Archive for the ‘Instructional Design’ Category
In the 1960s, educational psychologist Robert Gagne described what he termed the Nine Events of Instruction. These events are focused on what the teacher or trainer does to facilitate learning. Which of these do you do? Are there any you could add that would improve your class?
1. Gain attention! Hook the learners in with an interesting question or scenario, a video, or something unexpected.
2. Describe the goal. Show students what they’ll gain from the session and what to expect.
3. Stimulate recall of prior knowledge. Show how this new information is connected to something students already know or can do. You can connect to prior knowledge in the same field, or even something from popular culture.
4. Present the material. This is where the bulk of the content is presented. Use questions, interactions, stories, or multimedia to liven it up.
5. Provide guidance for learning. Use leading questions or provide discussion opportunities.
6. Elicit performance. Give the students a chance to apply what they’ve learned and practice the new skills or knowledge.
7. Provide feedback. Allow the learner to evaluate their own performance, give or receive peer feedback, or evaluate their practice.
8. Assess performance. Determine if the goal has been met by evaluating a formal assessment (such as a quiz) or an informal assessment (by observation).
9. Enhance retention and transfer. Have students teach others, provide more opportunities for practice, or transfer knowledge to a new situation.
In our PubMed for Trainers class, we encourage participants to write measurable objectives for a class they might teach. One way to make sure your objectives are measurable is to start with an action verb. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a familiar tool for finding the right verb to match what you want the students to be able to do. Bloom’s Taxonomy has been presented in several ways, including wheels, pyramids, and charts. Here’s new way to look at it – a tree – presented in a fun and colorful graphic. This image comes from Mia MacMeekin at An Ethical Island blog and you can click on the small image below for a larger one.
It can be such a challenge to keep up with the literature, blogs, books, and other sources that help you to stay updated in your field. Here’s a short list of what I’ve been reading lately that you might also be interested in.
- The Accidental Instructional Designer: Learning Design for the Digital Age, by Cammy Bean. I attended a presentation by Ms. Bean at the American Society for Training & Development TechKnowledge conference in January. (You can read a post about her presentation here). Her new book has great tips for both the novice and experienced designer of instruction, with a focus on e-learning. You can read a chapter of the book for free here.
- Database Resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information . This 2014 article by the NCBI Resource Coordinators provides updates on the suite of NCBI resources as well as a bit of background on the resources.
- “Fatal Victorian Fashion and the Allure of the Poison Garment,” by Allison Meier on the Hyperallergic blog. Interesting read on the dangers of style for both the wearers and the makers. And you can learn more about the toxicity of substances mentioned in the new TOXNET interface.
- “Getting Started with File Naming Conventions,” by Jake Carlson on the e-Science Community Blog. Very useful advice for someone like me who has been guilty of using “final” in a file name.
What interesting things are you reading lately? Let me know on Twitter @nnlmntc or Facebook!
A few months ago, TeachThought had a blog post entitled 10 Ways Teacher Planning Should Adjust to the Google Generation. While their posts are often geared toward K-12 educators, it can be helpful to think about the students soon coming to your schools or hospitals — or those who are already there.
TeachThought suggests that you make the work Google-proof, that is, it should be something in which a few searches and clicks can’t locate a single answer. Instead, think of questions that require the synthesis of multiple sources, ideas, or media. Secondly, they recommend using questions that have no real answers. These first two recommendations go hand-in-hand. Using a complex case or scenario can spark engagement and interest, give a context to the lesson, and provide an opportunity to teach about databases and search skills. You can use a real reference question or work with a clinician to develop a few realistic scenarios appropriate for the audience.
Their fourth point is to focus on learning strategies rather than specific content that may be fluid. We all know with changing interface designs, new databases, and advances in technology students and faculty will have to adjust to changes over the course of their time as clinicians or researchers. By resisting the urge to “cover” everything and focusing on how to wade through the information deluge, they’ll take with them skills for their entire careers.
Bite-sized learning, coffee-break webinar, lunch and learn, chunked learning. Whatever you call it, many people want their training options short (chunks) and on demand. Here are 5 thoughts on how smaller can be better.
- Fights boredom. No frills, to the point.
- Promotes a sense of accomplishment.
