- sensing things
- sorting for relevance
- applying prior experience
- receiving feedback on the response through new sensations
- adjusting the response
Give and take is the key.
How does this apply to instructional design? Well most training is give give give give give. See you later.
Or give give give give give take. Give give give give give take. See you later.
Not only is this a poor model for students, the instructor doesn’t learn anything either.
Another point: taking has to involve not just hearing but listening. Responses to student questions include pausing to sense feedback from them. Learning is a dynamical system that is stymied if the instruction isn’t open to modification based on the response.
This isn’t a problem that has an easy solution, but it’s something we shouldn't give up on either.
Taking, listening, and adapting is not baked in to most instruction. One problem is student reticence: Just tell me, don’t make me participate. Leave me alone. If I don’t raise my hand, someone else will answer. “Any questions?” Crickets.
Another problem is the rigidity of the lesson plan. We have x time to get through this and this much to cover, I can’t adapt to the needs of every student, that’s crazy, we’ll be here all day.
If there are no questions, it means everyone understood, right?
What are people doing online to address some of these problems?
- Chat—students can ask questions whenever they think of them and they will be answered.
- Hand up—students can interrupt in an orderly fashion. Breakout groups so students can interact without the teacher present.
- Polling—find out what students already think about a topic.
- Quiz games—Low stakes interactions to increase fun and lower stress.
Things we don’t see so much of but which might help:
- Encouraging students sharing graphics, videos or links with the class.
- Asking an open question and getting specific feedback from students in turn.
- Integrating social media platforms into the mix.
- One on one sessions.
- Attrition/Retention outreach.
- Humour to surprise their brain and stimulate thought.
This is not intended as exhaustive lists, just things to get your own thinking started.
FYI, I’m leading a workshop on Brain Friendly Strategies for Learning Design at the FREE Welcome Into The Awesome Conference this weekend. You can register, ask questions etc. by clicking on the name or on the image below.
THE ASK: If you have stories to tell regarding your solutions to these issues, please share them in the comments!
Good luck to us all,