Engage your Learners with Interactive Video

“In addition to enhancing learning, video can also reduce training time. It’s easier and takes less time to watch a well-made video than it does to read through pages of dense text or complicated diagrams to grasp a concept.”

Andy Cole (Via Brainshark; originally included in The Benefits of Video in eLearning)

Mobile Video
Via Pexels.

In my last post, we explored some benefits of using scenarios in eLearning. Today, we will examine the value of learning with interactive videos using PlayPosit. If you’re not familiar with PlayPosit, it’s an online environment used to create and share interactive video lessons.

PlayPosit Logo
via PlayPosit.

According to Raptivity (2015), interaction occurs in an interactive video when “the learner is shown a video that pauses at set intervals to reveal either additional information or questions to test knowledge. It actively involves learners during a video and gives them feedback whenever required.”

Our team had the opportunity to create an interactive video for an eLearning module we developed for a presentation at the 2017 Michigan OER Summit. Our module used open educational resources (OER) to help learners discover the importance of APA style and how to apply it to their writing.

We used PlayPosit to build an interactive video. A library had shared the original video about APA Style under a Creative Commons (CC) License. The content was fantastic and covered the criteria that we planned to examine in our module. As a result, we were able to create the questions that we wanted to infuse in the PlayPosit to test learner’s knowledge.

Screenshot of one of our interactive questions created with PlayPosit.

After the video showed pertinent information about APA, the video prompted learners to pause and answer a question to test their knowledge.

Interactive Video and Learning Theory

Interactive video learning is anchored in two learning theories: Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) and vicarious learning. SCT is the foundation of interactive video learning and the basis of situated learning, which is where scenario based learning comes from. Vicarious learning means we observe a skill or watch information and then we have a chance to test our knowledge or apply the skill that we’ve learned.

As professionals committed to helping others learn, we want our learners to feel engaged with the content presented to them. We hope that learners will discover the need, value, and relevance of what they learn and then apply it to their lives.

These ideas are the focus of Malcolm Knowles’ Adult Learning Theory, which we applied in the eLearning example about interactive video. The following andragogic principles are also present in our example:

  • Learners have the opportunity to absorb information in the context of figuring out a problem.
  • Learners are immersed in activities that enable them to tie the subject matter to the application.

The benefits to using interactive video for learning, especially in higher education, include:

  • It facilitates active learning.
  • It engages by grabbing and retaining the learner’s attention.
  • It more clearly displays complex subject matter.
  • It supplies learners with immediate feedback.
  • It easily presents simulations.
  • It’s easier for learners to identify and discuss gaps/problems with peers.

Based on these advantages, it’s clearly valuable to use interactive video for learning.

Interactive Video Using PlayPosit

As an educator, you can sign up and take advantage of PlayPosit’s free options including Multiple Choice and Pause and Play. Here are a few ways that you can get started with interactive videos for learning:

  • Turn an existing static PowerPoint into an engaging narration. The narration can then be turned into an interactive video.
  • Search the Public Domain and OER repositories for content your learners need to know. Look for content with a CCO license, which allows you to modify the content.

PlayPosit is a great tool for creating your first interactive video. Why not give it a try?

Are you a learning theory addict? Do you use interactive videos in your eLearning? Have you ever used PlayPosit to engage your learners? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.

References

Cournoyer, B. (2017). 12 quotes on why video works for eLearning. Brainshark.

Creative Commons. (2017). “No Rights Reserved”. [online] Available at: https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/

Culatta, R. (2015). Situated Learning (J. Lave). Instructional Design.org

PlayPosit. (2017). highered. [online] Available at: https://www.playposit.com/learn/highered

Learning by watching: Social cognitive theory and vicarious learning. (2015). [Blog] Origin Learning. Available at: http://www.elearninglearning.com/learning-theory/interactive/?open-article-id=3359362&article-title=learning-by-watching–social-cognitive-theory-and-vicarious-learning&blog-domain=originlearning.com&blog-title=origin-learning

Pappas, C. (2017). The Adult Learning Theory – Andragogy – of Malcolm Knowles. [online] eLearning Industry. Available at: https://elearningindustry.com/the-adult-learning-theory-andragogy-of-malcolm-knowles

What is OER? (2017). [Blog] Education Week. Available at: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2017/03/29/what-is-oer-5-questions-about-open-oer.html

You Gotta Believe Me

YGBM Technologies and Higher Education

Rainbows End is a brilliant 2006 science fiction novel by Vernor Vinge. In the book, he describes a world undergoing ever-increasing change after the technological singularity—a premise that the invention of artificial superintelligence will trigger a runaway technological growth that results in unfathomable changes in human civilization. I’m starting to think that what the author envisioned for 2025 is quite possible.

