As simple as the Curatr interface is, sometimes people need a little extra help to fully understand how it all fits together and what is expected of them.
In our opinion there are two possible options to achieve this:
- Creating a user manual/additional resources
- Including some extra help as part of what your users will be naturally seeing.
The first option above is challenging because:
- the manual requires time to create in the first place.
- it will need constant review and updating to keep pace with Curatr's changes, otherwise it could be out of date by the time your course starts.
- adding it in the Curatr course as an object places an extra cognitive load on the participant and adds the challenge of having to associate eXperience Points (XPs) with it.
with all of this in mind, it should come as no surprise to discover that we opt for giving users a little 'extra help' within the Curatr interface. Read on below for some guidance on how we do it....
Explaining Progress in Curatr
We include a short and simple text explanation in every level of the course. One of the benefits of this approach is that no matter where a user is in the course, they can read a short reminder about how the course works.
Since doing this we have reduced questions such as "what do I need to do", "why can't I progress" etc to zero.
If you'd like to use this text yourself, here it is again for you to copy and paste - you're welcome!
Immediately below this text is a progress bar that will appear for all levels. It indicates how many eXperience Points (XPs) are needed to complete this level and how close you are to achieving that, XPs are gained by viewing and commenting. It also indicates when a level is complete.
Comments and Acquiring Points
At the beginning of a course (admittedly not always the easiest thing to determine with a non-linear course), we like to ask an easy question that can be answered without any real thought and as such can be answered quickly, thus building that all important confidence and momentum.
As part of that question we incorporate some simple instructions to help guide people on what's expected of them/what they need to do...
Again, if you'd like to use this piece text, here is again for you to copy and paste
... by 'adding to the discussion' below and clicking the 'Submit' button.
Once you have done this you will gain an eXperience Point which will help you to progress through this course. This approach will be used throughout.
Making Contributions in Curatr
'User Contributions' are a valuable feature within Curatr, but for participants who may not be used to being asked to contribute back into a course, a little support and guidance might be needed. This is how we provided some clear instructions as to what was required and how it should be submitted.
If you'd like to steal with pride, feel free!
You can contribute by clicking on either the:
- Camera symbol - where you'll be prompted to record a video via your webcam, upload a video that you've previously recorded or record via your smartphone.
- Link symbol - and insert a URL that contains your explanation (possibly a link to a blog post, Google doc etc?)
- Upload symbol - where you can upload a PDF file containing your ideas into Curatr (this PDF could be a converted Word, PPT doc etc)
So that's how we try and work around the provision of a 'user manual' by working the advice, guidance and tips into the Curatr flow itself.
But what about you? How do you help, assist and support new Curatr users? Let us know in the comments below...