Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Darwinianism in Online Learning

It’s now six months since Harbinger Knowledge Products – makers of Raptivity®, the award-winning, rapid e-learning development software tool that comes with a library of pre-built customizable interactions, most of which are interactive - launched ‘Raptivity Evolve’ for its Raptivity premium customers. In that time, it’s produced five new interaction modules collaborating with Raptivity users, in response to these users’ suggestions. Evolve is not just about creating and releasing new interactions. It also contains examples showcasing the many uses of interactions in online learning materials -applying various interaction features to learning materials for organisations in different sectors of the economy. For example, the ‘Drag-Drop-Sort New’ interaction allows up to 25 options – of text, images or both – to be dragged and dropped onto targets to address different learning objectives. This feature can be used as a test, giving immediate feedback, or as an exercise by giving the feedback at the end, along with tracking the results.

According to Vikas Joshi, founder, Chairman and Managing Director at the Harbinger Group, the Raptivity Evolve initiative is a partnership between the Raptivity tool’s users and Raptivity Valued Professionals (RVPs) – that is, experts in the tool’s application who volunteer their help to the Raptivity using community.

The results of this collaboration are in evidence in the InteractivityHub®, an online community where users exchange thoughts and ideas, ask questions and provide answers.

“When it comes to software tools, there’s no one better placed to know what users want than the users themselves,” said Vikas.

When a member of the Raptivity community, InteractivityHub, suggested building a learning interaction that involves characters and speech bubbles - to allow the course designer to input a dialog, and then for the software to render it in speech bubbles in a sequence - the Raptivity team liked the idea and this resulted in the 'Character Dialog' interaction.Another InteractivityHub member gave the Raptivity team the idea to produce the Raptivity Asset Library.

“This is the spirit of customer co-creation at its best,” Vikas added. “With Raptivity Evolve, we continue to build new interactions – and premium users get them for free. We say to users,‘Tell Raptivity what you want us to build in the next interaction’ – and we’ll build it.”

So far, the Raptivity Evolve interaction modules are:

  • Drag-Drop-Sort New (see above)


  • Character Dialog is a combination of characters and callouts (in the form of text and audio) for conversations. Some 17 types of characters in various poses are included as part of the ‘Raptivity asset library’.Character dialog allows users to convert images that are static into interactive ones.


  • Mine the Gold is an assessment-based game to boost learners’ strategic thinking.


  • Rapid Check assesses and reinforces learners’ understanding of a concept, as well as giving instant feedback to the learner.


  • Mind Map helps developers to organize content heavy information into simple sets and minimize complexity.


  • “The idea of innovative software that actively supports an on-going relationship has found good traction among e-learning developers” said Vikas. “Products that you use are not just software. They come with professional relationships that you build with the vendor, other users and experts in the ecosystem. When you become a user of a product, you belong to a world of professionals that are linked to the product. Every tool you have in your bag is like a relationship.At the end of the day, it is all about relationships.”

    In these social media dominated days, there’s a great deal of lip service paid to producers working with their customers to give those customers the products and services that they want - and letting their products and services evolve in the process.It seems that, in the case of Raptivity Evolve, Harbinger Knowledge Products is doing much more than paying lip service to this evolutionary idea. In this initiative it’s responding to the rapid change that’s taking place in the online learning software tools sector.

    Importantly, as that champion of evolution, Charles Darwin once said: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

    Note: This blog has been posted by Raptivity Marketing Team on behalf of Bob Little.

    About Bob Little
    For over 20 years, Bob Little has specialised in writing about, and commentating on, corporate learning – especially e-learning – and technology-related subjects. His work has been published in the UK, Continental Europe, the USA and Australia. You can contact Bob via bob.little@boblittlepr.com. His e-book, ‘Perspectives on Learning Technologies’ (e-book; ASIN: B00A9K1VVS) is available from The Endless Bookcase and from Amazon. It contains over 200 pages of observations on issues in learning technologies, principally for learning & development professionals.