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IU IST R511 - Colloquium Journal Report

Colloquium Journal Report

 

Jennifer Maddrell
Indiana University

R511: Instructional Technology Foundations

Week 15 Deliverable

Professor Hubbard-Welsh

24 April 2006

Colloquium Journal Summary 


The Colloquium serves as an introduction to the Instructional Systems Technology (IST) field, as well as the Indiana University (IU) IST program, and supplements course materials by presenting important people, ideas, trends and issues impacting the field. The following summarizes key elements within the presentations that provide greater insight into both (a). The IU IST Program and IST Career Field and (b). IST Ideas / Trends / Issues.

The IU IST Program and IST Career Field:

                    People in IST: New distance students in the IU IST program typically lack face-to-face interactions with faculty. The Colloquium provides a unique opportunity for distance students to not only put a face with a name, but also to learn about the faculty’s interests, research and current projects (see below). Further, it is valuable to hear from those outside IU who are instrumental in shaping the field, including those taking part in the groundbreaking Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Open Course Ware initiative in which MIT course material is made available (without charge) to anyone with Internet access.

IST Resources: The Colloquium introduces students to IST resources both inside and outside the IU IST program. Dr. Frick’s review of the IU computing environment and other school resources provides a good introduction to the many resources available to distance students (listservs, library and research sources, software). In addition, Dr. Bonk and Dr. Berque highlight new and emerging media technologies that can aid in the instructional process. Further, each presenter includes additional references and resources that encourage and facilitate further review on the topic.

IST Career Perspective: Students enter the IU IST program with varied career backgrounds. While some may already work in the field, specific job and professional experiences may be very different. By hearing working professionals discuss their career interests, backgrounds and projects within the Colloquium presentations, an IST student gains a better perspective on the diversity of the field, as well as the potential career opportunities. For example, some presenters, such as Dr. Reigeluth and Bonnie Bracey, address their diverse interests within a K-12 educational setting, while Dr. Pershing focuses on his work in the area of Performance Technology within a corporate setting. Further, information regarding professional associations supplements course material and provides history and background on IST as a professional practice.

IST Ideas / Trends / Issues:

IST Research and Projects: The Colloquium introduces students to important research and projects related to the field. For example, Dr. Reigeluth’s current research focuses on what he views as a required “paradigm shift” in education to bring instructional processes in line with the “information age”. The outcome of his research is the recommendation for customized and learner-focused instruction that he notes will require a new instructional design process to meet the “complex environment that involves learners in their own instruction.” In addition, Dr. Frick presents his research in designing web-based instruction, as well as the status of his “SimEducation” project. Dr. Frick proposes that design must go “beyond the tools” to the process of effective and efficient design.

IST Media Technologies: The opportunities to integrate media technology into education are discussed in most presentations and many technologies to support learning and instruction are presented. Bonnie Bracey shares her perspective on the importance of incorporating media technology within a learning setting to engage students and create a rich “learning landscape” which provides students with information and experiences far beyond the classroom. Dr. Bonk reviews the growth of online learning and presents numerous emerging technologies to facilitate online and distance education, while Dr. Berque presents technology that he developed to better facilitate face-to-face learning. In addition, Dr. Metcalf highlights the positive impact that Internet innovations (the convergence of Internet, telephone and television networks) may have on the quality and access to educational information.

IST Practices: Those working in the field present their instructional design ideas and instructional approaches based on their direct experience. Many stress the importance of engaging students and of incorporating social learning and constructivist approaches, as does Dr. Ochoa in her presentation of instructional methods for Problem Based Learning. Steve Lerman proposes that too much learning is “passive” and “scheduled” and advocates that instruction needs to be designed to incorporate active participation and “learning on demand”. In highlighting the instructional design process and approach used by MIT in the Sloan School of Business, Toby Wall presents an approach that incorporates significant application and practice, socialization and building community with the instructional design of their programs.

2007 IU IST Conference Proposal: Using Drupal to Support Personal and Collaborative Online Environments

Attached is my presentation proposal to the Indiana University 2007 IST Conference.

2007 OpenEd Conference: Educating Educators using Open Educational Resources

Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. & Maddrell, J. (2007). Educating Educators using Open Educational Resources. Presentation at 2007 Open Education Conference at Utah State University, Logan, UT

2008 SUNY Learning Network Presentation: Networking with Live Interactive Media

Presentation: Networking with Live Interactive Media
State University of New York (SUNY) Online Learning Summit
by Jeff Lebow and Jennifer Maddrell

810 Interaction in Group-Based and Individualized Instruction

This paper compares six types of group-based and individualized instructional approaches on the basis of planned opportunities for learner interaction. Three types of interaction are suggested as crucial components of the education process (Anderson, 2003; Moore, 1989) and frame this comparison, including (a) learner-content interaction, (b) learner-instructor interaction, and (c) learner-learner interaction. The following considers how these six groupbased and individualized instructional approaches distribute the instructional load among the three interaction types and suggests that the differences in interactional emphasis across the approaches reflects a value judgment regarding the relative advantage of each type of interaction. However, it is further suggested that additional research is needed to evaluate whether a relative advantage exists or whether the perceived advantage relates to the efficiency of instructional delivery rather than the effectiveness of the instructional strategy to support the processing of the to-be-learned material. 810 Interaction in Group-Based and Individualized Instruction
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Interaction in Group-based and Individualized Instruction 1 Running head: INTERACTION IN GROUP-BASED AND INDIVIDUALIZED INSTRUCTION Interaction in Group-based and Individualized Instruction Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 810 Trends and Issues in Contemporary Instructional Design Dr. Gary Morrison April 14, 2009 Interaction in Group-based and Individualized Instruction 2 Instructional Load of Interaction Types This paper compares six types of group-based and individualized instructional approaches on the basis of planned opportunities for learner interaction. Three types of interaction are suggested as crucial components of the education process (Anderson, 2003; Moore, 1989) and frame this comparison, including (a) learner-content interaction, (b) learner-instructor interaction, and (c) learner-learner interaction. The following considers how these six groupbased and individualized instructional approaches distribute the instructional load among the three interaction types and suggests that the differences in interactional emphasis across the approaches reflects a value judgment regarding the relative advantage of each type of interaction. However, it is further suggested that additional research is needed to evaluate whether a relative advantage exists or whether the perceived advantage relates to the efficiency of instructional delivery rather than the effectiveness of the instructional strategy to support the processing of the to-be-learned material. Distribution of Instructional Load by Interaction Type Group-based Instruction Traditional classroom. While it is impossible to generalize the interaction that exists across all face-to-face and virtual classrooms, some critics of the traditional classroom characterize the instruction as dominated by the learner-teacher interaction where learner-content and learner-learner interaction play smaller supporting roles (Hannafin, Land, & Oliver, 1983). In such a classroom, the teacher-learner interaction focuses on teacher presentation, guidance and help during learner practice, and feedback following practice. Learner-content interaction incorporates standardized forms of content, such as textbooks and hand-outs, prepared for and utilized by all learners in the group. While learner-learner interaction includes classroom discussion, research suggests a very small percentage of classroom time is spent in learnerlearner discussion (Nunn, 1996). Figure 1 suggests a distribution of the instructional load based on this view of the traditional group-based classroom. Figure 1. Distribution of Instructional Load – Traditional Classroom Group-based learning environments. In contrast to the traditional classroom described above, some advocate group-based learning environments in which the learner-teacher interaction shifts from a mediating to a scaffolding role the instruction (Hannafin et al., 1983). As suggested in Figure 2, the group-based learning environment places significant emphasis on the learner-content interaction. While the learner-learner interactions are recognized as being Interaction in Group-based and Individualized Instruction 3 supportive of the learner-content interaction, learner control over the learner-content interaction is paramount . Figure 2. Distribution of Instructional Load – Group-based Learning Environments Group-based communities of inquiry (CoI). The objective of a CoI model is to support critical thinking and critical discourse though a mix of learner-learner, learner-content, and learner-teacher interactions designed to optimize (a) teacher presence, (b) social presence, and (c) cognitive presence (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 1999). As suggested in Figure 3, the CoI places high value on all three forms of interaction. Figure 3. Distribution of Instructional Load – Community of Inquiry Individualized Instruction The Keller Plan. As depicted in Figure 4, Keller (1968) suggests a personalized system of instruction (PSI) which incorporates learner-content and learner-tutor interaction where the tutor (or proctor) can be a peer who has mastered the material. As such, the learner-tutor interaction is a hybrid of the previously described learner-teacher and learner-learner interaction as the peer has already successfully completed the instructional material. In Keller’s approach, learnercontent interaction is the critical design consideration. Learners work independently and at their own pace working toward personal mastery of the presented instructional content. Learner-tutor interaction is considered as motivational and administrative rather than for the delivery of critical information (Grant & Spencer, 2003). Interaction in Group-based and Individualized Instruction 4 Figure 4. Distribution of Instructional Load – Keller’s PSI Distance education independent study. Early distance education approaches were based on independent study (Garrison & Shale, 1987; Keegan, 1996). Wedemeyer (1981) characterized independent study as a teaching-learning arrangement which allows learners the freedom and opportunity to self-direct their learning within their own environment. Unlike more recent group forms of distance education which incorporate expanded learner-learner interaction, independent (or private) distance education approaches rely on significant learner-content interaction with added support for two-way learner-teacher interaction (Garrison & Shale). Figure 5. Distribution of Instructional Load – Distance Education Independent Study Personal learning environment. The April 2008 special edition of the Interactive Learning Environments journal was dedicated to a discussion of the personal learning environment (PLE). Concurrent with the explosion of web-based communication technologies, two views of technology enabled PLEs have emerged, including (a) a learner-centered but provider-driven approach, and (b) a learner-driven approach where the role and control of the institution (as provider of education) is diminished (Johnson & Liber, 2008). Within the learnercentered provider-driven approach, personal web-based communication and interaction tools, such as instant messaging, content aggregation and management, and authoring tools, enable personalized learning activities within the institution’s virtual environment (Johnson & Liber, 2008; Severance, Hardin, & Whyte, 2008; Van Harmelen, 2008). In contrast, a learner-driven PLE approach challenges the centralization and institutional control and ownership of instructional tools and content and shifts the instructional focus to life-long learning beyond the classroom and to individualized construction of portable instructional artifacts which the learner Interaction in Group-based and Individualized Instruction 5 retains and maintains over time (Severance et al., 2008; Wilson, 2008). In either form, a PLE is generally conceived of as a technology-enabled network which connects the learner with people (inside and outside the classroom) and resources (Wilson, 2008). As such, the learner-content and learner-peer interactions dominate the PLE instructional approach with the learner-teacher interaction playing a supporting role, as depicted in Figure 6. Figure 6. Distribution of Instructional Load –Personal Learning Environments The Quest for the Right Interaction Mix Value Judgment It is suggested that the interaction within the noted designs represents the beliefs of the designers regarding the relative value of the interaction types. As suggested in Table 1 these beliefs manifest themselves within the design of the instruction with the three interaction types being either (a) emphasized, (b) viewed as necessary, but emphasis neutral, or (c) deemphasized. Table 1. Interaction Type Emphasis within Instructional Approach LearnerContent Group-based Instruction Traditional Classroom Learning Environments Community of Inquiry Individualized Instruction Keller PSI Distance Education - Independent Study Personal Learning Environments       LearnerLearner       LearnerTeacher        = Emphasized;  = Recognized as needed, but emphasis neutral;  = De-emphasized Given the range in interactional emphasis across these instructional approaches, it is suggested that interaction is not value neutral across instructional designers. Inherent in the highlighted group-based and individualized instructional approaches is a value judgment regarding the right (or optimal) interactional mix. An important question for future study is Interaction in Group-based and Individualized Instruction 6 whether the use and mix of interaction types within the design of instruction makes a difference in terms of instructional effectiveness? Or, can learning occur as effectively through any combination of learner-learner, learner-content, learner teacher interaction? If so, is the primary interactional consideration instructional efficiency versus effectiveness? Interaction as Instruction Delivery Mode or Instructional Strategy To conduct such an evaluation, it is necessary to consider whether interaction is a way to facilitate instructional message delivery (as in an instructional delivery mode) or if interaction is a method to facilitate the processing of the to-be-learned material (as in an instructional strategy). As is suggested within research regarding the comparative ability of various media to effectively deliver instruction (Clark, 1983), it is conceivable that the ability of various interaction types to deliver the instructional load is equivalent. For example, is it just as effective for a learner to independently read instructional content in a book (learner-content interaction) as it is to have a teacher present the same content in a lecture to the class (learner-teacher interaction)? Anderson (2003) suggests within his equivalency theorem that a designer can substitute one type of interaction for another. If this is the case, then selection and mix of learnercontent, learner-learner, and learner-teacher interaction in the delivery of instruction should not impact instructional effectiveness and the design consideration centers on efficiency. However, if interaction is conceived of as something other than a means to deliver the instruction, but rather as an instructional strategy which supports the learner’s processing of the instructional material, is there a difference in effectiveness across these interaction types? Some suggest a significant difference in the opportunities for critical thinking in learner-content interaction involving unresponding course material and critical discourse in two-way learnerlearner and learner-teacher interaction (Garrison, 1990). Summary The field has forwarded a variety of group-based and individualized instructional approaches incorporating a range of learner-content, learner-learner, and learner-teacher interactions. Inherent in these forwarded approaches is a value judgment regarding the relative advantage of one type of interaction over another. However, it is suggested that further study is needed to evaluate whether there is an advantage of one form over another or if the perceived advantage relates to the efficiency of instructional delivery rather than instructional effectiveness. Additional research is needed to consider whether there a comparative difference in terms of how the interaction types effect the processing of the to-be-learned material or whether any form of interaction be an equivalent substitute for another to deliver instruction. Interaction in Group-based and Individualized Instruction 7 References Anderson, T. (2003). Getting the Mix Right Again: An Updated and Theoretical Rationale for Interaction. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning; Vol 4, No 2 (2003). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/149. Clark, R. E. (1983). Reconsidering the research on media. Review of Educational Research, 53(4), 445-459. Garrison, D., & Shale, D. (1987). Mapping the boundaries of distance education: Problems in defining the field. American Journal of Distance Education, 1, 4-13. Garrison, D. R. (1990). An Analysis and Evaluation of Audio Teleconferencing to Facilitate Education at a Distance. American Journal of Distance Education, 4(3), 13-24. Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (1999). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. Grant, L., & Spencer, R. (2003). The Personalized System of Instruction: Review and Applications to Distance Education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning; Vol 4, No 2 (2003). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/152/705. Hannafin, M., Land, S., & Oliver, K. (1983). Instructional-design Theories and Models. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design Theories and Models (Vol. 2, p. 728). Johnson, M., & Liber, O. (2008). The Personal Learning Environment and the human condition: from theory to teaching practice. Interactive Learning Environments, 16(1), 3-15. doi: 10.1080/10494820701772652. Keegan, D. (1996). Foundations of distance education (3rd ed.). London: Routledge. Keller, F. (1968). "Goodbye teacher...’. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1, 79-89. Moore, M. (1989). Three types of interaction [Electronic version]. The American Journal of Distance Education, 3(2). Retrieved April 8, 2008, from http://www.ajde.com/Contents/vol3_2.htm#editorial. Nunn, C. E. (1996). Discussion in the College Classroom: Triangulating Observational and Survey Results. The Journal of Higher Education, 67(3), 243-266. Severance, C., Hardin, J., & Whyte, A. (2008). The coming functionality mash-up in Personal Learning Environments. Interactive Learning Environments, 16(1), 47-62. doi: 10.1080/10494820701772694. Van Harmelen, M. (2008). Design trajectories: four experiments in PLE implementation. Interactive Learning Environments, 16(1), 35-46. doi: 10.1080/10494820701772686. Wedemeyer, C. (1981). Learning at the back door : reflections on non-traditional learning in the lifespan. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Wilson, S. (2008). Patterns of Personal Learning Environments. Interactive Learning Environments, 16(1), 17-34. doi: 10.1080/10494820701772660.

833 Social Presence in Synchronous CMC Research Proposal

The purpose of this concurrent mixed methods study is to examine the effect of competing parallel synchronous computer-mediated communication on learners' perceptions of social presence.

833 Social Presence in Synchronous CMC Maddrell Research Proposal FINAL

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Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication Running head: SOCIAL PRESENCE IN SYNCHRONOUS CMC 1 Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University ELS 833 Advanced Research Design Dr. Duggan April 27, 2009 Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication As of the fall 2007 semester, an estimated 3.9 million college students, roughly 22% of all students enrolled in degree-granting U.S. higher education institutions, were taking at least one online course which represents a 12.9% increase over the fall 2006 semester (Allen & Seaman, 2008). This growth in online course enrollment is significantly higher than the 1.2% increase in overall higher education enrollment over the same period (Allen & Seaman). During 2 the 2006-07 academic year, 61% of U.S. higher education institutions offered online courses and of those institutions 75% utilized some form of synchronous computer-based media to facilitate live online instruction at a distance (Parsad & Lewis, 2008). The latest synchronous technologies used by educators include options for parallel voice, video, and text based synchronous communication as found in leading online conferencing systems such as Elluminate Live and Adobe Connect (Schullo, Hilbelink, Venable, & Barron, 2007). While many studies have examined asynchronous computer-mediated communication (CMC) in distance education, relatively little research has been conducted on learners’ experiences with synchronous CMC (Park & Bonk, 2007). In addition, no studies have examined the impact of parallel communication occurring within synchronous online conferencing systems. While some learners may perceive a positive benefit from the additional opportunities for real-time peer and teacher support, the parallel channels of communication may also pose a negative disorienting distraction. Purpose of Study The purpose of this concurrent mixed methods study is to examine the effect of competing parallel synchronous computer-mediated communication on learners' perceptions of social presence. In this study, a survey of college students will be used to measure and compare the learners’ perceptions of social presence between two methods of synchronous CMC; one Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication method utilizing only a single main channel of audio and video communication and the other method utilizing an additional text-based channel for simultaneous parallel communication with the main audio and video channel. The nature of the parallel text-based communication among participants will be explored through content analysis of text-chat transcripts from two class sessions in the course. The reason for combining both quantitative and qualitative data within this mixed methods study is to better understand this research problem by considering both quantitative survey data regarding the relationship between the parallel communication and learners’ perceptions of social presence and qualitative transcript analysis data offering insight into the 3 nature of the learners’ text-based parallel communication. This study will focus on the following research questions: 1. What effect does the parallel CMC channel communication have on the learners' perceptions of social presence? 2. To what degree (if any) is the parallel communication supportive of learners’ perceptions of social presence? 3. What is the nature of the parallel text-chat communication and what aspects make the learners feel more (or less) connected to communication in the main channel? 4. How can a parallel text-based channel be used to gauge and foster the learners’ presence with the main channel communication? It is predicted that the parallel synchronous computer-mediated communication will have a significant effect on learners’ social presence. However, it is unclear whether the effect will be positive or negative across learners. While learners may perceive a benefit from the additional Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication peer and teacher support, the parallel text-chat channel of communication may also pose a disorienting distraction. Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication The set of available synchronous communication tools in online conferencing systems, including public and private text-chat, video and audio interfaces, web browsers, polling tools, application sharing, and whiteboards, offer instructors and learners expanded opportunity for interaction, communication, and content sharing (Shi & Morrow, 2006). While audio and video 4 communication tends to dominate the main channel instructional presentation in the synchronous online conferencing environment, the text-chat feature often supports spontaneous and unfacilitated parallel (backchannel, sidebar, or side-talk) exchanges among participants. However, little research has been conducted on learner experiences in these online conferencing environments (Shi & Morrow). Therefore, the effect of the competing parallel synchronous textchat communication on the learners' perceptions of social presence is unknown. Social Presence Social presence theory builds upon the concept of social presence from the work of Short, Williams, and Christie (1976) in technology-mediated communication and is often used as a theoretical framework in the study of asynchronous computer-mediated communication (De Wever, Schellens, Valcke, & Keer, 2006). Social presence within the context of a computermediated classroom is the degree to which learners present themselves and are perceived socially and affectively as real people in mediated communication (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000). Research on social presence in asynchronous computer-mediated learning environments has moved beyond an evaluation of the medium’s effect on social presence to an evaluation of how Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication social presence can be cultivated through instructional methods to support critical thinking and critical discourse within the computer-mediated environment . Some suggests social presence is related to student satisfaction and learning (Garrison & 5 Arbaugh, 2007; Gunawardena, 1995; Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997; Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, & Archer, 1999; So & Brush, 2008). Others argue that while social presence alone will not ensure the development of critical discourse, it is difficult for such discourse to develop without it (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Overall, research suggests that (a) interactivity impacts social presence, (b) patterns of communication and perceptions of social presence change over time, and (c) social presence can be impacted by the social context, the design of the instruction, and the support of the instructor (Garrison & Arbaugh; Gunawardena; Gunawardena & Zittle; So & Brush). However, notably missing from research on social presence in the computer-mediated classroom are studies involving synchronous CMC. Methods Mixed Method Research Design Mixed methods research combines both quantitative and qualitative forms of inquiry and allows a comprehensive understanding of the research problem through the collection and analysis of multiple sources of data (Creswell, 2009). A mixed methods research design approach is selected for this study as the quantitative survey analysis will examine the relationship between the parallel synchronous computer-mediated communication and learners’ perceptions of social presence while qualitative transcript analysis will offer insight into the nature of the learners’ communication. As depicted in Appendix A, a concurrent triangulation strategy will be utilized in this study in which the quantitative survey data and qualitative content analysis data will be Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication concurrently collected and analyzed with the results subsequently compared to examine similarities and differences in the findings (Creswell, 2009). The survey data collection and quantitative analysis will offer a comparison of social presence between two methods of synchronous CMC; one method including only a single channel of audio and video communication and the other incorporating an additional text-based channel for parallel communication with the main channel. The nature of the communication among students within the parallel text-chat channel will be explored through content analysis of text-chat transcripts. As shown in Appendix B and described below, both survey and text-chat transcript data will be collected during the fall 2009 semester and will be analyzed in the three months that follow the end of the semester. Within the final results comparison, the findings from the quantitative analysis will be compared to the qualitative text-chat transcript analysis. While this concurrent mixed method approach will allow in a shorter data collection 6 period than if the quantitative and qualitative approaches were done separately or sequentially, it is possible that discrepancies in the results may arise that cannot be resolved with the data collected. For example, the quantitative survey data may suggest that learners perceived overall high levels of social presence, but the qualitative content analysis may suggest relatively few indications of social presence. In contrast, the reverse may occur and the survey data may suggest low perceived levels of social presence with relatively high levels of interaction and communication among learners in the text-chat. Such a discrepancy in results may require future study with additional quantitative or qualitative analysis. Participants Participants in this study will be enrolled students in distance education courses at a large public university in the United States. While the university offers distance courses in a range of Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication 7 formats, eligible courses will include only those distance courses in which (a) seven or more live synchronous computer-mediated online sessions are scheduled during each 16 week semester, and (b) 15 or more students are enrolled. The eligible classes will be stratified into two groups based on whether the existing online conferencing interface used to facilitate the course includes the opportunity for parallel text-chat communication. Currently, parallel text-chat is available in synchronous courses coded in the university’s course catalogue as a video streamed instructional method, but is not available in synchronous courses coded as a two-way audio and video instructional method. From within each group (the two-way audio and video group and the video streamed group), three classes will be randomly assigned to the study. The three courses assigned from the video streamed group will be the experimental group while the three classes from the two-way audio and video group will be the control group. Quantitative Data Collection and Analysis - Survey of Student Perceptions Gunawardena (1995) and Gunawardena and Zittle (1997) utilized a survey instrument to solicit learner perceptions of their experience with asynchronous CMC, including satisfaction, social presence, participation, reactions to training, and attitudes toward the CMC. Suggesting that previous survey methods failed to capture a thorough perception of social presence, Tu (2002) devised the Social Presence and Privacy Questionnaire (SPPQ) which measured students’ perceptions of the social context, online communication, interactivity, and privacy. So and Brush (2008) subsequently combined the social presence scale items of Tu’s SPPQ with the satisfaction measures used in the survey instrument developed by Gunawardena and Zittle (1997). The resulting Collaborative Learning, Social Presence, and Satisfaction (CLSS) questionnaire measured general learner characteristic information, as well as learners’ perceptions regarding satisfaction, collaboration, and social presence. Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication An adapted version of the CLSS questionnaire will be utilized in this study. The adapted 8 version includes similar questionnaire items, but is presented within the context of a synchronous CMC environment, as shown in Appendix C. A link to the online version of the questionnaire will be sent via e-mail to all enrolled students in both the experimental and control groups after the last live synchronous session of the semester. Mean score comparison. For each student, an overall profile score for satisfaction, collaboration, and social presence will be calculated based on the student’s average scores for each category. To examine whether there is a statistically significant difference in the mean satisfaction, collaboration, and social presence scores between the experimental and control groups, separate independent samples t tests of mean differences between the experimental and control group will be calculated. Where a significant difference is suggested, a Cohen’s D effect size will be calculated. Based on the calculated effect size and the overall standard deviation for each measure, the estimated difference in average scores between the groups for each measure will be estimated. Correlation analysis. Using the analysis approach taken by So and Brush (2008), Pearson bivariate correlation coefficients will be calculated to analyze the relationships among the measured satisfaction, collaboration, social presence, and learner characteristics (age, gender, computer competency, distance education experience) measures. In addition, partial correlations will be calculated to control for the type of synchronous discussion (either utilizing or not utilizing the parallel text-chat) and each of the general demographic variables to allow an analysis of the impact of these variables on satisfaction, collaboration, and social presence. As shown in Appendix D, the resulting bivariate and partial correlations, as well as coefficients of Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication determination, will be presented. To evaluate statistical significance, a standard level of p < .05 will be used. Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis – Text-chat Content Analysis The purpose of the qualitative text-chat data collection and analysis is to examine the nature of the learners’ conversation within the parallel text-chat. What are the learners saying to 9 each other? What are their patterns of communication? In what respect is the conversation on- or off-task with the conversation in the main audio and video channel? What are the indicators of social presence within the dialogue? While a range of content analysis methods have been used to measure social presence within asynchronous CMC, present a content analysis categorization for examining social presence from the transcripts of an asynchronous computer-mediated environment which has been used in several subsequent studies (Rourke & Anderson, 2004). Based on defined categories and indicators of social presence, including (a) emotional expression seen in affective responses, (b) open communication seen in interactive responses, and (c) group cohesion seen in cohesive responses, messages in asynchronous text-based transcripts are assigned to one of the three categories to assess the relative existence of social presence (Rourke et al.). However, Shi, Mishara, Bonk, Tan, & Zhao (2006) argue content analysis methods for asynchronous computermediated communication must be modified to address the nature of synchronous text chat which is characterized by disrupted, fragmented, and often parallel threads of discourse. To conduct a qualitative analysis of the text-chat transcripts, the present study will include both (a) the threaded discourse analysis method suggested by to examine the nature of the threads of conversation and (b) the content analysis categorization forwarded by to examine the nature of individual text-chat posts. For the three synchronous courses incorporating parallel Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication 10 text-chat discussions, the text-chat transcripts for both the third and the final live sessions will be analyzed independently by two researchers using the coding protocols described below. Interrater reliability will be calculated using Holsti’s calculation for percent agreement (Holsti, as cited in . Analysis of threads of conversation. Using the method of analysis recommended by Shi et al. (2006) to address the often non-sequential and non-linear patterns of synchronous text-chat sessions, the individual text-chat posts for the session will be rearranged in chronological order in a best estimate of related conversations creating a series of separate continuous threads of discussion. The threads will be compared on a common timeline which will allow analysis of the parallel nature of the conversation within the text text-chat itself. To protect the anonymity of the participants, student login names will be replaced with a coding indicator. The qualitative analysis will examine (a) the number of threads of communication an individual participated in within the session, (b) the degree to which the individual is participating in simultaneous threads of conversation, and (c) the relative level of interaction of the individual participant within the text-chat communication. In addition, each thread will be categorized based on a judgment by the raters of whether the thread is either (a) on-task or (b) off-task with the subject of the communication in the main instructional channel. Analysis of individual text-chat posts. As an additional level of analysis, separate textchat posts will be analyzed based on evidence of the three social presence indicators forwarded by . Unlike the analysis described above encompassing the entire threaded conversation, the unit of analysis will be each separate text-chat post. Any individual text-chat post displaying either an affective, interactive or cohesive indicator will be coded as such based on the respective social presence category, as shown in Appendix E. While Rouke et al. used their categorization approach to support a quantitative analysis resulting in a calculation of social presence density Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication within the context of the whole class communication, such a quantitative calculation and comparison to prior findings will not be made here as the analyzed text-chat is a parallel communication channel occurring simultaneously to the main channel audio and video 11 conversation. Instead, the categorization of individual text-chat posts in this study will aid in the qualitative analysis. By extracting text-chat post where indicators of social presence are suggested, the nature of the conversation and displays of social presence can be explored. Preparation and Dissemination of Results Both survey and text-chat transcript data will be collected during the fall 2009 semester and will be analyzed in the three months that follow the end of the semester. Within the final results preparation in early 2010, the findings from the quantitative analysis will be compared to the qualitative text-chat transcript analysis. The details of the research, the suggested findings, and a discussion by the researcher will be released within a paper to be submitted to an academic journal in mid-2010. Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication References Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2008). Staying the Course Online Education in the United States, 2008. Sloan Survey of Online Learning (p. 23). 2008 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, Babson Survey Research Group and the Sloan Consortium. Retrieved March 1, 2009, from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/survey/pdf/staying_the_course.pdf. Creswell, J. (2009). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd Ed.). Thousand Oaks Calif.: Sage Publications. De Wever, B., Schellens, T., Valcke, M., & Keer, H. V. (2006). Content analysis schemes to analyze transcripts of online asynchronous discussion groups: A review. Computers & Education, 46(1), 6-28. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2005.04.005. 12 Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105. Garrison, D. R., & Arbaugh, J. (2007). Researching the community of inquiry framework: Review, issues, and future directions. Internet & Higher Education, 10(3), 157-172. doi: Article. Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating Cognitive Presence in Online Learning: Interaction is Not Enough. American Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133. Gunawardena, C. N. (1995). Social Presence Theory and Implications for Interaction and Collaborative Learning in Computer Conferences. International Journal of Educational Telecommunications, 1(2), 147-166. Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication 13 Gunawardena, C. N., & Zittle, F. J. (1997). Social Presence as a Predictor of Satisfaction within a Computer-Mediated Conferencing Environment. American Journal of Distance Education, 11(3), 8. Park, Y. J., & Bonk, C. J. (2007). Synchronous learning experiences: Distance and residential learners’ perspectives in a blended graduate course. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 6(3), 245-264. Parsad, B., & Lewis, L. (2008). Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2006-07. National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved March 1, 2009, from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2009044. Rourke, L., & Anderson, T. (2004). Validity in quantitative content analysis. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(1), 5-18. doi: 10.1007/BF02504769. Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (1999). Assessing Social Presence in Asynchronous Text-Based Computer Conferencing. Journal of Distance Education, 14(2), 50-71. doi: Article. Schullo, S., Hilbelink, A., Venable, M., & Barron, A. (2007). Selecting a Virtual Classroom System: Elluminate Live vs. Macromedia Breeze (Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional). Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 3(4). Retrieved March 22, 2009, from http://jolt.merlot.org/vol3no4/hilbelink.htm. Shi, S., & Morrow, B. V. (2006). E-Conferencing for Instruction: What Works? Educause Quarterly, 29(4), 42. Social Presence in Synchronous Computer-mediated Communication Shi, S., Mishara, P., Bonk, C. J., Tan, S., & Zhao, Y. (2006). Thread Theory: A Framework Applied to Content Analysis of Synchronous Computer Mediated Communication Data. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Vol. 3(No. 3). Retrieved August 26, 2008, from http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Mar_06/article02.htm. Short, J., Williams, E., & Christie, B. (1976). The Social Psychology of Communications. London: John Wiley. So, H., & Brush, T. A. (2008). Student Perceptions of Collaborative Learning, Social Presence 14 and Satisfaction in a Blended Learning Environment: Relationships and Critical Factors. Computers & Education, 51(1), 318-336. Tu, C. (2002). The Measurement of Social Presence in an Online Learning Environment. International Journal on E-Learning, 1(2), 34-45. Appendix A Figure A1. Concurrent Triangulation Design 15 Source: (Creswell, 2009) Appendix B Study Timeline 16 Appendix C Sample Questionnaire This sample questionnaire is adapted from the Collaborative Learning, Social Presence, and Satisfaction Questionnaire (So & Brush, 2008). 17 Instructions: This questionnaire is designed to measure your perceptions on the level of collaborative learning, social presence and satisfaction. There is no right or wrong answer for each question. However, it is important for you to respond as accurately as possible by checking the most appropriate response. Section 1: General Information 1. What is your gender? ___ ___ ___ Female Male Not applicable 2. What is your age? ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ Under 18 18-25 26 - 35 36 - 45 Above 45 Not applicable 3. Please estimate your level of computer expertise? ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ No experience Novice Intermediate Expert Not Applicable 4. How many distance courses have you taken at any institution prior to this course? Please circle the number. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 More than 10 Appendix C Section 2: Satisfaction 18 Please read each statement carefully and then indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the statement. Strongly Disagre e 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Disagre e 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Neutral 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Agree 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Strongly Agree 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 I was able to learn from our live class discussions I was stimulated to do additional readings or research on topics discussed in our live discussions The live discussions assisted me in understanding other points of view As a result of my experience with this course, I would like to take another distance course in the future This course was a useful learning experience The diversity of topics in this course prompted me to participate in the live discussions I put a great deal of effort to learn the online conferencing system to participate in this course My level of learning that took place in this course was of the highest quality Overall, the learning activities and assignments of this course met my learning expectations Overall, my instructor for this course met my learning expectations Overall, this course met my learning expectations Section 3: Collaboration Strongly Disagre e 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Disagre e 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Neutral 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Agree 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Strongly Agree 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Collaborative learning experience in the computermediated environment is better than in a face-toface environment I felt part of a learning community I actively exchanged my ideas during the live class sessions I was able to develop new skills and knowledge from other class members I was able to develop problem solving skills through peer collaboration Collaborative learning was effective Collaborative learning in my group was timeconsuming Overall, I am satisfied with my collaborative learning experience in this course Appendix C Section 4. Social Presence 19 Please read each statement carefully and then indicate the degree to which you agree or disagree with the statement as it relates to live online conferencing sessions in this class. Strongly Disagre e 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Disagre e 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 Neutral 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 Agree 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 Strongly Agree 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Computer-mediated discussions are social forms of communication Computer-mediated discussions convey feelings and emotions Computer-mediated discussions can be private and confidential Computer-mediated discussions are personal Computer-mediated discussions are a pleasant way to communicate with others The language people use to express themselves in online communication is stimulating It is easy to express what I want to communicate through computer-mediated discussions during class The language used to express oneself in online communication is easily understood I am comfortable participating, even when I am not familiar with the topics The online conferencing system is technically reliable Computer-mediated discussions allows relationship to be established based upon sharing and exchanging of information Computer-mediated discussions allows me to build more caring social relationships with others It is unlikely that someone might obtain personal information about me from the computer-mediated discussion Where I access the online conference (home, office, computer lab, public areas) does not affect my desire to participate. Where I access the online conference (home, office, computer lab, public areas) affects my ability to participate. Computer-mediated discussions permit the building of trust relationships The amounts of discussion in class does not inhibit my ability to communicate Appendix C 20 Appendix D 21 Results Presentation Variables Collaboration Social Presence Age Computer Competency Type of Synchronous Discussion Number of Distance Courses Satisfaction .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 .00 Collaboration -.00 .00 .00 .00 .00 Social Presence --.00 .00 .00 .00 Appendix E Categories for Assessment of Social Presence Affective Expression of emotions Use of humor Interactive Continuing a thread Quoting from others’ messages 22 Cohesive Vocatives: Addressing to participants by name Addresses or refers to the group using inclusive pronouns Social greetings, salutations Self-disclosure Referring explicitly to others’ messages Asking questions Complimenting, expressing, appreciation Expressing agreement

AACE 2010 Elearn: Participant Experiences in an Informal twitter.com Sub-network

I just uploaded the final version of my paper (see attached Participant Experiences in an Informal twitter.com Sub-network) accepted for presentation at the AACE E-Learn 2010 Conference. I opted for the Virtual Presentation option, so I won't be heading to Orlando to be there f2f. I have also attached the narrated PPT slides that are on the conference site, as well.

Here is the official citation:

Maddrell, J. A. (2010). Participant experiences in an informal twitter.com sub-network. In World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2010 (pp. 2018-2023). Orlando, Florida, USA: AACE.

AECT 2009 Presentations

AECT 2009 Papers and Presentations

Designing Instruction for Concept Learning - October 28, 2009

Social Network Analysis

AECT 2010 Research Symposium

This summer, the Association for Educational Communication and Technology (AECT) sponsored a Distance Learning Symposium held at the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, IN. While presenters will be turning their papers and presentations into chapters for an upcoming book, for now (how long?) they have posted the symposium papers for open review.

I attended and presented on (what else?) backchannel communication during the live web conferenced lecture session. I have attached my symposium paper and presentation to this post. While my paper considers the backchannel in terms of cognitive load (influence on germane, extraneous, intrinsic load), my presentation highlighted general observations from Dr. Alec Couros' Fall 2009 ECI 831 class at the University of Regina, specifically a session facilitated by Dr. Rick Schwier who also attended and presented at the symposium. As usual, it was interesting how few seemed to have experienced an active text-chat occurring simultaneously with a live lecture session. This could be due to the disconnect between those who "study" distance learning and those who regularly "practice" it .. or because distance learning is so often facilitated asynchronously.

Athabasca University: System Analysis

This paper surveys the distance education system at Athabasca University.

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System Analysis 1 Running head: SYSTEM ANALYSIS OF ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY System Analysis of Athabasca University Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University System Analysis 2 Focus and Purpose Institution Typology Athabasca University was formed as a distance education university by the Government of Alberta Canada in 1970. While Athabasca provides distance education course offerings for colleges and universities throughout Canada through inter-institution course transfer credit, it continues to operate as an autonomous degree granting distance learning university. With liberal transfer of credit options within the Canadian college and university system, credit for prior learning, rolling enrollment, and admission provisions that allow undergraduate admission to anyone over 16 years of age without regard to prior academic achievement, Athabasca classifies itself as an Open University. The government remains a major force behind Athabasca. In 2007, the Province of Alberta provided $31,064,000 (CAD) in grant funding which represented over 30% of the university’s operating revenue. Further, the university’s governance is dictated by Alberta Regulation 50/204, the Post-secondary Learning Act, which establishes the powers and duties of the university’s administration by the Athabasca University Governing Council. As of March 31, 2007, the Governing Council, headed by an Executive Officer (also the President of Athabasca University), included one nonacademic staff member, one tutor member, two academic staff members, two student members, nine appointed public members, and one alumni member. Mission and Mandate Since its inception, Athabasca University’s stated mission has been to offer distance education to residents of Alberta, the rest of Canada, and the world. As presented within the 2007Annual Report, the university’s mission is to 1) remove barriers that restrict access to university level studies, 2) increase equality of educational opportunities for adult learners System Analysis 3 worldwide, 3) commit to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, and public service, and 4) focus on distance education and the associated learning technologies. Athabasca’s mandate is restated in the 2007 Annual Report and calls for the publicly funded university to offer undergraduate degree programs in natural and pure sciences, humanities, social sciences, interdisciplinary studies, administrative studies, commerce, nursing, and allied professional fields, as well as graduate degree programs in distance education, health studies, and business administration. Strategic University Plan for 2006 – 2011. A new strategic plan was drafted in 2006 and is presented as an appendix to the 2007 Annual Report. The plan outlines specific goals intended to achieve Athabasca’s continued commitment to open access and the delivery of high quality distance education, as well as a renewed focus on research. Features Open Admissions and Enrollment As noted, edibility for admissions to undergraduate courses at Athabasca is liberal compared to other degree granting universities in North America. Students age 16 or older are admitted throughout the year regardless of their previous educational experience or achievement. From 1997 to 2007, total course enrollment increased a dramatic 415%. Currently, 34,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate courses and 3,000 are enrolled in graduate level courses which Athabasca reports as a full load equivalent of 5,930 undergraduate students and 1,263 graduate students. Of the total number of students enrolled, 35% are residents of Alberta. System Analysis 4 As is common in other distance education programs, nearly all enrolled students work while attending classes. During a recent survey conducted by the university and cited in the 2006 Annual Report, 94% of graduates reported working while completing their coursework. Course and Degrees During the 2006 - 2007 fiscal year, 68,284 individual courses were taken representing an increase of 6.4% over the prior year. Over that same time period, 780 undergraduate degrees and 208 graduate degrees were conferred. Athabasca currently offers 11 undergraduate degrees, 20 certificate programs, and 8 graduate degrees. In the fall of 2008, Athabasca will begin a new doctoral program which will grant a Doctor in Distance Education (EdD). The undergraduate degree programs with the highest current enrollment include Bachelor of Arts with 2,413 enrolled, Bachelor of Nursing with 2,122 enrolled, Bachelor of Commerce with 1,760 enrolled, and Bachelor of Professional Arts with 1,614 enrolled. The graduate degree programs with the highest current enrollment include Master of Arts with 632 enrolled, Master of Business Administration with 835 enrolled, Master of Distance Education with 369 enrolled, Master of Health Studies with 465 enrolled, Master of Nursing with 529 enrolled. Despite the growing admission figures and the increasing number of degree programs, graduation rates are low compared to other Canadian universities. Powell and Keen (2006) report that while hundreds of thousands of students have enrolled at the undergraduate level, only several thousand undergraduate degrees have been conferred. While these figures could imply poor student satisfaction with the courses, biennial Government of Alberta Graduate Satisfaction and Labour Market Experience surveys consistently report high perceived quality ratings from Athabasca University students. Most students attending courses at Athabasca do not intend to System Analysis 5 complete a degree at Athabasca, but are interested in taking courses to fulfill requirements within other degree programs (about half the enrollment) or for other personal and professional reasons. Tuition Tuition rates for the degree programs are reasonable compared to most public or private universities in North America. Based on current tuition rates, the approximate tuition range for an undergraduate degree is $5,900 - $6,890 CAD for Canadian residents and $10,500 - $11,970 CAD for those residing outside of Canada. Tuition for graduate degree programs currently range from $10,250 – 13,000 CAD for Canadian residents and $12,250 – $15,500 CAD for those residing outside of Canada. During the 2006 – 2007 fiscal year, Athabasca collected $33,485,000 CAD in undergraduate tuition and $12,282,000 CAD in graduate tuition, representing 35% and 13% of revenue, respectively. Instruction Method of Study. Athabasca offers instruction in either grouped or individual study. Grouped study typically begins at a set date, either in September and January, and continues for either 13 weeks, for a 3 credit course, or 26 weeks, for a 6 credit course. Grouped study courses represent only about 20% of total course enrollments (Davis, 2001). The courses are generally facilitated by an instructor and instruction is delivered in either a print based or online format. However, some group study is offered in traditional classrooms at designated Athabasca learning sites or at partner institutions with collaboration agreements with Athabasca. Individual study, the far more common method of study, begins on the first day of any month. Students must simply register by the 10th day of the preceding month. Instructional materials are delivered in either a print based or online format. The course term, known as the “contract period”, lasts 6 months for a 4 credit or less course and 12 months for a 6 credit course. System Analysis 6 While the individualized study courses are self-paced, the learners are offered a tutor. Upon registration in a course, the student is introduced to the assigned tutor via letter or e-mail. The tutor’s role is to provide subject matter assistance, feedback on assignments, exam preparation, and grade assignment. Tutors generally provide assistance via e-mail or phone. Within the School of Business, Athabasca has also begun the use of tutor support call centers as an alternative to traditional tutors. Learners call a toll free number and work with the tutor on duty at the time the call is placed to the call center. Faculty. As of March 31, 2007, Athabasca employed 1,226 people, including 152 in academic full time positions, 168 in academic part time positions, and 322 tutors. The balance comprised management, professional, and support staff. Over the three year period from 2004 – 2006, the annual average number of referred articles, books, and conference presentations by faculty was 146, 53 and 281, respectively. Design and Delivery of Instruction. Athabasca employs a team approach to course design. A typical course design team includes a subject matter expert, visual designer, digital media technologist, copyright officer, and editor. Course materials are delivered via fax, regular mail, or the Internet. Print and digital course materials are delivered to students as part of a course package of resources distributed from the Materials Management Office which, depending upon the course, may include student manuals, study guides, and text books. While print and digital media, including CDs and DVDs, have historically been mailed to students, instruction via the Internet is rapidly becoming a primary means of instructional delivery. As outlined in the 2006 – 2007 Annual Report, Athabasca has budgeted $21 million for information technology hardware and software upgrades between 2006 and 2011 in order to accommodate this shift in instructional delivery. Along with e-mail delivery of content, other System Analysis 7 forms of Internet based instructional delivery are also employed. In 2005, Athabasca began facilitating online courses using Moodle, the open source learning management system. In addition, live instruction is often delivered via streaming audio and video and some live class sessions are being held using web conferencing tools, such as Elluminate. Other technology. In addition to the learning technologies noted above, Athabasca maintains an online student web portal, myAU, based on the open source uPortal software (Guohua & Bonk, 2007). This online web portal offers students and faculty a single sign-on to university services, including the campus administrative systems, the learning management system, as well as the library information systems. Student Services Financial Assistance. Students at Athabasca are eligible for financial assistance. Full time students may apply for grants, loans, and scholarships while part time students (those enrolled in less than 9 credits in a 4 month period) are only eligible for grants and loans. Learning Services. Athabasca offers students a host of learning services, including academic advising, access for students with disabilities, admission and registration services, and exam supervision. In addition, all actively registered students have library borrowing privileges. The library information desk is manned 24 hours a day via e-mail, fax, mail, or phone to provide instructions on how to access information or to provide research assistance. The Athabasca library website provides online access to the entire library catalogue, thousands of electronic books and reference websites, and over 32,000 journal articles contained within 200 full text subscription journal databases. Athabasca also has inter-loan library agreements through the Alberta library system and the Canadian University Reciprocal Borrowing Agreement (CURBA). System Analysis 8 Student Interaction. Students have the option of participating in established school clubs, peer support groups, online discussion forums, or social groups. Athabasca also publishes a quarterly online magazine (the au.world e-zine) which highlights current information of interest to Athabasca students. Open Access Publishing. Athabasca is committed to providing open access and online dissemination of publications produced by the university. This includes open online access to The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, a refereed journal published by Athabasca. Evaluation and Accreditation Athabasca’s internal review protocols are contained within a comprehensive Program Review Policy document. Under the terms of the review policy, all programs must be reviewed by internal and external assessors at least every six years. The material assessed during the review includes such items as the current course syllabi and related course materials, feedback from partner institutions, program financial statements and budges, surveys of students and graduates, and opinions of tutors and instructors. As in the United States, the Canadian central government does not accredit universities. However, Athabasca was accredited by the United States’ Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in June 2005. In addition, the recently established Campus Alberta Quality Council, formed as a quality assurance agency as part of the 2004 Post-secondary Learning Act and the Approval of Programs of Study Regulation (51/2004), has reviewed and recommended several new programs within the university, including the new Distance Education EdD program. According to the mandates under the Act, all new degree programs must be reviewed and recommended by the Council. System Analysis 9 Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths As a pioneer in the delivery of university level distance education, Athabasca offers distance learners a flexible, affordable, and accredited education with a comprehensive roster of student services. Enrollments are growing and the university has seen an increase in research funding ($2,117,000 CAD for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007 representing a 14% increase from the prior year). Further, with backing and oversight from the Alberta government, Athabasca is financial secure and is operating at a net profit ($1,446,000 CAD for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007). Weaknesses Athabasca’s rapid growth over the past decade is straining the university’s infrastructure. As noted in the 2006 – 2007 Annual Report, Athabasca’s infrastructure was designed for 10,000 students and the rapid growth over the past decade has caused a critical need for additional space. While space is not needed to support classrooms, physical space is needed to house curriculum development, learner support services, and research functions. Further, Athabasca is struggling to recruit and retain faculty to accommodate the growing enrollment; a difficult task given the limited pool of doctoral level candidates within the university, the location of the main campus in Athabasca, and the limited research opportunities outside of distance education. However, there are threats to Athabasca’s continued growth. Once one of only a few distance education universities, Athabasca now faces increased competition from both stand alone online universities and distance education arms of traditional universities. In addition, while the Alberta government subsidy to Athabasca covers a substantial portion of the operating System Analysis 10 budget, currently over 30% of annual revenue, Athabasca’s operations would be at risk should the government decide to alter the amount or provisions of the operating grant. Further, graduation rates are low. While this does not point to a problem in overall quality or learner satisfaction, it does suggest that most students are merely pursuing individual courses or taking transfer credits back to a home institution. As such, it becomes difficult for Athabasca to make a mark as a standalone degree granting intuition when the majority of students are taking individual courses for transfer credit to receive a degree from a traditional (bricks and mortar) institution. System Analysis 11 References Athabasca University - about Athabasca University. Retrieved from http://www.athabascau.ca/ Alan Davis. (2001). Athabasca university: conversion from traditional distance education to online courses, programs and services, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning; Vol 1, No 2 (2001). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/19/358. Alberta Government. (2004). Alberta Post Secondary Learning Act. Retrieved from http://www.qp.gov.ab.ca/documents/Acts/P19P5.cfm. Athabasca University, Office of the President. (2003). Athabasca University Policy - Program Review Policy. Retrieved March 13, 2008, from http://www.athabascau.ca/policy/academic/programreviewpolicy.htm. Athabasca University. (2007). Athabasca university annual report 2006 - 2007, 30. Athabasca, Alberta Canada: Athabasca University. Retrieved from http://www.athabascau.ca/report2007/ Athabasca University. (2006). Athabasca university annual report 2005 - 2006, 30. Athabasca, Alberta Canada: Athabasca University. Retrieved from http://www.athabascau.ca/report2006/. Campus Alberta Quality Control Council (CAQC) - Program Assessment Standards, Campus Alberta Quality Council. Retrieved from http://www.caqc.gov.ab.ca/default.asp. Guohua Pan & Curtis J. Bonk. (2007). The emergence of open-source software in north America, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning; Vol 8, No 3 (2007). Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/496/938. Powell, R., & Keen, C. (2006). The axiomatic trap: stultifying myths in distance education, Higher Education, 52(2), 283-301. doi: 10.1007/s10734-004-4501-2.

Backchannel Interactions

The focus of this report is to review the literature for assessments of the effect of computer-mediated backchannel interaction during live instructional presentation. The goal is to consider the impact on the learner as both a receiver of instructional messages sent from the instructor, as well as an active participant within the learning process.

