Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I came across this really cool and thought provoking video on siftables on the Simply Speaking blog. I just had to share it here. How interesting would it be to use this to teach?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blog Personality Type

The analysis indicates that the author of is of the type:

ISTJ - The Duty Fulfillers

The responsible and hardworking type. They are especially attuned to the details of life and are careful about getting the facts right. Conservative by nature they are often reluctant to take any risks whatsoever. The Duty Fulfillers are happy to be let alone and to be able to work int heir own pace. They know what they have to do and how to do it.

I am not sure if I agree. My blog personality for my other blog, Mum's the Word, is different. Can that be possible? Do I have a dual personality? :) Anyway, check out your blog personality at Typealyzer.

Monday, February 16, 2009

When should we use pre tests?

I am hooked to Clark Quinn's blog posts on ID. When reading one such post, I came across another article, The Case Against Pre Testing for Online Courses by the same author. This had me thinking, when do I use pre-tests in courses?
  • When there is a discrepancy between what the learner knows and what he/she thinks he knows. It is a dangerous situation when the learner thinks he/she already knows what you are about to teach him/her but from your research you know otherwise.
  • If the learners' profile shows discrepancy in prior knowledge, pre tests help identify which path will be best suitable for the learner. For example, the pre test shows that the learner is good at communication skills but poor in active listening, he/she will be directly taken to active listening.
  • To help the learner understand which areas need more focus.
  • To help the learner understand more about themselves. For example: You have a personality test to help the learner understand his/her personality type.
This being said its not necessary to have a pre test in all courses. Pre test should not be used for the following:
  • To judge where the learner is; we should have already done our research to identify this
  • When motivation to learn is high; it may be demotivating to continue with the course if the feedback is not encouraging
  • To set expectations; your objectives screen and gain attention screen should be sufficient to set expectations
Pre tests are effective tools when used correctly. Pre tests should be designed carefully. These are very useful for soft skills such as communication, personality types, and so on. Well designed pre tests are non-judgemental and encouraging.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Micky Mouse Club House

When surfing through channels, I paused at Disney channel (mostly because my one year old son was fascinated by the colors). Micky Mouse Club House was playing. If you have seen this show, you'd realize that the main objective of this program is to teach the children. Micky and gang did several tasks. For example: One of the characters needed a bow to go to the circus. A device named toodle is summoned. This device visually shows several tools that can be selected to carry out a particular task. Micky encourages the children to identify which tool can be used to make a bow. Ribbon is one such option. They select this and demonstrate how a bow can be made from a ribbon. There are two more tasks similar to this.

The strategies used:
  • An interesting storyline with heroes and a villain
  • Three set of objectives
  • Visual multiple choice exercises (with distractors) directly linked to the objectives
  • Small fun demonstrations (dance steps, how to march and so on)
  • Visual recap toward the end of the program
I think it is a very effective way to teach and entertain. What I loved about it is that it is all very visual. Catch it sometime if you can.