- Our energy comes and goes throughout the day. Our interests come and go throughout the day. Providing to-the-point training opportunities allows an individual to fit training into their inner productivity clock.
- Bite-size chunks of information are easier to process and transfer to long term memory.
- Makes the learner feel that their time constraints are understood and respected.
What do you do when you have a difficult concept to teach your students? Do you give the best possible explanation and then ask if there are any questions? If you’ve tried that method, chances are you’ve been met with a few blank stares.
One strategy we like and use is the teach-back method. The teach-back method is often used in the healthcare setting to check in with patients that they have clearly understood the healthcare professional’s instructions. It’s not used as a test or a quiz, but rather to gauge if the teacher’s explanation was effective and if there are any points that need to be clarified or reemphasized.
You can use this tool in your classes by partnering students in groups of two or three to have them explain or recap any material you have introduced. You might say, “Turn to the person next to you and take turns explaining what we just talked about.”
A few examples:
- When would you use X instead of Y for your search?
- What’s the difference between Database X and Database Y?
- How do you get the full-text of an article?
While students are teaching each other, you can circulate to listen for misconceptions. At the end, you can ask the class for any points of confusion that came up during their discussion, for volunteers to relate their explanations, or for students to then apply the concept to an example.
From SHIFT’s eLearning blog: Designing for Motivation: Three Theories eLearning Designers Can Use
1) Self-Determination Theory
This theory operates on the premise that learners are motivated by an inner belief that learning, in and of itself, is important. In this theory, learners tend to want some degree of control over their learning experience.
Applied to course design: Provide choices, opportunities to succeed and interaction options.
2) Flow Theory
Student motivation is intrinsic and drives learner behavior.
Applied to course design: Consistent and user-friendly course format; state clear objectives so learner can feel sense of achievement, reduce confusion so students can focus on the essentials.
3) Path-Goal Theory
In this theory, the teacher develops a user-friendly course that provides a path to success. The teacher provides student support and creates opportunities for the student to participate with meaningful content that encourages the student to persevere.
Applied to course design: Provide clear instructions; create a blueprint for students to follow to achieve success.
Read the full article here: http://ow.ly/vyDs5
When designing a class, it’s important to have learning objectives that indicate to the student what they will be expected to learn and how you will assess their achievement. Bloom’s taxonomy is one of the most commonly used methods for writing clear learning objectives and the NTC often refers to it when writing objectives for our own classes.
Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School has designed an interactive online tool based on the updated version of Bloom’s taxonomy to help you choose outcome verbs and match instructional to assessment questions for each level of the pyramid.
Take a minute to explore Bloom’s Taxonomy in Action, and I think you’ll find it useful the next time you are preparing a class.
And many thanks to a student in one of our classes for alerting us to this great tool!
In January, I attended a presentation called Making Interactivity Count by Cammy Bean, Vice President of Learning Design at Kineo. You can find her slide deck on Slideshare and I recommend looking at her other presentations as well. Here are a few of my takeaways from her talk. Though her points were geared to the elearning environment, they are highly applicable to the face-to-face classroom as well.
When designing instruction, we try to incorporate interactivity. But what is interactivity? Interactivity occurs on a spectrum and can be human-to-human, or human-to-thing. Even thinking meaningfully can be interactive. Her four strategies for incorporating interactivity are:
1. Get them reflecting! Have your students practice integrating the content into their own mental schema. Ask a question to get them to stop, think, and apply what they have just learned. For example, what are you going to start doing, stop doing, or continue doing with this new knowledge?
2. Get them feeling! Make your stories or examples about real people or put the learner in the story. Ask them questions about the story or why it matters.
3. Get them acting! Build in worksheets or have students assess what’s going right or wrong with a scenario. For example, if you demonstrate a search that returns zero results, have your students determine why and how to fix it. Ask students what they would do in a given situation.
4. Get them connecting! Have your students talk to each other. Use a survey and share the results.
A few other words of caution from Cammy Bean:
- Don’t add interactivity just for the sake of interactivity (or as Cammy put it, Beware the clicky clicky, bling bling!)
- Be sure that the interactive elements have context
- Don’t allow the interactivity to overwhelm the content
What are some new ways you might add interactivity to your classes?