Learn How To Study Using… Dual Coding — from learningscientists.org by Megan Smith & Yana Weinstein

Excerpt:

This is the final post in a series of six posts designed to help students learn how to study effectively. You can find the other five here:

What is dual coding?

Dual coding is the process of combining verbal materials with visual materials. There are many ways to visually represent material, such as with infographics, timelines, cartoon strips, diagrams, and graphic organizers.

When you have the same information in two formats – words and visuals – it gives you two ways of remembering the information later on. Combining these visuals with words is an effective way to study.

Now, look at only the visuals and explain what they mean in your own words. Then, take the words from your class materials and draw your own visuals to go along with them! 

Now, look at only the visuals and explain what they mean in your own words. Then, take the words from your class materials and draw your own visuals to go along with them!

From DSC:
As the authors comment, this is NOT about learning styles (as research doesn’t back up the hypothesis of learning styles): 

When we discuss verbal and visual materials, it does sound like we could be referring to learning styles. However, it is important to remember that a great deal of research has shown that assessing your learning style and then matching your study to that “style” is not useful, and does not improve learning (2). (For more, read this piece.)

 

Four creative methods for engagement in training — from trainingjournal.com by Susan Tomlinson Schmidt

Excerpt:

Educational courses are one of the most often sought-after and impactful professional development opportunities that people can engage with, so it’s vital that you keep your audience engaged even once they’ve started coursework. Here are our four tips for success.

  1. Leverage several media strategies.
  2. Keep learning modules short.
  3. Provide relevant examples for educational concepts.
  4. Communicate the purpose of knowledge checks.

Although we’re specifically discussing online educational opportunities in this guide, the ideas behind these concepts speak to other training opportunities you provide as well.

 

Improving Digital Inclusion & Accessibility for Those With Learning Disabilities — from by Meredith Kreisa
Learning disabilities must be taken into account during the digital design process to ensure digital inclusion and accessibility for the community. This comprehensive guide outlines common learning disabilities, associated difficulties, accessibility barriers and best practices, and more.

“Learning shouldn’t be something only those without disabilities get to do,” explains Seren Davies, a full stack software engineer and accessibility advocate who is dyslexic. “It should be for everyone. By thinking about digital accessibility, we are making sure that everyone who wants to learn can.”

“Learning disability” is a broad term used to describe several specific diagnoses. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, nonverbal learning disorder, and oral/written language disorder and specific reading comprehension deficit are among the most prevalent.

 
An image of a barrier being torn down -- revealing a human mind behind it. This signifies the need to tear down any existing barriers that might hinder someone's learning experience.

 

More Employers Are Awarding Credentials. Is A Parallel Higher Education System Emerging? — from edsurge.com by Sean Gallagher and Holly Zanville

Excerpt:

As the acceptance of new types of credentials grows, a number of employers have become learning providers in their own right, in a way that could shake up the broader higher education landscape.

A growing number of companies have moved beyond training their own employees or providing tuition assistance programs to send staff members to higher education. Many of these employers are also developing their own curricula and rapidly expanding their publicly-facing credential offerings.

But the current boom in employer-issued credentials is different—and potentially transformational. Unlike the traditional IT certifications of decades past, these new credentials are less focused on proprietary technologies related to a given tech vendor, and are instead more focused on broadly applicable tech skill sets such as IT support, cloud computing and digital marketing.

 

Video Captions Benefit Everyone — from ncbi.nlm.nih.gov by Morton Ann Gernsbacher

Excerpts:

Video captions, also known as same-language subtitles, benefit everyone who watches videos (children, adolescents, college students, and adults). More than 100 empirical studies document that captioning a video improves comprehension of, attention to, and memory for the video. Captions are particularly beneficial for persons watching videos in their non-native language, for children and adults learning to read, and for persons who are D/deaf or hard of hearing. However, despite U.S. laws, which require captioning in most workplace and educational contexts, many video audiences and video creators are naïve about the legal mandate to caption, much less the empirical benefit of captions.

More than 100 empirical studies, listed in the appendix, document the benefits of captions.

With so many studies documenting the benefits of captions, why does everyone not always turn on the captions every time they watch a video? Regrettably, the benefits of captions are not widely known. Some researchers are unaware of the wide-ranging benefits of captions because the empirical evidence is published across separate literatures (deaf education, second-language learning, adult literacy, and reading acquisition). Bringing together these separate literatures is the primary purpose of this article.

 

From DSC:
Below are some great questions and reflections from Mr. Andrew Thorburn:

“I’d like to suggest not only the tools to learn and adapt, but marry that with — and to the learning model of — forgiveness and growth from not getting it right the first time. Perhaps a reflection or question from an instructor, a friend, and/or a mentor asking:

  • What did you expect to gain from engaging this learning?
  • What was the outcome? Was it what you expected?
  • If you were to do it over, what would you do differently, expect, or hope the outcome to be?
  • What would you want yourself to be like?  Why?”

