Learning Object Repositories

For this assignment, I chose to review Merlot.org. I did my initial search on my iPad and followed up on my PC; more on that in just a bit.  The learning object I chose is titled A Multigenerational Workforce: Bridging the Gaps and Breaking Down the Generations.  As a corporate trainer, I am dealing with a multigenerational team and I was interested in what information was available.    


The page itself was not super sleek but it sure did have some great information.  All of the learning objects are suitable for an individual lesson or as a module that along with the other bite-sized modules would form a full eLearning course (Pappas, 2018).  


I first logged in to Merlot on my iPad.  I explored the site, found an interesting subject, and sat down to write my review I used my PC.  The interface was completely different and I could not find my topic.  I was able to email myself the link but that seems like a lot of work.  Additionally, not all the objects can be edited.


This was more of a resource than a fully formed learning object, very similar to a Pinterest board. There was good information but the instructional designer would need to piece together the information.  I would prefer to see fully formed learning objects, grouped by type, and cohesive in style.

If you would like to see the page yourself, the link is below.



Pappas, C. (2018, March 16). Developing Reusable Learning Objects: 9 Characteristics To Consider. Retrieved May 14, 2020, from https://elearningindustry.com/developing-reusable-learning-objects-characteristics-consider


Infographics are used in many ways.  In the news, they are used to report poll results and other fast facts. In finance, they are used to report gains and losses. You can even find infographics about how to make a successful infographic:

Infographic of Infographics


From Visually.

USA Today gets the credit for popularizing the infographic but they have been around practically since the dawn of time.  All over the world, humans have documented their journey with carvings and visual representations of their trek. A great example most people are familiar with is the Egyptians use of hieroglyphics (Hagen & Golombisky, 2017).  NASA even used an infographic when they sent out the Pioneer space probes. (Howell, 2012)

When to use Infographics

Infographics are helpful when you need to convey information quickly. They are also helpful if there is an auditory barrier. Also you should consider using an infographic where the audience does not read or write the language very well or at all. (Hagen & Golombisky, 2017). Simple examples you may run across every day include warning signs that have both a written and visual element.


things to keep in mind

When designing an infographic there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, the infographic must stand on its own. It must be researched, unified in its appearance and clear to user. The designer cannot assume the audience understands the material, they must test it before final publication. (Hagen & Golombisky, 2017)


When you think infographic you may think pie charts, bar graphs and nightly news but there are so many other uses. As briefly discussed in this post infographics are used in many places. You just need to know your audience and what information needs to be conveyed. Keep it clear and keep it unified and you will have a successful learning tool.


Hagen, R., & Golombisky, K. (2017). White space is not your enemy: a beginners guide to communicating visually through graphic, web & multimedia design. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.

Howell, E. (2012, September 18). Pioneer 10: Greetings from Earth. Retrieved from https://www.space.com/17651-pioneer-10.html.

Using Persona profiles in Instructional Design

“The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

A A Milne

What is a Persona?

Personas are fictional characters (based on a real population) that represent a typical user of a website, brand, product, or service (Genesir, 2014). In short a persona is a way to humanize your data.

Creating a persona should include a written as well as a visual representation of the character. Also, it is good when naming your persona to give it a descriptive name. See examples below.

Evelyn Experienced, Maddie Millennial, and Nate Newbie

Using persona profiles as part of a student-centered design of courses can help instructional designers keep their target students in mind throughout the design process (Genesir, 2014).  If you are designing for large organizations with diverse student populations personas are invaluable.

What are the elements of a good persona?

A good persona should consider the following:

  • Job role and responsibilities
  • Biggest challenges
  • Industry
  • Preferred method of learning or obtaining information
  • Demographic
  • Personal background and interests

The persona is a fictionalized person based on data but it never hurts to speak to a few people in your target group (Baumann, 2018). Ask them some questions like “How long have you been in this industry?”, “Do you manage people; if so how many?” , “How do you prefer to read written material, on paper or electronically?”. The purpose of the persona is to build a multidimensional character so you to always remember these are humans you are designing for, not a faceless demographic.

What did I learn?

This week I learned of several resources to assist with developing personas for instructional design. Toondoo.com was not a great resource in my opinion as it relies too heavily on flash which will no longer be supported as of 2020. Bitmoji was a great, free, resource that allowed for personalization right down to the wrinkles on the character’s forehead. Powtoon.com was another fun resource which adds an element of animation to your creation. You can find my animated short here:

Created using powtoon.com

I feel the main take-away regarding the creation and use of personas is expressed in the A. A. Milne quote above, our differences make us who we are and the successful instructional designer will always take into account a learners unique qualities. A fully developed persona will lead to more effective eLearning courses because the developers know who the audience is ( Gutierrez, 2013).


Baumann, B., Watson, C., Haneberg, L., & Gates, D. (2018, March 29). User-Centered Design Through Learner Personas. Retrieved from https://trainingindustry.com/articles/content-development/user-centered-design-through-learner-personas/.

Genesir, A. (2014, October 1). Using Personas in Instructional Design. Retrieved from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20141001143034-70357641-using-personas-in-instructional-design/?articleId=8678850913366282794.

Santaniello, N. (2019, September 19). 5 Steps To Follow When Using An Instructional Design Framework For Your Online Courses. Retrieved November 10, 2019, from https://elearningindustry.com/instructional-design-framework-for-your-online-courses-5-steps-follow-using.

Gutierrez, K. (2013, July 4). The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Learner Personas. Retrieved from https://www.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/302513/The-Ultimate-Cheat-Sheet-for-Creating-Learner-Personas.

Visual design, so much to consider…

     When approaching visual design, you must consider your learner. Auditory, visual, tactile, these are all buzzwords associated with learning type. Unfortunately for the instructional designer you cannot cater to all learners all of the time.  Successful visual design can make or break the effectiveness of the learning.                   

Basic elements to consider when designing any form of visual communication include space, line, shape/form, size/scale, color, texture, and value Golomblosky & Hagen (2017). All are important and considered basic to visual design but the ultimate goal is a visual aid that clearly delivers all the intended information in an easy to process way that the learner retains.

Memory relies on encoding and retrieval so the designer should consider how new information gets into long-term memory and how the learner will retrieve it when needed. Things that trigger emotional context make it easier for the learner retrieve the memory; storytelling as a part of the learning is a great tool for this. Dirksen (2015)

 The designer also must keep the interest of the learner. Dirksen, 2015, suggests that in every learner is of two minds, the rider and the elephant. The rider is the conscious part of the brain that is there for business and ready to think. The Elephant represents the automatic, emotional part that is distracted by random thoughts and sensory triggers. Dirksen suggests the designer should appeal to the elephant. Keep the learner engaged in ways that are varied. Tells stories to deliver the intended lesson and involve them in the learning through discussions and activities that are varied enough not to become rote. Emotional engagement is important as well. Learners need to be able to act on what they learn and emotional context helps them do that.

For the new instructional designer, mastering all the elements of visual design may feel like drinking from a fire hose. There will be missteps and there will be successes. In the end practice makes perfect.


Dirksen, J. (2016). Design for how people learn. San Francisco: New Riders.

Hagen, R., & Golombisky, K. (2017). White space is not your enemy: a beginners guide to communicating visually through graphic, web & multimedia design. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group.