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The design and development of learning materials

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  1. The design and development of learning materials Prof. dr. Martin Valcke Workshop Innovative teaching and Learning Strategies in Higher Education Maputo 4-6 August, 2009

  2. Structure • Introductory activity • Instructional design: decision tree • Embedded support devices • Structure of DE materials: principles • Overall models in DE learning materials

  3. Conclusions • Distance education inherits basic characteristics of traditional instructional approaches. • Distance education imposes « explicit » planning en « consistency » • ESD and structure are key decisions • Imposition of a house style • Micro-, meso- and macro-decisions have to be taken

  4. Introductory Activity • Small group activity • Imagine you are responsible for writing a manual for a Swatch watch in Vietnam. • Try to think about critical topics you will consider when developing the little manual. • Structure your ideas.

  5. Did you think about? • What is the target audience: adults, teenagers, children? • Use of pictures, photo’s, drawings, schemes, … instead of written language. • Reflections about ‘what’ you were about to tackle in the users manual (objectives). • How you would structure the users manual: key words (panel, battery, setting time and alarms), manipulation of the watch, a story, error messages, …)? • Multiple languages if written language is used. • Use of colours, symbols, … • What if the users manual is lost? • Operational instructions: do this and do that. • How much time can you expect people to use the manual? • …

  6. Wrapping up: decision tree

  7. InstructionalDesign

  8. Instructional design • Different decisions trees • Different models • IDI-model (Northern American consortium of universities): “Consortium for Instructional Development and Technology“.IDI ~‘Instructional Development Institute’ • Focus on subpart in model • Later full model

  9. Instructional design

  10. Content of learning materials • Task: take a manual from a traditional instructional setting. • What is the content of the package; what « types » of content can we distinguish?

  11. Content • Additional elements: • Exercices • Examples • Illustrations • Questions • ... BASIC CONTENT

  12. Content + • Why do we add the extra elements? • . • . • . • . • . • . • .

  13. Content in distance education • Same manual/handbook • But now there is NO TEACHER • Student is alone sitting in front of his handboek/manual • What is missing in his/her learning environment • Write on a sheet of paper

  14. examples structure tasks questions Content page illustration graphics summary test exercise Advance organizer feedback Study advice keyword

  15. structure Embedded support devices tasks examples Content page • Extra elements: ‘embedded support devices’ (ESD). • Lockwood (1992): ‘activities’ to refer to their basic role as ‘catalysts’ of student involvement • The basic content is derived from the domain specific knowledge base. • The ESD are added to support the actual learning process in view of the objectives • ESD are a kind of in-built teacher graphics keyword questions Advance organizer test exercise Study advice feedback illustration summary

  16. Embedded support devices • ESD: a wide variety of add-on, such as questions (pre- and post-), content pages, illustrations, examples, activities, tasks, tests, examples, schemes, cases, etc.

  17. Embedded support devices • Basic functions and effects of ESD (Valcke, Martens, Poelmans and Daal,1993): • orienting ESD: learning objectives, references to other learning materials, references to required prior knowledge, etc. • processing ESD: indexes, additional learning materials, advance organizers, illustrations, glossaries, introductions, study advice, summaries, tables, examples, etc. • testing ESD: self-test items, exercise items, answers and feedback. • ESD up to 45% of the learning materials

  18. ESD: list Advance organisers • Ausubel 1960 • Activation of prior knowledge Examples: In the chapter about ‘cognitive learning approaches’ in the course on instructional science students start by playing a little game. They are asked to learn by heart 10 different words. After one minute they have to take a sheet of paper and write down the words they can remember.Next, they have are given the task to write down HOW they memorised the list of words. When a lecturer puts together the approaches of 10 different students he gets a very nice overview of theoretical and empirical knowledge acquisition processes as defined by cognitive psychologists BUT now in the wording of the students themselves.

  19. ESD: list Introduction • Introductions orientation as to what, how and why the materials are presented • other comparable ESD: content page, scheme, objectives, assessment criteria, … Summary • Provide summary or let students develop summary • Incomplete summary

  20. ESD: list Content pages • Give content page • Ask students to build content page, overviews, scheme or mind-maps Timing • How much time on average should be spent on specific tasks, sets of learning materials • Support individual study planning (time management) • Realistic time frames • Study load of courses.

  21. ESD: list Schemes • Structure scheme, a process scheme, a classification scheme, an incomplete scheme, a mind-map, … Recapitulation section – wrap up section • Students go backwards and forwards in the overall structure of the content Dialogue • Talk to the student in a written way: • What would you do if you were in this position? • Could you help me here or will you leave me behind with this problem? • Could you think about three examples for me, please. I will need them further on in the text.

  22. ESD: list Key words • Left column with ‘key words’ • Role of key words: structure, important basic concepts, index to the text • Statements about prior knowledge • Be explicit about assumptions about prior knowledge • Especially when we introduce complex problem settings (real life cases, problems, …). Developers can no longer control the overall situation.

