Dream Team

Nowadays, there are a lot of great new technology, software,  and apps that can be used to create learning games or interactive course content. This increased gave the instructors and developers an easy way to visually design their courses. However, they must look at the best way to achieve the simplicity and efficiency of visually pleasing and professional content presentation. When developing a learning game or any interactive course content we need to learn more about how students receive, process, retain the information, and hopefully retrieve it when needed. Theories of learning—specifically those based in cognitive sciences and the study of how knowledge is acquired—contribute to our understanding of how materials can be presented for effective learning and performance. Also, We need to look at the content it self and how to chunk it and organize it so it’s not overwhelming for the students, or if it’s not providing the students with all information they need to learn. To achieve the set of goals a learning game or interactive learning content needs to meet, a team of subject experts,  instructional designers, and graphic designers have to play their part in this process.

Let say you need to develop an interactive course content for an engineering class, then you will need a subject expert in the content you are covering, this individual is in-the-know about what needs to be included in course. The instructional designer, on the other hand, will utilize instructional design principles and learning theories to achieve the learning goals and fill the knowledge gaps. Then the graphic designer will be in charge of all the graphs and animations, which will be used to develop this content.




6 Replies to “Dream Team”

  1. I totally agree with the point that we have to look for simplicity and efficiency. What I have learned in the last couple of years is that time is invaluable, and it might be very time consuming to try to know everything and adapt ourselves to the last innovative method to teach. However, as academics and professors it is important to be aware of the different type of materials, sources and methods that are out there.

  2. Thanks for your post. I agree that it can be very beneficial to think about how information is presented and to think about how to chunk information for students. There are some interesting articles that talk about chunking information and the limits on the number of chunks of information that a person can work with at a given time (Check out The Magic Number Seven and subsequent articles such as: http://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/1994-28274-001.html). In addition to helping students by presenting chunks of information, it can be beneficial to help students make their own connections in the material.

    You also presented an interesting scenario where people across disciplines work together to create meaningful content. I’m curious to know more about this dream team, situations when you think this dream team would be particularly beneficial, and ways to facilitate this type of interaction. I just want to hear a little more about your thoughts!

  3. You are right. Designing a digital game or software is far more difficult than designing a conventional course. The designer of any digital means needs to care about the thought process of the prospective users and understand on how to stick them with it.

  4. I love the idea of cross-disciplinary collaborations to get the most out of digital content, delivery, and learning. As with research, I think it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many components required of comprehensive work. But we don’t exist in silos anymore, and we don’t have to be experts in everything (in fact we can’t be experts in everything) in order to conduct our research well, or in this case, in order to effectively teach students.

    I identify with these ideas pretty personally, as an individual with a background in psychology/cognitive neuroscience currently carrying out research incorporating areas I have no educational training in (human factors, engineering, physiology, medicine, the list goes on). There is no way I can master all of these areas in order to collect the data and carry out the research I intend to, and it would be futile to attempt this on my own. It truly takes a team. I think the same goes for developing curriculum or interactive games. We can really only benefit from relying on each other’s strengths.

  5. It is a shame that student perceptions of educational material are largely ignored or completely misconstrued. I agree that the unit of information packets needs careful consideration so as not to overwhelm students with TMI. In England there is actually an online study-tool called BiteSize (I assume it still exists) that tries to break up material into easily digestible chunks. It was more of a revision tool that a classroom tool, but at least someone is thinking about these things!

  6. Agree. As we can imagine how tough work the professors face if they plan to add the interactive part during the class. Design a game for a specific area is cooperation teamwork. For an instant, in the team, basically need a graphic designer, 3-D designer, coding people, professor in the class. The need group students to do the testing. Conservatively, it should be organised 1 year advanced before the class starting. The schedule is the biggest challenge for the team member. Also, we need to think about sponser. It is a challenge, also, it is a future.

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