Do Your Learners Value or Throw Away Your Lesson References? – Tip #96

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I’ve been often asked in my workshops:

See more on must-learn and learn-on-need.

Read more about references.

Two Types of References: Must-Learn Support and Details

There are two types of references: (a) must-learn support and (b) detailed references.

Must-learn support contains information that enhances the learning of the must-learn content. Since the goal of the must-learn lesson is to make it short, succinct and focused, inserting the must-learn support references may interrupt the succinctness of the must-learn lesson. So, we move it on top as an optional link.

An illustration

Topic – Toxic Waste Drum Labeling
Must-Learn Lesson:

John says:

“I’m confused. This drum is intended for XXX waste. But I was told by Darren, that the content of the drum just came from YYY plant. Shouldn’t we use the YYY label and not this drum for XXX waste?

Mary responds:

“You have done this before. You can figure it out.”

Question to participant:

“How should John proceed? How can he really be sure which label and drum to use? Should he find the exact label code to ensure that XXX waste matches the YYY drum.

Must-Learn Support References:

If you position a list of “Guide to Drum Labels” on top of the screen, what is the likelihood of the participant clicking this link to learn more about drum labels? The probability is definitely high. Why? Because we added a Story Question in the must-learn, that prompts the learner to go and seek the answers.

Detailed References:

The detailed references is more of an over-all type of reference that may contain a long list of labels, resources for labels, how to procure and find them, etc. The must-learn references may also be part of this detailed reference.

Build Curiosity and Continuation of the Story Lesson

In the Story-Based eLearning Design, we use stories to deliver the must-learn content. To make it natural and engaging for learners, the must-learn lesson and the must-learn support references should continue the flow of the story. What prompts the learner to open the references is the conflict and challenge to answer the questions posed in the story.

Learners do not think of the references as readings. They look at the references as a continuation of the story.

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”