Use your widget sidebars in the admin Design tab to change this little blurb here. Add the text widget to the Blurb Sidebar!

Now What?

Posted: March 29th, 2012 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: aesthetic, cognition, instructional_design, rhetoric, small_multiples, visual_language | No Comments »

I realize that I haven’t posted since November. Truthfully, it’s because I’ve been heads down in writing the dang thing.

It’s done.

Defended 1 March 2012. Passed.

Sent to the College 9 March 2012. Approved 16 March 2012.

I graduated.

It took quite a few turns from where it has been until its final iteration, but with the patient guidance of faculty advisors, it feels like a good stick-in-the-ground regarding using small multiples as a pedagogical approach. The final abstract reads:

The visualization strategy of small multiples (Tufte, 1983, 1990, 1997) is not merely the clever or ordered arrangement of similar and personable images; small multiples—purposeful compositions of similarly sized, repeated illustrations—contain a great deal more than the sum of their respective parts. The purpose of this study is to define a set of objectives and guiding tactics for using small multiples in the visual language of instructional designs. This study aims to (1) compile a targeted literature review cataloging the historical treatment of small multiples and their pedagogical and cognitive virtues and (2) analyze examples of small multiples usage in visual design artifacts to determine efficacious and expansive applications of this technique.

The count of objectives changed back and forth, but finally ended up at seven:

Objective One: Define and explicate the steps of a skill/task
Objective Two: Define and explicate ordinal relationships
Objective Three: Define and explicate adjacency and trace
Objective Four: Define and explicate progress and process
Objective Five: Define and explicate the rhetorical heterogeneity of objects
Objective Six: Define and explicate the various steps of a story or narrative
Objective Seven: Create an instructional or information design aesthetic and/or metavoice

Objectives 2, 3, and 4 used to be the same, but there seemed to be enough evidence (argument?) to separate them and give them their own space.

Perhaps the most difficult task was getting permissions from people to allow me to use their imagery in the thesis. Turns out most people don’t want to allow their work to be scrutinized. I am grateful to those who did and said so in the acknowledgements.

I also realized how much overlap there is with these objectives. Several of my data exhibited many of the same objectives so it was a challenge to pigeonhole one image into one objective.

But it’s done. Now what?


{Thesis} Macroconfigurations

Posted: November 3rd, 2011 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: cognition, instructional_design, small_multiples, visual_design | No Comments »

From my ‘esoteric’ (thanks, Dr. Gibbons) section on Gestaltian theory, visual design organization, saliency and composition, I’m working on this today.

Macroconfigurations

Winn (in Fleming & Levie, 1993a) outlines very salient principles which define the Gestaltian view that macroconfigurations of multiple instructional objects (in this case, “meaningful visual units” (61)) are treated by learners as single perceptual units in a phenomena called emergent property:

The idea of “emergent property” (Rock, 1986) comes very close to the Gestalt psychologists’ principle of “Prägnanz” (Wertheimer, 1938), or parsimony, in perceptual organization….If tokens can therefore be configured to form a single perceptual unit, perceptual processes will tend to “see” the unit rather than its parts. (61)

A macroconfiguration consists of several ‘meaningful visual units.’ In analyzing the five-day forecast graphic (in Chapter 1), for example, a configuration might contain of

  • a minor typographical element (the day)
  • a semiotic illustrative or ‘pointer’ (Gagné, 1985) element (a sun or clouds/lightning)
  • a major typographic pairing element (high and low temperature predictions)
  • grounding graphical elements (background colors, a bounding box, and other additional law of closure tactics)

Further, Winn stipulates that emergent property is heavily influenced by the proximity and common fate (additional Gestaltian propositions) of the visual units. Small multiples, inherently defined by their linear proximity, have the ability to be perceived by learners both individually and holistically. Because of the composition and configuration of the five groupings in the forecast graphic, not only is the viewer made aware of the potentially novel conditions of each day, but the viewer also perceives a tacit narrative: ‘this week, the weather will be stormy, then sunny.’

