Thursday, September 20, 2007

BigDog Instructional Design

SkillsCamp gave me the chance to see a variety of approaches to teaching technical material and experiment with my own. This has increased my appreciation of good teachers and opened my eyes to the field of instructional design.

At EIndia last month I met Douglas Bell, an instructional designer with EDC. Last night I called him to ask for advice on how to create compelling educational materials.

Here are some notes from that call :

Develop explicit learning objectives
Be 'needs' based
Avoid creating material that is just an orientation
Create tasks with which people will develop skills by accomplishing the tasks
Be clear - 'at the end of this module students can do x, y, z'
Learning objectives should be objective and observable
Assessment so students can get feedback of whether they're on the right track
Iterate, watch closely to see how students are responding to the material and modify the material accordingly - you probably won't get it the first time.
PRACTICE
Action based, avoid passive lectures
Look at what other people are doing, online universities, etc

google: big dog instructional design
for a site that has good information on instructional design. Maybe this

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