In the novel, Continue reading “You Gotta Believe Me”

Apply Game Design Principles to Your Courses

Earlier, you heard from Michelle about the lessons she took from the world of broadcasting and applied to Instructional Design. Today, we’re going to discuss lessons that can be learned from a field adjacent to Instructional Design—game design.

While significant research surrounds adding gamification elements to eLearning courses, implementing it means devoting a large amount of resources. What then, can we learn if we look at it from the flip side? What fundamental game design principles translate to Instructional Design? Continue reading “Apply Game Design Principles to Your Courses”

Motivation in Education: Confidence

Professor and Student at Computer
This royalty free image comes from Rowan University Publication on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/j3d4fF

Throughout this series, we’ve explored the four components of Keller’s ARCS Model for Motivation: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction.

In my last post, I discussed practical ways to motivate your students by making your course content relevant to them in and outside of the classroom.

Today we will look at ways you can motivate your students by boosting their confidence.

In her article, Miller (2015) asserts that “students with self-confidence pay more attention in class, get along better with their peers and generally have a more focused and inquisitive attitude.” She offers creative strategies to improve students’ confidence in face-to-face, online, and blended learning environments:

  • Provide positive feedback when appropriate.
  • Give only genuine praise.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Provide opportunities for equal participation.
  • Create an open, positive environment for learning.
  • Show enthusiasm for the subject you’re teaching and for your students’ success.

Some other strategies to increase and maintain students’ motivation in the area of confidence include: “making expectations and assignments clear, and making sure students know they can ask questions” (Chesebro & McCroskey, 2002, p. 90).

In both undergrad and graduate school, the enthusiasm and passion of my two favorite communication professors sparked the same enthusiasm and passion in me—not only for the subjects they taught but also to learn and do well in their classes.

My undergraduate professor’s enthusiasm and passion for the fight against human trafficking opened my eyes to this horrible injustice. Our class discussions challenged and inspired me to do all I can to spread awareness and join the fight myself.

My graduate professor’s enthusiasm for the infamous film, The Sound of Music (1965) allowed me to see and appreciate the film and story in a whole new way. Now, I catch myself using the same methods he taught us to notice the cinematic detail in other films, allowing me to appreciate the power of this form of storytelling even more.

In both cases, my new-found passion and enthusiasm increased my confidence in what I learned—directly increasing and maintaining my motivation to learn

In the final post in this series, we will discover the final component in Keller’s ARCS Model for Motivation: Satisfaction.

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References:

Chesebro, J. L., & McCroskey, J. C. (Eds.). (2002). Communication for teachers. Pearson.

Miller, A. (2015, October 23). How to build a student’s self confidence. Retrieved from Live Strong website: http://www.livestrong.com/article/188430-how-to-build-a-students-self-confidence/

From On Air to Online

When you were a kid, what were some of your favorite games and activities? Oftentimes, insight into a child’s future career can be gained by watching how they play.

One of my favorite “toys” as a kid was my family’s handy-dandy cassette recorder. Although now archaic, it was cutting edge in the 70s. My love for recording began at age three, as I unashamedly performed such songs as “Happy Birthday” and “Old Susanna.” As I got older, I started putting together my own radio shows, which I thought were genius works of comedy.

So, how did this childhood interest translate into a career? I became a professional broadcaster.

microphone-audio-computer-sound-recording-55800
This royalty free image comes from pexels.com.

Wait, what?

Yes, it’s true. For the first twenty-plus years of my adult life, I worked in radio. I’ve hosted music shows, served as a reporter and news anchor, conducted interviews, and scripted more commercials than I can count. I have even taught audio production and broadcasting courses at the college level. Those childhood interests really were a forecasting of my future.

Fast forward to my current career as an instructional designer. How does my broadcasting background mesh with eLearning? Surprisingly, in many ways. Here’s what instructional design can learn from the world of broadcasting:

Brevity 

Rule of Radio: Take the First Exit

I was mentored by a talent coach who encouraged me to “Take the First Exit” when communicating an idea on the air. Put simply, don’t overwhelm your audience with verbosity. Take the shortest route to the destination by stating information concisely.

Instructional Design Takeaway: Avoid Unnecessary Content

Cognitive load theory contends that extraneous material can inhibit learning. After all, the human mind can only handle a limited amount of information at once. Clark, Nguyen, and Sweller (2011) argue that eliminating non-essential content from the learning environment will result in faster and better learning.

