Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DevLearn 2009 - Ruth Clark's workshop on Scenario Based Learning

Today was my second day at DevLearn 2009 and I must say its been a great investment this far. If not for anything else, its been a great opportunity to meet a lot of great learning professionals not just from the United States, but from all across the world. The ideas and thoughts that we've shared will be of great value to my work back in Bangalore, India. Today I sat through the workshop by Ruth Clark on the topic of "Scenario Based Learning" and I thought I could do a quick report on some things I learnt from the experience.

What did I learn?

  • Scenario based learning can be described as follows:
    • What: Scenario based learning uses simulated, real life scenarios to trigger the acquisition and simultaneous application of a skill. It gives the learner the opportunity for Whole-task practice. Whole task practice involves being able to combine various non-integrated parts of skills and information to put together a real-world, real-life performance. An example of whole task practice is the ability to put together a budget in Excel as against the part-tasks of editing cells, creating formulae, etc. Scenario based learning also allows for better Far transfer of learning as against the procedural near transfer.
    • When:Scenario based learning is effective in to simulate situations that are rare, strange, high-risk or impractical to simulate in a classroom or in the workplace.
    • Who: Scenario based learning is best suited for Novices and Apprentices. The experts are perhaps the people that can help design this learning!
    There's empirical evidence to suggest that Scenario based elearning benefits the most from rich multimedia additions, such as real life videos.
  • As with every other teaching strategy, its best not to use this as a silver bullet - consider your subject and your audience carefully before you deploy this approach.
  • Lastly, I learnt that to build a learning scenario, you need to consider and plan six factors in your design:
    • Task Deliverable: What will the learner do to demonstrate competence?
    • Trigger Event: How the task or problem normally initiates in the job setting.
    • Case Data: What background information is needed to solve the case?
    • Guidance: How will learners get assistance when solving the case?
    • Feedback: How will the learners receive intrinsic feedback as the scenario plays out? How will they receive traditional, instructional feedback a.k.a Teaching Moments?
    • Reflection: What opportunities will the learner have to review their actions/ decisions and consider alternatives?

Overall, I think the workshop brought out some really interesting discussion and I think the various perspectives and styles that people applied to their own design situations was particularly amazing. I'll recommend Ruth's session to anyone that has the opportunity to attend in the future.

2 comments:

Robert Kennedy III said...

THanks for the wrap-up Sumeet. Ruth has great insights and scenario based learning DOES really help make things a bit more physically and mentally interactive. It's one of my favorite approaches.

Christening said...

Sumeet, will you be going to DevLearn 2011 also? If so I am really excited to see what you have to say this year.

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