Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Sessioning

After spending some time in the embedded user assistance session with Rob Houser (a subject very near and dear to my heart, where he was riffing on some themes that I've been advocating for for quite a while), I'm now in Saul Carliner's session on eLearing.

Saul is energetic and engaging, just the type of person you want to listen to. I entered when he was talking about the notion of completion and acceptable performance of tasks. If you're writing eLearing questions and answers, what's acceptable for task completion? It's different if the task is, say, installing a pacemaker compared to installing software.

He also talked about creating objectives. Using words such as "know" and :understand" aren't acceptable because the goal is not observable or measurable.

Prerequisites. Objective or course? If you make it a course, you can say that you took the course. If you make it an objective, then you have something measurable that they should know how to do beforehand.

Don't write course materials before you write the test.

You just need to test the main objective, not the supporting objectives. If students have learned the main objective, they have by default also learned the supporting objectives. That said, testing the supporting objectives as you go along help make surte you're on track.

The number of questions you write depends on the situation.

Finally, I'm spending a bit of time in Linda Urban;s session on topic types. Of course, I enter right in the middle of an exercise, so it'll be a few minuts before she gets back to talking about session content.

What's interesting is the notion of design patterns for topic types. Also, topics can be broken down into elements, and different types of topics use different sets of elements.

Design patterns are useful, and their development is iterative, but their usefulness can't be ascertained without adding actual content. And adding content lets you know if the design works.

"Awesome" website recommended:

Interesting notion: links are a distraction. If you want people to read your topic, dont' add links.

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