Unable to Allow Comments

Unfortunately I have had to disable comments on this blog, due to the large number of spam comments that have been hitting my website.  I will open then again at some later stage, but unfortunately for now, there is no longer any opportunity to post comments.  My apologies :-).

| April 23rd, 2013 | Posted in Uncategorized |

 

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a classification system used to define and distinguish different the levels of human cognition i.e., thinking, learning, and understanding. It was developed in 1956 (later modified in 2000) as a framework to use in both teaching and creating lessons and assignments and remains a useful tool to consult for anyone who needs to impart knowledge or teach a new skill.  The levels on a sliding scale are remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating and finally creating.  While not all trainers, educators or instructional designers are aware of its existence as a formal concept, it is highly likely we use aspects of it unconsciously in creating our learning content.   I think it is also fair to say that depending on the length and depth of the knowledge we are seeking to impart, that not all levels will be moved through in a “lock step manner”. For example, teaching or developing a half day PowerPoint course you would be looking for remembering and understanding, definitely applying and if time allowed creating.  Just as an aside, it is good to remember that all course planning is done “backward”, starting with the development of required learning objectives which are hopefully measurable, realistic and achievable and for this Bloom’s Taxonomy can provide a good touchpoint for consideration during the planning process of learning events.

Most commonly, those teaching adults are concerned with learning in the cognitive domain. This domain measures the development of knowledge and intellectual abilities (Bloom, as cited in McDonald, 2007). Common performance indicators for this domain include multiple choice exams, true false exams, fill in the blank etc. If the learning objective is for students to master a motor skill, (e.g., change a tire), you would design a performance indicator for the psychomotor domain by requiring a demonstration of the skill or performance of a simulation. If you wish to measure learning in the affective domain (also known as the emotional domain), Bloom’s Taxonomy indicators should seek to measure the development of interests, attitudes, and values: examples include essay exams, reflective journal entries, or creative writing assignments.

The levels are commonly shown in a pyramid format as shown below, with Creation being the pinnacle and overall goal:

Blooms Taxonomy Pyramid

References:
Anderson, L.W. & Krathwohl, D.R. (2001). A taxonomy for teaching, learning, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York, NY: Longman.
Bloom, B.S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. New York, NY: Longmans, Green.

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| December 22nd, 2020 | Posted in Learning, Training |

 

Graphics in Learning Material (part 2)

The number one rule is that graphics should not distract the learners from your content. So, you should pay attention to the subject, colours, size, and placement of your images and while it might sound obvious, make sure you are using the appropriate images at the right time -there is no need to bombard your learners with images just to fill in space or make it look exciting. The images you use should link to the contact and are intended to reinforce and support your training material, so before using an image ask yourself whether it is relevant or indeed helpful to the learner in how they consume the material.  The famous advice of Coco Chanel in regard to what you wear of which goes along the lines of: “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off” is equally useful in when thinking of how you incorporate and use graphics.

Coco

Once your graphic has been chosen, the next step is to select an appropriate size and format. Among the most common file types that in are: jpg, .png, .bmp. tiff and .gif and you need to keep in mind the image’s file size as if it is too large it could impact the way your pages load.

If the course material will be online it is worth remembering that while high-resolution graphics looks nice and crisp, they can take a considerable amount of space. As well, high-resolution graphics may take a long time to load and that can cause annoyance and frustration for learners, so you risk alienating them to the actual course content. Probably the best approach is to start with a high-resolution graphic and then resize and squeeze it down as much as possible.  This doesn’t work as well with scaling small images up as the graphic may appear pixilated, so best to start with the bigger, better resolution and downsize it.

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| November 16th, 2020 | Posted in elearning, Learning, Trainer Tips, Training |

 

Using Graphics in Learning Material

The main job of an instructional designer is to create instructionally sound courses and there should be no expectation that learning specialists are also professional graphic artists. However, to make our courses more visually appealing to learners we need to be aware of basic graphic design principles.  Ruth Clark and Chopeta Lyons (2010) have identified 7 types of graphics specifically in relation to *eLearning, but I think these principles can just as easily be utilised for training material which is delivered in other formats such face or face or when creating course handouts.

