Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Learning objects that work!

It's no secret: I don't know everything! (*smile*) In conjunction with the provincial general election, there is an referendum in Ontario on October 10th on electoral reform. I've been hearing about it on TV and on the radio. We have two choices in the referendum. We can vote to keep the current 'Past-the-Post' method or we can choose to adopt a new method: 'Mixed member proportional'. So despite living in Ontario my entire life, I had never heard the expression 'Past-the-Post' and of course, I have no clue what 'Mixed member proportional' even means. Clearly I had some learning to do before October 10th so I can make an informed decision.

There are a couple of ways I can go about to find the answers to my question. I could try to Google those two methods and read about them. However, instead I chose to see what the Elections Ontario was producing to educate citizens on the subject. I'm glad to say I was pleasantly surprised!

In addition to an informative website they created a Flash object that did an excellent job in educating me. It has a few features that I think are best practices in Flash object design:
  • The navigation is excellent. The learner quickly understands that there are 7 chapters. It's easy to pause and move around from chapter to chapter at anytime.

  • The learner chooses the order in which the chapters are viewed depending on which topics they are seeking information on. This non-linear progression through the learning object is excellent for customizing a learner's learning.

  • The people showcased in the learning object also act as the learner's guide. They give the learner tips on how to navigate and they participate in the transition between chapters by clicking, along with the learner, on the buttons on the screen. It really gives you a sense of being 'supported emotionally' in the learning by these people in the learning object.

  • Closed-captioning can be toggled to allow the learner to read what is being said in the learning object.

  • The learner can even download a printable version of the video in PDF format.

  • It is also available in two languages. Here is the French language version.

So after examining this very excellent learning object I can now say I know how I'm going to vote on Oct 10th. Can you see any other excellent features in this learning object? Do you see any weaknesses? If so, please post your feedback as a comment.


Wilf Day said...

It's good as far as it goes. However, it doesn't tell you why those 103 Citizens designed their Mixed Member Proportional system, or how.

To learn more, go to the Citizens' Assembly site. It's just as accessible.

Their video "In their own words" is a great place to start.


rlubensky said...

I agree with Wilf. The population of Ontario should be informed that the randomly-selected CA spent months learning about different electoral systems. Their recommendation comes after a well-organised deliberative process that should earn the respect of all their fellow Ontarians. For those of us with interest in learning, TV Ontario did a great job of capturing many of the presentations and the workshops, which can be accessed from the CA website. We talk about collaborative learning and engagement in the classroom. But here is an exemplar of ordinary citizens taking on an extraordinary learning challenge in full public view, and succeeding. Spread the word!

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Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Thanks to Naomi Waldron from Brisbane, AUS, it has been noted that the Elections Ontario website has taken down all their resources about the Oct 10th Ontario referendum. I've placed a couple of phone calls and each time they ask me to leave a message but they never call me back. So we might never see these excellent resources again. I'll keep trying once in awhile just in case someone does call me back sometime (*hee hee*)
Take care everyone.