Understanding By Design method


This method is simpler and closer to what I usually have implemented when I design a single learning course as opposed to a larger-scale curriculum. It starts with exploring the rationale for the educational intervention in the first place– the “bigger picture.” Usually in corporate training we are urged to think about the “what’s in it for me” if the learner understands this.

In my submission I used a situation I believe I likely will need to design for– learning a new Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) system as the final piece in the puzzle before beginning to handle calls with customers. When I was discussing the requirements for this training with a colleague, he said, “well, it’s not really rocket science, just log them onto the system and call in with your mobile phone!” When I really dug into it, I put myself in the shoes of the care centre agent– I definitely would want to practice using all aspects of all hardware and software (headsets, CTI system, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system) together before beginning to talk to real customers. As I thought about it there are several scenarios and skills one needs to practice to make this a high-quality use of time.

When I thought about appropriate “essential questions” for this type of training, I wondered how much patience students would have for this type of discussion. I suppose the underlying thought is to remind them that we treat customers as we would want to be treated. Part of this could be for example, knowing how to transfer a call to a colleague without making the customer explain themselves all over again. Who doesn’t hate that?

Click on the link to see my learning design.


The ADDIE Design Method– a Mindmap

Who doesn’t love a nice mindmap to get the old brain synapses firing? Click on the image or on this link to see one for the Week 2 assignment:


The Mindmeister tool tries to make it convenient to collaborate on mindmaps digitally, but I have used some other tools I liked better, like Mural whiteboard. Another idea– who can really complain about just putting a good old Google doc together and sharing it with your team? Anyway, any day I learn something new is a good day, so I’ve chalked this up as a win!

My thoughts about the ADDIE model are that it’s been a good workhorse for us and it would work in a situation where there isn’t much VUCA going on…but I’ve not worked in an environment like that since I started working. A long-ass time ago.

The Swedish Nerd’s take on the Dick and Carey design model– a podcast


Click on the image or here to access the podcast. (Transcript is below if you want to read it instead!)

Image courtesy of elearning Industry Dick & Carey model

I like this image– It represents the designer taking many resources, grinding them up in the computer and serving that delicious knowledge sausage up to the learners.

I realise I forgot to mention in my podcast, how well this model would work for my needs and my take is– it works better than ADDIE for a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic, Ambiguous) work environment. It is more compact, yet it includes the important step of designing business-impactful performance objectives and evaluating these.

Below is a transcript of the podcast, which is read by the lovely Hazel at Speed 9, from naturalvoices.com:

Hi, I’m Kristin the Swedish Nerd! Welcome to my podcast today talking about the Dick and Carey instructional design model. Exciting stuff, hey? I’m using a voice simulator to create this audio so some of my personality is lost. Sorry about that, I am paranoid about privacy.
So, getting back to the Dick and Carey model. I find these models difficult to grasp without a scenario, don’t you? So for today’s review of the model, I’d like you to consider the following challenge as a learning designer. Your learners are call center agents working for a company selling subscriptions to a product. Their incoming calls are often from consumers who aren’t yet customers. These prospective customers have questions about the contractual terms and conditions as well as insurance for the subscribed product. This is NOT, I repeat, NOT exciting stuff, yet these agents need to feel confident that they know the answers before they begin accepting incoming calls.
How do you train this concept? Let’s use the Dick and Carey model to think about it, shall we?
Step 1 is defining the instructional goal or desired state at the end of the instruction. Then you have to analyze to what degree the learners can already achieve the goal today. In our example, the desired state is that the learners can confidently answer incoming consumer questions, OR know where they can quickly find the answer for the question while they have the customer on the call. Most of the learners come into the job knowing absolutely nothing, so we are starting from zero!
Step 2 is analyzing what skills are required for achieving the goal. This could include knowledge of how to execute tasks and procedures, how to conceptualize information, or other skills. In our example, the learners need to come to the job with good verbal and written communication skills in the local language, as well as good interpersonal skills. Sometimes it takes a bit of patient back-and-forth to understand what the customer really wants to know. Also they need to know some background about the commercial offer, even if they don’t know all the specifics, as well as how to use our Customer Relationship Management System, or CRM, to log the call correctly and look up answers they might not know right away.
Step 3 is understanding what behaviors and learner characteristics do the learners bring to the course, and what would attract them to the course? I could see this step being really important in non-traditional adult learning scenarios. In our example, it’s a helpful step to remind us about the prerequisite training which needs to happen before this one. Everyone needs to have a baseline in written and verbal communication skills to take this course. However they don’t need to know how to use the CRM system at first, they just need to practice answering questions. We probably could take their learnings from this one and we can use great realistic scenarios for CRM system training. This would be a second-stage training incorporating the same concepts but including the aspect of how to “look up” the answer in the system when you aren’t sure.
Step 4 is translating the goals to specific performance objectives. These objectives should be structured as so: Conditions, desired Behavior, and Criteria. We should plan to evaluate the performance objectives in a realistic situation. What does this mean for our scenario? Maybe something like this: Given an incoming consumer call, correctly answer questions regarding the contractual terms and conditions and product insurance, using printed learning materials made available. Answers must be given within 1 minute , and the expectation is 95% correct answers.
Step 5 is diagnosing whether the learners already have  the knowledge or skills they need to take the course. You can decide how you want to assess this– perhaps you give a pre-test, you interview them, or you observe them in a realistic scenario. In our scenario, we will assume we know the learners already completed the required communication prerequisites, so we know they are ready for the next bit of information.
Step 6 is when you get to the good stuff– how in the heck will you train this material, which in our scenario, is dry-as-dust? As this is really a memorization exercise, we need to provide iterative ways to help people remember, then to understand where to look up the information when in doubt. In our example, I find it very important that the learners actually sit and read the boring contractual conditions and insurance information, because this is what the customers will receive. How fun can we make it though? Let’s first challenge them to get active with their learning. As they read, they should come up with three questions they think consumers would ask. Then they try these questions out on each other– say we have them go through three rounds with different partners to test out their questions. Then the really fun part. We play a game show in teams, say Jeopardy? These learners can get really competitive. Then we practice some scenarios. One learner is the customer and the other is an agent. The customer calls in with questions and the agent is allowed to use the learning materials to answer if they get stuck. PHEW! What a plan! I wonder if the learners will have fun and learn something?
Step 7 in the Dick and Carey model (remember that’s what we’re supposed to be doing here, right?) is collecting or developing all the materials and content to support your training session. In our scenario we need to print out the boring documents, author the Jeopardy game in some form (I have a PowerPoint document) and create some scenario cards to use for the partner exercises.
Step 8 is including a formative evaluation. Try your design out on a pilot group of learners and make adjustments.
Step 9 is to execute your summative evaluation. I see this as two things actually, although the literature I’ve read doesn’t seem to mention this. First, the learners need to have a feeling for themselves that they learned something. In our scenario, the partner exercises seem to do that. The second consideration is that management also needs to have confidence that their investment in the learning is meeting business objectives. I would hope if we can say that everyone managed to complete the final scenarios according to the performance objectives, that would suffice.
After Step 9 of course I’m going to want to make some improvements! And as I mentioned, use these learnings as a basis for creating good scenarios as we train CRM system skills.
Well, that’s all we have time for today in this podcast on the Dick and Carey instructional design method. Actually we went over time, but I hope you enjoyed it anyway. Take it easy from the Swedish Nerd, or as we say, “ta det lungt!”

Does the US have a “progressive taxation” policy at the federal level?


This came up during a social media conversation. One of my friends posted an article from Wall Street Journal (Saunders, 2018) with the title screaming, “Top 20% of Americans Will Pay 87% of Income Tax.” The article seemed to me intended to outrage higher earners who will pay the bulk of income tax contributions and therefore, carry the rest of the country on their backs. The article did not mention other forms of taxation, which people who do not earn enough to pay income tax in the US, still pay.

