May 22, 2008

eLearning Samples

Again, Cathy Moore has a collection of samples of interactive graphics and simulations that can serve as great inspiration. Please take some time to go through the items on her list, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Some samples that I find most noteworthy:
  1. Crimescene Game. This branching scenario evaluates your performance on the questions asked and your ability to gain the right information to solve the crime.
  2. Skeleton Game. Expands upon a simple drag and drop exercise to be more engaging.
  3. Nursing Simulation. Another branching scenario where your decisions are judjed.
  4. A.S.K. Learning: e-Learning Portfolio. Click on the e-Learning Portfolio link on the right side, then check out their stuff. The Cisco HR Onboarding program and Westpac Relationship Management piece are nicely done. (Turn your Popup blockers off)

Not every project needs all the bells and whistles, but this list demonstrates how simple interactives can have as much impact as an elaborate one.

May 21, 2008

5 Ways To Make Linear Navigation More Interesting

Click. Click. Click. Next. Next. Next.
Some client ask for it: courses that guide the learner from page to page. And since the client is the ultimate boss...
Well, Cathy Moore has some ways to make the best out of this limiting presentation style.
In her slideshow, she poses 5 techniques to incorporate.
  1. Ask a question
  2. Use and incomplete sentence
  3. Suggest a sequence; build a list
  4. Compare and Contrast
  5. Create a dilema

Providing Learners With Feedback

    Download PDF Files

    Providing Learners With Feedback: Part 1
    Providing Learners With Feedback: Part 2

    Here are some of the insights from the two-part 88-page research report:

    1. The most important thing to remember about feedback is that it is generally beneficial for learners.

    2. The second most important thing to remember about feedback is that it should be corrective. Typically, this means that feedback ought to specify what the correct answer is. When learners are still building understanding, however, this could also mean that learners might benefit from additional statements describing the “whys” and “wherefores.”

    3. The third most important thing to remember about feedback is that it must be paid attention to in a manner that is conducive to learning.

    4. Feedback works by correcting errors, whether those errors are detected or hidden.

    5. Feedback works through two separate mechanisms: (a) supporting learners in correctly understanding concepts, and (b) supporting learners in retrieval.

    6. To help learners build understanding, feedback should diagnose learners’ incorrect mental models and specifically correct those misconceptions, thereby enabling additional correct retrieval practice opportunities.

    7. To prepare learners for future long-term retrieval and fluency, learners need practice in retrieving. For this purpose, retrieval practice is generally more important than feedback.

    8. Elaborative feedback may be more beneficial as learners build understanding, whereas brief feedback may be more beneficial as learners practice retrieval.

    9. Immediate feedback prevents subsequent confusion and limits the likelihood for continued inappropriate retrieval practice.

    10. Delayed feedback creates a beneficial spacing effect.

    11. When in doubt about the timing of feedback, you can (a) give immediate feedback and then a subsequent delayed retrieval opportunity, (b) delay feedback slightly, and/or (c) just be sure to give some kind of feedback.

    12. Feedback should usually be provided before learners get another chance to retrieve incorrectly again.

    13. Provide feedback on correct responses when:
      a. Learners experience difficulty in responding to questions or decisions.
      b. Learners respond correctly with less-than-high confidence.
      c. All the information learned is of critical importance.
      d. Learners are relatively new to the subject material.
      e. The concepts are very complex.

    14. Provide feedback on incorrect responses:
      a. Almost always.
      b. Except:
      i. When feedback would disrupt the learning event.
      ii. When it would be better to wait to provide feedback.

    15. When learners seek out and/or encounter relevant learning material either before or after feedback, this can modify the benefits of the feedback itself.

    16. When learners are working to support retrieval or fluency, short-circuiting their retrieval practice attempts by enabling them to access feedback in advance of retrieval can seriously hurt their learning results.

    17. When learners retrieve incorrectly and get subsequent well-designed feedback, they still have not retrieved successfully; so they need at least one additional opportunity to retrieve—preferably after a delay.

    18. On-the-job support from managers, mentors, coaches, learning administrators, or performance-support tools can be considered a potentially powerful form of feedback.

    19. Training follow-through software—that keeps track of learners’ implementation goals—provides another opportunity for feedback.

    20. Feedback can affect future learning by focusing learners on certain aspects of learning material at the expense of other aspects of learning material. Learners may take the hint from the feedback to guide their attention in subsequent learning efforts.

    21. Extra acknowledgements (when learners are correct) and extra handholding (when learners are wrong) are generally not effective (depending on the learners). In fact, when feedback encourages learners to think about how well they appear to be doing, future learning can suffer as learners aim to look good instead of working to build rich mental models of the learning concepts.