We need to change how we feel about learning and appreciate the process of personal growth. 

 

Asynchronous Video Conversations: 11 Tips and Best Practices — from er.educause.edu by Rob Gibson

Excerpt (first 4 of 11):

1. Closely align video conversations with the stated module, course, and/or program learning objectives. Clearly indicate those alignments in the course outline.

2. Use the syllabus, an introductory course video, or a sample student video recording to prepare students in advance for this type of activity. Since many students will use their smartphones to record, provide information about best practices for creating quality video using a phone.

3. Some students are uncomfortable recording themselves. Depending on the product, consider offering alternatives such as an audio/mic-only mode, a text-only mode, or using a proxy image or avatar in the video.

4. Consider using threaded video conversations for course introductions to build a sense of humanizing the course. Michelle Pacansky-Brock supports the use of video conversations as an alternative to text. In her book How to Humanize Your Online Class with VoiceThread, she indicates that video tools maximize presence, a dimension of online connectivity to fellow students, the faculty, and the content. Research in her own courses found an increase from 25 percent to 75 percent in voluntary voice-video comments.Footnote5 This also helps form common goals and dispositions among students—dispositions are affective learning dimensions, such as motivation, attitude, persistence, empathy, and problem solving.Footnote6

 

 

From DSC:
As a follow up to The Chegg situation is worse than you think [Feldstein] (which discussed cheating, buying answers, selling answers, proctoring software, and more), it seems to me that one of the challenges that we face in our teaching and learning efforts has to do with the transformation of our students: Helping them move from a K-16 world to the world of work. The below graphic tries to capture that idea. 

Transforming gameplayers into lifelong learners.

DSC: This is a picture I took of the Michigan Hall of Justice, in Lansing, MI.

What I mean to say is that our learners’ future clients don’t care about our learners’ ability to cram and score high on tests and then forget about topic XYZ. They want our learners to know and be able to apply topic XYZ in order to solve their problems/issues/needs. (Not to mention that being able to cram and do well on a high-stakes test is not nearly as helpful as spacing out their retrieval of topic XYZ over a much longer span of time.)

I hope that our students are hearing/experiencing from us: “We’re on your team. We’re here to help you.” And being transparent with our teaching techniques is key (i.e., here’s WHY I’m assigning this item or asking you to do this activity).

 

A message about learning from the C-suite — from chieflearningofficer.com by Patricia A. McLagan
Executives are increasingly saying they want to create “learning organizations” and support “lifelong learning.” So, what should executives be saying to their workforce about learning today? Consider this sample letter to employees from the C-suite.

Excerpts:

How are you keeping up your skills and knowledge in our increasingly complex and fast-changing world of work? As today’s pandemic turmoil reminds us, it is hard to predict how the future will evolve. But one thing we do know is that continuous learning will be a key survival meta-skill for all of us — learning that each of us consciously guides every day, moment to moment, alone, in teams, with any resource, anywhere and anytime.

Consider: More than 50 percent of today’s jobs will probably disappear or change radically within 10 years. There are many reasons for this.

Beyond technology, companies like ours need more agility, innovation and self-management from everyone. We used to manage more by job descriptions, and you were best described as a box on the organization chart — probably with little expectation that you could experiment, take risks, and act with discretion and autonomy. But today and into the future, your skills and creative thinking matter more. Your “job” responsibilities shift as you move into and out of teams and as we call on you to support new strategies, customer groups and priorities.

From DSC:
I really appreciated reading this solid article from Patricia McLagan. She captured so many solid points. That said, I was bummed to see the following item included in this article (emphasis DSC):

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Of course, our company is committed to supporting your learning and development, to providing formal training and access to learning opportunities for everyone. But even in the best of times, we will only be able to formally support a small part of what you will need and want. This is why I am sending this note to you: to tell you that we care about your learning and development, that we will do our best to support it, but that 95 percent of your learning is in your hands.

Our company is committed to supporting your learning development — yeh…right…all 5% of it. 
Whoopie. The other 95% of it belongs to you and me. (Which reminds me that words are so easy to say but much harder to truly back up.) And you and I will likely do it on your/our own time. That seems to be more of the reality…the expectation…especially when job cuts are occurring all over the place and the job plates continue to expand for those who survived the cuts.

My experience over my career has been that corporations used to promote and truly support their employees’ professional development. They sent more people to courses and significantly helped many people obtain their MBA’s as well as other relevant master’s degrees and/or certifications/ and/or just to support some professional interests.

