Well maybe I was/am…? I long suspected that in my childhood, certain abilities were seen as being more valuable than others for reasons that didn’t make sense. Thankfully, my mother understood my strange creative personality, as did the occasional teacher, although most didn’t! How do we develop our creativity without encouragement from adults when we are children?
If our creativity is nurtured at school it sets us up for ‘thinking out of the square’ and developing engaging courses online in the future (or anything else we do of course!).
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity on the following video:
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in this video of his TED talk, explains the concept of flow for which he is famous. Flow is his answer to the question ‘What makes human beings happy?’
How Does It Feel to Be in Flow?
- Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.
- A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
- Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
- Knowing that the activity is doable – that skills are adequate to the task.
- A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.
- Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present, our sin to pass by in minutes.
- Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward.
Boredom can stem from predictability. Your creativity in developing material to put online, can be the deciding factor as to whether your students engage in learning or or remain passive and bored. So why do we create boring elearning materials when we can be happy and ‘in the flow’, as well as engaging our students?
Creating interesting engaging content requires understanding the content and the audience. In most instances that requires a strong relationship between the content developer and the subject matter expert/s (client). You also need an eLearning developer/vendor who understands the value of having an initial needs assessment and brainstorming session to determine what the objectives of the course are and how these can be achieved. Some business users/customers are scared off by the process as they see it as too time consuming and detailed.
1. Equip yourself with some basic tools. You don’t need to be a master in technology. Tools for online learning
2. Get a grip on your Personal Learning Network (PLN). Skill yourself up! Take baby steps and go easy on yourself.
3. Test your material out on a collegue or even better, several collegues who have different learning styles.
4. Step out of your comfort zone and let your creative juices flow!
6. Practice, practice, practice! There are no shortcuts to inspiration.
Useful link: Generation C (content)
If you have more tips… please share and contribute them in the comments section!