Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Learning research to action - from Jakob Nielsen

I never tire of going on about Jakob Nielsen and the usefulness of his Alertbox. Nielsen is one of the pre-eminent figures in web usability, but in this post he is looking at information recall/learning as it relates to online content.

How can we use this? I sent the following suggestion out to my colleagues on our Foundation Degree programme. Thought I'd share it here.
The activity may be a relevant approach to adopt for review activities. The issue is how to incorporate it, as it is difficult to mark an “all points” review, and unmarked review activities will, in most cases, be outright ignored (I know I tend to – falsely believing in my fallible memory), so the old “Now write a summary of what you have learnt in this module” gambit is likely fail.

So, what’s the alternative? Setting the idea in a brief scenario context might work. “Imagine you had to relay the content from this section to a working group and your presentation needed to fit a five minute slot between two other activities. Summarize the learning from this section as fully, but concisely as you can.” Arguably this adds sufficient constraint that it might be easy to feedback on, but also it should give the target learner sufficient cause to read and review the section in enough detail to attain that full 145% effect. And let’s not forget that 145% better means nearly two and a half times more effective. A very big boost indeed.
There. A much better way of demonstrating my renewed love for blogging than writing a blog post about how I enjoy blogging once more and should do more of it again.

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