Category: Learning Design

Why high contextual interference?

This week I followed a hunch and, with the help of a friend who is a music educator, dug into some additional research around this idea of blocked and random practice. In music there are a few goals to achieve with any passage of music: can you play a passage accurately by itself? can you play the passage in the larger context of the piece? can you play the passage to tempo? can you play the passage with the right expression? Think about these goals in your own subject area and see if you can find a similar set...

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Lean in to the Discomfort

When you walk in to a room full of people, choose someone who seems the most different from you (on the surface) or the person that seems the “scariest” to start a conversation with. Start there. Lean in to the Discomfort of having that awkward first conversation. In all likelihood, you DO have something in common with the person – seek to find it. If you always start with the conversation that you perceive to be the most difficult one to have, you will, over time, reduce your own fear of talking to strangers. About 90% of an iceberg...

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AMATYC Keynote Notes: Challenge and Curiosity

In the 2016 AMATYC keynote, I covered three main themes: Interaction & Impasse (last post) Challenge & Curiosity (this post) Durable Learning Here are references and resources for Challenge & Curiosity: First, I have to point you to one of my favorite books on the subject, A Theory of Fun for Game Design, by Raph Koster. Quote from Game Design: “How do I get somebody to learn something that is long and difficult and takes a lot of commitment, but get them to learn it well?” – James Gee How do players learn a game?  They give it a try They...

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Why prototype a digital course?

Very few of us would buy an unbuilt home without at least viewing a model home that conveys the look and feel of the interior and exterior of the rest of the community. We should be unwilling to build (or buy) an entire course (a “row” of units, modules, chapters, or weeks of content) without seeing at least one “model unit” first. In the software world, a low-fidelity prototype is used to give the look and feel of a future product. With this prototype there is some hand-waving (mockups) to explain away missing functionality and potential users are asked how they...

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Math Graphs for the Blind

If I had to produce tactile graphs for the visually-impaired, or have such a student produce a graph for me, I think I would spend an hour to create one of these velcro and wool yarn slates for the blind. I stumbled across this Touching Slate “toy” in MAKE Magazine’s current issue and realized that this simple slate solves a key problem in teaching higher-level mathematics to visually-impaired students: How can a teacher or student quickly produce graphs of functions to share during a class, study session, or exam?  I think you could use yarn of different thicknesses in order to...

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