Content Layering

Have you ever travelled along the stretch of road between the Chakala- Lever-Bisleri junction and Andheri  east to west flyover?  If you have, you may have noticed Hotel Suba…You cannot miss it. It’s the only shining structure after rows of trash trucks and vehicles.

Have you taken a good look at it?  It’s a monstrosity of a building actually, disregarding the drive in area, that is. 

To my mind, it’s a fantastic example of content layering in a typical elearning program.

How so?

Layers

Elearning Programs

Hotel
Layer 1

Your user interface and graphic shell. Your look and feel and overview of the program get contained in this layer. The reader is introduced to the program at this layer.

The shining outer surface of the Hotel. The décor , the atmosphere all form a part of your first impressions.
Layer 2

The informational aspect of your elearning program gets tackled here. What do you wish to tell your user? What should the user know? All your teach screens are contained here.

Just like the hospitality- presumably it’s up to standards – at the hotel. The reception, lounge, room instructions will give you ample know how on how to conduct yourself on the premises.
Layer 3

The interactivities occur at this layer. This is the section where the user interacts with the program with activities and clickables to engage the user.

Your interaction with the hotel for various services.

So, why just the Hotel Suba? Any hotel model will do. Up to Layer 3, there is no doubt that any other hotel will do just as well. But let’s check Layer 4.

Layers

Elearning Programs

Hotel
Layer 4

The Check Your Knowledge –Were you awake and fully conscious as you read the program or did you browse through it in a dreamlike state? Your assessment grade is bound to reveal this.

In short, did you see all the aspects of the hotel? Did you see that it is a part building and part hotel? Well, it would not have been obvious, if the hotel front had not been shining, while the back portion looked as if it were glaringly cut out of the MHADA buildings for slum rehabilitation. Funnily enough, there is a small sign board near it which says – slum paradise.
It sure tests your wakefulness in the world.

If you have not really read through your elearning program in detail, it is likely you will fail the assessment. If you have looked only at the sheen and the gloss of Suba, you have missed what lies behind. Perhaps you have failed the test of being fully conscious.
An instructional designer organizes concepts within several layers such as: the information layer, the control layer, the strategy layer, and the message layer.
The casual reader will be content with the surface layer content. However, the person with an in-depth interest might dig deeper.

So you can choose really, whether to read this post at the surface level or whether you will dig a bit deeper.

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