Lunchtime webinosh with Will Thalheimer, PhD (president of Work-Learning Research, Inc. Help organizations to bridge the gap between research on learning and reality.)
Brown Bag Learning follows subscription learning approach:
- Repeats key concepts over time: Spacing
- Enables you to get reminders and deepen your understanding
- Enables you to remember over time
Big topic this week -- Neon Elephant Award to Robert Brinkerhoff for developing case success method evaluation of learning and his new book.
Next event: Fri. Jan 23rd on Myths
Question of the Week
How has the economy affected your Learning Unit? (responses in parens below)
- Hit us Hard (18%)
- Hurt a Little (50%)
- Not much effect (32?)
The Learning Landscape (how the learning experience goes):
- Learning Intervention (Learner Learns)
- Performance Situation (Learner Retrieves, Learner Applies)
- Learning Outcome (Learner Fulfillment, Organization gets Learning Results)
Question: ID creates course on threshing and grinding, but only presents objections on threshing. What will happen?
- Info on T & G will be better recalled (T+,G+)
- Info on T will be better recalled, while info on G will stay same (T+,G=)
- Info on T will be better recalled, but info on G will be more poorly recalled (T+,G-)
#3 was most popular choice among respondents.
We'll come back to that in a minute. (Delayed feedback.)
Types of Instructional Objectives
There are many types of Instructional Objectives
Two audiences we should be aiming for. Instructional objectives designed to guide behavior: for the learner, for the developer.
Instructional Objectives for Learner:
- Table of contents objectives (these are the things we're going to teach you)
- Performance Objectives (this is what you'll do..)
- Motivation (why you should pay attention)
- Focusing Objectives (what you should pay attention to)
Instructional Objectives for Developers:
- Instr. Des Objectives (what we want learners to learn, behaviors for them to do)
- Evaluation Objective (these are the things we're going to measure)
- Situation (these are the list of situations)
- Organizational Objectives (the benefits that will come to the organization)
Don't want one objective to fulfill all purposes.
Today's focus: Focusing Objectives
A statement presented before learner encounters material to help guide learner attention to the most important aspects of the learning material.
Correct answer (to question above):
#3 If provide learning objective to learner, they will focus more on that material. Info on T will be better recalled, but info on G will be more poorly recalled (T+,G-)
Research shows: When info is targeted by learning objectives the learner recalls that info better, but they pay less attention to the other stuff (thus the reduction in G).
When presented with a learning objective -- it sits in the long term memory. So later when that info is targeted in the material, the long term memory is triggered.
Which focusing objective will product the best learning?
- The physical appearance of three kinds of typefaces
- The physical appearance of gothic types, italic type, roman type
- Both will produce equal results
#2 is the best answer.
If objectives worded general, they have very little effect.
Focusing objectives should be VERY specific.
Do you use focusing objectives?
47% of us said "some of the time"
Which will be more effective at guiding learner atttention?
- You will learn that perch navigate by using the sun?
- Answer yes or no. Can perch navigate by using the sun?
- Both will produce equal results
#2 is best response. The value of pre-questions. Research shows prequestions do work. Especially in prequestions that learner answers rather than reads.
Prequestions are about equal but slightly higher to a focusing objective.
What other ways can we guide learner attention to the most critical material?
[I've written on this topic before in My Objection to Learning Objectives. Be sure to read all of the great ideas put forth in the comments.]
Scenarios, pauses in material -- "pay attention to this", etc.
You don't need to use focusing questions and prequestions in every course. They are a tool in your toolbox. We all know that people mostly just click through a learning objective page of text bullets (they've been overused).
Sometimes it's good to surprise the learner.
Prequestions, especially scenario-based questions, are great for eLearning.
Lots of ways to guide a learner's attention: narration, white space, graphics, video, etc.
Focusing Objectives Summary:
- Improve learning by 5-40%
- Non-targeted info worse by 25%
- Must be specific
- Delivered close to learning (don't need to all be bunched up at the beginning of the workshop -- you can spread them out to when they will actually be learning that material)
- Pre-questions are good
Learning Myth of the Week
Myth = Learning Objectives Don't Work. They do. They sometimes don't work, because the learners aren't paying attention. (So how can you design your courses so that learners DO pay attention?)
Myth = Objectives must be used. No. There are other ways to guide attention.
Myth = Objectives should be used like a Table of Contents. No