tech-ucation reformation

Goodbye overheads and chalkboards! Hello virtual "paperless" classrooms!

Will They Understand? June 9, 2014

Filed under: 5110 — S. Michele Holmes @ 4:54 am
Tags: , ,

This week my Multimedia in Technology Applications class is in the initial stages of our Instructional Design Project. We have been asked to select a simple “how to” activity and explain it step-by-step with only text then reflect upon what we have learned about designing instruction that employs only text. Quite frankly, as I was typing out the instructions, I was taken aback by how specific my words had to be. In my experience as a teacher, I have noticed my lectures can be quite elaborate, and the process of explaining something I usually demonstrate visually with only words really eliminated all the “extra fluff.” It was almost liberating to think that my students could work independently following my written instructions leaving me to observe their progress from afar. However, as for my chosen “how to” activity, not using images or video is extremely limiting, and this was another reason I knew my text instructions needed to be clear, concise, and inclusive. The lack of pictoral examples also requires the instructions to be organized neatly with font size and formatting varied to create a sense of organization and structure. Then I began to think about how my students would benefit from having a copy of the detailed, step-by-step instructions to refer back to in case they are distracted, confused, or just had a question. As for me, my ideas about varying the formatting were only confirmed, and I will strive to consider this essential element of instruction in my lessons.

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One Response to “Will They Understand?”

  1. Tech writers employ a system called “Structured writing” to create manuals for IT systems. There are rules for when to use a table or illustration, when to use a list, when to number and when to bullet. Its also a place for understanding passive and non-passive voice and tense. This is not just great for teachers to learn, but teaching these techniques to kids can also be fun. Try creating a “chinese whispers” game based on written instructions, then someone follows them, and another team rewrites them on the basis of what they have seen.


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