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Backchannel Interactions Running head: THE EFFECT OF BACKCHANNEL INTERACTIONS 1 The Effect of Backchannel Interactions on Cognitive Load Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 895: Message Design June 25, 2008 Backchannel Interactions Backchannel Interactions Computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies offer instructional designers new ways to design and deliver instructional material to learners. New forms of web conferencing technology allow live audio and visual presentation of instructional material. Beyond a one-way or single channel broadcast of the primary instructional message, these web conferencing technologies also support simultaneous multi-channel communication among all participants and support the learners’ real time interactions with the instructional content, with the instructor, and with peer learners. A by-product of the latest synchronous CMC technologies is the appearance of what are being termed backchannel interactions which occur simultaneously with the primary instructional presentation (Yardi, 2006). No longer a passive recipient of the single channel instructional message, a learner within a web conferencing session has the ability to interact directly with the content, with peer learners, and with the instructor during the instructional presentation. The interactive features included with the newest forms of web conferencing technologies allow learners to annotate directly on the presentation slides while the presenter is speaking, to route or receive files, to send and get links to web sites during the presentation, to type viewable notes to the class in the margins of the presentation window, or to conduct text based conversations while the live instructional presentation is being delivered. 2 While the term backchannel is used in other contexts and is spelled as backchannel, backchannel, or back channel, a consistent definition within the context of synchronous CMC does not exist. Cogdill, Fanderclai, Kilborn, and Williams (2001) suggest that backchannel interactions tend to fall into the following five categories: 1) process-oriented interactions which steer the main channel discourse, 2) content-oriented interactions which respond to the content in Backchannel Interactions 3 the main channel, 3) participation-enabling interactions which include assistance to participants, 4) tangential interactions which branch from or continue a completed main channel discussion , and 5) independent interactions which are private and unrelated to the main channel. These backchannel interactions are well outside the norm of learner behavior in traditional face to face lecture settings. However, the availability of this form of computermediated interaction, as well as ongoing discussion about the classroom role of the learner as either an active participant or passive recipient, is sparking debate among practitioners regarding what interactions learners should engage in during both face to face and computer-mediated instructional presentation (Fried, 2008). As written in an April 2008 article entitled Hey, You! Pay Attention! at InsideHigherEd.com and in the approximately 50 ensuing comment posts to the article, learners computer-mediated interactions during lecture are viewed by educators as both a bold step forward in instruction and a tremendous distraction to the learning task at hand (Guess, 2008). In what one commenter to the article called a “ridiculous debate”, one side views computer-mediated interactions during instructional presentation as nothing more than virtual note passing which is a distraction to the learning task at hand and a symbol of the growing lack of respect for teachers during lecture. In contrast, the other side views these backchannel features as a powerful opportunity to facilitate increased content and human interaction. The focus of this report is to review the literature for assessments of the effect of computer-mediated backchannel interaction during live instructional presentation. The goal is to consider the impact on the learner as both a receiver of instructional messages sent from the instructor, as well as an active participant within the learning process. Unfortunately, there has been little research conducted to specifically assess this relatively new phenomenon. In reviewing prior literature on computer-mediated backchannel Backchannel Interactions interactions in the classroom, Yardi (2006) found nothing beyond qualitative reviews assessing the use of text chat during live conference proceedings or essays considering the potential advantages and disadvantages of utilizing synchronous CMC to facilitate classroom discussion. While a body of theory and research exists assessing the effects of interacting in computermediated learning environments, the focus is largely on asynchronous computer supported interactions rather than synchronous interactions (Paulus, 2007). Further, as noted by Moore, Burton, and Myers (2004, p. 998) within their extensive review of multiple-channel communication research, “We feel that instructional designers, looking for simple rationale, methods, or guidelines for effective multimedia (multiple-channel) presentation will be disappointed in the relevant research” which they feel is “confusing at best.” While there is little research to report from direct studies on computer-mediated backchannel interactions in the classroom, the objective here is to glean information from other areas of research regarding learner interaction with instructional content, other learners, and the instructor to begin to assess how this new form of backchannel interaction could impact the student’s ability to learn from the instruction. The following presents a review of literature in both traditional and computer-mediated instructional settings. While multiple theories of learning, communication, and instruction are presented in the review of literature, this review is presented within the context of cognitive load theory (CLT). Cognitive Load Theory CLT Described CLT suggests that working memory faces important processing limitations which ultimately impact a learner’s ability to process, encode, and retrieve information (Sweller & Chandler, 1994). CLT has evolved over the past two decades and is concerned with a learner’s 4 Backchannel Interactions limited working memory processing capacity and the combined effect of intrinsic, extraneous, and germane cognitive load (Pociask & Morrison, 2004). Intrinsic cognitive load is imposed by the inherent nature of the to-be-learned information (van Merrienboer & Sweller, 2005). Extraneous cognitive load is imposed by inappropriate instructional design choices. This includes the instructional message design, the instructional presentation, and interface choices related to the delivery mode (visual or verbal), modality (text or narration), and spatial arrangements on the page or screen (Lee, Plass, & Homer, 2006). Germane cognitive load is associated with processes to assist in learning, including processes to facilitate schema acquisition and automation (van Merrienboer & Sweller). Fundamental to CLT is the notion, as summarized by Sweller and Chandler (1994, p. 5 192), that the learning environment should eliminate “irrelevant cognitive activities”, defined by them as “any activity not directed to schema acquisition and automation” which they deem to be significant learning mechanisms. They note that such irrelevant activities may unnecessarily increase cognitive load and hamper the processing of to-be-learned material. Kester, Kirschner, and van Merrienboer (2005, p. 168) suggest that the instructional design of the learning environment should “properly manage intrinsic load, minimize extraneous load, and optimize germane load within the boundaries of working memory capacity.” Framework for Review Given that cognitive load is a central consideration in multimedia learning (Mayer & Moreno, 2003), the primary task of this review is to assess where computer-mediated backchannel interactions during instructional presentation fall within the cognitive load equation. While the review is presented within the context of CLT, theories and findings from research in areas both inside and outside of learning and instruction are also considered. By taking into Backchannel Interactions account research in a range of areas, this review attempts to highlight prior findings which may shed light on the following questions. Extraneous cognitive load. Do backchannel interactions increase extraneous cognitive 6 load? Are these interactions unnecessary instructional activities imposed by poor instructional or message design that could and should be eliminated to reduce extraneous load? Germane cognitive load. Are backchannel interactions germane to the learning process as part of effective presentation, communication, and dialogue to support the learner? Do these interactions help learners reflect upon the material, create meaning from the presented content, and process the to-be-learning material within memory? Intrinsic cognitive load. Does interaction within the backchannel help presenters to more effectively sequence and segment instruction based on the cues of learner understanding found in the backchannel responses? In turn, could these interactions be used to manage intrinsic cognitive load? Extraneous Cognitive Load The focus of this section is to assess whether the incorporation of backchannel interactions during instructional presentation is a poor design choice that takes away from the processing of to-be-learned information, creates unnecessary interactivity, and results in high extraneous cognitive load. Given the similarity between backchannel interactions and practices which are outside acceptable norms within a traditional face to face classroom, such as note passing, whispering to peers in class, or talking while the presenter is speaking, it is understandable why some would predict that backchannel interactions are distraction to the learning task at hand. Beyond seemingly obvious violations of traditional classroom norms, there is evidence from research on interactivity, split attention and redundancy effects, and laptop use Backchannel Interactions in the classroom which may suggest how backchannel interactions impact extraneous cognitive load. Interactivity in Learning Environment Sweller and Chandler (1994) suggest that high cognitive load is directly related to 7 interactivity caused by either the nature of the to-be-learned material (intrinsic cognitive load) or by the presentation (extraneous cognitive load). The to-be-learned material is considered to have high interactivity if there are numerous elements which must be processed simultaneously (van Merrienboer & Sweller, 2003). If the element interactivity is low (hence the intrinsic cognitive load is low), then extraneous load may not be a concern; but in complex learning situations where the intrinsic element interactivity is high, it is necessary to carefully manage the learning environment to avoid unnecessary instructional interactivity in order to reduce extraneous cognitive load (Sweller & Chandler). Moreno and Mayer (2007) examined interactivity as a characteristic of the learning environment in which the interactivity results in a variation in the instruction based on the learners’ actions. They suggest five types of learner interactivity, including 1) dialoguing in which the learner asks questions and receives feedback, 2) controlling in which the learner establishes the pace or order of presentation, 3) manipulating in which the learner sets aspects of the presentation 4) searching in which the learner seeks new information, and 5) navigating in which the learner selects from among content choices. They suggest the interactivity can be considered a continuum of no interactivity to high interactivity. Moreno and Mayer note that the challenge for designers working in interactive multimodal learning environments with ever increasing opportunities for interactivity is to reduce extraneous cognitive load imposed by the interactivity while at the same time using the interactivity to increase generative cognitive Backchannel Interactions processing, as discussed below in the section on germane cognitive load. Therefore, the unanswered question becomes whether the interactivity involved with backchannel interactions is extraneous load within the learning environment or germane to the process of learning? Cognitive Load Effects 8 Decades of research have provided findings that suggest a number of instructional effects which increase extraneous cognitive load. Three effects which may be most applicable to backchannel interactions found within the synchronous computer-mediated learning environment are 1) split attention effects, 2) redundancy effects, and 3) expert reversal effects. Split attention effect. The learners’ text based backchannel interactions which occur concurrently with the instructor’s audio and visual presentation may result in a split attention effect. While research suggests that dual presentation from both auditory and visual sources may distribute the processing of information and increase working memory capacity, other research suggest that instruction requiring learners to devote their attention to multiple sources of information may unnecessarily cause extraneous cognitive load (Sweller & Chandler, 1994). Redundancy effect. The discussion about the instruction content within the backchannel occurring concurrently with the instructional presentation may result in a redundancy effect. Research suggests that as learners must attend to and integrate sources of overlapping or redundant information, unnecessarily extraneous load is imposed (Sweller & Chandler, 1994). Expertise reversal effect. Cognitive load research findings also that suggests an expertise reversal effect in which the conditions which are appropriate for a novice learner may not be appropriate for a more experienced learner (Kalyuga, Ayres, Chandler, & Sweller, 2003). Kalyuga et al. note that many CLT effects, including split attention and redundancy effects, are not applicable to experts who possess schemas in the domain being presented. These learners Backchannel Interactions may find the instruction to be redundant with their existing schemas and the integration of the redundant information is seen to be a source of extraneous cognitive load. 9 Research on split attention, redundancy, and reversal effects suggest that instructional design choices should be appropriate for the expertise level of the intended learners and that methods must change as learners’ expertise increases (van Merrienboer & Sweller, 2005). While backchannel interactions could increase extraneous load for some learners, could backchannel interactions be used as a means for the presenter to gauge the level of expertise of the learners during instructional presentation? If so, is it possible that the same backchannel interactions which may cause extraneous cognitive load effects in novice learners could act to reduce extraneous cognitive load as the learners advance by providing signals to the presenter of the learners’ level of expertise? Laptops in the Classroom Research on laptop use in the classroom lecture setting may provide one of the closest bodies of research to backchannel interactions. It may be possible to draw a parallel between backchannel interactions in a synchronous computer-mediate instructional presentation with laptop use in face to face classroom lecture settings. As noted in a recent review of classroom laptop literature by Fried (2008), contradictory research results abound. Yet, there is a body of research which suggests that laptop use in the classroom lecture setting is a source of overload and distraction. Included in Fried’s review are her own research findings which suggest that students using laptops during classroom lectures regularly use the laptop for things other than taking notes. Further, the students’ laptop use was negatively related to several measures of learning and was reported to be a distraction from fellow students. Backchannel Interactions 10 Fried (2005) viewed the results as clear support for prior research that suggests classroom performance is negatively related to the learners’ laptop use within the classroom. However, it is important to note that in Fried’s research the students’ laptop use was in no way integrated into the classroom lecture. The students were informed that the laptops would not be needed during the semester in lectures, the presenter made no attempts to guide the learners’ use of the laptops, nor were their laptops used to display instructional presentation. Apparently, the assumed sole purpose of the laptops in the studied classroom was as a note taking device given that any other activity outside of note taking, including the 45% of the students in the study who reported regularly using instant messaging, was dismissed within the study as an unnecessary and distracting activity. However, Fried did acknowledge that the primary limitation to the generalization of the findings was that laptop use was not integrated into the lecture. Further, as Fried suggests, the findings associated with learning measures may also reflect that struggling students are more likely to be diverted from the lecture. Germane Cognitive Load Instructional activities that encourage mental effort in schema construction and automation are viewed as processes that increase germane cognitive load (van Merrienboer & Sweller, 2005). As suggested by Winn (2004), advances in computer-mediated technologies make it possible to do more than direct teaching and to use the technology to assist learners as they actively select, organize, and integrate new information. Some suggest that synchronous computer-mediated discussion helps learners to move from surface understanding to more deep learning as they reflect and respond to questions from peers and the instructor (Havard, Jianxia & Olinzock, 2005). Moreno and Mayer (2007) view this as a difference between facilitating information acquisition and supporting knowledge construction. Could backchannel interactions Backchannel Interactions optimize germane cognitive load by aiding the learners’ understanding of the instructional 11 content, adding context to the presentation narrative, providing opportunities for reflection, and promoting engagement? Laptops in the Classroom - Revisited In contrast to the laptops in the classroom research cited above, other research suggests that computer use during classroom presentation can facilitate classroom interactions and class participation which, in turn, increases engagement, motivation, and active learning (Fitch, Partee, Stephens, & Driver, as cited in Fried, 2008). In summarizing their research on laptop use during classroom instruction, Barak, Lipson, and Lerman (2006) suggest that computer use by students during class facilitates construction of understanding of the learning material, immediate feedback and help, multiple interactions among learners and instructors, and the ability to share work, ideas, and learner interpretations. Computer Mediated Communication In a review of literature related to CMC processes, Marshall and Novick (1995) suggest that CMC differs from face to face communication and is generally characterized by longer turns, fewer interruptions, less overlaps, and increased formality in switching among speakers. DeSanctis and Monge (1998) report research that suggests electronic communication tends to decrease levels of communication as compared to face to face communication. They note that this may be the result of reduced use of speech acknowledgements, such as “Uh-hmm”, or typical social greetings. DeSanctis and Monge also cite findings that suggest participants engaging in CMC conversation may experience difficulty in establishing meaning of information and managing feedback in conversation which may negatively affect message understanding, but that attention to maintaining mutual understanding across the group can help to ensure effective Backchannel Interactions communication. Could synchronous backchannel interactions help to overcome some of these obstacles associated with CMC and foster mutual understanding across the group? Marshall and Novick (1995) also note that the characteristics of CMC may affect conversational effectiveness which they describe as the degree to which the mutual conversational goals are achieved. They cite a large body of research which supports a collaborative theory of conversation which focuses on the joint construction of conversation in 12 which interactive and collaborative aspects of the conversation help to support full understanding and to achieve the overall expectations for the conversation. In summarizing their own research findings, Marshall and Novick (p. 75) suggest CMC is “enhanced by the addition of a channel which allows conversant to share relevant visual context, particularly where visual context is relevant to the task” thereby allowing users more control over the social distance or presence. Do backchannel interactions offer learners more control over social distance and help to improve CMC effectiveness? Pelowski, Frissell, Cabral, and Yu (2005) conducted research to identify various immediacy behaviors within synchronous text chat logs with the hope of shedding light on learners’ feelings of social presence and the impact on learning. The authors indicate that while a positive relationship has been found between perceptions of immediacy and performance in face to face environments, little immediacy research within synchronous computer-mediated instruction has been studied. Citing various research findings from traditional face to face classrooms, Pelowski et al. note that immediacy behaviors, such as calling others by name, smiling or engaging in eye content, have been shown to enhance perceptions of closeness or immediacy to others. Backchannel Interactions 13 Pelowski, et al (2005) found significant variation in overall chat participation, as well as in immediacy behaviors. Acknowledgement, salutations, and questions were observed in nearly all students at least once. Agreement or disagreement was shown at least once by over 80% of the students. Humor, self-discloser, and value statements appeared less frequently, but at least once by over 60% of students. However, no significant correlation was found between immediacy behaviors in the text chat environment and learner performance. Could this be an indication that while backchannel interactions may facilitate more effective communication, the communication may mean nothing in terms of learner performance? Constructing Meaning Do learners gain context and insight from the commentary of students within the backchannel interactions? Some social constructivists view synchronous CMC technologies as vehicles to support student to student co-creation of meaning and understanding, including Gunawardena, Lowe, and Anderson (as cited in Paulus, 2007) who suggest knowledge construction via CMC consisting of five phases: 1) sharing and comparing of information, 2) discovery and exploration of cognitive dissonance, 3) negotiation of meaning and coconstruction of knowledge, 4) testing and modification of proposed co-construction, and 5) agreement and applications of newly constructed meaning. Yet, as Paulus notes, the research literature suggests that learners in most CMC supported environments, which tend to rely heavily on asynchronous interactions, rarely move beyond sharing and comparing of information. Could the synchronous backchannel provide support for more immediate meaningful reflection and cocreation of knowledge? In noting the small, but growing body of research on synchronous CMC tools in learning, Stein, Wanstreet, Glazer, Engle, Harris, and Johnston (2007) investigated if and how shared Backchannel Interactions meaning is achieved in a synchronous text based chat. Their review of formal small group synchronous text chat logs suggest that text chat can lead to a shared understanding from a pattern of interaction which establishes a) social presence, characterized by group inquiry and integration, b) teaching presence, characterized by the teacher’s efforts to focus and organize, 14 and c) cognitive presence characterized by the learners’ patterns of reflection and revision. Stein et al. observed: In a more casual, immediate environment than asynchronous discussion boards, chats give learners the opportunity to transform their personal meaning into shared solutions through a nonlinear process of asking questions, exchanging information, connecting ideas, and defending solutions … In addition, the group as a whole has the ability to see the progression of logic and higher-order thinking as the text unfolds on the members' computer screens and is revised, amplified, and integrated into shared understanding through feedback. (p. 113) Would synchronous text based backchannel interactions during instructional presentation result in similar findings? Or would the larger group size and split attention from the presentation to the screen alter the results? Learners as Presentation Co-narrators Research in dialogue and communication suggests a joint role for learners as co-narrators in the instructional presentation. Could learner responses in the backchannel enhance the main channel message of the presentation? Does the backchannel provide on-the-fly reflection which the instructor can monitor to check for learners’ understanding and adjust the presentation based on the learners’ responses? Backchannel Interactions Bavelas, Coates and Johnson (2000) explore the various conceptions of information 15 communication models beginning with the classic Shannon and Weaver model which focuses in on a single channel from sender to receiver. They cite Schober and Clark who referred to this conception as an autonomous view of conversation in which the listener passively receives information delivered from the speaker. In contrast to this view, Bavelas et al. note other conceptions and research which focus on dialogue as a joint activity, including Yngve’s focus on a reciprocal effect of a backchannel which recognizes the impact of listener responses. In this view, communication is not just for information transmission, but also for co-construction of the message wherein dialogue is considered collaborative and evolves from the reciprocal influence between narrators and listeners (Bavelas et al). Generic and specific listener responses within in the reciprocal dialogue was the focus of research for Bavelas et al., (2000) in which they studied what listeners do (backchannel) during narration to form an integrated message with the narrator. Table 1 compares the generic responses to specific responses that were observed. Table 1. Generic versus Specific Listener Response. (Bavelas et al., 2000) Generic Responses Listening Made to or at the story or narrator Generally related to narrative External to the narrative Respond to the narrative Communicate general understanding Indicate understanding of the Specific Responses Co-telling Made with the story or narrator Specific to the narrative Internal to the narrative Add to the narrative Communicate specific understanding Indicate understanding of the words implications of the words As represented within Table 1, generic listener responses (discussed in the context of project markers below), do not convey narrative content, but allow the speaker to track the listener’s comprehension. In contrast, specific listener responses closely relate to the speaker’s Backchannel Interactions content and allow the listeners to become co-narrators who add to the narrative as they 16 communicate comments regarding their understanding. If learners were encouraged to contribute responses of confusion or understanding in the backchannel, could their responses help to conarrate the message being delivered by allowing the presenter to tailor the message to the audience, as is suggested by this research? Task Engagement Given the lack of research on backchannel interactions, it is unclear whether learners chatting in the backchannel are engaged in the presentation at hand. Do their comments reflect that they are receiving the intended message or that they are heading off in another direction? Zimbardo (as cited by Coleman, Paternite, & Sherman, 1999) suggests that due to factors such as increased anonymity, a sense of altered responsibility, and novel or unstructured situations, participants in synchronous CMC tend to become more engaged in the task at hand and less concerned with self-monitoring. Coleman et al. report similar findings from their research in which some (but not all) participants in synchronous CMC were more group focused, more selfdisclosing, and reported feeling that the physical separation provided a freedom from distraction! Do these findings suggest the text based backchannel may lead to greater task engagement? Intrinsic Cognitive Load The focus of this section is to assess whether the dialogue and interaction within backchannel interactions could help to manage intrinsic cognitive load. Research suggests intrinsic cognitive load can be more effectively managed if content is presented in segments (Mayer & Moreno, 2003). Further, presenting declarative information separately, either during presentation or during practice, from procedural information has been shown to increases the effectiveness and efficiency of learning (Kester et al., 2006). Research findings also indicate that Backchannel Interactions 17 content sequencing should be based on the learners’ level of expertise and that the preplanning of content sequencing becomes less important if the sequencing can be continuously adapted during the instructional presentation based upon observation of the learners’ expertise (van Merrienboer & Sweller, 2005). Therefore, could cues from the learners’ dialogue in the backchannel help the presenter to segment and sequence the presentation of content based on the learners’ responses of either understanding or confusion thereby helping to manage intrinsic cognitive load? Also, could the backchannel be used to segment presentation and practice opportunities though the use of formal problem statements, learner responses, and feedback? Based on dialogue analysis research it seems feasible that the backchannel can provide presenters with signals or markers from the learner to gauge their level of understanding which would allow an adjustment to the presentation based on the cues from the learners. Tied to the research noted above, research on self and other monitoring during dialogue suggests that speakers monitor their own speech and adjust their presentation based on their assessment of the listener’s level of understanding (Clark & Krych, 2004). As such, dialogue includes two activities, including support for the primary presentation of information and management of the dialogue itself. As described by Bangerter and Clark (2003), dialogue exists in both the front (or main) channel which includes the primary speaker and in the backchannel which includes the speech and signals from others occurring at same time as primary speaker’s turn. As discussed above, these backchannel responses, also known as project markers, play a role in shaping the presentation and include a) acknowledgement tokens in which the listener acknowledges the presentation through utterances, such as “uh-huh”, b) agreement tokens in which the listener Backchannel Interactions 18 agrees with the presenter’s position, such as “right”, and c) consent tokens in which the listener approves of the presenter’s comments, such as “okay”. Bangerter and Clark suggest that these project markers provide the primary speaker with marks to chart progress and signal to the presenter that the listener is ready to transition with the presentation. For example, the listener can offer the speaker a) continuers, such as “yes”, which signal the listener is ready to hear more, b) assessments, such as reactions of “wow” or “gosh”, which signal comprehension and evaluation of what has been said, or c) recipiency markers which signal the listener wants to speak. If backchannel interactions are considered signals from the learner as listener, it is conceivable that the presenter could use the responses as project markers to gauge how to segment and sequence the presentation. By monitoring the learners’ backchannel conversations and by assessing when the learners are ready to make transitions within the presentation, the presenter may be able to use the backchannel interactions to manage intrinsic cognitive load. Summary While no research was found that specifically evaluates backchannel interactions in the computer-mediated classroom, findings in areas that share key features with this relatively new instructional phenomenon may shed light on the effects the backchannel has on cognitive load. In evaluating this prior research from synchronous text based discussions, laptop use during live face to face classes, CMC, and dialogue analysis, the findings seem to suggest support for both negative and positive effects on cognitive load. The potential for distraction, split attention, and redundancy effects may indicate backchannel interactions place unnecessary extraneous cognitive load on learners. However, findings may also suggest that the backchannel interactions directly facilitate learning through more effective and efficient processing of the to-be-learned Backchannel Interactions material. Further, the signals and cues within the dialogue may help presenters to more 19 effectively and efficiently sequence and transition within the presentation of content which may help to manage intrinsic cognitive load. These findings have implications for both instructional designers and researchers. Clearly, the new features of synchronous computer-mediated classrooms necessitate a closer review of these new types of interactions. The noted findings offer many stepping stones for future research and suggest a host of research questions. Do backchannel interactions distract the learner from the task at hand and interfere with their receipt of the instructional message? Could backchannel interactions be used as a means for the presenter to gauge the level of expertise of the learners during instructional presentation? Could the synchronous backchannel provide support for immediate meaningful reflection? Do backchannel interactions help to foster mutual understanding and co-creation of knowledge across the group? Does this mutual understanding ultimately lead to better individual performance? Do backchannel interactions offer learners more control over social distance and help to improve CMC effectiveness? Do backchannel responses help to co-narrate the message being delivered and allow the presenter to tailor the message to the audience? Do these findings suggest the text based backchannel may lead to greater task engagement? Answers to all of these questions may help us to one day address the primary question raised at the beginning of this report. Is the interactivity involved with backchannel interactions extraneous load within the learning environment, germane to the process of learning, or helpful in managing intrinsic cognitive load? As we gain more insight into these backchannel interactions, a new set of heuristics and online classroom norms (netiquette) will evolve. Teachers in traditional classes are already trying Backchannel Interactions 20 laptop up / laptop down procedures where the instructor asks for uninterrupted attention during presentation of material and then invite increased computer-mediated interaction and dialogue from learners during breaks in the formal presentation (Levine, as cited in Fried, 2008). In the same way learners in traditional classrooms know when it is time to speak in class and when it is time to listen, learners and instructors will one day know when it is appropriate to backchannel in class. Backchannel Interactions 21 Bangerter, A., & Clark, H. H. (2003). Navigating joint projects with dialogue. Cognitive Science, 27(2), 195. doi: 10.1016/S0364-0213(02)00118-0. Barak, M., Lipson, A., & Lerman, S. (2006). Wireless Laptops as Means For Promoting Active Learning In Large Lecture Halls. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(3), 245-263. Bavelas, J. B., Coates, L., & Johnson, T. (2000). Listeners as co-narrators. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(6), 941-952. Clark, H. H., & Krych, M. A. (2004). Speaking while monitoring addressees for understanding. Journal of Memory and Language, 50(1), 62-81. Cogdill, S., Fanderclai, T., Kilborn, J., & Williams, M. (2001). Backchannel: whispering in digital conversation. In System Sciences, 2001. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Coleman, L. H., Paternite, C. E., & Sherman, R. C. (1999). A reexamination of deindividuation in synchronous computer-mediated communication. Computers in Human Behavior, 15, 51-65. DeSanctis, G., & Monge, P. (1998). Communication Processes for Virtual Organizations. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 3(4), 0-0. Fried, C. B. (2008). In-Class Laptop Use and Its Effects on Student Learning. Computers & Education, 50(3), 906. Guess, A. (2008, April 18). Hey, You! Pay Attention! :: Inside Higher Ed: Higher Education's Source for News, Views and Jobs. Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved June 10, 2008, from http://insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/18/laptops. Backchannel Interactions Havard, B., Jianxia Du, & Olinzock, A. (2005). DEEP LEARNING The Knowledge, Methods, 22 and Cognition Process in Instructor-led Online Discussion. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 6(2), 125-135. Kalyuga, S., Ayres, P., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2003). The Expertise Reversal Effect. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 23-31. Kester, L.; Kirschner, P. A.; van Merrienboer, J. J. G. (2006). Just-in-Time Information Presentation: Improving Learning a Troubleshooting Skill. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31 (2), 167-185. Lee, H., Plass, J., & Homer, B. (2006). Optimizing Cognitive Load for Learning from ComputerBased Science Simulations. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(4), 902-913. Marshall, C. R., & Novick, D. G. (1995). Conversational effectiveness in multimedia communications. Information Technology & People, 8(1), 54 - 79. doi: 10.1108/09593849510081602. Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38, 43–52. Moore, D. M., Burton, J. K., & Myers, R. J. (2004). Multiple channel communication: The theoretical and research foundations of multimedia. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 2nd Ed. Chapter 36, pp. 9791005. Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. (2007). Interactive multimodal learning environments. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, 19(3), 309-326. Paulus, T. M. (2007). CMC Modes for Learning Tasks at a Distance. Journal of ComputerMediated Communication, 12(4), 1322-1345. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00375.x. Backchannel Interactions Pelowski, S., Frissell, L., Cabral, K., & Yu, T. (2005). So Far But Yet So Close: Student Chat Room Immediacy, Learning, and Performance in an Online Course. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 16(4), 395-407. 23 Pociask, F. D., Morrison, G. (2004). The Effects of Split-Attention and Redundancy on Cognitive Load When Learning Cognitive and Psychomotor Tasks. Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Retrieved June 17, 2008, from http://www.aect.org. Stein, D. S., Wanstreet, C. E., Glazer, H. R., Engle, C. L., Harris, R. A., Johnston, S. M., et al. (2007). Creating shared understanding through chats in a community of inquiry. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(2), 103-115. Sweller, J. & Chandler, P. (1994). Why some material is difficult to learn. Cognition and Instruction, 12(30, 184-233. van Merrienboer, J., & Sweller, J. (2005). Cognitive Load Theory and Complex Learning: Recent Developments and Future Directions. Educational Psychology Review, 17(2), 147. Winn, W. (2004). Cognitive perspectives in psychology. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 2nd Ed. Chapter 4, pp. 179112. Yardi, S. (2006). The role of the backchannel in collaborative learning environments. In Proceedings of the 7th international conference on Learning sciences (pp. 852-858). Bloomington, Indiana: International Society of the Learning Sciences. Retrieved June 11, 2008, from http://crlt.indiana.edu/iclsvideo/index.html and http://dream.sims.berkeley.edu/groups/classchat/papers/SaritaYardi_ISLS2....

Cognitive Task Analysis Example

IDT873 CTA Maddrell - Upload a Document to Scribd
Cognitive Task Analysis Running head: COGNITIVE TASK ANALYSIS 1 Cognitive Task Analysis Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 873 Advanced Instructional Design Techniques Dr. Gary Morrison October 15, 2008 Cognitive Task Analysis Traditional Task Analysis A traditional procedural task analysis describes a task as a series of discrete actions (Jonassen, Tessmer, & Hannum, 1999). Figure 1 diagrams a procedural task analysis for the insurance underwriting submission review task. Within this triage task, the underwriter must evaluate various aspects of the new submission and decide whether to quote or decline the submission. Figure 1. Procedural Analysis of Insurance Underwriting Submission Review Task. 2 Guide to symbols: = Input and exit point; = Mental operation; = Decision Point; = Direction in Step Cognitive Task Analysis 3 As depicted in Figure 1, in completing the submission review task, the underwriter must make a series of mental operations and decisions in route to a conclusion to either a) decline the submission or b) quote the submission. These mental operations and subsequent decisions include the following: Assessing the viability of the opportunity. Upon receipt of the submission, the underwriter must make a quick review of the information provided to assess the viability of the opportunity. Given the information presented within the submission and discussions with the broker, the underwriter must judge the likelihood the account will actually leave the incumbent carrier. Critical cues to consider include prior service and claims handling problems with the incumbent carrier, time to transition the account, and completeness of the submission. If the relationship with the prior carrier has been good, there is little time to transition the account, or the broker only provided enough information to provide a price (not service) quote, it is likely the insured is not serious about moving from the incumbent carrier and the broker is just seeking comparative price quotes. However, if the insured is dissatisfied with the incumbent carrier’s service, there is ample time to transition the servicing of the account, or the submission provides a comprehensive overview of both price and service requirements, it is likely the opportunity is viable. If the assessment of the information leads to a conclusion that the chances are slim the account will move, the underwriter makes the decision to decline the account. However, if the assessments leads to a conclusion that there is a good chance of writing the account, the underwriter makes the decision to continue working on the account. Examining the employee concentrations. Given the potentially catastrophic exposure of providing casualty insurance at locations with high employee concentrations, the underwriter’s triage of the submission includes an examination of employee concentrations. If the insured has employee concentrations at any one location above company guidelines, the underwriter makes the decision to decline the account. Otherwise, the underwriter makes the decision to continue working on the account. Comparing the account’s exposures to the company’s underwriting guidelines. Upon receipt of the submission, the underwriter must compare the prospective account’s exposures to the insurance company’s underwriting guidelines. Critical to this comparison is a review of the insured’s current and prior operations. If the company is involved in any operations which result in exposures that are against the underwriting guidelines, the underwriter makes the decision to decline the account. Otherwise, the underwriter makes the decision to move forward with the quotation task (beyond the scope of this submission triage task analysis). Cognitive Task Analysis A cognitive task analysis (CTA) offers an alternative means of describing the cognitive elements of the evaluation and decision making processes involved in the task. The following provides the results of an Applied Cognitive Task Analysis (ACTA) based on interviews conducted with an underwriting subject matter expert (SME) to gain information about cognitive strategies used to complete the submission triage task (Militello & Hutton, 1998). The ACTA includes a task diagram, knowledge audit table, simulation interview, and cognitive demands table. Cognitive Task Analysis 4 Task diagram Figure 2 is the task diagram generated after an initial interview with the underwriting SME. The task diagram offers a high level overview of the submission triage task which focuses on the most difficult cognitive aspects. The SME was asked, “Think about what you do when you triage a new prospect. Can you break this task down into less than six, but more than three steps?” The SME mentioned five steps, but one was eliminated (financial approval) as it is not task performed by underwriter. Figure 2. Task Diagram for New Account Prospect Triage. Knowledge Audit Table During interviews with the SME, the interviewer probed for concrete examples, cues and strategies, and reasons why the task is often difficult for novices. The interviewer asked the SME to focus on specific examples for each aspect of expertise. Table 1 summarizes the results of the knowledge audit for the submission triage task. Simulation Interview During a simulation interview with the SME, the interviewer asked the SME to focus on the challenging aspects of a specific representative scenario associated with new submission triage. Table 2 summarizes the results of the simulation interview, including the actions, assessments, cues, and potential errors identified for each central event. Cognitive Demands Table Table 3 consolidates and synthesizes the data collected during the interview process. The cognitive demands table centers on the common themes that came from the interviews and identifies the difficult cognitive elements, common errors, and cues or strategies used by experts to overcome these challenges. Cognitive Task Analysis Table 1. Knowledge Audit Table. Aspect of expertise Past and future Example: Call from broker about account where incumbent carrier messed up on claim and insured’s legal department insisting the account must move. 5 • • Cues and strategies High level nature of incumbent mess up Level of people involved in decision (low level versus high level) • • Why Difficult? Novice may not recognize significance of messed up claim handling Novice may not link level of insured to severity of problem Novice may not link severity of problem to increased chance of writing account. Novices may not consider other issues beyond price that influence buying decision Novices do not have relationship with broker to know when you are getting the “straight” facts versus a “sales pitch” Novices may get into the minutia of the account specifics and not step back and realize the timeframe is not feasible to actually move the account Novices are focused on details within submission Novices are familiar with “outside” considerations that affect the likelihood of writing the account • • • • Big picture Example: Steps back from all the facts about the account presented by the broker to consider what is the “real” motivation behind looking for a quote? Is this prospect a true opportunity or does the broker just need a competing price quote? If it is only a need to get competing price quotes, highly unlikely the account will move. Noticing Example: Broker not soliciting TPA quotes for claim handling which would be a #1 condition of actually moving the account. Job Smarts Example: Focus on what broker said in conversation versus purely what is presented in the quote. Opportunities Example: Our unit can’t work on this account, but other units in company can. Anomalies Example: Broker doesn’t return phone calls. Shows a lack of interest. • • • • Beyond price, there service issues with prior carrier Your personal history with that broker. Time frame to release quote What other carriers are quoting • • • • • Going beyond underwriting information presented in the submission Considering conditional things that impact your quote Timeframes Others carriers being asked to quote. Reasons for leaving Understanding of underwriting appetite of other units Knowing how to access those people Timing of returned phone calls Extent of response to questions • • • • • • • • • Novices tend to be preoccupied with verifying details within submission Novices not aware of situational issues that can be “deal breakers” or “deal makers” Novices don’t know underwriting appetite of other units Novices don’t know people outside of the unit Novices may not recognize they are “getting blown off” and they continue working on submission • • Cognitive Task Analysis (either lacking or detailed) 6 • Novices don’t recognize significance of “out of sight / out of mind” which is signal if you are alive or dead Table 2. Simulation Interview. Events Discussion about prospect with broker Actions Ask probing questions about opportunity Sensing tone from broker of urgency and desire to have you quote. Assessment Answers to question make sense or not with what is in the submission Broker wants to work with you or just wants a quote for comparison purposes How much time is there between now and effective date? Are the exposures inherent in risk acceptable under our underwriting guidelines? Critical Cues Can you meet the issued There is disaffection with incumbent Openness of the broker Willingness to provide additional information Too much time signals the broker is “shopping” for an early quote. Too little time signals that broker just wants to keep current carrier “honest” “Red flag” exposures that we cannot write “Go” classes of business that we are targeting Potential Errors Being overly optimistic about any opportunity Not probing deeply for hidden facts about situation Not reading the verbal and nonverbal cues the broker is giving you. • • • • • • • • • • • Deciding whether to quote • • Evaluating time frame between quote deadline and effective date Assessing if account meets underwriting guidelines • • • • • • • • • Being so excited about the opportunity that you rush to judgment Spin wheels on accounts where there isn’t a true opportunity Don’t dig deeply enough into what the account really does or did in the past that could represent “hidden” exposures Cognitive Task Analysis 7 Cognitive Task Analysis 8 Table 3. Cognitive Demands Table. Difficult cognitive elements Assessing whether broker’s answers make sense or not with what is in the submission Considering the “real” opportunity and exposures beyond the obvious information given in the submission Comparing account’s exposure information with underwriting guidelines Why difficult Common errors Cues and strategies used • • Consider if you really know the story behind the story Get and keep the broker talking to elicit information beyond the submission Ask about reasons why account would move Consider whether timeframe to move account is realistic • • • • • • • Considering and suggesting alternatives • • Novice underwriters tend to focus on basic facts in the submission versus what the broker is telling them Brokers reluctant to voluntarily air dirty laundry about account Novices underwriters tend to focus on information given versus information needed to make decision Can be uncomfortable situation for novice underwriters to probe for answers Companies often have many types of operations which cross several classes of business Novice underwriters tend to focus on the primary business operations Novice underwriters often have difficult assigning an account to the appropriate business classification within the guidelines. Novice underwriters tend to focus on what broker is asking you to do Novice underwriters often fail to identify ways to adjust quotation options to meet guidelines • • Don’t recognize or probe for hidden “red flags” Focus exclusively on information in submission Taking the submission at “face value” Failing to engage in uncomfortable probing conversations with the broker Failing to fully capture exposures Getting lost in the details Misinterpreting underwriting data Misinterpreting the underwriting guidelines • • • • • • • • • Review account with senior underwriter Check multiple sources to evaluate exposures • • • Quote only what is asked by broker Failing to probe for alternate opportunities with the broker • • Consider ways to adjust quotation options to fit within underwriting guidelines. Consider other coverages and limits that you or other departments could quote Cognitive Task Analysis Comparison of Approaches 9 Analysis Comparison In comparing the results of the traditional task analysis with the cognitive task analysis, significant differences emerge in following areas: a) the identification and analysis of hidden cognitive processes, b) the relative level of elaboration regarding the central task elements, c) the focus on expert and novice differences. Overt behaviors versus cognitive processes. The key strength of the traditional task analysis is the ability to examine overt behaviors required to complete a task. However, as seen in this example, additional critical cognitive processes and actions were uncovered within the ACTA. Further, the ACTA offered a means of analyzing the relative significance and difficulty of the required task elements. Level of elaboration. The traditional task analysis identified the relevant processes and decision points in the submission triage task. However, by focusing on the difficult cognitive aspects of the task, the ACTA provided greater elaboration with regard to the knowledge and cognitive processes required to perform the task. As the cognitive demands table highlights, the ACTA focused attention on the difficult cognitive elements, common errors, and strategies to overcome those difficulties and errors. Unfortunately, these elements were not unearthed within the traditional task analysis. Focus on expert and novice differences. Unlike the traditional task analysis, the ACTA analysis focused on the central differences between how an expert and a novice perform the submission triage task. The result is a comparison of current state (novices) and desired state (experts), as well as strategies to take the novice to an expert level. Implications for Practice Traditional task analysis allows practitioners to target the inputs, central operations, and decision points involved in carrying out a task. While this provides a good overview of what happens as the task is carried out, it does not provide the designer with an understanding of the nature of the cognitive processes required to complete the task. Further, following a traditional task analysis, the practitioner cannot gage the relative importance of the various tasks elements or which aspect(s) of the task are harder for the novice. As seen in the results between the two analyses, the cognitive task analysis provides practitioners with a better understanding of the difficult and critical cognitive processes, as well as the and cues and strategies, which are central to successful completion of the task. When to use Traditional Task Analysis versus Cognitive Task Analysis Both a traditional task analysis and cognitive task analysis highlight key aspects of the task. However, as seen in the two analyses above, each produces different results. As noted, the cognitive task analysis offers a better analysis of the central knowledge and decision making cognitive processes. Given that each task is different, the following provides a comparison of which analysis is more appropriate based on the degree of observable behaviors, the degree of required expertise, and the relative cognitive difficulty of the task. Cognitive Task Analysis 10 Degree of observable behaviors. The difference in outcomes between the two approaches is likely less significant when the task involves primarily observable behaviors. However, if the task involves primarily mental actions that result in less observable behaviors, a cognitive task analysis is the more appropriate option. Expert versus novice differences. When little task related expertise is required to perform the task, the results of both analyses would likely be similar. However, if successful completion of the task requires knowledge that a novice would not possess, a cognitive task analysis allows the practitioner to uncover or drill down on the difficult cognitive elements. As noted, these cognitive elements are less likely to be adequately analyzed in a traditional task analysis. Relative cognitive difficulty. While a traditional task analysis provides a comprehensive outline of the steps in the task, it does not offer a relative assessment of which steps are harder or more critical to successful completion. Instead, each step in the task is considered equally. However, as seen in the cognitive demands table, some tasks hinge on a smaller number of critical or difficult elements. Therefore, the ACTA is more appropriate when successful task outcomes depend upon cognitively difficult judgments or decision. Cognitive Task Analysis 11 References Jonassen, D. H., Tessmer, M., & Hannum, W. H. (1999). Task analysis methods for instructional design. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates. Militello, L. G., & Hutton, R. J. B. (1998). Applied cognitive task analysis (ACTA): a practitioner’s toolkit for understanding cognitive task demands. Ergonomics, 41(11), 1618-1641.

Critique of OECD Innovation in the Knowledge Economy

The following is a critique of the 2004 publication Innovation in the knowledge economy: implications for education and learning from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The following assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the publication and concludes with a proposed outline for a similar report for instructional designers.

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Design Critique Running head: Personal Critique 1 Personal Critique Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 895: Knowledge Management June 1, 2008 Design Critique Innovation in the Knowledge Economy The following is a critique of the 2004 publication Innovation in the knowledge economy: implications for education and learning from the Organisation for Economic Co- 2 operation and Development (OECD). The following assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the publication and concludes with a proposed outline for a similar report for instructional designers. Strengths of Report Assessment of knowledge-based communities. A key strength of the report is the detailed assessment of new forms of knowledge-based communities in sectors outside of education. The report highlights the possibility for innovation that is created when unrestricted access and a free flow of information exists within knowledge-based communities. The overriding premise is that through open access to people, technologies, and information, new and exciting avenues for knowledge generation, innovation, and sharing are possible. The report provides an effective argument that these interactions and connections are far different from knowledge sharing and collaborations of the past. Through the use of open information and communication technologies, there has been a democratization of the knowledge generation and sharing process. All users, not just “experts”, are able to participate, share, and debate issues. In addition, these same information and communication technologies offer the ability to rapidly and inexpensively codify and transmit information which further energizes innovation. No longer must participants rely on formal networks and commercial publishers to produce and disseminate information. The report also highlights an important characteristic of these new forms of knowledgebased communities which has been shown to rapidly stimulate innovation and foster a sense of community around a topic. Participation is based on what is described as “general reciprocity Design Critique obligations”. An assumed condition of membership is the sharing of knowledge. In other words, the cost of participation is participation! These assumed reciprocal obligations fuel the network and, in turn, discourage lurkers (takers, but not contributors). Coverage of drivers of innovation. The report also effectively highlights the drivers that are likely to propel innovation in education. At the forefront are advances in information and communication technologies which allow ever increasing access to information and people. Through examples in other sectors, the report effectively demonstrates how technology is helping to overcome physical, social, and cultural barriers to reach previously isolated or excluded participants. With expanded access, more individual can connect and contribute. In addition, the report effectively argues that the ability to “learn by doing” spurs innovation. No longer do users need to wait for producers to create and deliver a product. With greater access to tools, information, people, and resources, users are empowered to innovate to solve their own, but likely shared, problems. In turn, the innovations they create can be contributed back to the community to continue the cycle of “general reciprocity obligations”, described above. Coverage of barriers to innovation. The report also highlights important barriers that must be overcome. At the forefront is unequal access. While there has been a noted democratization of the knowledge generation and sharing process, only a very small percentage of the world’s population is able to participate due to limited access to the information and communication technologies highlighted in the report. In addition, the rapid innovation described in the report has occurred only in pockets. While examples of computer technology innovation abound, many sectors operate in much the same way they have for generations. Therefore, not all sectors will be as willing or able to 3 Design Critique embrace change. The field of education is described as one such sector which tends to rely on tradition and generally resists change. The report effectively argues that educational institutions 4 and practices that exist today are not significantly different than they were hundreds of years ago and that many prevailing “best practices” have been developed and passed down from one practitioner to the next. While the report may be criticized for discrediting the vast body of existing educational research (discussed below) and the experience of practitioners, the report effectively describes the struggle within the field of education between what is termed “scientific” and “humanistic” approaches. Coming to terms with this issue will be central to future education reform. This is particularly the case within the United States where No Child Left Behind proponents, who favor educational standards based on what the report terms “scientific based research”, are facing off with opponents who favor empowering practitioners to rely on time tested “best practices” based on their judgment and experience. While the report clearly advocates a “scientific” approach, it is likely that the debate between scientific and humanistic approaches will rage on for some time to come. The report also addresses the fact that effective knowledge-based networks require a high degree of open access to information and people. Copyright to protect intellectual property rights or access fees in the form of tuition, membership fees, or journal subscriptions can all be barriers to this free flow of open access to information and people. However, there is no easy solution to remove these barriers. While revenue generation can be a barrier to access, it is also an incentive for producers to innovate. Likewise, while copyright limits access, it also affords important protections to producers who have invested their time and recourses into creating the material. Design Critique Weaknesses of Report As noted, the report provides a very compelling vision for the future; one in which expanded access, free flows of information, and knowledge-based networks propel innovation. However, in tackling the very complex topic of generating and sharing knowledge and innovation in the field of education, the report leaves many unanswered questions. Why the disregard for previous educational research and practice? A clear message in the report is that the field of education lacks a sufficient body of existing scientific research to 5 propel innovation in education and learning. Is this a valid assertion? It is likely that many of the thousands of members of the American Educational Research Association and other professional research organizations would welcome the opportunity to pose an argument against this position. While there are many avenues of new research to pursue and the field of education struggles to transfer prior research into effective practices, it seems unwarranted to disregard (or at best to discredit) decades of existing educational and instructional research and practice. How will knowledge-based networks support innovation in education? The report focused heavily on the transformative power of knowledge-based networks. Yet, is unclear how the authors propose knowledge-based networks should support the field of education. Is the intent to bring learners into the networks (as a means of providing instruction and education) or is the intent to use knowledge-based networks to support the knowledge generation and sharing among “thought leaders” as a means of driving innovative practices in education? If the intent is to use knowledge-based networks to support educators within a globally connected professional development community, then many of the examples in the book are applicable, including using the open forms of connection to generate and share new innovative practices. However, if the Design Critique 6 intent is to use knowledge-based networks as means of providing and delivering education, then there are numerous barriers to consider that are not addressed in this report, as discussed below. What about other factors and barriers in the education sector? As noted, the report effectively summarizes examples of innovation in other sectors and attempts to argue that these same opportunities and practices will be drivers for education. However, the education sector faces many barriers that were either not addressed within the report or only given passing mention. Yet, these barriers make transfer of many of the innovation drivers very difficult for the field of education. Most importantly, education in many countries is compulsory. Therefore, access cannot be limited to pockets of a fortunate few. A condition of educational delivery in most countries is that access must be universal. As such, knowledge generation and sharing strategies which can only be supported by advanced forms of information and communication technologies are not feasible for the vast majority of the world’s population, including teachers and learners in many developed countries. What are the suggestions to reach this “unconnected” majority? In addition, beyond access, education must provide guidance and context around information through effective instructional practices for all learners; not just some learners or those intrinsically motivated to learn-by-doing. Are the hypothetical participants in the cited knowledge-based communities assumed to be high achieving early adopters? If so, what is the prescription to reach and engage teachers and learners of all levels of ability and motivation? In this new world of open access, who will be responsible for providing the required universal access, instructional guidance and context, assessment of performance, and credit for the experience? Formal educational institutions? Informal knowledge networks? Who will pay for this access? Individual learners? Governments? Private foundations? While the report Design Critique effectively argues that much of the innovation in other sectors has come from free and open informal knowledge networks, it is far less clear how free and open informal networks can provide the necessary universal access, context, assessment, and credit for the experience. Is the take-away message that existing formal educational institutions should become more agile and nimble like informal knowledge networks? If so, the report falls short of describing how that major miracle can happen. Does access lead to knowledge generation or transfer? The report provides numerous examples of how information and communication technology can expand access to people and 7 information. Unfortunately, the report leaves to future research any prescriptions for instructional practices and processes to facilitate learning. As such, the focus of the report becomes the transformative power of the delivery medium. Most instructional designers would argue that content and interaction are important, but not sufficient conditions for instruction. Effective presentation, practice, and guidance strategies are also needed to facilitate learning. While the writers of this report forcefully stressed the need for research into effective instructional practices, many well intentioned open access programs, such as the One Laptop per Child project and numerous open educational resource (OER) projects, are founded on an “if you build it / share it, they will come” premise. By the report’s focus on the transformative power of the delivery medium, readers may be left with the notion that free flows of information and access to communication technologies will naturally lead to learning. However, is offering learners access to an information technology and an open educational resource significantly different than offering learners a bus pass and a library card? While both options would likely benefit the learners, few would consider either to be instruction or models for the future of education. Design Critique Innovation through Effective Instruction: From Information Transfer to Knowledge Generation and Management In the section that follows, an outline is provided which proposes instructional design practices to support and foster innovation. The presented instructional design considerations go beyond basic information transfer to practices which foster effective knowledge generation and management. Move from Problems to be Corrected to Opportunity Identification Problem to be corrected. Most instructional design plans begin with an identification of instructional problems. The identified problems form the reason for undertaking instruction. Unfortunately, when viewed as problem correction, instruction becomes an intervention to correct deficiencies. Opportunity identification. In contrast, instruction conceived of as opportunity identification focuses on answering three important questions which are central to any planning activity, including: 1)”Where we are today?” 2) “Where we want to be in the future?” and 3) “What do we need to do to get there?” While there is a subtle difference between the identification of problems to be corrected and opportunity identification, the impact on the instructional objectives can be profound. The focus of the instructional objectives and, in turn, 8 the design plan shifts from making the learner or organization whole today (by filling in existing skill and knowledge gaps) to creating learning experiences tied directly to long term goals for the future. Leverage Learner Experiences and Knowledge through Co-creation of Knowledge Build upon what learners know. Learner analysis is one of the primary steps in most instructional design plans. By ensuring that the learner analysis includes the learners’ entry Design Critique 9 competencies, their level of expertise, and their background knowledge an instructional designer is able to create and facilitate instructional strategies which are authentic and build upon the existing knowledge of the learners. In turn, learners will be more engaged in the instruction and contribute to the knowledge creation and sharing process. Ground in authentic tasks. Tied to above, it is important to consider the context in which the learners will use the to-be-learned knowledge. The design plan should incorporate instructional strategies which are grounded in authentic tasks and situations that the learner faces now and will face in the future. By doing so, it is more likely that the learners will integrate the instruction and contribute to future innovation after the instructional event is over. Re-think Traditional Instructional Roles Instructors as facilitators versus transmitters. The instructor role is often conceived of as a transmitter of information. However, in order to foster knowledge generation among learner participants, it is necessary to re-think the traditional role of the instructor from transmitter of information to facilitator of knowledge co-creation. Learners as Co-creators. In order to foster knowledge generation among participants, it is important to go beyond a notion of learners as sponges who absorb information transmitted by the instructor. Instead, learners must take on active roles as co-creators of knowledge. As noted, learners have experiences to build upon which can not only add to given instructional sessions, but also to knowledge generation and sharing beyond the classroom. Re-assess Instructional Time Horizon The instructional event. When instruction or training is considered as an intervention to fix or address a specific problem or need, instructional design plans tend to be limited to the Design Critique instructional event. However, it is shortsighted for a designer to not contemplate knowledge creation and sharing opportunities after the instructional event is over. Beyond the instructional event. An overriding goal of instruction should be integration. The benefit of gaining knowledge is the ability to use it. If learners do not integrate the newly formed knowledge into their lives, there is not much benefit to be derived from conducting the 10 instruction in the first place. Therefore, instruction should contemplate what the learners will do with the instruction and attempt to extend the knowledge generation and sharing beyond the instructional event. One way to accomplish this is to effectively support the learners’ integration into formal and information networks, as discussed below. Support Knowledge Networks Formal Networks. Formal networks are formed to support a shared goal or vision. Instruction is typically undertaken to support the needs of formal networks; to train employees or educate members to be more productive within the greater formal network. Therefore, it is a traditional practice within instructional design to fully consider the needs, characteristics, and context of the formal network. Who are the players? What are the roles? How will the instruction support the knowledge generation and management needs of the formal network? Informal Networks. Beyond support of formal networks, instruction should also recognize and foster knowledge creation and sharing within informal networks. In contrast to formal networks, informal networks are formed by individuals who hold common, but not necessarily shared, needs and goals. Informal networks tend to be loosely joined, but are often very influential and powerful innovators. While informal networks are often hard to identify, it is important to consider ways to contemplate existing and potential informal networks within the design of instruction and to help the network members recognize their common needs and goals. Design Critique Open Lines of Communication 11 For any formal or informal knowledge network to function, the members must be able to communicate. An important step in the instructional design process is ensuring all members of the learning community have access to communication channels and are versed in the shared language. However, beyond access and knowledge of important terminology, it is important for learners to know the people who hold expertise in key areas and how to connect with them. Address Barriers to Knowledge Generation and Sharing Barriers to Accessing People. As discussed above, participation among individuals is central to the notion of knowledge co-creation. However, barriers among participants can impede the knowledge generation and sharing among participants. The barriers may be intentional or unintentional. Some participants may not want to engage with others, due a lack of incentive or to conceal information and knowledge, while others may simply not be aware of the existence of others with a particular expertise. Instructional designers can help learners form connections and, as noted above, establish a shared language and platform from which to communicate. Barriers to Accessing Information. Information is fuel for a knowledge network. Barriers to a free flow of information can mean that participants will not be able to leverage the information during knowledge generation. However, the free flow of information can be impeded, again either intentionally or unintentionally. Unintentional barriers are often created when someone holds information without knowing others would benefit from it or when there is too much information to sift through (the “firehouse” effect), validate, or synthesize. In contrast, intentional barriers are created when individuals or groups attempt to protect the value of the information they possess through copyright or other access fees. It is complicated balance Design Critique between protecting intellectual property and trade secrets while also ensuring that participants are benefiting from a free flow of information. Instructional designers can help learners overcome these barriers by identifying or providing vetted information sources. Barriers to Accessing Tools. Tools are the medium with which information and knowledge are codified and disseminated. Without access to and knowledge of how to use the 12 tools, a barrier exists. Again, this barrier can be intentional, such as in the form of access fees or patents, or unintentional, such as in a lack of awareness that the tool exists or knowledge of how to use the tool. Instructional designers should contemplate the tools available to learners and ensure that learners have the necessary access and skills to use the tools. Design Critique References 13 Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, & Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2004). Innovation in the knowledge economy: implications for education and learning. Knowledge management. Paris, France: OECD.

Drupal Presentation from the Indiana University IST Conference

Attached is the presentation material from the Drupal workshop I hosted today during the 2007 Indiana University IST Conference. Please leave any comments below or use the contact form (on the menu bar above) if you have any questions ... or ... better, yet ... join us on Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET for live web casts at the Drupal CMS Academy!

Drupal as a Personal Learning Environment

Games: Facilitated Online

Here is a recap of a Framegame (by Thiagi) that I conducted toward the end of last semester. The book provides great insights into facilitating an educational game ... I amended the core approaches to work within an online setting.

