I’ve been really enjoying working with Articulate Storyline these past couple of years and today I’d like to share with you the very first e-learning course I built in Storyline. It was for a children’s summer camp in Ontario. The camp has recently re-branded so I needed to rebrand the course as well. I  thought I’d share a few screens of the new course here – even though I never shared the original!

STEM Camp is a Canadian not for profit which provides children’s summer camps featuring activities in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). STEM Camp employs over 300 college and university students every summer in over 40 camps held across Ontario. They asked me to develop an e-learning course that they could offer to their camp counselors about how to facilitate activities with camp kids. Since the counselors are spread across Ontario it is difficult for them to attend an in-person training so STEM Camp really liked the idea of an e-learning, self-study course.

Features picture of camp counsellor with a child working together

The resulting course I built was “Facilitating Activities at STEM Camp”. I was inspired by the ‘tinkering’ philosophy of The Tinkering Studio at San Francisco’s Exploratorium and tried to write content that would help counselors keep kids engaged and interested in doing STEM Camp activities and, of course, having fun.

Welcome text including photographic character with black outfit on

The course features Caitlyn, a character who guides the learner through the course content and activities. Caitlyn begins by telling a story of a summer camp facilitation experience gone wrong which the learner finds out later that – surprise! – was solved by the implementation of a “formula” that we call “Plan Do Reflect”.

three beakers that depict the "formula" for facilitation at camp; each beaker is a different colour

The formula mnemonic helps the counselor learn about: planning properly such as reading lesson plans in advance, “doing” facilitation well which involves encouraging kids to explore and tinker with their STEM projects and not doing things for them and, lastly, the importance of reflecting on their facilitation experiences in order to work even more effectively with the campers next time.

Each of the elements of the “Plan Do Reflect” formula has two or three items inside it to remember to do. Here’s a page which introduces the recommendations under “Plan”:

The course features several simple scenarios – such as the one below – which the counselor can explore to see what the consequences might be of different facilitation-related actions:

It was a pleasure to work with STEM Camp on the creation of this e-learning course and I hope they have another wonderful summer with the counselors and campers this year!

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