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Monthly Archives: September 2013

Integrating Motivation with Instructional Design

As an Instructional Designer, motivating learners is an important consideration because in reality learners are not always motivated to learn. They are busy, have other things to do, don’t see the course/session as being important or have had a bad learning experience in the past. I’ve written a couple of posts about motivation – self-determination theory and the motivational pull of video games – which are about satisfying autonomy, competence and relatedness needs of learners. I’ve come across Dr John Keller’s motivational design model known as ARCS and thought it was worth sharing.

The ARCS model comprises four major factors that influence the motivation to learn – Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction. It’s described as a problem-solving model and helps designers identify and solve specific motivational problems related to the appeal of instruction. The model was developed after a comprehensive review and synthesis of motivation concepts and research studies. Its also been validated in studies across different education levels.

John KellerDr John Keller

The four categories of motivation variables consist of sub-categories along with process questions to consider when designing:

Attention = Capturing the interest of learners, stimulating their curiosity to learn.

  • Perceptual Arousal: What can I do to capture their interest?
  • Inquiry Arousal: How can I stimulate an attitude of inquiry?
  • Variability: How can I maintain their attention?

Relevance = Meeting the personal needs/goals of the learner to affect a positive attitude.

  • Goal Orientation: How can I best meet my learner’s needs? (Do I know their needs?)
  • Motive Matching: How and when can I provide my learners with appropriate choices, responsibilities and influences?
  • Familiarity: How can I tie the instruction to the learners’ experience?

Confidence = Helping the learners believe/feel that they will succeed and control their success.

  • Learning Requirements: How can I assist in building a positive expectation for success?
  • Success Opportunities: How will the learning experience support or enhance the learners’ beliefs in their competence?
  • Personal Control: How will learners clearly know their success is based upon their efforts and abilities?

Satisfaction = Reinforcing accomplishment with rewards (internal and external).

  • Natural Consequences: How can I provide meaningful opportunities for learners to use their newly acquired knowledge/skill?
  • Positive Consequences: What will provide reinforcement to the learners’ successes?
  • Equity: How can I assist the learners in anchoring a positive feeling about their accomplishments?

The following link is to a YouTube video where Dr Keller discusses the ARCS Model, some background in its development and the addition of volition to the model.

ARCS: A Conversation with John Keller

Apart from the motivational aspects of the model, what I really like about ARCS is that it puts the learner at the centre of the design process.

After all, that’s how it should be.

References:

arcsmodel.com

Keller, J. M. (1987) Strategies for stimulating the motivation to learn. Performance and Instruction. 26 (8), 1-7.

 
 

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From Learning Outcomes to Performance Outcomes

In most, if not all e-Learning and classroom courses, one of the first things mentioned are the Learning Outcomes. After all, they’re the purpose of the course. Unfortunately, in many cases, they appear to be slapped on with very little thought put into them. Here are three that I dislike seeing:

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand something, or
  • Be aware of something, or
  • Know something.

The problem with these outcomes is that they are too vague. Yet they are used all too often to set the scene for an online or face-to-face learning experience. Sure, understanding, awareness and knowledge are part of the learning process. You could even argue they are learning outcomes because hopefully by the end of a course, learners will understand, be aware and know something that they didn’t know before. The problem is these outcomes don’t go far enough. How can you tell if a learner understands, is aware or knows something?

They’ll be able to DO something.

As someone who works in “Learning and Development” my goal is to change behaviour and ultimately improve the performance of the employees in my organisation. There are many ways to do this both formally and informally but focusing on what will be learned i.e. the content, its stopping short of the ultimate goal of behaviour change and performance improvement.

For example, if I’m designing a course about our organisations Code of Conduct, a learner is aware of, and knows that, the code exists – just by participating.

So, an outcome of the course isn’t really:

You’ll be able to understand the requirements of the Code of Conduct.

It’s only part of what learners are able to do. A real outcome is:

You’ll be able to make ethical decisions while working at our organisation.

See the difference? The first one is content focused – what the code says to do, where the second is performance focused – making decisions based on what the code says to do. So why don’t we call them Performance Outcomes? Surely, by moving away from the term Learning Outcomes and calling them Performance Outcomes, we can focus on the desired performance required from learners and not what content is to be covered during the course?

A performance focus should also guide us through the analysis and design of the course resulting in an improved outcome for learners who are participating and the organisation as a whole.

What’s your view?

10982789-performance-word-in-white-chalk-handwriting-on-blackboard

 
5 Comments

Posted by on September 22, 2013 in Instructional Design

 

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Thoughts on Personal Learning Networks

I started developing a personal learning network (PLN) before I knew it was called a PLN. As someone who wanted to learn more about instructional design, I started reading books and then commenting on blogs and then started following others in the L&D space on twitter. One thing lead to another and I find my PLN keeps growing! In my last blog post I shared a lot of people who I would classify as being part of my personal learning network (PLN). The list isn’t exhaustive but everyone on it has contributed in some way to my development and helped me learn more.

Originally I thought a PLN was a new  term for a Community of Practice (CoP) but a blog post by Lisa Chamberlin has helped to clarify the difference between the terms for me.