Audience: The audience for the session included a group of educators who meet
online Thursday nights to discuss and share ideas about various topics in the
field of education during an informal peer learning session. On the night of
the Framegame, 7 participants played in the game and a few others lurked in the
virtual "corner". While many of the weekly attendees are k-12 teachers, some
are educational technology specialists in college or corporate settings. Nearly
all of the participants are using Internet based technologies to support
learning activities. A growing concern is how to foster appropriate participant
interactions within the online learning environment.

Topic - Tactics to promote positive online
interactions:
While most
would agree that the goal is to create and support positive interactions (free
of "flame wars" or "cyber bullying"), many are unsure how to go about
it. Is it a matter of just setting strict online codes of conduct? Is it about
modeling good behavior? Is it about discussion moderation and tossing out the
bad apples?

Framegame - Take Five: I selected the Take Five Framegame to
generate possible tactics which educators could use to create and support
positive interactions in their online environments.

Online Communication: This group is made up of technology geeks
who love new online learning challenges, so I was not too concerned about
running this online versus f2f. While I ran into a few glitches, the following
online communications tools provided and effective and efficient means of facilitating
the game:

Game Play: The following outlines the planned script (talking points and actions)
for the session. The "Notes" sections
in italics below highlight deviations from either the basic Framegame or the
script.

  • Brief players: The topic for this brainstorm is tactics to
    use as educators to foster positive interactions within online learning
    environments. In the next half hour, we will explore this topic by coming up
    with a list of effective tactics to take back to the classroom to both foster
    appropriate participant interactions and address inappropriate conduct should
    it arise.
  • Individual brainstorm: For the next few minutes, please reflect on
    the topic and come up with a short list of effective techniques that you would
    use to foster appropriate and positive participant interactions in an online
    learning environment. Try to keep your list of solutions short and to the point
    as we will be discussing them in more detail in the next step.

[Note: Given 7 attendees joined the session,
I ran this version of Take Five as an individual version (per the suggestion on
p. 261 in Framegames). However, if I had been faced with a group of 10 or more,
my plan was to ask for volunteers to pair up and use the private text chat
function to communicate with a partner.]

  • Group Brainstorm on Whiteboard: Let us now move over to the whiteboard and
    begin forming a combined list of possible techniques. Using the text tool, take
    turns typing in your list of suggested techniques in the left hand column. Try
    to keep an eye on the list to avoid adding an item already offered by another
    player. Duplicate entries will be combined before we move to the next step.
    Let's try to get a combined list of 10 to 12 good possible tactics on the whiteboard.
    Also, please speak up if you would like clarification about a possible
    solution.

[Note: This process prompted participants to
share lengthy descriptions about each of the tactics ("Here is what I do with
my students ..." , which ate into the time previously allocated for the final
debrief. However, it didn't seem to make any sense to stifle the brainstorming
conversation (the point of the game) just to stick to the game script.]

  • Voting - Round 1: We
    will now begin the process of voting for the most effective approach. Using the
    pen tool, select the blue color and place a check mark next to the recommendation
    that you feel is the most effective tactic.
  • Scoring - Round 1: Now that we have all made our top choices,
    we will score this round. The most popular response for this round was
    "**". Therefore, those who selected this response should score 1
    points. As "**" suggested this tactic, s/he should score 5 points. As a
    friendly reminder, all scoring is on the honor system. Therefore, as I read out
    the score for each round, please keep a running tally of your points.
  • Voting - Round 2 - 5: Consider this list again (minus any item
    that is crossed out) and use the pen tool (with the red color) and place a
    check mark next to the recommendation that you feel is the most effective
    tactic. It can be the same item you selected in a previous round, as long as
    that item is not already in our top choices. [Repeat through round 5]
  • Scoring - Round 2 - 5: Now that we have all made our top choices,
    we will score this round. The most popular response for this round was "**".
    Therefore, those who selected this response should score 1 points and "**" who
    suggested the tactic should score 5 points.

[Note regarding scoring: For ease of facilitation
in this online environment, I made slight adjustments to the scoring scheme from
the original Framegame model.]

  • Conclusion of the Game: We now have a list of the top 5 techniques.
    Please add up your personal score and share it with the group. Congratulations
    to our winner!
  • Debrief: Let's more fully consider the list and discuss the merits of not only
    our top 5 choices, but how we arrived at this list. Do you think through this
    method we arrived at a good working list of 5 effective techniques? What
    surprises you about the list? Would you like to make a case for or against
    items that were selected or any that were not selected in the top 5?

[Note: Given the time we spent discussing
the recommended tactics during the brainstorm, we did not have time for a full
debrief. Instead, I offered to compile the list form the session so that the
group can pick up their discussion next time.]

Critique / Reflection:

  • Time: We spent about 40 minutes playing the game. As noted above, we spent
    more time than I had originally allocated for the brainstorm portion, which
    left us out of time for a full debrief. If I had more time, I would like to
    have heard more from the group about what they thought about the process
    (effectiveness, efficiency, etc).
  • Scoring / Voting: The participants were not that interested
    in the scoring and voting aspects. They were far more interested in discussing
    the topic than coming up with the most "popular" vote. Therefore, I'm not sure
    if the scoring or voting is a crucial element when you have highly motivated
    participants. However, I can see how it could add interest with less motivated
    participants and when you have enough participants to make it a team based
    game.
  • Quality of Participant Recommendations: The list of participant recommendations, as
    well as the ensuing discussion was great. I think this was due to the participants'
    interest in the topic, as well as the participatory nature of the brainstorm on
    the whiteboard. Each recommendation seemed to build on another until it seemed
    the group fleshed out the key tactics.
  • Interest / Engagement: Participant interest level and engagement
    was great! However, I purposely chose a topic that I knew the group would find interesting.
    Coincidently, this group had been criticized in a discussion board comment
    about some dialog that a listener found less than positive the week before. We
    were able to kick off our discussion by using that as an example of how
    difficult it can be to keep online interactions positive for all participants.
    This clearly helped to gain participant interest. In addition, the process does
    encourage participation from all players, both in posting recommendations as
    well as in voting. The participants indicated that they liked the game and felt
    it helped to bring out a good discussion and a list of tactics to use in the
    future. However, as usual, I INTERJECTED TOO MUCH!
  • Online Facilitation: The communication tools made this an easy
    game to facilitate online. See the screen captures from the session below.
    However, that being said, I had a group of self-described "tech geeks" who love
    to play with new technology. I can see how the whiteboard could become a
    free-for-all disaster in the hands of kids (but they would probably have a
    blast in the process!) However, I also see how this could be facilitated
    asynchronously using a discussion board and an online polling / voting
    mechanism, such as in a content management system.
  • My Key Take Always: I now appreciate how games can raise
    interest level and engage a group. In addition, the planning process and
    structure of the game helped me as the facilitator organize and prepare my
    thoughts. However, I can also guess that some audiences would not be as
    interested in the "game play" (competitive scoring) aspect - especially when
    discussing serious or heavy topics. I think if I would have pushed to stick to
    the voting / scoring scheme I would have definitely taken away from the flow of
    the discussion. In the end, I found Take Five to be a very effective format to
    get the group brainstorming to come up with recommended tactics. I will definitely attempt this format again
    in the future!



The top responses were:

1.      Scaffold / model

2.      Welcome / be tolerant of differing opinions

3.      Sense of humor

4.      Respond in civil manner (say sorry) (to
avoid flame wars)

5.      Work to create a "culture"

Additional responses were:

  • Transparency
  • Keep
    students interested
  • Cross
    your fingers / hope for the best
  • Responsive
    / openness
  • Peer
    pressure / policing themselves
  • Formal
    discussion moderator
  • Stick
    with it / continue the conversations even when tough
  • Explicit code of
    conduct (no one
    liked)

IDT 848: Evaluation Abstracts

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Article Reviews Running head: ARTICLE REVIEWS 1 Article Reviews Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 848 Evaluation Study Abstracts Dr. Adcock October 22, 2008 Article Reviews Reference Burton, J., & Aversa, F. (1979). Formative evaluation information from scripts, scratch tracks, and rough cuts: A comparison. Educational Communication and Technology Journal, 27(3), 191-194. Summary 2 Given the significant time and expense outlay involved with television course production, Burton and Aversa (1979) sought to understand how early in the televised course development process the learner content review should occur. While prior research on formative evaluation suggested that review should begin when the instructional product is still “fluid”, Burton and Aversa questioned how useful learner script review is at the early production stage and predicted early stage scripts would be too incomplete for the learner to discern the instructional message. Design Sample and Studied Variables 82 adult learner reviewers were selected from a group of potential students who fit the learner profile for the course. The students were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups, including those who reviewed (a) the written script alone, (b) the written script and an audio scratch track, and (c) the first rough cut version of the video. The three groups were compared based on both learning outcome, as well as on learner responses to the course material categorized into three areas, including the overall appeal of the program, the learner’s affective responses to the subject matter, and the design of the structural elements of the program. Treatment Members of all three groups provided basic demographic information, including age, education level, subject background, and received the same introduction to the course entitled, Japan II: The Changing Tradition. Those in the script group read through the written script once. Article Reviews The learners in the scratch track listened to an audio recording of a single voice reading all narrations while following along with the written script. The rough cut group viewed the initial version of the video without visual effects or music. After reviewing the materials, the learners completed a 5-point Likert scale opinion questionnaire about the instructional product followed by a short answer test to assess their understanding of the presented material. Analysis and Results 3 The collected demographic information confirmed the groups did not differ significantly. Further, the differences in the mean scores across the three groups for the short answer test were not statistically significant. However, in terms of learner responses to the questionnaire, the mean differences across the three groups were statistically significant. For each learner response measures, the mean scores for the scratch test group were greater than for script group which were greater than for the rough cut group. Critical Summary This study provides support for the use of early scripts and audio scratch tests in high production courses. However, as was most striking to the researchers, the relatively harsh response to the rough cut video appears to contradict prior research. As a possible explanation for the poor learner responses in this study, the rough cut used in this study may have been too rough and too far from the finished representations to allow a viable comparison. Application This study offers support for early evaluation, especially when production time and expense is high and late term revisions would be costly. As this study suggests, learner reviewers are able to discern the instructional message in very early drafts within the development process. Reference Article Reviews Jones, T., & Richey, R. (2000). Rapid prototyping methodology in action: A developmental study. Educational Technology Research and Development, 48(2), 63-80. Summary Citing mixed findings in research literature, Jones and Richey (2000) questioned the 4 effect of rapid prototyping (RP) on instructional design development cycle time, product quality, and customer satisfaction. The purpose of their qualitative study was to gain a better understanding of how RP methods are applied, what the customer’s role is within the RP process, how (if any) concurrent completion of design tasks occur, what (if any) instructional systems process and quality enhancements result, and how customer satisfaction is impacted. Design Qualitative Details and Methodology This qualitative study was conducted at an instructional design firm with 14 employees. Several years prior to the study, the firm adopted a RP process for their custom designs that focused on three milestones, including (a) kickoff involving a customer meeting where roles, responsibilities, and schedules are determined, (b) design freeze when full agreement on product format, content, and instructional strategies is reached between the designers and customer and rapid development occurs, and (c) pilot ready when the product ready for learner pilot testing. The activities of two senior instructional designers on two separate projects, as well as one client contact per project, were examined. Both projects were one-day instructor led classes, but were delivered using different media. Data collection included reviews of designer task logs and other project data, as well as personal interviews. Data analysis focused on the nature of the RP process, attitudes about RP and the product, cycle time, and overall customer involvement. Analysis and Results While the projects were completed fairly linearly, especially in the final stages, the data Article Reviews analysis revealed that the 14 key tasks prescribed by the firm’s RP model were performed for each project with concurrent processing occurring in the completion of 10 out of the 14 key tasks. Work time varied between the two projects at the task level, but total work time was similar at 79.25 hours for Project 1 and 74.0 hours for Project 2. Both the designers and customers perceived reduced cycle times as compared with traditional instructional design. The researchers noted the relatively high degree of customer interaction in both projects. Customers were actively involved in (a) analyzing the training needs, (b) providing input, feedback and approval of content, learning activities, and the prototype, and (c) participating in the pilot. Given that learner achievement data was not collected, the researchers focused on satisfaction (of the designer and customer) and usability to the end customer. Satisfaction with 5 the project was high for both the customer and designers. Further, both projects were put into use immediately after delivery to the customer and were in use one year after which the researches deemed to be a measure of product quality from an external consultant’s perspective. Critical Summary Given the results of this limited qualitative review, the chosen RP design process resulted in acceptable production cycle time, a usable instructional product, and a satisfied customer; all good outcomes for an instructional design consultant. However, without a measure of learning outcome, effectiveness was not fully evaluated. Further, it is possible that the relatively high degree of stakeholder involvement during the entire instructional design process, not simply RP process changes, was the key factor in the project’s success. Article Reviews Application The most significant outcome of this study is the reinforcement of the need for frequent communication and buy-in from the stakeholder. As suggested in this study, a project will run 6 efficiently and result in a more satisfactory outcome if there is open communication, stakeholder input, and agreement on key decisions throughout the design process. Reference Brown, K. G. (2005). An Examination of the Structure and Nomological Network of Trainee Reactions: A Closer Look at 'Smile Sheets'. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(5), 9911001. Summary Brown (2005) studied training reaction from an affect-based theoretical framework examining affect as a subjective state that is either positive or negative. Based on cited prior theory and research, Brown predicted: (a) affective training experiences create an overall evaluation of satisfaction which in turn influences specific reactions to the training; (b) content interest is positively related to reactions; (c) learner personality traits and orientations are related to reactions; (d) media aesthetic appeal influence reactions, and (e) reactions and learning are related. Design Sample and Studied Variables Two studies were held to examine these predictions. In the first study, 178 undergraduate business students and 101 graduate business students volunteered to answer a survey regarding a pre-recorded videotaped lecture with 64% and 58% response rates, respectively. The second study included 97 undergraduate business students who were randomly assigned to one of three groups who viewed the same lecture presented via three different technologies, including (a) a Article Reviews 7 computer-delivered presentation, (b) audio and print, and (c) video, audio, and print. Between the two studies, a host of measures were evaluated and compared, including learners’ computer experience, personality traits (extraversion, neuroticism, and openness), mastery and performance goal orientation, content interest, technology satisfaction, perception of relevance, enjoyment, overall satisfaction, engagement, and learning. Treatment In the first study, learners viewed a videotaped lecture and took a survey assessing content interest and reaction. In the second study, participants viewed the identical instruction, but via the noted technologies. At the lecture’s midpoint, a brief engagement survey was conducted. After the lecture, learners completed a reaction survey, an intention questionnaire related to future use of the technology, and a 25 item multiple choice knowledge test. Analysis and Results From the first study, a factor analysis suggested that (a) reactions are related, (b) overall satisfaction is a good predictor of other reaction measures, and (c) attitude (interest) and disposition (master goal orientation) predict reactions. Within the second study, a multivariate analysis of covariance with ACT score as the covariate showed statistically significant differences in reactions across delivery technologies with audio conditions having statistically lower satisfaction measures. In addition, regression analysis suggests reactions can predict engagement, intentions, and learning. Critical Summary While Brown’s paper presents an intriguing affect-based theoretical framework for the study of trainee reaction, he acknowledged the conflict between his research findings and prior research, especially within the suggested relationship between reaction and learning. It is Article Reviews 8 troubling that Brown is satisfied that his findings from these very short and limited single session interventions can challenge this extensive body of prior research. Application Brown’s affect-based theoretical framework is an intriguing basis for future research on trainee reactions. If his findings are correct that an overall satisfaction measure is a predictor of other reaction measures and that reaction can predict engagement, intentions, and learning, reaction surveys could be streamline to just a few items addressing overall satisfaction with the experience. Reference Kandaswamy, S., Stolovitch, H., & Thiagarajan, S. (1976). Learner verification and revision: An experimental comparison of two methods. Audio-visual Communication Review, 24(3), 316-328. Summary Kandaswamy, Stolovitch, and Thiagarajan (1976) report on one in a series of studies on learner verification and revision (LVR). Noting increased advocacy and use of learner feedback during formative evaluation, the researchers assess the generalizability of prior studies which support LVR and compare the effectiveness of tutorial LVR and group-based LVR methods. Design Sample and Studied Variables 140 eighth grade girls were randomly selected from two different schools in India. 60 girls were randomly assigned to the LVR group while the remaining 80 were included in a final summative comparison. Four teachers from the schools were randomly selected as evaluator / revisers. The studied LVR methods included (a) tutorial LVR in which the evaluator / reviser probes and monitors the learner’s nonverbal and verbal feedback while the learner completes the Article Reviews 9 material and (b) group based LVR in which the evaluator / reviser analyzes patterns of errors and predicts causes after the learner completes the material. The 60 assigned to the LVR group were stratified based on prior math achievement and one top, average, and poor student was randomly assigned to each of the four evaluator / revisers for the tutorial LVR treatment. The remaining 48 were randomly assigned to the four evaluator / revisers for the group-based LVR treatment. Treatment For the 48 learners in the group-based LVR treatment, a proctor administered a printed self-study instruction booklet which contained a pretest, instruction, and posttest. Upon completion, each of the two group-based evaluator / revisers took 12 booklets each and made independent group-based revisions. The other two evaluator / revisers conducted separate tutorial LVR sessions with the 3 students assigned to them and made independent revisions from the evaluation. In a second phase, the review and revision process was reversed. These two phases resulted in a total of eight revised versions and allowed an evaluation of the order in which the methods were used. The 80 students in summative comparison group were randomly assigned to one of eight groups and completed one of the revised pretest, instruction, and posttest materials. Analysis and Results A one-way analysis of variance of the posttests of the original and eight revised versions show statistically significant differences between each of the eight revisions and the original which supports the research prediction that learner review and revision improves the instructional material. However, there was no significant difference in outcomes between the tutorial and group methods of LVR or from the order in which the methods were used. Yet, the revisions by different evaluators and revisers did have different degrees of effectiveness supporting the prediction that not all revisions by evaluators are of equal value. Article Reviews Critical Summary This study is significant in that it suggests support for conducting learner based review. 10 Further, the findings suggest that the evaluation method and order of use of different methods are less important than the person chosen as the evaluator and reviser. Application These findings suggest that not all evaluators are equally effective at evaluation and revision. Therefore, an evaluator quality control process should be contemplated which includes a cross-comparison of revision recommendations across multiple reviewers and evaluations of the evaluators. Reference Medley-Mark, V., & Weston, C. B. (1988). A comparison of student feedback obtained from three methods of formative evaluation of instructional materials. Instructional Science, 17(1), 3-27. Summary Twelve years after the 1976 study by Kandaswamy, Stolovitch, and Thigarajan discussed above, Medley-Mark and Weston (1988) sought to quantitatively and qualitatively compare the data collected from one-to-one and small groups during learner verification and review (LVR). Given the lack of research on the characteristics of the data collected, the stated purpose of the study was to examine the identified student problems across various LVR conditions. Article Reviews Design Mixed Method Details and Methodology 24 students volunteered to participate in the evaluation of two modules in their undergraduate educational media course. The volunteers were stratified based on grade point average. From this, six students were selected based on availability and assigned into one of 11 three groups, including a one-to-one group with the student with the highest grade point average (GPA) (1-1), a small group of two students with comparable mid-range GPA’s (1-2), and a small group of three students from each of the three GPA levels (1-3). All six students participated in two sessions. In the first, the unmodified version of the prior year’s one hour lecture was given by the instructor followed by Assignment 1 which the learners completed based on their assigned condition, as discussed below. In the second session, learners viewed a video-taped lecture followed by Assignment 2, again completed based on their assigned condition. The two print based assignments included short-answer and essay exercises which were graded and evaluated. In the 1-1 session, the evaluator assumed a passive role while the learner was encouraged to think aloud during assignment completion. Students in the 1-2 session were encouraged to discuss encountered problems as they individually completed the assignments. Those in the 1-3 group were instructed to work independently and passively. After the learners completed the assignments, the evaluator in each group conducted a debriefing session with prepared questions. Analysis and Results Overall, the 1-1 condition identified the most number of problems with the greatest detail, but the evaluation process involved the most time and effort on the part of both the learner and evaluator. The 1-2 group identified the second highest number of problems, but evaluated the Article Reviews product in conditions that were most similar to actual use. The 1-3 group identified the fewest 12 number of issues, but their time to complete the assignment was closest to actual use. In addition, the groups differed based on the types of problems identified. The 1-1 and 1-2 conditions focused heavily on problems associated with the situation statements while the 1-3 group focused on the problem or the problem choice within the assignment. Critical Summary This study is valuable for its qualitative comparison of the one-to-one and small group learner evaluation. While no clear cut winner is established, that was not the point of the study. Rather, the study suggests a comparison and tradeoff between efficiency and effectiveness. While one-to-one evaluation may provide the greater efficacy in terms of problem identification, it will come at a higher cost in terms of time and energy on the part of the learner and evaluator. In contrast, the small group learner evaluation may offer a more efficient and practical evaluation method, but may not offer the most breadth and depth of problem identification. Application This study suggests that evaluators need to consider the practical efficacy and efficiency tradeoffs and implications when creating an evaluation plan. While one-to-one evaluation may lack efficiency, greater efficacy may result in terms of breadth and depth of problem identification. In contrast, small group may offer a more efficiency when the evaluator does not have the luxury of time and budget to run a series of one-on-one learner reviews, but fewer issues may be identified.

IDT 873 Behavioral vs Cognitive Instructional Design Examples

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Design Example: Instruction designed based on behavioral vs cognitive perspectives

IDT 873 Instructional Philosophy Paper

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IDT 873: 4C / ID Model and the Cognitive Load of Authentic Tasks

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IDT 873 Abstract: Cognitive Task Analysis Jennifer Maddrell van Merrienboer, J. J. G., Kirschner, P. A., & Kester, L. (2003). Taking the Load Off a Learner's Mind: Instructional Design for Complex Learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 513. Overview Citing decades of prior cognitive load theory and research, van Merrienboer, Kirschner, and Kester (2003) offer a theoretical framework and instruction design model for complex learning. Noting a recent emphasis on authentic learning tasks (such as project and problembased learning approaches) to support complex learning, they consider the implications on cognitive load and offer a model designed to manage both intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load. Theory While the theories underlying the use of authentic learning tasks may vary, a common assumption is that authentic tasks help learners to integrate the knowledge and skills necessary for complex task performance (van Merrienboer et al., 2003). However, given the novice learner’s weak problem-solving methods, they face high extraneous cognitive load when confronted with authentic tasks. In addition, the complexity inherent in the authentic task presents high intrinsic cognitive load. Therefore, based on cognitive load theory, engaging in highly complex authentic learning tasks may strain the novice learner’s limited working memory and subject the learner to excessive cognitive load. Proposal van Merrienboer et al. focus their attention on both the nature and the delivery timing of the presented information. They suggest that supportive information (knowledge necessary for problem solving and reasoning) is best presented before the learner engages in the learning task. Such supportive task specific information is inherently complex and needed in order to know how to approach the learning task. Presenting the supportive information first helps learners construct schemas to be used as they begin task performance. In contrast, van Merrienboer et al. suggest that procedural information (the how to instructions for rule application) is best presented when needed during task performance. They argue that such just-in-time presentation of procedural information reduces the potential for splitattention effects that may occur when the learner attempts to integrate procedural information learned previously with actions he or she is taking now. Heuristics From these suggested practices, van Merrienboer et al. offer an instructional design model (the 4C / ID model) for complex learning that focuses on four components: 1) learning tasks, 2) supportive information, 3) procedural information, and 4) part-task practice. The heuristics for designers within the 4C / ID model is to sequence from simple versions of the whole task beginning with a high level of support and ending with a complex version without support. In addition, as discussed above, supportive information is to be presented in advance of performance while procedural information required to perform the task is to be presented as the task is being performed. Finally, to encourage automaticity, additional repetitive practice should be incorporated for parts of the task. Critique The focus of the article is not an examination of the effects of authentic learning tasks on learning, but rather the implications of incorporating such tasks on the learner’s cognitive load. As such, the article offers a bridge across theory, research, and practice. A key strength of the article is the authors’ focus on the reality of limited working memory and the high cognitive load IDT 873 Abstract: Cognitive Task Analysis Jennifer Maddrell imposed by authentic learning tasks. The 4C / ID model offers designers a way of incorporating authentic tasks while at the same time better managing cognitive load. However, as a theoretical article, it does not offer results from a study of the model in practice. Do the heuristics within the 4C / ID model help to manage cognitive load? Further, do authentic learning tasks designed within the framework of the 4C / ID model effectively and efficiently support learning? These questions are left to future research.

IDT 873: Cognitive Task Analysis for Troubleshooting

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IDT 873 Abstract: Cognitive Task Analysis Jennifer Maddrell Schaafstal, A., Schraagen, J. M., & van Berlo, M. (2000). Cognitive task analysis and innovation of training: The case of the structured troubleshooting. Human Factors, 42(1), 75–86. Research Overview. Following an instructional design evaluation of an existing Royal Netherlands Navy maintenance training course, Schaafstal, Schraagen, and van Berlo (2000) observed a gap between the instruction and the practice of troubleshooting the subject system. They observed that the existing instruction was based largely on the technical equipment documentation from engineers which focused exclusively on the system’s components. Following a comprehensive cognitive task analysis (CTA), Schaafstal et al. revised the instruction under the assumption that maintenance system troubleshooting is a complex cognitive task requiring not only knowledge about the system’s components, but also knowledge about how the system functions and how to consider possible causes and solutions to maintenance problems. The CTA consisted of several observational studies of troubleshooting with technicians of varying expertise levels. Based on information from the CTA, a modified course was prepared which focused on a functional understanding of the system versus the component orientation of the prior course. In addition, general troubleshooting strategies were incorporated which gave learners instruction on how to a) describe the problem, b) generate causes, c) test causes, d) repair, and e) evaluate solutions. Purpose. The purpose of the presented research was to evaluate the modified structured troubleshooting training course and to compare it with the exiting maintenance training course. Schaafstal et al. predicted superior outcomes from the revised course. Methodology. A series of experimental studies compared the learning outcomes of maintenance trainees taking the new structured troubleshooting training course with groups of maintenance trainees taking the existing training course. Outcome measures included malfunction identification, reasoning, and functional understanding of the system. Conclusions. The modifications in the course reduced the course duration by 33% (from six to four weeks). Even at the shortened length, those participating in the new course achieved statistically superior results as compared to those in the original course. Based on the results of the study, Schaafstal et al. suggest that novice technicians lack both a systematic approach to troubleshooting, as well as a functional understanding of the equipment. As seen in prior research, they observed that novices face information overload (lose the forest for the trees), lack hierarchically organized cognitive frameworks, lack functional understanding, possess inadequate mental models of underlying system, and lack the ability to isolate causes of the problem. Therefore, based on the results of their evaluation, they suggest that training in troubleshooting should focus on three areas: 1) system independent troubleshooting strategies to be used across systems, 2) system specific functional models, and 3) system specific domain knowledge. Heuristics Results of this research suggest the importance of moving away from a purely component oriented analysis to what the researchers term a functional decomposition when designing troubleshooting skills instruction. While analysis and instruction on the components is necessary, it is not sufficient. Analysis and instruction should also focus on the functional processes, including likely causes of potential problems and paths to solutions, in order for learners to know what to do when troubleshooting. Further, the results indicate that training in system independent troubleshooting skills can further augment the troubleshooting skills instruction. IDT 873 Abstract: Cognitive Task Analysis Jennifer Maddrell Critique The presented research is important for two reasons. The research suggests a positive influence of CTA on outcomes in troubleshooting training. By revising the instruction to focus on a functional understanding of the system from information gleaned in the CTA, the instruction appears to have been significantly improved. In addition, the findings suggest a positive impact from teaching system independent troubleshooting skills. Also, the paper is valuable for the information provided about the evolution of the authors’ CTA process. This information will be helpful to future designers and researchers. Unfortunately, the written presentation of this paper is horribly disjointed. It is doubtful that most readers will devote the time necessary to weave a coherent narrative out of the broken threads of theory, prior research, CTA processes, instructional design considerations, research methodologies, and conclusions. There is a wealth of information included in the paper, but unfortunately the reader must devote an unnecessary amount of effort to piece it all together.

IDT 873: Concept Attainment

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IDT 873 Abstracts: Concepts Jennifer Maddrell Klausmeier, H. J., & Feldman, K. V. (1975). Effects of a definition and a varying number of examples and nonexamples on concept attainment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 67(2), 174-178. Research Purpose and focus. Klausmeier and Feldman (1975) focused their research on concept attainment which they defined within their study as the ability to a) discriminate defining attributes, b) name the concept and each defining attribute, c) evaluate examples and nonexamples, and d) define the word representing the concept. In reviewing prior literature on concept attainment, they highlighted four categories of variables generally studied, including 1) a rational set of examples and nonexamples, 2) definitions of a concept (based on the relevant attributes of the concept), 3) emphasizers to facilitate discrimination, and 4) feedback. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of presenting various combinations of concept definitions and rational sets. They predicted better attainment from those presented with both a rational set and a definition than those presented with either one or the other. Further, they predicted better attainment from those presented with the definition and additional different rational sets. Methodology. 134 fourth-grade students from two Wisconsin (Go Badgers!) elementary schools participated in the study. The students were stratified into high, medium and low levels based on their performance on the most recent Iowa Tests of Basic Skills test. The subject matter concept was the equilateral triangle. Students within each stratification level were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups which included those presented with 1) a definition of the concept without examples or nonexamples, 2) a rational set of three examples and five nonexamples, 3) a combination of the same definition and rational set, and 4) a combination of the same definition and three different rational sets of three examples and five nonexamples. The treatment lesson was presented in four printed lesson booklets. Following instruction, students were given 1 minute to read each lesson page and then were instructed to turn to the next page allowing 5 minutes per lesson booklet. Immediately following the last lesson, a classification task within a printed booklet measured concept attainment. Without time limit, students viewed 38 instances and were asked to identify whether the instance was an example (by circling yes) or nonexample (by circling no) of an equilateral triangle. Results and conclusions. Means for the stratified groups reflected the initial levels with means for high > medium > low. As predicted, no significant difference in concept attainment was found between those who were presented with either a definition or a rational set. Contrary to the researchers’ prediction, there was also no significant difference from a combination of a definition and the single rational set. However, there was a significant difference between those presented with a definition and those who also received three rational sets. These findings are important as they suggest an advantage for presenting additional rational sets of examples and non-examples. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that designers should augment the presentation of the concept definition with multiple rational sets of examples and non-examples when teaching concepts. As seen in this experiment, providing learners with additional rational sets to consider may increase their attainment of the concept. Critique Page | 1 Submitted 20081008 IDT 873 Abstracts: Concepts Jennifer Maddrell The results of this study are important as they provide support for the hypothesis that presenting learners with more examples and non-examples is better. However, if three sets of examples and non-examples are better than one, is more than three even better? A criticism of this study is the short intervention and the focus on a single math related concept. Would these results be replicated over a longer period of time with other types of concepts and with different age groups of learners? Tennyson, R. D., & Rothen, W. (1977). Pretask and on-task adaptive design strategies for selecting number of instances in concept acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 69(5), 586-592. Research Purpose and focus. Tennyson and Rothen (1977) sought to expand the previously reviewed work of Klausmeier and Feldman (1975) by evaluating the effect on concept attainment of adapting the number of examples and nonexamples based on individual need. They predicted that an adaptive design strategy that varied the presentation of examples and nonexamples based on student need would improve concept attainment over a nonadaptive strategy. Methodology. 67 undergraduate students participated in the study. The students were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups, including 1) full adaptive, 2) partial adaptive, and 3) nonadaptive. The adaptive designs were modified using a computer-based Bayesian adaptive strategy which altered the number of examples learners viewed based on a) pretreatment measures of aptitude, b), pretests of prior achievement, and c) task performance. A pretest, treatment lesson, and posttest were administered individually via computer. The untimed lesson focused on two legal concepts, including best evidence rule and hearsay. For all groups, the learning task defined the concept based on the critical attributes of the concepts. The number of instances presented to students varied based on their assigned treatment group. The nonadaptive group received the same number of instances. The number of instances in the partial adaptive model was based on pretest data while the number presented within the full adaptive model was modified based on both pretest data and on-task responses. The study also evaluated the time on task which did not include pre- or post-test time. Results and conclusions. While no significant mean differences were found in pretest measures, significant mean differences were reported regarding time on task and posttest score measures. As predicted by the researchers, the results suggest that full adaptive strategies were more effective than partial adaptive strategies and that the two adaptive strategies were more effective than nonadaptive conditions. In addition, the full adaptive group finished the program significantly faster than the partial group which in turn finished faster than the nonadaptive groups. In attempting to explain the results, the researchers suggest that learning tasks where instance presentation is not modified based adaptive strategies may not keep learners’ interest in the task. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest modifying instructional concept presentation based on learner mastery. Based on the findings of this study, presentation of examples and nonexamples after the learner has achieved mastery may result in learners losing interest in the learning task. Critique Page | 2 Submitted 20081008 IDT 873 Abstracts: Concepts Jennifer Maddrell The results of this study are important as they suggest that optimal presentation varies based on the each individual learner’s level of mastery. In this controlled experiment, using a computer based model, the researchers were able to alter the individual presentation based on each learner’s level of mastery which resulted in more effective instruction. However, altering presentation to an individual learner in real-world instructional settings is difficult, especially in group face to face settings. Therefore, while the results suggest an important finding with regard to tailoring instruction to meet the individual learner, such modifications may not be feasible in practice. Page | 3 Submitted 20081008

IDT 873: Concept Learning and Instruction

Research Paper Concepts JMaddrell

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Concept Learning and Instruction Running head: CONCEPT LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION 1 Concept Learning and Instruction Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 873 Advanced Instructional Design Techniques Dr. Gary Morrison November 12, 2008 Concept Learning and Instruction 2 Concept Learning and Instruction While concept learning has been considered across a broad spectrum of theoretical foundations, the prescriptions for instruction are strikingly similar. A rich history of research in concept learning and instruction has led to empirically based instructional design strategies which focus on (a) defining and presenting a concept’s attributes, (b) creating and presenting instances of examples and non-examples of the concept, and (c) fostering guided learner practice in attribute isolation, instance discrimination and generalization, and concept use. This paper offers a summary the central views on the nature of concepts, concept learning measurement, and concept instruction based on a survey of concept learning and instruction theory and research. The Nature of Concepts Whether viewed as the object of learning or a building block to more meaningful learning, there is general agreement regarding the concept construct. Markle and Tiemann (1970, p. 52) considered the similarity in the conception of concepts across theorists to be “remarkable.” A concept is generally described as a category (class, group, or set) of objects, events, symbols, or relationships with shared characteristics or properties, often referred to as attributes (Tennyson & Cocchiarella, 1986). A category is often described as a grouping of objects, events, symbols, or relationships while an attribute describes the dimension from which the objects and events differ (Brown, 1958). Further, membership to the category is generally considered based on either the perceived physical attributes (concrete concepts) or solely by definition (abstract concepts) (Smith & Ragan, 1999). Concept Learning Measurement While the theoretical perspectives vary regarding how concept learning occurs, there is noteworthy similarity in how concept learning, also referred to as concept attainment or acquisition, is measured. Concept learning is generally deemed to have occurred when the learner is able to discriminate among attributes of a concept and to evaluate new examples based on membership to the concept category (Klausmeier & Feldman, 1975). Based on the terminal objective of the instruction, concept learning and assessment can focus on both recall and application of the to-be-learned concept (Morrison, Ross, & Kemp, 2001). The following examines the role of attribute isolation, instance discrimination and generalization, and conceptsin-use in measuring concept learning. Attribute Isolation Concept learning assessment typically focuses on a learner’s ability to consider the nature of instances encountered based upon defining attributes belonging to the concept category (Bruner, Goodnow, & Austin, 1956). A common focus in concept learning assessment is the learner’s ability to discern the relevant criteria by which attributes are grouped into the concept categories (Joyce & Weil, 1972). In measuring concept attainment, two types of attributes are of concern, including (a) defining attributes and (b) criterial attributes isolated by the learner (Bruner et al., 1956). Defining attributes reflect the standard criteria set by appearance or convention. In contrast, criterial attributes are established by the individual to assess and judge membership in the category. Concept learning (or attainment), therefore, is judged based the extent to which the criterial attributes isolated by the learner match the defining attributes. Instance Discrimination and Generalization Concept learning assessment also centers on a learner’s ability to (a) discriminate between what is and what is not a member of the class and (b) generalize new examples by appropriately judging instances based on the degree of membership to the exemplar class (Markle, 1969). Therefore, successful concept learning is assessed based on the learner’s ability Concept Learning and Instruction 3 to place instances in the exemplar class and to respond to members of the exemplar class as a whole (Gagné, 1965). To do so, learners must be able to discriminate non-members from members of the class while not overgeneralizing (incorrectly judging non-examples as examples) or undergeneralizing (incorrectly judging examples as non-examples) (Markle & Tiemann, 1970). Concepts-in-Use In a recent review of theory and research on the role of concepts in learning and instruction, Jonassen (2006) argued that the historical focus of concept learning has been on concept attainment as a discrete and terminal learning outcome without regard to where the concept fits within a larger conceptual framework. In contrast, Jonassen suggested a focus on concepts-in-use in which concept learning centers on concepts as mental model building blocks. As such, Jonassen argues that the instruction and assessment should shift beyond the learner’s ability to identify, discriminate, and generalize membership based on concept attributes and examples to how the learned concepts are organized within the learner’s overall conceptual framework. He asserts that concept learning and assessment should focus on the learner’s ability to describe or represent conceptual patterns and propositions, as in concept maps, word associations, and model building. While Jonassen (2006) may be correct in advocating an expanded instructional focus and a more meaningful terminal objective, it does not follow from his argument that prior concept learning prescriptions do not lead to the learner’s ability to demonstrate application of the concept. Beyond assessing the learner’s ability to correctly identify or categorize concepts, countless other means have been suggested to measure the learner’s ability to use and apply the concept, to make judgments and arguments on the basis of the concept, and to infer membership in superordinate categories (Tessmer, Wilson, & Driscoll, 1990). Therefore, instead of a call for abandonment of past instructional prescriptions, a call for enhanced practice and assessment which forces more meaningful learner application of the to-be-learned concept may be more compelling. Concept Instruction The similarity across theoretical foundations that has been described thus far continues across a review of concept teaching models regarding instructional presentation, learner practice, and guidance. Concept instruction typically includes presentation of a concept definition, presentation of sample instances, and practice in classifying instances of examples and nonexamples (Tennyson & Cocchiarella, 1986). While some differences exist along behavioral, cognitive, or social-cognitive theoretical lines, the prescriptions for presentation, learner practice and guidance cannot be contrasted purely on differences in theoretical foundation. Instead, the prescriptions across theoretical foundations are quite similar with differences occurring in areas such as sequencing, the degree of learner autonomy to discover attributes and instances, and the terminal objective of the lesson. In general, instructional strategy differences can be seen as either expository (direct presentation of attributes and instances) approaches inquiry (learner exportation or discovery of attributes and instances) approaches or (Smith & Ragan, 1999). Setting aside an analysis of the various media and instructional delivery alternatives, the following highlights common presentation, learner practice, and learner guidance techniques stemming from a variety of inquiry and expository approaches. Concept Learning and Instruction 4 Defining Concept Attributes Research suggests that learning is enhanced when a concrete definition is presented and that a definition alone is roughly as effective as a single set of examples and non-examples (Klausmeier & Feldman, 1975). Therefore, concept instruction generally includes providing learners with a stated definition of the domain of the concept based on the properties (attributes) of the concept class (Markle, 1975). Some advocate that the concept definition should identify the name of the concept, the attributes, and how the attributes are combined to determine class membership (Merrill & Tennyson, 1977). When attributes are defined and presented, their characteristics are typically considered based on their function and the degree to which they vary, can be observed, and relate to one another. A critical attribute refers to the necessary characteristics for determining membership while variable attributes are characteristics shared by some members of the class, but are not necessary for class membership (Merrill & Tennyson). Attribute characteristics that are stable across contexts are of constant-dimension while those that vary or change are of variable-dimension (Tennyson & Cocchiarella, 1986). Some suggest further defining attributes based on their (a) intrinsic prosperities, referring to their observable and invariant properties, (b) functional properties, referring to how something functions or is used, or (c) relational properties, referring to the invariant relationship between items. (Klausmeier, 1992). When defined based on their relational properties, concepts fall within three categories, including (a) conjunctive concepts which are defined by one attribute and another, (b) disjunctive concepts which are defined by one attribute or another, and (c) relational concepts which are defined by a relationship between attributes (Fleming & Levie, 1978) Creating Instances Research suggests that factors such as the number, categorization, type, and range of instances presented to learners influence concept learning. Instances refer to examples and nonexamples of the concept being considered and, depending upon whether the concept is physical or abstract, can take the form of (a) a referent or actual object, (b) an isomorphic representation or model of the object, or (c) a symbolic representation including words or other symbols (Merrill & Tennyson, 1977). It is generally suggested that designers augment the presentation of the concept definition with multiple rational sets of examples and non-examples (Markle, 1969). Others suggest that a wide variety of examples be included (Fleming & Levie, 1978) and that the set of example and non-example instances should be matched (Merrill & Tennyson, 1977). Markle (1969 and 1975) offers a standard case concept analysis which focuses on the creation of a rational set of examples and non-examples to be used in both instruction and testing that involves (a) the identification of both critical and variable attributes (b) creation of examples in which all of the critical attributes are present, and (c) creation of non-examples. The ideal non-example is suggested to be one that shares all but one critical property with the concept class and is as concrete as possible (Markle & Tiemann, 1970). In contrast to presentation of sets of examples and non-examples, others suggest presentation of prototypical examples (Tennyson & Cocchiarella, 1986). An alternate view from the previously stated exemplar perspective, the prototype viewpoint suggests that a concept is encoded in memory as a prototypical example of a category member (Klausmeier, 1992). The prototype (or central example) is deemed to be constructed based on the learner’s experiences with examples of the class (Tessmer et al., 1990). Concept Learning and Instruction 5 Presentation, Learner Practice, and Guidance Presenting the concept label and attribute definition. Research suggests that presentation of concept labels and definitions assists learners in concept attainment by establishing the dimensions and boundaries of the learning task (Tennyson & Cocchiarella, 1986). Some argue that a definition of the concept focusing on the critical (defining) attributes should be presented prior to the presentation of instances of examples and non-examples (Tennyson & Park, 1980). Such an approach is often referred to as a RULEG approach in which, rules, principles, generalizations, or definitions (RU) are presented prior to examples (EG) (Markle, 1969). Others suggest beginning with presentation of the definition followed quickly by a recall or recognition activity (Merrill & Tennyson, 1977). However, others advocate an EGRUL presentation sequence in which the example is first presented followed by the rule, especially in cases where the concept is difficult or abstract (Fleming & Levie, 1978). As part of an inquiry approach, others suggest beginning with instructional activities that encourage learners to speculate about the defining attributes based on presentation of examples and non-examples (Joyce & Weil, 1972). Overall, while some variations in approach exist across the reviewed models, early initial presentation or discovery of the concept label and attribute definition is generally advocated. Presenting instances. While the emphasis and sequencing of instance presentation varies across models, the presentation of some form of instance was present in every reviewed concept teaching strategy. As noted, rarely in the reviewed models was an EGRUL approach described in which presentation of examples preceded the definition. Again, an EGRUL approach is generally suggested as a strategy when the concept is difficult or abstract and the learner may not have experience with examples of the concept. Presentation of instances tends to fall along two lines, either (a) presentation of sets of examples and non-examples or (c) presentation of prototypical examples. Some deemphasize the prescription for expository presentation of instance examples and non-examples, but advocate an inquiry approach in which data or information about the concept is presented to the learner from which the learner is able to draw inferences about the concept’s attributes (Joyce & Weil, 1972) In contrast, some advocate incorporating presentation of carefully selected example and non-example instances within either expository or inquiry presentation (Merrill & Tennyson, 1977). In expository presentation, the instance is presented, often highlighting or isolating critical attributes, which does not require a response from the learner. This is in contrast to inquiry approach where learners are presented with either an example or non-example and then asked to immediately identify whether it is a member of the concept category. Others favor the use of prototypical example presentation and suggest presenting learners with the best example of the typical class, followed by expository and interrogatory examples and non-examples (Tennyson & Cocchiarella, 1986). Research suggests that presentation of a best example forms a prototype for the learner and the additional examples provide elaboration of key dimensions of the prototype (Park, 1984). Some advocate a modified approach in which learners are offered various transformations of the instance which lead to a best example (Jacob, Deming, & Walbesser, 1976). However, most suggest that a single example is not sufficient and that a range of examples is needed (Markle, 1969). This view is supported by research that suggests an advantage for presenting additional rational sets of examples and non-examples over a single set (Klausmeier & Feldman, 1975). Yet, research also indicates the importance of modifying Concept Learning and Instruction 6 instance presentation based on learner mastery as instance presentation after the learner has achieved mastery may result in the learner losing interest (Tennyson & Rothen, 1977). Guiding Learner Practice. As discussed previously, instructional can lead to either learner recall or application of the to-be-learned concept. A common approach geared toward recall is to offer learners various practice opportunities to classify new instance as members or nonmembers of the class followed by corrective guidance. As noted, this typically takes the form of rule presentation and example presentation which is followed by learner practice and instructional guidance indicating either a correct or incorrect learner classification of the concept (Merrill & Tennyson, 1977). In addition, a host of inquiry and generative approaches are recommended which are often geared toward learner application of the concept, including the previously mentioned model building exercises. Concept mapping, as a form of model building, can assist learners to not only organize definitions and examples, but also to infer relationships within a larger conceptual framework (Tessmer et al., 1990). Some view model building as an ideal practice and guidance strategy for concept learning as models require learners to externalize their understanding of not only the concept, but also conceptual relationships (Jonassen, Strobel, & Gottdenker, 2005). Summary Heuristics for Designers As discussed, research in concept learning and instruction across a spectrum of theoretical foundations has led to empirically based instructional design heuristics which focus on (a) defining and presenting a concept’s attributes, (b) creating and presenting instances of examples and non-examples of the concept, and (c) fostering guided learner practice in attribute isolation, instance discrimination and generalization, and concept use. Within this common framework, differences in strategy can be viewed as either expository approaches where the instruction offers direct presentation of attributes and instances or inquiry approaches where the learner is offered opportunities to explore or discover relevant attributes and instances. As a summary of heuristics for designers, the following highlights common presentation, learner practice, and learner guidance techniques stemming from a variety of inquiry and expository approaches: 1. Define the concept. Prepare a concept definition which focuses on attributes of the concept. In doing so, consider the critical attributes that are necessary characteristics for determining membership, as well as the variable attributes which are shared by only some in the concept category. When defining the concept, it is helpful to consider whether it is a conjunctive concept that can be defined by one attribute and another, a disjunctive concept which is defined by one attribute or another, or a relational concept which is defined by a relationship between attributes. 2. Create instances. Create instances for presentation to the learner including examples in which all of the critical attributes are present and non-examples in which all but one critical property is present. Consider also the prototypical example. Depending upon the type of concept, the instances may be a referent or actual object, an isomorphic representation or model of the object, or a symbolic representation including words or other symbols. 3. Design presentation and guided practice opportunities. Incorporate presentation and guided learner practice opportunities which lead to not only recall, but also application of the concept within a larger conceptual framework. Consider using a RULEG approach in which the definitions (RU) are presented prior to examples (EG), unless the concept is Concept Learning and Instruction 7 difficult or abstract in which the EGRUL approach may be more appropriate. When assessing at a recall level, offer learners the opportunity to classify new instance as members or nonmembers of the class followed by corrective guidance. When assessing at an application level, include practice and guidance approaches which require the learner to use the concept. Such exercises might include asking the learner to make arguments or judgments on the basis of the concept or to infer relationship or membership by creating a concept map. Concept Learning and Instruction 8 References Brown, R. (1958). Words and things. Glencoe, Ill.: The Free Press. Bruner, J. S., Goodnow, J., & Austin, G. A. (1956). A Study of Thinking, A Wiley publication in psychology. (p. 330). New York, Wiley. Fleming, M. L., & Levie, W. H. (1978). Instructional message design : principles from the behavioral sciences. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Educational Technology Publications. Gagné, R. M. (1965). The Conditions of Learning. New York, Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Jacob, S. H., Deming, B. S., & Walbesser, H. H. (1976). They Too Teach Concepts. Educational Researcher, 5(1), 15-16. Jonassen, D. (2006). On the Role of Concepts in Learning and Instructional Design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 54(2), 177-196. Jonassen, D., Strobel, J., & Gottdenker, J. (2005). Model building for conceptual change. Interactive Learning Environments, 13(1/2), 15-37. Joyce, B. R., & Weil, M. (1972). Models of Teaching (p. 402). Englewood Cliffs, N.J., PrenticeHall. Klausmeier, H. J. (1992). Concept Learning and Concept Teaching. Educational Psychologist, 27(3), 267. Klausmeier, H. J., & Feldman, K. V. (1975). Effects of a definition and a varying number of examples and nonexamples on concept attainment. Journal of Educational Psychology, 67(2), 174-178. Markle, S. M. (1969). Good Frames and Bad; a Grammar of Frame Writing. New York, Wiley. Markle, S. M. (1975). They Teach Concepts, Don't They? Educational Researcher, 4(6), 3-9. Markle, S. M., & Tiemann, P. W. (1970). Problems of Conceptual Learning. Journal of Educational Technology, 1(1). Merrill, M. D., & Tennyson, R. D. (1977). Teaching Concepts: An Instructional Design Guide (p. 213). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Educational Technology Publications. Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., & Kemp, J. E. (2001). Designing effective instruction (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Park, O. (1984). Example Comparison Strategy versus Attribute Identification Strategy in Concept Learning. American Educational Research Journal, 21(1), 145-162. Smith, P. L., & Ragan, T. J. (1999). Instructional design. New York: Wiley. Tennyson, R. D., & Cocchiarella, M. J. (1986). An Empirically Based Instructional Design Theory for Teaching Concepts. Review of Educational Research, 56(1), 40-71. Tennyson, R. D., & Park, O. (1980). The Teaching of Concepts: A Review of Instructional Design Research Literature. Review of Educational Research, 50(1), 55-70. Tennyson, R. D., & Rothen, W. (1977). Pretask and on-task adaptive design strategies for selecting number of instances in concept acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 69(5), 586-592. Tessmer, M., Wilson, B., & Driscoll, M. (1990). A new model of concept teaching and learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 38(1), 45-53.

