Amplify it! (but only if it’s good)

eLearning, e-Learning or elearning? C’mon, it’s ‘eLearning’ right?
November 5, 2012
Rapid eLearning – Really?
November 25, 2012

If it’s good, amplification will make it great. If it’s not good, amplification will make it … [fill in the blank. Tip! No more than four letters, three consonants and one vowel]

Having had a fairly cheap surround sound system for a few years – one of those ones that has five speakers plus a sub-woofer plugged into a DVD player (it could also be described as one of those ones where you can’t clearly hear people talk), I decided recently to buy a much nicer sound system.

So after three months of reading all the audiophile websites and reviews I made my purchase (yes, a ridiculous amount of research – I didn’t know there was a term audiophile before getting into this!). The amplifier is powerful, it can be completely controlled through an iPad, including all the equaliser functions, music can be streamed from phones and computers, internet radio etc etc.

Why it relates to this blog, outside of drooling over my new toy, I found myself wondering what music I wanted to play once I set it all up. MP3s? NO.

Because the amplification is so great, I only want to amplify the highest quality source material i.e. CDs of the best quality or mint condition vinyl albums. The amplifier will only seem as good as the music I feed in to it. If I put poor quality source music through it, it will only highlight the poor recording – in fact, it makes poor quality source sound a lot worse.

Like content in eLearning and an instructional designer’s treatment of the content, if poorly executed, or terrible source material that a client won’t/can’t change, once it goes into multimedia development for the online course build, the media acts as an amplifier. It will either make good content and design GREAT, but will also make poor content and design… grim (I’m being polite of course, there’s another word we might use with three consonants and a vowel).

Let’s get our design and content right the first time – make it magnificent and then amplify the hell out of it.

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