If you were a Viking, right now you’d be sharpening your best sword in preparation for the end of the world! Experts at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York believe that Ragnarok (which translates in modern English as the ‘Doom of the Gods’ and inspired Wagner’s climactic opera, Gotterdammerung) is finally happening on 22nd February – just one short month away.
Once upon a time, I thought that my interest in communication was only in words, grammar, and syntax. Thrilling though those subjects are, I’ve discovered that communication runs deeper than characters on a page, or even spoken language. It is something that we experience with every one of our senses.
In a recent post, I mentioned that the order of the training transaction is currently the wrong way around. We treat learners as passive consumers, and don’t recognise their potential as producers. It’s an idea which is underlined in an excellent recent post by Steve Wheeler, from whom I’ve borrowed the first part of my title (although I suspect that Walter Benjamin got there first). Wheeler points out that.
When Florence Nightingale used a Coxcomb diagram to present the case for improvement in military hospitals to Queen Victoria in the 19th century, little did she know that the diagram would not only form an important part of the history of hospitals, but also the history of visual representation.
Judges at the Learning & Performance Institute have shortlisted Saffron Share, an open source Learning Experience Network, for the 2014 Learning Awards. The versatile product combines learning content management with ‘social activators’ to speed time-to-competence and open up new frontiers for learning technologies.
Watching a toddler negotiate obstacles is fascinating, especially the ‘toy under the table’ scenario. Running full pelt, all the focus is on their favourite toy, not the height of the table … BANG! Need I say more? 10 days later, the same scenario is playing out, but this time upon reaching the table, the toddler ducks.
On 19 September Saffron Interactive will run a Learning and Skills Group webinar on achieving behaviour change through emotional investment. Toby Harris, Saffron’s creative lead, will take attendees through case studies including an award-winning Transport for London e-learning course on mental resilience, which delivered a £7.8 million return on investment.
The ‘endowment effect’ is the well-known theory in behavioural economics that a sense of ownership makes a big difference to how we think and act. On a transactional level, it means that people will pay more to retain something they already own than to obtain something similar which is owned by someone else even when there is no real cause for attachment. Put simply, a coffee cup becomes more valuable when it is my coffee cup.
“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer (1900–1944)
So you don’t believe me when I say that design is more about taking elements away than adding new ones? Try taking a look at the evolution of the Starbucks logo. The concept of ‘less is more’ may be a little clichéd, but you can see how powerful it is here: the simple, clean image is instantly recognisable and familiar; nothing is extraneous.
Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) works with education and youth practitioners around the country to develop and deliver prevention education programmes. Now Saffron Interactive, a bespoke e-learning provider, is helping AVA to create a new digital prevention portal. This will give practitioners the tools needed to increase the number of prevention programmes delivered to children and young people.
The HTML5 mark-up language has now been around for about three years. It’s not yet fully recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) but, as of last December, it’s well on the way. Some of us have already embraced the change, thrown out Flash and welcomed HTML5 into our e-learning content. But what does HTML5 actually deliver above and beyond Flash? Is it right for you?
As reported in the Metro last week, the latest figures from the National Office of Statistics show that a record one in five Britons is suffering from anxiety or depression. Mental health is now a national emergency. Taboos and stigma (which are often promoted by organisational culture) may prevent us talking about the problem, but they don’t alleviate the harm it causes.
Behaviour change through emotional investment is the focus of Saffron Interactive’s seminar at Learning Technologies Summer Forum on 18 June.
Having been raised in a household of oral storytelling, stories have been in my life blood since the day I could understand language and narrative. Being able to explore human behaviour and cultural differences through stories has always fascinated me. So when I listened to a webinar involving Pat Kenny, a national e-learning manager from the Health Service Executive, that discussed using storytelling in e-learning it, it made me think.
Like most of Londoners, I rely on tube transportation to travel around the city. When on the tube, I usually spend my commuting time playing video games on my smartphone. When I look around I realise that many others, like me, are immersed in trying to solve puzzles, escape from zombies, shoot pigs, and so on.
A few days back I was browsing my favourite website on my sister’s new smartphone. Even though I made sure I was accessing the mobile version of the site, I still wasn’t able to see content I could see when browsing the same site on my PC.
Saffron’s Moira Nicolson wins Instructional Designer of the Year for a ground-breaking course on mental resilience with Transport for London
These days, whizz-bang platforms in the world of e-learning are aplenty. The problem is that great content isn’t. In fact, the typical experience of e-learning content remains so negative that to many outsiders the word itself seems somehow doom-laden and ill-fated. (Forget this preconception at your peril, by the way.)