IDT 873: Design-Based Research

IDT873 Maddrell Design Research Abstract

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IDT 873 Abstract: Design Based Research Jennifer Maddrell Wang, F., & Hannafin, M. (2005). Design-based research and technology-enhanced learning environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(4), 5-23. doi: 10.1007/BF02504682. Overview Wang and Hannafin (2005) review theory and practice of design-based research (DBR), which fosters concurrent design, research, and practice, as a methodology for technologyenhanced learning environments (TELEs). Following a review of proposed models, Wang and Hannafin suggest DBR’s iterative, participative and situated processes as a means of forwarding instructional design research, theory, and practice. Definition and Characteristics Wang and Hannafin assess the various conceptions of DBR, including design experiments, design research, development research, and formative research. Given the varied emphasis across these conceptions, Wang and Hannifin offer a working definition of DBR within their paper, including “a systematic but flexible methodology aimed to improve educational practices through iterative analysis, design, development and implementation, based on collaboration among researchers and practitioners in real-world settings, and leading to a contextually-sensitive design principles and theories.” Their conception of DBR includes five key characteristics, including being (a) pragmatic (linking theory, research, and practice), (b) grounded (anchored in theories of learning and instruction, as well as real-world contexts) (c) interactive / iterative / flexible between researchers, designers, and practitioners, (d) integrative (blending a host of analysis and evaluation methods), and (e) contextual (localized results linked to prior observations and articulated in the form of heuristics to advance both theory and practice). Heuristics for Designers and Researchers Wang and Hannifin offer DBR principles which parallel many traditional ID activities, including formative and summative evaluation practices. A key distinction between ID evaluation and DBR is the eye toward theory development and the forwarding of generalizable, yet contextually influenced, design principles. However, the incorporation of theory development goals shifts the focus of the traditional ID evaluation approach. Instructional design plans do not have theory development as a central goal which may significantly alter the scope and methodology of the instructional design and evaluation process. The added time to collect and analyze data may interfere with the goal of ID efficiency. Critique An intriguing element of DBR is the synergy of research and instructional design practice within real-world instructional settings. DBR offers a means of placing the instructional design evaluation of a single intervention within a broader context of prior similar evaluations. However, a risk of a DBR approach is the “look what I did last summer” report of localized findings. Therefore, the ability to ground the evaluated instruction in prior theory and research and to offer valid findings which are generalizable beyond the specific instructional setting seems central to the DBR versus traditional research debate. Wang and Hannafin frame this within a discussion of meta-design knowledge and context-based knowledge which they note must transcend the specific design. Submitted: November 20, 2008

IDT 873: Improving Recall of Facts

IDT873 Maddrell Fact Abstract 5 - Upload a Document to Scribd
IDT 873 Abstracts: Facts Jennifer Maddrell Woloshyn, V. E., Willoughby, T., Wood, E., & Pressley, M. (1990). Elaborative interrogation facilitates adult learning of factual paragraphs. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(3), 513-524. Research Purpose and focus. Woloshyn, Willoughby,Wood, and Pressley (1990) evaluate elaborative interrogation as a means of teaching facts. Two separate experiments were conducted. While the second was performed after the results from the first were known, the purpose was the same, namely to evaluate whether encouraging learners to activate and elaborate upon relevant prior knowledge facilitates fact acquisition. Methodology. In the first experiment, 80 college students participated in a single session study at a Canadian university. The students were randomly assigned to one of four experimental conditions, including 1) elaborative interrogation, 2) imagery, 3) self-reference, and 4) reading control groups. Those in the elaborative interrogation condition received accompanying “why” prompt questions on the slide and were asked to respond to the question. Those in the imagery condition were asked to “create an image” of the fact and associate it with the university. Selfreference subjects were asked to consider whether the shown fact would influence a decision to attend the school. Reading-control subjects were prompted to “read the sentence out loud at a rate that allows you to understand the fact.” The initial study consisted of four phases including 1) the instructions, 2) presentation of the study material, 3) tests which included both fact recall for each school and associative matching of the facts to the school, and 4) a post test interview which addressed the students’ attention to the instructions, the difficulty of the task, and prior knowledge about the school. The 20 students in each group viewed 43 slides which contained facts about the Canadian universities not well known to those not attending the schools. However, the instructions to each group differed based on the previously noted experimental condition. The second study included 240 college students from the same school, using the same materials, and incorporating the same four phases. However, the focus was on longer paragraphs beyond the single sentences in the first experiment. In addition, a free-recall memory test was included. Results and conclusions. While there were no significant differences between elaborative interrogation and imagery conditions, both groups performed significantly better than the reading control condition in the test measures. Further, in the first experiment, the self-reference subjects performed significantly better on the associative matching test than the reading control group, but the difference was not deemed significant on the fact recall. In post test interviews, subjects deemed elaborative interrogation and imagery as more “difficult” and requiring “extra efforts” than the reading control group. These findings are important as they suggest that elaborative interrogation yields superior results to the reading alone. Further, elaborative interrogation was as effective as the other elaborative procedures studied. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that designers should incorporate elaboration strategies when teaching facts. As seen in this experiment, prompting learners to elaborate beyond the presented fact (as in considering specific questions, creating mental images, or selfreflecting on the presented facts) provides greater support than simply presenting the fact alone. Page | 1 Submitted 20081001 IDT 873 Abstracts: Facts Jennifer Maddrell Critique The greatest strength of this research is the contribution of prescriptions for the teaching of facts. As noted, the results suggest instruction should encourage and foster elaborative strategies to support the learning of facts. In addition, the research sets the stage for further study on whether these strategies can be taught. Can learners be taught to use these strategies in a selfregulated manner? However, while the article presents a review of literature suggesting that elaborative interrogation strategies may involve more conscious and effortful memory processes, the articles falls short in explicitly evaluating the reported experimental results in the context of specific theory within either the discussion or conclusions. In other words, how do the results support or refute a specific theory being tested? Kuo, M., & Hooper, S. (2004). The effects of visual and verbal coding mnemonics on learning Chinese characters in computer-based instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(3), 23-34. Research Purpose and focus. The purpose of the research conducted by Kuo and Hooper (2004) was to evaluate the effects of visual and verbal mnemonics on memorization, as well as any differences in outcomes between self-generated versus supplied mnemonics. The study focused on the learning and recall of Chinese characters. Kuo and Hooper noted that Chinese characters contain both visual and symbolic meanings, yet many traditional instructional methods tend to ignore the underlying meaning of the character and instead focus on repeated copying of the character to improve recall. In the reported study, Kuo and Hooper questioned whether or not visual and verbal mnemonic strategies could help the learner to generate meaning based on the visual and semantic information of the characters and if those strategies could improve recall. They examined whether verbal or visual mnemonics for learning Chinese characters would benefit both immediate and delayed recall, as well as the relative efficiency and efficacy of self-generated versus experimenter-supplied mnemonics. Methodology. 92 English speaking high school students with no previous Chinese language knowledge volunteered to participate in the study. The students were randomly assigned to one of five treatment groups, including 1) translation in which students were presented with the Chinese character and the English translation and told to memorize the character’s meaning, 2) verbal mnemonics (experimenter-supplied), 3) visual mnemonics (experimenter-supplied), 4) dual coding which included both verbal and visual experimentersupplied mnemonics, or 5) self-generated mnemonics in which students were presented with the Chinese character and the English translation and encouraged to create memory aid such as a picture, written sentence, or an associating story. The instruction to all of the groups was done through a self-paced computer-based tutorial conducted during a regularly scheduled single class period. The tutorial for all groups included the same 30 characters, divided between concrete words (representing physical objects) and abstract words (without referents). Two posttests were also administered via computer and included the same, but shuffled multiple-choice questions. The first test was administered immediately following the tutorial and the second one week later. The study also evaluated the time on task during the tutorial to learn Page | 2 Submitted 20081001 IDT 873 Abstracts: Facts Jennifer Maddrell the 30 characters. The self-generated mnemonics were also collected, sorted by character, and analyzed. In addition, a short survey was conducted from a subsample of students reflecting a representative cross-section of ability to examine the students’ learning strategies. Results and conclusions. While participants scored higher on the immediate versus the delayed posttest, students who self-generated their mnemonics performed significantly better in the recall posttests and spent more time on task than those in the translation, verbal, visual, and dual coding conditions. Further, the survey responses suggested that the learners used the presented or self-generated mnemonics techniques and called upon the mental images to link the character with the English word. The analysis of the self-generated mnemonics indicated that fewer and less descriptive mnemonics were created for abstract words than for concrete words. In addition, the descriptions reflected the students’ Western cultural backgrounds and experiences. These results suggest that the learners linked the to-be-leaned information with prior knowledge. Heuristics The researchers suggest that the findings support the use of generative learning strategies that extend beyond just efficient information presentation. Strategies should encourage learners to self-generate meaningful linkages between the content and prior knowledge. However, while the findings suggest that self-generated relationships are more effective, they may be less efficient than provided relationships. Critique This experiment and article describing the research were refreshingly straightforward with no doubts as to the researchers’ questions, methodology, and suggested findings. The study furthers prior theory and research and offers suggestions for future research. Nice package. Tight bow. Page | 3 Submitted 20081001

IDT 873: Note-taking Generative Strategy

IDT873 Maddrell Generative Abstract 1 - Upload a Document to Scribd
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Generative Strategy Abstract Running head: GENERATIVE STRATEGY ABSTRACT 1 Note Taking as a Generative Strategy Abstract Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 873 Advanced Instructional Design Techniques Dr. Morrison September 2, 2008 Generative Strategy Abstract Note Taking as a Generative Strategy 2 Overview Citing a large and conflicting body of prior research, Peper and Mayer (1986) suggest that three main hypotheses are forwarded by prior research on the effect of note taking on a learner’s cognitive processing, including 1) the attention hypothesis (note takers pay closer attention to the to-be-learned material), 2) the distraction hypothesis (note takers concentrate on the act of writing instead of listening), and 3) the generative hypothesis (note taking enables learners to actively relate material to existing knowledge). Peper and Mayer suggest that evaluations of both attention and distraction hypothesis have tended to focus on how much is recalled. In contrast, by focusing on the generative hypothesis within their reported experiments, the goal is to evaluate the difference in what is learned between note takers and non-note takers. Research Focus. Perry and Mayer (1986) focus on three generative hypothesis predictions. The first prediction is that note takers will perform better on far-transfer test measures (problemsolving) and worse on near-transfer test measures (verbatim recognition and fact recall). This is based on the assumption that note taking offers an opportunity for integration with existing knowledge, but the process of reorganizing the new information interferes with near-transfer verbatim recall of specific facts. Secondly, these results will be stronger for those unfamiliar with the material given the processing required to integrate and organize new information. Finally, the results associated with the note taking generative activity will be similar to those for other types of generative activities. Methodology. Two separate experiments were conducted to test these predictions. The first experiment involved a group of high school students while the second included college students at the University of California at Santa Barbara. To test the first hypothesis, Experiment 1 included only subjects unfamiliar with the to-be-learned topic. The students were divided equally between either a “notes” and “no-notes” group. The same video lecture was shown to each group. Afterward, the notes were collected from the “notes” group and the same posttest was administered to both groups. Recognition questions asking the students to identify sentences that occurred verbatim in the lecture were followed by fact retention and problem solving questions. To assess the second and third hypothesis, Experiment 2 included some subjects who were familiar with the topic and added a question-answering treatment group. The same materials and posttests were used for both experiments. Conclusions. In contrast to the attention hypothesis, the superior results of the “no-note” group to verbatim recognition measures does not support the prediction that note taking results in better total recall. Further, in contrast to the distraction hypothesis, the “notes” group performed better than the “no-note” group in some measures. However, significant differences existed between the measures of what was learned (far-transfer versus near-transfer measures) supporting the generative hypothesis. Note takers excelled on the far-transfer (problem solving) test measures. In contrast, “no-note” takers were more successful in near transfer verbatim and fact recall of information. Supporting the second prediction, the results in Experiment 2 were strong for learners unfamiliar with the topic, but not for familiar learners. Further, in support of Generative Strategy Abstract 3 the third prediction, the other tested generative activity (within the questioning-answering treatment) had similar results as note taking. Perry and Mayer (1986) viewed these results as support for generative theory. They concluded that the process of note taking (especially for those unfamiliar with the material) encourages the note takers to assimilate new information with past experience and make interconnections among pieces of information. Heuristics Based on the results of these experiments, learners should be offered the opportunity to take notes as a means of supporting the long term encoding of new information. This research suggests that the note taking process offers learners the opportunity for integration and organization of the new information with existing knowledge. However, this research also suggests that these results are more likely when the to-be-learned information is unfamiliar to the learner. Further, the process of re-organization and integration with prior knowledge involved in note taking may interfere with verbatim encoding of information and facts. Critique of Article A key strength of this research is the evaluation of note taking across three separate hypotheses, including attention, distraction, and generative theories. Further, the research highlights the advantages, as well as potential limitations, of note taking on encoding. However, it is important to note that the test measures were based on cued recall versus free recall. A possible source of future research would be to replicate the experiments with free recall test measures. In addition, the research analysis did not provide a qualitative analysis of the notes taken by students. An analysis of the qualitative features of the notes, such as the use of diagrams, would have helped to augment the findings. Also, as noted by the authors, this research provides an incomplete analysis of the relationship between note content and problemsolving performance. Generative Strategy Abstract References 4 Peper, R. J., & Mayer, R. E. (1986). Generative Effects of Note-Taking during Science Lectures. Journal of Educational Psychology, 78(1), 34.

IDT 873: Problem Solving

IDT873 Maddrell Abstract Problem Solving

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IDT 873 Abstracts: Problem Solving Jennifer Maddrell Atkinson, R. K., Renkl, A., & Merrill, M. M. (2003). Transitioning From Studying Examples to Solving Problems: Effects of Self-Explanation Prompts and Fading Worked-Out Steps. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(4), 774-783. Research Purpose and focus. Atkinson, Renkl, and Merrill (2003) examined the impact of fading and selfexplanation prompts on problem solving. Two separate experiments were conducted. While the second was performed after the results from the first were known, the purpose was to replicate the experiment in a more authentic setting. The three primary research questions focused on whether or not (a) backward fading (BF) results in better learning outcomes than exampleproblem (EP) pairs, (b) self-explanation prompts lead to better outcomes, and (c) an advantage exists when using both fading and self-explanation prompts. Methodology. In the first study, 78 undergraduate students took part in the 90 minute lab based study. In the second study, 40 highs school students volunteered to participate within their high school. In the first study, the students were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups, including (a) BF only (worked examples in which all problem solutions are sequentially provided to the learner, but solution steps are gradually eliminated on each subsequent worked examples), (b) EP pairs only (worked examples followed by a problem-solving task), (c) BF plus prompting (BF condition with self-explanation prompts), and (d) EP pairs plus prompting (EP condition with self-explanation prompts). The second study did not include the EP pairs only or EP pairs plus prompting conditions. Otherwise, the instruments, scoring, and procedures for both studies were identical. The instructional treatment for all of the groups was conducted via a computer-based learning tool and involved probability word problems. The instruction included sets of worked examples and problems which ran in one of four modes; one mode for each noted condition, as described above. A demographic questionnaire and pretest to assess prior knowledge were conducted before the treatment. A posttest was administered at the conclusion of the session. In addition, time on task during the lesson was recorded. Results and conclusions. With regard to the original research questions, the research findings from the first experiment suggest that (a) backward fading resulted in better learning outcomes than the example-problem pairs, (b) self-explanation prompts led to better learning outcomes, but (c) there was no apparently advantage from the use of fading and self-explanation prompts. The results of the second study support the finding that self-explanation prompts with a backward fading example sequence supports learning in a time effective manner. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that instruction should incorporate a fading technique in which the problem solutions within worked examples are initially fully provided to the learner, but the solution steps are gradually eliminated as the learner’s skill development increases until only independent problem solving practice is utilized in the later stages of instruction. Further, the findings suggest that learning effectiveness and efficiency may be enhanced when this fading approach is combined with self-explanation prompting in which the learner is asked to consider the underlying principle(s) applicable to the problem. Critique In this study, the findings build on prior research on fading (from worked example study to problem solving) that suggests the importance of fading the solution steps in worked examples and progressing to independent problem solving as the learner’s skill level improves. In addition, Page | 1 Submitted 20081030 IDT 873 Abstracts: Problem Solving Jennifer Maddrell the study furthers research on the self-explanation effect which suggests that learning is enhanced when learners are prompted to select the underlying principles during problem solving. The researchers suggest these findings provide support for the importance of feedback following learner self-explanations. However, as noted by the researchers, it would be interesting to further explore the effect of providing feedback to learner self-explanations in less structured domains that the one studied here. In other words, what would be the outcome in domains where the principles involved in problem solving are less clear or less restricted? van Gog, T., Paas, F., & van Merrienboer, J. (2008). Effects of studying sequences of processoriented and product-oriented worked examples on troubleshooting transfer efficiency. Learning and Instruction, 18(3), 211-222. Research Purpose and focus. van Gog, Paas, and van Merrienboer (2008) evaluate the effect of process-oriented worked examples which include the rationale behind the presented solution comparing their use to product-oriented worked examples at both the beginning of training and at later stages. The purpose of the described study was to evaluate whether or not processoriented worked examples are more effective than product-oriented worked examples and whether an expertise-reversal effect occurs when process-oriented worked examples are provided after the learners are familiar with the underlying processes. Methodology. 82 teen aged students with no previous subject matter knowledge volunteered to participate in the study. The students were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups, including: (a) product-product, (b) process-process, (c) product-process, and (d) process-product training sequences. The study was run in three sessions with participants equally distributed across conditions. The instructional treatment for all of the groups was done through both paper based materials and the TINA Pro software which provided learners with electrical circuit simulations from which either the worked-out solution (product-oriented) or worked-out solution, plus process information (process-oriented) was provided. The process oriented worked examples and product-oriented worked examples contained the same steps, but the process-oriented worked examples contained information about the underlying principles, as well as the systematic problem approach. A prior knowledge questionnaire was conducted first followed by material to familiarize the learners with the TINA system they would be using. Each session included two series of training examples. After learners studied the first series of training examples (either product- or process-oriented examples, based on their assigned condition) they completed test problems which required them to troubleshoot a malfunctioning electrical circuit simulation in the TINA system. The learners were also instructed to write down the faulty components on a pre-printed answer sheet and asked to select the reason for the fault from multiple-choice answers. In addition, the learners were asked to gauge their mental effort in studying and solving the problem giving the researchers a measure of mental effort, as well as the noted performance measures. The learners then studied a second series of examples (either product- or process-oriented examples, based on their assigned condition) followed by the test problems and mental effort rating. The study also evaluated the time on task during the tutorial. Results and conclusions. The results supported the researchers’ hypothesis that processoriented worked examples foster early learning and better efficiency as indicated by the learning and mental effort measures. In addition, in line with predictions, the process information Page | 2 Submitted 20081030 IDT 873 Abstracts: Problem Solving Jennifer Maddrell appeared to become redundant as indicated by lower performance measures on the second series which incorporated process-oriented worked examples. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that problem solving support for novices should begin with process-oriented worked examples which fully explain the rationale behind the solution and progress to product-oriented worked examples. As suggested by this and other cited studies, process-oriented worked examples can support learning up and until the process information is familiar to the learners at which point it becomes redundant and impedes learning. Critique The findings of this study provide support for prior research on cognitive load and the expertise-reversal effect. As noted, while process-oriented worked examples may initially support the novice learner, they may impede learning in more advanced learners or as the learner progresses. While this study provides support for sequencing of process- and product-oriented worked problems in simple problem solving exercises, the impact on complex problem solving is less clear. As acknowledged by the researchers, further research is needed to assess worked examples sequencing on more complex cognitive skills. Page | 3 Submitted 20081030

IDT 873: Research on Attitudes

IDT873 Maddrell Abstract Attitude

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IDT 873 Abstracts: Attitudes Jennifer Maddrell Kardash, C. M., & Scholes, R. J. (1995). Effects of Preexisting Beliefs and Repeated Readings on Belief Change, Comprehension, and Recall of Persuasive Text. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 20(2), 201-221. Research Purpose and focus. Kardash and Scholes (1995) examined how preexisting beliefs interacted with reading of persuasive test to influence information recall and belief change. Citing prior research that suggest preexisting attitudes and beliefs influence how evidence is evaluated, Kardash and Scholes predicted that subjects whose preexisting beliefs and attitudes were consistent with the presented text would recall more causal explanations within the text, as well as more information overall. In addition, they predicted that those who read the text twice would remember more information than those who read the text only once. Finally, they predicted that the persuasive text would influence all subjects, but to a greater extent in those whose preexisting beliefs and attitudes were consistent with the text. Methodology. 61 undergraduate students enrolled in an educational psychology class received credit for their participation in this study. The students were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups, including (a) a one-read, or (b) a two-read group. Entry beliefs were measured based on 9-point Likert-type scale assessment of the extent to which subjects agreed or disagreed with a variety of offered causes of how AIDS could be transmitted. Post-treatment beliefs were similarly measured. All learners reviewed the same 1,195 word text based passage about causes of AIDS. Both groups returned two days later. Those in the one-read group completed an unrelated exercise while the two-read group read the exact passage a second time. Time spent reading the text was measured in both sessions. One week later, all subject returned for a free recall text and the post-beliefs test. Results and conclusions. Results supported the prediction that beliefs about the controversial topic effect what is recalled about a persuasive text on the topic. Those with beliefs consistent with the text remembered marginally more causal, as well as less central information than those with less consistent entry beliefs. In addition, causal arguments promoted belief change in all subjects, but more so for those with similar preexisting beliefs to the text. Finally, contrary to predictions, the repeated reading did not influence the overall amount or type of information recalled. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that a learner’s entry beliefs and attitudes about causal information regarding a controversial topic may influence how the learner recalls and is persuaded by the to-be-learned material. If the information is consistent with entry beliefs, the learner may be more likely to recall or be persuaded by the material than those with entry beliefs that are inconsistent with the presented instructional material. Critique This study provides support for prior research that suggests preexisting beliefs serve as a schema which influences how new persuasive information will impact belief change and recall. Yet, as noted by the authors, this study focused on the subjects’ beliefs about causes of AIDS, not Page | 1 Submitted 20081114 IDT 873 Abstracts: Attitudes Jennifer Maddrell their attitudes towards AIDS and those with AIDS which may or may not influence the reported results. Brannon, L. A., Tagler, M. J., & Eagly, A. H. (2007). The moderating role of attitude strength in selective exposure to information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43(4), 611-617. Research Purpose and focus. Brannon, Tagler, and Eagly (2007) examined whether attitude strength influences information selection. Citing prior research that suggests people seek out and prefer to receive information that is consistent with their attitudes, Brannon, Tagler, and Eagly predicted that selective exposure would be more pronounced in those with more strongly held attitudes than for those with weakly held attitudes. Methodology. In a series of three studies following roughly the same methodology as the first, their prediction was tested. In the first study, 270 students enrolled in an undergraduate psychology program were recruited to participate. They were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups, including (a) a one read, or (b) a two-read group. Entry attitudes toward social issues were measured based on a questionnaire that assessed attitude position and strength regarding social issues. Participants’ attitude positions were measured on a 7-point scale. Attitude strength was also measured on a 7-point scale assessing how important the issue was, how sure they were of their position, how central their attitudes were to their self-concepts, how likely they were to change their attitudes, and how much knowledge they possessed on the issue. Several weeks after completing the entry questionnaire, participants engaged in a selective exposure task in which they reviewed a list of ten article titles and abstracts containing two opposite stances toward five difference social issues. For each article, the participants ranked on a 9-point scale how desirable it would be for them to read the article. The participant’s choice of either an attitudinally consistent or inconsistent selection was then measured. Results and conclusions. Results supported the prediction that attitude strength relates to selective exposure. Stronger attitudes were associated with increased preference for attitudinally consistent article titles. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that the strength of the learner’s entry attitudes about a topic may influence what information the learner selects on the topic. If the learner has strongly held attitudes on a topic, he or she may seek out information that is consistent with their entry attitudes. Critique This study provides support for prior research that suggests preexisting attitudes influence information selection. These research findings have important implications in instructional settings where learners are free to select instructional content. If learners are less inclined to select material that is in opposition to their entry attitudes, will they select Page | 2 Submitted 20081114 IDT 873 Abstracts: Attitudes Jennifer Maddrell information that gives a balanced perspective on the topic? Given the potential for attitudinally influenced selection, should learning material selection be under the direction of the instructor? Also, how does instructor’s or instructional designer’s entry attitude influence selection of material for a class? Page | 3 Submitted 20081114

IDT 873: Research on Feedback

IDT873 Maddrell Abstract Feedback

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IDT 873 Abstracts: Feedback Jennifer Maddrell Olina, Z., & Sullivan, H. (2004). Student self-evaluation, teacher evaluation, and learner performance. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(3), Research Purpose and focus. Olina and Sullivan (2004) examined the effect of student selfevaluation and teacher feedback on learning. Their research focused on the comparative and combined performance effects of self- and teacher-evaluation, as well as the effect of both on student and teacher attitudes. Olina and Sullivan predicted that teacher evaluation would improve student performance to a greater extent that self-evaluation. Further, they predicted that selfevaluation would result in better performance and engagement than no-evaluation. Methodology. 341 high school students in Latvia took part in the study. Learners came from 16 classes which were selected from eight schools in different Latvian regions, including a diverse mix of rural and urban areas and of socio-economic backgrounds. Each of the eight schools were stratified based on ability (based on ninth grade standardized Latvian exams) and grouped into either the four higher or four lower ability schools. Each of the four schools in each group were then randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups, including (a) no evaluation, (b) self-evaluation, (c) teacher-evaluation, and (d) self-plus-teacher evaluation groups.. Eight teachers taught two classes each. Over the course of a six week term consisting of two 40 minute class periods per week, all students took the same 12 lesson instructional program about experimental research design which included both a student book and teacher guide. Students in all classes conducted the same experiments, produced written reports as required by the instruction, and were introduced to the project rating scale, a descriptive rubric for evaluating the written projects. However, students in the self-evaluation group formally selfevaluated their own work based on the project rating scale. Students in the teacher-evaluation group were provided written feedback from their teachers based on the same project rating scale. Students in the self-plus-teacher group formally self-evaluated their own work and received written teacher feedback. Students in the no-evaluation (control) group received no formal feedback from the teacher and they were not asked to formally evaluate their own work. Performance measures included ratings of the students’ final projects and posttest scores. In addition, student and teacher attitudes were measured in surveys after the course. Results and conclusions. While there were no significant differences between treatment groups on the posttest scores, the teacher-evaluation and self-plus-teacher groups had significantly higher project scores than the no evaluation group and the self-evaluation groups. Further, in both self-evaluation groups, over 90% of students rated their projects higher than the experimenter-based rating in the final projects. Students in both groups with formal selfevaluation reported more positive attitudes toward the program as compared to the other groups, but both students and teachers preferred teacher-evaluation and felt it provided a more valuable evaluation. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that incorporating formal self-evaluation may increase a learner’s confidence in his or her future performance. However, teacher-evaluation alone or combined with self-evaluation is more likely to improve learner performance over no evaluation or self-evaluation alone. Page | 1 Submitted 20081104 IDT 873 Abstracts: Feedback Jennifer Maddrell Critique This study, conducted over a six week term, provides support for prior research that suggests teacher feedback improves student performance. While no significant differences were found in posttest measures, the results suggest that teacher feedback may provide superior learning outcomes (based on other than test application measures) as compared to no evaluation feedback or self-evaluation feedback. Yet, the results do indicate value in learner self-evaluation in terms of increased learner self-control and self-confidence. Page | 2 Submitted 20081104

IDT 873: Rule or Principle Attainment

IDT873 Maddrell Abstract Rules 7 - Upload a Document to Scribd
IDT 873 Abstracts: Rules and Principles Jennifer Maddrell Ross, S. M., & Rakow, E. A. (1981). Learner Control versus Program Control as Adaptive Strategies for Selection of Instructional Support on Math Rules. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73(5), 745-53. Research Purpose and focus. Ross and Rakow (1981) sought to extend previous research on the effect of adaptive instructional strategies on math rule attainment. They predicted that an adaptive design strategy which varied the number of practice examples based on the student’s pretest score would improve rule attainment over a nonadaptive strategy. Methodology. 124 undergraduate students volunteered to participate in the study. The students were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups, including 1) program control (the number of examples were adapted to pretest scores), 2) learner control (the number of examples were selected by subjects), 3) nonadaptive (a constant five examples per rule were presented to learners), and 4) lecture (the nonadaptive program was presented through lecture format) groups. The learning program consisted of presentation of five introductory math rules, including inequalities, factorials, exponents, order of operations, and summation. Presentation for each rule included the rule definition, as well as complete and incomplete examples. Other than the lecture group, the instruction for all of the groups was done through self-study booklets in a lab session with three or less subjects who worked with a single proctor to complete a separate booklet for each rule. Those in the lecture group received the identical content as the nonadaptive self-study group within a presentation given by an instructor. Achievement assessment included a pretest taken a few weeks prior to the instructional phase, a posttest taken after completion of each rule booklet, and a delayed posttest given a few weeks after the instruction. The achievement tests consisted of open ended test questions. The study also incorporated an attitude survey which was taken after the completion of the last rule booklet. Results and conclusions. The results indicated statistically significant differences in posttest achievement based on the treatment strategy. The immediate posttest results indicated the mean score of the program control group was higher than all other treatments while both the lecture and the nonadaptive groups performed better than the learner control group. In the delayed posttest, the differences were the same, but more pronounced. However, the noted results for the learner control group varied based on entrance ability. While low entrance ability students performed well under program control and poorly under learner control, high entrance ability students performed well under both. Further, there was no significant difference among treatment groups on the attitude survey scores. Heuristics The results of this study suggest value in adapting instructional presentation based on learner need. Based on the findings of this study, increasing the presentation of examples for those with low entrance ability and decreasing presentation for those with high entrance ability may improve rule attainment. Page | 1 Submitted 20081015 IDT 873 Abstracts: Rules and Principles Jennifer Maddrell Critique The results of this study support prior research findings which suggest value in modifying the amount of instructional support based on individual need. Further, this study suggests entrance ability assessment may be an effective means of gauging the amount of needed instructional support. In addition, this study suggests that for low entrance ability learners, learner control in gauging an optimal presentation may not be an effective strategy. However, it is important to note that learners in the learner control treatment were required to ask the proctor for additional examples which may have made the learners uncomfortable and less likely to ask for additional examples. Wiley, J., & Voss, J. (1999). Constructing arguments from multiple sources: Tasks that promote understanding and not just memory for text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(2), 301-311. Research Purpose and focus. Wiley and Voss (1999) evaluated the effect of student generated arguments on learning historical subject matter. Two separate experiments were conducted. The purpose and methods were similar, namely to evaluate whether argument writing tasks promoted a deeper understanding of the to-be-learned material than other narrative, summary, or explanation writing tasks. Methodology. 24 undergraduate students participated in the second study. The students were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups, including 1) a narrative group, 2) a summary group, 3) an explanation group, and 4) an argument group. All groups received the same information about Ireland from 1800 to 1850, either in a paper based or computer based newspaper article. After reading the material, students were asked to assume the role of historian and, based on their assigned treatment, develop either a written narrative, summary, explanation, or argument about what produced the significant changes in Ireland’s population between 1846 and 1850. Learners were given approximately 30 minutes to read the material and complete their reflective writing task. After the writing task, participants were assessed based on three learning measures including 1) a sentence verification task (10 true / false questions), 2) an inference verification task (determining if statements were true on the basis of the presented information) and 3) a principle identification task in which students indicated how similar the causes of the Irish Potato Famine were to other historical situations. In addition, the sentences in each student’s writing task were classified based on whether the sentences were a) borrowed from the original source, b) transformed, or c) added information. Results and conclusions. The results indicate little difference between whether students read the newspaper article from the computer or paper. Further, there were no significant differences across treatment groups in the recognition of sentences. However, those in the argument writing treatment demonstrated better identification of inferences and generated essay sentences with more transformed and causal information. In contrast, the other writing tasks resulted in essays with more borrowed and added sentences and less causal information. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest the nature of the reflective writing task impacts the learner’s attainment of the to-be-learned material. Based on the conclusions of the researchers, writing tasks which require the learners to form and support arguments about causes Page | 2 Submitted 20081015 IDT 873 Abstracts: Rules and Principles Jennifer Maddrell of events may lead to better recognition of the underlying principles in the subject matter than can be achieved in writing tasks that focus on just narrative summaries or explanations. Critique In terms of the teaching of rules and principles, this study offers support for what Wiley and Voss term knowledge-transforming versus knowledge-telling tasks. Wiley and Voss argue that the findings of their study suggest argument writing is a knowledge-transforming task which requires learners to go beyond mere recall of principles to the construction and subsequent defense of arguments to explain the root causes of events. They suggest that through argument writing tasks the subject matter is learned at a deeper level given that learners must retrieve and relate more information in order to justify their positions. While this study was small in scope and scale, it offers an intriguing stepping stone for future research on the effects of various types of reflective writing tasks on rule or principle attainment. Page | 3 Submitted 20081015

IDT 873: Self- versus Teacher-Evaluation

IDT873 Maddrell Abstract Feedback

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IDT 873 Abstracts: Feedback Jennifer Maddrell Olina, Z., & Sullivan, H. (2004). Student self-evaluation, teacher evaluation, and learner performance. Educational Technology Research and Development, 52(3), Research Purpose and focus. Olina and Sullivan (2004) examined the effect of student selfevaluation and teacher feedback on learning. Their research focused on the comparative and combined performance effects of self- and teacher-evaluation, as well as the effect of both on student and teacher attitudes. Olina and Sullivan predicted that teacher evaluation would improve student performance to a greater extent that self-evaluation. Further, they predicted that selfevaluation would result in better performance and engagement than no-evaluation. Methodology. 341 high school students in Latvia took part in the study. Learners came from 16 classes which were selected from eight schools in different Latvian regions, including a diverse mix of rural and urban areas and of socio-economic backgrounds. Each of the eight schools were stratified based on ability (based on ninth grade standardized Latvian exams) and grouped into either the four higher or four lower ability schools. Each of the four schools in each group were then randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups, including (a) no evaluation, (b) self-evaluation, (c) teacher-evaluation, and (d) self-plus-teacher evaluation groups.. Eight teachers taught two classes each. Over the course of a six week term consisting of two 40 minute class periods per week, all students took the same 12 lesson instructional program about experimental research design which included both a student book and teacher guide. Students in all classes conducted the same experiments, produced written reports as required by the instruction, and were introduced to the project rating scale, a descriptive rubric for evaluating the written projects. However, students in the self-evaluation group formally selfevaluated their own work based on the project rating scale. Students in the teacher-evaluation group were provided written feedback from their teachers based on the same project rating scale. Students in the self-plus-teacher group formally self-evaluated their own work and received written teacher feedback. Students in the no-evaluation (control) group received no formal feedback from the teacher and they were not asked to formally evaluate their own work. Performance measures included ratings of the students’ final projects and posttest scores. In addition, student and teacher attitudes were measured in surveys after the course. Results and conclusions. While there were no significant differences between treatment groups on the posttest scores, the teacher-evaluation and self-plus-teacher groups had significantly higher project scores than the no evaluation group and the self-evaluation groups. Further, in both self-evaluation groups, over 90% of students rated their projects higher than the experimenter-based rating in the final projects. Students in both groups with formal selfevaluation reported more positive attitudes toward the program as compared to the other groups, but both students and teachers preferred teacher-evaluation and felt it provided a more valuable evaluation. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that incorporating formal self-evaluation may increase a learner’s confidence in his or her future performance. However, teacher-evaluation alone or combined with self-evaluation is more likely to improve learner performance over no evaluation or self-evaluation alone. Page | 1 Submitted 20081104 IDT 873 Abstracts: Feedback Jennifer Maddrell Critique This study, conducted over a six week term, provides support for prior research that suggests teacher feedback improves student performance. While no significant differences were found in posttest measures, the results suggest that teacher feedback may provide superior learning outcomes (based on other than test application measures) as compared to no evaluation feedback or self-evaluation feedback. Yet, the results do indicate value in learner self-evaluation in terms of increased learner self-control and self-confidence. Page | 2 Submitted 20081104

IDT 873: Self-Pacing versus Instructor-Pacing

IDT873 Maddrell Behavioral Abstract 2 - Upload a Document to Scribd
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Behavioral Strategy Abstract Running head: BEHAVIORAL STRATEGY ABSTRACT 1 Behavioral Strategy Abstract: Self-Pacing Versus Instructor-Pacing Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 873 Advanced Instructional Design Techniques Dr. Morrison September 8, 2008 Behavioral Strategy Abstract Self-Pacing Versus Instructor-Pacing 2 Overview Morris, Surber and Bijou (1978) report on research conducted to compare achievement, student satisfaction, and retention between self-paced and instructor-paced personalized systems of instruction (PSI). While noting that one of the key features of PSIs is the ability for learners to self-pace, the authors cite prior research that suggests students who are allowed to self-pace may be more likely to procrastinate or withdraw from the course entirely. These finding have led some to incorporate instructor-paced schedules into the PSI. However, what had been less clear in prior research is the impact of self-pacing on learner achievement (both short term and longer term following course completion) and learner satisfaction with the learning experience. Research Purpose. The purpose of the reported study is to compare progress rates, withdrawal rates, achievement, satisfaction, and longer term retention between learners completing selfpaced or instructor-paced PSI. The researchers set out to extend prior research by focusing on the effect of pacing on these measures. Methodology. All 149 students enrolled in an introductory child development class were randomly assigned to either self-paced (S-P) or instructor-paced (I-P) PSI. The syllabi, course materials, and assessments were identical for both groups. Within each of the 15 units of the PSI, all learners were required to either achieve 90% mastery within a 10-item short-answer essay quiz and oral examination at a testing center or take a make-up quiz until 90% mastery was achieved. Learners in the S-P condition were able to complete all 15 required units within the PSI at their own pace within the semester. Semester grades for the S-P group were based solely on the number of units mastered. In contrast, the I-P students were subject to a grading scheme that could result in a one letter grade drop if the student did not complete at least one unit of material each week. To evaluate and compare pacing, the semester was divided into five 15 day increments. For the purpose of measuring student achievement, a 53 item multiple-choice pre and post-test based on a few items from each unit was administered to all learners. In addition, nine months after the semester, students were asked to return (with compensation) for a follow-up test. They were all informed that the pre and post-tests would not impact final grades. A course evaluation questionnaire addressed student satisfaction with the course. Conclusions. As shown in prior research, the completion rates between the S-P and I-P groups were not the same. I-P learners progressed through the material at a more even rate throughout the semester, while S-P learners completed fewer units in the initial time periods as compared to the latter time periods. However, there were no statistically significant differences in course withdrawal rates, final grade distributions, course evaluations, or achievement measures between the two groups. Yet, there were statistically significant differences between the number of repeated quizzes during the semester and the follow up retention scores. S-P students repeated 4.1% of their quizzes, while I-P students repeated 7.2% of theirs. While the S-P learners’ delayed rate of completion may signal cramming or procrastination, self-pacing did not appear to negatively impact course achievement or Behavioral Strategy Abstract 3 withdrawal rates which were two areas of concern in prior PSI practice and research. Further, the S-P learners’ ability to control pacing may have aided in their longer term retention of the material. Heuristics Based on the results of this experiment, lesson pacing by the instructor or designer may reduce cramming and procrastination, but may do nothing to improve learner achievement, overall satisfaction, or course retention. Further, allowing learners to self-pace may improve their longer term retention of the material. However, it is important to note that these results are based on otherwise rigid instructional parameters in which learners were required to complete highly structured lesson units during the single semester. Therefore, while the learners were allowed the ability to complete the units at their own pace during the course of the semester, they otherwise had little control. As such, it is unclear if this heuristic would apply to a more flexible learning environment in which the learners had more choice, such as in the selection or sequencing of instructional content. Critique of Article A key strength of this research is the direct comparison of pacing on achievement, retention, satisfaction, and longer term retention within an otherwise highly structured instructional setting. The research methodology appears effective at comparing the two types of PSI pacing schemes. However, as noted above, these results are based on otherwise rigid instructional parameters. It is unclear if these results would be replicated in situations where more learner choice and control is available. In addition, the research has done little to further an evaluation of the effect of PSIs on a broad range of learning outcomes. In reporting on learning achievement, the authors do not elaborate on what was learned. Did the PSI lead to anything more than basic recall and retention of facts or concepts? Are the learners able to apply the instruction in diverse contexts? Unfortunately, the authors offer the results as a demonstration of learning achievement, but it is unclear from the results what precisely was learned. Behavioral Strategy Abstract References Morris, E. K., Surber, C. F., & Bijou, S. W. (1978). Self- versus instructor-pacing: Achievement, evaluations, and retention. Journal of Educational Psychology, 70(2), 224-230. 4

IDT 873: Teaching Procedural Skills

IDT873 Maddrell Procedures Abstract 8 - Upload a Document to Scribd
IDT 873 Abstracts: Procedural Skills Jennifer Maddrell Blakemore, C. L., Hilton, H. G., Harrison, J. M., Pellett, T. L., & Gresh, J. (1992). Comparison of Students Taught Basketball Skills Using Mastery and Nonmastery Learning Methods. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 11(3), 235-247. Research Purpose and focus. Blakemore, Hilton, Harrison, Pellett, and Gresh (1992) analyzed mastery learning as a means of teaching psychomotor skills. The study’s purpose was to compare mastery and nonmastery learning methods as means of teaching basketball skills. Methodology. Three physical education classes of seventh-grade boys were randomly selected as treatment and control groups. One treatment group of 39 boys was taught using a mastery model while the other treatment group of 32 boys was taught using nonmastery methods. The control group of 33 boys was taught soccer and hockey. The same instructor taught the three classes. Instruction lasted six weeks for 50 minutes a day five days a week. Students in the mastery treatment were taught using Bloom’s mastery learning model which is based on both individual student need and group mastery. The mastery group’s routine included warm-ups (5 minutes), diagnostic tests (10 minutes), corrective and enrichment practice with feedback (10 minutes), and competitive game play (10 minutes). Each session’s diagnostic test confirmed whether or not 80% or more of the class had achieved mastery which was the trigger to move onto a new skill unit. The tests also served as a means of evaluating and providing feedback about a student’s progress toward skill attainment. Instruction in basketball skills in the nonmastery class included the same skills taught in the same order, but followed a predetermined instructional plan and schedule that included warm-ups, skill instruction, practice, and game play with timing based on the planned schedule. Both isolated skills (dribbling, shooting, and layups) and game play ability (based on shots taken, shots made, and turnover game statistics) were assessed in pretests and posts tests for students in both groups. Results and conclusions. Pretests confirmed that the groups were of equivalent starting skill ability. From pretest to posttest, only the mastery group demonstrated statistically significant improvement in the three assessed skills. The control and nonmastery groups improved only in the ability to dribble, and the nonmastery group decreased in shooting and layups. In terms of game play, there were no significant differences between groups from pretest to posttest. Heuristics The results of this experiment suggest value in incorporating periodic diagnostic evaluation and feedback when teaching skills. As is suggested by Bloom’s mastery learning model and the results of this test, frequent evaluation with corrective and enrichment feedback provides greater instructional support than simply presentation and practice alone. Critique This study is straightforward and clearly outlined in the research report … FINALLY! These findings are important as they suggest individualized feedback with information about learner performance results and suggested corrective strategies delivered immediately following skill testing may enhance skill development beyond presentation and practice alone. However, it is unclear how the results would be impacted if learners of mixed ability were combined within the mastery session. Would higher ability learners become bored waiting for lower ability learners to reach mastery? Would lower ability learners become frustrated and embarrassed about holding back the other members of the group? Page | 1 Submitted 20081023 IDT 873 Abstracts: Procedural Skills Jennifer Maddrell Harrison, J., Preece, L., Blakemore, C., Richards, R., Wilkinson, C., & Fellingham, G. (1999). Effects of two instructional models - Skill teaching and mastery learning - On skill development, knowledge, self-efficacy, and game play in volleyball. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 19(1), 34-57. Research Purpose and focus. As a follow up to the 1992 study discussed above, Harrison, Preece, Blakemore, Wilkinson and Fellingham (1999) again analyzed mastery learning as a means of teaching psychomotor skills. However, in this study, volleyball skills were the subject of the instruction and Mastery Learning was compared to a Skill Teaching method. Beyond skill attainment, knowledge and self-efficacy measures were also compared. Methodology. 182 students including both males and females in six college volleyball classes participated in the study. Based on a four skill (set up, passing, serving, and spike) pretest, the students were stratified into high, medium, and low ability groups for analysis only. While all students participated in the classes as enrolled, only the high and low skilled learners (147 in total) were included in the analysis. Given prior studies in which the no instruction intervention control group showed no improvement, a control group was not included. Instruction was taught by three graduate assistants who each taught two classes, one under a Mastery Learning model and one under a Skill Teaching model. Each of the six volleyball classes was randomly assigned to one of the six courses and was taught under either the Mastery Learning model or Skill Teaching model. Instruction lasted 16 weeks with class sessions held two days a week. Students in the mastery treatment were taught using Bloom’s mastery model which is based on individual student need and group mastery. Each mastery group’s class sessions included formative testing, corrective and enrichment practice with feedback, and competitive modified game play. The formative tests confirmed whether or not 80% or more of the class had achieved mastery which was the trigger to move from Subunit I (forearm pass, set, overhand serve, spike, and mini-volley games) to Subunit II (full court games, 4-2 offense, player up defense, serve / receive, block, spike, and dive). While the focus of the Mastery Learning model was frequent diagnostic tests followed by feedback, the focus of the Skills Teaching model was hands on practice in modified game play. Instruction using the Skill Teaching model was sequenced using Rink’s system in which skills were taught using modified equipment (lower nets, non-standard balls) in classes that included warm-up, skill practice, and modified games (simplified rules and extra points for targeted skill attainment). The same skills were taught, but followed a predetermined instructional plan and schedule. Pretest, midterm, and posttest measures of isolated skills (set-up, passing, serving, and spike) were assessed. In addition, self-efficacy was assessed following the pretest, midterm, and post test assessments. A 63 item objective knowledge test on techniques, rules, and strategies was conducted at the end of the term with mastery level set at 80%. Results and conclusions. While significant pretest and posttest differences were found in both groups, the major finding was that Skill Teaching and Mastery Learning produced similar levels of improvement in the measures of isolated skill attainment, game play, self-efficacy, and knowledge. Given the few significant differences between outcomes following the use of the two Page | 2 Submitted 20081023 IDT 873 Abstracts: Procedural Skills Jennifer Maddrell models, the researchers concluded that there was no compelling finding to suggest one model over the other. Heuristics The results of these experiments suggest that designers should incorporate diagnostic evaluation followed by feedback when teaching skills. In addition, including frequent hands on practice using modified equipment and rules can help learners to build skills over time. Critique As with the first reported study, this study is straightforward and clearly outlined … yeah! These findings are important as they add to the understanding of mastery learning as a method to teach skills from the 1992 study. When considered as an extension of the 1992 study, this study suggests that both options are preferable to only presentation and practice alone. However, it is unfortunate that the researchers did not directly discuss and compare these methods and results with the 1992 study’s methods and findings. Suggestions for the similarities and differences between the two studies were not explored. Further, the researchers did not fully explore the connection between gender and skill difference and the effect that may have had on the participants in the study. The researchers noted that the majority of the high skilled group members were male and the majority of the low skilled group members were female and both groups participated together in the classes. Could gender and the comingling of skill levels within the treatment groups have played a more significant role than the researchers discussed? Did the girls (of lesser skill ability) feel intimidated playing with boys (of higher skill ability)? Page | 3 Submitted 20081023

IU IST P540 - Blog Reflection Paper

 

 

Reflection Paper #3: Blog Journal

IU P540 – Spring 2006

By: Jennifer Maddrell

Submitted: March 27, 2006

Instructor: Bonk

 

 

Assignment Summary: The Blog Journal is prepared as a subset of articles reviewed for P540 within a personal blog regularly maintained to collect information and reflect on themes related to Instructional Systems Technology. Articles reviewed for the Blog Journal project are referenced in the last section of this report, along with the Blog Journal article summaries. The following sections highlight the learning outcome of this assignment, including the opportunity to:

  • Explore education information resources and learning themes during the article selection process,
  • Prepare personal reflections on the learning theories and educational design principles proposed in the articles, and
  • Provide and receive peer feedback.

 

Article Selection:

The article selection process provided an opportunity to explore both the education information resources available to distance students, as well as diverse learning themes.

  • Resources: The article selection process led to various learning and education resources for distance students, including.

1.

Online Library Resources: The Indiana University Bloomington (IUB) Library offers a wealth of online resources for distance students who are unable to physically access the IU Library system. Several articles in the Blog Journal project were retrieved from the databases at IUB Libraries, including the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) and the Educational Full Text (Wilson Web) database in which several full journal articles were used.

2.

Industry and Trade Associations (Web Sites and Journals): Publications from Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), Educause, ASTD, and The Sloan Consortium were used.

3.

Internet Searches: Internet searches led to many article review options available on the Internet (including those bookmarked here). Many publications on college and university School of Education web sites provided good options, as did the full text journal articles available on Google Scholar.

 

·

Themes: Three major themes emerged within the chosen articles. This pattern was noted early on in peer feedback from Kenneth K. Taken in whole, the themes within the articles center on:

1.

Constructivism

2.

Online Learning

3.

Learning Across Generations

Reflections:

Based on the major themes of 1) constructivism, 2) online learning and 3) learning across generations, the following highlight important reflections regarding each theme.

(1) Constructivism: While articles were not selected for their assessment of specific learning theories or strategies, constructivism became a pervasive theme. Many of the articles provide support for constructivism in both online and adult learning and focus on the importance of creating and supporting:

  • personal ownership and reflection throughout the learning process,
  • social interactions,
  • flexibility and options,
  • communities of practice, and
  • learning communities.

(2) Online Learning: Constructivist approaches are presented in the articles that address (a) design and support strategies for online learning and (b) media options to facilitate online learning.

Design and Support: Goa, Baylor and Shen (2005) propose improved design to provide: (1) social structure (shared context) and (2) collaboration (knowledge construction) in an online learning environment. Designer and teacher support for learning in an online learning environment focuses on the importance of establishing and encouraging interaction with peers, teachers, the institution and the course interface as noted by both Swan (2004) and Bray (2004).

Media: Technical innovations have created numerous tools to support online learning. Alexander (2006) provides an excellent media review of many Internet based tools which allow discovery learning, collaboration, learner reflection and practice, as well as peer and teacher feedback.

 

(3) Learning Across Generations: Several articles raise questions about learning across generations, including: Is there a difference in how students within different generations learn, especially when media and technology facilitate learning? What are the key strategies to motivate learners in different generations? How can knowledge from one generation be shared and transferred to other generations (shown to be an important concern in corporate training)? The articles and blog reflections highlight aspects of the Net Generation, Adult Learners Intergenerational Knowledge Transfer that address these questions.

 

The Net Generation: There is much discourse about engaging or motivating learners in the so-called “Net Generation” or those who were raised in an age of the Internet and other interactive media. McNeely (2005) suggests the need to “edu-tain” these learners that are used to fast paced and highly interactive entertainment. Prenske (2005) notes in his article that education (in this era of the Xbox and the iPod) needs a complete overhaul in order to engage students so that they are no longer "bored" with school.

However, there are problems with these arguments: 1) members of all generations can become “bored” when learning, 2) learners need to work very hard to stay engaged and challenged, regardless of the learning environment, and 3) education should never be confused with entertainment as the goals are completely different.



Adult Learners: Dobrovolny (2003) and Thoms (2001) support constructivist approaches for adult learners and suggest that adult learners benefit from a learning environment that:

·

encourages past experiences

·

is collaborative between instructor-student and student-student,

·

provides options to explore the material, and

·

incorporates “experiential activities” that allow reflection and are based on authentic experiences.

 

Drawing on adult learners’ relatively greater level of “experience” is shown by both authors to be an effective adult learning strategy. Adults are motivated to participate when learning activities support their prior experiences and are relevant to their current job or future objectives. Adults draw on those experiences, compare and contrast, and tie the pieces together to create context when constructing knowledge.

Intergenerational Knowledge Transfer: Harris (2006) highlights ways in which one generation of workers can assist in the training and development of the generations of workers that follow. Suggestions include constructivist approaches, such as embracing communities of practice and mentorship programs. Similar recommendations are made by Choi (2006) as part of an alternative learning model for corporate training.

 

Partner Feedback:

Partner feedback was a valuable part of the Blog Journal project. Kenneth K. made interesting article selections and created insightful commentary in his blog, while also providing thoughtful peer feedback. Kenneth’s article selections focused on entirely different themes providing an opportunity for personal reflection and feedback on topics such as Bandura, Skinner and English as a Foreign Language (EFL).

 

Kenneth’s peer feedback provided insight to the adult and online learning themes via his experience as an adult online learner in the Indiana University distance Masters program, as well as his experiences as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teacher. Within his comments as a reviewer, he:

·

challenged the idea of being able to create a “community” within an online learning environment, as well as the necessity to create one,

·

shared that, as an adult leaner, he draws on life experiences in his process of learning and sees the same when he teaches adults,

·

supported the “constructivist” approaches regarding communities of practice as a learning model for corporate training, but notes elsewhere that some adults (for example, Japanese adults in EFL) may prefer a more teacher-centered approach,

·

questioned if a model for younger learners would be similar to adult learners, and

·

disputed the argument that education should “entertain” in order to engage learners.

 



References

 

Alexander, Bryan. (2006). Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning?. EDUCAUSE Review Articles. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/LibraryDetailPage/666?ID=ERM0621

Bray, M., Carter-Wells, J., Glaeser, B, Ivers, K, Lee, J., Street, C. (2004). Discovering the Meaning of Community In An Online Master's Degree Program. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Washington, DC. Presented at Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 27th, Chicago, IL. October 19-23, 2004. Retrieved from: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2/content_storage_01/0000000b/80/2b/c9/6b.pdf

Choi, M. (2006). Communities of practice: an alternative learning model for knowledge creation. British Journal of Educational Technology v. 37 no. 1, 143-6. Retrieved from http://bert.lib.indiana.edu:2079/hww/jumpstart.jhtml?recid=0bc05f7a67b1790ea68bbb02843eb01b4421e31986c821a8c7e962ad725376b822f19e4b062ce49c&fmt=H

 

Dobrovolny, Jackie (2003). Learning Strategies. Learning Circuits. Retrieved from http://www.learningcircuits.org/2003/oct2003/dobrovolny.htm

 

Gao, H., Baylor, A. L., & Shen, E. (2005). Designer Support for Online Collaboration and Knowledge Construction. Educational Technology & Society, 8(1), 69-79. Retrieved from http://ritl.fsu.edu/papers/gao_baylor_shen.pdf

 

Harris, Paul. (2006). Beware of the Boomer Brain Drain. T+D v60 n1, 30-33. Retreived from http://store.astd.org/product.asp?prodid=3663

 

McNeely, Ben. (2005). Using Technology as a Learning Tool, Not Just the Cool New Thing. Educating the Net Generation. EDUCAUSE E-book. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/UsingTechnologyasaLearningTool,NotJusttheCoolNewThing/6060

 

Prensky, Marc. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me: What Today’s Learners Demand. EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 40, no. 5 (September-October 2005): 60–65. Retrieved from http://www.educause.edu/apps/er/erm05/erm0553.asp

 

Swan, Karen. (2004). Relationships Between Interactions and Learning in Online Environments. Report for The Sloan Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.sloan-c.org/publications/books/interactions.pdf

 

Thoms, Karen. (2001) They're Not Just Big Kids: Motivating Adult Learners. Presented at the Annual Mid-South Instructional Technology Conference (Murfreesboro, TN, April 8-1-, 2001). 11. Retrieved from http://www.mtsu.edu/~itconf/proceed01/22.pdf

IU IST P540 - Final Paper - Movie Review

 

P540 – Spring 2006

Jennifer Maddrell

Submitted: April 24, 2006

Indiana University / Instructor: Bonk

 

The movies reviewed for this project are To Sir, with Love (TSWL) and Good Will Hunting (GWH). On the surface, these movies appear to be very different. The time period (1960’s versus 1990’s), setting (high school versus therapist’s office) and relationship between the central characters (student / teacher versus therapist / patient) are all different. However, the movies share many common themes.

At the beginning of both movies, the central characters are struggling with their development into adulthood. Both the high school students (in TSWL) and Will (in GWH) are rebellious, they lack motivation, and they are not interested in participating in the learning and growth process that will help them to achieve their full potential. However, in both films, the characters experience significant development and personal growth. In the process, they learn about themselves and the world around them. “Learning” within both of these movies includes the personal growth that is achieved by the central characters at the end of each movie.

This growth is facilitated by caring adults, including a wonderful teacher (Mr. Thackeray in TSWL) and a caring therapist (Sean in GWH). Both Mr. Thackeray and Sean work closely with the young people to address the factors that are impeding their growth. Mr. Thackeray attacks the learning setting within the high school classroom. He makes changes in both his teaching style and within the classroom that foster increased motivation in the students. In contrast, Sean attacks the impact of a long history of abuse in Will’s past. Through the process, both the students and Will develop confidence in their abilities. By the end of each film, the students and Will head into their lives with the capacity to take on new challenges.

The following sections compare important aspects of both films with learning theories and principles from Marcy Driscoll’s Psychology of Learning for Instruction (Third Edition). Aspects of motivation, the impact of punishment (taken to abuse) and the role of a coach / instructor / mentor within the learning process are assessed.

