Patti Shank

Why multiple-choice questions are (too often) problematic

Patti Shank

Research shows that too many multiple-choice questions are written poorly and therefore create bad assessments. A few of the common issues with multiple-choice questions are, according to research, is that they too often are unclear or otherwise poorly written. are too easy to guess.

How many answer choices is best for a multiple-choice question? Probably not what you think.

Patti Shank

Last week I discussed a quiz I developed to help people analyze what they know and don't know about developing valuable and valid multiple-choice questions (mcqs). The mcq quiz: [link].

Quiz 130

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

"Describe how to." is (usually) an inadequate learning objective

Patti Shank

I developed a quiz ([link] to help people analyze what they know and don't know about developing valuable and valid multiple-choice questions (mcqs). One of the questions: Is “Describe how to” a good behavior/action to use in a workplace learning objective?

Does Video Improve Engagement and Learning?

Patti Shank

A Huffington Post article title tells us that Research Confirms Video Improves Learning Results. According to the article, the author asked 500 learning practitioners if they believed that video improves learning outcomes. He measured respondents’ opinions of video.

Video 130

Why Smoking Costs Employers More Than They Realize

Your employees are smoking, and at a cost of $7,000 per year for each employee who smokes, that adds up - fast! This free report will show you how an effective cessation program pays for itself.

What Research Tells Us About Chunking Content

Patti Shank

Research by usability experts Nielsen Norman Group tells us that people prefer content that is logically divided or chunked. They define chunking as breaking up content into smaller, distinct units of information (chunks), as shown in the right column of Figure 1.

How Well Do We Learn From Experiential Or Inquiry Learning Approaches?

Patti Shank

Direct instruction directly teaches the content. People are supplied with content and activities that help them build needed background knowledge. And we make sure that what they know is correct and usable.

Microlearning, Macrolearning. What Does Research Tell Us?

Patti Shank

Should We Use Background Music With Instruction? No.

Patti Shank

The general rationale for not using background music is that it increases harmful cognitive load. Cognitive load relates to mental processes (like perception, thinking, and organizing) used for thinking, learning, and working.

Music 130

The MOST Important Thing

Patti Shank

A few days ago, someone asked me a most interesting question: What is the MOST important thing L&D practitioners can do to improve the instructional content they build?

[On-Demand Webinar] The State of Customer Education: Trends and Benchmarks Report

Speaker: Sandi Lin & Linda Schwaber-Cohen

In this webinar, Skilljar CEO Sandi Lin will discuss learnings from their recent study, and share her insights on the state of Customer Education. They'll dig into key findings so you can benchmark against industry trends and understand how your strategy and metrics compare.

A Moving Story

Patti Shank

Gateway to the historic part of Monument, Colorado [link] For the past few years, I have struggled with some major difficulties. We all have them. I've come to realize that pretty much everyone is struggling with something difficult. Sometimes really difficult things. Sometimes many difficult things.

Change 130

Non-Conscious Aspects Of Learning And Performance

Patti Shank

Being on autopilot has a lot of implications for learning and performance. Recently, Guy Wallace (@guywwallace on Twitter) posted about experts having difficulties figuring out what people must learn to perform a task. But experts often unintentionally leave things out. Their performance is highly automated so they no longer have conscious access to exactly what they are doing. Automated and non-conscious prior knowledge is stored in long-term memory.

Next Button: Yay or Nay? A Research Perspective on a "Pointed" Question

Patti Shank

Research offers important clues to difficult and complex questions. The reason I say clues and not answers is that science is a moving target and some research is not done well or is not applicable to the specific question.) I find that research doesn't always tell me what I expect, however.

The delusion of attention

Patti Shank

Two Things at Once - AT&T TV Commercial 2013 In the AT&T commercial above, a man asks a group of children, "What's better, doing two things at once or just one?" All the children yell, "Two!" The commercial ends with "It's not complicated. Doing two things at once is better."

Need Remote Learning ASAP? Don’t Pick Your Next LMS Before Reading This!

Need to go remote or move your training programs online? Download this guide to identify and overcome the biggest eLearning challenges so you can pick the perfect LMS without wasting time, money, and effort, even if you are just starting your eLearning journey.

Thank you, 2017

Patti Shank

This has been a good year. Not all good, of course. Everyone's life has enough pain to keep it real and mine is no different. My most favorite kitty, Cleo, left this world and many months later, I still look for her in the bay window in my office.

Brain 130

L&D's fake news

Patti Shank

L&D has its own version of fake news: fads, made-up theories (and how to implement) in conflict with what research or science says, and people selling ideas using devious means. I just had the latter happen.

News 130

Evidence-based vs science-based. Is there a difference? (Yep. And it matters.)

