Communication

I just encountered a pet peeve of mine last night. I was asked to update my account information on my cell phone carrier’s website, and I had to set up one of those now-common sets of “secret questions” for security in order to make a change to my account. While I agree very much with the concept, I think they must be letting 18-year-olds create the lists (no offense to young people here!). One of the lists they gave me, with no other options, was all about my ‘favorites” — my favorite movie, my favorite actor, my favorite restaurant, etc. These are all things that change over time, and therefore are TERRIBLE answers to expect me to provide in six months or a year, when I’m making more changes to my account and my “favorites” have changed! These lists should always ask for static information — where I was born, my brother’s middle name, the year I graduated from high school, etc.

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Useful webinars from Elluminate!

by Marty Crossland on December 4, 2009

Today I discovered a wonderful list of available, prerecorded, free webinars on a variety of topics, many of which pertain to teaching and instruction in higher education. They are provided by Elluminate, a very useful platform for providing multipoint platform for communications. With Elluminate you can have a virtual live discussion with a group of students.

Many of the available webinars are about technology used in teaching, so I thought you might like to link to them from here so you can enjoy them, too.

Here is the link: https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/event/playback

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Emotionally intelligent signage

by Marty Crossland on May 16, 2009

I have recently discovered the work of Daniel Pink. He is a business writer, and a master storyteller who encourages others to be the same. In this short pecha-kucha presentation (what’s that? — see another post in this blog) on “emotionally intelligent signage,’ where he encourages anyone creating signs to help others find their way to do so in an intelligent way that also touches our senses in addition to providing information.

This presentation has caused me to rethink how we provide instructions to our students, especially regarding how they should navigate through a course in a typical learning management system like Desire2Learn or Blackboard. Perhaps we should take some cues from Mr. Pink.

Watch this short presentation (7 minutes) with thoughtful reflection about how you communicate instructional material to your students.

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Pictures as communication tools

by Marty Crossland on May 8, 2008

I recently read a very interesting blog post about illustrations as communications devices. Some research cited found that integrating text ON pictures instead of UNDER pictures as captions was found to be much more effective for information presentation.Common practice used to be to include illustrations as supplemental information to the text of a presentation or document. What recent practice has shown to be even more effective is reversing these roles: The illustration becomes the primary vehicle of information transfer, with any related text being view as supplemental. Quite a change in mindset for many of us traditional teachers and authors of learning materials.

Here is a quote from the article:
“In previous generations, graphics were generally illustrations, accompanying the text and providing elucidation. For today’s Games Generation, the relationship is almost completely reversed: the role of text is to elucidate something that was first experienced as an image.” He goes on to say, “They find it much more natural than their predecessors to begin with visuals and to mix text and graphics in a richly meaningful way.”

This research could have a lot of relevance for those of us who create educational materials.

Read more at the Creating Passionate Users blog.

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