Continuing from last week’s blog post, one of our most experienced language specialists at Saffron has put together another five top tips to help avoid your e-learning projects getting lost in translation!
Prejudice against those experiencing mental health problems is rife. In one study, 58 per cent of people felt unfairly treated by mental health staff. Yet one in four people will experience significant mental distress at some point in their lives. Now Saffron Interactive is helping Amnesty International Ireland produce a remarkable e-learning course to change things for the better.
One of our most experienced language specialists at Saffron has put together her five top tips to help avoid your e-learning projects getting lost in translation!
As an e-learning designer, there are many things I love about Hollywood! Here I’ve put together four ways to help you bring a touch of tinsel-town to your training…
It may sound absurd to say we should ‘organise’ creativity. For many people, creativity and organisation are two extreme ends of a spectrum. Creative ideas are supposed to appear from nowhere when we don’t expect them. That’s just how the creative process works – which means it must be okay for creative people to be totally disorganised, right?
No doubt many of you reading this will be aware of the food scandal that’s currently going on within our supermarkets, rocking a nation of meat-lovers. Revelations that many supposed ‘beef’ products on sale on our shelves contain a percentage of horse meat have shocked and caused outrage amongst consumers.
Last night’s Learning Awards saw Saffron Interactive win the coveted award for the second time in four years – the only e-learning provider ever to do so. Beating stiff competition from Mind Click, Dell and Unicorn Training, Saffron’s Moira Nicolson took the prize for an extraordinary e-learning course on mental resilience created for Transport for London.
This week Saffron Interactive explains the methodology behind a forty minute e-learning course on mental resilience which delivered a £7.8 million return on investment for Transport for London.
For over a decade, SCORM standards and specifications have been at the heart of web-based e-learning. These standards have served their purpose and were well suited to the technology of the day, but they fail to capture the bigger picture.
Paul MacCartney speaking for Saffron Interactive at Learning Technologies Conference 2013.
What is crowdsourcing and what does it mean for your organisation? Paul MacCartney, former president of global talent development company MindLeaders, will answer this question when he speaks on behalf of Saffron Interactive at the Learning Technologies Conference on 29 January 2013.
This is a guest post by Paul MacCartney
150 years ago last week, London built the world’s first underground rail network to deal with the crowds flocking to work in the City. Managing the Tube well continues to be a key economic enabler – and a challenge – as London’s population grows. It is no surprise that booming mega-cities across the world are investing in metro systems. Dealing with the crowd as a ‘problem’ is essential for growth.
Thanks to tough campaigning by many key interest groups, successive Acts of Parliament and changing public attitudes, real progress has been made in the advancement of diversity, equality and inclusion in the UK. The effects have been felt particularly in the workplace, as employers have woken up to the fact that a diverse workforce offers real performance benefits and opportunities.
This year the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) tightened up its guidelines to prosecuting the Bribery Act 2010. This means that as Christmas gifts begin to arrive, so does the threat of unwelcome legal action. Saffron Interactive, a provider of premium Bribery Act training, is warning businesses not to be complacent.
It’s that time of year again. Good food, apocalyptic weather, spending time with the family and finally getting the tablet you’ve been dreaming about. But it can also be a risky time for many organisations. Putting the office party compliance ‘nightmare before Christmas’ to one side, there also is the issue of bribery.
Something is happening in the world of public policy and it ought to be happening within learning and development. Earlier this year, the government’s “Behavioural Insights Team” opened their report with something that should be learnt from and used to transform the way in which we evaluate training.
‘It’s about making a difference’ says Saffron Interactive designer shortlisted for Learning Awards 2013
Moira Nicolson of Saffron Interactive has been shortlisted for ‘Instructional designer of the year’ at next year’s Learning Awards for designing a course on mental resilience with Transport for London (TfL). The award recognises the instructional designer behind the most ‘innovative learning intervention’ which delivers a ‘demonstrable performance improvement.’
As U.S. political speeches go, many of us will agree that George Bush was never destined to grace us with the same public speaking prowess that seemed to come so naturally to individuals like Martin Luther King Jr. and Steve Jobs. Bush once proclaimed “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test”.
What is it that makes 007 the suave, confident and cool agent that he is? As impressive as some of his gadgets have been – from dagger shoes and garrotte watches in his early adventures to his Sony Xperia T mobile phone in Skyfall – his outstanding array of personal communication skills have proved time and again to be a more effective arsenal of weaponry at disarming foes and lovers alike.
Why do companies offer compulsory compliance training to their employees? To meet the company regulations that are in place. When staff training is approached in this way, many individuals may have reservations before they even begin, because ultimately, they do not have a choice in how their learning material is delivered.