February 2000

"Helping People Succeed"

Intentional Learning: Learning to Change the Brain

Purpose: Keep readers informed about learning orientation research and the application of individual differences in learning theories, models, and design strategies to mass-customize and personalize intentional learning. This whole-person approach highlights the importance of emotions and intentions on learning, in addition to social and cognitive aspects. This online newsletter appears at: (http://training.trainingplace.com/newsletter/feb2000.htm). The index for these newsletters appears at: (http://training.trainingplace.com/newsletter/index.htm).


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The special topic for this newsletter is personalization.  In this newsletter, you will find an assortment of resources that touch on these subjects. Many of these you might know about already, but hopefully you will find a few new items of interest.


Kathy Chen, Ph.D. Student at Utah State University (Committee Chair: Dr. David merrill) is examining different instructional strategies for performance-based simulations. She will be using the Learning Orientation Questionnaire to determine the learning orientation of each of her subjects. Dissertation Prospectus (Abstract): The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of using different instructional strategies in simulations that teach performance-based tasks. The instructional strategies used in this study are passive leaning (learning by observing), active learning (learning with involvement), prompt practice, and no-prompt practice. For the active learning, the investigator uses hands-on tutorials to teach the subjects the intended skills. For the passive learning, the investigator uses demonstrations to teach the same skills. For the prompt practice, the investigator uses guided simulations. For no-prompt practice, the investigator uses open simulations which has the same controls and functionality as the real system does. There are three primary questions this study tries to answer:

1. Is the tutorial (active demo) more effective than the demonstration (passive demo) when used alone?

2. Is the guided simulation (with prompts) more effective than the open simulation (without prompts) when used alone?

3. Are any of the combinations tutorial used with open simulation, tutorial used with guided simulation, demo used with open simulation or demo with guided simulation more effective than the others?


What's going on with Personalization and Mass Customization on the Web?

The problem is an old one...how to create an individualized experience. To meet the limitations of unsophisticated, "one-size-fits-all" websites, personalization is fast becoming the means to attract and keep customers. Web marketing is leading the way (using one-on-one marketing and customer relationship building) in defining how we can use technology to meet individual and aggregate needs. Some of the benefits of applying one-to-one principles to Web marketing are to: attract and motivate prospects to use your Web site, create a community of loyal customers, and reduce the cost of customer service. Sounds like something we need for the learning community too. With the growing interest in personalization, several personalization software companies have worked together to create a site with extensive articles and links on the subject. They are listed below. Also listed below are several articles that might provide additional insights for personalizing learning on the Web. Especially helpful is examining how others use the technology to develop meaningful online learning relationships.


Bunderson, C. V., Strong-Krause, D., & Martinez, M. (April, 2000). Validity Argument as a Cyclical Design Process, Illustrated by an Intentional Learning Orientation Instrument and Related Theories. Proceedings and presentation for the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, LA. April 28 (Friday) 10:35-12:05

This symposium will examine critical Design Science issues from three perspectives, each of the three adding to the foundations of design experiments: (1) The perspective of a science philosophy on which design experiments can be founded is Design Science a separate kind of science? However this question is answered, what philosophy of science is suitable? (2) The perspective of how measurement instruments can be developed and calibrated in an invariant and theory_connected fashion? This is necessary so that the progress scores of students involved in design experiments (who generally change each semester or annual cycle), and the parameters of the tasks (that also change in part each cycle) can be compared across these cycles and the theories challenged and revised if necessary. This invariance is impossible with classical test theory. (3) The perspective of how to approach the challenge of verification / validation in a manner that is consistent with the idea of design science and design experiments.

Martinez, M. (Nov, 1999). Using Learning Orientation to Investigate How Individuals Successfully Learn on the Web. Special Research Issue for Technical Communication, 46 (4), 470-487.

Abstract: This investigation considers fundamental sources for learning differences from a new perspective that highlights emotions and intentions as a dominant influence on successful learning. The study purpose is to use this perspective to measure and analyze the effects and interactions on multiple dependent variables over three time periods. To accomplish this purpose, I use learner-difference variables called learning orientations to (1) add the individual_difference dimension to the research design and analytical models (2) differentiate the learning audience by more than just the commonly used cognitive aspects, (3) guide design of the Web learning environment and presentation of the treatment, and (4) make interpretations about the results. As a secondary purpose, I tested the System for Intentional Learning and Performance Assessment (SILPA) for its usefulness as a Web instructional and research model, one which uses technology to identify and support individual learner differences.


