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Solving Training Challenges: Creating a Meaningful Reflection Opportunity in eLearning

In eLearning, we all know what it feels like to enter text into a text entry box and send it off into a black hole. Today's post offers a case study about how an ID team put an end to this all-too-common practice, and created an interaction to give learners a richer reflection experience.
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Recently, we worked on a project creating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) training for youth. We were creating a flipped classroom curriculum consisting of three parts: 1) eLearning modules for youth, 2) eLearning modules for adult mentor facilitators, and 3) in-person workshop curriculum. The following is a brief case study of one way that we created a meaningful reflection opportunity within one of the eLearning modules. 

The Challenge

In our initial discussions with this client, it became clear that the youth taking this training would need opportunities to reflect upon their own DE&I experiences as they participated in this course. We wanted the eLearning modules to provide a foundation of terminology and definitions by which to build upon during the in-person sessions, but it was also important that youth had the opportunity to reflect upon their own experiences—both prior to and during the in-person portion of the course.

It’s pretty straight-forward to design discussion opportunities for in-person learning, However, creating reflection opportunities within eLearning has stumped instructional designers for years. We’ve probably all had the pleasure of entering text into a text entry box and sending our answers off into what we knew to be a black hole. For this experience, these reflection activities needed to be different. 

The Approach

During one portion of a Storyline course, we were working through the exploration of self and identity. We wanted to not only teach about the dimensions of identity, but also to provide an opportunity for participants to see firsthand how the way that they perceive themselves almost always varies from the way that other people see them. 

We began by creating an opportunity for youth to select the 5 components that they believe contribute most heavily to their identity. 

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We recorded those 5 responses as variables to be used on a later slide. Further on in the course, after learning about the dimensions of identity, youth are prompted to select the 5 dimensions on the wheel that they believe are how other people describe them. Once again, those responses are recorded as variables and pulled over to the following slide. This is where it gets really fun. The learners get to discover why their answers from earlier in the course matter. 

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The Results

The variables from the previous two slides pull over to this slide creating an “ah-ha” moment where learners discover that the way that they describe themselves most likely varies from the way that they perceive how others describe them. This reflection activity created a perspective-shifting moment for the learner. 

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As a result of a very intentional reflection opportunity, we allowed learners to personalize the learning experience through their own exploration and self-discovery.  No need for a black hole text entry experience. 

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