Archive for the ‘Instructional Design’ Category
Friday, November 15th, 2013
When you’re teaching a class, do you use example searches that you know work well to demonstrate a concept or topic, or do you incorporate participant suggestions as you go?
I like to start with one or two examples that I know can demonstrate the concept, then use a student search topic. It’s important to me to have a clear example first, but demonstrating with student topics can make the class feel more relevant and authentic. Even so, students might be hesitant to share their questions or might not have a current assignment, so it’s important to have a few searches to demonstrate.
Sometimes coming up with good examples can be the most challenging part of designing a class. Because I don’t want to spend time devising new examples each time, I’ve started keeping an example bank. My example bank is really just a spreadsheet with four columns. The columns are labeled: objective, audience, example, and notes. In the objective column I list the objective I’m trying to achieve. In the audience column, I list the audiences with whom I’d use the example. I try to come up with relevant examples for different audiences, such as nurses, pharmacists, or medical students. Even if the objective is the same, I’ll use a new row for each audience so I can sort the table by audience. In the example column, I list the specific example I’ll use. Finally, in the notes column, I write anything that I want to point out about this example.
Now, when I’m piecing together a class, I have a bank of examples that I can sort by objective or audience and quickly pull into my class outline. I make sure to try the sample search before each class, just to be sure it still works to demonstrate the concept.
Do you have an example bank? What else would you add to the table I’ve described?
Wednesday, October 16th, 2013
Recently, the Shift eLearning Blog had a post entitled “Understanding People is the Most Important Thing in eLearning Design.”
I think that many of their tips can be applied to both online and face-to-face environments. Below are a few of my take-aways, but the full post is linked above if you’d like to click over to it.
Their first principle is: people like people. They suggest that in designing e-learning, you should incorporate images or videos of people to make the lesson more engaging. I think whenever possible, we should go further and try to provide opportunities for people to interact with each other. When I think about the last class or conference I attended, one of my favorites aspects is talking with others about new techniques or ways to solve problems. You might add discussion or polls to your classes to take advantage of this principle.
Secondly, people like stories. This is probably not a surprise if you reflect on presenters you’ve seen – it always seems more memorable if they’ve used a story to illustrate an important idea. Can you create a realistic scenario or recall a story to make the message stick in your classes? Maybe you have a story about a time research changed a diagnosis or treatment decision? Consider adding stories like these to your classes to make the content of the class easier to understand or recall.
Shift also states that people like both organization and surprises. At first, this might seem a bit contradictory. The overall course should have a clear and logical flow, but an occasional surprise can be fun and really help information to stick. Like a plot twist in a great novel, a surprise can re-engage the learner and show a novel way to look at the information, especially if it’s something they may have encountered previously. Thinking about something you often teach, how can you incorporate something unexpected?
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Last month I attended an online training from The Bob Pike Group, called No More Boring Technical Training. In just an hour, the instructor led an interactive session with several ideas for enlivening training that could be highly technical. Here are few examples of techniques you could try.
- If you’re using scenario-based training, make the scenarios realistic and offer multiple choices of scenarios. Presenting the learner with a choice, gives them control and leads to better engagement.
- If what you’re teaching is abstract or complex, use metaphors, analogies, or images to aid in your explanation.
- Use a find-and-fix. Show students an example in which something (or several things) is incorrect. Ask them to identify the problems and suggest solutions.
- In computer-based training, try guided exploration. If they can’t break it, what neat shortcuts or functions can they find? (For an example, type “tilt” or “do a barrel roll” into the Google search box).
Have you tried any of these techniques? Which one would best fit in to the classes you are currently teaching?
Thursday, July 25th, 2013
A recent study done at Stanford University looked at the impact of providing students with the opportunity for open-ended exploration before delving into the reading material on a particular subject. The study found that students who had used an interactive tool to explore the subject prior to reading about it tested higher than those students who read text on the subject first.
Read the complete story at: http://goo.gl/xIxREY
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
The University of Minnesota’s Center for Teaching and Learning has created a page dedicated to using games in the classroom. Below is one example that can be used in-person or online as an ice breaker or a review.
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
From Connie Malamed’s Blog:
“People can typically hold around 4 or 5 pieces of information in working memory at one time. As you design interactions, limit the number of elements, instructions or moving parts that the learner will need to simultaneously keep in mind. In addition, limit the number of choices. It’s easier for people to make decisions when there are fewer choices compared to many choices.”
Monday, November 26th, 2012
A 2007 Stanford University study asked: “Do you learn more if you interact with a live person, or if you interact with a computer?” The conclusion was that people do better when they believe that they are interacting with a person. But what if that person is really an avatar? And what are the implications for eLearning?
Read a short discussion at Learning Solutions Magazine:
The Stanford Study:
Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
Auditory learners, visual learners, kinesthetic learners. Now that we know, what should we do? Once we know what to do, are we achieving the right balance? Read a blog post by Karla Gutierrez of the SH!FT: Disruptive Learning blog. http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/243094/Back-to-Basics-The-Essential-Elements-of-Effective-eLearning
Friday, November 9th, 2012
Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, gave a TED talk about redefining education when he and a colleague offered a freely available online class to the world. 160,000 people signed up and 20,000 completed the class (That’s actually a pretty good completion rate for this type of offering). However, his re-definition actually created “a classroom much more like a traditional class”. Watch the 6 minute video at: http://youtu.be/tYclUdcsdeo
Monday, September 24th, 2012
Join the National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) trainers as they share “aha moments,” tips, techniques and research-based recommendations from three recent professional development conferences. We will discuss:
- Presentation skills, including better PowerPoint design
- Tips for creating participant-centered training activities
- Distance learning recommendations
Date: November 7, 2012
Time: 3 – 4 pm ET
Place: Adobe Connect; web address will be sent to registrants
Register here: http://nnlm.gov/ntcc/classes/schedule.html#class501