So what do learners see first: “the details and then synthesize them…; or does the perceiver see the ‘big picture’ first, analyzing it into its component parts?” (63) Winn (and Navon, 1977) explains that viewers tend to create salience globally to locally. However—and this is important for instructional designers—depending on how learners approach these macroconfigurations of imagery, they will access via their perceived median of detail and then process cyclically, either working outwards toward less-salient information or working inward towards “finer and finer detail” (64). Importantly for the inclusion of small multiples in instructional designs, then, 1) linear compositions (but not diagonal) and 2) “the size of images relative to the visual field” (64) are variables that visual designers can manipulate to increase the chances that a learner will start at the instructional designer’s intended median of detail.


What Makes a Good {Insert Vocation}?

Posted: May 6th, 2011 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: experience design, instructional_design, interpreting, sign_language | No Comments »

Divergence from thesis today:

In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates and Phaedrus discuss rhetoric and what it is that makes one a good speech writer. To make his argument Socrates begins by talking about other fields: medicine and music. He asks Phaedrus whether someone that claims to know the individual techniques of medicine is a doctor, or someone who knows how to produce the highest and lowest notes is a musician. Of course in both of these cases knowledge of the specific skills does not make one good at the actual profession these skills apply to. What does though is knowing exactly when and why to use them. When a patient experiences this or that symptom a doctor will know which technique to use to heal them, and in the same way a musician can compose notes together in such a harmony that a beautiful melody begins to emerge. The individual techniques and skills are only preliminaries to learning a discipline, but you must also learn its core elements—the things that will help you know the when and the why—in order to be any good at it.

I’ve been telling interpreting students this for years: knowing the what helps you very little. Knowing the when and how and why makes you a master. Note to self: make this quote available on day 1 of interpreting classes.


And Then There Were Five

Posted: February 22nd, 2011 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: GUI, aesthetic, cognition, instructional_design, rhetoric, small_multiples, story, visual_design | No Comments »

In iterating and reiterating through Original Six,

  1. Small multiples can explicate the various steps of a story or implied narrative
  2. Small multiples can explicate the steps of a skill/task
  3. Small multiples can explicate ordinal relationships, adjacency, “trace,” and progress/process
  4. Small multiples can create an implicit instructional or information design genre aesthetic or metaaffect and metavoice
  5. Small multiples can create an ordered and potentially neutral representation of objects
  6. Small multiples can explicate the implicit or explicit rhetorical relationships of learning objects

I’ve decided to combine 5 and 6 into one:

  1. explicate the steps of a story or narrative
  2. explicate the steps of a skill/task
  3. explicate the ordinal relationships, adjacency, trace, and progress/process
  4. create an IfD aesthetic
  5. explicate the rhetoric of objects, whether neutral or purposeful

The League of Remarkable Books

Posted: January 12th, 2011 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

Not SM related, but UX/design related, and that’s pretty close. List of top UX books ranked by global UX book clubs (whatever that means). Still, great reading list. 2, 7, 8, 9 are in the “read” column.


Prospectus Defense

Posted: November 4th, 2010 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

November 16, 2010. Come hell or high water.

Passed. No requested changes to prospectus, although I did make some alterations based on the committee’s recommendations to the final final prospectus that the department has on file.

Read current abstract

Recommendations:

  • Add images (lots)
  • Give more specifics as to why we should care

IKEA + SM = Wonderful Representations

Posted: September 27th, 2010 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: Uncategorized, aesthetic, information_design, instructional_design, morphology, small_multiples, story, visual_design | No Comments »

Swedish photographer Carl Kleiner has samples of images shot for an upcoming IKEA cookbook. While the photos are well crafted (almost Pete McArthur-esque), clearly SM are the hero of these shots.

Update: Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors has a page displaying the spreads of the book.

Sizing of the elements is curious to me, however, as some of the elements dwarf sizes of other elements. But is that ok for SM? Does this still fit the category of SM (size variation is not a SM feature nor is the relative non-linear format of these images) or is this a parallel genre?


Best. Small. Multiples. Link. Ever

Posted: September 21st, 2010 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: information_design, instructional_design, morphology, small_multiples | No Comments »

http://thingsorganizedneatly.tumblr.com/

There. Awesome.

