Tag Archive: instructional design

Questioning strategies in Healthcare Training develop critical thinking, decision making, and problem solving in students. Bloom’s taxonomy of the six levels of cognitive learning can be used to provide a framework for creating questions. Bloom’s taxonomy starts from the simplest level of learning to the most complex level.  Simplest levels denote Knowledge and Complex levels denote Evaluation.

Sample Question for Knowledge Test:

Intravenous Urogram

Knowledge Test

Asking a learner to define Intravenous Urogram, (IVU) would test his/her knowledge levels.

Sample Question for Evaluation:

Intravenous Urogram

Complex Evaluation

A question is posed to the learner to  assess a request to perform an IVU on a patient allergic to iodine. Experiential activities/ simulations can be built to guide the learner in decision making. In this case, the learner gets to immerse in a simulated scenario, evaluate patient vitals, reports and assess the conditions under which an Iodine-allergic patient can be subjected to Intravenous Urogram.


A baccalaureate nursing program study determined what proportion of terminal objectives for clinical nursing courses are high level objectives (analysis, synthesis, evaluation), and are the kinds of questions asked by teachers and students during clinical conferences of a high level also.  Despite the fact that stated objectives specified higher cognitive-level thinking, lower-level questions comprised 98.94% of the total number of questions asked by teachers and students in the clinical conferences surveyed.

Another study was performed within an Australian nursing program to examine clinical teachers’ use of questioning strategies.   The teachers’ years of classroom and clinical teaching experience, years of clinical experience, and academic qualifications were studied to see if an association between various qualifications and levels of questions existed.  Bloom’s taxonomy of the cognitive domain was used as a framework for the study.  The findings revealed clinical teachers asked more low-level questions (91.2%) than high-level questions (4.4%).

Lower level questioning do not promote critical thinking as they only trigger recall of information in the learner’s mind.  A simple recall of information does not enhance students’ understanding of the information in a meaningful way. Higher level questioning facilitates the development of critical thinking because it is aimed at higher cognitive levels, which involves application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.   Educators should take advantage of stimulating questions more often to help create meaningful active learning instead of just prompting the simple recall of knowledge from students.

Kenny Conley, a Boston police officer, was chasing a shooting suspect. During the chase, he ran past a brutal assault. Other cops were attacking an undercover cop because they mistakenly believed he was involved in the crime. Conley was eventually asked to testify about what he saw of the assault. He claimed he saw nothing. Jurors didn’t believe Conley’s claim that he didn’t see the fight. Instead they assumed he was part of a cover up of police misconduct. They convicted Conley of perjury and obstruction of justice.

Thankfully for Kenny’s legal battle, he is back at the police academy.


Psychology professors Christopher Chabris (Union College) and Daniel Simons (University of Illinois) did an experiment that involved a video of a “gorilla” walking through a group of people passing basketballs. The unexpected gorilla stopped in the middle of the scene, faced the camera, thumped its chest and then walked off screen. When study subjects were asked to count the number of passes by players wearing white and ignore those of players in black, half of them did not notice the gorilla.

They asked people to run around a ¼ mile route on campus while chasing one of the researchers. The experimenters asked the participants to stay about 30 feet behind the researcher and to count the number of times he patted his head. Part-way through the route, they ran right past a staged fight about 25 feet off the route. They put the participants in either a low attention load condition (simply chase the guy) or a more difficult attention load condition (count the number of times he touches his head with both his left and his right hand). In daylight with the low attention load, 72% noticed the fight. But with high attention load, only 42% noticed the fight. Even in broad daylight, people can fail to notice a fight that occurs right beside their path if their attention is occupied.

That experiment is an example of what researchers call “inattentional blindness,” the failure to see something unexpected if one is focused on something else.

While you build your elearning course, you create your objectives and establish the objectives with learner in the beginning of the course. You then integrate instructional approaches that help your learners stay focused on the objectives and finally achieve them.

How many times have you thought what happens if learners get into “inattentional blindness”? Elearning programs are generally built to be intuitive. Intuition, however may have a side-effect, “inattentional blindness”. To prevent learners fall into inattentional blindness, mainstream instruction has to be delivered in a way that allows learners prevail the alertness of surrounding learning objects.

In an attempt and focus to achieve a result at the end of Lesson 2, try to hint back the learner of subtle take-aways of Lesson 1, failing which an elearning program will fall prey of inattentional blindness- a serious cognitive mishap.

A must read for all who care about transforming knowledge into WISDOM.

Are Other People’s Graphics Better Than Yours? Here’s What to Do About It.

There was a time
when instructional designers didn’t need to worry about graphics.
Among other things, the skills and tools were highly specialized,
which meant that instructional designers or technical writers wrote
and graphic artists did graphics.

Today, almost every
authoring tool contains a graphic drawing component, and your boss
knows it. “Hire a graphic artist? You’ve got to be kidding me.
Why can’t you do it yourself?”

Of course, there
are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t have non-graphical people
doing their own graphics, but if you think that your boss will have a
change of heart and hire a professional graphic designer to help with
your project, you may be making a big mistake.

It would be better
for you to learn a few reasons why graphics that other people create
are better than your graphics, and to take the steps needed to make
your graphic images appear more professional.

Left brain versus right brain

As a rule, when you
write descriptions of processes or procedures, you use your left
brain, but graphic designers utilize their right brains (creativity)
more than their left.

