Designing effective remediation

eLearning provides opportunities to remediate a learner's misunderstanding better than books and linear classroom processes. Typical remediation adds circuits for each wrong answer to a test question. These corrective processes stay "on-message" and keep the thinking "inside the box". This convergent approach works effectively for procedural and compliance training where mistakes are useless, costly or fatal.

Soft skills training calls for getting "off message" and "outside the box". Otherwise the remediation feels like propaganda, silencing of all dissent and control of the conversation. Soft skills are learned by making mistakes, exploring deviant alternatives and discovering what works personally. Thinking about leadership, communication, teamwork, problem solving, even instructional design -- needs a more open-ended approach to corrective circuitry.

Four questions need to be addressed when designing remediation for the cultivation of soft skills:

  1. Is the learner lost, confused by this, disoriented and overwhelmed?
  2. Is the learner antagonistic, opposed to this, defending a different approach?
  3. Is the learner pensive, questioning this, raising additional concerns?
  4. Is the learner satisfied, valuing this, seeing benefits in using this?
These questions are not necessarily linked to wrong answers in a test question. They suggest the use of timeouts in the exposition to check in with the learner. They support the cognitive challenges getting faced by a learner who struggles to make sense and use of the instruction. The questions shift from "getting the answer right" to "working with each learner's experience of the instructional design".

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1 comment:

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