This is the power of SM illustrated. Clearly the curator of this Tumblr is as OCD-flavored as I am; the images s/he is able to find to illustrate “things organized neatly” illustrate, by and large, the Six Principles. Will definitely be using some of these example to illustrate my points.




Beautiful.


IPT564 Obfuscated Design: “Hey, Look Over There!”

Posted: August 11th, 2010 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: IPT564_Summer2010, instructional_design | No Comments »

Our 564 project was to create, using The List, an obfuscated design; that is, how could a system pretend to help a learner.

Create a design specification for a computer-based flash card system that proactively violates principles from The List while appearing to the unwary user to support learning. How ineffective a system can you design?

Here’s an attempt:

1. Providing Feedback

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
1.1 Design ensures that feedback is immediate after each response.

1.2 Design includes knowledge-of-correct-response feedback (e.g., including response accuracy verification, providing correct answers, etc.).

Under the guise of “how fast can you do this?” (trading speed for power), no verification would be given; answers are “Right” and “Wrong.”
1.3 Design includes elaborative feedback for low certitude responses.

Elaborative feedback would be given for both right and wrong answers. It would be longer, off the point (facts about the topic but not about the correct answer), and burden accuracy with additional learning.
1.4 Design provides periodic feedback relates tracked data to learner goals (e.g., learning/ achievement is definable (either by designer or user, i.e. five correct iterations)

The system would ignore trends; in fact, it might have so many questions/answers that the learner would get lethargic. Instead of giving a quantifiable score to measure against, the system would say (periodically) “Good job!” or “You did pretty good” (touchy-feely, but not trackable).
1.5 Design ensures that results of learning session are related to learner goals.

See 1.4.

2. Scheduling Sequence and Spacing

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
2.1 Sequencing reflects a scheduled framework (e.g., Leitner system)

The system redrills mastered facts under the guise of increasing the learner’s score.
2.2 Presentation of each item is discrete and spaced.

2.3 Design provides for at least one intersession interval of anywhere between one and thirty days (no “cramming”).

The system makes no effort to systematize the learning; indeed, its messaging might read something like “Need help getting ready for the big test? FlashCard X helps you cram up until the last minute!” and “Waiting in line to take your test? Use our mobile app to study—even while standing in line!”

3. Motivating and Engaging

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
3.1 Design captures learners’ interest (e.g., use simple unexpected events like a loud whistle or an upside-down word in a visual, etc.).

Sounds, animation, and other overt UI elements are used in the interface to create novelty but in actuality are a distractor to the flashcards.
3.2 Design stimulates learners’ inquiry (e.g., give mentally stimulating problems that engage a deeper level of curiosity, etc.).

If the system uses multiple choice questions, as difficulty levels “increase,” stems continue to have two implausible responses. Simpler questions are mixed with “difficult” questions to balance achievement (reward) vs. accuracy.
3.3 Design maintains learners’ attention (e.g., utilize variation).

The system may give a variety of question types (multiple choice, true/false, etc.) but keep them easy to answer.
3.4 Design makes learning outcomes relevant to students (e.g., connect content to learner goals, interests, learning styles, etc.).

The system bait and switches relevance for reward (“You got 60 points! Awesome!”); how are points relevant? (see 2.1)
3.5 Design builds learner confidence (e.g., providing examples of acceptable achievement).

See 3.4.
3.6 Design promotes student satisfaction (e.g., provides recognition and evidence of success, practical application, etc.).

See 3.4. If the system successfully baits the learner to believe points/score are more fun than measurable goals, it wins.

4. Managing Cognitive Load

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
4.1 Design takes advantage of verbal (text, narration, etc.) and non-verbal (photographs, illustrations, diagrams, etc.) input channels

The system unwittingly creates overload with simultaneous text and speech.
4.2 Design avoids cognitive overload (e.g., text in close spatial proximity to visuals to avoid split attention cognitive load concerns).

