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Clark N. Quinn

Articles by Clark N. Quinn

Doug Engelbart: More Than the Inventor of the Mouse  May 11, 2016

Douglas Engelbart (1925 – 2013) is a key figure in the development of the technologies we use today to “boost our collective ability to solve complex, urgent problems on a global scale.” The devices and systems for which he is best known were only the minimal infrastructure necessary to realize that vision. Comprehending that vision can bring clarity to our own work in facilitating learning.

Book Review: Innovative Performance Support, by Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher  December 26, 2013

Performance support is not a new concept, but it is undergoing a renaissance; the appearance of new resources for performance support design is providing help and structure for practitioners who wish to add this important discipline to their repertoire. Gottfredson and Mosher make an excellent contribution in this regard, as you will learn in this review of their new book.

Research for Practitioners: Does Problem-based Learning Work?  July 25, 2013

Is it more effective to instruct—to present concepts and examples and then provide practice—or to challenge learners with ill-structured but carefully chosen problems and to facilitate dialogue about solutions? It’s a complex and somewhat controversial question, but research offers some important guidelines that will help you fine-tune your learning designs.

Research for Practitioners: Student Annotation of Examples Improves Learning Outcomes  March 20, 2013

A constant challenge for instructional designers is finding or developing well-designed examples, including explanations. Could learners provide and document the examples? Research to the rescue! You may be surprised (and pleased) by what this study discovered.

Research for Practitioners: Can Text Messages (SMS) Support Learning?  November 28, 2012

Support for learners, especially “at risk” learners, is valuable, but providing learners support beforehand tends not to have long-lasting effects and ongoing methods of support can be cumbersome. Could a lighter weight intervention help? Here is a report on a study that looked at using text messaging to provide ongoing support without being a headache to learners or to staff.

The Next Step for Learning: Practical Contextualization  October 22, 2012

Computing devices—especially mobile ones—continue to add sensors, to store and process more and more personal information (contacts, schedules, tasks, goals), and to connect more widely to other devices and to the Web. This context awareness opens huge learning opportunities. Are you ready? Here are some things to think about.

Content Systems: Next Generation Opportunities  July 30, 2012

If you’re ready to think about mobile, you really ought to think about content systems. The effort invested in developing such systems pays off hugely in being able to flexibly deliver content based on the consumer and the context. This is one of the Next Big Things, and this article explains the basics you need in order to be ready for it.

Book Review: Design for How People Learn, by Julie Dirksen  January 25, 2012

Julie Dirksen has just published an excellent guide to better learning design. Here are the details. Her book is recommended for beginning designers, and for subject matter experts who have found themselves drafted into creating eLearning.

Rethinking e-Learning  April 28, 2010

Advances in technology have provided new capabilities for learning, while spaced practice, social learning, meta-learning, and distributed cognition have given us alternative ways to support learning. The combination allows us to envision and deliver a richer learning experience that leads to persistent change in abilities – and persistent change in ability to do is our actual goal.

Social Networking: Bridging Formal and Informal Learning  February 23, 2009

The growth of social networking applications attracts attention from e-Learning designers and developers. The application of social networking to informal learning is obvious, but its role in formal learning is not clear. Reframe the question: What needs for social support are not being met in formal learning applications?

480 x 320 is the New 1024 x 768  June 30, 2008

One of the biggest challenges for those who want to play in the m-Learning arena is simply knowing how to deliver interactivity. We have a plethora of competing devices, operating systems, and screen sizes, and no clear winners. The answer may be simpler than you think, as this column illustrates.

Making It Matter to the Learner: e-Motional e-Learning  April 3, 2006

Why is it so difficult to engage learners in the learning experience? Maybe our designs are missing key ingredients that could make learners care about the experience. This article reviews what we know about the non-cognitive elements of learning, and suggests how you can hook the learner, relieve anxieties as you set expectations about content, and design emotionally engaging experiences.