The distinction is important for me as a result of comments made by Mitt Romney when he was a presidential candidate in the 2012 race, deriding the 47% of Americans who do not pay income tax as entitlement-claiming victims who will always vote Democrat. (Moorhead, 2018) Many voters found his comments insensitive, as a large proportion of these 47% of people also work full-time at an hourly rate and have federal payroll tax deducted from their paycheck. Often these people do not meet the minimum income threshold for additional income tax liability.

By doing this research, I wanted to check whether the entire taxation picture for all US citizens is indeed “progressive” or not. When I was an Army officer I had an additional duty of Tax Officer. I used to help soldiers in my company file their income taxes so they wouldn’t have to go to H&R Block and pay fifty bucks. I enjoyed it and it gave my inner nerd a chance to shine.

My verdict:

The entire federal US taxation system is broadly progressive, although it’s hard to understand its effects when looking at comprehensive household income for people in various income brackets.

My calculations (assuming they are correct hahahaha) show that the households who pay only payroll taxes are nearly covering the same proportion of the raw contributions to the federal budget, at least in 2016. This is amazing!

Whether one believes progressive taxation is a good thing or not largely depends on a person’s values and what society one wants to live in. If data is something that lights your fire, at least one reputable study shows a strong correlation between progressive taxation in a country and the happiness level of its citizens.

What is “progressive” taxation?

The Wikipedia page on this is quite informative (see Sources below.) Broadly speaking it means as a taxable sum increases, the amount of tax burden on that sum increases. Wikipedia states, “Progressive taxes are imposed in an attempt to reduce the tax incidence of people with a lower ability to pay, as such taxes shift the incidence increasingly to those with a higher ability-to-pay.”

Often in terms of income tax, a certain amount of income is exempt from taxation, up to a certain amount is taxed at a flat rate for everyone, and any amount over that will fall into higher-taxed “brackets,” with the percentage required increasing for each bracket.

Tax included in a discussion of progressive tax doesn’t have to include only income tax. The US government collects revenue in forms of corporate, estate, Social Security, Medicare, and excise taxes. It can also include state and local taxes, but I’m not going there!

What are the primary sources and proportions of US federal government revenue?

Please see the Tax Policy Center links for more details.

The primary source of revenue in FY 2016 for the federal government was indeed income taxes, at 47.3%.

Next were:

  • 34.1 Payroll taxes
  • 9.2% Corporate income tax
  • 2.9% Excise taxes
  • 6.5% Other (includes estate and gift taxes, customs taxes and Federal Reserve deposits)

All working people, including the self-employed, pay payroll taxes. All people who purchase tobacco, alcohol, and gasoline pay excise taxes.

According to the Tax Policy Center in 2016, (Williams, R., 2016)  26.4% of households paid payroll taxes only. My rough calculation (see Notes) shows that these households covered about 23.3% of all the federal revenue collected. If my calculations are correct, these households are pretty much pulling their weight in terms of contributions. The trouble with ideology kicks in with the benefits and tax credits some of these folks receive. Some people believe they aren’t fair.

What are “payroll taxes”?

Payroll tax includes Social Security and Medicare contributions. All working people earning wages pay these taxes. For 2017, the Social Security taxable maximum was $127,200 [annually] (Frankel, 2017). If you earn more than this, you don’t pay Social Security on that marginal amount.

Medicare is taxed at the same rate for everyone up until $200,000 (Frankel, 2017). So any amount earned beyond that will drive a small increase in amount withheld from the paycheck.

What is the proportion of household taxation paid by those who only pay payroll tax?

This is devilishly difficult to figure out and it seems there are plenty of figures available for taxation subtracting benefits, but not including household income.

I’ll try to do the simplest simulation possible on a single wage-earner, assuming the person does not purchase alcohol, tobacco or gasoline and therefore pays no excise tax. The person does not claim dependents.

10, 399                Gross annual income (10,400 is the threshold for income tax filing)

-644.74               Social Security contribution @ 6.2%

-150.79               Medicare contribution @ 1.45%

Total tax bill: 795.53. This implies a 7.65% tax liability on gross annual income.

This person has then 9603.47 left over to live on for a whole year, theoretically. Lucky him or her!

How does the tax burden as a proportion of household income compare, payroll tax payers only vs. income tax payers?

I have to do a little comparative simulation again on the most boring income tax filer ever, who is single, can’t take anything but the standard deduction etc. I’m using the Tax Foundation table on tax brackets (Pomerleau, 2016).


100,000              Gross annual income (this seems like a liveable amount at the 28% bracket, and 6,350 is exempt)

-19,203               Income tax bill

-6200                   Social Security contribution @ 6.2%

-1450                   Medicare contribution @ 1.45%

Total tax bill: 26,853. This implies a 26.8% tax liability on gross annual income.  This person has 73,147 left over to live on, theoretically. Lucky him or her!

This simple simulation gives some evidence that the tax system for all people earning wages is progressive. The Tax Policy Center makes the same conclusion when considering taxation mitigated by benefits and credits, not a proportion of total household income (Williams, R.C. 2016). Some people believe that offsetting payroll taxes with various tax credits means these people have a net-zero contribution to their society.

Who are the people who don’t pay income tax? How much “free stuff” are they getting?

Forbes provides a really interesting breakdown though (Williams, 2016):

  • 60 percent of those who pay no income tax will work and owe payroll taxes.
  • Most of the other 40 percent are retirees whose income is too low to owe income tax. One assumes that they worked their entire lives or don’t work at all.
  • Of those who work, two-thirds will have payroll tax liability in excess of any refundable income tax credits.
  • Thus, only about 9 percent of households have their payroll tax fully (or more than fully) offset by those refundable credits.

For those who assert that people whose payroll taxes are offset by refunds, pay “nothing” toward their society, they are correct for nine percent of American households.

Is “progressive” taxation a good thing or a bad thing?

This is an emotional question of one’s fundamental values. I have heard some people complain that poor people “pay nothing” but get all the advantages of a developed society such as infrastructure, public education, and defense. My humble personal opinion is that a stable society depends on working people who contribute their labor and pride in having a purpose in life. Additionally, that person’s labour contributes to mention fulfilment of the business owner’s dream, shareprice for shareowners, the overall economy etc. Their labor is not “nothing!”

There has been a considerable amount of attention research recently into income inequality in developed economies and the numbers are out there for those who are interested in the trends. I happen to live in one of the most income-equal countries in the world as measured by the Gini coefficent, Sweden. By many measures it’s a great place to live and we Scandinavians regularly top the happiness lists, but my research shows that there is a weak statistical correlation between the Gini coefficient and overall happiness in a country.

My opinion only: do you believe everyone should have broadly the same minimum standard of living in the society you live in, and whatever someone chooses to do beyond that is up to them? If you believe it’s acceptable for people in your country to live in destitution even if they work hard, with all the other potential implications that might have such as crime, substance abuse, sheer waste of human capital, etc. perhaps you believe it’s onerous for those with a greater ability to contribute to the society should do so.

I am doing my best to stay neutral here. I reckon most people, regardless of their income level, would be much happier living in say, Scandinavia than they would in a country without the benefits provided by progressive taxation, income equality and a formal economy. I consider the “pillars” of a optimal society for good quality of life to be: infrastructure, a clean environment and water, universal healthcare, education including university level, social security, good police and defense. These make for a peaceful society where everyone has the ability to succeed if they work hard. Whether these pillars are possible without progressive taxation, I am not sure. But guess what, at least one study I found shows a correlation between progressive taxation and overall happiness! (Oishi, S., Schimmack, U., & Diener, E., 2012)

Just for fun: What about very wealthy US citizens who pay comparatively little income tax?

Wealthy US citizens have the means to structure their wealth in legal constructs such as trusts, as well as to move some of their wealth to jurisdictions where it will not be taxed by the US government. Even some wealthy people who don’t take these measures can earn a significant proportion of their living through capital gains on their investments. Capital gains are taxed at a much lower rate than earned income is (see Salary.com article), with the rationale that this policy stimulates investment in the US economy as a whole.

My personal opinion only: It’s certainly nice to have had the advantages in life which allows one to earn a living this way, either through having sufficient support, resources and education to start your own business, have the knowledge to save and invest wisely, to have inherited a fortune, or all of these things. I don’t begrudge these people their fortune. It’s important to feel that one has the possibility to get ahead if one studies and works hard, and if you have saved and worked hard you want to be able to leave something for your children when you pass away.

Whether or not I believe very wealthy can afford to pay more tax, I disagree with the disparaging attitude and conviction that someone got that fortune because he or she is a “winner” and poor people are lazy “losers.” It’s also important to acknowledge that not everyone has significant advantages in life from a very early age, and we should not be disrespectful of people because they have not. So much pure human capital, which could benefit all of us for generations to come, is wasted on potentially brilliant kids who live in poverty. We can only guess at how much.

Also for fun, an international perspective on every day taxation for a typical middle-class person.

As a “higher” earner in Germany, my income was taxed at 48%. There were no additional income taxes. Sales tax applies to everyone and when I lived there it was 18% (I believe). I paid 50% of my health insurance costs, my employer paid the other half. My healthcare was bloody brilliant, best I’ve ever had.

In the UK my income tax was 35%. We also were required to pay council tax each month, which was rated based on the categorical “niceness” of our residence, regardless of whether rented or owned. VAT was 18% most of the time I lived there. Healthcare was free and I was lucky enough to have an employer who offered a supplemental policy as a benefit. I paid for this myself.

In Sweden my income is taxed at 39.5%. We do not have state taxes. VAT is 25% on most items (I believe less for groceries?) Healthcare is free with a small co-pay for each visit up to SEK 1500 per year. Some employers offer a supplemental healthcare policy as a benefit, which allows you to access private specialist services more quickly. I didn’t choose to purchase this.


Saunders, L. (2018, April 6). Top 20% of Americans Will Pay 87% of Income Tax. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://www.wsj.com/articles/top-20-of-americans-will-pay-87-of-income-tax-1523007001

Moorhead, M. (2012, September 18). Mitt Romney says 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/sep/18/mitt-romney/romney-says-47-percent-americans-pay-no-income-tax/

Progressive Tax. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progressive_tax
No author cited

Williams, R. (2016, September 6). Most Americans Pay More Payroll Tax Than Income Tax. from http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/most-americans-pay-more-payroll-tax-income-tax

Frankel, M. (2017, April 12). 2017 U.S. Payroll Tax: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.fool.com/taxes/2017/04/12/2017-us-payroll-tax-what-you-need-to-know.aspx

Tax Policy Center. (n.d.). What are the sources of revenue for the federal government. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-are-sources-revenue-federal-government
Cites Office of Management and Budget, Table 2.1 https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/historical-tables/

Pomerleau, K. (2016, November 10). 2017 Tax Brackets. Retrieved from https://taxfoundation.org/2017-tax-brackets/

Williams, R. C. (2016, August 11). Federal Taxes Are Very Progressive. Retrieved from http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/federal-taxes-are-very-progressive

Williams, R. (2016, July 12). A Closer Look At Those Who Pay No Income Or Payroll Taxes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2016/07/12/a-closer-look-at-those-who-pay-no-income-or-payroll-taxes/#53b96d2c5696

Oishi, S., Schimmack, U., & Diener, E. (2012). Progressive taxation and the subjective well-being of nations. Psychological Science, 23, 86-92. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797611420882

Why Mitt Romney & Other Wealthy Investors Pay Less Taxes. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2018, from https://www.salary.com/why-mitt-romney-other-wealthy-investors-pay-less-taxes/

No author or publishing date visible on page.