This might be difficult to alter without damaging the system’s credibility, but poor UI choices could be “just poor enough” to cause cognitive parsing problems.
4.3 Design acknowledges and adapts to limitations of audience (i.e. universal design and accessibility)

4.4 Design enables learner to efficiently “chunk” facts by identifying, connecting (grouping), and sequencing information.

The system focuses on quanity of facts and rewards but doesn’t make an effort to tie any of the questions together (see 1.4, 2.1).

5. Determining Prior Knowledge

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
5.1 Design determines learner’s prior knowledge and goals (e.g., pre-assessment, iterations of a Leitner system, etc.)

System never really pre-assesses a learner’s knowledge, but convinces the learner that, after a relatively well-scored series, “Wow, you really know a lot about (Subject X). Great job!” (see 1.4). The system congratulates the learner on accomplishment, but not on mastery.
5.2 Design facilitates open content (e.g., user-generated content, sharing of content and results, user-user or user-population comparisons of results, etc.)

Actually, sharing results on Facebook, Twitter, etc. could serve to distract the learner away from the flashcards (see 6.2).
5.3 Design provides low prior-knowledge students with response-contingent feedback (e.g., system explains reasons for correct/incorrect responses)

See 1.3.
5.4 Design provides high prior-knowledge students with topic-contingent feedback (e.g., system directs learners to find the correct response or a path to additional information).

See 1.3. The system would provide interesting but irrelevant information.

6. Maximizing Academic Learning Time (ALT)

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
6.1 Design ensures all instructional activities support desired learning outcomes.

6.2 Design ensures waiting and transitional time is minimized.

The system might create distractions (“Want to know more about X?” or “Go to Facebook and share your results”) to take the learner away from the flashcards.

I think I’d be pretty ticked if my FlagFacts app did this to me.


IPT 564 Class Notes: 5 August (Final Project: FlagFacts)

Posted: August 5th, 2010 | Author: dstringham | Filed under: IPT564_Summer2010, instructional_design, process | 1 Comment »

Dog and pony show today.

Rubric/paper available here.
Interactive prototype (PDF) available at slideshare.net

For those who don’t like the downloading. Sorry in advance about the table formatting. It’s a little easier to read in the downloadable. I’ll take this out of the table formatting and make it more prose in a few days.

Really great to work with all of you and feed off your energy. DS


Project Description

Create a design specification for a computer-based flash card system (“FlagFacts”) that helps reinforce knowledge about world flags, vexillology, and related geographic information.

Audience

This learning system is primarily targeted to secondary students and is intended to supplement Utah core curriculum geography objectives. The Utah State Core Curriculum (2002) requires mastery in four standards and numerous subobjectives in the study of geography (specifically, “Geography for Life”). Standards 2, 3, and 4 focus learners on characteristics of people, geological processes, and environmental adaptations. Standard 1—“Students will understand the world in spatial terms”—is the only one of the four that allows for any study of political geographies (mapping, sovereignties, location studies, etc.) and their recognized symbols. This system is intended to give a secondary learner a recurring, asynchronous, and self-paced exercise to strengthen his/her knowledge of world flags.

It is anticipated that additional audiences—adult learners with low prior knowledge of flags and/or geography or even general interested parties of any age—will also benefit from this system.

Reasons for this study

The study of world flags is more than a mere exercise in aesthetics or heraldic traditions. It is unfortunate that there is no overt mention of the study of flags in the Utah state geography standards and objectives; flags and their purposes enjoy a history much longer than any of the current sovereign nations of the earth. Indeed, while it is important for learners to “recogniz[e] the political and physical boundaries…of people, places, and environments on the earth’s surface” (Utah Curriculum, 11), an understanding of the political and military forces which shape such places is arguably as important. Recognizing the etymology and currency of flag designs provides a visual and tangible mnemonic for these history lessons. Vexillogical studies teach:

