Instructional Analysis

Here is my image depiction of an instructional analysis.

Project charter – This should not be confused with the project charter in the PM process. However this may contain much of the same information. This should contain the problem, project managers, contact info, background to the problem, ROI information, Project goals, budget and schedule summary. This document will be filled in and modified throughout the whole ISD process. It is usually a 1-2 document.

Learner analysis – Who are the learners? What is their level of education? Can they use computers? smart phones? What is their age? Motivations? What are their work conditions like? What is their job like? Do they prefer a certain kind of training or are they used to a certain kind? (remember if they are not used to it then you need to go through a change process which might involve training and communication on the new process) *Note here do NOT look for learning styles as there is much research against them and they do not help with curriculum development. Learning preferences are NOT the same as learning styles.

Context analysis – What kind of conditions will the learners use these new skills? What are those skills? What kind of conditions will these learners be trained in? Computer labs? Classrooms? On the job? Really answers two questions – where/how will they use these new skills and what are the learning environments like?

Technology analysis – What technology is available? What technology are the users used to? Computer labs? Projectors? ipads? etc. This information may be included in the other analysis sections however I really like to break it down and have this section separate so that developers looking at this document do not need to read between the lines to help give input on technology solutions.

Knowledge of performance analysis (*performance analysis should be completed prior to needs analysis in the front end analysis not described here) – Is there anything else we can add to this? Document analysis? Prior project lessons learned? Results from front end analysis such as surveys/observations? All of that can go here. And if there was no front end analysis done (which is why I include this section) then make sure you have data to add here. If a front end analysis (a good thorough one was completed) then this section may be omitted.

Gap analysis – This is the section where we analysis the problem and analysis to come up with a solution.

Current state – What is the current state that needs to fixed?

Desired state – What is the end desired state? What were the companies goals and what are the new ones for this project?

Potential solutions – What are all of the potential solutions? How long will each take/cost?

Impact of those solutions – How will those solution impact the company? Which departments will those solutions impact? Are any department already doing this? What is the ROI for each of those solutions? How much will each cost? How long will each take?

Solution selected – What solution is recommended to the client?

Goals – What are the goals of this project with this solution? Can you classify them using something like Gagnes categories of learning? (this will help with your task analysis). Do learners have the skills required to complete each of these goals?

Here is a high level view of the Instructional Design process to see where analysis fits in:

To see the sections on Design and Development click the links


How a High School Teacher Is ‘Gamifying’ World News

This seems very cool:

“When I started teaching, the average ninth grader looked like a zombie in class,” Nelson toldMashable. “One night when I was lesson planning, I took a break and literally checked my Fantasy Football team and I had this realization that I was learning a lot about the NFL — things about football and the NFL I wouldn’t have otherwise learned.”

The next day Nelson proposed the idea to the class. At first, the idea was met with skepticism, mostly due to the students’ lack of familiarity with how Fantasy Football works. But after the students became familiar with the format of the game, they warmed up toFantasy Geopolitics — both as a game, and as a new way to learn.

“My students started asking to do more with [the game]. They wanted to make trades, form alliances and so I just started listening,” says Nelson. “Whatever they wanted to do to control their own learning experience, I did it. Now, they playfully trash talk about their countries and become fans of those countries, which spurs them to want to learn more. It’s almost like they are trash talking each other into learning more.”

“I’m ‘gamifying’ learning. I’m ‘gamifying’ news to get them over the hump and not see reading the news as some difficult task.”

As for the format of the game, Fantasy Geopolitics is simple. It starts with a draft session, during which students select a team of three countries (the U.S. and China are banned due to their domination of the news) and then the players track stories about those countries in the news.

Using the Times Developer Network API, provided by The New York Times’, Nelson created a website that tracks how many times a country is mentioned in the news, and students get one point for every mention.

Full Story Here

Online learning: Have we reached market saturization?

A new report suggests that online course growth is slowing. This is not new either – there have been reports over the last 2-3 years that online growth has stagnated. We have hit a point in the market where demand is being met. We all knew this point would come and it took about 10 years to get there. Of course online learning has been around longer but it wasn’t really mainstream until the early 2000s and I think I am being generous by saying that.

