I hope that you have as much fun trying all these things out as much as we've enjoyed putting them together. One thing that has never failed to amaze me is just what the human mind can accomplish when the challenge is one that excites and intrigues. So continue to be excited and intrigued. Trust me, it's a lot more fun that way! See you in our next issue!
It's the most wonderful time of the year!
Title: Eight ways to ensure you have great ideas and fast!
While the constant claim is that creativity cannot be forced, that it just “happens” and that rushing it will only make matters worse, that doesn't cut it in the real- world now, does it? We all face the pressures of deadlines while ensuring that our ideas are smart, creative and applicable. Here are eight ways to help you meet that deadline while meeting that “creative” line.
1. Cram, Forget, Deliver
Nurturing your brain is vital. Study all the relevant material about your ideas and then leave it for a while. Proper rest will make your mind clearer when your thinking has come to the limit. This is a risky step to take when you have a tight deadline as you need to be very positive of the next step once you return to your issue.
2. Gather the proper number of people
If you are to organize a brainstorming session, ensure that a right group size is gathered, don't oversized it. Your brain needs to follow up with other's communication as well as your own. 6 people in a group are just perfect.
3. Set aside a private time
Give yourself some time away from a group brainstorming session. You may come up with ideas faster when you are alone. This will help to boost up your creativity strength as you get your brain fresh and clear once you return back to the session.
4. Use a facilitator
Assign someone who is skilful to be the facilitator during a group sessions. It helps to increase the chances of a successful outcome. A good facilitator has their own method to enhance the group creative thinking process. Besides, the facilitator also plays an important role in managing the interactions amongst the group members.
5. Explore to new locations
Go for different locations when you develop ideas. Your thinking will be influenced by the environment that you are in. You possibly will be narrowing your mind by staying in the same surrounding as you work.
6. Use creativity techniques
Do some research or read books that talk about creativity. This approach will help you explore your mind to the areas which you have not discover.
7. Violate the rules
Jot down all the rules that you need to follow that lands on your mind and find different ways to break them. This is a basis to being creative.
8. Tighten your brief
It is normal to whine about the meeting limitation when you work to a brief. Push the limit even further might sound illogical, but it might just as well work well. Set your extra limits, apply and have fun with it, you might surprised yourself how you will end up, give it a try.
I was motivated to share these 8 simple steps that my creative colleagues and me have mould and practice very well in our line of work and we thought we should share with you!
Selamat Hari Raya, Happy Deepavali, Selamat Hari Raya Haji, and in the spirit and
excitement of the festive 4th quarter, Merry Christmas!! It seems that no matter
what may be your race or religion, there is a general mood of joy and happiness as
the year comes to a close. I hope that this time of celebration brings about a
renewed closeness amongst your nearest and dearest.
We at eLC are going through some really exciting times. Our recent retreat to Phuket was an excellent testimony to this. The camaraderie, honesty and support displayed amongst the members of our family was so significant that members were unabashed in expressing their thoughts and concerns; all of which will definitely lead to a greater understanding and teamwork amongst its people. Of course the glorious food and fun-filled activities certainly added to enhancing the dynamics of eLC. Who knew that splashing each other while white-water rafting could be so therapeutic!
At the same time, we've all been hard at work with projects that have started to pick up speed. Sometimes it seems that there aren't enough hours in a day just to complete what needs to be done. And yet, eLC strongly believes that no matter what the situation may be, there is always time to care and share.
And so, without further ado, I'll let the newsletter speak for itself. Click and connect!
Title: The Importance of Writing Clear Instructional Objectives
I am sure most (if not all) who are reading this would have gone through (or conducted) some kind of training, whether face-to-face or eLearning. More often than not, course syllabus of the training to be conducted will state the instructional goals which are usually broad statements that encompass larger educational goals on what the learner will expect to learn. These, however are general statements which do not detail any specifics like the desired behaviour, conditions nor the measurability of the expectation at the end of the training. This is why most of the time when one attends a training course, specific instructional objectives are usually stated at the start of the lesson. This will enable learners to know exactly what they will be able to achieve at the end of the course, and for both learners and instructors to assess learner's competency level after attending the training. As such, it is important that instructors know how to write good and clear instructional objectives?
