Back to Master's Index Page

ED 7503 Unit Exercises and Discussions:



Unit 1 Exercises and Discussions
Richard Bloodworth

U1D1 Building Expertise

Based on your reading of Chapter 1 and other published resources, discuss how the process of building expertise in the learner can be accelerated using instructional media. Your response may include how people become experts and how experts and novices differ in the way they process information.

Expert : a person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject or field (2001, American Heritage Dictionary).

Concerning an expert, or knowledge worker, Ruth Clark lists the characteristics that make an expert:

  1. Expertise requires practice and involves time to nurture and develop.
  2. Expertise is domain specific hence the importance for someone striving towards expertise to focus on a particular area of knowledge.
  3. Some challenging problems can require diverse solutions and expertise from a consortium of experts.

Three models of learning are:

  1. The absorbtion model which views the student as a sponge absorbing knowledge
  2. The behaviorist model involves learning by observing and doing.
  3. The cognitive model involves the active mental sensing, processing, retaining, and recalling of knowledge through cerebral processes.

The four instructional architectures are listed below:

  1. Receptive architecture involves the student receiving and storing information.
  2. Directive architecture is a sequential gathering of structurally dispensed information by the student.
  3. Guided discovery is where instructional support walks the student through the information to be learned, explaining the information, and helping, coaching, and encouraging the student when needed.
  4. Exploratory architecture is where the student is given more free reign to explore and discover, often through trial and error, new material and many of the approaches and procedures involved in the learning process are constructed by the learner as he is learning.

Most learning is in fact a mixture in varying amounts of each of the above mentioned architectures. Experts tend to process information based on studied and reasoned information whereas novices often resort to trial and error or attempting a task using a hit or miss approach. The models of learning and instructional architectures using reading, writing, listening, interaction, experience, repetition, memorization, experimentation, and creativity are methods by which one travels on the road toward expertise. Instructional media is another tool, using computer and other advanced technologies, that can facilitate and accelerate the learning process by giving empirical training for both near and far transfer skills and in developing expertise. Richard

Reference:

Clark, Ruth. (2003). Building Expertise: Cognitive Methods for Training and Performance Improvement. Silver Spring , MD : International Society for Performance Improvement.

From Robert Elmore (instructor):

Richard, you said "Experts tend to process information based on studied and reasoned information whereas novices often resort to trial and error or attempting a task using a hit or miss approach. " Given this difference, how would approach instruction using media differently for the two groups, and how would you design instruction for novices that enables them to more efficiently attain an expert level without the years of practice, or the aimless trial and error approach?

My response to Robert Elmore:

Many tests are in fact designed around the trial and error model such as those using multiple choice and true/false questions where the student attempts to choose the best answer -- sometimes by merely guessing. Ideally, the student should use reason or memory to choose the best answer but even if guessing is utilized something is learned when the student later sees the corrected test or hears of the correct answer. 10 years after a test, sometimes people more clearly remember the answers that were marked as incorrect by a big, red X than those that were correct. Another example of how we learn from our mistakes is when a child makes the mistake of touching a red hot stove eye he learns not to repeat that mistake. When choosing an incorrect answer produces an unpleasant buzz or honking sound, we keep trying until we hear the pleasant bell-like sound of the correct answer and we can learn new information during the process. All of the previously mentioned examples are really variations of operant or classical conditioning through the use of reward and punishment.

The trial and error experiential model can be used not only in tests but in educational games and creative activities where information is learned while a product of some sort is being created. I think making project papers for each of these online courses are also examples of learning by doing. Principles and concepts of science are learned by using the scientific method using hypothesis, experimentation, observation, analysis, and conclusion. Learning by doing, TPR (total physical response), empirical learning, and scientific experimentation all involve learning by experimenting or trial and error with observation and analysis. Also, it should be mentioned that we can learn through experimentation and trial and error in an indirect way by reading about the results of the trial and error experiences of other people.

Novices would tend to need more repetition, memorization, explanation, encouragement, and activity while learning. I think all of the previously mentioned methods could be used for novices as well as those moving toward expertise but more of the entertaining forms of educational tools would be geared toward the novices – though those striving toward expertise are also entitled to having fun while learning though perhaps through methods using a higher level of informational content – and the future experts would use more tools involving reading literature and the thoughts and experiences of experts, experimentation, analysis, writing, reasoning, and contemplation.

From Sandra Mueller:

Richard, In the performance improvement circles Dr. Carl Binder of Binder Riha Associates has done a good deal of presenting on the topic of " behavioral fluency." This is not a new concept and his research draws upon fluency studies in schools.

For you or others who might be interested, his web site is http://www.binder-riha.com/index.html and there are many, many articles on the topic there. I have not searched though to find references to electronic media and fluency.

I have heard Dr. Binder at national conferences. For anyone in Minnesota he is presenting as part of our local ISPI chapter on October 30, "Accelerating Productivity and Confidence by Building Fluent Performance. See http://www.mnispi.org/ for registration information.

U1D1 comment to Mark

Clark does write, "It turns out that there really is no one best method for teaching" (p. 11). I think this is true because there are so many differences to consider external to the teaching material and method. For example, there are cultural differences, socio-economic differences, availability of technology differences, age differences, level of knowledge differences, intelligence differences, ability differences, language differences, personality differences, interest differences, and the list goes on….Richard

U1D2 Authoring Software

Dreamweaver and Coursebuilder

Based on your brief introduction to Dreamweaver and CourseBuilder and any experiences you have had with other similar authoring tools, discuss the balance between ease of use and flexibility in authoring software. How do attributes of a given authoring tool influence your designs?