Founder of Atari on Education

Pretty interesting take on the future of education from the founder of atari Nolan Bushnell:

“A lot is happening in the sphere of education, but at the same time change is very slow. How do you think technology can revolutionize education, and what is it that you are trying to accomplish?

The main thing with education is just do it bigger, faster, better. How can we teach kids more stuff in a shorter amount of time and with less money? One of the things people are doing, which I think is a false path is what I call “teacher in a box,” take a lecture and put it on the net.”

Well Nolan, I have to say I agree. Here is a link to the full interview

Nintendo Power Glove

Think the wii, ps eye, or kinect were the first motion controllers? In 1989 nintendo released the power glove. While it looked awesome as you can see in this commercial, it didnt work at all. I know because I got one that christmas. It was returned 2 weeks later. While it looked really cool, it just didnt work.


xbox one’s best feature and how it can be applied to business and education

I recently obtained an xbox one. After a few weeks of playing around I have found what I believe is an awesome feature with tons of potential in gaming, education, and business. The feature? The Kinect recording feature. Essentially this is basically like an in game DVR service. So when I am playing a game and I do something that I believe is cool I can say ‘xbox record that’ and it will automatically record the last 30 seconds of play and put that away in my stored videos. Now this is awesome because it does not interrupt my gameplay at all. I dont need to press a button, stop playing, or go back and watch a clip later on to choose a part I want to have.

Now how does this apply to business and education? Well in all of my classes there is an archive that is basically a recorded video of the class. The problem? Its 3 hours long each week. Just imagine a student looking for one chunk of information from that class and having to sort through all of that video. Just imagine if during the class the student could place some kind of marker on the class so that they could come back? This would be like taking notes without having to actually take the notes and thus not distract the student from listening. This exact thing could take place during business meetings and such. Now I realize that there are recording devices out there that do this kind of thing but its not seamless and as easy as xbox’s kinect.

Kids, Bullying, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Usually my posts relate to technology but today it will focus on another passion of mine – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) and School Bullying. The reason I am writing this: I believe that every kid in K-12 should be taking brazilian jiu jitsu (or wrestling) as part of their school curriculum. Now of course I believe all adults should be as well but this article will only focus on K-12 school kids. Please note that this article is my opinion and based on my experiences only.

Let me start with, what is brazilian jiu jitsu? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of ground fighting, known as grappling. It is very similar to wrestling that most have seen in the olympics and in schools across the US. The difference? Instead of winning to pin, you win when you can control and submit your opponent. Also, instead of a small rash guard type outfit you wear a gi, which is an outfit that simulates clothing. There is also belt rank in brazilian jiu jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a combat martial art and has been used in every UFC, in fact, it was made known to the world during UFC 1. Here is more info on the what is.

Now, why do I believe this art should be taught to our kids and how do I think it would help with bullying? First let me by clear that I do not think this would solve our bullying problem 100% and I think there are many good things being done in schools to prevent it. However, I think its still a problem and that this would help tremendously. Now I think all sports are great for kids as they burn their energy, let them learn how to play as a team, work together, compete, and improve their motor skills, cardio, and fitness. BJJ does all of this and much more. It is a physical sport. It requires you to

-Learn to deal with winning and losing.
-Learn to deal with your adrenaline during stressful situation.
-wrestle people.
-Learn to properly use small devices, such as a tactical pen.
-use muscles you did not know you had.
-practice – a lot.
-learn about human anatomy.
-use your skills in BJJ to overcome strength and size – Yes size and strength are not important in bjj when skill is greater. This sport was designed for the smaller/weaker person to be able to win in a fight (yes a fight) against a stronger/bigger opponent. In fact, the inventor of the art was a 135 pound man that would win in full combat against 200 pound skilled fighters. If you do not think your kid should learn to fight, please reconsider. Fighting at many levels (physical/mental) WILL happen from the time that kid enters schools throughout the rest of their lives, even in the workplace. Shouldn’t they learn strategies to win and deal with this at the early age?

So why do I think this would help kids?

