Saturday, June 24, 2023

Teaching Techniques: ADDIE and Course Development

Following the analysis and design stages, the third phase of the systematic course design model, ADDIE, is course development, which primarily involves the planning and production of slides and lecture notes.

When it comes to slide production, course slides are usually easier to create than presentation slides. This is because the core focus of a class is to facilitate learning. Interaction and discussion between the teacher and students should be encouraged rather than simply relying on one-way information sharing as is typical in presentations. If you have indeed planned your course according to the teaching techniques we suggested earlier, you'll find that developing course slides isn't as difficult as it might seem. You just need to harness the three main types of presentation slides (Takahashi method, half-image half-text, and full-image), control the pace of the class, and use the slides as teaching aids (not as a script). By ensuring that students can see the images or key points that the teacher is talking about, your slides will likely succeed.

Over the past few years, I have reviewed many internal instructors' teaching slides and course development strategies. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Tell a Story with Images

This is a fail-proof technique. Rather than presenting your students with a dense wall of text, transform these words into a series of real photos. If discussing 5S, for instance, show your students photos of before and after 5S implementation, letting them learn from actual examples. If discussing a production process, take authentic pictures of the actual production equipment. This way, students don't need to be on-site to understand the scene you are talking about. If discussing futures and options, display screenshots of order placements and stock price trends, or supplement with relevant practice photos. In essence, think about this: if you were not allowed to put any text in your slides, but only pictures, how would you create your teaching slides? This is indeed an extreme requirement, but it's just to push the limits and encourage you to think beyond traditional text-heavy slides and explore possible alternatives. You'll find this exploration quite valuable.

2. Lecture Notes are not Slides

Try creating your lecture notes in a Word format rather than PowerPoint, separating your course notes from your slides. Contrary to the first suggestion, lecture notes should contain more text. The more words there are, the less likely students will try to read word for word, and instead will listen more attentively to the teacher explaining key points. Following the teacher's explanation, students will have detailed notes for reference after class, which is the true purpose of lecture notes. One tip is to leave the important concepts or keywords blank (underline them) in the lecture notes, encouraging students to listen attentively during the lecture and fill in the blanks. This method not only helps students focus on the key points but also deepens their impression of what they've learned through the act of writing.

3. Incorporate Simple Animation Rhythm

Like presentation slides, it's best to incorporate simple animations into your course slides, allowing the visuals to sync with the lecturer's pacing. If you have bullet points, reveal them one at a time; if there are diagrams, display each part step by step; if there are operation screens, display each operation step one at a time or mark the operation steps on the screen. Think about how you would gradually reveal teaching points and hide the parts not yet discussed without using a laser pen. You'll find that this method not only gives your teaching rhythm but also attracts students' attention, making your teaching more effective.

4. Display Discussion Topics on Slides

If your course involves small group discussions or practice sessions requiring student participation, please show the discussion topics or important points on the slides. The Takahashi method can serve as a reference (showing one topic per slide). If there are additional rules besides the discussion topic, a half-image half-text approach would work well. The idea is to clearly and specifically show the topic on the slides so that students won't get confused about the discussion theme, leading to more efficient discussions. As for whether to prepare slides for Q&A, it depends. If the questions are pre-planned, preparing slides might be a good idea (not mandatory but could be effective). If the Q&A is spontaneous, then there's no need to worry about preparing slides.

The above are some key points to consider during course development, including the creation of slides and lecture notes. In reality, if you've performed thorough course analysis and have established clear, student-centered learning objectives, then through the use of tools like sticky notes or mind maps for instructional design and the arrangement of interactive teaching methods, you'll find the development of course materials is not as challenging as it might seem. Remember, educational materials are merely aids - you are the core of the teaching process. Let the materials fulfill their auxiliary role effectively, enabling students to 'see' your narrative and couple it with the detailed information in the lecture notes. This not only allows them to follow your teaching rhythm step by step but also to clearly understand your requirements during discussions. And that's what great course content development is all about!

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