And now for something completely different…

Online education at the moment is dominated by what I call ‘PowerPoint on steroids’. Out-of-the-box solutions such as Pointecast and Articulate and many bespoke systems are based on turning PowerPoint slides into Flash. Sure, you can embed video, add voiceovers and conduct interactive quizzes, but the learning is still based on reading bullet points on screen.

Is this the best method for continuing professional development? With video getting easier and cheaper to produce online, surely there’s a way to use it more creatively than sticking talking heads in the middle of a presentation, or placing them next to scrolling bullet points (particularly when the presentation goes on for 45 minutes or more). Panel discussions, particularly if the speakers don’t all agree with each other, are one way this can be handled creatively. The Rural Health Education Foundation’s video education program is one of the very few examples of this. I wonder what the relative percentages are for people who respond best to reading off a screen vs. listening to someone talk via video?

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