Monday, February 6, 2012

George Astor Cates: Grandpa

My grandfather on my dad's side died before I ever knew him. He was a rancher in Texas and Montana. He ran cattle, worked in Rodeos and occasionally raced. I tracked down this postcard on the web and wanted to post it here so I have it somewhere online. The poem or song lyrics are on the card are:

"George Astor Cates, is my name in full,
Crowell, Texas, is my address,
I'm booted and spurred, and ready to start
My ride on the Pony Express

From a little town in the Lone Star State,
The little town of Nocona,
I'll start to ride two thousand miles
To the City of San Francisco
Cross prairies wide, o'er mountains high
Through miles and miles of sand,
Day after day I'll ride and ride
On toward the sun-set land.

I'll pas you by as I ride along,
My face you will merely see,
But when I'm gone this souvenir
Will make you think of me."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Survey of Instructional Development Models: Nieveen Model

I couldn't find a decent image of the representation of this model so I tried to throw together a quick and dirty version and get it on the web in case anyone like me needed it out there:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fostering Skill Development Outcomes (FSDO)

By Alexander Romiszowski

Notes and Insights:

Knowledge is a go or no go sort of a thing. Either you have it or you don't.
Skill develops, it is a spectrum of learning, practice, and experience.

If you were to attempt to combine behaviorism and cognitivism in a skill development model then the result would be similar to the Four-Stage Performance Cycle:
Start with STIMULUS which goes to the PERFORMER who then goes through a PERCEPTION, RECALL, PLAN, (cognitive) PERFORM process which results in a RESPONSE.

How does this relate to the First Principles of Instruction:

FSDO Stages

Stage 1 acquire knowledge of what should be done (this could involve activation but it isn't explicit). This would also be part of demonstration I think.
Stage 2 executing the actions in a step-by-step manner (This is application)
Stage 3 transferring control from the eyes to other senses (Continued application)
Stage 4 automatize the skill (Continued application)
Stage 5 generalize the skill (Integrate)

Practice = apply: SKO would say use a whole task method to learn integrated coordinated activities and progressive parts method if the task is a sequence of relatively independent actions.

Productive skills align well with these principles: using problem-based learning.

Learning and Instruction Theories

The TIP database has a summary of learning and teaching theories. I dug into a few to see what it had to say:

Anchored Instruction
(John Bransford & the CTGV)

This concept encourages students and teachers to pose and solve complex, realistic problems using interactive video tools. "The video materials serve as "anchors" (macro-contexts) for all subsequent learning and instruction. As explained by CTGV (1993, p52): "The design of these anchors was quite different from the design of videos that were typically used in education...our goal was to create interesting, realistic contexts that encouraged the active construction of knowledge by learners. Our anchors were stories rather than lectures and were designed to be explored by students and teachers. " The use of interactive videodisc technology makes it possible for students to easily explore the content." (TIP)

Anchored instruction is closely related to the situated learning framework (see CTGV, 1990, 1993) and also to the Cognitive Flexibility theory in its emphasis on the use of technology-based learning.
It seems to me that this is a similar approach to PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING which I feel is very effective, particularly when the learner has at least some idea or foundation for the discipline. In this case it may be referred to as CONTEXT-BASED LEARNING where the context provides an anchor for the instruction. Medical schools are a great example of this type of instruction where they present patients (context/problem) and the students work together to solve the problem. However what anchored instruction seems to add is the ability to do this through the medium of video.
Cognitive Load Theory (J. Sweller)
"Short term memory is limited in the number of elements it can contain simultaneously, Sweller builds a theory that treats schemas, or combinations of elements, as the cognitive structures that make up an individual's knowledge base. (Sweller, 1988)

The contents of long term memory are "sophisticated structures that permit us to perceive, think, and solve problems," rather than a group of rote learned facts. These structures, known as schemas, are what permit us to treat multiple elements as a single element. They are the cognitive structures that make up the knowledge base (Sweller, 1988). Schemas are acquired over a lifetime of learning, and may have other schemas contained within themselves.

The difference between an expert and a novice is that a novice hasn't acquired the schemas of an expert. Learning requires a change in the schematic structures of long term memory and is demonstrated by performance that progresses from clumsy, error-prone, slow and difficult to smooth and effortless. The change in performance occurs because as the learner becomes increasingly familiar with the material, the cognitive characteristics associated with the material are altered so that it can be handled more efficiently by working memory.

