Ever been put off by feedback for a practice question in an online course that was just an unhelpful “That’s incorrect. The correct answer is…”, without any attempt at explaining why the answer was incorrect?
I was thinking of why we do what we do as instructional designers when it comes to providing practice and feedback. Here are a few questions we can ask ourselves when designing practice and feedback.
- Why do we give our learners practice questions (non-scored, and not part of the formal assessment)? Is it just to test them? Give them a welcome break from the instruction? Or give them the opportunity to practice what they have learnt? Or use the feedback to their answers as a teaching tool?
- Why do we spread out our practice questions over regular intervals (typically at the end of manageable chunks of learning)? What are we hoping to achieve through this? How can we apply the strategy of increasing their motivation by giving them a chance to succeed? By first appreciating it when they get something right and then focusing on what they got wrong? Are there any other ways to let the learner succeed? How important do you think this is for learner motivation?
- Is our feedback directed at the learner (minus any comments implying a personal deficiency), rather than focusing on the task being performed. Think of the difference between “You are wrong” and “In this step, you added the two amounts instead of subtracting them”, which brings us to the topic of diagnostic feedback in the bullet below.
- Ever thought of the powerful impact of diagnostic feedback for tasks in terms of appreciating progress learners have made rather than pointing out how far they still need to go? Think of how partial feedback can be powerful in helping learners who may not have got the answer 100% correct. When they get feedback on the method they used at arriving at an answer rather than on the answer itself, it certainly gives them a very strong reason to get it right. This also helps them take mid-course correction. It’s frustrating as learners to be told we are wrong and then not have any information on where and how we went wrong.
- How can we help out learners through the process of arriving at the correct answer? Think of hints that we can provide or reference materials learners can be directed to for helping them solve a problem correctly (For instance: refer to this job aid so that you don’t skip any important steps while solving the problem.)You could also improve their motivation by letting them see how the course gives them the opportunity to make mistakes in a risk-free environment.
- Why do we model the desired performance? And how we do it? Maybe through videos of optimal performance for a given task? Think of a scenario in a sales training where the characters in a role play can be used to both model ideal performance and the not-so-ideal performance so that learners can think of both how to succeed and how not to succeed.
Robert Mager‘s talks about self-efficacy in his book How to turn learners on…without turning them off. He defines it as the “judgments people make about their abilities to execute particular courses of action-about their ability to do specific things. It isn’t about the skills people have, but about the judgments people make about what they can do with those skills.” So what’s self-efficacy got to do with instructional design? If we design our courses in such a way that we strengthen our learners’ self-efficacy, they are more likely to hang in there and not give up at the first sign of failure. Course designers can help mirror on-the-job conditions while giving learners somedegree of support and reassurance as they go through the course.
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In eLearning courses, two types of assessments are used – formative and summative. Formative assessments are conducted after completing each topic. On the other hand, a summative assessment is conducted at the end of the course. In formative assessments, feedback is given after each question is answered. The goal of a formative assessment is to reinforce the learning. Whereas, the goal of summative assessments is to evaluate the learner. A summative assessment is similar to a final exam where feedback is not provided and results are shown at the end of the course. This info-graphic shares some information about formative and summative assessments, used in eLearning courses.
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All eLearning professionals, when developing eLearning deliverables, must ensure that their training material achieves the most encouraging results. Therefore to achieve better training outcomes, we must always keep the following 3 things in mind.
Assessments in eLearning courses play a vital role. Assessments help the learner understand the level of knowledge he has gained from an eLearning course. At the same time, they help the trainer evaluate whether the learning objectives of the eLearning course have been met or not.
We all remember our school days. Don’t we? We still cherish the happy moments spent with our friends during those days. But, there were a few times where we faced difficulties with certain subjects. The formulae in mathematics, complicated equations in physics and chemistry and important dates and years in history was no less than a “haunting movie”. But, thanks to our teachers who would try out all possibilities to make these difficult subjects interesting, we could learn them effectively. The same is the case with instructional designers. They need to act as teachers and make eLearning interesting, so that learners are engaged effectively.
