The Idea of Giving Back

The past few weeks has been very busy for me, so pardon me if I update this blog just once a week. But in those few weeks, I can only sum up my weekends using two words: Giving Back.

I was the kind of gal who wondered if I can eventually make an impact to other people, and to the society as well. With the opportunities presented to me the past few weeks, I guess the heavens answered that simple question in my mind.

Making Connections

I had the opportunity to meet a guy who is into taking a degree in Instructional Design and Technology. He is just starting out in the field and is on the lookout to learn more. We met and were able to exchange ideas on elearning, international studies, and how can we make an impact in the education sector. Meeting him actually allowed me to share my insights on the industry; thus, giving him an opportunity to know how the education sector in Philippines is thriving with e-Learning. The simple act of sharing my knowledge and experience on the industry gave me that feeling of fulfillment, as I am able to help other people with their career goals.

Helping Mother Earth

I was invited by a friend to participate in a tree-planting activity at Mt. Balagbag in Bulacan. I usually participate in these kinds of activities so when the opportunity was available, there’s no time to say no. It was an opportunity to help the community since they have been into charcoal industry and planting trees would lessen the impact of this human activity. On one end, we cannot blame the community for burning and creating charcoal as it is their source of income, but we all know its effect to nature. Headed by Green Ants Environmental Camp, we and other volunteers planted more than a hundred seedlings. It was a fulfillment for me to be able to help Mother Nature, and while digging and planting those seedlings, I couldn’t help myself but think about the parable of the seeds found in Luke 8:4-8.

The Story of the Seeds

4-8As they went from town to town, a lot of people joined in and traveled along. He addressed them, using this story: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it. Other seed fell in the gravel; it sprouted, but withered because it didn’t have good roots. Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it. Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop.

I was hoping that time that my seedlings will grow and provide shelter. I realized how important for farmers to have good soil to plant the seeds, because when I encountered the rocky soil and the soil filled with weeds, I immediately doubted if these seedlings will grow. Lesson learned, a soil near the water source and with less rocks and weeds will allow any plant to grow abundantly. Just like our lives, if we allow our hearts to become fertile ground to the love of Jesus Christ, that love will grow abundantly not only to benefit us but also other people.

Participating in Social Responsibility

I had the opportunity to join an event of Maybank (private company) , Teach for the Philippines (NGO) and Renovate to Educate (NGO) to help Panghulo Elementary School in Malabon. The day’s activities included mural painting, fixing old chairs and tables, classroom repainting, chair repainting and seedling planting in the frontyard. We arrived in the area and started the activities around 8am. Immediately, we were briefed with what to do and we head on to work. My friends and I started planting the seedlings, landscaping and then afterwards, we helped repaint the chairs. While on break, I saw the sign in the classroom for the vision of the school — to see Filipinos love their country and be passionate in building the nation. I was moved, for even though it is just a reminder, it is what we really need right now given to what is happening in our country. We need people who love the country and passionate in building the nation, in whatever contribution they can. At the end of the activities, we were able to finish and meet our goal, and at the same time, help the principal and teachers be effective in teaching by providing their classroom needs.

All in all, I enjoyed doing these kinds of things and the idea of giving back in whatever form can give you fulfillment. However, I wanted to reiterate that I’ve already found fulfillment in Christ and this is just an overflow. I may only have little time in this world for we never know what will happen next, but the fact that I am able to contribute to the betterment of a person or nature or the world is already a fulfillment for me.

How about you? What makes you fulfilled? That’s a question you can ponder on. 😁


Design Principles for eLearning Designers

Sharing to you one infographic I find helpful in the project I’m currently working on. 🙂 This post originally appeared in and tells about the Design Principles that eLearning designers should know.

Design Theories and Principles That eLearning Designer Should Know Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Design Theories and Principles That eLearning Designers Should Know

C.R.A.P. for Effective Visual Design

The 4 basic principles present in every eLearning design can be abbreviated to CRAP.
Any two items that are not exactly the same should be very different.
eLearning designers should repeat certain design elements throughout the course.
Different aspects of the design should line up in columns, rows, and along a centerline.
Developers should group related items together.

Gestalt for Coherence
There are 6 principles of Gestalt, which work together to ensure learners form a positive opinion about the design from the first glance. These principles are:
Elements that are similar to one another merge into groups almost automatically.
The idea that when learners sees several objects arranged together, they perceive these objects as belonging to a group.
The mind fills incomplete space with the missing information.
The mind will attempt to turn visual chaos into something more simple and understandable.
The human eye naturally wants to move from one object to another.
Symmetry and order
The mind tries to perceive objects as symmetrical and based around a central point. This is because it makes sense to perceptually divide objects evenly and turn random, unconnected items into something understandable.

Dieter Rams’s Principles of Good Design
In the early 1980s, Dieter Rams set out the following 10 principles:

Good Design Is Innovative
Innovative design has the element of surprise, which stops students from becoming bored and improves learners’ ability to encode new information.

Good Design Makes a Product Useful
Learners must find content useful to find value in it. Without perceived usefulness, students will learn very little.

Good Design Is Aesthetic
Aesthetics go hand in hand with usefulness. A course must be appealing in order for users to want to spend time with the content.

Good Design Makes a Product Understandable
The “product” in this sense is the eLearning course. It should consist of content relevant to learners’ needs by taking into account the skills students currently possess while providing learners with material that will lead them to obtaining the knowledge they desire.

Good Design Is Unobtrusive
Courses are tools to fulfill a purpose; therefore, eLearning design must be unobtrusive to leave room for self-expression.

Good Design Is Honest
Modules and objectives must all promise only what they can actually offer learners. When eLearning design ensures that expectations are met, students will have set their expectations for the program accurately and will experience no let down.

Good Design Is Long Lasting
By avoiding the latest trends and fads, a course will never become outdated. Although the developer can refine the information, there will never be any need to start over completely.

Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail
Nothing about an eLearning design should be arbitrary or left to chance. Instead, every detail should be planned to meet users’ needs and desires.

Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly
The design of any product should contribute to the preservation of the environment by conserving resources as far as possible and minimizing both physical and visual pollution. In terms of an eLearning course, this means improving the learning environment of the students and creating no extra noise or pollution for learners.

Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible
Developers should focus on just the most essential aspects of the course to make it as good as it can possibly be. Adhering to this rule of simplicity ensures that learners only receive as much material as they can absorb.

Instructional Design – Theories and Models

Upon reviewing some notes on Instructional Design, I’ve stumbled some presentations by Candice Sankarsingh on understanding the roles and theories of Instructional Design, as well as the specific theories that back up learning and its application.

Instructional Design – Understanding the Roles and Theories

Learning Theories Involved in ID Process

Instructional Theories Involved in ID Process