Jeff Merrell put a great blog post together that provides resources for more info into PLNs. I’ve also enrolled in Jeff’s online seminar called Exploring PLNs: Practical Issues for Organisations on the 7th of October. It will explore the question “How might it be possible for organizations and individuals alike to benefit if individuals develop personal learning networks within and outside the enterprise–namely, their employers?”  Sounds really interesting and it will also be a way help grow my own PLN via interaction with other partcipants.

What makes a PLN?

Personal: It means something to you. You choose who is part of it. You choose your level of participation and involvement.

Learning: Some form of learning takes place. It could be via a sharing information or in response to a question or from an alternate point of view or from a discussion or from working towards a common goal/interest. You could even provide the learning for someone else.

Network: A group of interconnected people spread out all over the world. Having this kind of network is much different to ‘networking’ and I think it’s because of the personal nature of it. Networking tends to have connotations of connecting with people because you might want to do business with them in the future. PLNs are more about learning and sharing.

I’ve blogged before about self-determination theory and motivation. Here’s how I think  PLN’s satisfy our basic psychological needs:

Autonomy: I can engage with anyone as much as I want, whenever I want. You choose who to surround yourself with. It’s your network to create.

Competence: your PLN can develop your competence by being involved with them, by learning from the experience others or from providing feedback to you if you put something out there.

Relatedness: you are interacting and connecting with people from all over the world who work in the same industry/area as you.

Maybe that’s why PLNs help contribute towards our motivation for learning?

It’s also possible that you may not have met ‘members’ of your PLN in person. I read a recent blog post by Helen Blunden who was able to meet people in her PLN. That’s something I’d like to do over time. So far, I’ve been able to meet a couple (Ryan and Con) and it was really cool to chat with them and get to know them a little on a personal level.

A great benefit of a PLN is that it makes you feel part of something and this quote sums it up nicely:

untitledWhat do you think about Personal Learning Networks?

Image quote by Kathy Kaldenburg

 
11 Comments

Posted by on September 13, 2013 in Personal Learning Network

 

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Shout-out to my Personal Learning Network

When I started working as an Instructional Designer a few years ago, I didn’t have much ID experience. In fact, I didn’t even realise that it was a career path! I’d been working as a classroom trainer up until that point and enjoying it but I wanted a change. Since becoming and ID I’ve had the opportunity to design for eLearning and classroom environments. Apart from a 2-day workshop, much of what I’ve learned along the way has come from my own experiences and from the experiences of others. From early on in my career I have wanted know more about instructional design and how to design to improve performance – two things that still drive me today.

A few weeks ago I posted a list of what I called 20 Resources for New eLearning Professionals on the eLearning Industry website. It was my way of both acknowledging and sharing with others who are maybe in a similar place as I was and are looking for sources of practical and thought-provoking ideas in the fields of learning and design. I limited it to 20 just to keep it concise but now that it’s on my blog I thought I’d expand on it a bit. It would be great if you could add a couple in the comments area too. In just a couple of years, I have come across many of great practitioners in the learning field from trainers to instructional designers to those who specialise in a particular area and those who are more generalist L&D/OD in what they talk about. The one thing they have is common is a passion for what they do.

My personal learning network has grown steadily and continues to grow and I wanted to share with you a few of the people who have had an impact on me in some way. The following people and resources provide excellent, relevant and useful information on a variety of e-learning areas and most also provide a means for you to connect with the other learning professionals, helping you to grow your own personal learning network (more about PLN’s in my next post).

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Books

When I first started looking for information on instructional design, I started with books. Even in this digital age, I still love reading an actual book. A colleague recommended Ruth Colvin Clark and as such I’ve read several of her books. I find her books provide a straightforward, evidence-based approach and I’ve learned a lot from them. All these books are terrific resources as they provide in-depth coverage that is easy to read and apply to your professional and personal life.

  1. Efficiency in Learning by Ruth Clark, Frank Nguyen and John Sweller
  2. Developing Technical Training by Ruth Colvin Clark
  3. The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Karl Kapp
  4. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte
  5. Graphics for Learning by Ruth Colvin Clark and Chopeta Lyons
  6. Telling Ain’t Training by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps
  7. Evidence-based Training Methods by Ruth Colvin Clark
  8. Cognitive Load Theory edited by Jan L. Plass, Roxana Moreno and Roland Brunken
  9. The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  10. Mindset: How you can fulfil your potential by Carol Dweck
  11. Out of Our Minds: Learning to be creative by Ken Robinson

(I’ve also got Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They can Change the World by Jane McGonigal and Better than Bullet Points: Creating Engaging e-learning with PowerPoint by Jane Bozarth on order).

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Blogs

I didn’t start reading blogs until I started my own blog earlier this year. I figured that the best way to learn about writing a blog is to start by looking at how others do it. What I discovered was a wonderful source of information, opinions and reflections (even writing styles) on a variety of areas within the learning field. I find blogs to be a great way to not only learn about what’s happening in the learning profession but to get some alternative viewpoints that may challenge your own ideas. I’ve listed a few that I read below and there are some more under the ‘Blogs I follow’ label to the right of the screen. Regardless of whose blog you read, if you find a post that interests you, chances are it will be interesting to someone else so why not share it by clicking on one or more of the share options at the end of the post.