Authoring software programs help create pages for websites, or for printed books, that can be used for reading and instructional purposes. The authoring tools are designed so that the author can type or enter commands that are understandable in human language – or click on icons or click and drag design elements -- rather than communicating directly with the computer through computer language. In this way, they are much more user friendly than programs or systems that require information to be input via code or computer language.

Though Dreamweaver is complicated in itself, once its methods are learned, the design procedures are much less complicated to do than writing the design instruction in code or in only html script. Also other programs such as Flash, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Fireworks to name a few, can be imported into Dreamweaver to weave a rich tapestry of information composed of sights and sounds.

I have recently downloaded CourseBuilder as an extension to Dreamweaver MX 2004 (and I have Authorware 5) and have just begun to go through its tutorial so I can comment on its ease of use more in detail later but from what I have seen, the procedures involved in making pages with CourseBuilder are relatively straight forward and the implementation of the techniques seem to be user friendly. Both CourseBuilder and Authorware have Wizards, and tutorials, to guide the user through design procedures. From what I have read, Authorware can incorporate more external software programs and external data sources but both programs are effective means for developing course materials.

Concerning computer design and word processors, authoring tools, sound, animation and graphics tools: I think every medium and program has its strengths and limitations but when all of the above mentioned programs are integrated and coordinated into a unified program, a powerful and effective presentation can result. Richard

References:

Clark, Ruth. (2003). Building Expertise: Cognitive Methods for Training and Performance Improvement. Silver Spring , MD : International Society for Performance Improvement.

Comparing CourseBuilder for Dreamweaver and Authorware. Retrieved on October 5, 2004 from: http://www.macromedia.com/support/coursebuilder/ts/documents/aw_vs_cb1.htm

Comment from Artemis Maryannakis:

I agree with you that once the methods of Dreamweaver are learned the design procedures are much less complicated to do since it does not require HTML knowledge. I also agree that Macromedia family products such as Dreamweaver, Flash, Freehand, and Fireworks are tightly integrated. I also like the fact that Macromedia offers online help at their support center, including FAQs, tutorials, online formats, and advanced technical information. Finally, you correctly stated that "I think every medium and program has its strengths and limitations but when all of the above mentioned programs are integrated and coordinated into a unified program, a powerful and effective presentation can result." So, which tool is the best to use? Well, since most of the learners in our course are novices with most of the software in the market, this is not an easy question to answer. All these programs seem to be excellent, and they all have comparable features. This unfortunately presents us with the task of deciding which fits best for a particular instructional design situation. Most companies provide evaluation versions of their tools, so we can try them on before we make a decision to buy. In addition, if we wanted to enhance documents or Web pages with layout and graphical effects, pictures, or line drawings that clarify, emphasize, or illustrate a point, we could always hire an illustrator or graphics designer to help; sometimes that might be the best thing to do. However, for straightforward charts and simple graphics, learning to use a drawing or image-editing package may actually save us time and money, allowing us to increase productivity. The tools that we will choose will likely be a matter of our personal preference, but how we will apply them will be a matter of utility. As technology continues to grow in complexity and capabilities, instructional media tools will become increasingly sophisticated. However, a basic understanding of instructional media tools output can go a long way. I hope this course will provide us with a good start. --- Artemis

U1D2 comment to Kathy

I think you said a lot in a few words when you said “I would need to spend a great deal of time becoming an ‘expert' with using the tool”. I think almost everyone could become expert at using the various software programs we all have been mentioning but it just requires a lot of time for that expertise to develop. Richard

Unit 1 - Introduction to Authoring Tools - Dreamweaver

This page lists the unit's Objectives and Learning Activities.
Objectives

By the end of this unit, a successful learner should be able to:

  1. Create messages that have appropriately written content and objectives and accommodate learner needs and characteristics.
  2. Create or select visuals that instruct, orient, and/or motivate.
  3. Acquire and apply new technology skills to instructional design practice.
  4. Evaluate the capacity of a given infrastructure to support selected technologies.
  5. Assess the benefits of existing and emerging technologies.
  6. Select appropriate media and delivery systems.
  7. Analyze the learning outcomes and select appropriate strategies.
  8. Analyze the instructional context and select appropriate strategies.
  9. Develop materials that support the content analyses, proposed technologies, delivery methods, and instructional strategies.
  10. Produce instructional materials in a variety of delivery formats.
Study
Presentation

Read this Learning Unit's Presentation .

u01s1 Read Clark

Read Chapters 1 and 2 in Clark.

u01s2 Update Profile

Update your profile. Access and post a temporary home page to your Capella Web site with your name and email address. (If you have other courses that have a Web development component, include a link for a separate index or table of contents for this class.)

u01s3 Dreamweaver Installation


Install the latest version of Dreamweaver on your computer.

Download and install the CourseBuilder extension to Dreamweaver.

Complete the built-in tutorial for Dreamweaver.
Assignments and Discussions

u01d1 Building Expertise

Based on your reading of Chapter 1 and other published resources, discuss how the process of building expertise in the learner can be accelerated using instructional media. Your response may include how people become experts and how experts and novices differ in the way they process information.

Your answer should be referenced; that is you should support it with in-text citations of published material and a reference list. Follow Capella University's current style guidelines for your in-text citations and reference list.

u01d2 Authoring Software

Based on your brief introduction to Dreamweaver and CourseBuilder and any experiences you have had with other similar authoring tools, discuss the balance between ease of use and flexibility in authoring software. How do attributes of a given authoring tool influence your designs?