  • the histories and etymologies of nations. For example, design variations of the United States flag constitute a quasi-timeline; since 1775, there have been forty iterations of the Stars and Stripes. The current flag of South Africa, created in 1994, though hastily concepted and created, was designed to re-represent the country in post-Apartheid elections and, through heavy color symbolism, demonstrate an impartiality to past political and historical events.
  • the idiosyncratic symbolisms of peoples, cultural, and ethnic groups. Purposeful choices of patterns, shapes, linguistics, and even weaponry can be found on national flags. Most overtly, the choices of color teach learners about values, events, and traditions of other peoples; certain flag color combinations can even help pinpoint where a country is located.
  • the worth of cultures, histories, and national pride. Fourth century Greek flags bore religious linguistic inscriptions (Slater & Znamieroski, 15), early European flags displayed the cross, the symbol of medieval Christianity, and Viking flags represented military might and location (Slater & Znamieroski, 16). The modern-day Olympic Games begin with a lengthy parade of each nation’s athletes, led by a competitor—chosen by his peers—to carry the standard of his or her country.

Aesthetically speaking, the study of flags can also prove to be a motivational venture. As secondary students spend more time in textbooks, with longer reading materials, and in other activities with extraneous cognitive load, the study of smaller, information-packed visual symbols can prove to not only manage redundancy and split-attention effects (Chandler & Sweller, 1992) but also capitalize on teaching an inherently visual object in a visual medium (Kirschner, Sweller, & Clark, 2006).

Methodology

The remainder of this study contains an evaluation of this proposed learning system against a checklist compiled by students in Brigham Young University’s IP&T 564 2010 Summer term course. Students were asked to complete readings and articles detailing best practices in provisions for learner feedback, spaced rehearsal scheduling, motivation and relevance, cognitive load theory, multimedia learning, time-on-task teaching, and open educational resources (OER) and then employ a final checklist in determining the best possible designs for various student projects. This version of the checklist has been revised as a rubric for ease in determining if principles and tenets have been adequately (three points) or poorly (zero points) applied. Additionally, rationalizations are given if tenets appear to be inapplicable to this tool.

1. Providing Feedback

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
1.1 Design ensures that feedback is immediate after each response.

3

The system gives immediate feedback on correct or incorrect answers.
1.2 Design includes knowledge-of-correct-response feedback (e.g., including response accuracy verification, providing correct answers, etc.).

3

The system provides feedback about accuracy of answer. If the correct answer is given, the system answers “Right/Correct,” along with a green checkmark and green typography. If an incorrect answer is given, the system answers “Wrong/Incorrect,” along with a red exclamation point and red typography.
1.3 Design includes elaborative feedback for low certitude responses.

2

If an incorrect answer is given, the learner is prompted to 1) the correct answer and 2) hinting/mnemonics about how to remember the stimulus.

(Given the results of a post-launch A/B or user study, adaptive answers—additional “chances” to answer plus partial credit—might be a better alternative here. Given that this product is more about additional exposure to the topic rather than as a measurement tool, correct answer plus hinting/mnemonics for future retention may be sufficient for initial launch.)

1.4 Design provides periodic feedback relates tracked data to learner goals (e.g., learning/ achievement is definable (either by designer or user, i.e. five correct iterations)

3

A system preference allows a learner to display/communicate “How am I doing?” This allows the learner to see how current performance corresponds with declared skill level. Additionally, the system concurrently evaluates past performance and makes recommendations about skill level for next quiz/game.
1.5 Design ensures that results of learning session are related to learner goals.

3

At the beginning of the quiz/game, the learner chooses a skill level (easy, medium, hard) based on learner goal. Results correspond to performance based on learner choice.

2. Scheduling Sequence and Spacing

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
2.1 Sequencing reflects a scheduled framework (e.g., Leitner system)

3

The system keeps track of accurate responses (‘the flag of Uruguay was incorrectly identified seven out of ten times; move this card into higher frequency’) and readjusts card selection in context with learner difficult goals. Once a learner begins to demonstrate mastery of “Uruguay,” the card moves into a longer rotation.
2.2 Presentation of each item is discrete and spaced.

3

The system gives the learner one complete question at a time.
2.3 Design provides for at least one intersession interval of anywhere between one and thirty days (no “cramming”).

