From It6740 Udl

Multiple means of engagement refers primarily to motivational activities that engage learners so they think deeply about their learning. The issue is to use multiple strategies to engage to make the course more authentic and relevant to their needs.

Think through this: Use your own situation. What kinds of situations do you have and what kinds of options and strategies can you think of to engage your students?

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Multiple means of engagement are important and necessary for learners. Learners want to have fun. (Frank Smith's Learning and Forgetting) Introducing games into the learners experience is one way to engage. (Paul Gee's book about games and learning).

Teaching regulatory information can be very boring for the learner. Traditionally, this has been done in my company through providing PowerPoint presentations with a facilitator who reads the information and then uses a True/False, Multiple Choice test to see if the learner has retained the information.

Our new challenge is dealing with a younger generation that has been raised on electronic media, has a shorter but far more intense attention span, and uses online or cellphone-based technology as a part of their everyday communication system. They also resist pre-reading instructions and then applying what they have learned, preferring to rely on just-in-time information and point-of-access learning.

To start dealing with these challenges we have begun designing some training courses where the information is chunked into small pieces (usually no more than 5 or 6 web pages) and the learner chooses which section of information they want to review and understand. Each of these chunks ends with interactive review questions or a worksheet for the learner to complete before they move to the next section.

We are also working on a game that learners can use to do self-exploration to read about the provisions of the regulations they need to learn. This game also allows the learner to move in small, self-contained sections.

Our third course design under production uses call center simulations, where the learners listen to pre-recorded calls and then decide on the best way to respond to the issues. These use a branched concept where the answer the learner selects takes them to a conclusion (like the "Choose Your Own Ending" books). These require the learners to read information about the correct responses and then choose where they wish to go.

One of the best ways to engage students in writing is to let them make it personal. Involve students in a service-learning project and then writing about it has proven to have significant results--especially when talking about students' self-efficacy. At the University of Las Vegas, their technical writing classes are involving students in ecological service-learning projects and then asking students to write about it. In addition, part of their assignments include creating brochures, show advertisements, et cetera.


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