April 29, 2006

ID Model Presentation

Our ID Model presentation was on John Keller's ARCS model of motivational design. I thought our presentation went okay but I would have liked to spend more time on identifying the A, R, C and S in both the Toyota example and for the Jeopardy game. It was useful for Aaron to discuss how he used the ARCS model more specifically in his adventure learning project as it helped to reinforce the different sorts of motivations that can be addressed.

In terms of the overall project, I felt somewhat adrift as to how to actually get ahold of the assignment. As a newbie to the field, I would prefer to be assigned (or at least choose one from a list) an ID model and given a specific series of questions to walk through.

I found myself very interested in thinking about the concept of motivation, how to define it, how to measure, how to address it and found the ID model part of the assignment got in the way of my ability to really consider the concept of motivation. It seems to me that Keller's work is more interesting in terms of his attempts to create a systematic approach to addressing motivational issues within instructional design rather than his contribution to any sort of overall ID model.

Furthermore, it seems to me that Keller's work could be greatly improved upon by much more extensive theoretical work on the relationship between motivation and learning. I'm not really confident that ARCS makes sense as a comprehensive model in terms of addressing motivation. I assume it is because I am unfamiliar with the broader work on motivation in ed psych and that Keller's ARCS model somehow fits another model of motivation and learning that has been developed in educational psychology or cognitive psychology. And it is my ignorance but there it is -

An article by Debra Meyer and Julianne Turner, "Discovering Emotion in Classroom Motivation Research" in Educational Psychologist (2002) really brought on a lot of the above questions. This piece is more theoretical in that it attempts to articulate WHY these researchers themselves missed the importance of emotion in considering classroom motivation of students in their past research. They review the lit on motivation and conclude that the theoretical work had not been done that properly accounts for basic strategies that teachers have used forever to motivate students - such as their use of their personal relationship with the student to either elicit a behavior or to squelch a behavior. They conclude by rethinking the theoretical context for motivation.

"As Brophy (1999) noted, motivation to learn traditionally has been viewed as a disposition (i.e., “an enduring tendency to value learning,� p. 12) and as a situation-specific state. We initially followed this tradition by investigating how the traits of a motivated learner (e.g., students’ goals, views of challenging learning, etc.) were influenced by the instructional context (e.g., teachers’ instructional strategies, characteristics of the task, etc.). However, we have learned that classroom interactions and individual perceptions are interdependent (i.e., when you study one, you get the other). As we go beyond the separation of emotion from motivation and cognition, we also need to go beyond trait versus state in our theories of motivation to explain human learning."

This is where I am at with reflecting on the Keller ARCS model.

April 22, 2006

Breakthrough on PsychOne design

When I began working on my final project for this class there was a disconnect between the goals for the project and the online aspects of the project that i was developing. On the one hand, i was arguing that the University as represented by the Departmnet of Psychology needed to reach out to high school students in Minnesota as a means of creating a more seamless relationship between high school and college. Yet, my initial design for the Psych 1001 website was simply putting the Psych One course on the web. This is okay in and of itself but it did not reflect the goals of the broader project.

Well, I had a breakthrough when working on the course in that I took a step back from the course itself and considered using the course as a means of introducing people at the undergraduate level to the discipline of psychology and the practice of this discipline at the University of Minnesota via Psych One - INTRODUCTION to Psychology. With the reconceptualization I created a page that put together the major conceptual and CONTEXTUAL pieces of this broader vision together - including 1) an interactive Flash piece plus a focused timeline for the class itself - sort of a syllabus/lecture interactive snapshot; 2) a small square highlighting a research lab and a research experience pportunity open to undergraduate students; and 3) a small square highlighting the advising opportunities open to undergrads; 4) a fourth square is a stable welcome to the site from the coordinator for Psych 1001, sort of a face for the project; and 5) a box of quicklinks for the site targeting different involved groups - instructional partners, parents, enrolled students, general public.

Class Bolgging Week 12:1

I found the presentation by Charles Miller on the ASL assessment tool to be very cool. It seems that this sort of basic framework would be very helpful in a number of different assessment situations - ASL classes, teacher training, basic science research techniques, clinical training techniques, nursing procedures, etc. etc. I was also thinking that it might be helpful in some applied clinical situations. Specifically, I know that many child psychologists are finding it useful to videotape kids who are having behavioral issues. The psychologist then has the child assess his or her behavior by viewing the videotape. The psychologist can then show the child a video covering a similar social interaction that demonstrates the appropriate behavior. I suppose in this sense that the videotaping and assessment process sort of mimics a superego or metacognitive process that the child may not have fully developed yet. An online environment that shows one behavior alongside a preferred behavior or one skill practive alongside a more accurate skill practice is an externalized metacognitive process. Although my academic understanding of the role of assessment in learning is minimal, it seems to me that this sort of metacognitive piece would be an essential piece of quality assessment.

