Learning From Mexican Muralists – Paint eLearning engagement on a Big Platform

The Mexican muralists understood the value of the grand gesture, depicting the turbulent history of their homeland in bright colours, vivid images, and symbolic figures. You can do the same to improve your eLearning engagement.

The great ones–including Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros– sketched their ideas long before they began erecting their scaffolding to paint. Their works are enduring symbols of the human spirit in an age that was full of tumult and revolution in the working classes. You too can be an original artist–a rebel with a cause to help train and educate your learners.

If this sounds like too much of an intellectual stretch, go back to the drawing board and think again. Don’t be afraid to be imaginative, sketch out your grand eLearning  plan before committing it to the wall or canvas. Your platform may be electronic, but it is just a blank wall until you start you plan and project it onto a piece of paper.

Here’s an analogy. Of the big three, Siqueiros used what was then advanced technology to prepare his murals. His Ejercicio Plástico [Plastic Exercise] was a photography based work. After his conversations with Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein in 1931 he used image projectors to cast sketches onto concave walls and then traced the compositional lines. Siqueiros also used pyroxyline, a lacquer used to paint automobiles on his wall paintings and he pioneered the applications of the chemical lacquer with a commercial spray gun.

All of the Big Three were commissioned to paint by governments, industry and academic institutions. So their works became part of the cultural lexicon of Mexico, the U.S. and Latin America, despite their often socialist and communist leanings and critiques of capitalism.

So what are the take-aways here? What do you have in common with a great public wall artist from Mexico as your address your eLearning canvas?

Look at your LMS as a blank canvas that can be a platform for new approaches.  Use these strategies to improve your eLearning engagement.

Try a new game in your lessons and use bold images on your landing pages, not some cookie cutter photo. Hire some artists to design your pages with electronic flourishes. Act like a wild graffiti street artist. You can try some new plug-ins that help your users navigate your courseware and increase its interactivity.  All of these will increase your eLearning engagement.

Talk to people who are pros when it comes to design and execution. What draws you in about the muralists is the how their expressive works transcend the ordinary. Think extraordinarily.

If you step into the realm of the muralist, you can take the big picture and translate it to the small screen.

My Learning Space can help you create a great work of art.

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