To Sir, with Love: As noted, the students initially lack motivation in TSWL. Many internal and external factors affect the students’ motivation. These factors are compared within the framework of (a) Bandura’s Self-efficacy Beliefs and (b) Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design

(a) Bandura – Self-Efficacy Beliefs: As cited in Driscoll (p. 316), Bandura proposes that a person’s beliefs about the task at hand, as well as the person’s beliefs about his / her ability to succeed in the task, greatly impact motivation and ultimately the likelihood of success or failure at the task. As we see in the beginning of TSWL, the students had poor self-efficacy beliefs which likely contributed to their poor motivation and lack of success in school. However, by the end of the film, there is a shift to more positive self-efficacy beliefs => increased motivation => greater likelihood of success. The following compares aspects of the film with what Bandura considers the four principal sources that affect a person’s self-efficacy beliefs:

·

Enactive Mastery Experiences: Self-efficacy beliefs are enhanced when a learner has experienced past success. The students were unable to envision their own success, as they had never seen themselves succeed at anything in school. As one teacher stated in the beginning of the film, “Most students are rejects from other schools.” However, as the students tried new experiences they found they could succeed. In turn, their confidence grew and they were soon open to new experiences.

·

Vicarious Experiences: A turning point in TSWL came as students realized that they could have the same success as their teacher. As he explained his background and what steps he took to succeed in life, they began to see him as a role model. In one scene, a student notes, “You’re like us . . but, not.” This demonstrates that through him, they saw their potential and the ability to rise from their current situation.

·

Verbal Persuasion: Verbal persuasion (hearing that others know you can do it) has a powerful influence on self-efficacy beliefs as seen in several scenes the movies. For example, Mr. Thackeray instilled in the students that they had the power to change the world. While other teachers had talked down to them and considered them“morons”, this teacher convinced them that they possessed the ability to better their position in life. He told the students, “The whole world is waiting for you . . . you are a smash hit.” His positive words encouraged the students to strive to be their best.

·

Physiological States: An example of a poor physiological state hampering self-efficacy beliefs (and ultimately failure in a task) is the gym scene when the boy is prodded to attempt the vault. Throughout the term, the gym teacher labeled the boy the “fat kid” and berated him for being unable to perform well in class. By the time it was his turn to try the vault, he had become convinced of his inability to perform. He was visibly shaken and too scared to try. He was sure he could not clear the vault and ultimately failed in his attempt. The conditions that led to his poor physiological state are an example of what Bandura refers to as “social labeling coordinated with experienced events” (Driscoll, p. 322).

 

(b) Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design: As noted, a turning point in TSWL occurs when Mr. Thackeray makes fundamental changes to both his teaching style and the learning environment. These changes created far more motivated students. His approaches can be compared to the motivational conditions within Keller’s ARCS Model. Keller proposes that the following conditions must be met in order to have a “motivated learner” (Driscoll, p.332). Examples of the changes Mr. Thackeray made to the learning setting are presented within the framework of Keller’s four conditions:

·

A – attention: A pivotal moment in the movie occurred when Mr. Thackeray gained the students’ attention and piqued their curiosity by discarding the text in the trash can. It symbolized “out with the old / in with the new” and signaled that a complete change was coming. In addition, he sustained the students’ attention by continuously engaging the students in whole class debate.

·

R – relevance: At the beginning of the film, the students could not see how the subject matter had any relevance in their lives, hence their complete lack of interest in Mr. Thackeray’s lectures. Mr. Thackeray increased the relevance to the students by opening up the class lectures to debate by asking them what they wanted to talk about, “Whatever you want. Talk about life, survival, death, sex, rebellion, change . . . anything you want.”

·

C – confidence: Mr. Thackeray realized he could increase the students’ confidence by both showing them respect and demanding the same of them. He began to build their confidence by instilling in them his high expectations for their behavior and demeanor. He told them, “You must present yourself well … and treat each person with respect”. As the students saw that they could not only meet his expectations, but also set and live up to their own expectations, their confidence grew and they became far more engaged in school.

·

S – satisfaction: Tied to above, the students experienced tremendous satisfaction in experiencing (for the first time) success in the eyes of their teacher. He challenged them to try their new skills and praised them when they achieved success. As their sense of satisfaction increased, so did their motivation to come to class and participate.

 

Good Will Hunting: In GWH, nature and nurture collide. Will has clearly been blessed by nature with incredible math and science ability. However, after being orphaned, he experienced extreme physical and mental abuse within foster care. When he is discovered by Dr. Lambeau as the “mystery mathematician” who can solve problems, Will must address the adverse affects of the abuse he endured in order to utilize the incredible gifts he possesses. Using several principles within Driscoll, the following examines the effects of the abuse on Will’s behavior, how his sessions with Sean helped him overcome these effects, and why his apprentice relationship with Dr. Lambeau was not successful:

 

(a) Adverse Effects of Punishment: Will exhibited numerous physical and psychological side effects as a result of the punishment and abuse he endured. As Driscoll notes (p. 40), if punishment involves pain, “it can lead to undesirable emotional responses being conditioned” including several of the side effects Will experienced, such as:

·

Aggression and anger: Will’s police record included significant violent acts, including his latest offense, striking an officer, which resulted in jail time. In addition, Will became easily angered when prompted to discuss his past, as he did in scenes with both Skylar and Sean.

·

Avoidance or Escape behavior: Other than his small circle of friends, Will was unable to connect and build meaningful relationships with others. During one therapy session, Sean asked why he had not called Skylar after their initial meeting and Will responded “Why? So, I can find she is boring?” Sean sarcastically retorts, “Super philosophy, Will! You can go through life without knowing anyone.” Through these statements it is clear that Will avoided relationships and pushed people away before they could leave (and hurt) him.

·

Learned helplessness: Driscoll notes that when the punishment cannot be avoided or escaped (as in the case of the constant abuse Will endured at the hand of his foster parent) “passive acceptance” can occur. We see, during one of the final scenes of the movie, that the passive acceptance of his abuse (and identification of it as “his fault”) is a primary source of Will’s inability to build relationships and to seek a challenging career. Will’s breakdown after Sean repeatedly tells him, “It was not your fault” indicates that the years of abuse had the effect of making Will feel he could not open himself up to happiness (and the risk of loss), even though the abuse had ended years earlier.

 

(b) Relationship with Sean vs. Dr. Lambeau: Sean and Dr. Lambeau both strive to have relationships with Will, but Will ultimately rejects Dr. Lambeau’s attempts and opens up to Sean during his therapy sessions. Why is this? Both state that they want to help Will succeed, but Sean’s relationship as a “coach” during Will’s therapy sessions is clearly more successful than Dr. Lambeau’s attempt to be Will’s mentor. The following compares both relationships within in the context of several principles addressed in Driscoll.

·

Sessions with Sean: As cited in Driscoll (p. 255), Vygotsky considered the zone of proximal development to be “those functions that have not yet matured, but are in the process of maturation” which can be compared to the abilities Will is struggling to achieve (such as the ability to build complex relationships and to manage his anger). In addition, the coaching provided by Sean during therapy can be compared to the notion of scaffolding in which Sean acts as a support for Will as he works through his problems. Scaffolding, as presented within Driscoll (p. 257), refers to the support provided to learners as they construct knowledge within the zone of proximal development. Driscoll asserts that, “For instruction to precede development implies that certain types of interaction will be more effective than others in the zone of proximal development.” She highlights several characteristics of successful scaffolding during instruction, which were exhibited by Sean in the movie as he worked with Will. Based on Driscoll’s list, a successful instructor (or coach):

  • Provides guidance required to bridge the gap between their current levels and the desired level, but does not provide information in a one-sided way: While Sean likely understood early on the sources of Will’s problems, Sean continuously challenged Will to come up with his own reasons for his behavior. Further, he challenged Will’s answers if he felt Will was avoiding the real answer. However, Sean did not judge or put forward any one explanation ahead of another.

  • Does not shape to some goal behavior: Unlike Dr. Lambeau, Sean did not have as his goal the desire to shape Will into a math “lab rat”. As Sean told Dr. Lambeau, “Will is a good kid and I won’t let you [mess] him up!” Rather, Sean was driven to help Will sort through his problems and arrive at his own conclusions.

  • Withdraws guidance when student able to perform on own: Once Will came to terms with his problems, Sean ends the sessions.

·

Apprenticeship with Dr. Lambeau: As noted, Dr. Lambeau is the person who discovers Will as the “mystery mathematician” at the beginning of the film. He volunteers to bring Will into an apprenticeship at MIT’s Math Department under his direct guidance as Will’s mentor. Dr. Lambeau considers this Will’s “Golden Opportunity” and he feels Will should appreciate it. However, both the apprenticeship and the relationship did not work. Driscoll cites two potential pitfalls (p. 167) in the mentor / apprenticeship relationship that are present in Will’s relationship with Dr. Lambeau. These factors point to why the apprenticeship with Dr. Lambeau did not work:

  • Involuntary Servitude: Will did not choose be Dr. Lambeau’s apprentice. In addition, Will had no interest in interviewing for the jobs that Dr. Lambeau set up for him. Will had been facing jail time and Dr. Lambeau’s apprenticeship offered a way out of jail. Will expressed his disinterest in the apprenticeship and the positions that Dr. Lambeau arranged when he told Sean that he did not want to “Sit in a room doing long division . . . like a lab rat.”

  • Adversarial relationship: A bond of mutual trust and shared admiration never developed between Will and Dr. Lambeau, as it did between Will and Sean. While Dr. Lambeau stated that his intentions were to “help the boy”, it is apparent his intentions were also for Will to help him further his own legacy. Will rebels with Dr. Lambeau from the start. In contrast to others at MIT, Will is not in awe of Dr. Lambeau’s past awards and notoriety. Further, Will soon realizes that the math problems he finds easy, Dr. Lambeau struggles to solve. This is made painfully evident during one of the most poignant scenes in the movie when Dr. Lambeau scrambles to the floor to recover one of Will’s solutions that Will had defiantly set on fire. Will tells Dr. Lambeau, “Maybe I don’t want to spend my life explaining [this] to you. This is so easy for me . . . I couldn’t sit around and watch you [mess] it up.” Dr. Lambeau replies, “You are right, Will. I can’t do this problem. However, I wish I hadn’t met you, so I didn’t have to watch you throw it all away.”

-------------------

Supplement - Role of Instructor: As noted, To Sir, with Love relied heavily on the role of the instructor to facilitate the growth and learning in the students. As a supplement to this review, the chart on the last page compares aspects of Mr. Thackeray’s teaching in TSWL with the recommended “Role of the Instructor” in four of the Learning Theories that are cited in Table 12.1 in Driscoll (p. 417).

-------------------

My Husband’s Impressions: I watched both movies with my husband and we have shared our views on the films. His general impressions are remarkably similar to some of the points of comparison to the Driscoll book that I present in this paper. GWH is one our favorite movies of all time (great story, great acting), but my husband struggled to see the film as a movie about “learning”. He saw GWL to be a story about a brilliant (but angry and troubled) kid who is not living up to his potential and needs to pull his life together. Resolution (learning? / growth?, I ask) comes when Will works with a therapist who helps him deal with the abuse from his childhood. In TSWL, my husband noted three important factors that he felt all led to increased student motivation:

1.

The students were allowed to come up with what they wanted to learn. It was effective, because the subject matter was important to them. They worked harder, because it was important to them.

2.

Mr. Thackeray used “real life” problems. The students could relate to it. It was not “forced” in that they were not forced to learn something that they did not want to learn.

3.

Mr. Thackeray adopted an “unconventional” way of teaching that was in contrast to the other teachers who “taught by the book”. It was not just reading a book and taking a test. For example, they took field trips.


Role of Instructor within Learning Theories

(per Driscoll, Table 12.1 – p. 417)

Meaningful Reception

Situated Cognition

Interactional Theories

Constructivism

·

Activate learners’ prior knowledge.

·

Help make meaningful connections to what learner knows.

·

Make materials meaningful to the learner.

·

Model appropriate practices as a “senior partner” in the learning enterprise.

·

Help learners value participation in a community of practice.

 

·

Involve learners in a process of inquiry and problem solving.

·

Engage learners in socially organized labor activities relevant to their culture with learning partners appropriate for the desired goals of instruction.

·

Provide realistic learning environments that challenge learners to identify and solve problems.

·

Support learners’ efforts and encourage them to reflect on the process.

Thackeray’s Role as Instructor within To Sir, with Love

·

Thackeray focused instruction on aspects of “life” that were relevant to the students.

·

He built instruction around a base of life skills that they could see around them and that they would use within their lives.

·

He asked students to respond during class debates with examples that the class members had experienced.

·

He addressed any topic that students brought up as long as he could see it was truly important to them.

·

Thackeray modeled desirable behavior by treating the students with respect and demanding that they treat each other the same.

·

He encouraged them act with maturity (“Are you a man or a hoodlum?”)

·

He allowed students to benefit from his life experiences by answering their questions about his personal life.

·

He showed them that he had overcome obstacles, as well.

·

Thackeray motivated the students to explore their history and to see how other’s rebelled throughout history on the museum field trip.

·

He used the salad making lesson as an example of the importance of trying new things. As he was mixing in various salad ingredients (some that were new to the students), he told them, “Never be afraid to experiment.”

 

·

Thackeray abandoned the traditional classroom “lecture format”, let the students establish the curriculum

·

As the class debated issues, he challenged and questioned the students’ beliefs about themselves and the world around them

·

He made them think about and appreciate their place within society.

 

IU IST P540 - Learning Journeys Paper

Reflection Paper #2: Learning Journeys

Submitted by: Jennifer Maddrell

 

P540 – Spring 2006

Instructor: Bonk

 

 

Learning Journeys is a compilation of life lessons. Taken in whole, the lessons of the book form a learning theory to explain how we grow and learn. The stories selected by the editors (Goldsmith, Kaye & Shelton) both create and deliver the book’s overall thesis. The themes (or learning principles) that emerge from each story contribute the thesis that life is a continuous learning process where growth and learning are influenced by the learner’s ability to:

  • adapt from past experiences,
  • gain from the help of others,
  • become (and stay) motivated,
  • achieve self-knowledge, and
  • set and follow future goals.

Continuous learning is described by the editors as a “back and forth process” between teaching and learning. The stories in the book illustrate that learning does not just occur in a classroom, but occurs everywhere. By facing crossroads, difficult choices, and painful experiences, growth and learning occurs. Growth may also involve “unlearning” things that ultimately did not work in the past.

 

The book demonstrates that learning occurs from sharing in the experiences of others, where “the collective knowledge” of a group of people provides more than the experience of one. By providing insight from past experiences, teachers and mentors can motivate and “wake us up to an important lesson”, as well as “reach, direct, support and nurture” (Goldsmith, Kaye & Shelton, 2000, p. xxii).

 

The continuous learning process is described to require an understanding of one’s “self” as a part of journey to set and follow future goals. Through self-reflection, one achieves:

·

self-perspective to “see yourself and ideas as others do”,

·

self-knowledge to find a “true voice” to reveal a “true self”, and

·

self-challenge (or motivation) to know the “limits you set for yourself and challenge yourself to go beyond them”.

 

The following highlights five chapters within the book that support the learning principles that comprise the book’s overall thesis and evaluates each story’s key message as a learning principle. Exhibit A provides a comparison of key concepts presented in these chapters to the concepts, theories and theorists covered to date in this course.

 

1. Stephen Covey – Chapter 8: Shaping Experiences

 

Message: Covey emphasizes the power and impact of six experiences that shaped his future. He states that, “All six of these shaping forces have encouraged and empowered me to constantly strive to build for the long term – to build a life, a marriage, a family and an organization on the foundation of correct principles and the character ethic.” The overriding theme in his commentary is the importance of establishing and following personal goals that are based on timeless and universal principles including “involvement, accountably, responsibility and commitment over time.”

 

Evaluation of Message as a Learning Principle: The inclusion of Covey’s story contributes to the overall thesis of the book by focusing on the importance of setting, monitoring and achieving goals – a learning principle that is shared by other learning theories (as outlined below). While Covey describes goals in terms of a “personal mission statement”, the objective is the same - to develop a road map that provides guidance and assists in learning and development.

 

A weakness in Covey’s story is the lack of a clearly stated summary thesis. Covey mixes elements of his thesis within descriptions of his experiences. However, his message would be stronger if he instead summarized his learning principles into a final driving message. Instead, he lists his “shaping” experiences and leaves it to the reader to pull the message together to form the thesis. While the last sentence of the piece appears to be an attempt to summarize his message “of constantly striving to build for the long term”, it is not strong enough to create a compelling and comprehensive statement about the story’s key learning principle – the importance of setting, monitoring and achieving goals.

 

2. James Belasco – Chapter 10: The Learner’s Point of View:

Message: “What do you think the students learned?” This was the question raised by Professor Mesic after he observed Belasco deliver a discussion session in Mesic’s course. Belasco notes that the question “stopped me cold.” While he had meticulously prepared for the session, he had not considered what he wanted the students to learn or how he would know if they had learned it. Mesic’s message to Belasco was, “It’s not what you teach that’s important; it’s what they learn that matters most. And the only way you ever know what they learn is to see our lesson plan from their point of view.”

 

Evaluation of Message as a Learning Principle: The inclusion of Belasco’s story contributes to the overall thesis of the book by illustrating the importance of learner-centered design in motivating learners. The learning principle in this story can be compared to Keller’s Model of Motivation Design. As cited in Driscoll (2005), Keller proposed “four conditions for motivation that must be met to have a motivated learning” (p. 333), including:

·

Gaining Student Attention: Mesic’s critique illustrates that Belasco did a good job of gaining student attention. By engaging and involving the students, he had achieved a high level of discussion during the session.

·

Enhancing Relevance: A key learning principle of this story is the importance of developing curriculum that is relevant from the learner’s point of view. Mesic’s message was that Belasco did not achieve this during the session.

·

Building Confidence: Keller proposes that confidence is enhanced when learners are provided “with a reasonable degree of control over their own learning”. Mesic’s critique highlighted that Belasco’s session was controlled solely by the teacher which would not allow the learners the degree of control necessary to increase their confidence.

·

Generating Satisfaction: Keller notes the importance of “making sure that learning outcomes are consistent with the expectations established at the outset of learning.” As Belasco had not appropriately contemplated his expectations for the lesson, it is unlikely that the discussion generated learner satisfaction.

 

While Belasco’s story is effective in illustrating the importance of learner-centered design, it would be even more valuable as an instructional design tool if it provided additional insight on instructional strategies for achieving learner-centered design. For example, it would be helpful to know how Belasco has amended his instructional strategies to enhance relevance and to set clear instructional goals.

3. Elizabeth Pinchot – Chapter 21: Sometimes It Takes an Elbow in the Ribs

Message: Included in the section entitled, “Self-Knowledge”, Pinchot’s story is short, but powerful. Sitting in a discussion group, Pinchot began to get agitated at the questions being raised to the speaker following the lecture. However, due to her lack of self-confidence, she did not speak up, but muttered her feelings under her breath. Suddenly, she received a shot in the ribs from the woman sleeping next to her (Margaret Mead) with the command, “Stand up and make yourself heard.” Pinchot overcame her fear and spoke.

 

Evaluation of Message as a Learning Principle: The inclusion of Pinchot’s story contributes to the thesis of the book by illustrating the importance of developing positive self-knowledge. The story illustrates principles that are similar to those presented in Bandura’s self-efficacy concept. As cited in Driscoll (2005), Bandura proposed “self-efficacy as a belief system that is causally related to behavior and outcomes . . . based on their judgments [of their ability to perform] they proceed or not to engage in those actions.” (p. 316) Bandura’s concepts are found in the following elements of Pinchot’s story:

 

·

Via verbal persuasion, Meade positively modified Pinchot’s self-efficacy beliefs.

·

Pinchot was impressed with the primary speaker (“his gentle and humorous wisdom”) that provided a positive vicarious experience, described in Driscoll as “the learner’s observation of a role model attaining success at a task.” (p. 322)

·

While she felt “out of place”, Pinchot appeared to be in a positive physiological state by stating, “I [spoke] as best I could. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise”.

·

By succeeding, Pinchot gained enactive mastery experience (described in Driscoll as “a learner’s own previous success at a task”- p. 322) that positively influenced her feelings about her abilities.

 

While this story is effective in demonstrating how self-efficacy influences our ability and motivation to perform, it would be more valuable if Pinchot had elaborated on the root of her self-consciousness, which ultimately affected her self-efficacy and motivation to speak. She describes feeling “out of place” and less physically attractive, yet it appears she felt herself to be intellectually capable. Asked another way, why did she felt self-conscious and why did those issues prevent her from originally speaking?

4. Stratford Sherman – Chapter 23: What Strength Really Means

 

Message: Sherman’s key message is that growth comes from self-reflection and adaptation. Sherman found himself at a crossroad when he faced conflict within his relationship with his future wife. Staying on his current path would have meant giving up something he valued. As a person with strong personal convictions, he had not considered his need for change to be an option. He states that he was “attracted to the idea of change – so long as it involved other people.” However, his life lesson came when he realized (through self-reflection) that he needed to change (adapt) when he was on the wrong path.

 

Evaluation of Message as a Learning Principle: The inclusion of Sherman’s story contributes to the overall thesis of the book by illustrating the impact of self-reflection and adaptation on learning. Sherman’s growth occurred when he recognized that his fears and perceptions were wrong and he adapted his behavior. The learning principles shared by Sherman parallel both schema theory, as well as the process of self-regulation.

Schemata, as cited in Driscoll, represent “our knowledge about all concepts: those underlying objects, situations, events . . . actions” (p. 129) that dictate our reactions to situations and our subsequent actions. When faced with conflict in his relationship, Sherman relied on his prior schemata (change is fine –“so long as it involved other people”) and resisted commitment as it “challenged his independent identity”.

 

This story demonstrates that schemata are frequently modified. As cited in Driscoll, restructuring “involves the creation of entirely new schemata which replace or incorporate old ones.” Sherman came to a point where he needed to “launch a frontal assault on the idea that strength is about resisting change.” From restructuring, Sherman overcame his fears and ultimately altered his resistance to change.

 

As noted in Driscoll, “monitoring progress toward goal attainment is a critical component of self-regulation”. (p.329) As illustrated in Sherman’s story, through self-reflection, he realized he was not attaining his goal of happiness with his wife. Sherman’s monitoring (or self-reflection) set in motion a process of adaptation (self-regulation) that is similar to the Zimmerman and Schunk feedback loop described in Exhibit A.

 

5. Lou Tice – Chapter 34: Mentoring for Untapped Potential

 

Message: Tice asserts that mentors help others “grow into their greatness.” He notes that a mentor’s value is “to inspire” and “to see possibilities” that one otherwise may not see. He notes, “Great coaches and mentors are so unshakably convinced that we have greatness in us, and their vision of what is possible for us is so clear and powerful, that they wind up convincing us, too.”

 

Evaluation of Message as a Learning Principle: The inclusion of Tice’s story contributes to the overall thesis of the book by illustrating how learner motivation can be enhanced by the help of others. Tice illustrates how a mentor can positively influence a learner’s self-efficacy and motivation (as highlighted in Exhibit A).

 

Tice’s story is also valuable for his emphasis on how feedback can positively influence motivation. He suggests that via feedback, mentors can:

  • Help in identifying and evaluating options
  • Create scenarios for courses of action
  • Point out possibilities
  • Share strategies and similar experiences
  • Propose constructive actions or behavior changes
  • Help others examine and adjust their “self-talk”, as well as the consequences of their decisions

 

 

References

 

 

Driscoll, M. P. (2005). Psychology of learning for instruction (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Allyn and Bacon.

 

Goldsmith, M., Kaye, B. L., & Shelton, K. (2000). Learning Journeys: top management experts share hard-earned lessons on becoming great mentors and leaders (1st ed.). Palo Alto, Calif.: Davies-Black Pub.

 



Exhibit A: Course Terms - Comparison of Learning Journey Concept to Learning Theory / Theorist

 

 

Concept

Learning Journeys Author and Event

Parallel to

Learning Theory or Theorist

Reference within Marcy P. Driscoll’s

Psychology of Learning for Instruction

Goals

Covey (8): “… importance of having a mission statement … having a clear sense of destination and direction.”

1.

Radical Behaviorism

2.

Motivation: Bandura

1.

Step One (in planning a program of behavior change): Set Behavior Goals: (Driscoll, p. 53)

2.

“When individuals set goals, they determine an external standard to which they will internally evaluate their present level of performance (Driscoll, p. 314)

Learn by Teaching

Covey (8): “The best way to get people to learn is to turn them into teachers. In other words, you learn the material best when you teach it.”

Cognitive Information Processing

“Process of Learning: Processing information and storing it in memory includes processes of attention, pattern recognition, encoding, chunking, rehearsal and retrieval” (Driscoll, p. 110)

Curiosity, Attention and

Motivational

Design

Belasco (10): Mesic states, “You are a gifted lecturer. You are energetic and enthusiastic, and that’s contagious in your classroom. You engage and involve your students at high levels of discussion. You’re a brilliant teacher.”

1.

Origins of Motivation: Gagne & Driscoll

2.

Gaining and Sustaining attention per Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design

3.

Sensory Memory (CIP)

  1. “Curiosity, in children and adults alike, is a strong motivator of learning . . . Not only do learners pay greater attention to unexpected events, but they are also moved to try new ways of perceiving what they are looking at.” (as cited in Driscoll, p. 313)
  2. “To make the most of curiosity . . . teachers can capture students’ interest by using novel or unexpected approaches to instruction or injecting personal experience and humor” (Driscoll, p. 334)
  3. “... a student who is not attentive misses some of the information to be learned.” (Driscoll, p. 78)



 

Concept

Learning Journeys Author and Event

Parallel to

Learning Theory or Theorist

Reference within Marcy P. Driscoll’s

Psychology of Learning for Instruction

Satisfying Expectancies (Natural Consequences of Learning)

Belasco (10): For Belasco, “My value as a teacher is measured by the performance of my students.” Belasco provides motivation by gearing his instruction to the future outcomes of his students.

Motivation - Keller

“One of the most rewarding (and subsequently, motivating) results of learning is to use the newly acquired skills or knowledge.” (Driscoll, p. 324)

Verbal Persuasion / Building Confidence

Pinchot (21): “Margaret Mead hissed in my ear: ‘Stand up and make yourself heard.’”

Tice (34): “[A mentor’s} vision of what is possible for us is so clear and powerful, that they wind up convincing us, too.”

1.

Bandura: Self-Efficacy and Motivation

2.

Building Confidence: per Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design

1.

Modifies self-efficacy beliefs by “persuading a learner that he or she is capable of succeeding at a particular task” (Driscoll, p. 320)

2.

To instill confidence in learners:

·

create positive expectation for success

·

provide success opportunities

·

help learners recognize that learning is a direct consequence of their own efforts (Driscoll, p. 332)

Physiological States

Pinchot (21): “I did the best I could. I wouldn’t have done it otherwise.”

Sherman (23): “The real issue [of why he couldn’t commit to marriage] began to emerge: I didn’t want a nice person like Meredith to get such with a horrible guy like me.”

Bandura:

Self-Efficacy and Motivation

Learner’s physiological state or “… ‘gut feeling’ convinces them of probable success of failure.” (Driscoll, p. 322)



 

Concept

Learning Journeys Author and Event

Parallel to

Learning Theory or Theorist

Reference within Marcy P. Driscoll’s

Psychology of Learning for Instruction

Vicarious Experiences

Pinchot (21): The speaker’s “gentle and humorous” wisdom” provided a positive example of a role model succeeding.

Tice (34): “We can share our own strategies and the results of similar experiences that we have lived through, both successful and unsuccessful.”

Bandura:

Self-Efficacy and Motivation

Affects self-efficacy beliefs when “the learner’s observation of a role model attaining success at a task” (Driscoll, p. 319)

Enactive Mastery Experiences

Pinchot (21): By succeeding, Pinchot was motivated and the experience positively influenced her feelings about her abilities in the future.”

Bandura:

Self-Efficacy and Motivation

“Learner’s own previous success at a task and influences self efficacy beliefs . . . Enactive mastery experiences provide feedback on learners’ own capabilities . . . They are the most influential source of self-efficacy beliefs because they provide the most authentic information learners on their ability to do what it takes to succeed” (Driscoll, p. 318)

Schemata

- Restructuring

Sherman (23): “During this time of contemplation, I began to trace the origins of my way of life.” “My desire to keep her in my life finally compelled me to launch a frontal assault on the idea that strength is about resisting change.”

Schema Theory

Learners “use, modify and automate schemata in solving problems.” (Driscoll, p. 151)

Self Regulation

Sherman (23): Sherman observed his past (standing firm), compared it to his desired outcome (to be with his wife) and realized he needed to change in order to reach is goal.

Self-Regulation: Schunk and Zimmerman (Feedback Loop)

The feedback loop includes:

·

Self Reflection: Observing one’s performance

·

Forethought: Comparing one’s performance to a standard or goal

·

Performance: Reacting and responding to the perceived difference (Driscoll, p. 329)

 

 

 

IU IST P540 - Media Accumulation Paper

 

Media Accumulation and Review: Feedback Tools

Submitted By: Jennifer Maddrell

 

Reflection Paper #1

IU P540 – Spring 2006

Instructor: Bonk

 

 

Feedback within Learning Theory: Feedback is an important element of many learning theories, as presented in Marcy P. Driscoll’s Psychology of Learning for Instruction (Third Edition). In Chapter 2, Driscoll presents Behaviorist theories regarding reinforcement as a means to either promote or change behavior. Within a learning setting, teacher feedback provides this reinforcement. In Chapter 9, Bandura’s concept of Verbal Persuasion (such as appraisal in the form of teacher feedback) and how it influences a student’s self-efficacy beliefs is presented. In Chapter 9, the need for feedback in building student confidence to stimulate motivation is discussed. In Chapter 10, Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction includes Event 7: Providing Feedback. Given the importance of feedback in these learning theories and others, this media accumulation and review focuses on teacher feedback tools.

 

Feedback Tools: This media review highlights tools that provide feedback options in an online or distance learning setting (such as in P540) where the teacher and student lack face to face interaction. While there are many commercially available (fee based) options, the focus of this media accumulation and review is to highlight tools that either are free of cost to the user or are part of common applications that most schools or businesses regularly provide to students and employees. The list of media at the end of the review provides a teacher job aid with product descriptions and URL hyperlinks for more information about the tools. These free (or low cost) technologies enable teachers to create feedback, share resources and collaboratively edit and review student’s work.

 

Review Criteria: This media review focuses on: (1) the characteristics of the feedback tools, (2) the file storage options for shared access, and (3) collaboration capabilities, as described below:

 

·

Recording and Editing Tools: Tools to record and edit feedback content come in two primary forms:

1.

Desktop based, and

2.

Web (or browser) based.

 

Desktop based applications must be downloaded and installed on the user’s desktop. While desktop applications often provide a wealth of features and the stability to run these large applications, issues of administration rights (in situations where only system administrators can install “approved” software) and operating system compatibility (Windows, OSX, Linux) are important considerations. In addition, when using desktop applications, the teacher and student must address both file storage for shared access and collaboration in separate applications (as discussed below).

 

In contrast, Web (or browser) based applications are rarely operating system specific. Rather, the application is hosted on a third party Web server and is accessed via the user’s browser. Therefore, the teacher and student only have access to the application when they are logged onto the Internet. Such applications are becoming increasingly available, often at no cost to the user. Depending on the application, feedback content can be in written, audio or visual (still picture or video) form. While Web based applications provide other benefits (such as file storage and collaboration tools addressed below), users lack ownership control of the application. In addition, a high speed internet connection is often needed in order to utilize some of the application’s features.

 

·

File Storage (for shared access): Once the content is recorded and edited, storage of the content for shared access between the student and the teacher is needed. While storage options are available in fee based Web hosting services, the focus of this review is on the options available at no cost to the user. Issues such as security, storage space, joint access and acceptable file formats are important considerations. While ample free file storage is available from third party hosts on the Internet (for example, 2G or more of space is available for free by many e-mail providers), the user must consider the future availability of the service and keep a backup copy of all important content. Unfortunately, it is a reality that third party internet services that were here in the past are gone today.

·

Collaboration: Beyond storage for shared viewing, there are other collaboration considerations. Collaboration options, such as who can access the document and who can add comments, are important when evaluating feedback tool options. While it is possible to forward files back and forth via a static platform (such as e-mail), there are also alternatives that allow more immediate and direct teacher feedback in the form of comments to the original content. Several newer Web based applications allow teachers to collaborate directly on the same project, often at the same time. In addition, new tools allow for increased collaboration via “syndication” which means that the teacher and student can be informed about changes made to the content via RSS / XML / Atom feeds.

 

Desktop-Based Applications:

·

Desktop Word Processing: While the standard writing and editing capabilities of desktop word processing applications are well known, there are also many valuable (yet lesser used) tools to provide targeted feedback within a student’s written document. A key advantage of using a traditional desktop work processing application to provide feedback is ease of use. Most teachers and students have access to a desktop word processor and have a working knowledge of how to use the application. In addition, most applications save the document in a standard file format that many different applications can open. A disadvantage is that the document must be stored elsewhere for shared access and future collaboration. However, when paired with some of the Web based applications shown below, the desktop word processing application becomes a very powerful feedback tool.

 

The following highlights some standard desktop word processor features that allow targeted teacher feedback within the student’s document:

Þ

Comments: Inserting teacher comments into a document provides targeted feedback to the student’s work. The comments can be placed directly within a specific section of the document in written (sometimes audio) formats.

Þ

Markup Tools: Markup tools, such as the highlight or draw features, allow a teacher to visually reference areas for review and feedback.

Þ

Insert Object or File: Some feedback is best provided in an audio or visual format. By inserting or linking to a picture, chart, graph or other content from a different file, a teacher can visually or aurally communicate feedback.

Þ

Screen Capture: The “print screen” feature provides an opportunity for the teacher to capture an image on his or her computer screen and paste it directly into the student’s document. This feature allows the teacher to share visual feedback that might otherwise be shared in a traditional face to face conversation.

Þ

Hyperlinks: The “insert hyperlink” feature allows the teacher to link directly to other information sources on the Internet. Such feedback is useful when the teacher needs to direct students to examples or additional resources.

Þ

Acknowledgement (Sign-Off): Feedback does not always need to be elaborate or detailed. Many applications have simple acknowledgement or sign-off features that can be used in situations where quick teacher review and feedback is needed. In most cases, the acknowledgement can be signed and dated.

 

·

Desktop Audio / Visual Recording and Editing Tools: Providing audio or visual feedback is becoming easier as technology advances.

Þ

Audio: Since most computers and laptops now include microphones and sound cards, a teacher can use a desktop audio recording applications to record feedback on student’s work and save it for playback either on a computer or on a handheld device, such as an iPod. Audio feedback is especially helpful in Language classes. In addition, recording audio feedback can be faster than typing and provides feedback that more closely resembles face to face lecture.

Þ

Visual: Still and video images can express certain types of feedback (such as in an Art course) far better than written feedback alone. The process of recording still or video images is more difficult than recording audio files, the input devices are more expensive, the file sizes are much larger to transfer and the editing is more labor intensive. However, a low resolution Web camera can be purchased for less than $50 that captures both still and video images, as well as sound. The benefits of more detailed and expressive feedback may outweigh the obstacles depending on the circumstances.

 

Web Based Applications:

While the feedback tools above are accessed via desktop applications, there are many available Web based feedback tools, including:

·

Web Communication Tools:

Þ

Web Based E-mail: E-mail has become a standard feedback and communication tool in many learning environments, including online and distance education. The most exciting aspect of Web based e-mail is the amount of file storage that is now available at no charge to the user. The file storage and bandwidth capabilities allow transfer of written files, as well as larger audio and video files. The primary advantages of utilizing e-mail as a feedback tool are availability and ease of use, as well as the ability for teachers and students to maintain the history of past correspondence. The downside of e-mail is that the communication is not real-time leaving a lag between teacher and student messages.

Þ

Group Forum / Discussion Boards: Like e-mail, Group Forums and Discussion Boards are common learning technologies. The key feature of these sites is the ability for multiple users to create, store and share content on a single platform. However, like e-mail, the collaboration is not in real time.

Þ

Chat / Instant Messaging (IM): While IM or Chat features are more widely regarded as social networking tools, they also provide a teacher the opportunity to provide student feedback in a real time setting. Many IM platforms offer free written, audio and visual feedback options with “history” capabilities that save the conversation for future viewing. Further, many types of file formats can be uploaded and transferred (but not stored) during the live setting. In addition, multiple users can simultaneously join the live conversation. However, most IM clients do require a small software application download that may be a problem in some tightly controlled networks.

Þ

Voice Over IP (VoIP) or Telephony: While Voice Over IP technologies were based on real time Web enabled audio chats, the features are expanding daily to include other features, including video. The advantage of these technologies is the ability for the teacher and student to communicate in real time. Most providers offer basic “talk” features provided at no cost. However, as with IM clients, most VoIP applications require a software download in order to use the service.

Þ

Web Meetings: Live Web meetings allow real time streaming of audio and video with other chat features. Most include the ability to share (and possibly jointly edit) applications in a shared screen. While most Web meeting technologies are commercial and fee based, there are free (or trial use) options available. A software download is also usually required.

·

Personal Web Pages: Personal Web Pages take many forms. However, most have the ability for: (a) the student to create original content, (b) the teacher (as reviewer) to add comments (c) and Web syndication (such as RSS / XML feeds) which allows the teacher and student to know when content updates have been made. Personal Web Page applications are abundant on the internet and many offer extensive features and storage options at no cost. The following are the primary types.

Þ

Writing / Editing Tools: A “Wiki” is a term used to describe a Web based collaborative writing and editing tool in which students and teachers can write and edit a document, together and in real-time. Wikis often share some common features with traditional desk top applications (such as formatting options and spell check) and may allow integration with desktop word processors via file upload / download. In contrast, “Blogs” are typically not as feature rich in terms of content creation. They are used primarily as journals to add reflective content (via written, audio or video posts) which teachers can respond to in the form of a comment to the student’s post. While Wikis are often described in similar terms as Blogs, most consider a distinguishing characteristic to be that Blogs generally do not accommodate multi-person content collaboration.

Þ

Podcast Hosts: This category refers to Web based applications that allow for the creation, storage and sharing of audio (and recently, video) content. However, these sites often also accommodate Blog-like written posts. While this creates a blurred line with traditional Blogs, these sites are primarily devoted to audio and video content. The term “Podcast” remains a popular term to describe these hosts, but it is not necessary to use an iPod as content can be retrieved and played back on a computer. These Web based tools are new and can be unstable, yet they provide teachers with a relatively easy solution to create and share audio feedback.

Þ

Photo Storage Sites: Photo storage sites allow teachers and students to upload or download digital photos and graphics, share visual content with others and provide feedback as “comment” posts. While significant storage is available at no cost, most providers offer unlimited storage for less than $25 per year.

·

Personal Web Journals / Personal Learning Environments: Loosely grouped in this category are a new hybrid of Web communication tools and personal Web pages. Typically, they include a combination of content creation, file storage and real time sharing features on a single access point. They provide users with rich collaboration and communication tools with the benefit of all content accessed and stored on one site. Some educators are finding that these all-in-one personal Web journals make viable Personal Learning Environments (see Elgg below).



 

 

Product URL Links

Content

Key

Strengths

Key

Weaknesses

“Live”

Feedback

RSS / XML

Cost

Other Comments / Learning Curve

1: Easy 2:

Desktop Word Processing:

a.

Microsoft Office

b.

Word Perfect

c.

iWork

d.

Open Office

e.

Adobe Acrobat

·

Written

·

Audio (attach / link)

·

Visual (attach / link)

·

Tools contain numerous options to create and edit written documents

·

Teacher feedback capabilities are extensive

·

Ability to link and / or attach audio and video files or URL hyperlinks

·

Inability to collaborate in real time

·

Files must be stored for joint access and shared on separate platform making collaboration more disjointed than Web based tools

no

no

a.

$150 edu*

b.

$99 edu*

c.

$49 edu

d.

Free

e.

$159 edu

·

edu: Discounted education version -*free to IU users

·

Open Office is an Open Source (and free) alternative to commercial products.

·

While Adobe Acrobat is fee based, Acrobat Reader is free (for viewing)

·

Adobe .pdf format is viewable in Web browsers across most operating systems

Desktop Audio:

a.

Audacity.com

Desktop Audio / Visual:

b.

iLife (Mac)

c.

Windows Movie Maker (PC)

·

Written

·

Audio

·

Visual

·

Simple, yet rich, content creation tools

·

Audio and visual allows for expanded feedback options

·

Inability to collaborate in real time

·

Audio and visual file capture and editing can be more labor intensive that written

no

no

a.

Free

b.

$59 (edu)

c.

Free

·

The advantage of the desktop tools over Web based alternatives is enhanced content creation and editing functionality

·

Tends to have higher application learning curve

Web E-mail:

a.

Yahoo!

b.

Gmail

c.

Aol

·

Written

·

Audio (attach / link)

·

Visual (attach / link)

·

Availability

·

Ease of use

·

Large storage capacity

·

Inability to collaborate in real time.

·

Difficult to track “reply” comments and feedback within a large group

no

no

Free

·

While other options may have more functionality, the availability and ease of use make e-mail a popular feedback tool

·

Large free storage capacity is available – usually at least 2G for free

Group Forum / Discussion Board:

a.

Yahoo! Groups

b.

Google Groups

Other Hosted Examples

·

Written

·

Audio (attach / link)

·

Visual (attach / link)

·

Works well with groups of students

·

Central place to share ideas in a post / feedback format

·

Typically all users have ability to add new posts and comment on other posts

·

Inability to edit documents or posts made by others

·

Typically, a structured format to post and view favoring short content

no

yes

Free

·

Most forums allow groups to limit membership / restrict access, if desired

·

Content creation options are more limited than other alternatives



 

Product Links

Content

Key

Strengths

Key

Weaknesses

“Live”

Feedback

RSS / XML

Cost

Other Comments / Learning Curve

1: Easy 2:

Instant Messaging:

·

Proprietary:

a.

AIM

b.

ICQ

c.

Yahoo!

d.

MSN

·

3rd Party Consolidator:

a.

Trillian (Windows)

b.

Gaim (All)

c.

iChat (Mac)

·

Written (live)

·

Audio (live)

·

Visual (live)

·

Real time collaboration

·

There are additional third party applications, such as Trillian or Gaim, that consolidate various IM platforms under one viewer

·

Networks may block

·

Very basic written content creation options

·

While there are many free IM alternatives, most are not set up to allow inter-platform compatibility

yes

no

Free

·

While IM does not enable storage of content, it is an excellent immediate (real time) collaboration tool

·

There are additional third party applications, such as Trillion or Gaim, that consolidate various IM platforms under one viewer

·

Most require a software download, so platform compatibility and network blocking may be an issue

VoIP / Telephony:

a.

Gizmo

b.

Skype

c.

Google Talk

·

Voice

·

Written

·

Similar to IM dedicated to voice

·

Supports voicemail and conference features

·

Record conversations

·

Requires download of application to desktop

·

Proprietary accounts making it difficult to “talk” cross platform

yes

no

Free

·

Most services allow call in or out using traditional phone on a fee basis

·

Proprietary nature of sign up is a negative, but will likely be overcome in the future (as with Trillian and Gaim with standard IM)

Web Meeting:

·

Ivisit

·

Written

·

Audio

·

Visual

·

Audio and video conferencing, including chat and file transfer in real time

·

Ability to share desktop and whiteboard

·

Requires download of application to desktop

·

Free version is limited to 8 participants

yes

no

Free

·

It is possible to save or record the session for download and storage

·

Provides closest experience to “face to face” conversations

·

An upgrade to a fee based product with more features is available

Non-Collaborative Web Based Writing Tools:

a.

Blogger

b.

EduBlog

·

Written

·

Audio (attach / link)

·

Visual (attach / link)

·

Works well for individual work (i.e. a learning journal)

·

Basic content creation is very simple

·

Comments can be made to original post

·

RSS syndication allows easy tracking of new and updated posts

·

Inability to jointly collaborate in real time

·

Typically only “owner” of Blog has ability to add or start a new topic

no

yes

Free

·

Not designed to allow for direct collaboration on the student’s source document

·

Traditional non-collaborative Blogs are not as feature rich as other Web based collaborative tools, such as Wikis



 

Product Links

Content

Key

Strengths

Key

Weaknesses

“Live”

Feedback

RSS / XML

Cost

Other Comments / Learning Curve

1: Easy 2:

Collaborative Web

Based Writing Tools:

a.

PB Wiki

b.

Writely.com

c.

Jotspot

d.

Writeboard

e.

Web Collaborator

·

Written

·

Audio (attach / link)

·

Visual (attach / link)

·

Feature rich, including content creation, editing, commenting, storage, cross platform compatibility

·

Real time collaboration and syndication

·

Content creation and editing not as strong as desktop applications

yes

yes

Free

·

Writely appears to be a strong contender in this category.

·

Most tools still in Beta testing stage, meaning system stability may be an issue

Podcast Host:

a.

Garageband.com

b.

Odeo.com

c.

Castpost.com

·

Audio

·

Simple interface to create, store and share audio (and sometimes video)

·

Sites provide XML code for podcast to allow RSS syndication

·

New technologies that may not always function properly.

no

yes

Free

·

Primary focus is audio creation, storage and collaboration

·

While these applications show a lot of promise, they are largely still in the development and testing stage

Photo Storage:

·

Flickr.com

·

Visual

·

Account set up and modest file storage is free

·

Multiple upload and post options

·

Interface with common Blog platforms

·

Still digital photos only

·

Fee for unlimited storage option

no

yes

Free

·

Great resource for “visual” driven topics, such as Art courses

·

Purchased by Yahoo! so likely future integration with other Yahoo! applications

Personal Web Journals:

a.

MySpace

b.

Elgg

c.

Yahoo! 360

·

Written

·

Audio (attach / link)

·

Visual (attach / link)

·

Works well for individual work (i.e. a online learning journal)

·

Variety of applications available (Blogs, Wikis, forums)

·

Central place to create, store and collaborate with others

·

Depending on application, may give others privilege to collaboratively edit source documents

·

Be aware that these sites can be here today, gone tomorrow

·

Risk in adding large amounts of content as site may “disappear” in the future

yes

yes

Free

·

Personal Web Journals are rapidly gaining in popularity as part of “Social Networks”

·

Collaboration is a key driver of the popularity

·

While current focus is on social aspect, use as a personal learning environment is also growing (i.e. Elgg)

 

IU IST R511 - Association Review

 

IU IST R511

Prepared by: Jennifer Maddrell

Delivered: January 27, 2006

 

 

Individual Assignment Submitted: 1/27/06 [Paper Link|http://designedtoinspire.com/drupal/files/511MaddrellW3_0.doc]

 

Name of organization: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)

Scope:

· About AACE: Per web site: "An international, educational and professional not-for profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the knowledge, theory, and quality of learning and teaching at all levels with information technology. This purpose of AACE is accomplished through the encouragement of scholarly inquiry related to information technology in education and the dissemination of research results and their applications"

· Membership Profile: Per web site: "Researchers, developers, and practitioners in schools, colleges, and universities; administrators, policy decision-makers, trainers, adult educators, and other specialists in education, industry, and the government with an interest in advancing knowledge and learning with information technology worldwide."

· Association Resources: Journals, online library, listserv and conferences

Publications of Interest and Other Information Options (* regularly published journals):

· International Journal on E-Learning: Corporate, Government, Healthcare & Higher Education*

· WebNet Journal Internet Technologies, Applications and Issues*

· Journal of Interactive Learning Research*

· Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia*

· (online resource) Online Education and InfoTech Library for copies of online journals

· (listserv) EDUCTECH

 

Editors of Journals: Per web site: "All AACE journal manuscripts are peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers, and usually three reviewers, of the journal's international Editorial Review Board of experts in fields specifically matching the journal topics. Papers are reviewed, double-blind, in full publishable form; no journal manuscripts are accepted based only upon submission of an abstract."

Local / Regional Meetings: None
National Conferences of Interest:

· Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference (03/06)

· World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications (06/06)

· E-Learn: (10/06)

Current Address and Contact Information:

P.O. Box 1545
Chesapeake, VA 23327-1545 USA
E-mail: info@aace.org / Phone: 757-366-5606 / Web: http://www.aace.org

Number of subscribers: Web site lists 50,000 listserv participants

Cost of annual membership and subscriptions:

· Membership + 1 Journal: $95 Regular / $60 Student

· Membership + Online Education and InfoTech Library: $175 Regular / $95 Student

· Journals and Publications: Available for purchase by members only at online store

 

IU IST R511 - Final Paper

Running Head: Instructional Technology (IT) Recommendations

 

 

 

 

 

Instructional Technology (IT) Recommendations

for Big Insurance Group

 

 

 

Jennifer Maddrell
Indiana University

R511: Instructional Technology Foundations

Final Paper

Professor Hubbard-Welsh

3 May 2006



To: Justin Time, Chief Underwriting Officer, Underwriting Office

 

From: Jennifer Maddrell, Chief Learning Officer, Learning Office

Date: May 3, 2006

 

Subject: Instructional Technology Use Recommendation for
Big Insurance Group (BIG)

This memo is a continuation of previous correspondence from the Learning Office addressing the need for employee performance improvement initiatives at Big Insurance Group (BIG). The following highlights the key findings of the Learning Office review committee and presents recommendations based on an Instructional Technology (IT) approach.

Review Committee Findings: BIG is rapidly growing around the world, yet lacks a comprehensive approach to employee training and performance improvement. Currently, BIG focuses training efforts on immediate worker skill gaps with most training prepared and facilitated by underwriting subject matter experts (SMEs) in face to face seminars. If a deficiency in skills is brought to the attention of the Underwriting Office managers, a seminar to address the specific skill gap is held, often with little input from the Learning Office. The Learning Office review committee has identified the following key problems with the current approach:

·

Fixing Problems versus Preventing Problems: While skill gap training is important, it is addressing issues too late and often after they have become business problems. In addition, other non-training interventions are not currently considered when examining employee performance problems.

·

Lack of integration between employee training and other business processes: Examination of employee performance is not currently not part of the business unit’s overall planning process. Training is currently viewed as a separate and distinct function from other business planning operations. As a result, the Underwriting Office and the Learning Office rarely know what the other is doing and they only interact to address specific employee skill gap issues identified by the Underwriting Office.

·

Training is not addressing the needs of a geographically dispersed employee base: With a rapidly expanding workforce, BIG has not been able to effectively and rapidly integrate new employees into the company. Further, while it has been BIG’s stated goal to expand operations, no comprehensive plan exists to address the employee performance of the growing workforce. In addition, alternatives to the current face to face in-person training format have not been examined.

Recommendations: Given the stated problems, it is the recommendation of the Learning Office to abandon the current ad hoc approach to employee training in favor of a comprehensive Instructional Technology (IT) approach to improve employee performance at BIG. As defined by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), IT encompasses the “design, development, utilization, management and evaluation of the processes and resources for learning” (Seals & Richey, 1994).

Note that within this approach, both the required processes (soft technology) and resources (hard technologies) are considered (Molenda, 2001a). In the coming months, the Learning Office will be working closely with the Underwriting office to examine and implement both instructional and other employee performance process and resource recommendations, including the:

·

adoption of the Strategic Impact Model to guide the development of future instructional and non-instructional interventions,

·

review of desired job competencies for Learning Office training staff,

·

addition of Learning Office staff positions to meet these required competencies, and

·

integration of additional online learning tools and instructional methods to create a comprehensive blended (online and face to face) learning approach.

The following furthers these recommendations with an examination of:

·

Section I - The background of IT to put these recommendations within a historical context,

·

Section II - The requirements and implications of the Learning Office recommendations,

·

Section III - The process to evaluate the results of the recommendations

Section I - The Background of IT

It is important to note the interplay among (1) the ideas (theories), (2) the practice and (3) technical innovation within Instructional Technology. The three have not developed in a vacuum, but rather have affected and influenced each other over time. The major trends within IT and the ideas, practices and technical innovations that have influenced the field are examined below.

Major trends in IT: The recommendations for BIG are consistent with the trends and best practices in IT. As presented by Molenda (2001d), the major trends within the IT filed include:

·

Mass access to learning: As people have become more geographically dispersed with an ever growing diversity in learning needs, the IT field has responded by finding new ways to reach more learners. BIG faces a similar challenge with the growing workforce. Blended learning approaches will provide the required access to the expanding employee base.

·

Individualized content delivery: The IT field has moved away from a “one size fits all” approach to learning in favor of approaches that are tailored to the individual and the situation. This is consistent with the recommendation that BIG consider alternatives to the lecture based face-to-face seminar format currently utilized for all training.

·

Learner-controlled instruction: The IT field has recognized that learning is most effective when the learner is an active (versus passive) participant. As noted above, BIG must consider alternatives to passive lectures and find alternatives that engage learners as active participants.

·

Multi-sensory content presentation: The IT field realizes that by presenting content in multiple formats, the richness of the learner’s experience is increased. Integration of online learning tools will provide learners with multiple content delivery options that are more engaging than the traditional lecture based format.

 

Ideas: Ideas about instructional design and delivery are founded in both learning and instructional theory and research. As presented in Driscoll (2005), the following have each provided insight into theories of learning:

·

Behaviorists (B.F. Skinner, J.B. Watson): Learning is assessed in terms of what learners “do”. Through behavior modification, learners are conditioned to respond with the desired instructional outcome.

·

Cognitivists (L.S. Vygotsky, J.S. Bruner): The importance of the internal coding and structure of knowledge is stressed by Cognitivists with the primary concern being “what” learners know and “how” they came to know it (Silber, 1998).

·

Constructivists (D.J. Cunningham, D. Jonassen): The conditions and methods of learning are of importance to constructivists who feel learners must be presented with complex and relevant learning environments to allow for critical thinking and reflection.

