Fantasisers:                                              Dream-builders:

Rely on luck                                                   Rely on discipline

Focus on the destination                          Focus on the journey

Cultivate unhealthy expectations         Cultivate healthy discontent

Minimise the value of work                     Maximise the work they do

Look for excuses                                          Lead to action

Create inertia                                                Generate momentum

Breed isolation                                             Promote teamwork

Wait                                                                  Initiate

Avoid personal risks                                  Embrace risk as necessary

Make others responsible                         Make themselves responsible

No regrets

imagesCA8EAPMRI caught up with a friend this week that I hadn’t seen for a number of years. We had one of those gorgeous friendships where we would just sit and talk; in the garden, in the car, in the house, anywhere, anytime.  After arriving home at the wee hours of the morning, it was reassuring to realise that we still do!

One of the things my friend said to me, as I was catching up on weddings, babies, house buying and general life events, was that she wasn’t happy where she was but didn’t know what to do about it.

I got excited as I began to tell her about this blog and the reading and writing that I have been doing. I do hope that she gets a lot of enjoyment and useful tips from here.

What stood out to me though was the immense challenge it was for her to stop and say the path she is taking is not the one for her. I guess I have taken for granted how easy it is for me to change my journey. Over the years I have made many changes and taken on various challenges to get where I am today. But for my friend she saw it as failure, or even worse, invested time and effort that is now wasted as she begins again.

It reminded me of an episode of Once Upon A Time. Regina, Emma and Snow are tied up to a tree with ropes that tighten their hold as each of them regrets something they have done.

Regina breaks free from the tree because she has no regrets! She is the Evil Queen, she has done many evil things. But she loves her son, Henry and she recognises that everything she has done in her past has brought her to the point she is at now with her son.

I think that is how I feel with my journey. I have had many ups and downs and taken many winding roads to get where I am. But if it wasn’t for all of those decisions I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t be equipped with the skills and experiences for this, my new dream and adventure.

What experiences have you had that you can tap into and use the skills and experience from to realise your dream?