  23. ESD: list Objectives • Objectives at the start • To orient their further reading activities, the way they process the activities, • Students are pragmatic Activities • Questions, tasks, problems • Feedback (structural feedback or solution?)

  24. ESD: list Feedback • Questions, tasks, activities, assessment provisions, … bring forward the idea about giving students adequate feedback. • Immediate or delayed feedback. • Learners should learn to judge themselves • Gradual development of self-reflection skill

  25. ESD: list Questions • Continuous active involvement of the students • Pre- and post-questions Self-assessment • Students are invited to check mastery objectives • Examples of final assessment • Students study in a assessment-driven way • The test as a relevant ‘learning’ experience • Examples of a final test ~ representative for real final test • Feedback: redirect to relevant learning section

  26. ESD: list Enrichment (facultative activities) • Resources for learning. • Beyond the body of knowledge needed to attain the objectives

  27. ESD: list Examples • Examples translate abstract concepts, features, relations, structures in real world terms and experiences • Link new abstract knowledge to student experiences • Role examples: learn by heart?

  28. ESD: list Study advice • How to deal with your learning package? • Examples of how to go ahead, to plan their work, to check their progress, to involve colleagues, contact staff, support people, .. • Based on real life student comments about experiences with this package

  29. ESD: list Self-reflection • Self reflection as a pro-active activity: how will we proceed? • Or as a retro-active process: how did I deal with this task, content. • Development of meta-cognitive knowledge skills.

  30. Design of a « house style » • Choice for a set of ESD ~house style • Students prefer consistent materials • Internal consistency • Quality!!

  31. Develop your own house style • Take your learning materials • Redevelop 2-3 pages • Make an outline of how you would enrich the materials with ESD • Make a difference between local ESD and ESD at chapter/unit level

  32. Basic content • Structure? • How can we structure the basic content?How is it structured in your handbooks? • Can you think of alternative approaches?

  33. Basic content: structure • Scientific content • Procedure (e.g. Law, Scientific research, chemical process,, ...) • Cases • Problems • Time line

  34. Basic content: structure • Book: chapters • Learning book: learning units, themes, ... • What is best structure? • What is the structure in your manuals and handbooks? What is the basis of this structure?

  35. Basic content: structure

  36. Structure: Problems • Problems • Problem-based learning: starting point is a real-life problem: • “A bee-keeper of 65 strolls on a nice morning in May through his garden. In front of his hives, he suddenly stumbles and falls against one hive that tumbles upside down. The bees are furious and attack. The man is able to get away, but heavily bitten, he falls in the kitchen after closing the kitchen door. His wife alarms the doctor who arrives within 5 minutes and sees how the man is getting unconscious.”

  37. Structure: problems • The student read this text and follow a 6-step procedure. This procedure is mostly supported by a group • Analyse the situation • Define the problem • Apply the knowledge readily available • Define learning objectives • Look for additional knowledge to apply in view of the learning objectives • Report about the results • Study process supported with in-built tutor • Assessment based on problem resolution (feedback) + tests that assesses mastery declarative knowledge

  38. Structure: Cases • Case-based Harvard University • Originally economics and business sciences • Now in wide variety of domains (medicine, psychology, ..). • Gradual build-up • Three dimensions: • Conceptual dimension • Procedural dimension • Information dimension

  39. Structure: cases • All learning starts with a well-prepared case: • These cases can be small or very elaborated. • Students get a resource package that can be very detailed or rather empty as it is expected that they look up the resources themselves.

  40. Structure: cases • The conceptual base can be considered ‘acquired’ or be made available in a structured way. • Case resolution can be an individual and/or a group learning activity. • Case resolution can be done in reality or away from reality. • Cases build upon real life. • All data, examples, ‘living’ information is taken from reality. • There is no separate assessment/testing set up, next to the final report that describes that case solution by the student(s).

  41. Structure: Procedure • In professional life, people build upon a variety of procedures, methods, ways to practice their profession. For instance: lawyers follow a strict procedure when preparing a case; business scientists follow specific procedure when they screen a company, doctors follow diagnosing procedures, psychologists apply listening skills, teachers know how to ask questions, … • Starting point: basic declarative knowledge • Clear development of a task list, step-by-step guide, plan

  42. Overall models in DE learning materials • Learning unit model • Textbook – working book model • Case study model • Procedural model • Virtual companies • Thesis model

  43. Examples • See package

  44. Conclusions • Distance education inherits basic characteristics of traditional instructional approaches. • Distance education imposes « explicit » planning en « consistency » • ESD and structure are key decisions • Imposition of a house style • Micro-, meso- and macro-decisions have to be taken

  45. The design and development of learning materials Prof. dr. Martin Valcke Workshop Innovative teaching and Learning Strategies in Higher Education Maputo 4-6 August, 2009