Priming

Rule of Radio: Prepare Your Audience for What’s Coming Up

Good radio hosts tease what lies ahead. For example, “Stay tuned for your opportunity to win concert tickets right after this song.” This builds anticipation and keeps listeners engaged.

Instructional Design Lesson: Prepare Your Students for Learning

Have a new concept to introduce to the class? Use scaffolding to sufficiently support the learner. According to Chen (2014), this will promote engagement in the task as well as achievement of the learning outcome.

Clarity

Rule of Radio: One Thought Per Break

On-air personalities report the news, share humorous anecdotes, give prizes away, and more. However, they don’t do it all in one announce break. Rambling on and on will cause the listener to tune out.

Instructional Design Lesson: “Chunk” Your Material

Chunking refers to breaking down large amounts of content into smaller “bite-sized” pieces. As you do so, be sure to cut out extraneous information. According to Pappas (2013), staying on topic is one of the most challenging aspects of content chunking.

Looking at the elements above, we see a common thread: avoid information overload. Whether it’s a radio listener or an online learner, simplicity is the key to engaging your audience. Have any of your former jobs prepared you for the world of online learning? Have any of your childhood dreams become reality through instructional design? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

author-michelle

References

Chen, S. (2007). Instructional Design Strategies for Intensive Online Courses: An Objectivist – Constructivist Blended Approach. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 6(1), 72-86.

Clark, R. C., Nguyen, F., & Sweller, J. (2011). Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load. Somerset: Wiley.

Pappas, C. (2016, August 18). 6 eLearning Content Chunking Strategies to Apply In Instructional Design. Retrieved September 06, 2017, from https://elearningindustry.com/elearning-content-chunking-strategies-apply-instructional-design

Wright, B. (2017, August 06). Take the First Exit. Retrieved September 06, 2017, from http://www.hisair.net/brian-wright-take-first-exit/.

 

 

Who is Your Audience?

Instructional designers agree on one fundamental concept of course design: you must know your audience. This article focuses on an emerging audience and proposes a not-so-new strategy for designing eLearning that works for it.

Audience_082417
This royalty free image comes from pexels.com.

WHAT WE KNOW
Today, we consult a large body of research dedicated to the design of online learning. We have come to know this audience of learners fairly well—including three distinct subgroups: K-12, adults working full-time, and post bachelor students. Research consistently points to interactivity and student engagement as key components for successful online learning—and instructional designers get that. A 2007 article states:

The success of an online course depends greatly on how actively engaged students are with the instructor, with their classmates, with the content, with technology, and with course management tools. (Mingsheng Dai, Online Cl@ssroom).

Businesses hire instructional designers to develop onboard training and incremental training that features libraries of topics designed to help employees do their jobs well. According to one eLearning blogger, for eLearning to be effective with an audience of employees, it has to “look and sound great,” “be real,” and “flexible.” (Young, Meghan, July 29, 2013, eLearning Industry).

Leaders recognize that eLearning has found momentum and led to an increase in material learned, retention rates, revenue, and savings. (Karla Gutierrez, 2016, April 7, SH!FT). Course designers have tailored eLearning to the student and employee audiences at a 900% growth rate since 2000. Are you ready to meet the needs of an even newer audience?

WHAT’S EMERGING
Early in 2017, Julie and Kenneth Kendall, Rutgers University, published an article stating that more and more executives are “being groomed to serve as organizational leaders.” Their study shows that executives make up a slightly different audience from the learner/employee audience that we see featured in most eLearning research. (p. 62). Now, the Kendalls are calling for a new kind of online learning, one that reaches an “executive” audience. These folks are seasoned professionals, rising to leadership roles in corporations, and have had success in their companies, with loads of real-life experience. Sounds like a new twist on what we understand the “learner” to be.

THEY HAVE STORIES TO TELL
Taking what we already know about eLearning design and tailoring it to an executive audience, the Kendalls discover from their research that executives engage well with story. They have stories to tell. They know the ins and outs of how the business runs. They know how to set company standards, and can give you a list of best practices from memory (and experience).

The Kendalls propose incorporating storytelling to innovatively enhance executive education. By addressing the following elements in every great story, learners can engage by telling their own stories, while others discover new learning or validate their own experiences.

  • The call to adventure
  • The quest
  • The struggle
  • The transformation
  • The resolution
  • The moral
  • The epilogue

By now you’re thinking: storytelling is nothing new! But incorporating story as a method/strategy for course design to reach professionals who have valuable experience strikes me as innovative and fresh. Kudos to the Kendalls for featuring this emerging audience and finding a strategy that works!

Can you even imagine what could be accomplished with story? I’m going to spend some time figuring that out. Be sure to come back here for more!

Have you been looking for a way to make executive education work for your client? Have you discovered strategies that work well? Do you expect to be designing executive education in the future? I’d love some feedback.

author-gwen

References:

Dai, Mingsheng (2007, December). 10 ways to engage students in an online course. Online Cl@ssroom, Retrieved from https://www.hartnell.edu/sites/default/files/llark/online_classroom_newsletter.pdf

Gutierrez, K. (2016 April). Facts and stats that reveal the power of eLearning [Infographic]. Retrieved from http://info.shiftelearning.com/blog/bid/301248/15-facts-and-stats-that-reveal-the-power-of-elearning

Kendall, J. E. & Kendall, K. E. (2017). Enhancing online executive education using storytelling: An approach to strengthening online social presence. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 15, 62-81.

Young, Meghan (2013, July). E-learning and employee onboarding: Designing the right blend from start to finish. eLearning Industry, Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/e-learning-and-employee-onboarding-designing-the-right-blend-from-start-to-finish

The MOOC: Window into our Pedagogical Soul

Remember the “Year of the MOOC” of 2012? What would possess us to even consider such a thing as a Massive Open Online Course? Maybe the MOOC captured our life-long-learner imaginations with the potential to enable free university-level education on an enormous scale.

This royalty free image is from pexels.com
This royalty free image comes from pexels.com.

Even the least of us could take a MIT or Stanford course from the leading expert of the world. Or, maybe the MOOC captured our mind’s eye because at our core we are teachers with an absorbing yearning to share our insightful understandings with as many as possible. But alas, the MOOC luster faded quickly.

There were irreconcilable differences; a feeling of betrayal of our basic values coming from staggering low completion rates. We left “divorce court” feeling the MOOC was nothing more than “mere marketing” hype or, at its worst as abject failures.

There were many explanations for the low completion rates but the principal cause centered on a basic pedagogical necessity for learners to be active and receive personal attention and interactions from their teacher. Being a student in a MOOC was much like being a dazed-video–watching-couch-potato in an infinite virtual lecture hall. It didn’t take long for our eyes to glaze over as we faded into the sunset.

But wait – maybe it’s premature to shut the MOOC door and send it to the “it was a nice idea … but” file. Coursera, the biggest MOOC provider, is investing in R&D, trying to find solutions. Their research led them to embrace an innovative active learning style trying to lift students off those binge-watching couches and have them face their screens and interact.

An experimental section of a Coursera coding skill MOOC requires students viewing a video and immediately demonstrate mastery by building a piece of software. The R&D Team teased out some 20 to 40 coding errors learners commonly make. If the student’s submission reveals common conceptual coding mistakes, a pop-up window appears with a clue, suggesting why they may have made the error.

“(Its) like a … (teacher) looking over your shoulder, giving immediate feedback associated with your mistake,” said Coursera R&D scientist Zhenghao Chen. “Students should have a clear idea why they failed,” Chen said. “Feedback prompts them to correct their misconceptions, to think along different paths.” (Ubel, 2017).

Coursera is not alone. Sense, a New York-based tech start-up with R&D labs in Tel Aviv is testing pattern recognition and semantic analysis methods that automatically bundle student answers to gather common results. The instructor might feed in 50 or more quiz solutions at any time.

The system analyzes student responses and reveals common patterns – successful responses, common mistakes, and even novel solutions – shared among submissions. With the Sense automatic batching in a MOOC, with even thousands of students, faculty can quickly pinpoint useful responses to learners who give similar answers – personalizing faculty-student interaction at scale.

What is the MOOC take away? The MOOC is a recent phenomenon but it is confirming the foundations of our understandings of learning we have understood for decades – authentic learning is active. Think: John Dewey and Jean Piaget.

It is easy to point our self-righteous finger at the MOOC– the truth is we are all sinners.  We know the power of active learning but get caught up in our own MOOC (Massive Onslaught Of Content). We resort to lectures and multiple choice assessments rather than encouraging active learning.

Maybe the research coming from MOOCs will cause us to stop, reflect, and discover new tools helping us reconnect to our pedagogical souls.

Ubel, R. (2017, July). There’s no success like failure.  Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/views/2017/07/19/moocs-test-personalized-online-learning

author-gary