They Learn It On Their Own with "Stumper"
Ever have a task or topic that you feel people could learn on their own it they would just study some existing materials and maybe collaborate with others?
I ran in to this situation when we created a workshop on how to use DSA’s CourseWriter 2.5™ software.
The software is user-friendly and has very well written user documentation. The challenge is to get them to use the software and realize the user documentation will answer their questions and walk them through any specific task they need to perform. The context for the workshop is one half day. Here is the simple structure I used.
Module one is very short (15 minutes) and simply describes what CourseWriter™ is and what it is not.
Module two gets the participants into a game I called “Stumper”, a Game Frame based on Thiagi’s Open Book Game Frame. The module is called Maneuvering Through CourseWriter™. With the software installed, and the user guide in-hand, the participants have 10 minutes to study the manual and/or play around with the software and then - the Stumping begins. See below for the complete directions:
Individually take 10 minutes to study the manual and play with the interface.
Take 15 minutes to study the manual and play with the interface. Come up with five questions to stump the other groups.
Play of the Game
Team A asks a question of an individual in Team B. If the individual chooses to answer it themselves and it is correct, then Team B gets two points. If the individual decides to consult with others in the team and then answers correctly, Team B gets one point. If the answer is incorrect or not given at all, Team A gets two points for stumping Team B.
Then, Team B asks a question of Team C and follows the same procedure as above, Team C asks Team D, and finally, Team D asks Team A.
The first round is clockwise (A-B-C-D-A)
The second round is counter clockwise (A-D-C- B-A)
Option: The second round scores double.
This approach has several benefits, including:
- realize they can quickly learn to use the software in a fun and challenging way.
- collaborate on things that they couldn’t find or do alone themselves (a cognitive apprentice approach).
- form a network of users that can help each other out to realize the full value of the software.
- become fluent on operational matters related to the software freeing them up to realize the full benefit of using the software for helping them develop their courses.
Uses of the Stumper Game Frame
- Introduction to a new software
- Structure and organization of a reference manual
- Structure and organization of policy and procedural manuals
- Structure and maneuvering through an online productivity tool
- How to operate any kind of mechanical device, for example, a blood testing meter that has documentation
If you are introducing something new that participants can learn mostly individually or collaboratively, give Stumper a try. To see the context of how the whole workshop was designed, send me an email for the participant guide (which, by the way, was designed using CourseWriter™).
Until next time,
Article © 2007
Darryl L. Sink & Associates, Inc.