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Webinar Review: "Avoiding PowerPoint Poison: Instructional Design Techniques for Using PowerPoint in eLearning

This webinar is basically an infomercial for Rapid Intake, a cloud-based software which helps you build elearning modules, without "development knowledge" (i.e., HTML5 and Flash) in your PowerPoint slides. This is particularly useful when introducing a subject, to build connections, "activate knowledge." Their selling points are:
-Quick to create
-Templated interactive pieces
-You don't need to know special programs
-You can develop on mobile technology
-You can develope for mobile technology in the same module.

Aside from the commercial aspect, the presenter gave an interesting demonstration of instructional design, using Dr. Merrill's First Principles of Instruction (here is a post on Merrill's theory: http://georgejoeckel.blogspot.com/2009/10/merrills-first-principles-situated-in.html)

Activation
Establish a foundation and connection to knowledge before going on to new material.
-Problem-based interactivity: survey, quiz, game, scenario, etc.

Demonstration
Demonstrate what is to be learned, as opposed to just telling about it.
-Break out the parts into smaller pieces, provide examples, smart use of images.
-Learning objectives are more for the instructional designer than the user. In problem-based learning (promoted here), people get engaged because of the problem and then are introduced to the objectives (but not word for word).

Application
Appropriate practice for effective instruction.
-Best way is to simulate within the elearning environment, such as a simulation.
-Learners are guided in problem solving, and required to solve a sequence of varied problems, such as a quiz.

Integration
This is the ability to show a new skill or improvement in a skill--provides motivation--demonstration.
-Job aid: reference, something they have to print out or demonstrate to a coworker or supervisor.

I thought watching his demonstration was helpful, because I am still learning about instructional design, so seeing different theories illustrated is valuable for my skill building. Application and integration are particularly interesting, because often our trainings end with in-module application but not integration.

As for the program, it seems helpful, especially the quick creation of quizzes, scenarios, and other interactive elements. However, since it's cloudbased, I don't know if KS will have the rights to anything we might create in Rapid Intake (similar to limitation of creating modules in Prezi).




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