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Archive for the ‘Adult Learning Principles’ Category

People, Stories, and Surprises – Training Tips

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?

Multitasking: Just Say No!

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

I said it just the other day…Sorry, I didn’t catch what you said, I was multitasking. Well, I guess I wasn’t doing a very good job of it, or else I would have heard what the other person said. And now, after testing my multitasking skills [http://stephanieevergreen.com/your-brain-on-slideshows/], I am here to report that there will be no more multitasking for me. The test was an eye opener. I highly recommend it.

Also, take a look at the April 13, 2013 Time magazine article titled: Don’t Multitask: Your Brain Will Thank You [http://business.time.com/2013/04/17/dont-multitask-your-brain-will-thank-you]

The Networked Student

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

What does it mean to be a “networked student” in today’s learning environment?  How can students use technology to connect with others?  Watch this fun video (5 minutes 10 seconds) to follow along with a student as he builds his knowledge base through tools like Google Scholar, social bookmarking, blog posts, RSS readers, podcasts, and video conferencing with experts around the world.  Along the way he must evaluate the information he finds and then share his “virtual textbook” with others.

(Thanks to Jessi Van Der Volgen for pointing out this video).

Is it Real or is it Memorex?

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:
http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/1021/research-for-practitioners-social-interaction-belief-and-learning

The Stanford Study:
http://aaalab.stanford.edu/papers/cogsci07_okita_id_7451.pdf

Know your audience and their brains

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