Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gagne's Nine Events of Instructions

Robert Mills Gagne (August 21, 1916– April 28, 2002), an American educational psychologist (best known for his "Conditions of Learning“---1965) came up with these nine events of instructions.

Gagne believed that the results of learning are measurable and it can be achieved through testing, drill, practice, and by providing immediate feedback.

1) Gain Attention:
Use an Interesting Fact
Do you know that an ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Do you know that it's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
We spend 1/3rd of our life sleeping.

Pose a Question
Name the seven lettered word that contains nine words, without re-arranging any of its alphabets.
Answer: "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, and herein.

Use an Interesting Sound, Video or Image

2) Inform the Objectives:

o Helps the learner know what topics will be covered.
o Forms the basis for assessment
At the end of this session you will be able to:
§ State Gagne’s nine events of instructions.
§ Explain each event of instruction.

3) Stimulate Recall of Prior Learning:

Ask questions about previous experiences.
Helps determine students’ knowledge level.
You have to teach a student how to brush his teeth. You can narrate a story about another kid who did not brush his teeth properly. You can then explain the advantages and disadvantages of brushing teeth.

4) Present Stimulus Material:

A variety of media should be used if possible—
o Text
o Graphics
o Audio
o Narration
o Video
You can combine either or all of these media or you can you some of it depending on your learner types.

5) Provide Learner Guidance:

By giving-----
o examples
o non-examples
o case studies
o graphical representations
o mnemonics
o analogies

Example: If you are teaching math or algebra You can ask the students to remember BODMAS.
Take a look at this video:

Suppose you have to teach a child how to brush his teeth? You can you videos like the one given below to reinforce the importance of brushing one’s teeth.

6) Elicit Performance:

Helps confirm correct understanding of learner.
Summarizing and further repetition enhances retention.
It is like formative assessment, where you do not test the learner but try to reinforce the learning that is being provided.

7) Provide Feedback:

Additional guidance provided at this stage is called formative feedback.
Provide consistent feedback.
Let the learner know whether he is correct/ incorrect and why?

8) Assess Performance:

This is to ensure the effectiveness of the course.
Also many a times certification is provided based on the results of the performance.
It is like summative assessment, where you test the over all understanding of the learner on a particular subject.

9) Enhance Retention and Transfer:

Aids retention
Helps to memorize things
Summarizing helps reinforce new material.

This is where you put the learning into actual practice.

Watch these videos.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Common Design Errors

This article is devoted to bad designs that we come across in our day-to-day life. I've tried to show images of bad designs rather than writing it down in words.

This handle serves no purpose, as it is not used to open the drawer. Rather it confuses the user.

Now look at these images?
How to use any of these faucets?

Why bus numbers are not displayed on all the sides of a bus? How do I get to know which is the one for me?

Presently I am using MS-Office 2007. Why do I need to save the document in compatibility mode every time? The software should save the file in compatibility mode on its own without waiting for my instruction!

I commute by a bus, but look at the hand grip. It moves and sways constantly when in motion. Why can’t it be made static?

I pour 1/4 th of the oil outside the container. Why should i use a funnel when it can be made more user-friendly?
can’t the manufacturers design it like this!

Well I guess most of us are familiar with this red ice-cream box. But the problem with it is that you won’t be able to figure out how to open it at the first attempt.

The seal over here is broken, but when you get a new box you need to open the seal. You notice this only when you experiment a little.

At first glance you might feel that you can open the cap of the spray perfume. But if you are thinking so, you are wrong.

Look at the image given below. You need not open the cap, but the design is not intuitive, at least that’s what I felt!

These are some of the day-to- day design issues that we come across. You must have come across many such instances too. I should acknowledge the fact that I gathered some of the images from various sites that specifically talk about design issues. But I feel even if people are aware of what works and what does not, the design issues are never corrected.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Creativity! What’s That?

“ Imagination is more important than knowledge.” ---- Albert Einstein

“Imagination properly employed is our greatest friend; it goes beyond reason and is the only light that takes us everywhere.”
----Swami Vivekananda

What does creativity mean?
I think creativity means thinking out of the box. Now that sounds cliché. ;) If you want to be creative you have to be original. I feel one can be creative with ideas, thoughts, and with anything around. Being creative does not necessarily mean thinking something new, but it can also mean tweaking an existing idea or a thing to make it better. Creativity means breaking the walls of one’s imagination. Creativity means manifesting ideas into reality. Creativity means envisioning that does not exist and how to bring it to pass. People have tried to be creative with things around them. The German artist Joseph Beuys claimed that "Every human-being is an artist", with the implication that we are all creative beings.

There are numerous instances to cite as apt examples of creativity. The best example of creativity is the famous Rock Garden in Chandigarh. The material used to set up the whole garden is glass bangles and things which people might have considered waste. Another example could be to make use of a day to day object differently.
A sales woman or a sale man who manages to sell a product or any article can be said as a creative person, in terms of the way he persuades the customer. A teacher who teaches in a class of fourty students manages to get her or his point across at least to a handful of students, that’s being creative. Another teacher teaching the same thing may not be able to do so with even 2 students. Being creative does not necessarily mean one should have aesthetic sense but how differently a job is carried out. The images below can be considered as live examples of creativity.

So how to keep the creative lamp burning?

I read somewhere that if one wants to become creative one has to spend a lot of time in learning about the subject one wants to show one’s creativity. I completely agree with this statement because if I don’t know how to say make paratha (Indian bread) on the first place I won’t be able to try and make various kinds of parathas (Indian bread). To wrap up I would say that creativity is a skill that is developed over time and with practice.
Inspiration and the quest for knowledge, to keep learning things that I do not know seems to be my main source of creativity. I believe everyone has the potential to be creative, but certain people seem to be more in tune with that part of themselves than others.

Creative Ways to Recycle Ordinary Objects posted by ecoble