The 7 types of graphics are defined as Decorative, Mnemonic, Representational, Organizational, Relational, Transformational, and Interpretative.

  • Decorative graphics: their purpose is aesthetic, and while they can look appealing, they are not intended to add any specific instructional value so are typically used on book or course material covers as opposed to within the body of learning material.
  • Mnemonic graphics: used to represent factual information. By looking at images which represent relevant facts, learners are helped to retrieve facts from memory.

Mnemonic graphic

  • Representational graphics: these are used to represent text. The idea is that learners should be able to understand what the text is about just by looking at the graphic, so that might be a screen capture or a photo of a specific piece of equipment.
  • Organizational graphics: their purpose is to help orient learners to the structure and sequence of lesson content. An organizational graphic shows the qualitative relationships among the main ideas in a lesson, e.g. this might be course map or geometric visuals to show the sequence and content so the learner has an overview of what the learning is intended to provide.
  • Relational graphics: these show the quantitative relationship of variables, so charts and graphs are the best examples as they organise data and information in ways that should make it easy to compare and contrast information and allow learners to visualise the relationship between the numbers presented in the content.
  • Transformational graphics: used to show changes over time, so these would include timelines, before and after images, or a video to show a process.
  • Interpretative graphics: these illustrate abstract theories or principles and might include things such as a schematic diagram, simulations or animated images to mimic how something works.

Tip: Once your graphic has been chosen, the next step is to select an appropriate size and format. If the course material will be online it is worth remembering that while high-resolution graphics looks nice and crisp, they can take a considerable amount of space. As well, high-resolution graphics may take a long time to load and that can cause annoyance and frustration for learners, so you risk alienating them to the actual course content. Probably the best approach is to start with a high-resolution graphic and then resize and squeeze it down as much as possible.  This doesn’t work as well with scaling small images up as the graphic may appear pixilated, so best to start with the bigger, better resolution and downsize it.

*I have chosen to use the term eLearning, however depending on personal preference and the organization you work for, it might also be termed e-learning, e-Learning or elearning (just as we have dropped the dash in e-mail to the more common email, I think the hyphen in e-learning will soon be redundant).

For more on this topic see: Clark, R.C. and Lyons, C. (2010). Graphics for Learning: Proven Guidelines for Planning, Designing, and Evaluating Visuals in Training Materials. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer.

© www.angelalewis.com.au

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| November 4th, 2020 | Posted in elearning, instructional design, Learning |

 

Learning Assessment

In-house training sessions in the workplace typically tend not to have an assessment component, with formal assessment tending to be more a hallmark of an e-learning event or some type of certification training.  However their may come a type when you as a trainer will be called upon to create an assessment tool.

Assessment stress

When assessment is done, the objectives of the learning event will govern the type of types of assessment actions chosen with the assessment ensuring they are appropriate to your specific situation. As a broad principle, concentrate on the learners’ ability to apply content rather than their ability to recall facts when creating assessment items. In the type of most IT based/technical training that I deliver this tends to be the most common way of achieving this.  For example, if it is a PowerPoint course, the latter part of the session will be asking the attendees to put their new skills to use in creating a specific type of presentation.  This is basically a free form activity that allows the learner to assess their own abilities and gives them a chance to work out if there are any gaps.  The activity is not “scored” or judged, but instead is a litmus test to help the learner self-assess their progress. This is non-confrontational for adult learners to experience some feedback and assessment and fits in with the principles of Adult Learning Theory (Malcolm Knowles,1970) as it allows for a more self-directed than didactic approach.

But, if an assessment instrument is necessary (e.g. for an e-learning module), then the following should be kept in mind:

The assessment itself should be valid. To achieve this need to write test questions which accurately assess the knowledge and skills specified in the learning objectives. The assessment questions should obviously be clearly written and easy to understand. If the question is poorly worded and the learners (through no fault of their own) misinterpret the intended meaning of a test question, the results would no longer be valid. To improve validity, you should write assessment items that focus on the application of knowledge rather than just comprehension levels. As you create the questions you should consider having professional colleagues (e.g. SMEs, other L&D professionals or instructional designers) review them for you and then if necessary, they can be revised based on the reviewers’ feedback.

The most common types of assessment questions are:

  • multiple choice: probably the most popular type of assessment in eLearning. Multiple choice questions require learners to choose the best response from several options.
  • true/false: typically measures understanding of facts such as names, dates, and definitions.
  • fill-in-the-blank, also known as completion items. This type of question requires learners to finish a sentence by filling the correct word or phrase in a blank.
  • matching: consists of a list of questions or statements and a list of responses, with learners required to find a match or association between each question and response, and
  • free responses or short answers or essays: not as commonly used, this type requires learners to understand the content in order to answer the question. and require a higher level of thinking, analyzing, and logically presenting information.

 

 

See when an iPhone Message was sent

A quick and easy way to check out when a message was sent on your Apple iPhone is by holding your thumb down on the message and dragging the message bubble to the left – the time appears on the right.

ALC hint 5 oct 2020

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| October 5th, 2020 | Posted in iPhone Apps |

 

Motivating Learners

The ARCS Model of Motivational Design was developed by John Keller (Keller, 2009).  The intention behind the use of Motivational design theory in learning and the ARCS Model specifically, is to connect the instruction to the goals of students.  Keller combined the elements from many motivational designs into 4 major categories which he called the ARCS Model of Motivational Design. The acronym stands for: (A)ttention, (R)elevance, (C)onfidence and (S)atisfaction and he believes that all of these aspects must be addressed for a successful learning event to have occurred.

Learner Motivation

In this model you are encouraged to think about and address the following aspects when designing your instructional session:

Attention: capturing the interest of learners and stimulating their desire to learn.  Ask yourself: how can I make this learning experience stimulating and interesting.  Depending on your audience this might be through, This can be done through games, role-plays, humor, visuals, discussion or rhetorical questions.

Relevance:  ensuring the learning is applicable to the learners’ knowledge and addresses their learning needs. In designing the learning event ask yourself how will this learning experience be valuable to my students? Ensure you explain the importance and usefulness of the content by providing relevant examples and learning goals so they can make these connections themselves.

Confidence: helping the learners to steer the learning and feel they will succeed and have control their success. To facilitate learner success you would design challenging but doable activities and ensure you are providing evaluation and feedback.

Satisfaction: this results when the learner finds the overall experience positive and worthwhile and feels good about their accomplishments. To ensure this step is met you need to make sure that you offer reinforcement of what they already learned and provide opportunities to practice the newly acquired knowledge and skills. It might include some type of reward or acknowledgement such as a certificate of achievement.

For more information see: Keller, John (979) Wikipedia

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| September 25th, 2020 | Posted in elearning, instructional design, Learning |

 

CAPTCHA – what??

privacy-card-3x2We have seen it a million times, but what does CAPTCHA actually stand for?

It is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart” and is basically a test to see whether the user is a human or an automated software application known as a bot.  bots are “bad” when they are programmed to break into user accounts, scan the web for contact information for sending spam, or perform other malicious activities.

Capture

You’ll come across a CAPTCHA request when registering new accounts and or submitting information on online. CAPTCHA is based on the premise that humans can more easily recognise highly distorted, rotated or skewed characters, can more easily visually separate overlapped characters and are able to draw on context to understand visually distorted characters, for example, identifying a character based on the full word that it appears in.

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| September 9th, 2020 | Posted in Internet Explorer, Internet search |

 

Why not study during Lockdown?

As many people would know, here in Melbourne we are in a 6 week Lockdown period to battle COVID.  This leaves many of us with time on our hands – me included, so I have decided to do some extra study in my field of IT, Training and Change.  I have chosen Charles Sturt University for three fantastic short courses that form part of the Master in IT. Not only are they free, but they come with exams (one go only in a time limit!!) to make sure you are paying attention :-).

I have now completed the Digital Marketing, Introductory Certificate in Business Analysis and Communications in the Digital Era. They have been excellent courses and kudos to Charles Sturt for making these available!

Digital Marketing Cert

 

Online Financial Abuse

Here is an excerpt from an article published 20/7/2020 on Financial Abuse:

https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/banking/commonwealth-bank-launches-antidomestic-violence-and-financial-abuse-initiative/news-story/0effbf9d24f9a1c8b41bd19d8c29aa1f

Most of us move money around online, say if we owe a mate some cash or to pay a bill. When you do, you usually have to write a description of what the transaction is that goes onto the statement of the person receiving the money.

I might write ‘love mum’ if I’m sending something to my children, but these people will send abusive messages,” said Ms Fitzpatrick (General Manager, Customer Vulnerability, CBA).

We were horrified by both the scale and the nature of what we found.

In a three-month period, we identified more than 8000 CBA customers who received multiple low-value deposits, often less than $1, with potentially abusive messages in the transaction description – in effect using them as a messaging service.“I’ve seen 900 messages over a two-hour period saying things like ‘I want to kill you’. They’re blocked on Facebook so they’re using the app to send intimidating and harassing messages for one cent each,” she said.

CBA said this form of abuse was more prevalent among younger people.Aside from the pain of receiving the message itself, some victims may, for example, need to rent a house and be forced to show a letting agency their bank statements meaning a complete stranger will see the messages.

Its technology assisted abuse and it can be a precursor to financial abuse,” Ms Fitzpatrick said.

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| July 20th, 2020 | Posted in Uncategorized |

 

Digitisation vs Digitalisation

digitisation

Yes, they could have made the terms a little bit different to avoid all this confusion, but hopefully this quick explanation will do the trick!

While it all sounds a bit high tech, basically digitisation is simply the process of converting information from a physical format into a digital one – let’s use a simple example:   Wendy wants to submit aclaim to her health fund but doesn’t want to put it in an envelope, buy a stamp and stick in the mail box. Instead she scans it (that could be using a smart phone, a scanner or a printer that has a scanning mechanism), converts it to a PDF then saves it to her device (perhaps a smart phone or her PC) –  and that itisation vs Digitalisationmakes her paper claim form digitised.

 

She then attaches this digitised document (the PDF ) to an email and sends off the claim electronically to her health fund’s computer system. Basically that action is a definition of digitalisation – the process of how customers and companies engage and interact by utilising digital technologies for a specific process.

So, in summary, you have to digitise an item, process or action before it can be used to digitalise an action.

 

What about Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the phrase of the moment in businesses across the world, with many a project created to digitally transform an organisation;  a simple example is teacher registration.  In some states of Australia, a school teacher is required to fill in a paper form, send it in by mail to the teacher registration body and receive paper notification that it has been accepted.  A digital transformation of this process would be that the teacher goes to a website, fills in the form online and gets an email notification that their registration is complete. This dramatically cuts down the workload on the organisation and makes for a smoother and easier user experience.

Another example of digital transformation is how we receive advertising, with the internet enabling the digitisation of advertising material that flashes up when we access various sites online or through email. with paper mail advertising the business has no idea if they are wasting money as they cannot measure take-up or interest in the advertised product. In digital advertising success can be measured more easily and more accurately than traditional paper advertising, because using email, the business knows how many people received the email, how many opened it and what pieces of content they engaged with. Similarly with an online ad the advertiser can easily track interest (e.g. demographics, location, etc) along with sales volumes as these types of analytics are generally built into the email or online advertisement.