BJJ improves:

-Confidence – You learn that regardless of any disability you have (physical) you can improve and win.
-Attitude – Bullies who come into the gym soon realize that a smaller person can beat them in a ‘wrestling match’. You quickly learn that this is ok. A basic rule of bjj is leave your ego at the door. This translates into real life. Most BJJers do not fight outside of the gym as they get that energy out of them in the gym. Additionally people who are weaker are not ‘afraid’ outside the gym. They are able to deal with everything in their day to day life better as they have confidence and realize that even in a threatening situation that they can overcome it and losing or winning is not as important as trying.
– Learn to win and lose. Its ok and it happens to all bjj students. You will win and lose and learn to be OK with that.
-ego. While you lose your ego, you gain one. You learn what you can accomplish and that others can accomplish their own personal feats.
-individual/self – you get to see yourself improve on a daily basis
– Stress
-Physical strength and stamina – you will be in great shape all the time

What about other martial arts? NO. Most martial arts are really babysitting clubs. They do a lot of the wrong things. The kids never really learn to defend themselves and they gain a false sense of confidence. For example, in many TKD/Karate schools, the kids break boards, punch bags, and kick the air. As has been demonstrated time and time again, you need to practice your martial art at full speed every week in order to actually learn to defend yourself. The reason that TKD/Karate does NOT do this is that kids cannot get kicked and punched in the face every week on purpose by other kids. Thus I would never recommend these arts for self defense unless your child is actually sparring, full speed, routinely. I see boxers sparring in the gym every week and they leave with blackeyes, bloody noses, and need to soak in ice after sparring because they hurt so bad – I do NOT see TKD practitioners doing this, especially kids. There is also the issue of brain damage but that is off topic here as it doesnt apply to bjj.

What about other sports? Other sports are great. But they do not have the physical demands that BJJ does (except wrestling/judo). BJJ requires you to be hands on and requires you to learn how to use your adrenaline in the most uncomfortable situations (getting beat in a wrestling match). Once you can deal with that, you can deal with anything life will throw at you. Do I think this would solve bullying? I think that it would stop ‘some’ bullies from even starting to bully. I also think it would help ‘some’ people deal with bullying in a much better manner.

What happened to Nintendo? The WiiU’s failure thus far

President wont resign, stock takes major hit…this is the news today:

So what happened? Well the wii u is just not doing well. Why? Well there are a few reasons that I will break down here:

1. Poor Name. Seriously what were they thinking. Wii U? It makes no sense. It does NOT signify that this is a new console. In fact, I had to look it up to really try to figure it out. I thought maybe it was just an upgraded wii. Sure I get that Nintendo wanted to use the same household name ‘wii’ but even wii 2 would have been 10x better. Anything really would have.

2. Games. Where are the big blockbusters? When the n64 was released they had zelda and mario 64 at launch. That is how you launch a nintendo system. Nintendo knows this. Where is the new zelda? Where is mario kart? Where is Super Smash bros? They are coming out over a year after console launch. Bring back metroid, megaman, etc. These games will sell the console. But they needed to be there at launch and over holidays. Too late for Q4 of 2013.

3. Online play. Get with the program nintendo. I know its gotten much better than it was when wii first came online but its now 2014. Check out what MS/Sony/PC are doing with online multiplayer and multimedia and at least make yourself competitive with them.

4. Hardware upgrade. The wii u was not as powerful as old gen xbox 360/ps3. Really? I get wanting to keep prices down and we do not care that much about graphics but Nintendo really needs to step it up here.

The $38 Tablet

Yes there is an actual tablet for $38 and my initial review is that its actually not that bad. One of my students recently bought one and gave me a few minutes to play around with it. The tablet is a Ubislate. It runs Android 4.2.2. While its not very powerful, as in it has 512 mb ram, it does function as a full tablet. You have access to the android google play store and it has wifi. Honestly it looks, feels, and functions just like any other tablet. Its just has lower end components but for $38 I think its worth it. I would give this a buy for every single person that does not currently own a tablet. Also a quick note – it does ship from over seas and my student said it took her about a week to come in.

Here is the link: