Perhaps I have been living under a rock, but until today I have not heard of Pecha-Kucha. I am not a big fan of PowerPoint mostly because of the abusive use of the tool itself. After all, PowerPoint does not bore people to death, presenters (or e-Learning designers) WITH PowerPoint do. Upon being introduced to the term Pecha-Kucha, I Googled it and was intrigued by the concept.
In a nutshell, it is a presentation that contains 20 images each displayed for 20 seconds (20×20). It was originally designed to reign in presenters who needed to be more concise in their presentation. Here are some examples. The first explains the concept further. You can also learn more about it at http://www.pecha-kucha.org.
Another good example of Pecha-Kucha is Failure by Bob Berkebile.
Oh, Pecha-Kucha is a Japanese term meaning chatter. It is pronounced “peh-CHAK-cha,” here is a video that helps with the pronunciation.
Here is a nice video that shows good use of blogs and social networks in K-12 education.
All too often people request training and have already determined the delivery medium they want. Their decision is usually for various reasons, such as convenience or cost, but not because it is the most effective way to teach the content.
To borrow a phrase from a former boss, “ordering training is not like ordering pizza.” It is crucial to step back and begin with a need analysis, identifying the audience, their training need(s), the learning objectives, etc. We must also conduct a content analysis. Only then can the best medium(s) of delivery be determined with confidence. It may be e-learning, classroom training or blended learning.
In regards to using content analysis to make this determination, here is a very helpful article by Seung Youn Chyung and Armi Stephanie Treñas, published in Learning Solutions e-Magazine – Content Design for Performance-Oriented Reusable Blended Learning. You will need to log-in to access it. If you are not a member, joining as an associate member is free.
The authors provide a practical approach to analyzing instructional content with the purpose of determining the best media to deliver the content. They focus on teaching content in the cognitive domain. Here is a rule of thumb they provide that I agree with “As a rule of thumb, it would be cost-effective to use self-paced e-Learning for delivering declarative knowledge and some of procedural knowledge that can be codified fairly easily. On the other hand, it may prove rather difficult, although not impossible, to facilitate the development of situated knowledge via e-Learning alone.”
If you want to get a better handle on determining what is best taught online, in the classroom or blended, this article is a great start. If clients are telling you the delivery medium instead of asking what the best delivery medium will be, follow the article’s advice and you will save yourself a lot of time and trouble. And don’t forget to tell them “ordering training is not like ordering pizza.”
Here are a few more things done in the classroom that should also be acceptable in online classes. They may have to be approached differently due to the medium, but can be engaging both for classroom and online audiences.
- Games and puzzles
- Role-playing (immersive learning sims)
- Coaching/immediate feedback
- Guest speakers (videos in an online, asynchronous delivery)
- Flip-charting ideas, concepts, etc.
- Group activities/”break-out” sessions
- Use of Twitter
Granted, some of these are challenging in an online environment, but not impossible. Bottom line, if it is done in the classroom and works well online go ahead and use it. What can happen? You end up with an engaged audience who know you put a lot of effort and resources into being an effective trainer.
What else transfers from the traditional classroom to an online course?
And what elements from online classes would work in a traditional classroom?