India ranks on the top of the outsourcing destinations for Information Technology, according to a study by the consulting firm AT Kearney. Six Indian cities, including Hyderabad, ranked in the top 6 of this list.
Preparing the audio script for an eLearning course is a very important task which must be done carefully, as a small mistake in it may lead to a lot of rework. If we take care of a few things before sending the script for recording, we can avoid mistakes.
How are eLearning courses made effective? The answer – through effective instructional and visual design. The most significant part of eLearning course development is the design phase.
Do you believe that you can get better results by including games in your online courses?
Companies across the world have following the trend of globalization for new market opportunities. This led to the expansion of their workforce exponentially. Now, a big question arises as to how quickly can you train this workforce, so as to make them ready for the job. In this regard, cost-efficient training methods like eLearning could help companies meet training challenges in the age of globalization. Let us see how eLearning can help reduce training costs.
A picture paints a thousand words and is very effective in communicating what often can’t be said through words. A picture can also break the monotony of words and present a breath of fresh air. Right from childhood, all of us are fascinated by pictures, their vivid hues and the depth of emotions they evoke.
What is content in the context of an eLearning course? It is the training material that is made available for developing an eLearning course. This is collected by instructional designers from various sources. Some of the content is provided by the subject matter experts, other materials may be shared by line managers or training managers. The content is usually developed by multiple authors and therefore lacks consistency in the way it is presented. After all, each author has his/her own style of writing and expressing thoughts.
It is common knowledge that an interactive eLearning course engages the learner very effectively. But, how can you make an excellent course that captures the imagination of your learners? Well, you can create wonderful learning experiences using videos.
It is well-known that the ultimate goal of an online learning course is to bring a measurable change in the performance or behavior of the learner. Therefore, as instructional designers, it is our job to make effective elearning courses that impart first-rate training.
There are many instructional design strategies which engage the learner in an online learning environment such as scenarios, case studies, interactivities, etc. Now-a-days most organizations want to gamify their courses to create better learning experiences.
There are many instructional principles and models that guide us in creating an effective learning process. One such model is Gagne’s instructional principles. These principles keep learners glued to eLearning courses. Here are a few of these principles.
Most of the eLearning experts concur that learning requires learner’s engagement. The aim of any instructional designer is to engage the learner in an online learning environment. How to create learner’s engagement in eLearning courses? In this blog I would like to share some ideas and approaches to engage learner in eLearning courses.
According to Edward Tufte, “Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time, with the least ink, in the smallest space”.
According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Work Related Injury Survey, 58 out of every 1000 workers experienced illness or sustained an injury at the workplace in 2009–10. This resulted in workplace absenteeism and resulted in organizations paying huge amounts as compensation.
The Successive Approximation Model (SAM), which was first proposed by Michael Allen, has become the preferred design and development methodology for most eLearning companies. This iterative or agile model enables you to develop a quality product within the stipulated timeline and meet customer needs effectively.
As instructional designers, we need to create a few documents based on which the developers work and come out with an online learning course. We use applications such as MS-Word and MS-PowerPoint to create Design Documents, DCOs, Storyboards, Audioscripts, etc. In this post, we will look at WHAT these documents are and WHY they are important.
In eLearning, navigations are used to guide the learner through the course. If there are no proper navigations in an eLearning course, the learner may get confused and frustrated.
Creating eLearning courses is not easy. And, today the demand for eLearning has risen like never before. Most organizations have made eLearning their primary source of training. As a result, employees have become accustomed to the know-how of eLearning. Hence, churning out eLearning courses one after the other has given the training format a tag of boring or uninteresting.
The Business and Professional Women’s Foundation estimates that by 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be Gen Y.
Every organization has to follow a set of laws which govern their industry in the country they operate. Employees need have a basic understanding of the rules and procedures relevant to their company, so that they are clear about their legal obligations while discharging their duties.
Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” People learn very effectively when they are engaged in the learning process. In classroom training sessions, the trainer interacts actively with learners to capture their attention and ensure they remain focused. But, how can this be accomplished with eLearning courses which are self-paced? Well, you can ensure that your online learners “stay on track” using interactivities. Here are 4 excellent blogs that help you make the best use of interactivities in your eLearning courses.