What to do with multi-tasking learners

I read an article today http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/632/the-human-factor-delivering-training-to-multi-taskers hoping to get some tips on how to train multi-tasking learners. Unfortunately the article didn’t give me anything new however I think it has great value in generating a good discussion which I suspect was its intention.

I agree that learners do not want to read learning objectives, but I am also not sure the author of this article was asking the learner to read them.

Good course design requires the teacher/trainer to develop a set of learner outcomes (or learning objectives) that make it clear what the learner must do to obtain skills and knowledge. These learning outcomes are measurable actions that are incorporated into the design of course materials, activity tasks and assessments. They can guide the teacher/trainer to design appropriate content that is relevant to the level being studied. If written well they provide a benchmark to ensure that training is at the correct level and that assessments are not over assessing (yes I know another issue entirely) or under assessing.

Unfortunately the article didn’t address the issue of multi-tasking (which was the reason I started to read it in the first place) so I was a little disappointed.

I am also a multi-tasking learner. Increasing engagement with the learning interface is a good strategy.

In my class (face to face and online) I consider the tasks the learners are undertaking during my class (in particular the multi-tasking activities I hadn’t planned on) as well as considering the technologies they are interacting with (such as texting, chat, web searching, facebook etc). Where possible I then try to build some of these activities and technologies into my course design, learning activities and assessment tasks. This has worked really well for me and the students really seemed to enjoy the experience.

Read the comments (see the above url) and let’s keep this discussion going and since this is a discussion opportunity also consider http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1205669/Is-multi-tasking-bad-brain-Experts-reveal-hidden-perils-juggling-jobs.html.

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