Effective E-Learning: Graphics

Research had shown that graphics, be it line drawings, charts, and photographs and motion graphics such as animation and video, can improve learning when effectively used in an e-learning environment.

graphics

What is Effective Use of Graphics?

In this case, an effective use of graphics refer to those that are related to the material presented. Dr. Ruth Clark presented the findings of research conducted by Richard Mayer and his colleagues at the University of California at Santa Barbara in her article Six Principles of Effective E-Learning – What Works and Why published by Learning Solutions Magazine.

Research on the Use of Graphics

In his research, Mayer compared learning about various mechanical and scientific processes from lessons that used words alone or used words and graphics. In the majority of the cases in this research, he concluded that test subjects improved their understanding when pictures were included. On the flip side, the research indicated that unrelated graphics can actually depress learning. Clark further explained in her article that “while graphics can boost learning, it will be important to select the kind of graphic that is congruent with the text and with the learning goal. Graphics that are irrelevant or gratuitous actually depress learning. Consider selecting your graphics based on the type of content you are teaching.”

Learn More about Graphics and Effective E-learning

Read more about this multimedia principle of adding graphics to words to improve learning, as well as about the five other principles presented: contiguity principle, modality principle, redundancy principle, coherence principle, and personalization principle. Share your experiences with the use of graphics in e-learning in the comment section below.

Always in learning mode,

Your friends at ISD Now

www.umbc.edu/isd

Unlearning to Learn More

Unlearning is just as important, and some would argue, even more important, than learning.

What is unlearning?

Unlearning happens when one comes face-to-face with a new idea, concept or thought that contradicts what has been learned previously.  The world is constantly moving, changing, and shifting. If we don’t acknowledge this, we threaten our very survival, be it professionally or personally, in this ever-changing landscape.

unlearning

New ideas have always been a catalyst to growth and development, be it in a classroom, in a business setting, or in a relationship.  These new ideas are constantly replacing old ones. What we spent years learning, may no longer be applicable today or in the future.

Learn to Unlearn

How does one not drown in the sea of knowledge when it is constantly being saturated by newer concepts that replace old ones? The answer is quite simple. We need to learn to unlearn.

What Does it Mean to Unlearn?

Our minds are being filled with a constant flow of information. If we don’t stop and empty some of it out, we won’t have room for anything new to enter. To stay fresh, vital and on top of the game, we need to make room for new knowledge because the world is ever changing.

Benefits of Unlearning:

  • Release old ideas
  • Let go of old habits
  • Make room for new information

Why Should We Unlearn?

As ISD professionals, it’s critical that we understand the need for unlearning because technology is always changing, and what served us once, may not serve us today or tomorrow.

Unlearning Allows Us: 

  • To grow
  • To allow new ideas to take up root
  • To gain new perspectives
  • To adapt to the changing environment
  • To remove barriers that limit our potential

In her blog, Taruna Goel introduced this excerpt from a paper titled ‘Lifelong Unlearning’ written by Trevor Pateman: “In our cognitive lives our memories – what we know – is often an obstacle to engaging with the world around us. It is a commonplace that what we see is often influenced by what we think there is to see, and if that is true, then that might be taken as an argument for thinking less and with less conviction. We should carry our knowledge lightly, and always be ready to let go of it.”

Check out this video by Author Jack Uldrich on Unlearning Possibilities:

Have you had to unlearn something recently?

Always in learning mode,
Your friends at ISD Now
www.umbc.edu/isd

ISD Professionals: Four Reasons You Need a Portfolio

Are you prepared for when that opportunity comes into your path, offering a chance at a fantastic project that could elevate you to the next level in your ISD career?  If a potential client came calling tomorrow, would you have your best work ready to showcase? If not, read on.

portfolio

Why a Portfolio?

  1. To prove you have experience
  2. To sell yourself
  3. To showcase your talents and value
  4. To stand out from the competition

What to Present in a Portfolio?

Your best work. Period.

Here’s the caveat, though: you must honor the privacy of your clients. Before adding their projects into your portfolio, seek the written permission of their legal department. If you can’t obtain their permission, consider creating projects on your own to add to your portfolio.

What is the Best Portfolio Format?

Online and Paper versions both have advantages. Online allows for easy sharing, easy access, and easy correction in a cost effective manner. Paper-based portfolios have tangible, sensory value and are great for face-to-face interviews.

How to Organize a Portfolio

Leigh Anne Lankford, an Instructional Design Consultant, summed up her recommendations in her article, ISD Professionals – Building a Portfolio. She suggested these effective methods to organize a portfolio:

  • Place projects in chronological order.
  • Use the ADDIE Model to organize projects.
  • Organize projects according to the ASTD Competency Model.

Regardless of which organizational method you use to showcase your portfolio, the most important thing to keep in mind is to make it clean and clear of errors, and present only your best work. Seeking the advice and objectivity of someone unbiased can prove extremely helpful, as well. Encourage critical feedback from this person.

What to Include in Your Portfolio?

Think of a portfolio as a snapshot of your skills. It’s your chance to get in front of a prospective client and wow them with your ability. Place yourself in the shoes of the prospective client. What do they want to see? What would win over their confidence? What skill sets are critical to their project? Be sure your portfolio addresses these questions.

In her article, Lankford drafted a comprehensive list of items to consider:

  • One sample of High Level Design.
  • One Storyboard if you design for eLearning.
  • One Facilitator Guide sample.
  • One Participant Guide.
  • Content areas samples that showcase your expertise.
  • Evaluations you’ve created and their related feedback.
  • Recommendations and glowing reviews.

At UMBC, students admitted to the Master’s degree in Instructional Systems Development – Training Systems, are required to complete a professional portfolio. This requirement replaced the current comprehensive exam requirement in 2012.

Dr. Greg Williams, UMBC’s ISD Graduate Program Director, stated, “The purpose of this new requirement is to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in their coursework and the program. It also provides students, employers, clients, colleagues, etc. with tangible evidence of our graduates’ knowledge, skill, abilities and competencies. Portfolios can be a wonderful career tool that may assist graduates in getting jobs, promotions, new clients, and other professional opportunities.”

UMBC offers students a course called Portfolio Development & Talent Management

Did we miss something critical that you’ve included in your portfolio? Please share in the comments below.

Always in learning mode,
Your friends at ISD Now
www.umbc.edu/isd