What does it mean to learn? Is it the reception and storage of knowledge and information, or does learning encompass more than instruction and learning often exemplified in traditional classrooms?
Meet the instructional design consultant
R-Jay Wilde is an instructional design consultant with more than a decade of experience in the field of instruction design. He a fellow PhD student in Utah State University's Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences department with me. He recently sent out some helpful pointers to students interested in building a career in instructional design.
Instructional design advice
Hey ITLS Students,
I recently had a student tell me (in a rather discouraged tone) that she
had no experience and came from a foreign country and that made it hard to
Consider a couple of points:
- You are a student in one of the strongest Instructional Design programs in the country. Do not forget that!
- As a student in ITLS you are acquiring a solid foundation in theory and learning science. Tools knowledge is important, but theory is more important. I personally hired many people with solid understanding of theory over experience and knowledge of tools. Besides, the tools change every couple of years, sometimes the changes are significant enough that it puts everybody back at zero, meaning everyone has to relearn the tools.
- Experience only matters if you know what you are doing. The very worst curriculum I ever encountered was developed by a person who boasted 8 years of experience as an Instructional Designer. This person had no formal training in the field and had never made the effort to adequately educate themselves on design theory. Basically they had been doing very poor instructional design for eight years. You are armed with the theory, your potential to do good instructional design is higher than those without the theory.
- Many companies today have a global employee base and with that a need to train people in other languages with other cultures to consider. Your experience coming from another country can be a strength for such global companies. If you can design training in a desirable language, you could be extremely valuable. Some of the hot languages and cultures include:
- Japanese (very few Japanese people speak English and their culture is difficult for western thinkers to grasp),
- Chinese (China is the largest and one of the fastest growing markets in nearly every industry),
- German (because of workers unions and laws, many bodies of training have to be delivered in German
- Spanish (Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina tend to be very fast growing labor markets).
I hope this helps some of you.
Artist, Writer, Speaker, Teacher
Wow. I wish I had an 8K to watch this video below. The More Than Just Parks project is posting some fantastically stunning short films on U.S. National Parks. The eventual plan by this group is to produce a film of all fifty-nine national parks. Here's their production on Zion National Park:
Wow. I've been playing Lumino City on Steam. It's a beautiful, well thought-out game that was all designed using a set made out of cardboard. It looks like the developer team is in the process of making a documentary showing others how it is made.
Here's a sneak peek.
I stumbled across this interesting, informative in one of courses this semester at USU. The producer of the video covers a concept of transferability or the ability for knowledge to transfer from on activity to another. This is important in the world of gaming where lessons can be learned and where there may be potential for learners to transfer new knowledge to areas outside of games.
Here's the video:
Here's an interested video-short highlighting an MIT Media Lab project that was done in collaboration with M ss ng P eces. It highlights some innovative things individuals who work at phone manufacturing plants are doing with their own phones.
I like to fully direct and produce one video for free each year. This year, I chose to highlight Bridgerland Literacy – a local non-profit whose mission is to teach adults how to read. It's estimated that approximately five percent of the adult population does not know how to read. Bridgerland Literacy is trying to address this population and teach these folks this important skill.
Bridgerland Literacy will use this video in grant proposals, on their website, and in other locations to share their story. Good luck, Bridgerland Literacy!
Social media isn't for everyone, or is it?
I'm here at the 2015 Association for Talent Development international conference. This conference is presenting information for professionals in the instructional design and professional development space. Dan Steer believes social media is an important subject nearly everyone should be versed in. Steer shared a few reasons why someone would want to be active on social media, even if she or he isn't interested in participating in inherently self-promotional content. Social media can help people in the instructional design space:
- Improve learning
- Increase their professional longevity
- Encourage more sociability
- Enhance their student reach
- Create engagement
Anything that is structured and intentional can be classified as formal learning. Dan encouraged people (instructors and content developers) to consider how we can use social media before, during, and after instruction. Here are a few of the ideas Dan and others came up with:
- Create a pre-instruction video preparing students for instruction and setting expectations
- Review learning objectives
- Send out links to "pre-reading" videos
- Consider LinkedIn groups
- Consider YouTube playlists
- Take a look at implementing inklewriter to combine many forms of content together
- In-lecture instructional videos
- Be sure to make sure private content is kept private. Check privacy settings to verify that they are appropriate for the content being shared
- GinkoApp – group note taking
- Socrative - class real-time feedback
- GoogleDrive - file sharing
- ChatterPix - an iOS application that allows you to combine short soundbites with a talking image. Dan suggests prompting students to record what they learned and then pairing it with a relevant photo. He then suggests sharing the created videos with students at a later time.
- Video summary of training for review (keep it short)
- Space out the delivery of followup content over time
- Utilize Aramsma. The technology allows you to overlay virtual reality on pictures of reality.
Notes on tools
The conference session had several hundred attendees. Dan used a useful, free tool called Socrative and encouraged people to respond to prompts during the session. The tool was seamless, easy for participants to access, and required no annoying username and password combo.
- When sharing content on multiple platforms, ensure each platform has links to related and important content on all other platforms.
- Padlet – collecting content
I'm at the conference center, getting organized
I'm here at the Association for Talent Development (ATD) Conference in Orlando this week. I'm looking forward to learning a lot about instructional design, learning science, and human performance improvement in healthcare – my fields of practice.
Picking out the perfect track
This international conference is huge. With more than 10,000 attendees and a conference center the size of two football fields, It's important to plan out one's experience as carefully as possible.
There's an app for that
ATD developed an app accessible on iTunes and Google play attendees can download and schedule out their conference events. It has push-notification capabilities and will help participants maximize their experience.