April 5, 2006

And a big thank you to everyone for staying late!

And letting our group do our case study last night - we were ready and it's great to have it done!


Class Blogging: Week 11: 2

This is a makeup entry from last week about LAYERS OF NECESSITY.

I think LAYERS OF NECESSITY pretty much describes how I like to go about most projects - I like to do the MUST first but then I sometimes do a COULD rather than a SHOULD. LAYERS seems like a more responsible way to do RAPID PROTOTYPING in that there are some rules and some ultimate timeline so that you always have production in mind but it's not so constrained that you can't ever get to the fun of doing the COULD while also taking care of the MUST.

Of course, people may think I am something of an oaf in that I find the SHOULD sort of irritating sometimes - unlike MUST, a SHOULD makes me want to ask, "well, who said?"

Class Blogging: Week 11: 1

Role playing and case studies -

In the past, I never was a fan of role playing or case studies but I am beginning to enjoy it in this class and I am surprised. And I think I am learning something through these exercises. I think one thing that can be attributed to this role playing and case study approach is that I can more quickly read and identify the issues in a particular case study than I could when I began the class. I know this seems like a DUH but I am learning.

I don't think I would have had the patience for this approach 20 years ago. I don't think I was as convinced about the importance of relationships then as I am now. In fact, I was pretty uninterested in thinking about relationships at all. I was interested in having relationships but not really thinking about them - there is a difference.

I think there is also something about patience and a commiment to inductive reasoning. And the role playing and whole case study piece is an inductive sort of process - I have to pay attention to detail and search for a whole within the details rather than seeing a whole and then looking for the details.

Perhaps this case study/inductive reasoning/role playing approach has something to do with the sense in the field that there is no one ID model but many - the field does have a body of scholars who are thinking about these questions and trying to identify processes that are helpful, comprehensive, inspiring but it's an inductive approach to a discipline that was - perhaps - founded on a model that tried to provide or was being asked to provide a dedutive model: Dick and Carey specifically.

March 28, 2006

Class Blogging Week 10:1

As regards to class last week, I think I really liked Keith for about the first 45 minutes. I found the 4:1 production time and the 25:1 production time to be very interesting measures. For Psych 1001 it takes about 4:1 production time for posting daily lectures - which is about 1 hour of education/training modeled much like Keith's SME lectures.

I thought the ID model went well and I too thought the airplace exercise worked well.

And the Target pill bottle redesign was great. I wenjoy hearing about the designers themselves - it really is good to get that info. Those stories are so interesting and telling.

March 17, 2006

Multimedia Checklist

As mentioned in my previous entry, I liked the checklists in the Deubel book. I especially liked the big checklist taken from the Vilamil-Casanova book, An Interactive Guide to Multimedia (Que Education and Training, 1996) As a means of "rehearsing" the checklist, I'm going to work through the checklist and identify how some of the guidelines could help shape the development of the Psych One OnLine course that I am working on for my final project:

1) Keep Cognitive Load Low: One of the components that we have considered implementing into the P1 OnLine interface is a little "Core Concept Corner" that would display links to interactive modules on the "Core Concept(s)" being covered by the lecturer during that lecture. A handful of tiles from a broad collection would be displayed based on keywords passed to the Flash application in the XML file that is already in place. If a student clicked on one of the tiles, the video would stop and an interactive module would come up covering a specific core concept such as "correlation" or Hebb's rule" or whatever. The "Core Concept Corner" would be an instance of "layering information" and, thereby, moving the cognitive load onto different layers - offering either a remeidal or an advanced path.

2) Avoid dividing attention: By using a "Core Concept Corner," the cogitive load would be managed by the user. We had also considered using pop-ups to identify "core concepts" at different times but we figured this might actually "divide" the student's attention between the lecturer/synchronized slides and the pop-ups. I do think we need to be very careful about this "core concept" window to avoid the problems mentioned in the article - citing research by S Tergan (1997) - that "With multiple representations, there is a high probability that at least one representation will be misunderstood."