Mass Customization: Designing WBT for Maximum Motivation and Interactivity. Martinez, M. The Training Place, April 25 (Tuesday), 8:30am, WBT Producer Conference 2000 (Influent), San Diego. P3 Workshop: WBT designers recognize the need to match products to learners' diverse requirements, doing so can increase complexity and price. Mass customization pinpoints exactly how customers differ in their Web needs, providing personalized products, better results, and competitive prices. You'll discover how to identify factors that influence Web learning, match "tailor_made" solutions in supportive Web learning environments, apply Web learning evaluation criteria, and identify practical ways to avoid wasting resources on ineffective solutions. The Impact of Emotions and Intentions on Learning

Martinez, M. April 27 (Thursday), 11:20 am, WBT Producer Conference 2000 (Influent), San Diego. Session 504 - Interface & Usability Design: People are most open and most ready to learn when they connect from their experiences rather than just their intellect. Discover design approaches that recognize differences in learners' emotions and intentions to learn, producing truly engaging experiences, the "perfect for me" approach.


WEB SITES: These are web sites that examine personalization issues that are also relevant for online learning. Three web sites that provide news, information, research, and analysis on all aspects of web marketing personalization.




ARTICLES: These articles provide insights relevant for personalized learning on the Web. Food for Thought (http://gt.clickz.com/cgi_bin/gt/en/pm/pm.html

Loyalty programs have attracted more and more attention since the advent of database marketing and the web. A good loyalty program is one that fits naturally into the current needs of customers, while fitting into a company's ability to collect and use profile data to personalize their experience.

Emotions Trigger the Right Moves http://gt.clickz.com/cgi_bin/gt/en/pm/pm.html We pump out a lot of information about product features and benefits on the web, but have you taken a look at how much--or maybe how little--we use emotional appeals to help customers buy our products? Up Close and Personal (http://gt.clickz.com/cgi_bin/gt/en/pm/pm.html

The race is on to understand the customer. We have the technology to tailor web content based on the interests of visitors. We are able to drop ads into web pages based on the type of content surrounding the ads. We are able to track individual people as they move from site to site. And now, media buyers have a new set of opportunities that can help them improve the effectiveness of their individual audience profiles (e.g., http://gt.clickz.com/cgi_bin/gt/en/pm/pm.html)

Direct marketers are always looking for ways to improve targeting to make a bigger impact on their audience. One traditional approach is "market segmentation," where people are grouped by some set of characteristics.

Personalization vs. Customization (http://gt.clickz.com/cgi_bin/gt/en/pm/pm.html. The concept of personalizing for customers is certainly not new. But the web elevates it to a near art form. The web is the perfect marketing environment for precision marketing, because individuals can be uniquely identified, and a message can be tailored specifically to them.

Web Personalization (http://www.allen.com/personalization.html). As the general content of the Web gets broader, individuals will cease aimless surfing activity and gravitate toward sites that deliver products and services customized to their needs. Sites must plan now to respond to this expectation or risk being left behind as the Web changes to a personal medium."

Choonhapong, T., Bourne, J. & Campbell, J. (1999). Intelligent Agents for Online Learning. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 3 (2). http://www.aln.org/alnweb/journal/vol3_issue2/choon2.htm\

This research investigated the effects of applying intelligent agent techniques to an online learning environment. The knowbots (or Knowledge Robots) created for the research were intelligent software agents that automated the repetitive tasks of human facilitators in a series of online workshops. The study specifically captured experimental results of using knowbots in multiple sessions of an ALN (Asynchronous Learning Network) online workshop, Getting Started Creating Online Courses. The findings indicated that the use of knowbots was positively associated with higher learner completion rates in the workshops. In addition, knowbots implemented a learning support tool that reminded learners about deadlines. In sum, the results of this research suggest that the application of agent technology to online learning holds promise for improving completion rates, learner satisfaction, and motivation.

******** Copyright (c) 2009 Margaret Martinez (all rights reserved)
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