Articulation 5: what’s the score?

April 4, 2017 at 10:49 am | Posted in projects | Leave a comment
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If you’ve been following these posts from the start, you may remember that “The aim was to inform (hairdressers) about environmental issues and encourage them to adopt sustainable business practices that used less energy and water and created less waste.”

In the second post I described how learners could ‘like’ ideas they encountered and to see the savings that the idea could achieve:

My idea was to translate the costs and savings for each topic into a standard format that would give the energy, water and money savings each year if adopted by a small four-seat salon. As learners worked their way through the training, a running total could therefore be kept of the savings from all the ideas where they clicked the Like button, so they could easily see the amount saved and scale that up for their own salon if required. I suspected that although the energy and water savings would be seen as a good thing, it would be the substantial money savings that would really gain their attention.

This example shows how this process works in practice. Suppose a learner has just started exploring the virtual salon and finds the Hair Drying area:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These slides show some of my core design decisions:

  • using a photo of the researcher, Denise Baden, as the human face
  •  to introduce each area of the training.
  • using photos and short texts for each idea that minimise the risk of tl;dr, which is always an issue with online training.
  • using fresh, bright colours – especially the ‘green for Go’ Like button;
  • only showing the savings when the learners have clicked the Like button, so I hoped they would be curious. Of course the more ideas they liked, the more impressive their total savings on the EcoPro slide, reinforcing the idea that lots of small savings add up to a very significant impact.
  • I didn’t think many learners would want to see the calculations, but we needed to include them to show we hadn’t just plucked the figures out of thin air.
  • although the environmental savings are energy (kWh) and water (000’s of litres), I needed to translate those into specific financial savings. Hair salons are businesses, so any investments in energy-saving technologies need to see a good return.
  • some benefits, such as reductions in water pollution or giving good advice to customers, are difficult to express financially, so I used a ‘Good Deeds’ measure to identify and reward these.

The EcoPro slide used four variables; ENERGY, WATER, ENVIRONMENT and MONEY. These were updated when a learner clicked the Like button for the first time; I didn’t want multiple clicks to artificially inflate the EcoPro totals. So for example the Lighting slide’s Like button had four triggers, two of which were conditional on the Like button’s state:

Add 3645.00 to ENERGY
  When the user clicks
  If LikeButton's state is not equal to Visited

Add 510.00 to MONEY
  When the user clicks
  If LikeButton's state is not equal to Visited

Change state of LikeButton to Visited
  When the user clicks

Show layer Savings
  When the user clicks

It was easy to show the value of the variables on the EcoPro slide; all that was needed was to include the variable name in the text e.g. %ENERGY%.

During its first six months the resource was hosted on SCORM Cloud and data was collected from around 600 learners. This was analysed by Denise’s research project to identify which ideas were liked the most.

Hunting the Big Ideas

Part of the brief was to introduce learners to five sustainability concepts, which I called the Big Ideas; Climate Change, Carbon Footprint, One Planet Living, Sustainability and Water Scarcity. I decided to make this a treasure hunt; learners needed to collect (view) them all by finding five icons scattered throughout the areas and ideas. When they had visited seven areas they could view a list of direct links to all areas and Big Ideas – see Avoiding frustration in a previous post.

In the final post about this project, I’ll cover the playful aspects I included to try and make this training something that the learners would enjoy and recommend to colleagues.

Next: Articulation 6: playful learning

 

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