Learning Objectives on Paper and in Practice

I have designed a number of e-learning modules for school kids and I usually devote special time and care in highlighting the learning objectives. I also had a chance to witness many presentations and the learning objectives slides are either skipped or they are read out to the learners in a rather listless manner. I was a little annoyed to see the slide which was written with so much care receiving so the little attention. My learning objectives slide looked something like this:

Learning objectives on paper

I discovered that my learning objectives looked as they are supposed to—on paper. These learning objectives appear to be more like instructions. This slide seems to have an element of restriction attached to it which automatically disconnects the learner from the topic.

I feel that such bulleted lists of learning objectives should be for the teachers’ eyes only. Using such bulleted lists in class not only wastes time, but also leave the students clueless of what they are about to encounter for the rest of the class.

Students can be presented with the same learning objectives in a different way such that this slide actually helps them to connect themselves with the presentation. Mind mapping is one of the techniques which I feel, is an excellent tool for presenting learning objectives. I have observed that these maps improve knowledge retention and promote appropriate recollection and application of the acquired knowledge. The advantage with mind mapping is that it can also be used in classrooms which lack technology. These maps can be sketched on flip charts, blackboards, etc. I have presented the same set of learning objectives as a mind map here:

Learning Objectives in Practice

Tired of the Yellow Wall? The List Buster is Here

Well, this was quite sometime back: Everyday when I entered my office, I was welcomed by a wall of post-its hanging on my board. They got so random that I was unable to fathom which of them came before the other. I then used to spend time organizing my post-its in a chronological manner, which never lasted any longer (2 days was my best record). At one point, I was too scared even to look upon the yellow wall.

After many months of missed schedules and excuses, I happen to chance upon the concept of mind mapping. After some googling, I visited the library and was lucky enough to lay my hands on Tony Buzan‘s Mind Maps at Work: How to Be the Best at Your Job and Still Have Time to Play. Now that I’m done with this book, I’m eager to devour the contents of his other books too!

Here are a few points, highlighted by Tony Buzan, which I feel makes mind maps superior to lists:

  • Our mind works on the big picture and not on bullet lists (like this one)
  • Our mind makes associations in the form of images and not as words
  • We are sensitive to colour and mind maps tap that potential of ours
  • Mind maps help in long term retention of facts/tasks/objectives, etc

Now it’s just one colourful mind map in the place of the countless post-its. W00t!

Why don’t you give it a try?

Here is a short video of Tony Buzan talking about the concept of mind maps

Published in: on September 11, 2010 at 02:01  Leave a Comment  
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