General Vs Specific Instructional Objectives
As an introduction to instructional objectives, let's differentiate the two types of instructional objectives - General Instructional Objectives and Specific Instructional Objectives. Respectively, these are also commonly known as Terminal Objectives or Enabling Objectives. To better understand the difference between the two types of instructional objectives, enabling objectives would typically include only one task or point and are usually subsets of the terminal objective. Therefore, the terminal objective is usually made up of a few enabling objectives.
Regardless of which instructional objective one is writing for their lesson, one key question that instructors should ask themselves about the content they will be teaching is what exactly they want trainees to be able to do after they have gone through the instructions. Only when instructors are able to answer this question will they be able to write relevant learning objectives.
Components of a Good Instructional Objective
Once instructors are able to determine what they want trainees to be able to perform after the lesson, the next thing would be to write clear and measurable instructional objectives. There are four main criteria that one should consider in order to write clear and measurable instructional objectives. They are:
The Audience component is fairly straight forward. Who is the instructional objective written for? How will one usually address the audience; are they Learners, Students or Trainees? For example, in a school context, it would usually be students while in a corporate context, it would be participants or learners. Therefore, the instructional objective will start with “At the end of the lesson, participants (audience) would be able to...” Sometimes, it is also advisable for instructors to be more specific by stating what type of participants. An example will be “At the end of the lesson, the junior officers (audience) would be able to…”
How will one determine how specific the audience should be when writing instructional objectives? This is largely dependent on the design of the training programme and its specificity to the target audience. If the training was designed for a specific group, then instructional objectives should address the specific audience, for example, Secondary 3 students, junior officers or even officer cadets.
The second factor to consider is the Behaviour you expect your learners to perform or achieve. To ensure the learners know that they have achieved this and for instructors to appropriately assess learners, this behaviour must be observable and measurable. Therefore, the verb used to describe this behaviour must be clear to the learner. Action verbs like “to understand” or “to know” is very vague and does not make good learning objectives. A non example versus a good example to describe the behaviour components are as follow:
Non Example: “Learners would be able to have a good understanding (behaviour) of the components of a CPU”
Good Example: “Learners would be able to identify (behaviour) the components of a CPU”
What action verbs to use will be determined by the learning domain that one is covering as well as the competency level one will like the learners to achieve. This competency level will be determined by the taxonomies based on the different learning domains.
The third consideration is Condition. Condition refers to the condition (or constraints) under which learners must abide by while performing the behaviour. An example of condition could be with or without the aid of a tool or reference. If the behaviour is a psychomotor skill, conditions may include the ability to perform the skill within a certain time frame; and if the behaviour falls under the affective learning domain, conditions may include a certain situation like “when facing a rude customer”. Usually, the reason why conditions are stated is so that it will be able to differentiate the skilled and the unskilled. For example, if the behaviour is for learner to do calculations on some measurements and the condition is not to use a calculator, then being able to calculate the measurements with the help of a calculator is not good enough. The learning objective will not have been met as sometimes, in order to perform a job, it may be restricted to certain circumstances.
Degree is the last consideration when writing learning objectives. This can also be understood as the standard to meet in order to consider if the learner has achieved the learning objective. These standards can be with reference to the quality or accuracy level or even time limit to achieve learning objective.
Of the four criteria in forming a good instructional objective, audience and condition are what we will deem as essential components, while condition and degree will be good to have. While condition and degree may not be mandatory, including them will ensure more specific and clear expectations set.
To summarise, writing instructional objectives should be the first and foremost task an instructor embarks on before any development of content or training programme. Terminal objectives will inform learners of their expected performance at the end of the lesson while the enabling objectives will more specifically state the individual task learners need to achieve to be one step closer to the expected performance as stated in the terminal objectives.