Rapid Intake is teaming up with Dr. Peter Chan and Dr. Carl Harris to bring a long-tested approach to soft skill training called video ethnography, to rapid e-learning development.
At eLearning DevCon 2007 (see www.elearndevcon.com), Peter presented several examples of how video ethnography was used to solve the problem of training critical thinking. I (Garin) presented an example of how a new set of templates built for Flashform Rapid eLearning Studio could be used to quickly create interactive case studies.
When I first met Dr. Chan in 2003, he showed me some of the work he had done in mainland China with teachers in the classroom. There really aren't very many solid efforts that I've seen of ways to effectively teach critical thinking in a self-paced e-learning format. I was so impressed I thought, "More instructional designers need to have a tool like this in their toolbox."
The Problem: Good Critical Thinking is Hard to Duplicate
We've all seen it: a sales rep who outperforms everyone else; a deal negotiator who consistently brings home great deals; a teacher that all of the kids love and do amazing work for; a customer support representative that consistently receives positive letters and emails commending their efforts. In short, why do some job performers stand out as amazingly good at what they do and others don't? Even with the same training, some people move out far beyond the rest of the pack.
We've fantasized, "Oh, if we could just clone so and so." In each of these cases the skills we want to duplicate are qualitative in nature, rather than quantifiable.
So how do you duplicate the positive phenomenons that are shining inside your organization?
The Solution: Clone Those Who Do It Well
Video Ethnography involves embedding a camera in real, authentic situations, taking real footage, then presenting that footage to learners, along with interpretations from different perspectives. The interpretations give them "eyes to see" what is really going on in the case. Built-in assessments verify the learner's own ability to think critically about a problematic situation.
The Technology: You Don't Need a Rocket Scientist
Flashform Rapid eLearning Studio allows anyone to quickly create interactive Flash-based e-learning content and courses by filling out forms. The Ethnographer plug-in will be an add-on interactive template that can be used by any Flashform developer to quickly create interactive video case-based e-learning content.
Why the Blog
We received a lot of positive feedback and interest in our project, so we promised we would create a blog to keep everyone who is interested up to date on our development progress. Peter, Carl, and I will be posting from time to time, not only posts about how the tool development is progressing, but with tips and thoughts about video ethnography in general.
Garin Hess | CEO