Questions before answers

Just a quick pointer to Cathy Moore’s e-learning blog, which is aimed toward e-learning for corporate (i.e. workplace) settings, but is often very interesting for those of us working in academe.  Here’s a recent post she did on instructional design for online tutorials, in which she recommends putting questions before answers, and explains why.  (And the presentation itself is one more reason to use Keynote–it converts easily to Flash!)

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One thought on “Questions before answers

  1. Cathy makes another point in the comments that’s worth highlighting. Like her, I prefer to begin the design of a training program with the questions. In a way, that’s the best use of “teach to the test,” especially in a corporate or organizational setting.

    In those realms, the questions should aim at assessing your ability to do whatever the course is supposed to help you do. Most of the time, you’re not supposed to reel off facts and figures; you’re supposed to apply knowledge and skill to some problem or situation.

    For convenience-store clerks selling alcohol, for example, the test might be: here’s someone who wants to buy. Should you ask for ID? (And then, here’s the ID: should you accept it?)

    You can see how that kind of focus can keep nonessentials out of a training program, and can help trigger effective ways of getting people to respond appropriately.

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