Patti Shank

As many of you know, I have chronic migraines. Science shows that they aren't headaches. Rather, they're a neurological condition and extreme pain is one (of many) possible symptoms. But most treatments mainly deal with preventing or stopping the debilitating pain. Is that good or bad?

Saved by a PDF (The easy way to do complex Kindle formats)

Patti Shank

When I prepared my first Kindle version of Write and Organize for Deeper Learning , I spent days trying to format the document so it would look good on Kindle. Amazon's Create Space lets you upload a Kindle document and see how it appears on a Kindle emulator.

PDF 130

The Better Way to Onboard Customers

Speaker: Skilljar Experts

The best onboarding programs have a super power: they’re constantly improving. Here at Skilljar, we’ve learned a thing or two about onboarding, both by crafting our own experience, and by collaborating with the best Customer Education professionals in the world. In our upcoming webinar, we’re going to share these learnings with you.

Readability and Instructional Writing

Patti Shank

Readability Statistics in Microsoft Word In my book Write and Organize for Deeper Learning , I discuss how to make instructional writing easier for people to understand, remember, and apply. One of the first steps is making sure your content is readable by the people reading or hearing it.

No! No. Background. Music.

Patti Shank

[link] <-- I started building a series of explainer videos this week on the most critical concepts in my Make It Learnable series of books. The first one is on learnability and readability in instructional materials and how they impact learning outcomes.

Music 130

The next book in the Make It Learnable series?

Patti Shank

I told myself I'd take some time off after completing Practice and Feedback for Deeper Learning. And I am. Sort of.

Ta-da. Book 2 is out!

Patti Shank

Yesterday I uploaded the second book in the Make It Learnable series to Amazon. It's available in print and Kindle and should be available internationally. I've been writing Practice and Feedback for Deeper learning pretty much nonstop the last few months.

Expert 130

Need Remote Learning NOW? Get Online Quickly & Easily With This Can’t-Miss Guide

Remote learning is becoming more important than ever. Whether you’re scrambling to get your eLearning launched, or need to upgrade to meet increased demand, this guide will eliminate the guesswork so you can find your perfect LMS!

Reflections on the Learning Technologies Conference (#LT18UK)

Patti Shank

First thing: Plan to come to the Learning Technologies conference. Learning from L&D folks from the UK, Europe, and elsewhere gives you a wider view of workplace learning around the world. And having international L&D connections are priceless. How else would I have had the opportunity to meet Lesley Price's cats? And work with the amazing Mirjam Neelen?

Reader input. the story of Bill Sawyer's gift

Patti Shank

Bill Sawyer, Director, Global Learning Services at Seal Software, is the kind of person you want helping you evaluate your instructional writing. He’s picky. And when it comes to writing, picky is good. As Bill read my first book, he sent me lists of things that were either problematic or things he thought I could do better. For example, he called out a figure and said he didn’t understand it.

Pictures From Berlin (#oeb18)

Patti Shank

I just returned from Online Educa Berlin 2018 (#oeb2018), a conference that brings together higher education and workplace learning practitioners from mostly Europe. I’d heard of the conference and knew it was considered one of the best adult learning conferences in the world.

Closer I Am to Fine

Patti Shank

Are you dealing with a difficult personal decision? I relate as difficult decisions consumed 2018. I had some important but really hard decisions to make and I was none-too-sure of myself.

Movie 26

Top E-Learning Software - Recommendations and Pricing

Zero in on the best E-Learning software for your company. Get expert recommendations and pricing comparisons based on your specific needs.

Off the Cuff on Scenario-Based Learning

Experiencing eLearning

I had the pleasure of speaking about scenario-based learning with Alexander Salas, Chapter President of ATDCFL (Central Florida) for his “Off the Cuff” interview series. Alex is also the Chief of Awesomeness for eLearning Launch and on Twitter as @StyleLearn.

Designing Engaging Digital Learning Podcast

Experiencing eLearning

I had the great pleasure of having an extended conversation with Keith Quinn for the SSSC (Scottish Social Services Council) Learncast. Recording this podcast on learning was genuinely a highlight of my week.

Branch and Bottleneck Scenario Structure

Experiencing eLearning

One of the challenges of branching scenarios is that you can generate so many options and paths that it quickly becomes unwieldy. A branch and bottleneck scenario structure is one strategy for keeping the complexity manageable. Branch and Bottleneck.

Player 476

Instructional Story Design: Book Review

Experiencing eLearning

Rance Greene’s new book, Instructional Story Design: Develop Stories that Train , provides a systematic process for creating stories for training. Even if you don’t consider yourself a storyteller, you can create stories to support learning with this book. Example stories.

Employee Training Playbook by Lessonly

Strengthen new employees and develop existing teams with Lessonly’s Employee Training Playbook.