N/A

Cepeda found that, optimally, “[d]istributing learning across different days (instead of grouping learning episodes within a single day) greatly improves the amount of material retained for sizable periods of time” (Cepeda, Pashler, et al, 2006; 371). However, as this is an auxiliary—and not a compulsory—aid for learners, mandating the usage schedule did not seem appropriate for the tool or the audience. If learners want to use this system for a rehearsal schedule in preparation for an exam, perhaps an instructor might recommend this.

3. Motivating and Engaging

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
3.1 Design captures learners’ interest (e.g., use simple unexpected events like a loud whistle or an upside-down word in a visual, etc.).

3

Various levels of interest are addressed in the system and interface:

  • potentially, an agent or avatar leads the learner through the process (Given the results of user testing here, an agent should either be designed to be likable without insulting teenager expectations or be removed all together.)
  • the interface looks credible, has been subjected to rigorous UX and UI prototyping, and card “themes” (a system preference) allow the learner to personalize his/her visual experience
  • subject matter is aesthetically interesting to look at
  • elaborative feedback gives interesting information about flag etymologies and symbolism
3.2 Design stimulates learners’ inquiry (e.g., give mentally stimulating problems that engage a deeper level of curiosity, etc.).

3

Learner chooses goals, complexity, and content mix at the beginning of the quiz/game:

  • by prior knowledge: easy (“cake”), medium (“just right”), and challenging (“duuude”)
  • by location (random flags or delimited by region/continent)
  • by number of questions [power] (10, 15, 25, and/or learner choice)
  • by timed option [speed] (countdown from preestablished time limit or measure elapsed time of completion)
  • by type of exercise:
  1. multiple choice stem/response: match flag to country name or match country name to flag
  2. short answer: identify country name of displayed flag (must spell correctly)
  3. multiple choice stem/response: match flag to country shape or match country shape to flag
3.3 Design maintains learners’ attention (e.g., utilize variation).

3

Variation is built into the subject matter (~200 flags) as well is inherent in the types of questions that are asked (power vs. speed, type of exercise, etc.)
3.4 Design makes learning outcomes relevant to students (e.g., connect content to learner goals, interests, learning styles, etc.).

2

Results are wholly based on learner-defined goals and quiz/game content.
3.5 Design builds learner confidence (e.g., providing examples of acceptable achievement).

3

System recognizes trends and patterns in quiz/game scoring cross-referenced with skill level. System concurrently evaluates past performance and periodically makes recommendations about skill level for next quiz/game (“You’re doing great! 20/20 in your last five turns, wow! Ready to take it up a notch?”)
3.6 Design promotes student satisfaction (e.g., provides recognition and evidence of success, practical application, etc.).

3

Evidence of recognition and success can be displayed in several ways:

  • the system displays final score and contextual messaging to the learner (“You answered 16/20 correct. Nice job!” or “You only answered 5/20 correct. Don’t give up, let’s try this again…”)
  • the system can display learner’s relative standing to self or others in an identified community (“You scored better than 55% of others who took this quiz/played this game…”); this encourages motivation and creates a measure of prior knowledge
  • the system can utilize a connection to a macro social network (Facebook, Twitter, blog widgets, etc.) and create automatic statuses and tweets (“I just scored 18/20 on FlagFacts! Can you beat me? http://bit.ly/flagfacts”)
  • the system can utilize a connection to a microcommunity (“Top 10 Scores in Mr. Jones’ Geography 9 Class” or “Top 10 Scores at Anytown High” accessed through a locally defined server)
  • learners could collect badges, create titles, or complete challenges at sites like Gowalla, 4Square, or scvngr; completion of task(s) could result in a larger reward (food, day off without homework, etc.)

4. Managing Cognitive Load

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
4.1 Design takes advantage of verbal (text, narration, etc.) and non-verbal (photographs, illustrations, diagrams, etc.) input channels

N/A

There is no verbal channel present in the system. The task is for learners to identify visual stimuli.
4.2 Design avoids cognitive overload (e.g., text in close spatial proximity to visuals to avoid split attention cognitive load concerns).

