Notes from “25 Things Every Instructional Designer Needs to Know” presented by Jay Sternickle of Joliet Junior College, at the 2015 Faculty Summer Institute.
Full resources available at www.Tech4Teachers2015.Weebly.com
Tell a story
Most importantly, tell a good story (and help them create their own stories), because stories become experiences.
Use design to help students see the story (grouping, page arrangement, headings) – organizational structure makes it easy to see. Use conventions like color and underlining
Light the corners of my mind
Repeat to remember – Remember to repeat
Solidify short term memories by repeating it, connecting it, elaborating it, writing it down
Push me, Pull me
Relates to how people interact with everyday things
Affordances – the relation between an object and an actor, which affords the opportunity for an actor to perform an action (like seeing a door knob and knowing to turn it, or pull a cord)
Use interactions of which students are aware – use easily discoverable actions (things that students can anticipate how they work)
Norman door – things which don’t work the way you expect (like doors that you push but they look like they pull)
Important for how students interact with online tools (like icons which look like they would be clickable and aren’t – I’m looking at you Blackboard!)
I’m a Pretty Princess
Use images in presentations. But use them with a clear and definite purpose. Not just to be pretty
Keep things simple:
- simple slide backgrounds
- simplify slide content (one thought per slide)
- simplify images – line drawings instead of complex illustrations
- simplify graphs – no 3D bars, clear labels (instead of color-coding)
Use an Assertion – Evidence structure for scientific presentations (instead of topic-phrase structure). Start with an assertion, and then use images for evidence
3 Rules about great graphics
- Keep words legible (easy to read)
- Use strong contrast (between foreground and background)
- Use images correctly
Stories from the audience
- Connect new concepts to something they know
- Let students tell you how it connects to them/their lives/their goals
- Don’t fill all of the time you have – build in time for students to share and discuss (for them to be active)
- Learners want to hear from someone like them (students from students, faculty from faculty)
- Modeling practice isn’t enough – tell them you are modeling practice
- Practice what you preach – don’t promote practice that you are not following
The original 25 things
(1) To get people to do something, show them that others are already doing it.
(How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 3
(2) Before you try to get people to do stuff, do something for them so they feel the need to reciprocate. (How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 5
(3) To get people to do something, make sure you’re doing it first. (They will imitate you.)
(How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 7
(4) To get people to do something, show them you’re passionate about what you’re asking them to do. (How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 9
(5) To get people to do something, first bond them together as a group with some kind of laughter or synchronous behavior. (How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 11
(6) When you want people to participate, make them feel safe.
(How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 67
(7) People are more likely to do what you ask of them when you communicate your supporting information and data in the form of a story. (How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 29
(8) People process info best in story form.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 76
(9) People learn best from examples.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 79
(10) Anecdotes persuade more than data.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 168
(11) When you want people to remember something, reduce the amount of sensory input and stress the experience. (How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 121
(12) When you want people to remember something, repeat their exposure to it and have them actively repeat the information. (How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 122
(13) When you want people to remember something, present that something at the beginning or end of an event, not in the middle. (How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 123
(14) When you want people to remember what you have to say, use concrete words, rather than abstract ones. (How to Get People to Do Stuff) Strategy 124
(15) Short term Memory is limited.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 46
(16) People only remember 4 items at once.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 48
(17) People have to use info to make it stick.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 51
(18) It’s easier to recognize information than recall it.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 53
(19) Info is processed better in bite-sized chucks.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 62
(20) People create mental models.
(100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 73
Mental Models by Jakob Nielsen
(21) People see clues that tell them what to do with an object.
100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People) Page 15
Information also in (The Design of Everyday Things)
Original content by Dr. John J. Medina
(22) We don’t pay attention to boring things.
Brain Rule #4
What we pay attention to is profoundly influenced by memory. Our previous experience predicts where we should pay attention. Culture matters too. Whether in school or in business, these differences can greatly affect how an audience perceives a given presentation.
We pay attention to things like emotions, threats and sex. Regardless of who you are, the brain pays a great deal of attention to these questions: Can I eat it? Will it eat me? Can I mate with it? Will it mate with me? Have I seen it before?
(23) Repeat to Remember.
Brain Rule #5
The human brain can only hold about seven pieces of information for less than 30 seconds! Which means, your brain can only handle a 7-digit phone number. If you want to extend the 30 seconds to a few minutes or even an hour or two, you will need to consistently re-expose yourself to the information. Memories are so volatile that you have to repeat to remember.
Improve your memory by elaborately encoding it during its initial moments. Many of us have trouble remembering names. If at a party you need help remembering Mary, it helps to repeat internally more information about her. “Mary is wearing a blue dress and my favorite color is blue.” It may seem counterintuitive at first but study after study shows it improves your memory.
(24) Remember to Repeat.
Brain Rule #6
It takes years to consolidate a memory. Not minutes, hours, or days but years. What you learn in first grade is not completely formed until your sophomore year in high school.
How do you remember better? Repeated exposure to information / in specifically timed intervals / provides the most powerful way to fix memory into the brain.
Forgetting allows us to prioritize events. But if you want to remember, remember to repeat.
(25) Vision trumps all other senses.
Brain Rule #10
We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.
Why is vision such a big deal to us? Perhaps because it’s how we’ve always apprehended major threats, food supplies and reproductive opportunity.
Pictures beat text as well, in part because reading is so inefficient for us. Our brain sees words as lots of tiny pictures, and we have to identify certain features in the letters to be able to read them. That takes time.
In addition to this list, Jay recommends several books
Two books by Susan Weinschenk