Does that mean you
cannot create your own graphics? Absolutely not. But you should be
aware that it will be easier to create your graphics if you separate
the two tasks. Write your text first, and then review it later with a
focus on graphics – and with your mind in right-brain mode.

As you review the
text, identify “visual clue” words that lend themselves to
graphics. For example, if the text describes a program that runs
under another program or within a certain operating system, “under”
and “within” are visual clue words that will help you to create
an appropriate graphic.

Some specific guidelines

There are a number
of fine points in the use of graphics that will give your production
a more professional appearance. Here are the key ones.




Arrows and Arrow lines



White space

Will your graphics ever be better than
other people’s graphics?

If you are patient and practice these
skills, it won’t be long before someone says, “Hey, that’s
pretty nice
!” And then you’ll know you can wear that Graphic
Designer hat proudly as you create your own graphics.

Read more at www.learningsolutionsmag.com


Landamatics, or Algo-Heuristic Theory as it was originally called, was developed by Lev Landa in the early 1950’s.

Landa (1975) said, “It is common knowledge that pupils very often possess knowledge that is necessary in a certain subject, but they cannot solve problems. Psychologists and teachers often explain this by saying that their pupils do not know how to think properly, they are unable to apply their knowledge, the processes of analysis and synthesis had not been formed in their minds, . . .”.

Landa believes knowledge is made up of three elements:

1. image – the mental picture of an object,

2. concept – the knowledge of the characteristics of an object,

3. propositions – the relationships the object and it’s parts to other objects.

Specification of Theory
(a) Goals and preconditions
Processes – Sets of operations: Operations are transformations of (or changes to) material objects or mental models.

(b) Principles
1. It is more important to teach algo-heuristic processes versus prescriptions.
2. Processes can be taught through prescriptions and demonstrations of operations. (Operations = changes of mental or material knowledge)
3. Discovery of processes is more valuable than providing formulated processes.
4. Individualize instruction.

(c) Condition of learning
1. Instructional processes are influences directed by a “teacher” and directed at transformation. (teacher refers to any teaching agent, live or material, i.e. books, AV, computer)
2. Instructional processes are affected by teacher actions or instructional operations.
3. Instructional processes can be affected by certain conditions.
– external conditions, student psychology, teacher knowledge
4. There are three types of instructional rules: descriptive, prescriptive, and permissive. Descriptive rules are statements about what occurs. Prescriptive rules are statements about what should be done. Permissive rules indicate possible alternatives to prescriptive rules.

(d) Required media

(e) Role of facilitator
Teaching involves solving instructional problems; the teacher has to determine and perform actions that should be executed in order to meet objectives.

(f) Instructional strategies
Determining Content

1. Uncover process underlying expert learners and mastery level performers.
2. Describe the process with a hypothetical descriptive model.
3. Test the correctness of the model.
4. Improve the model if necessary.
5. Optimize the model if possible.
6. Design the final algorithmic or non-algorithmic process to allow the learners to perform on a mastery level.
7. Identify learning procedures leading to the development of algorithm or heuristic performance.
8. Design algo-heuristic teaching procedures.
9. Design algo-heuristic based training materials.
10. If necessary, create a computer-based or other media based programmed instruction.
11. Design methods for evaluation.

Instructional Method 1 – The step-by-step approach
1. Present the procedure to the student and demonstrate problem solving.
2. Develop the first operation.
3. Present a problem that requires the first operation and practice that operation.
4. Develop the second operation.
5. Present a problem that requires application of both operation and practice.
6. Develop the third operation.
7. Present a problem that represents all three problems.
8. Proceed until all problems are mastered.

Instructional Method 2 – Developing individual operations
1. Determine whether the student understands the meaning of a direction in the a prescription and its operations.
If yes:
2. Present a problem that requires application of the problem.
3. Name the operation (give the learner a self-command) before he/she executes the problem.
4. Present the next problem and have the learner give the command internally.
5. Continue practicing the operation until mastery.
If no:
2. Explain what the student does not understand.
3. Test the correctness of understanding and allow for practice. Provide extra explaination and practice.
4. Go to #2 under “yes” above.

(g) Assessment method
Student is able to complete the operation at a mastery level.

Application– Complex Sciences such Neurosciences.

strategic knowledge in neuroscience represented as an algorithm

Testimonials–  Allstate’s claim processing operation improved productivity 75% and quality 90%.

Instructional Design is the practice of maximizing the effectiveness, efficiency and appeal of instruction and other learning experiences.

Instructional Design as a Process:

Instructional Design is the systematic development of instructional specifications using learning and instructional theory to ensure the quality of instruction. It is the entire process of analyzing learning needs and goals and the development of a delivery system to meet those needs.

Instructional Design as a Discipline:

Instructional Design is a branch of knowledge concerned with research and theory about instructional strategies and the process for developing and implementing those strategies.

Instructional Design as Reality:

Instructional design can be started at any stage in the design process. Often a outline of an idea is developed to give the foundation of an instruction-situation. By the time the entire process is done the designer reviews back and checks to see that all parts of the “science” have been taken into consideration. Then the entire process is documented as if it occurred in a systematic fashion.

Instructional Technology:

Instructional technology is the systemic application of strategies and techniques derived from behavioral, cognitive, and constructivist theories to the solution of instructional problems.

Instructional Technology = Instructional Design + Instructional Development

Next Episode: How Many Instructional Design Models for E-Learning do we know.