Tuesday, 15 April 2008

AG08 session Evidence-based eLearning Methods to Build Creative Thinking Skills by Ruth Clark

(For the live blogging info look below the AG08 synopsis)

wikibook Ruth Clark

(AG08 synopsis) In a global economy, organizations must increasingly rely on adaptive expertise for innovative competitiveness. What evidence do we have on using e-Learning to accelerate expertise and build a more innovative workforce?

Session participants will join Ruth as she guides you through research and practice on creative skills training, drawing from the 2008 edition of e-Learning and the Science of Instruction. You will see examples, identify best-practices, review evidence, and apply a design template for problem-based e-Learning to accelerate expertise and build thinking skills.

In this session, you will learn:
  • The features of learning environments proven to build creative thinking skills
  • The research evidence on effectiveness of problem-based learning
  • To use your own content to plan a problem-based learning lesson
Live from room Palm 3 at Hilton, Orlando, Florida
(my thoughts are in italic)

You can download the handouts (ppt) at this link, look at session 206.

Ruth Clark is immediately diving into it and ... she is more active then I felt she would be based on the synopsis. She really gets people thinking right at the beginning. She uses visuals and humour, so really the advocate of what she is talking about.

well designed creativity training programs typically induce gains inperformance... What makes creativity programs stick?
there were between 100 and 200 different types of programs, but they can be divided in 3:
puzzle problems: think outside the box (or like Nicola Avery said last month: the box is bigger then you think!)
critical thinking skills: (brain busters creative programs)

The most effective creative thinking is domain based problems (so this is really good because it means problem based problem in a job-specific context).
meta analysis of 70 studies proved this (Mumford, 2004)

Weisberg studied what made creative, famous people creative geniuses.
We are building on the creativity of others. For example: DNA a lot of scientists looked at DNA, but nobody until the (three) scientists worked on a model DNA science did not have a break through.

Domain specific scenario-based learning environments (this is where the ustream recording starts)
a very simple example: a medical ethics example on life ending topics (she very nicely tells people that this is a very sensitive topic) the example is text based with the option to choose your role and/or sex. The example shows what people can be confronted with in case a relative is in a life threatening situation and the family has to decide on whether or not the patient will be taken of life suport. An American example with legal differences according to the different state legislations.
At the end of the module you can type in what you think would choose and you can reflect on your choice and if necessary change your choice.
This focused on a specific job focus and was job-focused, so good.

case based versus traditional example: 163 medical students in 3 week rotation in orthopedics. Test group: case based online plus faccetoface discussion from traditional didactic methods
Comparison group: traditional program based on lectures besides turorials.
Because the test group could look at a lot more (simulated) cases, that group scored better and was more motivated because it is relevant.

Sherlock: accelerating expertise sherlock (troubleshooting aircraft electronic troubleshooter). Gott & Lesgold, 2000 (exposed learners 25 - 20 hours on sherlock had the same knowledge growth as people with 10 years of experience) => so this can accelerate expertise.

Job-specific problem scenario: jot down a job role in your organization that involves creative problem solving, list some of the types of problems that workers in that role solve, describe the setting in which problems are solved.

metacognition is a priority for problem solving (see Allen Schoenfeld)

model thinking process: modeling the own learning skills
practice making decisions: practising making decisions on

put students in little groups and going around asking: why are you doing it, what other answers are there, what could you have overlooked... this approach (reflection) will augment learning outcomes.

next case: for your selected problem, sketch some ways you can use eLearning to
1 model thinking skills
2 give practice in thinking skills
3 give feedback in thinking skills
(everyone is using her or his brain to solve this next interactive question)

Ruth mentions virtual agents to guide you through simulations, collaboration, guidance worksheets (a plee for legal professionals)

think about: for your selected problem, sketch some ways you can use eLearning to provide guidance. (everyone is thinking again, only a few dropouts at this point, probably because they do not see why they should think if nothing is done with the thinking process - if Ruth would have told the goal in the beginning, I wonder if the dropouts would still be thinking at this point?)

building creative thinking skills
focus on a few specific skills - translate vague requirements into action items;
create job-specific scenarios that integrate ...

Now a high media example of simulations (again an army example, I think simulations were really done at first in the defense departments around the world - also a little bit logical as you cannot prepare for combat anywhere else, but ... still, it is a pity that violence is a technology boost) a multimedia simulation preparing people to be prepared in war zones... (a lot of macho, military talk, I just believe in peace and investing in peace - I am a gandhiïst) This approach allows inexperienced soldiers to be a bit better prepared in a foreign situation and it is .

- collecting job scenarios
- defining cognitive and metagcognitive processes
- training design trade offs (dollars and time)
  • scope?
  • interface?
  • media intensity?
  • complexity?

unknowns for future research
how realistic?
can integrate type 2 (brainstorming) into domain specific learning?
(and another thing, did not get this... phew what pace!)

conclusion: this was a knowledge packed session with a LOT of reflective moments. This made it more difficult to liveblog because... it took a lot of multitasking in my brain.