From an instructional perspective, information contained in instructional material must first be processed by working memory. For schema acquisition to occur, instruction should be designed to reduce working memory load. Cognitive load theory is concerned with techniques for reducing working memory load in order to facilitate the changes in long term memory associated with schema acquisition.


Specific recommendations relative to the design of instructional material include:

1. Change problem solving methods to avoid means-ends approaches that impose a heavy working memory load, by using goal-free problems or worked examples. (At least early on in the learning process when there is not a lot of schema built up)

2. Eliminate the working memory load associated with having to mentally integrate several sources of information by physically integrating those sources of information.

3. Eliminate the working memory load associated with unnecessarily processing repetitive information by reducing redundancy.

4. Increase working memory capacity by using auditory as well as visual information under conditions where both sources of information are essential (i.e. non-redundant) to understanding." (Based on the idea that working memory has two "channels" a phonetic and visual channel and when both are used you are less likely to overwhelm one of the channels hence more transfer of knowledge into long-term memory)

(Non-red text taken from TIP)

Conditions of Learning
(R. Gagne)

Different types or levels of learning:

"The significance of these classifications is that each different type requires different types of instruction. Gagne identifies five major categories of learning: verbal information, intellectual skills, cognitive strategies, motor skills and attitudes.


1. Different instruction is required for different learning outcomes.

2. Events of learning operate on the learner in ways that constitute the conditions of learning.

3. The specific operations that constitute instructional events are different for each different type of learning outcome.

4. Learning hierarchies define what intellectual skills are to be learned and a sequence of instruction."


No comments.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ace the Face Chase

Today I reviewed my fact-learning tool with B. Wiley. I implemented his feedback and can't post it here in a table because I am HTML challenged. Anyway, here is a link to a site where you can see and download it:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Class Notes: My List

15 top principles I would want to have in a fact-learning tool:

a. Analysis drives design choices
i. Openness
b. Feedback
i. Matching
ii. Timing
iii. Certitude/Confidece
c. Spacing effect (review and time lag, sequencing is involved in this, prior knowledge=being able to personalize the Leitner box)
d. Maximize A.L.T.
e. ARCS (creative, fun, engaging, usable, delivery medium)
f. Managing Cognitive Load: Contiguity effect (stimuli that occur close together in time become associated to each other), Chunking (7 +/- 2), Dual coding (visual + text versus visual + audio: visual + audio is better) - avoid split attention

Pasted from

Learner as agent

Class Notes

Justin Johansen - Director of Independent Study: JustinJ at
Make sure you get experience in these areas:
Project management
Financial management
Business management
Education law - always be dealing with accessibility issues


Most useful classes are two assessment courses, evaluation course, basic IPT class (520).

○ Education officer at a brokerage firm. Runs strategy for education on investments.
○ Blackboard - international sales of support. Travels the world

Many organizations do not think about a lot of the following things:
○ What are learning objectives? Do you have an outcomes map?
○ Do you have learning outcomes? Are these learning outcomes well written? Do the assessments align? Do instructional activities support these?
○ What evidence will you accept that they have met the objectives?
○ What do you want them to do?
○ What advanced organizers have you used?
○ Prior knowledge?

Typically in a training experience the person who know the content and are charismatic become the trainers and they don't have instructional experience.

Jobs we end up in:
Project manager
Product manager
Training manager
Selling educational software is a good way to make a living for a Master's student.
User interface design
Instructional designer
Ed-tech software company or Ed-services (university of phoenix) and you'll put the puzzle together
Consulting (management consulting)

Have a PhD: they'll seek you out as a consultant.

Career: lifestyle is great, can pick up money consulting, online business selling outdoor gear.

Who have you worked with that trusts you to get it done. Caring and personality is huge. This is a team-leading endeavor. Need to make others successful. IF you are doing your job people will get promoted and leave or be lifelong companions.

Be really clear about the learning outcomes for the specific audience. What value do they need to get out of the course. Need to be very consumer minded.

Know what is out there and build an efficient learning process and decision flow for the learner. Gather resources and pick which ones are great and teach people how to use them. Connect people to resources.

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