3

Typography is always placed in proximity to stimuli or is logically grouped together (prägnanz, Gestaltian law of proximity) to enable learners to distinguish what UI elements are used for.
4.3 Design acknowledges and adapts to limitations of audience (i.e. universal design and accessibility)

2

Potential learning constraints:

  • literacy: how will/can ESL students use this system? Based on data collecting from user testing, perhaps the system can function as a supplement to functional ESL pedagogy (learning English by learning how to execute a function). Or, if programmed using XML data, the system could be made language-agnostic.
  • color blindness:
  1. Protanomaly (red weakness: red, orange, yellow, and yellow-green shifted towards green hue; 1/100 males)
  2. Deuteranomaly (green weakness: red, orange, yellow, green shifted towards red hue; 5/100 males)
  3. Dichromasy (red, orange, yellow, and green all appear the same; 2/100 males)
  4. Protanopia (red, orange, and yellow appear gray, violet, lavender, and purple all appear blue; 1/100 males)
4.4 Design enables learner to efficiently “chunk” facts by identifying, connecting (grouping), and sequencing information.

3

Inherently, the system points learners toward connecting flags (a “chunk”) with their respective country names and geographical territories. Elaborative feedback (available to both low certitude learners) assists learners in connecting and sequencing additional chunks to their existing knowledge (hinting/mnemonics); high certitude learners are pointed toward additional information about flag etymologies and symbolism.

5. Determining Prior Knowledge

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
5.1 Design determines learner’s prior knowledge and goals (e.g., pre-assessment, iterations of a Leitner system, etc.)

3

Even better, system prompts learners to determine their own knowledge by deciding goals, complexity, and content mix at the beginning of the quiz/game (see 3.2).
5.2 Design facilitates open content (e.g., user-generated content, sharing of content and results, user-user or user-population comparisons of results, etc.)

3

This system is primarily designed to drill on a closed set (~200) of sovereign nations, their geopolitical locations and dimensions, and their representative flags. However, the system operates on a relatively plug-and-play XML file structure (<countryname>, <countryflag>, <countrybground>, etc.) which populates fields in questions, answers, and other expositional information. User-generated results and scores can be displayed either on screen or shared with at-large social networks (see 3.6).
5.3 Design provides low prior-knowledge students with response-contingent feedback (e.g., system explains reasons for correct/incorrect responses)

3

The system prompts lower prior knowledge learners with 1) correct answers and 2) hinting/mnemonics (colors, shapes, idiosyncrasies, novelty) about how to remember the stimulus (see 1.3). Reasons for correct/incorrect responses don’t need to be given (answers have binary responses).
5.4 Design provides high prior-knowledge students with topic-contingent feedback (e.g., system directs learners to find the correct response or a path to additional information).

3

The system prompts high prior knowledge learners to 1) “Want to learn more about this flag?,” (learner directed to Wikipedia, flags.net, or other vexillogical OER materials) and/or 2) given other related “Did you know?” information (food, history, etc.)

6. Maximizing Academic Learning Time (ALT)

Tenet
Score
Design considerations/Justifications
6.1 Design ensures all instructional activities support desired learning outcomes.

3

The entire system focuses on activities that are germane to the learning outcomes: identify flags (by visual) and match to country name (displayed or spelled) and country geography.
6.2 Design ensures waiting and transitional time is minimized.

3

The only waiting and transition time present in the system is latency between answer and next question.

References

Cepeda, N., Pashler, N., Vul, E, Wixted, T., & Rohrer, D. (2006). “Distributed practice in verbal recall tasks: A review and quantitative synthesis.” Psychological Bulletin 132(3): 354–380.

Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1992). “The split-attention effect as a factor in the design of instruction.” British Journal of Educational Psychology 62: 233–246.

Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). “Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: an analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching.” Educational Psychologist 41(2): 75–86.

Slater, S. & Znamieroski, A. (2007). The world encyclopedia of flags and heraldry: An international history of heraldry and its contemporary uses, together with the definitive guide to national flags, banners, standards, and ensigns. London: Lorenz Books.

Utah State Core Curriculum (2002). Retrieved August 2, 2010 from http://www.schools.utah.gov/curr/core/corepdf/SoSt7-12.pdf