3) Use Media to Direct Attention: There are (at least) two ways in which we could do a better job of using media to direct attention. a) We need to develop a little tutorial that reminds students how to use the "table of contents" scrolling bar so that they are able to have more control over the media in general. b) We need to figure out a way to capture mouse movements that the faculty make during their lecture so that our online students get the same visuals as the students in the live lecture. We could do some of this through animation after the fact but it would be less accurate and more time-intensive. This improvement is a matter of technical know-how and implementation rather than design at this point.

4) Keep Important Information Visible: this could beaccomplished by posting a button to the learning objectives content within the lecture interface. It could be a button within the "Core Concepts Corner" and it would serve as a link and as a reminder for students to check the "learning objectives" for the week.

5) Encourage Rehearsal: "Place practice exercises after presenting a subject to reinforce learning by transferring information from working memory to long-term memory." Yep, we do need to do this. We have the option to post a SWF at the end of the lecture, right in the screen where the slides were shown during the lecture. A SWF could use XML data to generate questions for a little, post-test. We could also use a SWF to do some prompting at the beginning of the lecture as well. The lecturers always do an overview at the beginning of class but it would be good to do a little more active preview.

6) Use Concrete Words and Multiple Media: thumbs up.

7) Design effective exercises: Keller's ARCS - attention, relevance and confidence strategies. Attention sustaining strategies: keep instructional segments short, ease of reading, intermingle information and interaction, use a consistent format with some variation, avoid "dysfunctional" attention-getters. Motivation strategies: question-response-feedback,

["Metacognitive demands are greater for loosely structured learning environments than for highly structured ones; therefore, provide prompts and self-check activities to aid learners in monitoring comprehension and adapting individual learning strategies." (I Park and MJ Hannafin, 1993)]

8) Create realistic simulations: I would love to create realistic simulations. And, according to Deubel, "It is possibleto create relistic simulations and adaptive instruction, if designers use the knowledge architecture that Merrill proposed in his Instructional Transaction Thoery . . . an algorithim-based approach to ID, as opposed to a fram-based approach for branching programmed instruction typical of most authoring systems." But I have only a vague idea of what is being discussed here . . . so,I'll have to follow upwith Merrill at another time.

Class BloggingWeek 8:1

Like some others in class, I too missed the reading assignments for class. I kept checking the READINGS section on WebCT as a follow up on Aaron's comments in class but somehow missed the links on the CLASS SCHEUDLE page.

I really liked the Patricia Deubel article for its comprehensiveness and its level of detail. As an overview of the theoretical work in the field, I found the article to be very informative. It has a couple of great checklists to consider in putting together educational multimedia and I will return to them in my work.

I was not very taken with the use of the behaviorist vs constructivist framework for discussing the theoretical work. Although I understand how disciplinary battles emerge, I do not find it very helpful to appraoch learning all of these new theories within a broader, dualistic framework. It would be like being a political novice and learning about US politics as if we could talk about stable groups like liberal and conservative, right and left . . . what does one do with all those authoritarian environmentalists or those free loving libertarians . . . Maybe I will feel differently when I run into similar discussions in other ID courses.

I did like the overview of the ID field in the RWID book - the historical overview that discussed how ID belongs to a corporate/military past, how ID became more central to education in the 1980sand 1990s with the spread of the personal computer, and how today we are dealing with these different historical, institutional influences.

March 1, 2006

Class Blogging Week 7:1

As this is my first education class ever, I am learning quite a bit about distinguishing between certain words. For instance, I like Leonard's quick little distinction between "instructions" and "instruction" -

I also appreciated Aaron's 20 minute discussion about "fish is fish" and how constructivism is a theory of learning rather than a theory of instruction. So, it seems that we should talk about a science of learning and teaching rather than just a science of learning. I was hoping for something more concrete though in terms of thinking about the specifics of learning. I am very interested in learning about how people learn and what sort of instructional techniques are helpful with what sort of students in what sorts of situations - I guess I am interested in learning about teaching.

Through my project I am interested in learning what the latest research is on where young adults are at in terms of cognitive development. I think having some more grounding in ed psych will be helpful.

As I mentioned in class, the case study last night seemed much less intractable that the case study form last week. After having spent some more time thinking about the differences, I have a couple of other ideas: Craig did not actually have to get anyone to do anything like the tech teacher did. Craig could "jazz" up the training done by legal and walk away. The tech teacher actually had to motivate over 30 people to perform some sort of technical feat and over 30 more to perform even more complex technical tasks. This is a lot to expect. The other piece that is different is that Criag is a consultant rather than an employee . . . presumably, the Electron company is but one client while the school is the tech lady's whole job. Lots more stressful I think . . .