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.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Different categories and decisions we make as we go through the design process.

Instructional Strategy (constructivist, behaviorist, positivist)
Message Structure
Representation of the Message
Media-logic Structures

Specialized language based on the discipline (computer vs print, vs class)
Any decision made on one layer has a cascading effect on the others. Often times constraints will impact some of these layers and therefore all the other layers.

Each decision you make collapses the total number of possible decisions that you are capable of making.

Design is full of decisions. Layers is one way to look at the major decisions that need to be made in design and how they impact each other.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Multimedia and Time Notes

"According to dual-processing theory, students should remember more of the verbal material when it is presented as narration than when presented as text."

I wonder also what the impact is on having two senses being involved, hearing and seeing. Is there a synergy there and what would happen if you could add a third sense. I would guess this would help even more in retaining what is being seen heard and felt or tasted?

"The design of multimedia presentations should be guided by the goal of presenting relevant information using words and pictures and by the goal of presenting words and pictures in a way that fosters active cognitive processing in the learner."

So I interpret this as saying you can't overload the student with just the information but rather need to help them engage with the material so that there is some cognitive processing.

What's All the Fuss About Instructional Time?

"...instructional time allows for understanding, prediction, and control, thus making it a concept worthy of a great deal more attention than it is usually given in education and in educational research."

"To generalize, any proposal to change instructional materials or teaching practices in the classroom that does not affect allocated time, engaged time, the rate of success, or the alignment of tile curriculum with the outcome measure that is used to assess learning is likely not to affect student achievement."

Nine Facets
Allocated time: time for instruction (e.g. scheduled time, 300 hours a year in math)
Engaged time: time students pay attention to something w/instructional goal (attention)
Time-on-task: engaged time on particular learning tasks
Academic learning time: part of allocated time in a subject-matter area in which a student is engaged successfully in the activities or with the materials to which he or she is exposed, and in which those activities and materials are related to educational outcomes (allocated time, time-on-task, success rate)
Waiting time: waiting for instructional help time
Transition time: noninstructional time before and after an actviity
Aptitude: amount of time a student needs, under optimal conditions, to reach some criterion of learning
Perseverance: amount of time a student is willing to spend on learning a task or unit of instruction
Pace: amount of content covered during some time period

Figure 1.1
Carroll defined learning through time variables: Degree of learning = f Time spent learning / Time needed to learn

Figure 1.2 Visual representation of ALT model
Learning is a direct result of minutes accrued during ALT (part of allocated time during which a student is engaged with materials and activities in which a high level of success is attained, and in which the materials and activities are related to outcomes that are valued.)

ALT can help us understand instruction and what will impact it. STRUCTURING is an example of this.

"there may not be a more sensible example of "quality instruction" than the one derived from the ALT conception of learning. For example, on entering a classroom, an observer discovers that the students are attending to academic work related to the outcomes for that subject matter, and that the work is being successfully completed, and that enough time was allocated to that subject matter to be of some value to students of that particular age. These components of ALT are what every citizen and school board member wants to see when they enter the classroom." 2nd to last paragraph

The point here is that research, evaluation, audit, consultation, and policy analysis for school improvement each require the use of different instructional time variables for their different purposes.

For example, structuring by a teacher (announcing where students should be, what they should be doing, and what they are responsible for; giving directions; providing advance organizers; and so forth) helps students understand their responsibility in a learning task, increasing their perseverance and thus their academic engaged time (the measure of perseverance). Structuring also is a safeguard against students working on the wrong task, thus increasing the likelihood that what they work on is related to the outcomes that are likely to be assessed. And structuring is likely to increase success rate by reducing confusion about the learning task. Because three of the ALT factors could be affected by appropriate structuring behavior on the part of teachers, such teachers are likely to have higher levels of ALT.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Spacing Effect Notes

Frank N. Dempster
Laments lack of use of spacing effect in education (compares US vs Russian text!)

Must bridge gap that spacing effect is useful in classroom learning: done!
1. Experiment with addition with third graders 1. twice a day for 5 days or 2. once a day for 10 days. (Pyle 1913)
2. Reading a passage repeated 5 minutes, 20 minutes, and 48 hours. More recall in 48 hours.
3. Instruction, where the objective has been the learning of science and mathematical
concepts. (mostly terms, arithmetical rules)
4. Vocabulary learning.

Why has it not been applied widely?
1) Ahistorical character of research (rebuttal: been known for a long time)
2) Some failures in school-like activities (rebuttal: been shown to apply)
3) Dearth of classroom demonstrations (MOST TROUBLING)
4) Limited knowledge of classroom practice
5) Incomplete understanding of the psychological bases of the spacing effect (Has received recent documentation_

Some studies have shown that the spacing effect has boundaries:
1. Immediate recall.
2. It has been found that massed practice often is
more efficient for certain simple, isolated skills (writing the products of number pairs as rapidly as possible)
3. Evidence from traditional learning research suggests that the spacing effect may not apply to preschool age children, although it does emerge
in a robust manner by age seven (Toppino & DiGeorge,
4. Two studies have shown that the spacing effect can be eliminated if paraphrased rather than verbatim versions of the repeated materials are used (Dellarosa
& Bourne, 1985; Glover & Corkill, 1987).
5. Studies with lag lengths that were too long.

Leitner system
I'd like to try it! How many boxes are ideal or does it depend on the task and the learner?

attention (A) gain learner's attention
relevance (R) perceived value to the learner
confidence (C) helping students establish positive expectancies for success but also being moderately challenged
satisfaction (S) positive feelings about one's accomplishments and learning experiences

Distributed Practice in Verbal Recall Tasks: A Review and Quantitative Synthesis
- When you match ISI (how much time between practices) with the retention interval (how long they need to remember it) then good things happen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Notes on memory and forgetting

We can only take in so many bits: input stream limitations.

Chunking can increase intake. (associations to other things and prior knowledge)

Review increases retention because the information becomes more integrated into the environment which memory reflects.

Memory mirrors the environment: so the frequency and recency(i.e. pattern of exposure) in the environment will be mapped to the memory. If it comes up frequently and recently then the memory will hold onto it, not forget it, and make it more accessible.

Take last 30 days, what would be the best pattern of exposure? Recency every other day 15 times each.

Every other day .5368
Pack it in up front then occasionally review .4975
Every 3 days .543
First five days then last 5 days .5137
First day then a week later then 5 days later then 5 days later then 4 then 3 then 2 then 1 after that .558
Time 1:37

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