Include a JIT glossary
Use hypertext to let users control what they read.
How to use common capabilities of digital text to provide instructions aimed at helping users learn now to use a digital product.
Instructions are part of the product
- The problem with instructions: people are different.
- They have different levels of preparation.
- They are going to do different things.
- And they can't hold a dozen steps in memory just by reading the list.
- Once you hear lecture about swimming, you never forget what you learned about lectures. Talking is not teaching.
Some basic concepts in instruction
- We have packages of knowledge labelled with a word or phrase.
- Glossary: Index of specific information about important terms in re relevant context.
- JIT learning: Give just what the learner needs to do the action implied by the term.
- Hypertext: Software-supported links to further information
- Search on page: Search your current web page for a word or phrase.
- Adaptive learning Adjust the content to match the skills and circumstances of the learner
- Skill learning: Learning to do something efficiently
- Use case: A common use that the instructions are designed to support.
Why one manual does not fit everyone
- People have different preparation,
- different use cases,
- and different levels of learning.
Different preparation calls for different instructions
- As you write instructions, you wonder about what your readers already know.
- You want to tell them everything they need to know.
- But you don't want to bore them with what they already know.
- With hypertext you give them a link to the information some may need.
- Teaching with hypertext. JIT learning. Adaptive learning. Active learning
Different situations need different instructions
- There will be categories of learners. Let them separate themselves,
- Example: instructions for walking in a virtual world
- That varies with the control device.
- You have to give instructions for all devices.
- Back when used marks on paper you had to put all the instructions together.
- With hypertext, you make separate packages for each device.
- Then you list packages with hyperlinked names like "walk with a pc keyboard."
- Learners adapt the content to their needs.
They can't do everything at once
- They only need instructions for what they need to do at that moment.
- If they actually execute those instructions they will learn the skill.
- If the merely read the instructions, they may remember much of what they read.
- Unless you dump a lot of other instructions on them at the same time.
- With hypertext, you give them the power to choose what they need to read.
- Yes --flipped instruction. The learner is the focus, even out of the classroom.
How do you create JIT instruction?
- One use case at a time, starting with the beginner use case.
- Design for JIT help: Search on page supports for learning from a computer
- Newcomer welcome coach for OpenSimulator. Suggested design and text for JIT instructions to beginners. A DTA content page
- Starting in CybaLOUNGE. A DTA content page designed for JIT learning
- Scenegate beginner's instructions: for people coming to a class or meeting in OpenSImulator. DTA content
- Student onboarding for the online campus: Treat onboarding as a use case with its own skill set. Use-case analysis. Identify and teach the skills.
Don't you still need a manual?
- Sure. That's where the instructional designer gets the contents for the JIT pages,
- The best JIT pages will probably carry links to the relevant parts of the manual.
- And advanced users will probably prefer to work with the manual.
- But you don't want to start beginners on advanced content.
- Computational thinking in preparing instructions: Design thinking: Use-case analysis: Micro-learning JIT learning
- The Digital Teaching Assistant (DTA) for MUVES (virtual worlds): Summary with JIT learning design
- Digicoach can support homework in virtual worlds with JIT learning, immediate feedback
- Possible uses of formative assessment items: JIT evaluation, immediate feedback, detailed analysis
- Just-In-Time (JIT) learning in virtual schools, maybe with DTA coaching. Language as an example
Visit me on the web
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- I am available for free consulting on any topic in this blog.
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- I will be in both places, so you may need to speak to get my attention.
- Web-worlds, 3D virtual worlds running in a browser. Summary
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