 

While some consider these theories to be mutually exclusive, Ertmer and Newby (1993) propose that there is room for all three approaches within instruction. They propose that the chosen approach should be dictated by both the level of the learner’s knowledge and the level of cognitive processing required by the task with Behaviorism as the preferred choice at low ends of this scale, Constructivist approaches at the highest end and Cognitive approaches falling in the middle. Therefore, based on this scale, the recommended approach proposed by Ertmer and Newby depends on the following:

·

Behaviorist Approaches: Low processing for mastery of content (or knowing what)

·

Cognitivist Approaches: Increased processing for problem-solving tactics (or knowing how)

·

Constructivist Approaches: Highest processing for dealing with ill-defined situations (reflection in action)

Likely, the best known theory of instruction is presented by Gagne. Driscoll (2005) notes that the theory evolved over the years (from primarily Behaviorist to Cognitivist in nature) and incorporates the following three major components:

1.

A Taxonomy of Learning Outcomes: Gagne’s taxonomy includes: Verbal Information (declarative knowledge or factual knowledge – knowing that); Intellectual Skills (procedural knowledge – knowing how); Cognitive Strategies (how learners guide their own learning); Attitudes (influence choice of personal action); Motor Skills (execution of performance).

2.

Specific learning conditions that are required for the attainment of each learning outcome.

3.

Nine Events of Instruction: Gagne proposed that successful instruction must: Gain attention, inform learners of objectives, stimulate recall of prior learning, present the content, provide learning guidance, elicit performance, assess performance and enhance retention via practice.

Practice: As noted by Morrison, Kemp and Ross (2004), learning theories tend to be descriptive in nature (how people learn), whereas instructional theories are prescriptive (strategies for instruction). They propose that the two come together in practice within instructional systems design (ISD) models which apply instructional theories to ensure effective learning. Ideas about how to design effective instruction are presented in numerous instructional systems design (ISD) models that “convey key concepts and processes to be included in a particular approach (Molenda, Pershing, Reigeluth, 1996, p. 268).” While various ISD approaches exist, most agree that the fundamental systems ISD framework includes analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation of an instructional system, as does the Dick and Carrey model, one of the most well known ISD models (Molenda, 2001e).

In addition to instructional interventions addressed within ISD models, there has been increasing attention on other factors that affect employee performance. Rosenberg (1996) notes that there are three areas that influence performance improvement, including (1) the work, (2) the workplace and (3) the worker. Wile (1996) highlights and synthesizes the ideas of several people in the human performance technology (HPT) field, including Gilbert, Rosset, Harless, Spitzer, Mager, to identify a list of issues that can affect performance, including:

1.

organizational systems (policies, procedures, authority)

2.

incentives (financial, meaningful work)

3.

cognitive support (job aides, documentation)

4.

tools,

5.

physical environment,

6.

skills / knowledge (training), and

7.

management.

Molenda and Pershing (2004) propose a Strategic Impact Model, which is an approach that integrates ISD with non-instructional performance improvement to address all of the issues noted above. A key addition to the ISD model is the “cause analysis” to determine the cause of gaps in performance that can also lead to non-instructional solutions.

Support for the efficacy and use of ISD is strong, but it is not universal within the field. Gordon and Zemke (2000) launched an attack on ISD in Training magazine that triggered debate among top industry researchers, theorists and training practitioners. While critics are generally unanimous in their position that new alternatives are needed, the criticism and proposed solutions are wide ranging and are at times in conflict. For example, some feel the model is too prescriptive, while others decry it is too generic and simplistic to provide value in complex training situations (Zemke & Rossett, 2002). On the other side of the debate, supporters of the systems ISD process note that criticism of ISD is due to inappropriate application and use versus flaws in the underlying model. Zemke and Rossett (2002) refer to this problem as flaws in “The Practice”.

Technological Innovation: As noted, IT is also concerned with the resources (or hard technology) to support learning. While the personal computer is viewed as a revolutionary instructional media innovation, it is certainly not the first technology to be used in instruction. Reiser (2002) outlines instructional media developments beginning with school museums in the early 1900’s through the Internet in the present day, including (a) the visual instructional movement, (b) the audiovisual and radio instruction movements and (c) instructional television funding.

 

Adoption of instructional media innovations has typically been based on the desire to provide an efficient means to deliver increased access to instruction. Examples of this include the 1965 Elementary and Secondary School Act, as well as the formation of the Ford Foundation, that both provided funding for instructional television and video research and programming (Molenda, 2001f).

Section II - Requirements and Implications

The recommended IT approaches will allow BIG to improve employee performance. In order to implement these recommendations, changes to current design methods and employee training approaches will be required. Additional resources will be required to support these methods. Further, new staff job competencies must be considered which will likely require adding new job roles to the Learning Office team. These requirements and their implications for BIG are assessed below.

Design Methods: As noted, a new model must be implemented which will allow for the incorporation of both instructional and non-instructional interventions to improve employee performance. The Learning Office supports changes to current instructional design and performance improvement methods and recommends the Strategic Impact Model (discussed above) as the framework to establish those methods. The Strategic Impact Model is preferred as it:

·

is based on a time tested instructional systems design approach,

·

allows flexibility for new learning and instructional strategies, as well as integration of new technologies, and

·

provides a framework for both instructional and non-instructional employee performance interventions.

Employee Training Approaches: BIG is not alone in the heavy reliance on face to face, lecture based employee training. According to Training Magazine (as cited in Bichelmeyer and Molenda, 2006), face to face training is currently used in 85 percent of all companies. However, the authors note that while this percentage has been consistent in the past several years, the use of “hybrid” or “blended” (offline combined with online) instructional methods are on the rise. They note that there has been an increase in the use of Web-based or DVD-based instruction with two-way videoconferencing used “always” or “often” by 19 percent of companies. In addition, they note that Web-based self study was reportedly used by 44 percent of companies in 2003. The Learning Office recommends the adoption of similar blended learning methods within BIG in order to facilitate training to the geographically dispersed workforce.

Further, recommended instructional methods to replace the “all lecture” training format currently used will include demonstrations, discussion, drill and practice tutorials, cooperative learning opportunities, and simulation, as suggested by Heinich, Molenda, Russell and Smaldino (1999). The following instructional framework suggested by these authors will also be adopted:

·

Active participation: To engage learners

·

Practice: To improve retention

·

Individual difference: To allow progress at different rates

·

Feedback: To inform learners if they are on track

·

Realistic Context: To apply knowledge in real-world context

·

Social interaction: To provide support

Resources: As noted, BIG’s reliance on face to face instruction is not sustainable given the company’s rapid geographic expansion. Therefore, new media resources to support distance education and the recommended instructional approaches are required. It is recommended that various forms of media be considered for use, including computer and internet enabled conferences, Internet based chat rooms, bulletin boards and Learning Management Systems (Heinich, Molenda, Russell and Smaldino, 1999). However, as Bichelmeyer and Molenda (2006) note, while it is tempting for companies to adopt “e-learning” approaches, the high upfront investments in equipment, development time, talent and materials must be contemplated.

New Job Competencies: In order to implement a comprehensive IT approach, members of the Learning Office staff will be required to possess new job competencies. According to a recent study by Lim (as cited in Molenda, 2001b), the following are the top five job competencies required by the IT field:

1.

Instructional Design and Development

2.

Project Management

3.

Communication

4.

Media Application and Production

5.

Teaching and Delivery

New Roles / Team Organization: Unfortunately, current members of the Learning Office do not possess all of these skills. New role definitions and their associated responsibilities will need to be drafted in order to fulfill these requirements. Implementation will likely involve hiring new staff with competencies not currently found in BIG. Responsibility for the training will shift from SMEs to these experts.

An evaluation will be made of the current staff within the Learning Office to determine which new roles will be needed. As a guide during this evaluation, Morrison, Ross and Kemp (2004) highlight the key roles typically found within the instructional design process:

·

Instructional Designer: Coordinates the planning work and is competent in managing all aspects of the instructional design process.

·

Instructor: Implements the instructional plan.

·

Subject Matter Expert (SME): Provides information about content and resources relating to subject of instruction.

·

Evaluator: Determines the effectiveness and efficiency of the program.

Another common role is Multimedia Designer (Molenda, 2001b). This role will facilitate media application and production functions.

Section III - Evaluating Results

Molenda, Pershing and Reigeluth (1996) note that effective training must fulfill the following results: (1) integrate into the business operations of the organization, (2) be cost effective, and (3) provide valuable outputs. The authors note that a vital component of the IT process is the “evaluation” phase to assess achievement of these results. Evaluation will be an ongoing process to monitor results over different time periods, including during training, immediately after training and in the days and months after the employees are back on the job and will include:

·

Reaction – how participants react to the program

·

Learning – the extent knowledge, skill or attitude improved

·

Behavior – the extent behavior or skills are transferred to the work setting

·

Results – the business impact that occurred because of the participation

In Summary:

BIG has rapid growth plans and is in need of a comprehensive approach to employee training and performance improvement. The Learning Office’s evaluation of BIG notes the current approach is designed to fix versus prevent problems, lacks integration with other business processes and does not address the needs of the geographically dispersed employee base. It is the recommendation of the Learning Office to take a comprehensive Instructional Technology approach to improve employee performance at BIG. The Learning Office will be working closely with the Underwriting office to implement employee performance process and resource recommendations including the:

·

adoption of the Strategic Impact Model to guide the development of future instructional and non-instructional interventions,

·

review of desired job competencies for Learning Office training staff,

·

addition of Learning Office staff positions to meet these required competencies, and

·

integration of additional online learning tools and instructional methods to create a comprehensive blended (online and face to face) learning approach.



References

 

Bichelmeyer, B. & Molenda M. (in press). Issues and trends in instructional technology: Slow growth as economy recovers. To be published in Educational Media and Technology Yearbook 2005: Volume 30. Englewood, Co: Libraries Unlimited. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week11.shtml

Dale, E. (1946). The Cone of Experience. Chapter 4 in Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching. New York: Dryden Press (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston). Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Driscoll, M.P. (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction, 3rd ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

[Note: Driscoll book was required reading in P540 and is already a well worn book in my budding IST book collection]

Ertmer, P.A. & Newby, T.J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), 50-72. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week9.shtml

Gordon, J. and Zemke, R. (2002). "The Attack on ISD," Training 37:4. April 2002. pp. 42-53. Retrieved March 27, 2006 from http://ereserves.iu.edu/coursepages.asp?cid=6

Heinich, R.; Molenda, M.; Russell, J. & Smaldino, S. (1999) Media and Instruction, Ch. 1 in Instructional Media and Technologies for Learning, 6th edition. Columbus: Merrill. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week9.shtml

[Note: The Heinich, etal. article provides a wonderful overview of prescriptive approaches to instruction]

Molenda, M. (2001a). Introduction to Instructional Technology. [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week2.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001b). Job Types and Competencies for Instructional Technologists. [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week3.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001c). Theories of Learning & Instruction: Comparing Across Perspectives. [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week9.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001d). Contemporary Issues in Instructional Technology. [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week11.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001e). Evolution of ISD Process Models. [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week4.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001f) Modern History of Instructional Systems Technology: Post WWII 1979 - 1946 [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Molenda, M. and Pershing, J.A. (2004). The Strategic Impact Model: An integrative approach to performance improvement and instructional systems design. TechTrends 48:2 (March-April), pp. 26-32. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week5.shtml

Molenda, Pershing, & Reigeluth (1996). Designing instructional systems. In Craig (ed.) The ASTD Training and Development Handbook. NY: McGraw-Hill - (pages 266-280 only). Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week4.shtml

Morrison, Kemp, & Ross (2004) Designing Effective Instruction, 4th ed., Chapter 1, Introduction to the instructional design process. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week4.shtml

[Note: This chapter presents an excellent overview that traces the history and elements of IDS models]

Reiser, R.A. (2002). A history of instructional design and technology. Chapter 3 in Reiser, R.A. and Dempsey, J.V. (ed's) Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp. 26-53. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Rosenberg, M. (1996) Human performance technology. In Craig, R.L. (Ed.) The ASTD Training and Development Handbook 4th ed. New York: McGraw Hill. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week5.shtml

Seels, B.B. & Richey, R.C. (1994). The 1994 definition of the field. In Instructional Technology: The Definition and Domains of the Field (pp. 1-22). Washington, D.C.: Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week2.shtml

Silber, K. (1998). Cognitive approach to training development: A practitioner's assessment. ETR&D 46:4, pp. 58-72. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week8.shtml

Wile, D. (1996). Why doers do. Performance & Instruction, 35:1, 30-35. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week5.shtml

Zemke, R. and Rossett, A. (2002). A hard look at ISD. Training, February, 27-35. Retrieved April 25, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

 

IU IST R511 Instructional Technology - Major Developments of the 20th Century (Week 13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Establishing and Forwarding the Instructional Technology Mission

 

Major Developments of the 20th Century

 

 

 

Jennifer Maddrell
Indiana University

R511: Instructional Technology Foundations

Week 13 Deliverable

Professor Hubbard-Welsh

10 April 2006



As proposed by Molenda (2001a), the mission of instructional technology includes the underlying values of efficiency (providing better payoff for the resources invested), effectiveness (achieving positive outcomes), access (providing educational access to more people) and humaneness (adapting instruction to learner’s needs). This report examines major developments in the 20th Century that played a role in establishing and forwarding this mission. For the purposes of this analysis, instructional technology includes both: (a) the use of instructional media (defined as “the physical means via which instruction is presented to learners” and (b) systematic instructional design ideas and procedures (Reiser, 2002, p. 28).

The major instructional media (hard technology) and design (conceptual) developments are presented within the following categories:

·

Education and Instruction Research,

·

Military Personnel Training,

·

Technology Innovation, and

·

Employee Performance Improvement Initiatives

 

Education and Instruction Research:

Schrock (1995, p. 12) notes that “major ideological breakthroughs occurred with the advent of scientific investigation into human and animal learning.” These education and instruction research contributions within the 20th Century are assessed within the following time periods:

·

Early Century: Learning and education originally occurred informally in one on one apprenticeship (Rosenberg, Coscarelli, Hutchison, 1990). Thorndike is credited as the first to apply research methods to instructional problems (Saettler, 1990). His research at Columbia University resulted in his advocacy of social engineering, the idea that instruction should pursue pre-specified, socially useful goals, as well as educational measurement a research tool and then a field “that became very important in establishing education as a science” (Schrock, 1995, p. 12). Schrock (1995) and Saettler (1990) summarize the vast research conducted through the period from researchers such as Thorndike, Montesorri, and Dewey that provided support for learning and instructional principles that are fundamental to many of today’s instructional technology processes, including: establishment of educational objectives, individualized instruction, objective analysis, sensory based learning, self-instructional materials, problem solving and reflective methods, contract learning and mastery learning.

·

Mid-Century: As discussed further below, the World Wars had a great impact on the field. Researchers such as Gagne, Briggs and Flanagan were instrumental in the research and development of instructional material and models used by the military (Reiser, 2002). In the post war period, educational research was impacted by:

1.

The need to effectively and efficiently prepare the record number of students (including returning servicemen) entering college: The Eight Year Study was “designed in response to postwar pressures to revise the prevailing college preparatory high school curriculum in order to meet the needs of increasing numbers of students who in earlier years would not have gone beyond elementary school.” (Schrock, 1995, 14). This study influenced the adoption of behavioral objectives and formative evaluation that have carried through to modern instructional technology design principles.

2.

The continuation of behavioral research: Research through the 1950s furthered the behavioral research that had been instrumental in developing effective and efficient military education and training during the World Wars (Reiser, 2002). In addition, these developments form the foundation for the Human Performance Technology movement that began later in the century (Molenda, 2001b). Examples of behaviorist influences cited by Schrock (1995) include:

a)

the Programmed Instruction Movement by Skinner,

b)

advances in analytical procedures and task analysis by Flanagan and Miller;

c)

the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives by Bloom.

·

Late Century: Developments in this period include:

1.

An explosion of research in instructional systems development: In 1962, Glaser (as cited by Schrock, 1995, p. 16) noted “breach between psychological research on learning and educational practice and the need for professional actively engaged in developing the science of instructional technology.” This breach was soon overcome during an explosion of research and development in instructional systems. The movement toward perfecting instructional design models continued from the 1960’s through the 1970’s when multiple versions of instructional system design models were identified and graduate programs specializing instructional systems technology were formed (Reiser, 2002).

2.

A countermovement against behaviorist theories: Led by cognitive theorists such as Bruner and Chomskey, the 1980s saw a movement toward research viewed as a “countermovement” against behaviorists (Molenda, 2001b). However, Reiser (2002) reflects, “while there was growing interest in how the principles of cognitive psychology could be applied in the instructional design process . . . the actual effects of cognitive psychology on instructional design practices . . . were rather small.” By the end of the century, constructivist principles (some quite similar to the early century learning theories) gained popularity including: problem based learning, learner collaboration, learner centered instruction, and authentic learning tasks Reiser, 2002).

Military Personnel Training:

As noted in the classic quote attributed to Plato, necessity is the mother of invention. Molenda (2001c) observed that affects of the World Wars made rapid mass training “not nice to do, but must do.” The World Wars forced the military to find efficient and effective training for the large numbers of military personnel drafted into service. This led to advances in instructional media, as well as instructional theory and research. For example, Reiser (2002) cites that between 1943 and 1945, the U.S. Army Air Force produced 400 training films and 600 filmstrips resulting in over four million showings. The perceived effectiveness of utilizing such instructional media led to significant audiovisual research in the decades to follow, as addressed in more detail below.

 

Technology Innovations:

Throughout the 20th Century, technology innovations have propelled the use of instructional media. Reiser (2002) outlines instructional media developments beginning with school museums in the early 1900’s through the Internet in the present day, including (a) the visual instructional movement, (b) the audiovisual and radio instruction movements and (c) instructional television funding.

Adoption of instructional media innovation has typically been based on the desire to provide an efficient means to deliver increased access to instruction. Examples of this include the 1965 Elementary and Secondary School Act, as well as the formation of the Ford Foundation, that both provided funding for instructional television and video research and programming (Molenda, 2001b).

Advanced in instructional media in turn affected instructional theory and processes (Molenda (2001c). Dale’s “Cone of Experience” is an example of a theoretical model borne out of this analysis. Dale (1946b) proposed the cone as “an aid” to understand sensory experiences. Experiences are classified within his cone in terms of more or less concreteness and abstractness, ranging in bands of experiences that involve (a) doing, (b) observing and (c) symbolizing (Dale, 1946b).

Employee Performance Improvement Initiatives:

Beginning in the 1970s, American businesses began to adopt instructional technology media and design models as a means of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of employee training, a focus that continued through the 1980s (Reiser, 2002). By the late 1980s and 1990s, the scope broadened. Traditional training interventions were connected with other performance improvement interventions within the Human Performance Technology movement (Molenda, 2001d). In 1995, Schrock summed up the significant impact that the corporate employee performance improvement initiatives had on the field by stating that the “cutting edge of elaboration and applications of performance technology seems to be well outside the realm of schools and even of universities (p. 18).”

 

Conclusion:

20th Century developments in education and instruction research, military personnel training, technology innovation, and corporate employee performance improvement initiatives have established and forwarded the Instructional Technology mission. The underlying values of efficiency, effectiveness, access and humanness are evident as summarized in the major developments of the 20th Century:

·

Education and instruction research has improved the effectiveness and efficiency of instructional process, increased the access to education and helped learners reach their potential.

·

The instructional research and practices that were borne out of necessity for training military personnel during the world wars focused attention on the need for efficient and effective training.

·

Technology innovations have provided increased effectiveness, efficiency and access to education while providing instructional opportunities that support the learner’s individual needs.

·

Employee performance improvement initiatives have brought renewed emphasis on creating effective and efficient development opportunities within the workplace.

 

 



References

 

Dale, E. (1946a). Effective Learning. From Chapter 1 in Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching. New York: Dryden Press (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston). Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Dale, E. (1946b). The Cone of Experience. Chapter 4 in Audio-Visual Methods in Teaching. New York: Dryden Press (Holt, Rinehart, and Winston). Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001a) Contemporary Issues in Instructional Technology. [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved March 13, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week11.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001b) Modern History of Instructional Systems Technology: Post WWII 1979 - 1946 [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001c) Modern History of Instructional Systems Technology: Pre WWII 1945-1900 [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Molenda, M. (2001d) Performance Technology. [PowerPoint Presentation] Retrieved March 16, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week5.shtml

Molenda, M. (2004). Reader Comments: On the origins of the "retention chart:" An addendum to Subramony. Educational Technology, p. 64. Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Reiser, R.A. (2002). A history of instructional design and technology. Chapter 3 in Reiser, R.A. and Dempsey, J.V. (ed's) Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice Hall, pp. 26-53. Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml



Rosenberg, M. J.; Coscarelli, W.C.; and Hutchison, C.S. (1999) The origins and evolution of the (performance technology) field. Ch. 2 in Stolovitch & Keeps (Eds) Handbook of Human Performance Technology, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Saettler, P. (1990). Beginnings of a science and technology of instruction: 1900 - 1950. Ch.3 in The Evolution of American Educational Technology (pp. 53 86). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited. Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

Shrock, S.A. (1995). A brief history of instructional development. In G.J. Anglin (ed.) Instructional Technology: Past, Present, and Future, 2nd ed. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, pp. 11-18. Retrieved April 3, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week13.shtml

IU IST R511 Systematic Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Use Recommendation (Week 12)

Running Head:  Systematic ISD Use Recommendation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Systematic Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Use Recommendation

for Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc. (LETS)

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Maddrell
Indiana University

R511: Instructional Technology Foundations

Week 12 Deliverable

Professor Hubbard-Welsh

 3 April 2006



To:                   Justin Cayce, Chief Learning Officer, Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc.

 

From:               Jennifer Maddrell, Instructional Designer, Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc.   

           

Date:                April 4, 2006

 

Subject:            Systematic Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Use Recommendation for
                        Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc. (LETS)

              This memo is a continuation of previous correspondence regarding Instructional Systems Design (ISD) recommendations for Litigation and Ennui Transit System, Inc. (LETS).   Prior recommendations provided support for a systems approach model to instructional design to guide the design of all future corporate training within LETS.  

While various ISD approaches exist, most agree that the fundamental systems ISD framework includes analysis, design, development and evaluation of an instructional system (Zemke & Rossett, 2002).  Support for the efficacy and use of ISD is strong, but it is not universal.  This memo addresses criticism of the systems ISD approach and provides support for its continued use within LETS.

The ISD Debate -

The Critics: Gordon and Zemke (2000) launched an attack on ISD in Training magazine that triggered debate among top industry researchers, theorists and training practitioners.  While critics are generally unanimous in their position that new alternatives are needed, the criticism and proposed solutions are wide ranging and are at times in conflict.  For example, some feel the model is too prescriptive, while others decry it is too generic and simplistic to provide value in complex training situations (Zemke & Rossett, 2002).  However, it is possible to summarize the critics’ positions into the following two areas: 

·     

Too Costly (Time + Expense ≠ Desired Results):  As noted in Zemke & Rossett (2002), critics argue that the ISD process is time consuming and expensive.  Further, they note that the time and financial expenditures often do not produce the desired training outcomes.  They cite that, while the model may make sense on paper, in practice it is a cumbersome and slow process that can lead to “analysis paralysis”.  In addition, they note that instead of being a flexible instructional design approach to support desired learning outcomes, systematic ISD has become simply a Project Management checklist. 

·     

Outdated:  Willis and Write (2000) share the opinion of other critics who argue that ISD is a rigid and outdated approach that does not contemplate new theories of learning and instruction or new developments in technology.  They argue that ISD’s linear design approach and knowledge transfer methods are not in keeping with developing learning and instructional theories, such as constructivism, that incorporate learner-centered design and focus on the learner’s application of knowledge.

The Supporters:  On the other side of the debate, supporters of the ISD process note that criticism of ISD is due to inappropriate application and use versus flaws in the underlying model. Zemke & Rossett (2002) refer to this problem as flaws in “The Practice”.  In addition, supporters argue that the ISD model is not outdated, but rather is flexible, allows for evolution in practice, and assures quality and effective training in diverse contexts.  Highlights of the supporters’ point of view include the following:

·     

“Practice” Flaws versus “Process” Flaws:   As noted, supporters argue that issues in implementation of the ISD model are an issue of improper application versus a flaw in the inherent analysis, design, development and evaluation process.  McCombs (1986, p. 78) asserts that “less successful implementations are not due to a fault inherent in the ISD methodology, but rather are centered on the issue of whether users have adequate understanding and training . . . and skills such that the necessary expertise can be applied in the process.”

·     

Flexible / Adaptable:  Supporters contest the assertion that the ISD model is outdated and argue that new theories and technologies can be accommodated within the ISD process.  Walter Dick (the co-author of Dick and Carey ISD Model) asserts that designers have the flexibility to integrate new technologies and approaches (referred to by Dick as micro-theories) within the systems design process (Dick, 1997).   In addition, Marcie Bober, assistant professor at San Diego State University (as cited in Zemke & Rossett, 2002, p. 34) notes, “In ISD, I saw my potential to respond to all sorts of learning needs.  I was and still am enamored of its situational adaptivity.”

·     

 Assures Quality and Effective Instructional Management:  Supporters agree that the ISD model lends itself to project management application, but view this as a strength not a liability.  As McCombs (1986, p. 67) notes, use of the ISD process provides “a means for not only effectively managing large-scale design and development efforts but also a means for ensuring quality control over products developed.” 

Conclusions and Recommendations -

The recommendation for continued support of ISD at LETS centers on the counterarguments of those who support the systems ISD approach.  Criticisms of the ISD model are primarily founded in flaws of practice.  The systems ISD approach deserves continued support within LETS as it:

·     

continues to be a valuable and time tested instructional design approach,

·     

allows flexibility within the model for new learning and instructional strategies, as well as integration of new technologies, and

·    

provides a framework for effective instructional management.



References

 

Dick, W. (1997, Sept.-Oct.). Better instructional design theory: Process improvement or reengineering? Educational Technology 37:5, 47-50.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

Gordon, J. and Zemke, R. "The Attack on ISD," Training 37:4, April 2000, pp. 42-53. Retrieved March 27, 2006 from  http://ereserves.iu.edu/coursepages.asp?cid=6]

McCombs, Barbara. (1986). "The ISD Model: Review of those Factors Critical to Its Successful Implementation" ECTJ 34:2, Summer, 67-81.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

Pershing, J. (editor) (2002, August). Performance Improvement 41:7.  Retreived article summaries March 27, 2006 http://www.ispi.org/

Willis, J. (1998, May-June). Alternative instructional design paradigms: What's worth discussing and what isn't. Educational Technology 38:3, 5-16.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

Willis, J. & Wright, K.E. (2000, March-April). A general set of procedures for constructivist instructional design: The new R2D2 Model. Educational Technology 40:2, 5-20.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

Zemke, R. and Rossett, A. (2002). A hard look at ISD. Training, February, 27-35.  Retrieved March 27, 2006, from Indiana University R511 online Syllabus http://www.indiana.edu/~istr511/hubbard-welsh/week12.shtml

IU IST R541 Project 3: Instructional Web Site - How to do laundry

Project 3 - Web Site How to Do Laundry

Project 3 - Project Plan Draft

Project Plan Draft - See attached Word Document

IU IST R561 Unit 1 Exercise

Unit 1 Exercise

Jennifer Maddrell
Indiana University

R561: Evaluation and Change

Unit 1 Exercise

Professor Hubbard-Welsh

May 30, 2006

Context and Audience:

Big Insurance Group (BIG) holds frequent training seminars for underwriters. Considerable time and effort is placed on course creation and delivery. However, other than end of seminar trainee “satisfaction” surveys, no evaluation plan is in place to perform a comprehensive assessment of the worth and value of the training.

The training team leader has called a meeting with the training staff to discuss the importance of incorporating evaluation into BIG’s overall training process. The team is hesitant as past evaluation attempts have been cumbersome, time consuming and did not provide valuable information to the training staff, senior management or line managers.

Therefore, the training team leader is using this forum to highlight the importance of implementing an evaluation plan and to present evaluation alternatives for consideration. As the team is just in the early stages of selecting a standard evaluation tool for BIG, the leader will:

  1. highlight the importance of implementing an evaluation plan,
  2. address the features and limitations of the most widely cited evaluation tool, Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Framework, and
  3. recommend implementation of Brinkerhoff and Dressler’s Success Case Evaluation Approach.

Recommendation:

While Kirkpatrick’s Four Level Evaluation Framework is a widely known evaluation tool, Pershing & Gilmore (2004) note that level 1 is completed far more frequently than levels 2 through 4. Yet, levels 2 through 4 are considered to be by Kirkpatrick (1998) the most important levels. Further, Pershing and Gilmore note that level 1 alone does not adequately reflect the learning, transfer and return to the organization.

Brinkerhoff & Dressler (2002) point out further limitations of Kirkpatrick’s framework based on the lack of emphasis on the training’s business impact within the entire performance system. They highlight that training is just one factor of many within the performance environment that impact performance success or failure. They note that other factors within the organization can facilitate or impede performance improvement, such as manager support, rewards and other incentives and that these factors must also be considered.

Brinkerhoff & Dressler propose a streamlined Success Case Evaluation Model that is recommended for use at BIG. As the training staff has not routinely performed evaluation as part of past underwriting training programs, the Success Case Evaluation Model provides a relatively streamlined and rapid evaluation and feedback process. It will also address the training program’s key business impact issues while contemplating the entire performance environment.

 

IU IST R561 Unit 1 Quiz

Unit 1 Quiz

 

Jennifer Maddrell
Indiana University

R561: Evaluation and Change

Unit 1 Quiz

Dr. Knuth

May 24, 2006

Emphasis and Purpose of Evaluation

Type and Approach to Evaluation

Morrison

et al.

·

Emphasis: Instruction

·

Stated Purpose: “Evaluation is used for the purposes of making judgments about the worth or success of people or things” (p.240)

·

Purpose comparison based on 5 common purposes:

o

Feedback: High

o

Control: Medium

o

Research: High

o

Intervention: Low

o

Power: Low

·

Type: Formative and Summative evaluation

·

Timing:

o

Formative: Before instruction is fully developed

o

Summative: After instruction is used, but before sustained implementation

·

Approach: Specific approaches discussed in more detail in subsequent chapters

Phillips

·

Emphasis: Instruction as it supports improved group or organization performance

·

Stated Purpose:

o

“There must be a comprehensive measurement and evaluation process to capture the contribution of human resource development.” (p. 1)

o

Determining customer satisfaction of participants and managers (immediate, senior or top executives)

·

Purpose comparison based on 5 common purposes:

o

Feedback: High

o

Control: High

o

Research: Medium

  • Intervention: High
  • Power: High

·

Type: Summative and Process evaluation within 5 Level ROI

·

Timing: Post instruction

·

Approach: Evaluation method should emphasis “ultimate outcomes of improved group or organization performance” with Business Impact and ROI being the most desired that receive the most support. (p. 44)

Van Tiem

et al.

·

Emphasis: Performance Improvement not limited to instructional interventions

·

Stated Purpose: Evaluation generates information that will (1) help the organization value or judge the results of a performance, and (2) trigger or support a decision regarding the performance, the performer or the organization. (p. 156)

·

Purpose comparison based on 5 common purposes:

o

Feedback: High

o

Control: High

o

Research: High

o

Intervention: High

o

Power: Medium

·

Type: Formative, Summative / Confirmative and Meta (quality of evaluation)

·

Timing: Formative (ongoing), Summative (post intervention), Confirmative (long term) and Meta (during each stage of evaluation)

·

Approach: Evaluation phase of HPT Model with multiple model driven approaches for each type of evaluation type are presented and compared within Chapter 7



 

Emphasis and Purpose of Evaluation

Type and Approach to Evaluation

Brinkerhoff / Dressler

·

Emphasis: Performance Improvement, including the impact of non-instructional “performance system factors”

·

Stated Purpose: An evaluation strategy builds “organizational capability to increase the performance and business value of the training investment” (p. 17)

·

Evaluation must assess:

o

How well an organization is using learning to drive performance improvement

o

What an organization is doing that facilitates performance improvement from learning

o

What an organization is doing that is impeding performance improvement

·

Purpose comparison based on 5 common purposes:

o

Feedback: High

o

Control: Medium

o

Research: High

o

Intervention: High

o

Power: Low

·

Type: Summative, Process evaluation based on Success Case Model

·

Timing: Post instruction

·

Approach: Survey and more extensive follow up to a relatively small sample of both most and least successful trainees to determine the extent that recent training made a significant different to the business (i.e. the instructional impact on performance).

  • Successes: “Document the nature and business value of the application of learning and identify and explain the performance context factors that enabled these few trainees to achieve the greatest possible results.”
  • Unsuccessful Trainees: ID and understand the performance system and other obstacles that kept them from using their learning.”

·

Provides quick snapshot of information on both business impact of instructional program.

Kirkpatrick

·

Emphasis: Instruction

·

Stated Purpose:

·

Purpose comparison based on 5 common purposes:

o

Feedback: High

o

Control: Medium (as Results level rarely achieved)

o

Research: Low

o

Intervention: Medium

  • Power: Low

·

Type: Summative

·

Timing: Post instruction

·

Approach: Evaluate learner:

o

Reaction: Measure of “satisfaction”

o

Learning: Did participants change attitudes, improve knowledge or increase skill?

o

Behavior: Was there a change in behavior?

o

Results: Did production increase quality improve, costs decrease, profits increase?

·

While considered one of the most popular approaches, most do not complete the behavior and results levels that are deemed the most valuable.



 

Emphasis and Purpose of Evaluation

Type and Approach to Evaluation

Kaufman

et al.

·

Emphasis: Instruction and other human performance “interventions associated with strategic and tactical planning, performance improvement, organization development, customer satisfaction and societal contributions”. (p.206)

·

Stated Purpose: In contrast to those who consider evaluation a process to supply information to decision makers, for Kaufman et al. the purpose of evaluation is to compare results with intentions

·

Purpose comparison based on 5 common purposes:

o

Feedback: High

o

Control: Medium

o

Research: Medium

o

Intervention: Medium

o

Power: Low

·

Type: Summative

·

Timing: Post instruction

·

Approach: Like Kirkpatrick, evaluate Reaction, Learning, Behavior, Results, but also include “Mega” societal contributions to create following evaluation levels:

o

Mega: Contributions an organization must make to its clients and society.

o

Macro: Like Results

o

Micro: Like Behavior (performance) and Learning (acquisition)

o

Process: Subset of Reaction

o

Input: Subset of Reaction

 

 



2. Evaluation Context:

 

Underwriting Training is periodically conducted within the insurance company to address underwriter skill gaps, such as exposure analysis training. In the past, other than short trainee “satisfaction” surveys at the end of the session, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Underwriting Training course was rarely completed. The unfortunate result is that the business impact and effectiveness of the training program is largely unknown. It has become difficult to determine whether the same training program is worth pursuing in the future or if other alternatives should be considered. Therefore, it is recommended that an evaluation process be implemented to determine the quality and effectiveness of the chosen training program and to compare it with alternatives. The evaluation should focus on the following goals:

  • Feedback: Have participants received benefit from the training? Are they using the new skills in their jobs?
  • Control: What is the business impact of the training program? Are their other interventions that could have been considered to augment the training? Are there other interventions (instructional or non-instruction) that should be considered as alternatives to improve performance?

 

Participants and trainers considered previous attempts to institute an evaluation program to be too time consuming, cumbersome and a burden in their already busy schedules. Further, trainers and managers did not feel the evaluation provided enough information about the business impact of the training.

 

Given the stated evaluation goals and the desire to streamline the evaluation process, the training team is recommending the Success Case Evaluation Model (Brinkerhoff and Dressler, 2002) to evaluate the value and business impact of future training courses. The Success Case Evaluation Model will require a survey of a sample of trainees who completed the training to evaluate the extent that the recent training made a significant difference to the business. A more extensive follow up with a smaller group of both the most successful and least successful participants will illustrate the business impact (if any) of the training, as well as highlight the factors that enhanced or impeded the business impact. This information will help steer our future course of action in this training program, as well as others in the future. While this approach is summative in nature (occurring after the course is completed), it will provide information as we incorporate a formative evaluation within the process in the future. It is felt the Success Case Evaluation Model approach will quickly provide us with valuable information about the impact of our training with the least amount of disruption to our trainees and managers following the training program.

 

 



3. Success Case Approach Model to be used for Underwriting Training Evaluation:  (See attachment)

 

 

IU IST R561 Unit 3 Deliverable

See final project documents attached

IU IST R561 Unit 3 Exercise

Job Aid Cognitive Test Construction - See File Attached

 

IU IST R561 Unit 4 Exercise

See final work attached

IU IST R561 Unit 5 Deliverable

See final work attached

IU IST R561 Unit 5 Exercise

See final work attached

IU IST R625 - Drupal CMS Academy Prototype Design Report

See attachment.

Interaction in Distance Education

This paper provides a brief review of how interaction is considered within current distance education literature since Moore’s 1989 call for clarity. The following summarizes how human and non-human interaction types have been considered within the context of computer mediated distant education and examines both the Student-to-Content Interaction Strategies Taxonomy and the Community of Inquiry Model as frameworks for future examination of computer mediated interaction within a distance education setting.

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Interaction in Distance Education 1 Running head: INTERACTION IN DISTANCE EDUCATION Interaction in Computer Mediated Distance Education Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 846 Distance Learning - Dr. Morrison April 21, 2008 Interaction in Distance Education 2 Interaction Interaction is a well documented construct within distance education literature. A recent search of the Education Resource Information Center (ERIC) database using the keyword “interaction” returned over 46,000 articles. When additional “interaction” descriptors within the ERIC database thesaurus are considered and filtered, as shown in Figure 1, the number of articles balloons to over 71,000. Figure 1. Interaction - ERIC database search. Within these articles are various prescriptions of how to incorporate interaction into the design of instruction, including within the design of distance education. However, a closer review of the literature reveals a range of conceptions of what interaction is and, in turn, how it should be fostered within an instructional setting. Moore (1989) recognized this diversity and observed that the term “interaction” carries so many meanings it is almost useless as a descriptive construct. This prompted a call from Moore for consensus on the distinctions among three types of interaction which he labeled as 1) learnercontent interaction, 2) learner-instructor interaction, and 3) learner-learner interaction. Interaction in Distance Education 3 This paper provides a brief review of how interaction is considered within current distance education literature since Moore’s 1989 call for clarity. The following summarizes how human and non-human interaction types have been considered within the context of computer mediated distant education and examines both the Student-to-Content Interaction Strategies Taxonomy and the Community of Inquiry Model as frameworks for future examination of computer mediated interaction within a distance education setting. Computer Mediated Interaction in Distance Education Literature Of the 71,000 articles about interaction noted above in the ERIC database, just over 4,100 are tagged as “peer reviewed”. Within those, 91 were linked with a “distance education” descriptor. A review of the article abstracts reveals a clear emphasis on human to human interaction, either what Moore terms as learner-learner or learner-instructor interaction. Bannan-Ritland (2002) reports the same finding in a comprehensive literature review of interactivity in relation to synchronous and asynchronous computer mediated communication. Her review yielded a total of 132 articles of which 83 were deemed primary research and 49 were viewed as conceptual. Echoing Moore, Bannan-Ritland describes the challenge of conducting such a review given the lack of common operational definitions and interpretation of interaction in the educational and distance education literature. While Bannan-Ritland’s review revealed multiple definitions and interpretations of interaction, she did find commonalities across what she terms “learner-human level interactions”, such as patterns and amounts of communication, instructor activities and feedback, and other social exchanges. She grouped the research based on how interactivity was defined within the study, including interaction defined by: a) active involvement by the learner, b) patterns of communication among learners and the instructor, c) instructor-learner communication, d) social, Interaction in Distance Education 4 cooperative, or collaborative exchange, and e) instructional activities or technology. Unfortunately, Bannan-Ritland (2002) reports finding no studies during the time period of her review which focused on learner-content interactions in synchronous and asynchronous computer mediated communication and suggests that prior literature reviews focused on the technology as a delivery medium rather than the construct of interactivity. A current search of the ERIC database using “content interaction” as a keyword phrase supports Bannan-Ritland’s findings. 20 articles were returned and only one study is tagged as a peer reviewed research article. Interestingly, within that article, Thorpe and Goodwin (2006) highlight Moore’s conception of learner-content interaction within distance education, as well as Bannan-Ritland’s previously mentioned observation of the lack of learner-content interaction research. Unfortunately, Thorpe and Goodwin’s survey findings from a sample of 4,512 students at the Open University in the United Kingdom provide little insight beyond a snapshot of the instructional content delivery preferences of the surveyed distance learners. Toward an Integrated Framework for Research and Design Given the emphasis on human interaction within recent research on computer mediated communication, it is of little surprise to find a like emphasis on strategies to overcome the physical and time separation to facilitate social interactions during distance instruction. There is pervasive call within the literature for computer mediated social interaction and “community building” within the distance education setting to foster a greater sense of social membership, presence and learner commitment (Rovai, 2002). However, while human interaction (learner to learner and learner to instructor) is often stated as a desired instructional goal within distance education, social interaction in and of itself not a guarantee of cognitive engagement or of meaningful learning (Garrison & Cleveland-Innes, 2005). Interaction in Distance Education 5 Dunlap, Sobel, and Sands (2007) refer to an “ideal of balanced interaction”; one in which learner to content, learner to learner, and learner to instructor interaction are considered. They offer a “Student-to-Content Interaction Strategies Taxonomy” for the contemplation of learnercontent interaction within a distance education setting in which ten content specific interaction category types are mapped to Bloom’s lower level (remember, understand, and apply) and higher level (analyze, evaluate, and create) cognitive process dimensions, as shown in Table 1. Table 1. Student-to-Content Interaction Strategies Taxonomy. Cognitive Process Dimensions Appl Content Interaction Type Remember Understand Analyze Evaluate Create y Enriching       Supportive       Conveyance    Constructive   Triggering    Exploration    Integration    Resolution   Reflective Inquiry   Metacognitive   The content interaction types are a synthesis of the categories presented by Stouppe (1998) and Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000) within the Community of Inquiry Model, discussed in greater detail below. Stouppe focuses on four content interactions, including enriching interactions (which allow access to information), supportive interactions (which assist the learner to understand material), conveyance interactions (which demonstrate the concept), and constructive interactions (which require the learner to organize or map knowledge and understanding). In addition, Garrison et al. emphasize interactions which support critical thinking, including triggering interactions(which lead to recognition of a problem), exploration Interaction in Distance Education 6 interactions (which encourage learners to further explore), integration interactions (which facilitate connection of ideas to create solutions), and resolution interactions (which foster application and assessment of solutions). Dunlap et al. included two additional interactions focused on reflective inquiry (requiring deliberation and action) and metacognition (encouraging self-reflection on the learner’s own cognitive process). Dunlap et al. suggest that these content interaction types help to support various cognitive process dimensions. Given Bloom’s established framework which helps designers map learning objectives to cognitive process dimensions, Dunlap et al. propose that their taxonomy of strategies is a means of supporting learning objectives with specific content-interaction strategies. In addition to Moore’s learner-content, learner-learner, and learner-instructor interaction. Anderson (2003) suggests that addition interaction types must be considered and adds three “learner-environment” dimensions of teacher-teacher, teacher-content, and content-content. These six types of interactions are incorporated within the Community of Inquiry Model by Garrison et al. (2000) which recommends an integration of cognitive, social, and teaching presence within a computer mediated distance education setting. According to Garrison et al. (2001), cognitive presence is the ability for learners to construct and confirm meaning most often associated with critical thinking and is linked to the categories of learner-content interaction highlighted previously within Table 1. Social presence is considered the ability of learners to project their own personalities within the distance learning environment as measured in terms of emotion expression, open communication, and group cohesion (Rourke, Anderson, Garrison, and Archer, 2001). In contrast, teaching presence Interaction in Distance Education 7 considers instructional management, including both the design and delivery of instruction (Garrison et al., 2001). The foundation of the Community of Inquiry Model is that neither social interaction alone nor an exchange of information are sufficient, but rather, “quality interaction and discourse for deep and meaningful learning must consider the confluence of social, cognitive, and teaching presence – that is, interaction among ideas, students, and the teacher.” (Garrison and ClevelandInnes, 2005, p. 144). When paired with the Student-to-Content Interaction Strategies Taxonomy proposed by Dunlap et al., a comprehensive framework for future examination of computer mediated interaction within a distance education setting emerges which contemplates multiple levels of both human and non-human interaction. Interaction in Distance Education 8 References Anderson, T. (2003). Modes of Interaction in Distance Education: Recent Developments and Research Questions. In M. Moore and G. Anderson (Eds.), Handbook of Distance Education. (pp. 129-144) NJ: Erlbaum. Bannan-Ritland, B. (2002). Computer-Mediated Communication, E-learning, And Interactivity. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3(2), 161. Dunlap, J. C., Sobel, D., & Sands, D. I. (2007). Designing for Deep and Meaningful Student-toContent Interactions. TechTrends: Linking Research & Practice to Improve Learning, 51(4), 20-31. Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2000). Critical inquiry in a text-based environment: Computer conferencing in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 2(2-3), 87-105 Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2001). Critical Thinking and Computer Conferencing: A Model and Tool to Assess Cognitive Presence. American Journal of Distance Education. Garrison, D. R., & Cleveland-Innes, M. (2005). Facilitating Cognitive Presence in Online Learning: Interaction is Not Enough. American Journal of Distance Education, 19(3), 133. Moore, M. (1989). Three types of interaction [Electronic version]. The American Journal of Distance Education, 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.ajde.com/Contents/vol3_2.htm#editorial. Interaction in Distance Education 9 Rourke, L., Anderson, T. Garrison, D. R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing social presence in asynchronous, text-based computer conferencing. Journal of Distance Education, 14(3), 51-70. Retrieved from http://cade.icaap.org/vol14.2/rourke_et_al.html . Rovai , A. (2002). Building Sense of Community at a Distance. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Retrieved from http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/viewFile/79/153 Stouppe, J. R. (1998). Measuring Interactivity. Performance Improvement, 37(9), 19-23. Thorpe, M., & Godwin, S. (2006). Interaction and e-Learning: The Student Experience. Studies in Continuing Education, 28(Nov), 203.

Knowledge Management: Sample Design Project

This sample proposal highlights a proposed knowledge management implementation plan.

 

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ABC Insurance Company To: I.M. Da’man, National Underwriting Manager From: Jennifer Maddrell, Associate Underwriting Manager Date: 06/28/2008 Re: Underwriting Division Knowledge Management Proposal Confirming your request and our prior conversations, the following proposal highlights recommendations to create a knowledge management program within the ABC Insurance Company Underwriting division. As the Associate Underwriting Officer in the home office, I am in a position to evaluate how the Underwriting division is missing opportunities to generation, share, and collect knowledge across our eight regional underwriting offices. Through a knowledge management plan that is integrated with the core business operations of our division, we will be able to map our existing knowledge and expertise, manage the creation of new knowledge, and facilitate the transfer of knowledge across our 45 field office underwriters. This proposal highlights how we are losing by not having a formal knowledge management process in place, what we have to gain by implementing one, and details regarding the proposed knowledge management implementation plan. How We Are Losing Knowledge management can be tied directly to our profitability. By not effectively managing our knowledge, we are not maximizing our revenue potential or effectively controlling expenses. The following highlights four aspects of our current process of managing our division’s knowledge which result in lost revenue or increased expenses. As will be outlined later in this proposal, all of these areas can be addressed through better knowledge management practices. Innovation not tied to business planning process. While we have a comprehensive business planning process in which our each region’s annual financial goals are set, measured, and rewarded, innovation and knowledge creation is not tied to this process. While I’m sure everyone would agree Page 1 that innovation, knowledge creation, and knowledge sharing are all essential to our attainment of goals, too often we leave to chance that “someone” or “some key people” will take the initiative to find solutions to achieve our financial goals. Inevitably, we are missing business and revenue opportunities and increasing expenses by not identifying during the annual planning process what knowledge and innovation we need to achieve our business goals and where the required knowledge and expertise resides within our organization. Redundant effort. Tied to above, regional managers are duplicating their efforts as they attempt to reach their annual goals. Often a manager in one region is not aware of the creative initiatives other managers are taking to generate new business and retain customers. In addition, individual underwriters are seeking answers to complex business issues on a daily basis, but they are not benefiting from the knowledge that already exists with underwriters in other offices. This lack of awareness of what knowledge and expertise exists within the division results in a drain on division resources. We are paying people to find solutions to business problems that have already been solved elsewhere in the division. Knowledge gaps following turnover. While we are fortunate to have relatively low employee turnover rates compared to our competitors, institutional knowledge is lost when key people leave or take on different roles. Unfortunately, when underwriters retire or leave the company, new or existing underwriters are not benefiting from their experience and knowledge. Without a formal knowledge management plan, knowledge is not shared and we are finding solutions for the same issues and problems over and over all across the country. Our employees are forced to start from the scratch to solve problems which have already been addressed by underwriters in other positions or no longer with the company. Page 2 Wasted training initiatives. By not effectively linking our knowledge needs to our critical business goals and by not sharing our existing knowledge across divisions, it is very likely that much of our existing formal training is not focused on our true division wide knowledge and skill gaps. The thousands of dollars we spend in unnecessary training programs could be spent in either training programs tied to our business needs or initiatives to capture, create, and transfer the existing knowledge within our division. How We Will Gain Given these missed revenue opportunities and increased expenses, we need to find ways to be more strategic in how we create, share, and codify our knowledge around our central business goals. By doing so, we will gain in the following areas. Increased business. Managing our existing and needed knowledge will allow us to better target areas where we must innovate or share knowledge in order to meet our overall business goals. Further, as discussed below, utilizing more of the available features in our content management system will help employees find sources of knowledge and expertise and will enable our employees to connect on ideas to reach and retain customers. In implementing these steps, we will increase business by capitalizing on the existing knowledge within our organization. Bridge knowledge holes. Within our large division, it is likely that underwriters in one region can have their questions answered by members in other region. However, at the present time, most of our employees do not know staff members in other offices. Therefore, effective knowledge management practices will help us to bridge knowledge gaps in our organization by allowing us to create, share, and codify knowledge crucial to our business from various pockets across the division. In addition, all employees, including new employees trying to establish themselves within our Page 3 organization, will have a better understanding of our vital business processes and how to find people and resources to help them meet their goals. Accountability. We must move beyond a “hit or miss” process of innovation. By having our knowledge management tied to measurable business goals within our business planning process, we add accountability and responsibility for innovation and knowledge sharing. Proposed Knowledge Management Plan The proposed knowledge management plan that follows focuses on the people, practices, and resources needed for implementation. This first iteration of the plan focuses on two initiatives that will assist us in achieving our strategic business objectives. The expectation is that we will build on these two important initiatives in the future. Initiative 1 - Integrate Knowledge Management into Formal Planning Cycle During our existing annual financial and operating planning cycle, regional managers are required to lay out their financial and operating plan to reach each of their given business goals. These business plans are then aggregated within the division wide plan. Currently, these plans focus on key financial and operating elements, such as the region’s staffing, budget, and client marketing initiatives. While these plans are effective at qualifying and quantifying such financial and operational factors, there is generally little focus on the required knowledge and innovation needed to attain the goals. For the reasons stated previously, this is resulting is lost revenue, lost opportunities, and increased expenses. It is proposed that the regional and divisional business plans include a section dedicated to knowledge management. Given that knowledge is one of our largest assets and sources of future revenue, it is logical to manage it within our traditional planning process. Therefore, it is Page 4 recommended that the following areas be assessed and documented within the regional and division wide annual business plans. Existing and needed knowledge to reach goals. The regional managers will provide an assessment of the current and needed knowledge to attain each major business goal within their business plan. At the division level, this information will be aggregated within the divisional plan. Assessing and capturing this information will allow us to begin the process of codifying fundamental knowledge areas required to run our operations. As discussed below, these vital knowledge areas will be codified in greater detail in a knowledge mapping initiative. Key people with expertise to drive attainment of that goal. The regional mangers will also provide an assessment of key people within the region who will be assigned to work on each business goal. By capturing this information within each regional plan, the division will be in a better position to identify and track key staff members with expertise in our core business areas. How the knowledge will be effectively and efficiently shared across regions. Part of the process of identifying crucial areas of knowledge and expertise is contemplating synergies and overlap across the division. As noted previously, regional offices are largely fighting the same business battles each year. Therefore, the division wide plan will consider the knowledge held, the knowledge needed, and key people within each of the regional offices. From this assessment, the division wide business plan will provide recommendations to regional mangers on ways to connect and share knowledge with others across the division. Training initiatives. Based on the areas where knowledge gaps are identified, the division plan will incorporate an evaluation of needed formal training initiatives. As noted previously, this will allow us to tailor training programs to our identified business needs. Page 5 Initiative 2 – Map knowledge in crucial business areas Based on the outcome of Initiative 1, we will have a solid understanding of the essential knowledge required to manage our primary business goals. However, the information contained within the planning documents will be little more than an outline of the significant knowledge areas. The following recommendations are made to help us more formally map and codify the knowledge and expertise needed to run our business. Augment our existing content management system. Currently, our employees rely heavily on our content management system built on the Drupal open source platform. The latest usage reports from the Information Technology department show that our underwriters log into the Drupal system multiple times during the day to look up current copies of client contracts and other insurance coverage documents stored on the system. However, we are only utilizing a small portion of functionality available to us within the content management system. While we have access to other features, such as discussion forums and collaborative wikis, we have not explored ways to use them to help manage our business. Create employee profile pages. To that end, it is recommended that employees be required to create brief biographies on their Drupal account profile pages. Each biography should briefly describe the employee’s core job function, educational and professional background, and areas of underwriting expertise. In addition, when employees update and save their biography, they will be prompted with a list of predefined word identifiers which will allow them to select “tags” for their profile. This tagging feature will allow anyone in the division to pull a roster of employees based on a search of the key word tags. Employees will be encouraged to refer to these profile pages and the categories of tags when they have questions and need to connect with others on important issues. For example, if someone has a question about liquor liability Page 6 coverage, he or she could search within the account profile tags to see what employees in the division have tagged “liquor liability” as an area of expertise. The profile database will also assist management in assessing whether the existing staff includes employees with expertise in our core knowledge areas. Given that the profile database will only be valuable if it is accurate and current, it is recommended that the employee profile page be reviewed at each annual performance review to ensure that it accurately reflects the employee’s job function and expertise. Create books of knowledge. As will be identified within the annual planning documents, there are key areas of knowledge essential for managing our operations. As part of the knowledge mapping process, it is recommended that identified key employees be assigned the responsibility of moderating the creation of Drupal based wiki Books of Knowledge around central business processes and current business initiatives. The employee moderator in charge of each Book of Knowledge will be asked to encourage others to participate in the initial creation and ongoing maintenance of the wiki book. The Books of Knowledge should contain at a minimum the central aspects of the topic, principal contacts associated with the topic, and available resources within the division related to the topic. It is recommended that the assigned employee moderator’s formal job description be amended to include this role so that his or her performance as moderator can be evaluated and rewarded during performance reviews. Foster virtual water cooler discussions. Given that employees are geographically dispersed, there is little opportunity for informal water cooler chats with peer outside of each regional office. Therefore, it is recommended that the discussion forum feature within Drupal be enabled to facilitate posting of questions to the group and responses with suggestions. The resulting forum threads will also serve as a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) database. As noted Page 7 previously, if one person has the question or issue, it is likely someone else within the division will run into that problem in the future. Concluding Thoughts At this point, you may wonder whether employees will balk at participating in these knowledge management initiatives. Employees will find it to be “just another chore” of the job if they do not find value in the process. However, if the initiatives offer them valuable connections to people, information, and resources, it will likely foster knowledge co-creation across departments and functional areas. As noted, knowledge is an asset that we must effectively manage. Otherwise, we will lose profit either from lost revenue opportunities or increased expenses. Central to the success of this proposed plan is the linkage to existing business operations. This linkage gives management a better understanding of the key business issues employees are working on and may be struggling to solve. This knowledge management plan should not be considered a roll out of an “end all” solution. Rather, it is important first step to tie knowledge management to our existing business planning processes and content management system usage. Further, in order to be effective, these recommendations must be undertaken and supported through all levels within the division. In order to promote widespread adoption, senior managers must demonstrate their support through action. They should monitor and reward the knowledge management outcomes as carefully as another planning goal. In addition, all managers should contribute to the content management system by adding their own profiles and by making occasional contributions and referrals to the wiki Books of Knowledge or the virtual water cooler. Finally, and most importantly, an environment of trust must be fostered during knowledge creation and sharing. It is critical to recognize that as part of this plan, employees and managers will Page 8 be asked to identify and critically assess gaps of knowledge and to publicly seek help to overcome these gaps. If employees or managers feel their opinions, contributions, or questions will be held against them, they will simply stop contributing. I look forward to continuing our conversation on this plan. Please let me know if I can provide additional detail or answer any questions. Thank you for your consideration. Page 9

Lesson Analysis

This report is a lesson analysis of two education courses offered by the University of Regina in Canada and developed and delivered by Dr. Alec Couros, a University of Regina faculty member. Both courses are offered by the Faculty of Education and focus on technology use in the classroom. While the subject matter is similar, the courses target different learners and employ different instructional strategies, media, and interaction. The following provides a design, functional, and interactional analysis of one lesson from each course.

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Lesson Analysis 1 Running head: LESSON ANALYSIS Lesson Analysis Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University Lesson Analysis 2 Lesson Analysis This report is a lesson analysis of two distant education courses offered by the University of Regina in Canada. Both courses are offered by the Faculty of Education and focus on technology use in the classroom. While the subject matter is similar, the courses target different learners and employ different instructional strategies, media, and interaction. The following provides a design, functional, and interactional analysis of one lesson from each course. Lesson Analysis: ECMP 355 – Computers in the Classroom Design Analysis Rationale for Lesson. ECMP 355 – Computers in the Classroom is an introduction to the integration and use of technology in the classroom. The course was developed and delivered in the Fall 2005 semester by Dr. Alec Couros, a University of Regina faculty member. The course is part of the Bachelor of Education program which meets the provincial Department of Education requirements for teacher certification in Saskatchewan. The Week 3 lesson is the focus of this lesson analysis and addresses the use of PowerPoint as a hypermedia tool for the classroom. Learner Analysis. The learners in the class are undergraduate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education program. Students are preservice teachers taking the course in either a fully online or blended format. This analysis is based on the experiences of learners enrolled in the fully online section. Objectives – Course Level. The explicit course level objectives are outlined on the course website and are repeated below. The objectives focus on the development of knowledge and skills related to the integration of technology in the K-12 classroom. 1. Develop knowledge, skills and confidence in using technology appropriate to K-12 classrooms. Lesson Analysis 3 2. Develop awareness of computer-based learning resources and strategies to increase their effectiveness. 3. Develop an understanding of basic terms and concepts relating to technology in the classroom. 4. Develop a basic understanding of e-mail, the Internet, multimedia resources and learn ways of integrating these tools into the classroom. 5. Explore, in depth, computer applications in areas of specific relevance to individual teaching area and level. 6. Examine the impact of technology on teaching and learning. 7. Gain the understanding and skills related to the "appropriate" integration of technology into learning and teaching environments. 8. Create useful resources integrating technology components - appropriately related to content. 9. Explore different learning theories and begin to better understand how each may relate to using technology in the classroom. 10. Have fun and feel comfortable using technology in teaching and learning situations. Objectives – Week 3 Lesson. The Week 3 lesson is an introductory examination of PowerPoint as a hypermedia tool for the classroom. At the conclusion of the lesson, learners are expected to be able to define multimedia and hypermedia, explain what PowerPoint is, describe how PowerPoint is commonly used in instructional settings, and demonstrate the use of basic PowerPoint features. Task / Content Analysis – Week 3 Lesson. A task and content analysis for the Week 3 lesson is shown in Appendix A. Lesson Analysis 4 Assessment – Course Level. Assessment for the course is based on the student’s completion of weekly technology tasks, weekly personal blog reflections, a capstone final project, and an electronic portfolio. Technology tasks, worth 10% of the final grade, are considered lab assignments for the current week’s topic and include instructor directed blog reflections, software evaluations, critiques of websites, and evaluations of virtual tours. Class participation, worth 10% of the final grade, is assessed based on participation in online discussions. Within a personal blog worth 25% of the final grade, students are expected to reflect upon topics related to technology integration within the K-12 classroom, including responses to questions raised within the weekly assignments. Assessment is based on the frequency and quality of the expressed ideas, reach within blogging community, and use of multimedia enhancements within blog. Within a final major project worth 30% of the final grade, each student is required to prepare an individual project integrating the topics covered in class. Students are given a choice of 13 suggested topics, but they are also able to request a different topic. Once a topic is chosen, the student must submit a proposal to the instructor which serves as a reference point for the assessment. Assessment is based on originality, subject knowledge, organization of content, mechanics and grammar, use of enhancements (such as video or audio), usability, technology employed, visual design, and educational value. The students are also required to develop a professional electronic portfolio worth 25% of the final grade. Assessment is based on content, visual design, navigation, and general adherence to the project guidelines. Assessment – Week 3 Lesson. The assessment for the Week 3 lesson includes two technology tasks. In the first task, learners pair up in small groups to review a presented group of Lesson Analysis 5 PowerPoint slides. Learners are asked to enhance the PowerPoint presentation through use of additional media, such as audio files, graphics, or photos, while creating a written narrative. In the second technology task, learners work alone to create a five to seven slide PowerPoint presentation incorporating various media elements, such as slide transitions, animations, or sounds. Instructional Strategies – Week 3 Lesson. The Week 3 lesson employs a combination of presentation, learner practice, and feedback strategies intended to fulfill the lesson objectives stated above. The lesson begins on the course website with a text based overview of the concepts of multimedia and hypermedia. The learners are expected to read the lesson text, along with additional instructional content and examples of the concepts and procedures presented via hyperlinks embedded in the website text. This presentation strategy requires learners to toggle to new browser tabs or windows and to download resource documents in order to view the instructional content. The learners are given two opportunities to practice the learned PowerPoint creation and editing procedures. In the first assignment, the students must form small groups and edit an existing PowerPoint. They share their edited PowerPoint presentations with the class and are graded for their effort. In the second assignment, the students work individually to create a new PowerPoint presentation which is submitted to the instructor for grading and feedback. In addition, during Week 3 the learners must also continue working on their electronic portfolio projects which may incorporate the PowerPoint concepts and procedures covered in this lesson. Further, the learners must continue posting their weekly blog reflections based on questions prompted by the instructor, as well as topics of interest to the students. Functional Analysis Lesson Analysis 6 Media and Technology Components. The course website is available on the open Internet without password restrictions. Print based articles, links to tools and software, a detailed course outline, and grading rubrics are provided on the course website. Blogs are utilized by both the instructor and students. While a text book is not required, an optional text is recommended. A traditional course management system is also utilized. Function. The course website functions as the course “Home Page” for students. All course materials are either linked or housed here. The weekly lesson sections within the website serve as a type of study guide and walk the learner through the lesson. The posted or linked articles and software provide the required assigned readings for each weekly lesson. Detailed descriptions of the class assignments and grading rubrics are also posted on the course website along with examples and other guidelines. The instructor’s blog is also housed on the course website and facilitates the communication of broadcast messages to students, as well as updates to course content, including impromptu “tutorials”. Outside of the course website, the course management system houses the asynchronous discussion board which facilitates learner to learner asynchronous discussions. Component Instructional Load. The course website carries the primary instructional content load. It organizes the course, presents the instructional content, and facilitates dialogue through the instructor’s blog. While the class website provides learners with some original source instructional content, the majority of instructional content is presented within the linked articles and software. Lesson Analysis 7 Interaction Analysis Description of Interactions or Dialog. Interaction is coordinated through the course website where the course content, the assignments, the schedule, and the instructor’s blog are presented. The dialog is a mix of real and simulated conversations. The simulated dialog on the website is relatively formal and articulates the expectations of learners, as well as the logistical aspects of the course. While there are no scheduled whole class synchronous sessions, real dialogue occurs in the asynchronous discussion board, posts and comments in blogs, and conversations between the learner and instructor during office hours. While it is not possible to review the conversations on the closed course management system or on the students’ blogs, the dialog on the instructor’s blog is written in a casual and informal style that communicates pertinent content to learners, including helpful resources and reminders to students tied to class schedule deadlines. Strategies to Create Dialog. There are several strategies employed to create and facilitate dialog. As noted, the course website creates a simulated dialogue with the learner through the presentation of content and instructions for expected learner action. The learners must participate in asynchronous discussions in the course management system. They are also encouraged to contact the instructor directly by phone, instant message, or e-mail to seek help. The instructor has posted office hours, but learners are also invited to contact the instructor outside of set office hours through MSN Messenger or e-mail. In addition, the instructor’s blog conveys pertinent information to the class and prompts learners for reflective responses which they must post on their personal blogs. Effectiveness. The course website is well developed and effectively directs learners through the course and the lessons. From the Home page of the website and on all subsequent Lesson Analysis 8 pages, it is very easy to sequence through the lessons. Further, the course objectives and learner assignments are clearly defined. The assessment activities effectively define the learner expectations within detailed grading rubrics. As the asynchronous discussion board is not available for viewing, it is not possible to assess the effectiveness within this particular course. However, it can be assumed that the course management system’s discussion board can effectively facilitate an asynchronous discussion among learners. While it is also not possible to view and assess the effectiveness of private learner and instructor interactions, the learners appear to be given sufficient opportunity during the course to seek help and interact with the instructor. Further, the instructor’s blog appears very effective as a means of maintaining real dialogue with students. Unfortunately, it is also not possible to evaluate the student’s blogs as they are not linked from the course website. Therefore, an assessment of actual learner interaction and engagement is not possible. However, given that 25% of the course grade is associated with the personal blog, it can be assumed that the students are appropriately motivated to complete their blog reflections. Examples of Good Dialog and Interactions. The best examples of good dialog and interaction come from the instructor’s blog. As noted, the blog serves as a means of prompting student reflections. It also allows the instructor to provide spontaneous broadcast messages to the class while augmenting the instructional content. For example, during the midway point of the semester, the instructor released a blog post alerting students that he was in the midst of grading papers and that they could expect feedback shortly. The instructor also posted audio or video tutorials, recommended resources to augment the original instructional content, and frequently asked students to reflect upon questions within their own blogs or in comments to his blog. Design and Lesson Critique Lesson Analysis 9 Strength. The design and content within the online lessons appears appropriate for the undergraduate audience. There is a good balance between the static instructional content on the website and the fluid content delivered within the instructor’s blog. Further, the learners are given many opportunities to apply and reflect upon the presented content within the assignments, the asynchronous discussion board, and their blogs. As noted, the instructor’s office hours provide sufficient opportunity for learners to receive help, personalized guidance, and feedback. Weakness. The presentation of instructional content is largely facilitated through multiple links to content not designed and developed by the instructional designer. While this provides learners with a wealth of perspective on a topic, this content presentation strategy can overload the learner with too much loosely connected information. Also, it can be difficult for a novice learner to synthesize conflicting perspectives. Further, while there is ample opportunity for learner interaction with the content and for interaction between the instructor and the learner, the majority of the learner to leaner interaction is asynchronous with no scheduled synchronous whole class sessions which may have been more difficult to facilitate when the class was originally designed. Lesson Analysis – EC&I 831: Computers in the Classroom Design Analysis Rationale for Lesson. EC&I 831- Computers in the Classroom is a graduate level distance education course at the University of Regina. The course was delivered during the Spring 2008 semester and the reviewed lesson is from January 29, 2008. Like the course highlighted above, EC&I 831 also addresses the use of technology in education and is designed and delivered by Dr. Couros. The topic for the January 29, 2008 lesson is the history of educational technology and is partially facilitated by guest speaker, Dr. Rick Schwier from the University of Saskatchewan. Lesson Analysis 10 Learner Analysis. Students in the course are enrolled within graduate programs at the University of Regina. Based on a review of the students enrolled in the Spring 2008 semester, the learners are all adults and most are employed as either teachers or technology specialists within educational institutions in Canada. Objectives. The stated course objectives are for learners to a) examine the historical roll of technology and media in education, b) appraise the social learning theories which respond to learning in the digital age, c) assess the social, educational, political and administrative issues connected to technology and media in learning, and d) critically evaluate digital media and information. The implicit objectives for the reviewed January 29, 2008 lesson include an appraisal of the history of educational technology, an assessment of the shift way from individualized instructional models, and predictions for the future of teaching and education. Task / Content Analysis. A task and content analysis for the January 29, 2008 lesson is shown in Appendix A and is based on the presentation slides from Schwier (2008), the reflective assignment within the session summary on the course wiki, and one of the required readings from Woodill (2008). Assessment. At the course level, learner assessment is made in three areas, including a personal blog portfolio, a collaborative project, and a personal digital project each worth approximately one-third of the semester grade. Within the blog portfolio, learners are asked to demonstrate evidence of reading and analysis of articles and blog posts of others, interaction with other learners through blog post commenting, and critical reflection on course subject matter. In addition to the capstone personal digital project, learners must provide ongoing contributions to a collaborative wiki resource focused on technology tools, instructional approaches, and educational issues relating to technology in education. Lesson Analysis 11 As part of the January 29, 2008 lesson, learners are asked to consider within their blogs the importance of the material covered in the readings and presentations, as well as the implications for teaching and learning of moving from individualized methods of instruction. In addition, the learners are to continue work on their collaborative and personal projects. Instructional Strategies. This course is designed as an “open” learning environment which is in contrast to the traditionally “closed” learning environments found in most university classes. The designer explores the instructional possibilities of using freely available web based connective technologies within a learning environment that encourages participation from both inside and outside the virtual classroom. The designer strives to teach learners about educational technologies while engaging them in the use of the same technologies and resources with outside educational practitioners. The January 29, 2008 lesson employs a combination of presentation and learner synthesis strategies to fulfill the lesson objectives. Instructional content is presented in the public course wiki and in the live web conferenced session with an invited speaker and other outside guests. Learners engage in reflective and synthesis activities within their personal projects, the collaborative assignment, and in personal blog reflections related to the course objectives, as outlined above. Functional Analysis The course consists of numerous media and technology components, including a course wiki, social bookmarking tools, blogging platforms, recorded video presentations and tutorials, and synchronous web conferenced sessions. The course wiki serves as the course management system as is where the presentation of instructional material is coordinated. The course schedule, the instructor’s blog, the collaborative wiki, the recorded videos, and the live session archives are Lesson Analysis 12 housed on the course wiki. Social bookmarking tools provide access to the digital library of required and suggested reading resources. Web conferencing tools facilitate virtual classroom lectures and live class discussions while the personal blogs facilitate asynchronous learner reflections and conversations in the form of commenting and pingbacks. Component Instructional Load. The bulk of the instructional content load falls to the required and recommended readings, as well as to the information provided in links to relevant tools and technologies. In addition, the live synchronous sessions present new content while reinforcing concepts presented elsewhere. Interaction Analysis Description of Interactions or Dialog. Learners engage in both real and simulated conversation in the course. Two synchronous web conferenced sessions are held each week of the semester and include enrolled learners, the instructor, guest speakers, as well as anyone else who would like to participate in the live sessions. The synchronous web conferenced sessions include audio, video, and text based chat. In addition, learners and instructors (or learners and course assistants) engage in one-on-one sessions using text chat, telephony calls, web conferencing tools, or the telephone. Asynchronous conversations include participation on blogs. Strategies to Create Dialog. As noted, the course dialogue is facilitated within synchronous sessions, asynchronous activities, and individual communication with the instructor. Synchronous sessions are scheduled twice each week using web conferencing tools, as well as in text chats and telephony calls. Students are encouraged to attend both live sessions each week as one session is “theory based” involving guest speakers from the field of educational technology and the second session is focused on attainment of skills associated with the use of various educational technologies. Lesson Analysis 13 The students are also encouraged to “back channel” with other students and participants during the live class sessions. Within the back channel, the participants converse using a text based chat during the live session. While on the surface this may seem rude or disruptive, the practice is encourages as a means of facilitating learner discussion and dialogue even as the presentation session is occurring. Asynchronous communication occurs via individual blog postings, comments on other students’ blogs, reading and commenting on blogs from outside the class, and utilization of freely available social networking tools. As noted in the Participant Directory on the course wiki, learners are encouraged to post their photos, real names, blog address, and a brief biography with the hope of fostering interaction and dialog with participants both inside and outside of the enrolled class. Through open blogging, an important objective of the course is served. Learners gain a connection to other “edubloggers” outside of the class who provide additional perspective. Effectiveness. Given the high degree of openness in the course, it is possible to review a great number of artifacts, including the students’ projects, their blogs, and recordings of all synchronous sessions. This helps to evaluate the effectiveness of the interaction and dialog and, in turn, the effectiveness of the course. A review of the class artifacts reveals a highly interactive learning environment and engaged learners. For the 20 enrolled students listed on the Participant Directory in the Spring 2008 course, each has posted a brief biography, a personal blog address, and a link to his or her digital project. While only one student did not post a photo, several included pictures with their children. Based on a review of most blogs and projects, the students were highly engaged in the course and found it to be an effective educational experience. Lesson Analysis 14 The final blog reflections from the students offer a very favorable evaluation of interaction and effectiveness of the course. Flood (2008) notes in his student blog, “My experiences throughout this course have been extremely valuable … I am truly grateful for the work that has been done by everybody that is involved in this course …Your contributions have challenged me, and you have truly shaped my continued learning.” Volk (20008) reflects, “I’m glad we had the opportunity to get to know each other, learn from each other, and share with each other. These types of connections are so important in the world of education. Thank you everyone for helping me to grow as an educator and a learner.” Gatzke (2008) expresses her sadness to conclude the course, but also her optimism for continued interaction with fellow students in the future: “I mentioned last night that I can’t help but feel a little sad … I have met about 1/2 dozen of the people in this course face to face. Yet I feel like I have gotten to know most of the participants in this course far better than I got to know members of the class in other courses that I have taken … It engages me in reflection and we know that reflecting on our practice and examining it critically enhances our understanding and attitudes both professionally and personally. Thanks to everyone in this class for sharing. I feel privileged to have taken a course with such high quality work. Cheers virtual classmates! I look forward to continued interaction in the blogosphere.” Examples of Good Dialog and Interactions. There are countless examples of dialog and interactions within the hours of synchronous recordings and student reflections. However, what Lesson Analysis 15 is striking is the number of students who mentioned within their blog reflections the value of back channeling during the live sessions. The students in the January 29, 2008 live virtual class were joined by guest speaker, Dr. Richard Schwier, and three of his students from the University of Saskatchewan. A review of the text chat back channel from the 23 participants logged into that live session reveals over 480 text chat entries during the live session. The majority of the text chat dialog includes simple affirmations, (“I agree”, “Me, too”), but also includes questions for the speaker, links to relevant resources (from Kyle Lichtenwald: “I talked to John Gormley about Facebook on May 2 about Facebook & policy http://cyberpolicy.wikispaces.com/space/showimage/Talking+to +John+Gormley.mp3”, and a range of other types of comments (from Kimberly Brown: “I had a substitute teacher two weeks ago who wouldn't let my students work in partners/groups for math. We've got a long way to go.”) Over the 140 minute class session, the 480 text chat entries break down to an average of almost 3.5 text chat entries per minute. Therefore, nearly 15% of the 23 session participants engaged in some form of text based dialogue every minute of the class session – all while the guest speaker was presenting his lecture! Design and Lesson Critique Strength. The designer of this course tested the boundaries of what is possible in a distance learning environment. By opening the course to outside participants and by using a host of open source and freely available resources and connective software technologies, the learners are exposed to a vast amount of relevant instructional content, tools, and people. The openness of the course structure brings others from the greater educational community into the classroom. While it is rare for a formal distance education course to have such a large roster of live guest Lesson Analysis 16 speakers, it is even more unique for a university to open the entire learning environment to participants not enrolled in the program. The learners’ access and exposure to others in the field of education becomes one of the greatest strengths of this course. In addition, the chosen instructional strategies inspire a high degree of active learner engagement and participation. A review of the learner blog posts reveals deep reflection and a rich synthesis of the material. The learners’ final reflections illustrate their perceptions of high accomplishment. Weakness. While learners are presented with an abundance of relevant resources and interaction with experts in the field of education, they are also challenged to synthesize an incredible amount of information. The various experts presented many perspectives and representations of complex topics and problems. Miezianko (2008) noted in his student blog that many times during the semester he suffered from “information overload”. Fortunately, the students benefited from a high degree of instructor and course assistant interaction to help guide them through the course. Comparative Critique The two analyzed lessons have similar topics and objectives. Also, both lessons are designed and developed by the same person. However, the courses are targeted to different audiences. ECMP 355 is designed for undergraduate students and ECI 831 is designed for graduate students. Further, the courses employ different instructional strategies and opportunities for interaction. While the difference in instructional and interactional strategies is partly due to the difference in the target learner, it is also likely that the design differences reflect the designer’s ongoing effort to adopt open tools and methods within in the classroom. In his blog profile, Lesson Analysis 17 Couros outlines the three important strands driving his current research and teaching focus, including 1) the appropriate use of technology in the classroom, 2) the effects of technology on education, culture, and society, and 3) the power of democratic media, social networks, and openness in education. In his doctoral dissertation, Couros examines the concepts and practices of educational openness, as well as the strategies and requirements to support it, and suggests the importance of establishing educators and students within a learning context that extends beyond the classroom walls; a context in which learners freely interact with others outside of the traditional confines of the classroom. As such, Couros adds an additional learner to world interaction to the traditional learner to content, learner to learner, and learner to instructor dimensions. Couros’ research and teaching emphasis on connective technologies and openness in education appears evident in a comparative review of the two lessons. Within ECMP 355, designed in 2005, opportunities for learner to learner and learner to world interaction are more limited than in ECI 831, delivered in 2008. While asynchronous tools helped to facilitate learner to learner dialog in ECMP 355, the primary discussion board was housed within a closed course management system that only course participants could access. Further, synchronous technologies were not employed to facilitate whole class virtual discussions. In contrast, ECI 831 participation reaches well outside the classroom to invited guest speakers, as well as others who want to either observe the lesson and class artifacts or directly interact with the learners. Beyond the designer’s drive for greater openness in the learning environment, both courses employ effective instructional strategies and interaction which support the stated course and lesson objectives. ECMP 355 offers a thorough introduction to the topic of technology integration in the classroom. The reviewed PowerPoint lesson during Week 3 is presented in a Lesson Analysis 18 relatively structured format which efficiently supports the learner through the online lesson and assessments. This format is likely a more appropriate choice for an undergraduate audience. While offered in a different format, ECI 831 is also effectively designed to support the stated objectives and graduate level audience. Students are offered relevant instructional content and the instructional strategies to foster a high degree of active learner engagement and participation. They are provided with abundant opportunities for learner to content, learner to learner, learner to instructor, and learner to world interaction. Based on the final blog reflections, the learners found this learning experience to be both challenging and greatly rewarding which are worthy ambitions for any course. Lesson Analysis 19 References Couros, A. (2006, December). Examining the Open Movement: Possibilities and Implications for Educators. , 215. University of Regina. Retrieved from http://www.scribd.com/doc/3363/DissertationCourosFINAL06WebVersion. Couros, A., & University of Regina. EC&I 831: Computers in the Classroom: Appropriate Curriculum and Instruction Related to Computer Technology. Retrieved from http://eci831.wikispaces.com/. Couros, A., & University of Regina. ECMP 355 - Computers in the Classroom. . Retrieved from http://education.uregina.ca/technology/ecmp355/index.html. Flood, R. (2008, April 9). EC&I Wrap-up Reflections. Ryan Flood’s Weblog. Retrieved from http://ryanflood.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/eci-wrap-up-reflections/. Gatzke, L. (2008, April 10). Thoughts. Digital Destiny - Computers in the Classroom. Retrieved from http://lgatzke.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/thoughts/. Miezianko, D. (2008, April 7). The Final Post of 831. Dean Miezianko’s Weblog. Retrieved from http://dpmiez.wordpress.com/2008/04/07/the-final-post-of-831/. Schwier, R. (2008, January 29). History of Educational Technology. Online. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/courosa/brief-history-of-educational-technolog.... Volk, T. (2008, April 9). A Combination of Talent - A Reflection of ECI 831. Todd’s Blog. Retrieved from http://toddvolk.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/a-combination-of-talent-areflec.... Woodill, G. (2008, January 3). Ten Learning Technologies to Transform Training in 2008. Brandon Hall Research. Retrieved from http://brandon-hall.com/garywoodill/?p=27. Lesson Analysis 20 Appendix A - Reverse Engineering ECMP 355 – Week 3 Lesson 1) Concept: Multimedia / Hypermedia Software in the Classroom a) Rich images, text, movement, images help to communicate. i) Multimedia means combination of media, including: (1) Still pictures (2) Sound (3) Motion video (4) Animation (5) Text ii) Hypermedia are linked media b) Multimedia and hypermedia are important in educational technology c) Examples: Popular hypermedia software includes: i) Microsoft PowerPoint ii) HyperStudio iii) Authorware iv) Director v) Ezedia 2) Concept: Overview of PowerPoint a) Allows creation of presentations, including: i) Slideshows (1) Series of related one-screen displays (2) Can contain text, art, sound, animation, and hyperlinks ii) Handouts iii) Posters b) Can be reproduced as overheads, booklets, posters or 35mm slides c) Gained popularity as a business tool d) Increasingly popular in various educational environments, including: Lesson Analysis 21 i) Teacher conferences ii) K-12 classroom 3) Concept: Uses of PowerPoint a) Beginning of the semester – Introduction to the course or instructor b) Classroom game show c) Electronic portfolio d) E-books e) Student narratives f) Jig-saw research 4) Procedure: How to create a PowerPoint presentation a) Link to the University of Regina’s Computer Training Program manuals, as well as other suggested resources b) Analysis of linked manuals and tutorials beyond the scope of this lesson review 5) Practice: Technology Tasks Using Power Point a) Assessment 1: Group project using sample slides i) Assemble into small groups ii) Download sample slides iii) Develop a narrative iv) Incorporate features of PowerPoint, such as text and call outs v) Add slides, as needed vi) Download and use media from the Internet vii) Present final PowerPoint to class b) Practice 2 : Create a PowerPoint i) Select a topic ii) Demonstrate use of key media elements, such as slide transitions, animations, use of sounds and imagery iii) Submit presentation via e-mail to instructor Lesson Analysis 22 EC&I 831 – January 29, 2008 Lesson 1) Activation and Recall - Reflective questions about educational technology a) What is your earliest memory of an educational technology? b) Who is the most influential non-Canadian scholar in educational technology you can name? c) Who is the most influential Canadian scholar in educational technology you can name? d) How many can you name (from pictures)? For example: i) Gagne ii) Bandura iii) Jonassen iv) Reigeluth 2) Activation and analysis of key ideas - Why care about Educational Technology History? a) Rich tradition b) Differences between Canadian and USA c) Know where you fit in – river of life d) Past provides understanding of the future 3) Concept: What Educational Technology is NOT a) Educational technology is a new discipline b) Media comparison studies c) Data equals knowledge d) Knowledge is understanding e) Computers can replace teachers f) Educational technology = computers + Internet + school 4) Concept: History of Educational Technology a) Film – 1940s b) Television – 1950s c) Programmed instruction – 1960s d) Systematic instructional design – 1970s e) Computers – 1980s i) Computer based training Lesson Analysis 23 ii) Multimedia f) The Internet – 1990s i) E-learning ii) Internet based training g) Social Web – 2000s i) Social software ii) Free and open content iii) Turning point - One laptop per child in 2006 5) Concept: Social learning – not technology, but epistemology a) Individuals i) Objectivism ii) Cognitivism iii) Constructivism b) Collective Constructivism i) Groups ii) Social learning 6) Concept: (From Reading) 10 Learning Technologies to Transform Training in 2008 a) Technologies of collaboration b) Learning games c) Distributed computing technologies d) Embedded learning technologies e) Multisensory input devices f) Mobile devices g) Social bookmarking and tagging h) Personalized technologies i) Visualization technologies j) Location based augmented reality 7) Application Activities: a) Individual blog reflections – answer the following: i) What is the importance of the covered material? Lesson Analysis 24 ii) What are the implications of moving from individuals learning models to networked constructivism? iii) How will or should this translate to teaching and learning? iv) Consider this presentation in light of what you know about professional development, school change, teacher resistance, or other important educational issues. b) Continue work on class collaborative wiki project c) (Optional) Participate in EdTechWeekly on EdTechTalk.com

Media Guide: Tools for Teaching and Learning

See attached - round up of basic media tools - oldies, but goodies!

RSS Aggregator:

Blog:

Collaborative Writing:

Podcast / Vodcast:

Instant Messaging:

Web Meetings:

Social Bookmarking:

Hosted Group Spaces:

technorati tags:,

Message Design: Reading Reflection W1

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Reflection Week 1
By: Jennifer Maddrell
Submitted: May 15, 2008       
For: Dr. Gary Morrison, IDT 895

Reflection 1 - Winn

Overview

How is information stored and processed? As images? As propositions? As language? These are the central questions addressed by Winn (2004) who highlights research suggesting that “all of the above” is the correct response. Winn suggest conceptions of images and propositions along with a model of how information is processed and stored in memory.
Conceptions of Images and Propositions

Research suggests that an image is not merely a picture stored and run within memory. Instead, many researchers compare images to percepts, or mental snapshots arising and constructed from experiences. Clark (cited in Winn, 2004) suggests relationships among percepts, images, and memory, as well as a process where information is transferred from one level to another. This conception has led to a definition of an image as an interpretation of what is perceived by the physical eye and what is constructed and recalled in memory. In contrast, propositions are abstract representations of information (concepts and the relationships among them, which can be tested empirically as either true or false assertions.

Pictures and Visual Information - Processing and Storage

Winn (2004) suggests that whether information is encoded and stored as images or propositions depends upon the type of information and how the learner will use the information. Research suggests that realistic pictures are processed as visual images and that if learners are required to remember the picture, the information appears to be processed as a visual image. In addition, with regard to concrete concepts, pictures tend to be recalled better than words, especially realistic visual images and those presenting the patterns of elements within the pictures. Yet, similar or closely related pictures can cause interference between memory of the image and one similar to it.

Research also suggests that logical pictures (such as diagrams and charts) are processed as propositions. Further, when learners are required to make a translation of visual information into words or when learners are required to solve complex problems, visual information appears to be processed as propositions.

The degree and distance of association among presented concepts also appears to play a factor. Visual images for paired associates are best encoded and recalled when the images are concrete. Further, semantic distance, which is used to describe the relative proportion of common associations, tends to influence processing. Research indicates that instruction which visually displays a logical path of connections and associations across this distance can improve a learner’s ability to make associations and overcome this distance.

Influence of Paper

This paper suggests the importance of considering both the type of information to be encoded, as well as how the learner will be required to use and recall information when making decisions to use visual images. If the learner is faced with abstract concepts, diagrams and charts may be most appropriate. In contrast, if the learner will be required to recall concrete concepts, a realistic picture may be best. In addition, images should be used to help learners make logical connections between and among concepts.

Reflection 2 – Kulhavy, Stock, Woodard and Haygood

Overview

Kulhavy, Stock, Woodard and Haygood (1993) report findings of two experiments which suggest that memory of structural prosperities of a map impact recall of text. Their research builds off of prior theories and study of dual-coding which suggests that when verbal and visual material is presented together subsequent retrieval is enhanced. Kulhavy et al. based their research on two primary theories: 1) the elaboration hypothesis and 2) dual-coding hypothesis.

Hypothesis

The elaboration hypothesis suggests that the dual presentation creates multiple instances within memory which in turn improves the opportunity for future retrieval due a) to more than one instance of the memory and b) to the greater ability to infer characteristics from the dual presentation. The dual-coding hypothesis suggests that the verbal and visual information is stored separately in memory, but they are linked via referential connections, as suggested from the works of Paivio. While viewed slightly differently, these theories suggest that dual representations (and redundant codes) in memory increase the likelihood that the information will later be retrieved.

Research Basis

Prior research by Schwartz and Kulhavy (as cited in Kulhavy et al., 1993) indicates that retrieval of text based events is increased when the events are recalled along with an associated feature on a map. While this could be explained by either elaboration or dual-coding theories, Schwartz and Kulhavy found that the recall was greatest when the features where on the map versus in a list outside of the map which infers that the organization of the map impacts retrieval. They suggest that this is due to both a cueing (additional information) and computational effect (more load on memory to shift attention between the map and the list). This led to their research prediction that the better a map’s structure is encoded, the better the recall of related text events. Two separate experiments were set up to test this predication.

Research Findings

Kulhavy et al. (1993) report findings that support their predictions regarding dual-coding theory. The structural relationship of features on the map predicted the subjects’ recall of related text events. However, the findings did not indicate that visual icons or color positively influenced recall. In fact, color words appeared to reduce recall which Kulhavy et al. assume arises from the interference during encoding.
 
Influence of Research and Paper

This paper suggests the importance of presenting learners with dual representations within instruction. By presenting the learner with an organized visual representation, subsequent retrieval of text based information is improved.

Also, the research also suggests overt (eye-catching) visual displays can have an adverse effect and interfere with encoding. As seen by the reduced recall associated with the use of color words, subjects appeared to be distracted by the eye-catching words. Therefore, uses of attention getting visual displays may pose an unintended negative effect on learning.

While the reported findings build upon prior research on dual-coding theory and suggest support for the theory, the researchers do little to suggest opportunities for further research within their conclusions. However, as discussed below, other researchers have not only furthered this line of research, but also challenged the findings of this report.

Reflection 3 – Griffin and Robinson

Overview

Griffin and Robinson (2005) report findings from a study in which they challenge the outcomes of previous research that suggest spatial and visual information on maps facilitate text retention. Within this prior research, including work by Kulhavy et al. discussed above, subjects who viewed maps recalled more associated text than other students who did not view the maps. The prior research, in support of the conjoint retention hypothesis (CRH), concluded that the spatial properties of the map improved recall, as did the descriptive characteristics of feature icons placed on the map.

However, in 2000, Griffin and Robinson (as cited in Griffin & Robinson, 2005) reported study findings under similar experimental conditions which indicated no difference in recall when maps were used instead of lists. In addition, they found no evidence that maps were spatially encoded. Rather, recall seemed impacted by the use of icons over words.

Research Findings

Griffin and Robinson (2005) focused on the following three research questions: 1) does the spatial arrangement of maps or the feature icons, or both, facilitate recall of text, 2) are maps processed more spatially (via the visuospatial sketchpad) than lists, and 3) must maps be spatially encoded to facilitate subsequent text recall? In two similar, but separate experiments, results support their own previous findings, namely that the icons, not the layout of maps, were key to text recall, and a difference was not found between maps and lists on spatial memory tasks. While Griffin and Robinson followed the procedures of previous researchers’ studies, they arrived at different conclusions.

Influence of Research and Paper

The findings of this paper challenge the conclusions of researchers in other similar studies that suggest spatial encoding results in greater recall of text that is accompanied by maps over text alone. In doing so, they raise doubt as to whether maps are encoded more spatially than lists. Further, they question the assumption that encoding of the icon display is necessary and suggest it may even interfere with encoding!

Griffin and Robinson (2005) note that while their findings do not support the conjoint retention hypothesis, the dual-coding hypothesis is supported given that feature icons improved text recall. This is an important consideration for designers. However, as discussed in the conclusion of the paper, the researchers call for further inquiry into when maps should be used over lists.

Reflection 4 – Cassidy

Overview

Lamenting that the boundaries of instructional technology are unclear and too narrowly focused, Cassidy (1982) attempts to outline a theoretical perspective for future analysis of education and instructional technology. He does so by conceiving of education as a social system and professionals in instruction technology as social scientists. As such, he compares the social interaction within the education system to sign interaction in which both the sign components and their relationships are considered.

Cassidy (1982) asserts that the entire educational system is represented by a) teacher, b) student, c) content, d) environment. This is likely true if the environment becomes an “everything else” catch all. He matches these educational system boundaries (encompassing everything?) with social (sociological, anthropological, psychological, biological) factors. As he notes on p. 88, this match allows an analysis of important interrelationships which can be defined and explored “without regard to content, academic level, or environment, and without prejudice for method.”

Influence of Paper

The paper would have been much stronger had it been framed as a discussion of how instructional technology professionals can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of instruction by placing a primary focus on the interplay among teachers, students, content, and the environment, as well as the impact of intervening social factors. However, the paper’s thrust is lost within an attempt devise a justification for why those in instructional technology have a right to concern themselves with these core features of the educational system.

Reading this paper, one experiences an “I guess you had to be there” moment. As is alluded to in the paper, those in instructional technology seemed to be going through an identity crisis. Are instructional technologists practitioners? Scientists? Audio-visual specialists? Process experts? Unfortunately, the end-game (defining the boundaries of instructional technology) is left as an incomplete afterthought which is secondary to the presentation of the premise under which the paper is framed. While the author admits the paper is conceptual, the conceptual framework and comparisons outside of education seem to overreach. The message would have been far more effective (and helpful to professionals in instructional technology) if the paper had begun on page 82 and eliminated the entire “exposition of semiotics” framework.
 
References

Cassidy, M. F. (1982). Toward Integration: Education, Instructional Technology and Semiotics. ECTJ, 30(2), 75-89.

Griffin, M. M. & Robinson, D. H. (2005) Does spatial or visual information in maps facilitate text recall? Reconsidering the conjoint retention hypothesis. ETR&D, 53(10) p23-36,

Kulhavy, R. W., Stock, W. A., elaboration and dual coding theories: Psychology, 106 (4), 483-498.

Winn, W. (2004). Cognitive perspectives in psychology. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 2nd Ed. Chapter 4, pp. 179-112
 

Message Design: Reading Reflection W2

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Reflection Week 2
By: Jennifer Maddrell
Submitted: May 23, 2008       
For: Dr. Gary Morrison, IDT 895

Reflection 1 – Pett and Wilson

Overview

Pett and Wilson (1989) provide a comprehensive literature review of color research. I found this paper to do what a literature review is supposed to do: a) clarify relevant terms to establish common definitions for research and practitioners, b) present relevant research, c) synthesize findings, d) make recommendations for future research and for practitioners in instructional technology. Their review includes important definitions related to color, as well as how color is seen (both physiological and psychological factors) and how color influences learning.

Definitions

I have often heard color terminology, but I had not contemplated the definitions for the purpose of comparing and evaluating research. These definitions seem to be the most important and relevant to an understanding and evaluation of color: a) hue refers to the specific color, b) value refers to the lightness or darkness of the color, c) saturation is the degree of pure color, d) acuity is the degree of perception.

Color is it is Seen

Physiological Factors. While about 7% of males and .5% of females have some degree of color “blindness” (color deficiencies), everyone has norms and expectations related to color. The context is important to how color is perceived and can change based on other color seen at the same time. This is known as adaption and is considered at three levels 1) general adaption (occurring from one light condition to another) 2) lateral adaption (occurring when two colors are viewed at once), 3) local adaption (occurring when switching from one image to the next).  The important take-a-way is that adaption does not occur immediately. There is usually a delay and what was just viewed and what is viewed simultaneously impacts the perception of the color.

In addition, color has the ability to arouse, especially red (as compared to yellow or blue which are more than green). The arousal includes increases in heart rate, overall anxiety, and heightened perception (acuity) where research suggests increases in the middle of the spectrum than at the end (yellow and cyan are better than red or blue). Further, while lettering on a neutral background tends to be more legible, lettering size tends to me a more important factor than color with regard to legibility.

Psychological Factors.  In terms of preference, studies indicate that color preference can generally be ordered (from most to least preferred) as follows: blue, red, green, violet, orange, and yellow. In general, there is a preference for cool colors (blue and green). Further, these preferences tend to be fairly consistent across gender, culture, and age. However, research does suggest that personality traits may be related to color preference with extroverts preferring warm colors (red and yellow) an introverts preferring cool colors.

Further, colors seem to also be related to settings which may be shared across cultures, but are more likely learned. Dark colors tend be related to more somber settings, red and yellow are related to activity and happiness, and blue is related to peaceful, passive or sad events.
In terms of colors in presented materials, research suggests that when white text is presented on a color background, preference ranged (most to least) from cyan, blue, green, yellow, magenta, and red. 

Color and Learning

There is a wide body of research suggesting that while there may be a general preference for the use of color in instructional materials, colored materials do not appear to be related to increase learning. In fact, research indicates that the words for colors can effectively substitute for the colors themselves! So why is there such a preoccupation with “jazzing up” instructional materials? Is it just about increasing interest? If so, is that just a short term attention getting effect?

Research does seem to suggest that color can draw and focus attention. Further, color use in instructional material seems to elicit different degrees of responses and emotional reactions. While, it seems to also be effective at helping to group related information, the effect of color coding to be learned information is less clear. However, the use of realistic color may aid in encoding and recall of realistic images and pictures.   

In addition, research indicates that colors can impact “readability” of text. In general, solid multi-colored presentations without patterns seem to be best. Further, white on red, yellow on cyan, white on blue, yellow on green, white on magenta, yellow on black, and white on cyan are color combinations which have been shown to be associated with low error rates and high preferences from readers. On a computer screen, black on white (or yellow) provides good contrast, but black is a good background choice when colored text is used.

Influence of Paper

This paper provides a vast array of heuristics for instructional designers. It is one of the better written papers I have read. It is not only a thorough review of literature, but the paper is also well written and effectively organized. It starts by telling you what you are about to read, clearly spells out the findings, summarizes why the findings are important, highlights areas where future study is needed, and concludes with heuristics for practitioners. Home run! Both researchers and practitioners can benefit from the summary of findings across a vast body of study into color and the impact on learning.

As a designer, a key take-a-way is that (once again) content is king and color is a presentation element that can (if used improperly) hurt instead of help in the presentation of material. For example, an entire presentation is delivered with a red background and black lettering, it would be worse than a boring black text on a white background. Further, while color may help to gain and focus attention, the use of color should support the intended narrative of the content. Color that does not support (or conflicts) with the narrative may result in inappropriate encoding and retrieval.

Reflection 2 – Snowberg

Overview

Snowberg (1973) reported the results of his color research over 15 years prior to Pett and Wilson (1989) prepared the literature review above. While far smaller in scope, the findings produce strikingly similar heuristics for designers with regard to the use of color within instructional materials, specifically instructional materials projected within a classroom setting. Overall, the results suggest a white background is preferred with blue the least preferred.

Research and Findings

The research centered on a two questions. What colors, transmissions, and brightness provide the best viewing conditions? What background colors are most legible? Therefore the independent variables were color (based on specific wavelengths), transmission, brightness, target size. The study attempted to assess the impact of these variables on the viewers’ response accuracy (the dependent variable).  The researchers took great pains to calibrate the testing projection equipment, including the colored filters which altered the screen background. A consistent set of 10 letters (Z, N, H, R, V, K, D, C, O, and S) in san serif font were used to test for visual acuity. Further, 10 slides provided 10 different treatments of the variables which isolated the five colors (red, blue, green, yellow, and white) and two projection conditions (both standardized luminance, and standardized transmission).  The slides included five lines of the 10 letters with each line at a different size as in an eye chart.

The results indicate a significant response difference among background colors. The order of significance in terms of mean response accuracy (highest to lowest) was white, yellow, green, red, and blue. However, letter size and brightness level greatly impacted the results. Overall, the results suggest a white background is preferred with blue the least preferred.

Influence of Paper

This study seemed to have a clearly defined focus and appears to be well executed.  The greatest strength I see in this paper is its influence as a stepping stone for future research. This study was fairly limited in scope in terms of the type and color of material included in the visual presentation. Only 10 random letters in a black san serif font were used and no images were presented.  For example, studies described by Pett and Wilson (1989) seem to suggest colored images may be better presented on backgrounds other than white.

In addition, would the results be different using more modern technologies, such as the use of PowerPoint in a classroom? It would seem the research could easily be replicated using current technologies. However, it is hard to image what features and characteristics of the modern technologies would significantly change the results.
 
Reflection 3 – Winn

Overview

Winn (1996) seems the odd man out in terms of this week’s readings. It does not directly focus on features of message design. However, it does offer a wonderful overview of learning and instructional theories, as well as an historical assessment of the evolution of cognitive perspectives.

Views of Cognition

As noted, Winn (1996) takes great pains to highlight the evolution of cognitive theory, including the evolution of his own perspectives since first writing the first edition of this book. In outlining how perspectives have changed, Winn describes how cognition was once considered from a “computational” perspective in which the physical world is represented within the mind. He then describes how and why some now find it hard to conceive of the internal processes without also considering the context of the environment, specifically environmental elements which influence what we do and think. The notion of creating a mental representation of the physical world implies a goal of striving for an “ideal or correct” understanding of the external world. Yet, some question if such an understanding can or should exist and take a more pragmatic view; one in which our representation can and should be influenced and guided by our own individual experiences and needs.

These theoretical conceptions of how representations can and should be made in turn influence conceptions of instruction. What do we “teach”? What is the yardstick we use to measure attainment of learning?

Winn (1996) also highlights the historical views which preceded cognitive theory, including Gestalt psychology which studies how people perceive the whole in comparison to the parts and Behavioral Theory which is presented by Winn as almost a reactionary objectivist backlash against Gestalt theory and research practices. In turn, cognitive psychology is shown as a reaction against behaviorism which some feel fails to address the influence of subjective (and often unobservable) factors.

The bulk of the paper focuses on the way mental representations and processes are conceived within cognitive theory and the influence on instructional theory educational technology. It is in these final sections that Winn (1996) links learning theory with instructional theory. Overall, the cognitive perceptions of how information is encoded and retrieved within memory have greatly influenced our current instructional theories and practices. For example, our conceptions of the limited capacity of short term memory have propelled strategies to chunk information. Further, our conceptions of schema have influenced our strategies to link new information within the context of existing information.

In addition, Winn (1996) assesses where key instructional challenges lie from a cognitivist standpoint. First, instructional theory is incomplete and, as such, cannot provide prescriptions for all student behavior. Further, individual differences mean individual learning outcomes. Also, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. In other words, individuals are free minded and there are no guarantees recommended strategies will be adopted. Finally, individuals never have a perfect and known context within which to perceive and make decisions. Therefore, there will always be variability among learners and from some guiding objective.

Influence of the Paper

As noted, this paper provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of cognitive theory. It also provides a rare link between learning theory and instructional theory. However, Winn (1996) covers very little new ground within this paper. Instead, he chooses to focus on synthesis of a vast body of theory and build a bridge between learning theory and instruction. It is almost a glimpse into the metacognitive processing of a man who has devoted his life to this theoretical foundation. It is almost as if Winn is reflecting upon and answering questions in his own mind. What are the foundations of my conceptions? How have my conceptions of learning and cognition evolved? How do these conceptions impact my behaviors as an educator? While designers may not find new information to guide practice and researchers will not find recommendations for future inquiry, the paper provides a concise, but comprehensive map of where cognitive science came from and where it now stands.
   

References

Snowberg, R. L. (1973). Bases for the selection of background colors for transparencies. AVCR, 21(2), 191-207.

Pett, D. &amp; Wilson, T. (1989). Color research and its application to the design of instructional materials. ETR&amp;D, 44(3), 19-35.

Winn, W. (2004). Cognitive perspectives in psychology. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 2nd Ed. Chapter 4, pp. 179-112

Message Design: Reading Reflection W3

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Reflection Week 3       
By: Jennifer Maddrell
Submitted: May 29, 2008       
For: Dr. Gary Morrison, IDT 895

Reflection  1 – Sweller and Chandler

Overview

Sweller and Chandler (1994) report on research conducted to examine assumptions of cognitive load theory. There research attempts to forward a cognitive model in which working memory faces constraints, but long-term memory, where information is stored as schemas, is vast and provides opportunities for automation. They suggest that instructional design can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of information encoding if these assumptions are considered during the design of instruction.

Sweller and Chandler (1994) suggest that information can be difficult to process due to the intrinsic structure of the information which they deem unalterable and beyond the scope of their research. Instead, they focus on extraneous cognitive load; specifically, the interaction of elements which they propose can be addressed through proper structuring and presentation of information within the design. They suggest that the structure and presentation of information can be designed to maximize schema acquisition and automation, two areas they deem “major learning mechanisms.” Their presented research focuses on issues of extraneous cognitive load related to a) split attention and b) redundancy which they suggest can be caused by element interactivity. Element interactivity exists when multiple elements of information must be processed at the same time.

Schemas are described as a means of organizing information with existing information in long term memory which, in turn, reduced cognitive load. Instead of encoding each element of newly presented material, we are able to integrate new information with existing schemas. Automation describes the eventual automatic processing of information and is gained through practice and time. It allows a “bypass” of working memory and reduced processing demands.

Research

Sweller and Chandler (1994) proposed that cognitive load is related to element interactivity, including the number of elements that must be considered together and the degree to which elements must be learned at the same time. While the element interactivity will be different based upon the existing knowledge of the learner, extraneous cognitive load can result through the design of instruction.

To study their hypothesis, they examined the impact of learning to use new equipment from manuals alone from manuals, plus the equipment.  In contrast to other theories which place emphasis on “learning by doing”, their research supported their prediction that the equipment would interfere with learning due to the interactivity noted above.

Influence of Paper

As noted, the forwarded hypothesis and research findings appear in direct contradiction to many prevalent “learning by doing” instructional prescriptions. Therefore, engagement in what Sweller and Chandler (1994) refer to as “irrelevant cognitive activities”, defined by them as “any activity not directed to schema acquisition and automation” may unnecessarily increase cognitive load and hamper the processing of to-be-learned material. Can you say “black box” waiting to be filling with knowledge?

While on a pure encoding and processing basis, it is hard to argue against their research findings. However, isn’t learning and knowledge creation more than about maximizing the information you can process during a single learning event? It seems to be also about gaining interest, long term engagement with the material, co-creation of knowledge with peers, and integrating to-be-learned information into ongoing lifetime activities. Using their research example, while it may be increase extraneous cognitive load, touching and manipulating the equipment likely increases interest in learning about the material. Likely, there is a balance to be struck between activities to encourage interest and engagement with the material and activities to purely promote cognitive processing. It seems a boring and bleak prospect to contemplate education where only activities “directed to schema acquisition and automation” are considered.

Reflection 2 – Mayer and Moreno

Overview

Mayer and Moreno (1998) report on research conducted to extend prior research on “split attention” effects.  While the results of their research are described as a split-attention effect in which learning is improved when pictures are accompanied by auditory narration as compared to written narration, a dual modality effect seems a more appropriate description. Mayer and Moreno suggest that when learners must attend to both words and pictures, they are better able to hold and process the information when the words are processed in auditory working memory (as verbal narrations) and pictures in visual working memory. In contrast, when words and pictures are presented visually, visual working memory is taxed. Further, when words and pictures presented in separate modalities, learners are are better able build connections between the two due to the availability of working memory to devote attention to the connections.

Research

While prior research focused on paper based materials, Mayer and Moreno (1998) conducted their study using computer based multimedia. Within their study, they compared the learning outcomes of learners who viewed animation with on-screen text (Group AT) with those who viewed the animation with auditory animation (Group AN). Unlike Group AN, those in Group AT must represent all of the material in visual working memory. Therefore, based on dual-processing theory, a split-attention effect was predicted (again, a dual modality effect?) in which Group AN would perform better than Group AT in the study’s retention measures. This predicted result is in contrast to the information-equivalency hypothesis which would predict no difference given the same information was presented to both Group AT and Group AN.

The superior retention results of Group AN suggest support for dual-processing theory; presentation of words and visual images in separate modalities is more effective than presentation in the same modality. In turn, this provides evidence against the information-equivalency hypothesis.

Influence of Paper

As noted, this study suggests support for dual-processing theory and appears to conflict with the information-equivalency hypothesis which suggests the modality of delivery does not matter. As such, designers should not focus solely on what information to present to learners, but also how the information is presented. As suggested by this research, working memory appears to become taxed when both words and pictures are presented in the same modality. Therefore, as indicated by the researchers, multimedia presentations should mix auditory narration with visual presentations of pictures and animations.

Further, given that the results suggest it is possible to overload learners with information that cannot be effectively processed within working memory, care should be given to how much information is presented. Designers should resist the “everything AND the kitchen sink” and carefully vet information that is to be presented to learners.

Reflection 3 – Nadolski, Kirshner, van Merrienboer, and Worethchofer

Overview

Based on their research, Nadolski, Kirshner, van Merrienboer, and Worethchofer (2005) forward an instrument to measure and rank learning task complexity. This research builds off of several other task analysis scales, including that from Merrill’s Component Design Theory which ranks performance complexity across four levels (very simple, simple, complex and very complex).  The description on page 4 of the paper provides a meaningful description of how the authors conceive of “complexity” which reminded me of the spirit of the famed “Bloom’s Taxonomy”, as well as the condensed and amended version presented in the “Green Book” by Reigeluth (1999):

Research

The research questions center on: 1) what characteristics makes a good rater and 2) what consistency is there in rankings across raters? Overall, the findings indicate that the raters’ experience as a student learning the task held greater influence than expertise.  In addition, raters were most consistent on the outer ends (categories 1 and 4), but overlapped significantly in the mid range (categories 2 and 3).
Based on the research findings, Nadolski et al. (2005) suggest other areas of future research. First, would clarification of the frame of reference result in more confident ratings from the raters? Second, does use of this rating tool increase the effectivenss of instructional designs?

Influence of Paper

This research and paper forwards an instrument to assist in rating task complexity.  Those who have attempted to create instructional strategies based off of a task analysis know how important, yet how difficult it is to have an understanding of where the learner is “at” in terms of being able to comprehend and synthesize the material.  However, the paper seems to leave several questions unaddressed.

As noted in the report, the complexity rankings appear to overlap greatly when assessing mid-range complexity (categories 2 and 3). Therefore, is it necessary to have 4 rankings or would 3 categories (simple, medium, complex) tell us just as much? Also, it is unclear how this ranking system influences the choice of instructional strategies. The paper doesn’t provide a tie in to how instructional strategies would differ based on the rankings. In other words, if the task is considered more or less complex, what does that mean in terms of what instructional design strategies to chose? In addition, is there a meaningful difference in what strategy one would employ beyond strategies to facilitate recall and application? Also, as these rankings are relative to the learner’s prior experience with the task, what is the tie in to the learner analysis? In other words, how are varying degrees of task complexity (based on learner’s prior knowledge) addressed when setting whole class instructional strategies?

Reflection 4 – van Merrienboer and Sweller

Overview

Integrating aspects from the other papers reviewed this week, van Merrienboer and Sweller (2005) consider cognitive load theory in relation to the instructional design of complex learning. Based on early research in cognitive load, prescriptions focused on the reduction of extraneous cognitive load, including recommendations of stripped down instruction to foster efficient information processing. Over time, these prescriptions have evolved. van Merrienboer and Sweller examine that evolution, including the research and resulting prescriptions.

Cognitive Load Theory

Early research on cognitive load focused on the limited working memory capacity to processes new information obtained through sensory memory during fairly limited learning situations. This research supported the hypothesis that there is not the same working memory limitation with regard to retrieval of information from long-term memory and suggested that, through experience, learners form and refine schemas to organize and aid in the processing of information. In turn, processing becomes more automatic over time and with practice.

Intrinsic cognitive load, which is associated with the task complexity, has largely been considered “a given” by researchers. Each task is considered to have a certain number of elements to be processed and working memory is limited to the amount it can process. In contrast, extraneous cognitive load can either positively or negatively impacted by how information is presented and instructional methods and practices. As noted previously, materials which add a high degree of interactivity are harder to process. A common assumption is that instructional methods which decrease extraneous cognitive load will in turn lead to better schema construction, automaticity, and better transfer.

In this paper, van Merrienboer highlight several studies which suggest instructional methods to reduce extraneous cognitive load (several discussed previously in this report) and track major new directions in cognitive load theory, including theory and research related to 1) embedding learning in authentic complex settings, 2) extended learning sessions, and 3) expertise assessment. These issues extend the evaluations of cognitive load from simple learning tasks to more complex learning situations.

Complex learning includes higher numbers of interacting elements which appear to be positively affected by a decrease in extraneous cognitive load (as previously discussed), as well as sequencing of content for reduction in intrinsic cognitive load. Some suggest sequencing should focus on a progression of the most familiar to the least, while others suggest beginning with the required elements which represent the whole. Further, research suggests complex learning tasks which involve problem-solving benefit from learning the processes and hints prior to engaging in problem solving (by developing schema prior to practice) and by sequencing and incorporating problem constraints in lieu of embedding the hints or cues into the problem, as is sometimes done with the use of problem-solving process worksheets.

Further, research regarding the expertise reversal effect suggests that instructional methods that foster learning for novices do not help (and may harm) the learning of experts. This line of research supports the instructional prescription of beginning with structured worked problems and progressing toward more realistic problems as the learner’s expertise increases. These findings and prescriptions carry through to computer mediated learning which suggests adapting the instruction to the learner’s expertise fosters learning more than presenting the same instruction regardless of level.    

Influence of Paper

This paper helps to meld previous research into cognitive load theory with other more recent instructional theories. As noted previously, many of the prescriptions related to cognitive load theory imply a stripped down instruction which focus on reducing extraneous cognitive load. This approach would seem to contradict other research which suggests situating learning in rich and authentic learning environments where learners tackle complex and ill defined problems. Therefore, this paper is important as it builds a bridge across cognitive load research, as well as to other seemingly less related theories and research findings.

Overall, the highlighted research suggests that learning in authentic settings with realistic problems can be supported through effective sequencing of content and by first learning problem solving processes prior to task engagement. In addition, it is important to consider than novices and experts respond differently to worked problems versus realistic problems. The worked problems which may help novices reduce extraneous cognitive load, may not be effective for experts. In contrast, realistic problems which may be most appropriate for experts may overburden novices. Therefore, effort should be made to gauge learner expertise and tailor the instruction according.

References

Mayer, R. E.; Moreno, R. (1998). A Split-Attention Effect in Multimedia Learning: Evidence for Dual Processing Systems in Working Memory. . Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(2) p312-20 Jun.

Nadolski, R. J.; Kirschner, P. A.; van Merrienboer, J. J.G. (2005). Development of an Instrument for Measuring the Complexity of Learning Tasks . Educational Research and Evaluation, 11(1) p1-27 Feb 2005

Reigeluth, C. M. (1999). Instructional design theories and models. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum.

 

Message Design: Reading Reflection W4

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Reflection Week 4 Submitted: June 5, 2008 Reflection – Winn By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Overview Winn, W. (1982) presents an essay related to visual cognitive processing. He addresses perception, information assimilation, and learning by analogy. The stated purpose is to discuss instructional practices based on visual cognitive processes. Visual Cognition What is it? Winn (1982) makes a distinction between visualization in learning (associated with the internal cognitive processes) and visualization in instruction (embedded and detached instructional strategies causing internal visual processing). While learning involves internal processes, instruction is external. Winn suggests that instruction, through the use of instructional strategies, attempts to address: a) basic cognitive processes, b) mental skills, and c) learning skills. Citing Rigney, Winn notes two types of strategies: 1) orienting tasks (triggering cognitive processes), and 2) student capabilities (mental skills), as well as detached (independent of subject matter) and embedded (within the instruction) strategies. Representation. As discussed in other papers below, the relationship between the visualization and the referent is important. Some, such as Knowlton, suggest the need for concrete and realistic representations, except in cases when abstract concept must be presented. Others, such as Salomon, do not share this belief, but view as more important the “correspondence”, or the meaning conveyed, and the internal processes (creation of knowledge structures or schemata). As such, a debate arises over whether visual information is processed internally as a) images or b) propositions which some suggest are ultimately integrated into a single representation. Schema. A key concern is the internal processing of visual information as it relates to the interaction of schemata with the perceived information. Conceived of as knowledge clusters, schemata represent concepts and relationships and influence how information is interpreted. Turvy distinguishes iconic memory (literal representations) from schematic memory (abstract representations). Research suggests that the processing level impacts how visual information is represented. At higher levels, visual information is stored and retrieved more abstractly in long term memory where it exists as schemata. Importance of Paper Heuristics for Designers. The paper provides a bridge between theory and practice. Instructional strategies related to visual processes are suggested to influence a) perceptual processes (integrative visual displays), b) assimilative processes (integrating into schemata), and c) analogical processes (temporary abstract schema). Strategies addressing perceptual processes are geared to assisting learners to integrate features of perceived information and involve placing related features near each other. Cuing strategies, which have been shown to improve assimilative processes, focus on integrating information into schemata, include drawing attention to critical attributes, the use of color, and embedding questions. Analogical strategies focus on the processing of new information where no schemata exist and include helping learners to create new links and structures through the use of visual images. 1|Page Reflection Week 4 Submitted: June 5, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Future Research. The paper also provides suggestions for future research. Given the importance of schema to the encoding and retrieval of visual information, research recommendations focus on assessment of strategies to not only address perceptual processing, but also strategies to support assimilation of to-be-learned information into existing schema. Reflection 2 – Anglin, Vaez, and Cunningham Overview Anglin, Vaez, and Cunningham (2004) provide a broad review of literature related to visual representations and learning, including the role of static and animated graphics. Citing Levie, they note four lines of research on illustrations: 1) picture perception, 2) memory for pictures, 3) learning and cognition, and 4) affective responses to pictures. Within this review, Anglin et al. review the theories and research in these areas and make recommendations for future studies. Theory of Perception Anglin et al. (2004) begin with a brief overview of theory related to picture perception. Based on work by Brunelleschi of Florence, a Renaissance theory emerged which is based on the technique of linear perspective as a means of representing a 3D image onto a 2D surface and the premise that our ability to understand pictures is due to optical equivalence between the picture and the referent. However, how does this premise account for different people having different perceptions or artists using different referent points to create the picture image? Launching from a linear perspective, Gibson’s resemblance theory of perception is based on a “point of observation” containing the same “kind of information” as the referent. Beyond lines and shapes, it includes other “invariants” which are described as stable and enduring structures of the referent. Gombrich extends the theory beyond the structure of the referent to the cognition of the receiver; as such, perception is in the eye of the beholder based on established and evolving schema. Yet, Hagen suggests that the meaning is reciprocally established between the stimulus and the receiver; each affects each other. Kennedy’s Metalistic Approach adds to the notion that it is incomplete to not consider the perspective of the one attempting to communicate the picture. What is the message he / she is attempting to communicate? Setting aside concepts of direct or personal perceptions, the Gestalt approach is founded in the notion that perception is an interpretation of the whole. In suggesting that the parts are not perceived at once, Hochberg argues against the Gestalt approach. In contrast to all of these perspectives, a semiotic approach forwarded by Knowlton is concerned with symbols and signs which are chosen to suggest or resemble the referent. Goodman extends the role of perspective based on resemblance of symbols to suggest a symbol system which can represent the referent by depicting it, exemplify the referent by being a sample, or express the affective meaning. Memory Models Research suggests that picture memory is superior to word memory. Models, including dual code (two codes for processing and storing information), single code (visual information is 2|Page Reflection Week 4 Submitted: June 5, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 stored as abstract propositions), and sensory-semantic (pictures are processed semantically), are suggested to explain this. Importance of Paper Heuristics for Designers. Anglin et al. (2004) highlight numerous essays and research on the topic of pictures and knowledge. While the author’s note conflicting results across the numerous studies they survey, as well as difficulty in providing generalizable conclusions, the paper provides an incredible recap of findings and heuristics and offers a launching point for further research. The final table offers a useful summary of major studies, the treatment, as well as the results. Based on theories and research reviewed here and in previous reflections, it is important for designers to also consider the use of pictures and animated graphics in an attempt to reduce extraneous cognitive load. In addition, it is important for the designer to consider theory and research related to multiple representations (as in that by Ainsworth) in which multiple reorientations are used to a) complement, b) constrain, and c) construct. Future Research. Overall, Anglin et al. (2004) call for research to consider work on human cognition. Specifically, they see a need to study cognitive load theory in light of the theory of multiple representations. A key research question is whether or not multiple representations overload or support the development of schemas? Reflection 3 – Winn and Everett Overview Winn and Everett (1979) focus on the affective factors related to the use of color. While previous studies focused on cognitive aspects related to color, Winn and Everett conducted experiments to assess the subject’s perception of: 1) evaluation (good/bad; happy/sad; fair/unfair), 2) activity (fast/slow; hot/cold; restless/quiet), 3) potency (large/small, strong/weak, heavy/light), and 4) red / blue scale for color pictures. They also assessed the differences in these measures across age and gender of K12 school children. Research The study focused on public school children. 14 pictures were selected for use in the study from a batch of 572 based on the picture’s highly positive or negative appeal, the active or passive nature, a full range of color, as well as its realist to abstract properties. Based on the scale noted above, no significant difference occurred overall for evaluation or activity measures. However, significant differences appeared in the potency dimension, as well as the red-blue dimensions. Overall, black and white slides were more potent (perceived as large, strong, and heavy) than color slides which were rated redder suggesting to the researchers that “potency [a negative quality] is associated with the absence of warm colors”. Further, significant differences occurred for sex and grade level where younger subjects rated the slides better than older subjects, suggesting that older subjects were less affected by the colors. In addition, male ratings of color slides were better and more potent than females. Importance of Paper 3|Page Reflection Week 4 Submitted: June 5, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 While the authors note the limitations associated with this study (due to a not completely random assignment and small sample size), the results seem to suggest that color impacts affective perceptions. In addition, these affective perceptions appear to vary on some dimensions based on age and sex. Further, the results indicate that unique qualities of the picture also determine how it is rated. Reflection 4 – Winn, Li, and Schill Overview Winn, Li, and Schill (1991) present finding from research conducted to explain why diagrams are effective in instruction when used either in conjunction with or when replacing text. Their research centered around two hypotheses: 1) that diagrams reduce the amount of search learners have to do when answering questions and 2) that diagrams reduce the amount of computation. Research and Results Prior findings. Winn et al. (1991) review prior research which suggests that a) objects near each on a page are often assumed to have common characteristics, b) diagrams can act as advance and post-organizers for text and can improve comprehension, and c) diagrams can help to teach relationships. They suggest that this effectiveness is due to a reduced amount of information the learner must process, the ease in finding information, and the reduction in the need to compute solutions. Further, they note how familiarity with terms and conventions can affect interpretations and encoding strategies. Results. Given these findings from prior research, Winn et al. (1991) conducted two experiments. Experiment 1 addressed how diagrams facilitate “search and computation in problem solving” and Experiment 2 addressed the impact of familiar materials. The results of the experiments suggest that diagrams that present relationships in spatial arrangements lead to more efficient problem solving. Further, learners who are able to apply previously known information about the to-be-learned content develop more efficient strategies than those not familiar with the content. Influence of Paper Heuristics for Designers. While the authors note that their findings are not generalizable outside of diagrams that communicate special relationships among concepts, the research suggests that diagrams offer a more efficient means of presenting information to learners. As such, instructional design heuristics include using diagrams over text when the to-be-learned information includes relationships among concepts. Further, diagrams should be considered for learners with familiarity with the material. Research Recommendations. The paper also provides recommendations for future research. Adding to the recommendations by Winn et al. (1979) and Winn (1982) noted above, suggested research includes studies to assess the effect of expertise on computation, as well as the relationship between mental models (schemas) and diagrams. 4|Page Reflection Week 4 Submitted: June 5, 2008 References By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Anglin, G. J., Vaez, H., Cunningham, K. L. (2004). Visual representation and learning: The roles of static and animated graphics. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 2nd Ed. Chapter 33, pp. 865-916 Winn, W. (1982). Visualization in learning and instruction: a cognitive approach. ETR&D, 30(1), 3-25. Winn, W. & Everett, R. J. (1979). Affective rating of color and black-and-white pictures. ECTJ,27(2), 148-156. Winn, W., Li, T., & Schill, D. (1991). Diagrams as aids to problem solving: Their role in facilitating search and computation. ETR&D, 39 (1), 17-29. 5|Page

Message Design: Reading Reflection W5

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Reflection Week 5 Submitted: June 12, 2008 Reflection – Hartley By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Overview Hartley (2004) provides a comprehensive overview of the design of informational text. He covers key typography considerations, navigational aspects, writing for understanding, and design considerations for those with special needs. While Hartley notes in the introduction that there are no theoretical perspectives driving this paper, he covers a broad range of research to derive the heuristics described below. Summary of Key Findings Typography. Regarding page size, Hartley notes that typography choices depend on several practical considerations including: a) how the information is going to be read, b) reader preference, c) production cost, and d) printing conventions. While margins, column width, and type size depend greatly on printing considerations, the spacing of sentences and paragraphs, headings use, and the total number of lines on a page should be carefully considered and utilized in a consistent manner throughout the work While preference plays a part in typeface selection, Hartley cites typeface research by Black which suggests that the selection should reflect the availability of the typeface. This is also an important consideration in onscreen displays, as well. In addition, Hartley notes that serif fonts (with finishing strokes) are often recommended for the body while sans serif fonts are used for a) headings, b) older readers, or c) when smaller sized typefaces are required. Given the large amount of research on color, Hartley chooses to present the key generalizations (as discussed in previous reflections), including the overall finding that color selection can impact learning. Navigation. The overriding pragmatic message is that text should be readable, properly sequenced, and facilitate skimming, searching, and re-reading. The structure of titles, summaries, signal words (such as “therefore” or “however”), outlines, and headings can all provide visual cues to learners. Further, separated itemized lists have been shown to be superior to continuous lists within a sentence. Hartley notes that there is no clear consensus on the use of call out boxes. However, based on research reviewed in prior reflections, it would seem call out boxes of related text would produce split attention effects similar to those found in research on diagrams. Writing for understanding. When writing for understanding it is important to consider the paragraph, sentence, and word length, potential ambiguities (such as acronyms), and qualifiers (use of words like “often”). Hartley provides a summary of ways to clarify text for readers, including starting a new sentence rather than using multiple clauses and writing in an active positive voice versus a passive negative voice. However, he cautions that making the text more interesting may come at the cost of distracting the learner from the important messages of the passage. Hartley also addresses design considerations specifically related to textbook design. He suggests that the text should be geared to the target audience, written to contemplate the ability and experience level of the learners, and include examples, questions, and supplementary material. 1|Page Reflection Week 5 Submitted: June 12, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Readers with special needs. Hartley summarizes cognitive research on aging and ability and ties it back to message design considerations. The findings he cites suggest that working memory capacity declines with age while task difficult tends to increase with age. Therefore, factors such as verbal ability, prior knowledge, text structure, and recall of instructions become increasingly important as the age of the reader increases. Message design strategies, including the use of larger type, more readable text, and clarifying structures, can assist perceptual and memory processing for older adults and those with impaired abilities. Importance of Paper Hartley provides designers with a host of best practices with regard to creating text based instructional materials. He describes important findings from research and highlights areas where no research has been conducted, but where practical conventions have been established. Hartley also provides a good overview of ways to measure text difficulty and to present instructional material. The greatest strength of this paper is Hartley’s pragmatic approach to message design. While he provides many detailed heuristics, there is an overriding theme of “do what makes sense” … for the situation, for the reader, etc. Further, he tends to advocate keeping things simple and making the typographic choices transparent to the learner. As noted on page 922, “There is no need to use three or more additional cues when one or two will do.” Another key take-a-way from the paper is that a reader’s reaction to typography is learned. As he notes on page 921, young readers are not aware of the significance of common presentation and organizational conventions, such as the use of headings, bold letters, or italics. Further, he reminds us that these conventions are not perceived in the same manner by all learners. Hartley closes with recommendations for future research. Noting the increasing control readers have over text presentation, he suggests that optimal message design features (such typefaces, sizes, summaries, and headings) be further assessed in order to give readers vetted choices. Reflection – Meyer and Poon Overview Meyer and Poon (2001) assess the effect of providing learners with structure and interest strategy training. They conducted research to assess the hypothesis that learners can benefit from training to recognize and use common text signals, structures, and conventions when reading. Research and Findings Research. Those in the experimental group received structure strategy training which taught learner to recognize and use signals. The hypothesis was that training would a) increase total recall, b) increase the amount of information remembered, c) improve organization of recall, and d) increase strategy use. Findings. The findings suggest that the training in the structure strategies increased overall information recall, increased recall for the key information in the text, affected the organization of recall, and increased strategy use. However, contrary to other findings, the 2|Page Reflection Week 5 Submitted: June 12, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 signaling within the text did not significantly increase recall. Overall, the findings suggest that structure strategy training can improve recall regardless of the signals presented in the text. Importance of Paper Given this semester is about message design, it seems fair game to critique the message design of the work itself. Through this semester’s sprint through media design literature, I have developed a very short fuse for poorly written research papers that dance and zigzag through the description of the research and the findings. Unfortunately, this paper falls in that category. The report is so poorly written that the key message (that structure strategy training can improve recall regardless of the signals presented in the text) is almost entirely lost. While I was able to take a stab at the key findings above, it is just my best guess following repeated readings. The abstract is one of the most poorly written paragraphs I have ever read and includes this incomprehensible sentence, “There was an additive effect of training plus signaling for use of the structure strategy consistently across five passages.” WHAT? Give the reader at least a fighting chance to figure out what you are writing about! Unfortunately, things get worse from there, including this gem on page 144: If a control group (receiving no instruction) does not differ in organization of recall from the interest group using the list strategy but does differ from the structure strategy group, then the dominant learner strategy for the sample of adult readers may be the list strategy, or alternatively, another strategy not focused on text structure. If, however, the control group is more similar to the structure strategy group than to the interest-list group, then the dominant reader strategy in the prose learning settings is more likely to be the structure strategy. Reflection – Jonassen Overview Several writers contribute to the four reviewed chapters in The Technology of Text edited by Jonassen (1982 and 1985). Chapter topics include signaling the text structure (Meyer, 1985), headings (Hartley and Jonassen, 1985), text as diagrams (Waller, 1982), and textual display techniques (Duchastel, 1985). Important Themes in Chapters Signaling the text structure. Meyer (1985) discusses the importance of writing plans, including the significance of organizing around main ideas and the sequencing of key ideas. Research suggests that presenting readers with a visible plan aids in reader interpretation. According to Meyer, content is generally organized and sequenced based on a) association, b) time sequence, c) causal relationships, d) problem / solution, or e) comparison. According to Meyer, the overall plan should be signaled to learners through four means: 1) cues about the structure, 2) preview statements, 3) summary statements, and 4) cues about important words, 3|Page Reflection Week 5 Submitted: June 12, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 including pointer words, underlining, or italics. Titles, subtitles, abstracts, introductions, summaries, and figures should also be used to highlight main themes. Headings. Hartley and Jonassen (1985) address the significance of headings as tools to support encoding and retrieval. They note the contradictions found in research regarding the significance (or lack thereof) of headings. While they cover much of the same ground addressed by other authors in this selection of reflections, they make a distinction between the uses of headings in electronic versus printed displays. They note that while the headings serve similar orientation and signaling functions, headings also serve a type of navigation (or bread crumb) function in electronic text menus which point to important sections. Text as Diagram. Waller (1982) considers texts as a form of diagram which represents component ideas and relationships among them. He suggests that typography and layout should be guided by three distinct functions: 1) syntactic structure (graphical ordering and grouping on the page), b) artefactual effects (spatial components on the page), and 3) use by reader. As discussed elsewhere in this reflection, the signaling effect of text provides an aid to readers by offering both an overview of material and assistance in planning a reading strategy. Noted global aids include content lists, concept diagrams, indices, glossaries, objectives, and summaries, as well as embedded cues for readers found in headings, punctuation, and other page layout conventions such as the chosen typeface, text size, and color choices. Textual display techniques. Duchastel (1985) reviews the significance of text presentation on a page. He asserts that text can be seen as both the communication medium and the message (the subject matter) which must be processed by the reader. Duchastel argues that is important to consider text as more than just the “package” for the message. He asserts that the textual display features and techniques should be considered in terms of how they impact processing by the reader. He focuses on three processing areas: 1) attention, 2) comprehension, and 3) retention. Duchastel suggests that all three of these areas are impacted by the learner’s ability to select and focus upon important information from the text. Therefore, he places great emphasis on display techniques, including the use of headings, subheadings, terminology markers, content markers, implicit highlighting (overviews and advance organizers), explicit highlighting (typography), and illustrations, designed to help readers focus on important points and selectively process the text. Reflection – Ward Ward (1955) offers important reminders and suggestions regarding typography. She stresses a focus on coherent expression of thought. This applies to content presentation, as well as the content itself. As noted in my rant above, readers should not be left screaming, "TELL ME YOUR POINT ALREADY!" In addition, she reminds us that the purpose of writing is to convey thoughts, ideas, and images from one mind to another. Therefore, the focus must be on what will best foster that conveyance with fewest distractions and interruptions. A focus on anything else (flair and frills) will instead cloud the message. Ward drives home this need for transparency in transmission by stating that the printed page should be an “unnoticed vehicle for transmission of ideas” ... cool! 4|Page Reflection Week 5 Submitted: June 12, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Ward also suggests that good writing involves thoughtful work on the part of the writer. The harder the writer works to properly convey the message, the less hard the reader will have to work to comprehend the message and the more likely the message will be received as intended. 5|Page Reflection Week 5 Submitted: June 12, 2008 References By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Duchastel, P. (1982). Textual display techniques. In D. Jonassen, Ed. (1982), The technology of text: Principles for structuring, designing, and displaying text. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. Hartley, J. (2004). Designing instructional and informational text. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 2nd Ed. Chapter 34 917-948. Hartley, J. & Jonassen, D. (1985) The role of headings in printed and electronic text. In D. Jonassen, Ed. (1985), The technology of text: Principles for structuring, designing, and displaying text Volume 2. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. Jonassen, D. H. (2004). Handbook of research on educational communications and technology. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum. Meyer, B. (1985). Signaling the structure of text. In D. Jonassen, Ed. (1985), The technology of text: Principles for structuring, designing, and displaying text Volume 2. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. Meyer, B. J. F., & Poon, L. W. (2001). Effects of structure strategy training and signaling on recall of text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 141–159. Waller, R. (1982). Text as a diagram: Using typography to improve access and understanding. In D. Jonassen, Ed. (1982), The technology of text: Principles for structuring, designing, and displaying text. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications. Ward, B. (1955). The Crystal Goblet, or Printing Should Be Invisible. . Retrieved June 8, 2008, from http://gmunch.home.pipeline.com/typo-L/misc/ward.htm. 6|Page

Message Design: Reading Reflection W6

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Reflection Week 6 Submitted: June 19, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Reflection – Kester, Kirschner, and van Merrienboer Overview Kester, Kirschner, and van Merrienboer (2006) conducted a study to assess the optimal presentation timing of declarative (conceptual) and procedural (task specific rule) information. Kester et al. contemplated the timing of presentation within the context of a computer mediated learning environment which incorporated problem solving practice tasks. They conducted their study under the premise of cognitive load theory that intrinsic load should be managed while reducing extraneous load and optimizing germane load. Their findings indicate that intrinsic knowledge can be managed by providing declarative and procedural information in what they term a “piece-by-piece” fashion. Further, their findings suggest that by providing declarative information before practice and procedural information during practice higher efficiency and effectiveness outcomes will results. Research Kester et al. (2006) were interested in determining if intrinsic cognitive load could be managed through altering the presentation of information. Further, they questioned if providing “just-in-time” information during practice would reduce extraneous cognitive load. Methods The investigation involved presenting learners with four different informationpresentation formats: 1) declarative before practice / procedural during practice, 2) declarative during practice / procedural before practice, 3) declarative before practice / procedural before practice, and 4) declarative after practice / procedural after practice. Effectiveness was measured through two types of performance tests while efficiency measured assessed learning outcomes relative to working memory allocation. Tested hypothesis. The primary hypothesis was that the formats involving presentation of declarative information before or during practice would result in higher performance and efficiency measures due to the management of intrinsic load (piece-by-piece presentation). Further, information presentation that includes declarative before / procedural during practice would be superior to the other three due to both the management of intrinsic load (as part of a piece-by-piece and just-in-time presentation). Findings. The research finding supports the primary “piece-by-piece” hypothesis. Presentation of all information prior to practice was shown in the study to be an inefficient and less effective option. Further, the just-in-time information presentation did not produce better efficiency or performance measures. Instead, the findings indicate that some information should be presented prior to practice and part during practice. Such a staggered approach was shown in the study to result in better efficiency and performance measures. By presenting information in this manner, learners are likely better able to allocate working memory capacity. Importance of Paper For designers. The study provides practical heuristics for designers. Based on the findings from the study, the optimal presentation strategy (to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the instruction) involves the staggering of presentation by giving some information prior to practice and some during practice. 1|Page Reflection Week 6 Submitted: June 19, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 For researchers. The paper also provides a good launch pad for future research. As noted by the authors, it is unclear if these results would occur with tasks and information having increased complexity. Questions also linger with regard to the how much control over information presentation should be given to learners. In addition, how much guidance or support should be given with regard to optimal presentation sequencing? 2|Page Reflection Week 6 Submitted: June 19, 2008 References By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Kester, L.; Kirschner, P. A.; van Merrienboer, J. J. G. (2006). Just-in-Time Information Presentation: Improving Learning a Troubleshooting Skill. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31 (2 ). 167-185 3|Page

Message Design: Reading Reflection W7

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Reflection Week 7 Submitted: June 21, 2008 Reflection – Mayer and Moreno By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Overview Mayer and Moreno (2003) suggest in a theory of multimedia learning that includes five essential cognitive processes to facilitate learning. These processes include 1) selecting words from auditory sensation coming from the ears, 2) selecting images from visual sensations coming from the eyes, 3) organizing words includes the construction of verbal representations coming from words, 4) organizing images includes the construction of pictorial representations coming from images, and 5) integrating the verbal and pictorial representations with prior knowledge. They offer definitions of key terminology and methods to overcome five types of cognitive overload. The following definitions are offered within the paper: Multimedia learning. Learning from words (printed or spoken) and pictures (static or dynamic). Meaningful learning. Attending to material, organizing it, and integrating it into existing knowledge. Essential processing. Refers to what is known as germane load in cognitive load theory (CLT). It includes the processing required to create meaning from the material. Incidental processing. Refers to what is known as extraneous load in CLT. It includes the processing required for nonessential material. Representational holding. The processing required to hold mental representations in working memory which is similar to intrinsic load in CLT. Cognitive Overload – Five Types and Methods to Overcome Essential processing demands (visual). When the visual channel is overloaded, moving some content to auditory presentation may assist in processing. This is known as a modality effect. Essential processing demands (auditory and visual). While both the auditory and visual channels are overloaded, segmenting content or providing pretraining of some component content may assist in processing. This is known as a segmentation effect. Essential and incidental processing of extraneous material. Both auditory and visual channels may be overloaded by a combination of both essential and incidental processing. Eliminating extraneous material (to avoid the coherence effect) or cuing the learner for how to process the information (to avoid the signaling effect) may reduce this overload. Essential and incidental processing of confusing presentation. Both auditory and visual channels may be overloaded by a combination of both essential and incidental processing due to confusing presentation. Aligning printed words near graphics (to avoid the spatial contiguity effect) or avoiding the same streams of both printed and spoken words (to avoid the redundancy effect) may reduce this overload. Essential processing and representational holding. Both auditory and visual channels may be overloaded by a combination of both essential and representational holding. Presenting narration and animation together (to avoid the temporal contiguity effect) or ensuring learners have prerequisite skills (to avoid the spatial ability effect) may reduce this overload. 1|Page Reflection Week 7 Submitted: June 21, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Importance of Paper This paper brings together the prior readings regarding cognitive load theory and relates it directly to multimedia design. In turn, specific heuristics are presented to designers to avoid cognitive overload. By summarizing years of research, Moreno and Mayer are able to suggest concise narrated animation as a means of avoiding cognitive overload. Further, the paper suggests a theory of multimedia learning which will further the study of cognitive load as it relates to multimedia learning. As noted by the authors, this could include research regarding how to assess cognitive load for experienced learners, measure demands of instructional materials, gauge available cognitive resources, and examine the linkage of these findings to longer and more complex online learning programs. Reflection – Moore, Burton, Myers Overview WOW! Moore, Burton, Myers (2004) provide a wide ranging review of theories and research related to multiple-channel communication. It is a great reading to summarize many of the papers we have read over the semester. Like the focus of this course, the paper addressed the acquisition, encoding, retrieval, and learner’s use of instructional messages, but centers the discussion on multiple-channel communication. Can learners accommodate simultaneous audio and visual stimuli? In what amount? In what type? These key questions are raised in the paper and research findings to answer them are highlighted. The following highlights some of the key take-a-way definitions, concepts, heuristics, and areas for future research that augment prior readings. Take-a-ways Multimedia. Moore et al. assess the multiple interpretations of this often used term. Some consider it the use of several media devices together, while others stress interactive systems. The authors limit their definition to “systems that include two forms of motion, voice, data, text, graphics, and still images.” Single versus multi-channel communication. While some suggest that information processing by one sense impedes the processing through other senses (Hernadez-Peon effect), others find that only small amounts can be processed simultaneously and that learners facing multi-channel presentations must switch from one channel to the next. These and other observations provide support to cognitive load theory discussed throughout this semester and to beliefs in the efficacy of single channel presentation. As cited in the paper, Hsia found from a review of literature that multiple channels are used until overloaded then processing focuses on a single channel. Further, increasing the amount of information does not increase rate of transmission. In other words, it does little good to hit them with everything and the kitchen sink. However, there is a contrasting body of research supporting context rich learning environments based on the premise that learning is increased as the cue and stimuli are increased. Multimedia research. Moore et al. note the multiple conceptions of multimedia and the commonly accepted definition of computer driven interactivity where the leaner can control and 2|Page Reflection Week 7 Submitted: June 21, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 sequence content. Therefore, learners can not only see or hear, but also “do” something with the instructional media. They note research which supports methods founded in the creation of complex and exploratory learning environments which provide learners with multiple perspectives that help them to integrate information into existing knowledge. Interactive features. Most notably for those working with the latest educational technologies, Moore et al. highlight the lack of research concentrating on the interactive features leaving practitioners and researchers with a “less than adequate research base.” Importance of Paper As noted, this paper reviews an incredible array of research relating to multi-channel instructional communication. While much of the research is contradictory, Moore et al. point out the contractions, as well as the parallels across decades of research. Unfortunately, they note that designers searching for “simple rationale, method or guideline for effective multimedia (multiple-channel) … will be disappointed in the relevant research.” Reflection – Lee, Plass, and Homer Overview The research question assessed by Lee, Plass, and Homer (2006) is how can cognitive load in visual computer simulations be optimized? In other words, how can intrinsic and generative load be managed while extraneous load is decreased? Working under the cognitive theory of multimedia learning and cognitive load theory, they investigated the visual complexity of computer simulations. Research Focus. Lee et al. defines computer simulations as interactive software programs which have a relatively high level of complexity. As noted in past research, high complexity causes high cognitive load. Therefore, designers must consider this and reduce any unnecessary load. However, Lee et al. note that very little research had been done on the high complexity in visual displays in simulations. As such, the goal of this research was to not only assess methods to control cognitive load, but to also examine how prior knowledge affects effectiveness of the chosen method. The study focused on methods to reduce the complexity (intrinsic cognitive load) without reducing content, as well as methods to reduce extraneous cognitive load. Hypothesis. Lee et al. predicted that cognitive load reducing methods (many reviewed here during the semester) would make the simulations more effective, especially for learners with low prior knowledge. Therefore, their hypothesis was that methods to reduce either intrinsic or extraneous cognitive load would enhance learning. Further, the differences were expected to be stronger for low prior knowledge learners than for high. Method and findings. Seventh grade participants viewed either an optimized or nonoptimized design simulation. No students had prior knowledge of the subject matter. Scores for comprehension and transfer were measured. On comprehension and transfer measures, they found better results with visual simulations where the content was separated into two screens rather than one. However, learners with higher prior knowledge benefited more than those who 3|Page Reflection Week 7 Submitted: June 21, 2008 By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 did not have prior knowledge. In contrast, the low prior knowledge learners performed best in the low complexity condition. This expert reversal effect was also seen when adjusting iconic and symbolic representations and controls for learners which demonstrated the ability to manipulate extraneous load and create conditions which improved comprehension and transfer. Importance of this Paper Heuristics for Designers. The findings offer designers suggestions for the design of visual simulations. Most significantly, designers should consider segmenting content delivery, as well as the learners’ prior knowledge of the subject matter as they attempt to achieve high comprehension and transfer with low extraneous cognitive load. For Researchers. As noted by the authors, the findings support the cognitive theory of multimedia learning and cognitive load theory. The research extends prior research related to visual materials (reversal effect), but also suggest that a) it may be possible to manipulate the intrinsic cognitive load to in turn manipulate extraneous load and b) the use of either iconic or symbolic representation of information may reduce extraneous load which prior research would suggest is redundant. 4|Page Reflection Week 7 Submitted: June 21, 2008 References By: Jennifer Maddrell For: Dr. Morrison, IDT 895 Lee, H., Plass, J., & Homer, B. (2006). Optimizing Cognitive Load for Learning from ComputerBased Science Simulations. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(4), 902-913. Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38, 43–52. Moore, D. M., Burton, J. K., & Myers, R. J. (2004). Multiple channel communication: The theoretical and research foundations of multimedia. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology, 2nd Ed. Chapter 36, pp. 9791005 5|Page

Network Analysis: The Role of Ties

This paper surveys sociology literature to consider prior theory and research on social networks with the goal of assessing how knowledge-based networks function. Findings from network analysis, including theory and research surrounding Granovetter’s network ties theory, provide insight into how networks are structured and the implications for innovation, diffusion, economic outcomes, and collective action. Network analysis theory and research provides support for knowledge-based networks as conduits for innovation and knowledge sharing. Knowledge management practices should focus on the development of weak tie bridges across organizational units and promote interdependence among strong tie network units.

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Knowledge Networks Running head: ROLE OF TIES IN KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS 1 Role of Ties in Knowledge Networks Jennifer Maddrell Old Dominion University IDT 895: Knowledge Management June 29, 2008 Knowledge Networks Abstract This paper surveys sociology literature to consider prior theory and research on social networks with the goal of assessing how knowledge-based networks function. Findings from network analysis, including theory and research surrounding Granovetter’s network ties theory, provide insight into how networks are structured and the implications for innovation, diffusion, economic outcomes, and collective action. Network analysis theory and research provides support for knowledge-based networks as conduits for innovation and knowledge sharing. Knowledge management practices should focus on the development of weak tie bridges across organizational units and promote interdependence among strong tie network units. 2 Knowledge Networks The Role of Ties in Knowledge Networks The increasing attention placed on knowledge management practices is producing a like interest in social network analysis (Allen, James, & Gamlen, 2007). Networks are heralded as conduits for knowledge sharing and innovation (Davenport & Prusak, 2000). The 2004 3 publication Innovation in the knowledge economy: implications for education and learning from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) highlights the possibilities for innovation that are created when unrestricted access and a free flow of information exists within knowledge-based networks. The overriding premise is that through open access to people, technologies, and information, new and exciting avenues for knowledge generation, innovation, and sharing are possible. While the focus is often on the power of computer-mediated communication tools to support and foster globally connected networks, are the tools the key to innovation facilitation or is it the network structures that are important? What is known about the social construction of these networks? What can be learned about the networks from past theory and research? This paper surveys sociology literature to assess prior theory and research on social networks with the goal of assessing how knowledge networks function. Social Network Research Notable Researchers The bulk of modern social network analysis theory and research has been produced since the late 1960s and early 1970s (Burt, 1992). Notable current network analysis researchers over this time include Ron Breiger, Ronald Burt, Mark Granovetter, David Knoke, Peter Marsden, Barry Wellman, and Harrison White (Emirbayer & Goodwin, 1994). Table 1 highlights where Knowledge Networks these researchers completed their doctoral programs and their current positions. As noted, most graduated in the late 1960s to mid 1970s and many were contemporaries at Harvard University. 4 As a measure of each researcher’s publication history, the number of papers and citations linked within the Thomas Scientific ISI Web of Science database as of June 22, 2008 are also listed in Table 1. All have published extensively in the area of social network analysis. While Granovetter has one of the lowest publication rates of his contemporaries, his works have received double the citations as the next highest researcher. Table 1. Notable network analysis researchers and their academic and publication histories. Author Breiger, RL Ph.D., Harvard University (1975) University of Arizona, Professor of Sociology Burt, RS Ph.D., University of Chicago (1977) The University of Chicago, Professor of Sociology Granovetter, M (and MS) Ph.D., Harvard University (1970) Stanford University, Professor of Sociology Knoke, D Ph.D., University of Michigan (1972) University of Minnesota, Professor of Sociology Marsden, PV Ph.D., University of Chicago (1973) Harvard University, Professor of Sociology Wellman, B Ph.D., Harvard University (1969) University of Toronto, Professor of Sociology White, H (and HC) Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D. Princeton University (1955) Columbia University, Professor of Sociology Publications 21 70 28 110 81 100 Times Cited 975 2,852 5,723 1,182 1,695 1,690 120 1,526 Notable Research Following an extensive review of network research literature, Hoang and Antoncic (2003) found three primary threads of research, including: 1) the content of the network relationships, 2) the governance of the network relationships, and 3) network structure, including patterns of Knowledge Networks 5 relationships from direct and indirect ties within the network. The area that has attracted the most social network research attention is based on the theories of network tie strength (Marsden & Campbell, 1994). Within a recent literature review on network analysis, Jack (2005) notes that most network studies use and apply Granovetter’s network tie hypothesis. Network Ties Granovetter began studying network ties in his doctoral research at Harvard University (Burt, 1992). He outlined his theory on network ties in his first journal publication in 1973 entitled “The Strength of Weak Ties” published in The American Journal of Sociology. Granovetter (1973) suggests social networks analysis as a way to bridge micro and macro levels of sociological theory. He argued that while both micro issues relating to small groups and macro issues, such as diffusion, social cohesion, social mobility, and community organization, were being heavily researched, there was a lack of focus on their interaction. Therefore, Granovetter focused his attention on the strength of interpersonal ties and the resulting impact on macro level issues. Increasing Interest in Network Tie Theory While Granovetter (1983) revisited and expanded his theory on network ties, the interest in his original work has steadily increased. Based on the noted citation information from the Thomson Science ISI Web of Science database, Figure 1 highlights the sharp and continuous increase in the numbers of papers citing Granovetter’s 28 publications listed in the database, including over 300 citations already in the first six months of 2008. Notably, over 40% of Granovetter’s total citations are to his original 1973 publication. Knowledge Networks Figure 1. Citations of Granovetter’s Publications, as of June 2008. 6 Strength and Structure of Network Ties Strength of network ties. Granovetter (1973, p. 1361) defined the strength of a tie as a “combination of the amount of time, the emotional intensity, the intimacy (mutual confiding), and the reciprocal services which characterize a tie.” As such, a tie can be considered strong, weak, or absent. Given the amount of time needed to form a strong tie, Granovetter suggested that the stronger the tie between individuals, the greater the overlap in their friendships. Density of network. Linked to this overlap in friendships, density refers to the proportion of possible connections among individuals (or nodes) and is measured by the extent to which individual’s contacts are interconnected (Hoang & Antoncic, 2003). Therefore, denser networks have more unique paths between any two given nodes. Research suggests that due to cognitive and emotional limits on the number of social ties a person can have, larger groups will have lower density than small groups (Granovetter, 2005). Knowledge Networks Holes in network. Burt (1992) expanded upon Granovetter’s network model by focusing on the importance of network holes which exist in the absence of network ties. While Granovetter’s original hypothesis focuses on the significance of all bridges being weak ties, 7 Burt’s emphasis is on the network holes which are bridged. Burt argues that people with ties into multiple networks have a strategic advantage and can exploit structural holes in the network. Therefore, the individual in the bridging position holds power and influence over those unconnected to the broader network (Hoang & Antoncic, 2003). From these descriptions of network structure is the conception of networks comprised of clusters of strong tie relationships bridged by weak tie acquaintances, as illustrated in Figure 2. By making a case that all bridges are weak ties, Granovetter (1973) laid the groundwork for theory and research on social structure beyond the primary group and on relationships between groups. Figure 2. Strong and Weak Interpersonal Ties. Knowledge Networks Implications of Network Ties As noted, Granovetter’s theories and research and the numerous studies that followed have assessed the implication of strong and weak tie relationships within a network. Based on theory and research findings, the following highlights the implications of strong and weak 8 network ties on diffusion, innovation, bridging value, economic outcomes, norms, and collective action. Diffusion and message transmission. Given Granovetter’s assumption that all bridges are weak ties, there are important implications regarding diffusion and new message transmission. Granovetter (1973) suggests that while hundreds of diffusion studies had been carried out by Rogers and others, the importance of weak ties in diffusion had not been considered in prior research. Granovetter argues that new information spreads among separate clusters of people through the weak ties. Implicit in this argument is that those individuals and clusters of individuals with few weak ties will not benefit from new messages from other social clusters and diffusion will be hampered. Unfortunately, research also suggests that while weak ties may facilitate the transmission of new information, the transmissions through indirect ties often become distorted and the messages are prone to misunderstanding (Hansen, 2002). Innovation. Innovation often requires the creation of new relationships and connections to novel resources, knowledge, and information. Burt (1992) suggests that given the overlap of common relationships in dense networks of strong ties, it takes weak ties with acquaintances in different social clusters to receive and share novel information. Therefore, weak tie acquaintances who move in different social networks become a bridge to people and information in other networks (Granovetter, 2005). However, as discussed below, the structural holes over Knowledge Networks which these weak ties bridge create problems when it comes time for collective action and sustained collaboration given the different interests of the weakly connected parties and the dispersed nature of the connection (Obstfeld, 2005). Bridging value. Related to the ideas already discussed, Granovetter (1973) argues that acquaintances with weak ties are able to facilitate connections to other social networks and, in turn, offer increased mobility through new connections to other social clusters. Research has offered only partial confirmation of this. Findings suggest that those in lower socioeconomic groups tend to connect primarily to friends or relatives and do not experience the same mobility benefits as those in higher socioeconomic groups (Granovetter, 1983). These findings led Granovetter (1983) to refine his original theory to suggest that while all weak ties are bridges, the value of each bridge is not equivalent. Economic outcomes. Granovetter (1985) ties his network analysis theory and research to 9 the role social structure plays within economics in a paper entitled “Economic Action and Social Stucture: The problem of embeddedness” published in The American Journal of Sociology. This work has been cited over 2,500 times making it one of the most cited publications in sociology (Fligstein & Dauter, 2007). Beyond the role of networks in personal interactions, Granovetter argues that social network relationships play a key role in economic action and outcomes. According to Uzzi (1997, p. 35), Granovetter’s argument of the embeddedness of social structures in economics “emerged as a potential theory for joining economic and sociological approaches to organizational theory.” Network norms. Network density plays a role in establishing norms within the network. Research suggests that in dense networks of strong ties, the high proportion of connections Knowledge Networks among individuals makes it more likely that norms will form within the network (Granovetter, 2005). However, given the relatively lower density of large groups, larger groups tend to have less ability to set and enforce norms. Collective action. Network ties and density also have also been shown in network research to play a role in establishing collective action within the network. As a follow up to earlier research by Granovetter, Macy (1991) assessed the propensity of an individual within a network to work with the group. Contrary to other theories which would suggest individuals 10 participate based on perceptions of individual gain, Macy’s findings suggest that when a person’s participation depends upon the participation of another within the network, the interdependence facilitates what is termed a coordination of contributions. This notion of what propels network collective action is very similar to the idea of general reciprocity obligations in which an assumed condition of membership to a network is participation (OECD, 2004). In other words, when the cost of member to a network is participation, the assumed reciprocal obligations fuel collective action and discourage lurkers within the network. Critique of Granovetter’s Network Theories In 1974, Granovetter published a reply to a critique of his early network theories from Herbert Gans within an article in The American Journal of Sociology. In the 1960s and 1970s when the first publications of network theory were making their way into sociology journals, the relevance of social networks was contested. The debate between Granovetter and Gans in the 1974 article is not about the existence of networks, but rather the importance placed on them. In his reply to Gans’ original critique, Granovetter stresses the need to study network structures and characteristics as important variables affecting macro social issues. However, Gans (p. 529) Knowledge Networks argues in his subsequent response within the article that Granovetter overemphasizes the “explanatory power of network factors.” Similarly, in a comprehensive review of network analysis, Emirbayer and Goodwin (1994, p. 1412) note that “network analysis has yet to be subjected to a theoretically informed assessment and critique … or systematic inquiry in its underlying strengths and weakness.” In concluding their review, they suggest that while network analysis has an intriguing theoretical foundation that helps to describe patterns of relationships, it is not sufficiently developed to assess the relationships themselves. 11 Further, while there is now widespread agreement that social influences affect economic performance (Jack, 2005), it is important to note the context within which Granovetter’s theories were initially conceived and received. Granovetter’s theories of network ties and social embeddedness are viewed as central to the New Economic Sociology movement which focused on the social context of economic acts and was critical of mainstream economics’ disregard for the effect of social influences on economic actions (Velthuis, 1999). However, while his theories of social embeddedness have now been integrated into mainstream economic and sociology debate, they have been challenged for their “theoretical indefiniteness” and inability to “explain some forms of economic action better than do pure economic accounts” (Uzzi, 1997, p. 35). Areas for Future Research Given the reach of Granovetter’s work across both sociology and economics, countless areas of future research are suggested within prior evaluations of Granovetter’s network theory. Yet, one of the most fundamental questions regarding network ties appears to remain unanswered. Granovetter (1983) suggests that while weak ties act as bridges, not all weak ties Knowledge Networks provide the same bridging effects. Therefore, he called for an investigation of the origin and development of weak ties to compare the characteristics of those weak ties which act as 12 successful bridges between clusters of relationships and those that do not. Based on a review of literature, it appears this remains an area for further investigation. In addition, there are calls for research to further evaluate how network content, governance, and structure emerge and develop across network tie relationships over time (Hoang & Antoncic, 2003; Jack, 2005). Tied to this is an evaluation of the interplay between dense networks of strong ties and weak ties. Obstfeld (2005) suggests that while strong ties in dense networks have been shown to inhibit innovation, they have also been shown to effectively support collective action making interactions between dense networks and weak ties ripe for further study. Conclusions Network analysis theory and research provides guidance for those who see knowledgebased networks as conduits for innovation and knowledge sharing. Findings surrounding Granovetter’s social network tie theories provide insight into how networks are structured and, in turn, the implications for innovation, diffusion, economic outcomes, and collective actions. Each of these areas is vital to effective knowledge management practices. The assumption in network analysis that networks consist of clusters of individuals with strong ties linked together by weak tie associations provides a framework to establish knowledge-based network practices. As suggested by research, the key to innovation is fostering and utilizing weak tie connections. From a knowledge management perspective, this suggests the Knowledge Networks importance of developing inter-unit bridges. Organizations that span structural holes in their networks of clustered autonomous units will have a strategic advantage over those who do not. 13 However, research also suggests that densely clustered strong tie relationships are crucial to collective action. While weak tie relationships help to usher in new ideas, people, and resources, it takes coordination of contributions for successful collective action. From a knowledge management perspective, this suggests nurturing avenues for collective participation. As research indicates, if one person’s participation depends upon the participation of another in the network, the interdependence fuels reciprocal obligations which in turn foster continued collective action. Interdependence becomes the motivator to participate. For example, Sharon will be motivated to participate if she thinks, “If I do not agree to help Bob, he will not have time to contribute to Steve’s project which I need to have in order to finish my project.” Therefore, knowledge management practices must focus on the development of weak tie bridges to new people, information, and tools. However, these practices must go beyond simply providing general access or making casual introductions. As noted above, the value of weak tie bridges are not equivalent. Therefore, emphasis should be placed on connections which hold the most value. Further, knowledge management practices must also promote interdependence among network members. By doing so, strong and cohesive networks will benefit from flows of fresh information, expertise, and resources and will be equipped to collectively undertake new opportunities as they are presented. Knowledge Networks References Allen, J., James, A. D., & Gamlen, P. (2007). Formal versus informal knowledge networks in R&D: a case study using social network analysis. R&D Management, 37(3), 179-196. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9310.2007.00468.x. Burt, R. S. (1992). Structural holes: the social structure of competition. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. Retrieved from 14 http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=E6v0cVy8hVIC&dq=burt+structural+h... rintsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=omLKSiW5KG&sig=zX9ZnNbJFD4m_fC_fXDaQec2aI&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPR3,M1. Davenport, T. H., & Prusak, L. (2000). Working knowledge: how organizations manage what they know. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press. Emirbayer, M., & Goodwin, J. (1994). Network Analysis, Culture, and the Problem of Agency. American Journal of Sociology, 99(6), 1411-1454. Fligstein, N., & Dauter, L. (2007). The sociology of markets. Annual Review of Sociology, 33, 105-128. Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The Strength of Weak Ties. 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The role, use and activation of strong and weak network ties: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Management Studies, 42(6), 1233-1259. Macy, M. W. (1991). Chains of cooperation: Threshold effects in collective action. American Sociological Review, 56(6), 730-747. doi: 10.2307/2096252. Marsden, P. V., & Campbell, K. E. (1984). Measuring Tie Strength. Social Forces, 63(2), 482501. Obstfeld, D. (2005). Social networks, the Tertius lungens and orientation involvement in innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(1), 100-130. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Centre for Educational Research and Innovation. (2004). Innovation in the knowledge economy: implications for education and learning. Knowledge management. Paris, France: OECD. Uzzi, B. (1997). Social Structure and Competition in Interfirm Networks: The Paradox of Embeddedness. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42(1), 35-67. Velthius, O. (1999). 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