Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Memory and Forgetting Notes

Memory: A Contribution to Experimental Psychology

Fascinating chart that shows the number of intial perusals and then the time to learn them 24 hours later. 8 to 64 initial perusals cut the time in less than half 24 hours later.

"All sorts of ideas, if left to themselves, are gradually forgotten. This fact is generally known." Is this really true? Do we have some evidence for this?

"There is a clear and definite limit to the accuracy with which we can identify absolutely the magnitude of a unidimensional stimulus variable. I would propose to call this limit the span of absolute judgment, and I maintain that for unidimensional judgments this span is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of seven. We are not completely at the mercy of this limited span, however, because we have a variety of techniques for getting around it and increasing the accuracy of our judgments. The three most important of these devices are (a) to make relative rather than absolute judgments.; or, if that is not possible, (b) to increase the number of dimensions along which the stimuli can differ; or (c) to arrange the task in such a way that we make a sequence of several absolute judgments in a row."

This is interesting: ...the spacing between successive repetitions of the item affects how well the item is remembered.

They key is that there is someone on the other side. I have seen spaced reviews but really they are not as useful until the learner exercises their will to do it.

Retention and pratice: human memory mirrors, the structure that exists in the environment. I take this as if there is something reoccuring in the environment then it will be retained. Retention and practice laws are Power Laws. 80, 20. So there is a small amount of things that occur often that we remember but as occurrence decreases retention also goes way down.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Notes from Class

When a student has a misunderstanding you've got to correct it. Have to provide corrective feedback. Need to be clear and timely and follow principles but feedback needs to be there regardless of whether they decide to take it into consideration or not.

Formative Feedback: more than one third of the 607 cases (effect sizes), feedback interventions reduced performance.

Written feedback gives sense that it is less biased. Can control it better when you take the time to write it down.

Learn to filter research in our field. Check out the book Visible Learning

Make desicions based on decent evidence. Lots of slop published in our field. How does that go back to the idea of not trying to mirror the physics envy? Do studies meet the field's research standards? If so you can probably make good decisions if you have 4 or 5 studies that are decently conceived and carried out.

Agent psychology. There is a human on the other side with agency that greatly impacts learning because they will make the choices they'll want to.

Packaging really matters. Doubled edged: some things are packaged well but are junk so they make it out there. Some things have some good ideas and research and information but is packaged in such a way that you can never see it.

Feedback in CBI:
No single best solution but we have a flow chart that can help us which kind of feedback to use in CBI.

TED Talk Feb 2009 Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity
Creativity: show up and do your part! Then the inspiration will come. It is more than just us.

- Aren't you afraid you won't have success, after sucess aren't you afraid that you won't be able to top that last book.
- Why? What is it about creative ventures that make us question another person's emotional stability?
- Creativity and suffering are somehow linked together? Are we okay with that? How do you not let past successes haunt as being the apex of your life? Find a way to find a distance from the work you are doing and the reaction that they will create. Romans: Genius was a magical divine entity that lived in the walls of the artist and help shape their work. There is the distance between the work and the reaction. Protects you from too much success or failure. If success then you can't take all the credit. If failure then you just have a lame genius.
- Then we made the human the center of everything and they began to be called the genius. For 500 years she asserts that it is killing off our artists.
- Tom Waits musician.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Feedback Fun

Computer-Based Instruction
Interesting concept of creating "adaptive" systems that can provide "tailor-made" feedback to the learner. I think that it can only go so far. Learner's thinking and reasoning differs quite a bit. I don't know that computers will ever be able to replace the feedback loop between a learner and an instructor.

For example, "Consequently, an incorrect answer may result from any of variety of factors, ranging from careless error to lack of comprehension. Depending on the cause of errors, the feedback for each of these types of responses will be utilized differently by the learner." How can a computer adapt to the point that it knows the reason for the incorrect answer and be able to tailor feedback to that. I admit for some students it could do this based on the distractors being used. I personally have seen some very helpful CBI feedback. In one case it provided information on more than one distractor and the actual answer. I learned even for some questions that I got right but I was tempted to choose another answer.

I fell asleep after page 4 of the Performance-related feedback. Tried to pick it back up after but it was difficult. I tried to find the positive and decided that the core message is good "Instruction is successful when we provide performance-related feedback" (page 7). However, there were a lot of issues with this article. I didn't get anything else out of it.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


ADDIE: a nice point of reference for people to work from and perhaps a high-level framework or scaffolding for just about any project.

It seems to me that any respectable, common-sensed individual, who is tasked with designing some kind of instruction would end up following something similar to ADDIE without having ADDIE.

For example, without knowing the specifics of ADDIE, I jotted down some steps I would take to design instruction. My result was as follows:

Define the problem and it's surrounding factors
Plan a solution while continuously evaluating based on the need.
Develop and test (i.e. evaluate) the solution to see if it meets the needs. If needed or perhaps it is better said this way: when and as many times as needed, adjust the plan and redevelop.
Help get what you developed into place and functioning properly
Continously evaluate and adjust the solution as needed

As I look at other "models" from other fields (see below) I wonder if ADDIE is really all that different. If it is not then it would be problematic for a discipline, that is already being questioned as to whether it is a real discipline, to espouse it as a central piece. Not that having a "discipline" really matters in the end but if we feel IDT is helpful and good, which we do, then it would serve others to see it as a discipline.

Construction Management
Pre-Planning, Conceptual Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Drawings (or Contract Documents), and Construction Administration

Project Management (see green diagram)

Software Development
Waterfall model (see below)

Or the SDLC.
Market research
Gathering requirements for the proposed business solution
Analyzing the problem
Devising a plan or design for the software-based solution
Implementation (coding) of the software
Testing the software
Maintenance and bug fixing

I'm not saying that the above is as good or better than ADDIE but it leads to Molenda's comment:
"Anyone is free to impute whatever attributes they want to this label [ADDIE]…as they do." (Molenda, May/June 2003)

It is somewhat disturbing to me, yet somehow I am still okay with it, to read that "...ADDIE is a foundational
element of the field of IDT."

It is so high-level that it is difficult to say what it can really do or how it can help over another similar process for design. I come back to my point that it seems like each instructional designer has their own ADDIE. It may be a 10 step or 8 component process but each designer can fit those pieces into ADDIE and have a rationale discussion with others who are familiar with ADDIE and have a point of reference to work from. I think that is the main use. Not to down play that but if that really is the main use I don't know that there is great need to define it, analyze, and try to understand it in great detail...since those details are different for practically every designer.

ADDIE Dangers:
Analysis paralysis
Design - Who establishes the constraints and when do you know if you have a "good" design?
Development - Took us long enough to get here
Implement - "not created here" syndrome
Evaluate - Based on what?

A few other non-related side points:

I think you could still use ADDIE and have the following result which is an argument for the need for ADDIE.
"You could develop your instruction casually, starting, say, by drawing some diagrams of the automobile/submarine/forklift dashboard with all the dials and gauges. There's a high risk that you might discover later, however, that the diagram isn't really needed, or that it doesn't have just the right features or labels, or that it includes too much information for the learners. In short, it will cost time and effort to fix it."

My sister always used to listen to a song by Sarah McLachlan called Adia. As I read about ADDIE the first couple of lines of the song came to mind:

Sadly these words from a song that I heard constantly coming from my sister's room came to mind after I re-read my notes:
ADDIE I do believe I've failed you.
ADDIE I know I've let you down.

Isn't that Sarah McLachlaugn or someone like that?

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