  1. Ryan Tracey: Ryan is an Australian E-Learning manager, blogger, writer, advisor & reviewer who writes about a variety of learning topics –  http://ryan2point0.wordpress.com/ (also on twitter @ryantracey)
  2. Cathy Moore: Cathy is on a mission to save the world from boring corporate elearning. Creator of the action mapping ID process and the Elearning Blueprint –  http://blog.cathy-moore.com/ (also on twitter @CatMoore)
  3. Connie Malamed: Connie writes as The elearning Coach and provides tips and reviews for success with online and mobile learning – http://theelearningcoach.com/about/ (also on twitter @elearningcoach)
  4. Will Thalheimer: Will writes a research based commentary on learning, performance and the industry thereof – http://www.willatworklearning.com/ (also on twitter @WillWorkLearn)
  5. Clark Quinn: Clark is a learning experience architect & strategist taking it to the ‘next level’ via a deep cognitive and broad technology background – http://blog.learnlets.com/ (also on twitter @Quinnovator)
  6. Jane Hart: Jane is the Founder of the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (C4LPT). She is an independent advisor, writer and speaker – http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/blog/ (also on twitter @C4LPT)
  7. Allison Rossett: Alison has taught in EDTEC at SDSU for 30+ years, writing books, running projects, working with students and clients – http://www.allisonrossett.com/ (also on twitter @arossett)
  8. Craig Weiss: Craig writes the E-Learning 24/7 blog and has been identified as a thought leader and expert – http://elearninfo247.com/ (also on twitter @diegoinstudio)

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Websites

The following websites have a huge range of learning articles, case studies, opinions, research, best practice and resources that may help you with your next e-learning project:

  1. eLearning Industry: http://elearningindustry.com/ (also on twitter @elearnindustry)
  2. The eLearning Guildhttp://www.elearningguild.com/ (also on twitter @eLearningGuild)
  3. Learning Solutions Magazine: http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/ (also on twitter @learningsolmag)
  4. eLearning Learning: http://www.elearninglearning.com/ (also on twitter @trainmagnetwork)
  5. eLearning Brothers: provide a great range of templates and resources for Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate and Lectora http://elearningbrothers.com/
  6. Instructional Design Org: Good place for new e-learning professionals that contains information on learning theories, design models and terminology  http://www.instructionaldesign.org/
  7. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication that aims to promote scholarship in the use of the Internet and web-based multimedia resources in higher education – http://jolt.merlot.org/

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Twitter

Twitter is a tool that I didn’t use much at all until recently. I’ve found it to be a great way to connect with other eLearning professionals. As well as the one’s already mentioned here’s a few more people that I follow: @lrnchat – a weekly twitter chat covering a variety of interesting learning related topics. I’ve connected with a lot of learning people via lrnchat. @chat2lrn is another good weekly chat too. Learning and Development professionals from around the world (many of them write blogs too):

  • Helen Blunden @ActivateLearn
  • Costas @LearnKotch
  • Christopher Pappas @cpappas
  • Jane Bozarth @JaneBozarth  (Jane writes some great articles on the Learning Solutions Mag website too)
  • Charles Jennings @charlesjennings and @702010Forum
  • Tracy L. Bissett @TLBissett
  • Craig Taylor @CraigTaylor74
  • Mark Britz @britz
  • Kevin Thorn @LearnNuggets
  • Tracy Parish @Tracy_Parish
  • Tom Spiglanin @tomspiglanin
  • Bianca Woods @eGeeking
  • Mayra Aixa Villar @MayraAixaVillar
  • David Kelly @LnDDave
  • Lesley Price @lesleyprice
  • Colin Steed @ColinSteed
  • Nancy Duarte @nancyduarte

I’m using Articulate Storyline at work, so here are some Articulate people that I follow:

  • Tom Kuhlmann @tomkuhlmann – Tom writes the Rapid Elearning Blog where he shares great practical tips & tricks for building elearning courses.
  • Articulate @Articulate
  • David Anderson @elearning
  • Nicole Legault @nicole_legault
  • Christine Hendrickson @CHendrickson82

If you’re interested in gamification (as I am) check out these people:

  • Karl Kapp @kkapp
  • Jane McGonigal @avantgame
  • Alicia Sanchez @gamesczar
  • Amy Jo Kim @amyjokim
  • Scott Nicholson @snicholson
  • Gabe Zichermann @GabeZicherman
  • The Knowledge Guru @thekguru
  • Gamification Co @gamificationco

I realise that there’s a lot of names listed in this post but I believe they are worth checking out if you want to learn more about eLearning, instructional design, performance improvement and the role of L&D. Maybe not all at once but when or if you need to. They have helped me along the way and might help you too. It would be great if you could add a couple of (or more) resources that you have in the comments area below and also share this post. That way we can create a living blog post that will reach a wide audience.

Finally, a huge THANK-YOU to everyone who has and continues to help me, challenge me, inspire me and share their knowledge; it’s very much appreciated.

 

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