(L-R) Deepa Vijayan and James Félix from Quantico, in discussion with workshop participant Letitia Tan

Now that we know online learning is going to be a big part of what we do at Quantico, it’s time to examine the learning environment in more detail. Our instructors and instructional design experts started by researching advice and tips, which sparked a conversation to deal with focus and fatigue when delivering training online: what works and what doesn’t.

Deepa Vijayan: I’ve been reading about delivery methods in online workshops and one thing that strikes me is the number of tools that everyone talks about — there are so many out there, lists and lists of platforms and online…


Many content creators have a thorny relationship with brand guides. They’re essential in may situations. Useful, even. But how often do we use them, really? And are they useful when it comes to creating ongoing content for platforms like blogs and social media?

Brand guidelines, brand style guides, house style guides: they go by many names. The most common version of this document includes information about the brand’s visual identity: the logo and how to use it, corporate colours, typography guidelines, and placement of elements on a webpage, brochure, or any other platform. They can also include the tone that…


There’s a lot of advice out there about how to create effective content, including the advice we provide at Quantico CCIL workshops. Some of the biggest content challenges, however, aren’t about creating the content itself. They’re about internal organisational challenges. And that’s a tough obstacle to surmount.

We often talk about the idea of a ‘content culture’ at Quantico. What that really means, is a combination of priorities, principles, and infrastructure within an organisation that enables the effective creation of content in a sustainable and realistic way. This includes the shape of internal communication, which aspects of the content strategy…


Native content is one of the most powerful tools a brand can use in its content and storytelling strategy. It’s also risky, because when it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t. And the one reason native content doesn’t work is that it doesn’t behave like a native.

Native content is meant to do exactly that: seem like a native of its surroundings. Let’s take the Forbes website as an example. We’d expect to see articles about business, innovation, technology, or leadership. Websites like Forbes offer brands the opportunity to contribute native content to the site. …


Can anyone who can write, become a copywriter? Copywriting is more than writing; it has a function: to sell an idea, a person, a product, a service, or even a cause. There are no magic words that will sell anything; there are no hacks and tricks guaranteed to work. What there is, is a craft that needs to be mastered.

If you want people to do a certain task, perform a specific action, or think of something in a particular way, you have to sell them on the idea or undertaking. Selling is not only for products and services. It’s…


When you’re communicating and writing, context matters — more than many people realise. The Idea Toolkit Series takes you through some of the concepts and theories that would benefit any copywriter, content creator, or communications specialist. We’re delving into the hows and the whys of communication, and you can get started with these ideas right now in the very next piece of content you read (or even this one!).

Learn about Imagined Community, a concept that helps to explain why we feel a sense of affinity for people we may not ever have met.

Understand the concept of Cultural Capital, or how we amass knowledge and experiences.

Explore the thinking behind Symbolic Convergence Theory, which may explain why rumours and fake news propagate so easily.

And keep learning as more concepts and ideas are added to this series.


What is the role of the arts communicator? How do we get audiences to step into concert halls or sign up for a talk by a writer? If art defamiliarises the everyday, arts communicators don’t just re-familiarise things, but instead draw out the beauty, confusion, and even anxiety of the unfamiliar — and then use this to build bridges between people, and educate audiences on the value and relevance of what may initially seem strange.

The psychographic approach to audiences

We have already established the complexities involved in determining the most appropriate and relevant types of content for different types of audiences. It is essential…


The arts are arguably one of the most powerful but least-understood products of human civilisation. How we approach the arts and communicate about them requires us to face some of the real and pressing challenges that arts communicators face.

Understanding ‘arts’ talk

While it may seem immediately apparent to someone in the arts industry the significance of a ‘first’ exhibition in Singapore, a ‘world premiere’ by a composer, or even the term ‘performance art’, these terms may be confusing to audiences. In fact, confusing the audience is the lesser of our problems; alienating them is the real danger. There is a gap in…


Before our audiences step in to galleries, before they visit the box office, before they purchase their tickets online, or gather around to watch a gamelan ensemble or listen to a spoken-word performance, before all of that, they probably already have an idea of what they’re going to think about it. The literary critic Stanley Fish calls this an “interpretive act” and claims that what someone knows before they encounter a text informs their interpretation. …


When workshops moved entirely online, it became clear that how we learn is going to change. We’re exploring new ways to look at online learning, and how to design our training sessions in a way that’s meaningful to learners. In this series, Quantico CCIL instructors and instructional design experts talk about online learning, its challenges, and the opportunities it brings. Here, Deepa Vijayan and James Félix discuss how physical learning spaces are important, but that the real struggle is getting into a learning mindset.

Deepa Vijayan: When we were doing workshops in person, people used to tell me how they…

Quantico CCIL

Quantico Centre for Communication + Information Literacy

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