My individualized track
I'll be taking a blended approach to the conference. Here's my plan:
Sunday, May 17
- 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. | Design Thinking for the Instructional Designer
- 3 - 4 p.m. | A Strategy for High-Impact Corporate MOOCs
- 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. | When Instructional Design Met Performance Consulting
Monday, May 18
- 8 – 9:30 a.m. | General Session
- 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. | Tearing Down the Porch
- 11:30 – 12:30 p.m. | Developing Talent in Today's Changing Healthcare Environment
- 1 – 2:15 p.m. | Wearables: Just a Fad or the Future of Talent Development?
- 3 – 4 p.m. | 6 Psychological Tricks That Make Learning Stick
- 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. | Leadership: The Critical Factor for Creating Customer Service in Healthcare
Tuesday, May 19
- 8 – 9:30 a.m. | General Session
- 10 – 11:15 a.m. | 12 Rules of Respect: The Neuroscience of Employee Engagement
- 12 – 1 p.m. | Instant Insights
- 1 – 2 p.m. | Sink, Swim, or Set Up for Success? Preparing First-Time Leaders
- 2 – 3 p.m. | Exhibitor Experiential Sessions
- 3 – 4 p.m. | The New Social Learning
- 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. | How to Engage Every Participant Without Really Trying
- 5:30 – 7 p.m. | Student Day Career Networking Social
wednesDAY, MAY 19
- 8:15 – 9:15 a.m. | Surviving C-Suite Presentations
- 10 – 11 a.m. | Leveraging Emotional Intelligence Skills to Effectively Develop Leaders
- 1:30 – 2:45 p.m. | Visual Storytelling: Engaging Learners Using Pictures
- 3 – 4 p.m. | General Session
Follow the event using #ATD2015
There are a number of attendees who are contributing their thoughts and experiences on the conference and conference sessions using hashtag #ATD2015.
So what is design thinking, anyway?
Willemien Visser defined design thinking as "design-specific cognitive activities that designers apply during the process of designing." Angel Green with Allen Interactions presented on how this approach to design can help make our instruction more engaging, relevant, and impactful.
Instructional designers have a problem
First, we spend a lot of money on design...
...yet we have a lot of dissatisfied learners
Green suggested that a simple twitter search on "I hate training" will highlight many of the concerns most learners have with instruction.
How can we solve the negative sentiment problem?
We participated in a number of design thinking activities to help us as instructional designers identify ways to improve learning. Instructional Designers can:
- employ design thinking techniques to instructional design
- involve the learners in design
- continuously make improvements to design based on learner feedback
- help students better manage their time by providing them with clearly identified learning tasks
Angel suggests that prototyping can help us gain feedback and increase or creativity in our design.
The $499 personal drone
Producers of the new Lily Camera recently released a video that highlights what this cool little camera does. This personal drone follows the subject around with a GPS system she or he wears. It's like a little waterproof, loyal friend who captures your every move in 1080p60. It'll be interesting to watch this company and see what startup does in the future. I'd love to see this technology be combined with support for more professional-grade cameras.
You can pre-order the camera for $499 between now and June 15, here.
Robotic surgery and instructional design
James R. Porter, M.D., is the medical director of robotic surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. This video below shows how precise and advanced robotic surgery has become. Swedish's First Hall campus has developed a special operating room which has two surgery consoles where two surgeons can participate in the surgery. This structure allows for instructional apprenticeship in training surgeons in realtime on the proper use of the robotic equipment. The dual-console structure also allows surgeons to trade of operating duties and seamlessly take periodic breaks from the surgical procedure.
Get a look at Swedish's da Vinci Robotic Surgery Suite
See the da Vinci Surgical Robot sew a grape
The precision with which the da Vinci Surgical Robot operates is impressive. To get an idea of what is possible, take a look at how well a surgeon is able to stitch a grape back together. What does this mean for patients? Surgeries can become less invasive with less damage to tissue and improved recovery times.
Learning scientist Roger Schank has been a big proponent of the learn-by-doing approach to instruction. This theory proposes that learning is best achieved in the context of doing real, relevant tasks that matter. Learners don't have issues with transfer because they are exposed to problems in authentic environments. Learners who are learning by doing don't have troubles answering the question, "when or how can I use this knowledge?" Understanding the significance of the skill or knowledge learners are trying to acquire is evident in the context of the task they are attempting to perform. Here's more on the subject.
Do something you care about
This outstanding video by a YouTube vlogger Cheers, Kevin addresses the question of how one can learn to code. Like many technical skills, developing proficiency in any coding language is hard. In the video below, Kevin does an admiral job of providing recommendations to people interested in learning to code. His advice is pretty relevant for most skills. Do you have a hard skill you're interested in developing? Kevin's advice for learning the skill is spot on. Start with identifying something you are intensely interested in.
The important places
I found this touching short film on Vimeo produced by Gnarly Bay Productions. My important place is the lake. My dad taught me to sail; sailing is a way to connect with each other. This video is an important reminder to me that I need to take time for myself, for my dad, and for my hobby.
Where are your important places?
Greg Gage: How to control someone else's arm with your brain
Is it possible to control someone else's movements with your brain? It is with a DIY neuroscience kit from Backyard Brains -- a company Greg Gage started to make neuroscience equipment more accessible for interested students. Here's a chance to see how this equipment works:
106 Miles in Chile
Patagonia recently released this fantastic short film on three trail runners running 106 miles through Patagonia, Chile, over the course of two days. I like running, so I naturally enjoyed this video. James Q. Martin produced the video and did a fantastic job highlighting the beautiful landscape. If you are into trail running, you might find this video especially meaningful.