Rich Creamy Assistance January 20, 2006Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools, Students.
Faculty often stop me in the hall. This this happens so frequently I have sometimes donned a fake nose and mustache so I can get to the restroom unimpeded. McVey? Never seen him.
I realized today that there are certain types of technology users and they each require a different approach to instruction. They remind me of different kinds of milk products and the amount of cream they contain. My instructions can then be viewed as rich input. If you are interested in further analysis of learners and their strategies you can examine Molenda’s Typology of Instructional Methods (2002) or read a list of learning styles and strategies from Felder and Soloman.
How Much Rich Creamy Input Do You Need?
Skim: This group of sensing and intuitive learners simply needs to know a new tool is available before they click to download it. The good thing about them is that they often show me the newest sites. The bad thing about them is that they click first and ask questions later. I am still removing the bits of Incredimail software off machines in this building.
Two Percent: This group of visual and verbal learners can manage to solve problems by simply knowing which web site to visit and which button to click. I am one of those types. When I was asked this morning how to set up a listserv account, I simply rattled off the URL for the List Management page. It helps if these learners see it for themselves.
Homogenized: This group of sequential learners will visit the web page for creating their listserv but will be dazzled by the new vocabulary and ask several questions of me just to be sure they are doing the right things. They need to know how long it will take before the list is set up, it one feature if better for their needs than another, and so on. The good thing about this group is that they usually get exactly what they need out of the service and rarely re-visit it. The bad thing about this group is that they sometimes are too reliant on my expertise and should try to struggle through the directions for a service that is trying very hard to be user friendly.
Half and half: This group of global learners needs to make an appointment, sit down with me, take notes, ask questions, back track and repeat steps on their own. They are oral, aural, and kinesthetic learners all at once. Sometimes they move on from this instruction and work very well independently but other times they simply become mired. The best thing about these learners is that they are so willing to learn a new tool and so energized to use it regularly. The worst thing about this group is that when the technology lets them down, they blame me.