For example, I’m forever indebted to one of my formers bosses, Irvin Charles Coleman III. I worked for Irv at Kraft Foods’ HQ’s and he once let me go to a seminar on Photoshop. Though I used Photoshop in my work, it wasn’t in my formal description. That seminar changed many things for me. It supported my growth and learning and it fed my passion for designing and creating content.

I’m sure this kind of thing still occurs, but from what I can tell, it doesn’t happen at nearly the level that it used to. That said, I don’t blame the corporate world for getting bummed out at their employees that they had invested in — only to see those same employees grab the degrees and credentials and leave for greener pastures. Through the years, it seemed like the corporate world backed off from providing such a level of training/professional development.

These days, it seems like the corporations and the businesses out there have the hiring expectation that you will hit the ground running from day one. Learning and development are up to you and me. Nevermind that the way learning is supposed to go is that you:

  • introduce the learning objectives to someone
  • give them the information/content
  • provide the relevant and aligned learning activities that help them truly engage with the content
  • provide aligned formative and summative assessments along the way to ascertain whether they learned the material/concepts or not.

So I’m amazed that corporations are putting recent grads through their own tests on things that many of these students have never actually studied. (Yeh, I can hear the push backs now…and while I agree with some of them, it’s not fair to the students. They just followed what the colleges and universities offered for$100,000-$400,000+).

I could go on, but I need to go do my taxes. Gotta run. I hope to pick this line of thought up later.

 

2U, Guild Education Partner to Expand Online Education for Adult Workers — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpt:

But the current crisis is anything but, and an increasingly remote workforce will only accelerate the need for new skills and habits to keep companies running.

2U, a publicly traded company, will make its degree programs, short courses and online coding “bootcamps” available to Guild Education’s network of employers. That’s over 500 programs, spanning more than 30 disciplines, that they will have access to. It’s largely up to the employer to choose which ones they want to subsidize for their workers, Freedman says.

“Businesses are eliminating some roles, yet are desperate to hire for others. But you cannot hire away to solve what is fundamentally a training problem.” In other words, it makes more sense to invest in training internal talent, rather than firing people and hiring replacements.

 

Look at the choice and control possibilities mentioned in the following except from Immersive Reader in Canvas: Improve Reading Comprehension for All Students

When building courses and creating course content in Canvas, Immersive Reader lets users:

  • Change font size, text spacing, and background color
  • Split up words into syllables
  • Highlight verbs, nouns, adjectives, and sub-clauses
  • Choose between two fonts optimised to help with reading
  • Read text aloud
  • Change the speed of reading
  • Highlight sets of one, three, or five lines for greater focus
  • Select a word to see a related picture and hear the word read aloud as many times as necessary

Also see:

All about the Immersive Reader — from education.microsoft.com

The Microsoft Immersive Reader is a free tool, built into Word, OneNote, Outlook, Office Lens, Microsoft Teams, Forms, Flipgrid, Minecraft Education Edition and the Edge browser, that implement proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people regardless of their age or ability.

 

Teacher, Are You There? Being “Present” in Online Learning — from er.educause.edu by Richard West

Excerpt:

Video technologies are part of that shift in helping online learners feel connected to teachers and peers. This connection comes from people developing the sense that they are “present” in the class, even if they are not physically in the same room. How is it possible to be present when you are physically separated?

 

 

Interplay Raises $18M to Build a Lynda.com for Essential Skilled Trades — from edsurge.com by Tony Wan

Excerpt:

Plumbing is just one of many good-paying skilled trades that remain in high demand but which have largely been glossed over by the education technology industry, says Doug Donovan, co-founder and CEO of Interplay Learning. “There’s been a lot of great edtech serving the knowledge worker, such as tools like Pluralsight. But there’s a vacuum in the digital marketplace for skills for hands-on workers.”

Interplay Learning VR training for HVAC repair

 

Time for Reinvention, Not Just Replication or Revision — from insidehighered.com by Ray Schroeder
With enrollments falling, college budgets under strain and employers dissatisfied with the relevance of graduates’ learning, now is a time for more than replication or revision — it is time for reinvention.

Excerpt:

We are at the confluence of massive economic, technologic and social changes that demand higher education do more than small fixes. We will not thrive if we merely tweak the system to replicate practices of the lecture hall in an online delivery system. This is not an empty warning — universities across the country are closing programs, laying off staff and faculty, and teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. I have personally been tracking these economic disadvantages for some time now.

Here are the key factors we must consider…(see rest of article)

Our centuries-old model of admitting 18-year-old high school graduates for a four-, five- or six-year baccalaureate, then sending them out for lifelong careers in business and industry is no longer relevant.

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian