Making Effective Adobe Captivate eLearning Modules

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    AsIbegantoproduceeLearningcontent,Iwasfortunateenoughtoworkwithacognitive

    scientist amanwhodfocusedonearlybrainresearchforoneofmyveryfirstprojects.It

    wastremendouslyhelpful.

    Therearealotofpreconceptionsweallbringtothetablewhenitcomestolearning.

    Someuniversalfeelingsofdissatisfaction anddisengagementwithconventionalmethods

    ofinstructionaswellaswitheLearning soitwasreallygoodtogetstartedwithsome

    andfeellike.

    Sure,Ivetaughtformorethan20years,butjustbecauseyouvemanagedtohandlethose

    facetofaceexperiencesdoesnotmeanthatyoureequippedtodesigninstructionthat

    eventuallyislikelytobelearnedwithoutthepresenceoftheinstructor.Myquestionswere

    likelythesameonesthatmanyofyoufaceeveryday.HowonearthdoesthiseLearning

    stuffwork ormorecommonly,whyisntitworking? Isthereamoreefficientwayto

    createit ordoesusingefficiencytoolstakeawaythevalidityofthelearning,andwhat

    canIdotoensurethatthereissomekindofgaininthelearning orthattheresatleasta

    documentableROIformycompany?

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    NowIknowthatmostofthetimewhenfolks cometotheseseminars thehopeisthatIll

    deliveramagicbulletthatwillcuretheproblemsandmakeitinstantlyeffortlesstousethe

    software.ThistimeImlettingyouknowrightatthegate thatsourultimategoalwith

    thisseries,butitsnotgoingtohappeninjustonehour.Itsgoingtotakesometime.

    Todays sessioniswhatourtheoreticiansforthedaywouldcallanapplicationofthepre

    trainingprinciple.Weregoingtogiveanoverviewofalotofbigfoundationalideasthatare

    .

    youunderstandwhyrapideLearningsoftwareisthewayitis,andhowtobegintoimagine

    coursesthattakefulladvantageofthetoolsinsidethesoftware.Butwellstartwiththis

    toplevelexaminationofthehistoricalbreakthroughsandtheoriesandtheninthecoming

    weeksIlltakeoneoftheprinciplesweexamineheretodayandbreakitdowninto

    examplesofhowspecificfeaturesinCaptivatecanbeusedtoimplementthatlearning

    principleeffectively.

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    Remembermyproblem?Allthisresearchintocognitivetheory goestoaddressthefirst

    element Howdoesthisstuffwork.

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    ThefirstthingIhad todotomovethatbigoldboulderwastomakeroomforachangein

    thewayIthoughtaboutlearning.YouseeCognitivescientistswereinfluencingthewaywe

    understoodthehumanmind,anditwasonlyamatteroftimebeforeeducatorslikeRichard

    Mayerbegantoseethesignificanceofcognitiveresearchtowardthewayweimplement

    learning.

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    Foralongtimeweunderstoodlearningasadeliverymodel.Learnersweretheconsumers

    andeducatorsweretheproducersorcreators. Thisinformationdeliverymodelcarries

    withitalotofassumptionsaboutthewaycontentshouldbecreated,packagedand

    delivered.Itsitsontheassumptionthatthemodeofdelivery,solongasitisefficient,is

    irrelevanttoinstruction,becauseultimatelythejoboftheteacherisjusttoproduceitand

    thestudentwillconsumeit.

    ,

    moreandmoreavailableandaccepted,wesawachangeinmanyareas learningkey

    amongthem.

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    Turnsoutworkingmemorytheories withincognitivetheorysuggestthatwehaveacouple

    ofmethodsforreceivinginformation butthatthosemethodsarelimitedbyaveryshort

    retentionperiod.Wecantaketheinformationin,(andatleastasfarasClarkinitially

    proposedbasedontheresearchatthetime)wetakeitinthroughtwomajorrecievers

    whichmakessense.

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    Nowthosereceivers areabletotakethethingsweseeintotheprefrontalareaofthebrain

    andthenholdtheminthepartofworkingmemorythatcognitivescientistscallavisual

    spatialsketchpadandaPhonologicalLoop.Thethingsweseecomeinthroughourvision

    andareheldforaverybrieftimeinourvisualspatialsketchpad fromtheretheyare

    analyzed,organized,sortedandassignedtolongtermmemoryaccordingtoourown

    decisionsbasedonasortofmastercontrolpartofthemind.

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    Themastercontrolelementofthebrain isespeciallyimportantforlearningbecauseit

    ASSIGNSPRIORITIES chooseswhichthingtofocuson.

    Nowhaveyounoticedthatsuddenlythefocushasshiftedfromasystemwheretheteacher

    isdoingallthecontrollingandchoosingtoasystemwherethelearnerseemstohavethe

    bulkofthecontrol?Infactthisisoneofthemajortenetsofcognitivelearningtheory,that

    ultimatelythelearnerhastomakeactivedecisionstolearnandwhat/howtolearn.

    Idontmeanthislike,itssomekindofsubversiveactivityandthelearnercanacceptor

    rejectbasedonsheerstubbornness Imeanevenawellintentionedlearnerissubjecttoa

    systemwhichrequiresthemtomakeactivechoices,focusongivenaspectsandsoon.

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    Nowthesemodelsarelargelydependentontheworkofacognitivescientistnamed

    Baddely,whoaddedathirdelementofworkingmemorytothecalculationin2000.Thisis

    notablyafterClark&MayerandmanyothereLearningMultimediatheorycontributorshad

    donetheirinitialinvestigationsandreports.Thepurposeoftheepisodicbuffer(also

    referencedasapartoflongtermmemorybysomeothercognitivetheorists)istoassist

    withtheorganizationandmetacognitive orderofthings.)

    theroleofconstructednarrativesandscaffolds.Activelearnershavetobuildsystemsto

    relateideastootherideas thatsthecoreofitall andunderstandingtheroleof

    somethinglikeanepisodicbuffercouldhelpustoworkoutwhythereseemstobesomuch

    powerinexplanationsasnarratives asstories.

    ItalsomayhelpusunderstandwhyCONTEXTplayssuchanimportantroleinboththe

    learningandtheRECALLofinformation whichofcourseisafundamentalpartofthe

    process.

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    Soforallofthistowork thebrainneedstodoafewthings,itneedstotakeinformation

    in throughtheeyesandtheears.Thenithastoorganizethatinformation figuringout

    whattofocuson andthenitneedstobothtransferthatinformationtolongterm

    memory andindex/relatetheinformationtootherthings sothatthelearned

    informationcanthenberecalledbythelearnereasily.

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    MorerecentbrainresearchfromAllenPaivio suggests thattheremaybeanadditionalbit

    ofworkgoingoninthevisualspatialandphonologicalareasofthebrain oratleast

    somethingthatseemstocorrelatetothe2partmodel.Paivios dualcodingtheory says

    thatwebreakinformationupintotwotypes(AnalogueandSymbolic) Thisisa

    particularlyusefuldistinctionforfolksincognitivelearningtheory.

    Analoguemapstothevisualsystem.Itscommonlyusedtoreferencethethingsthatwe

    . ,

    analoguereferenceofatree.

    Symbolicmapstotheabstracteddefinitionsandcodesweusetorepresentthings.While

    therecanbebothaudioandvisualexamplesofsymbolsandanalogueswecaneasilymap

    symbolictothePhonologicalprocessingpartofthemodel

    WhyisthishelpfulforeLearning?Becauseaswellseeinamomenttherearesome

    distinctionsbetweenpresentingstuffthatissymbolic liketextandspokenlanguage,and

    presentingstuffthatisanalogous likeimagesorvideosofactualthings,orevensounds

    thatevokeunderstandingofrealthings.

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    Mayer, alongwithClark&othersdefineseveralbasicprinciplesofmultimediaeLearning.

    Whatisparticularlyusefulabouttheseprincipledefinitionsisthattheybothhelptomake

    itclearerhowCognitiveTheoryisrelevanttothecreationanddeliveryofeLearning,and

    theyhelptogiveguidelinesfortheactualcreationofeLearningcontent.

    ItistheseguidepoststhatImgoingtofocuson.Soaswebegintolookatthem,Imgoing

    tofirstimposemyownrulesontheprinciples,inordertofurtherbreakthemdownand

    .

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    Letsfirstbreak downthebasicideasMayerpresentsintothreebuckets.

    MessageamplificationisatermborrowedfromCommunicationtheory.Mypointhereis

    thattheseprinciplesareonesthatwillhelpustomakeourmessagemoreeffective.They

    willbethingsweshoulddoinordertoensurethemessagegetsthroughinthemost

    effectivemanner.

    .

    fundamentallyidentifyingnoiseproblems thenoiseisinternal,andhastodointhiscase

    withthefailureofmessageencodingduetolimitedcapacityintheworkingmemoryetc.

    FinallyMetaOrganizationwillbetheareawhereweplaceMayersideasaboutthingsthat

    helpthelearnerorganizetheinformation.

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    Dontworryifyouhavenocluewhatthesetermsmean Illdefinetheminthefollowing

    section.Fornowill giveyoujustashortdefinitionofeach.

    Withinmessageamplificationwewillfindthemultimediaprinciple(thenotionthatwe

    shouldusemorethanonekindofmediaatonce),thecontiguityprinciple,whichbasically

    saysthatweshouldputrelatedimagesandtextcaptionstogetherincloseproximity,the

    modalityprinciple whicharguesthatweshouldgenerallyuseaudiooverprintedtext,and

    .

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    Multimediaprinciple(usewordsandgraphicstogether)

    Atthecoreofcognitivetheory(asopposedtoi