PGI Friday: Backwards Learning
I'm fortunate to be able to work with the Commission on Dietetic Registation in creating a learning tool for professionals that's worthy of being today's potentially great idea. I guess you could describe it as 'backwards learning".
In a traditional online continuing education course, educational content is presented, learning activities may be offered, and then a quiz is administered to assess attainment of course learning objectives. In contrast, CDR's Assess and Learn modules do not begin with educational content. The initial focus instead is on assessing what knowledge and skill an individual currently has in a particular area. This assessment occurs within the context of a case scenario -- that is, learners are presented with cases and are asked questions about how best to deal with issues that arise .
While the initial focus is on self assessment, these tools are valuable learning instruments because each multiple-choice question is followed by feedback that provides an explanation for why each question option is correct or incorrect, current references, and links for additional information. In addition, at the end of the module, a comprehensive feedback report is provided that describes the learner's performance by content domain and by learning objective, and includes suggested resources for further study.
You can view a few screen shots here to get a flavor for the tool: Download CDR_selfassess_example.pdf
If you decide to create a similar model, plan to spend extra time educating your audience on the uniqueness of the tool. If you don't, learners may be surprised that the "test" comes first when they are used to it being at the end.