Note and calculation:

According to the Tax Policy Center in 2016, (Williams, R., 2016)  26.4% of households paid payroll taxes only. Payroll taxes (see below, are paid by all who earn wages, so some, but not all people who pay income tax also pay payroll tax.)  My rough calculation (see Notes) shows that these households covered therefore about 25.5% of all the federal revenue collected.

In 2016, 7.2% of households paid income tax but no payroll tax (because they have non-wage earned income). This means 92.8 of all households paid payroll tax.

Assuming payroll-tax-only households purchase the same proportion of goods subject to excise taxes as those who pay income tax and they are very unlikely to pay the “Other” types of taxes, their share of the federal collection plate is the proportion of payroll taxes they paid plus proportion of excise taxes paid.

((.341 x .928) – (.341 x .264)) + (.029 x .264) = (.316-.09) + .007, which comes to 23.3%.

[proportion of payroll taxes paid by those who paid income tax also] – [proportion of payroll taxes paid by those who ONLY paid payroll taxes] + [proportion of excise taxes paid by those who only paid payroll taxes]

Designing learning programmes to digitise workers

Recent political events as well as advances in autonomous driving have made me ponder, “how do we reskill all of these people whose jobs have gone or soon will go away?” It’s a concern for me because in Sweden we have recently experienced a huge influx of refugee migrants, which has been politically unpopular with a significant proportion of the electorate. Traditionally, lower-skilled work such as taxi driving has been a way to absorb new migrants as they get established in their new home. Additionally I read about thousands of lower-skilled manufacturing jobs being offshored whilst manufacturers desperately seek engineers and other workers able to operate sophisticated technology. There are a shortage of these people, and a surplus of people who didn’t finish high school. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates “employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” (2017) Where will the workers to fill these jobs come from? Is it even possible to retool say, a coal miner to be a web developer? This is one subject I am doing independent research on in the next few months.

It turns out it is more than possible to transform a coal miner to be a web developer! I read a case study on a company called BitSource in Tennessee, which hires former coal industry workers. (Thompson, 2017) The founder, Rusty Justice, mentions that miners “are accustomed to deep focus, team play, and working with complex engineering tech.” Deloitte’s outlook expects all workers, including blue-collar ones, need to master soft skills such as “problem solving, creativity, project management, listening, judgment, and decision-making skills.” (2017) Dr. Siemens (2005) also mentions that the impact of technology on our life and work have made deciding what to learn, mentally connecting what we learn to what we already know, finding the best ways to get new information quickly, and cultivating personal knowledge networks the key skills we need to develop. Coding and technical skills are just the beginning!

As a personal project I would like to come up with a framework for remodeling an existing manufacturing employee to translate their existing expertise into a new, digitised role. Additionally guess what, it’s not just technology skills this person will need. They will need to be more autonomous than before, managing their own work and potentially projects. I expect that this type of intervention would include ALL of the learning theories in some capacity in a fully realised Complex Learning Experience. This experience would go in several stages and take years as the learner grows and develops. Here are a few brainstorms:

Behaviourism: an excellent technique for someone who is just getting started with a new skill, say coding, and needs continuous confidence-boosts. This could include gamification e.g. how Khan Academy works.

Constructivism: a mentor or cohort leader who has more experience can guide the learner. These learners usually already use smartphones in their personal lives, how can we build that existing knowledge to generate enthusiasm for building and using technology at work?

Cognitivism: short practica in industry in the type of role the learner could expect to have in the future would be aimed to stimulate self-efficacy and further confidence. Technology naturally organises itself logically into building cognitive “schema.”

Connectivism: leverage the experience the learner already has with social networking platforms as a source of encouragement and help during the learning process, with targeted moderated learning communities.

Andragogy: continuously incorporate reflection on personal experiences and skills the learner already brings to bear. Again, short practica or real-world smaller projects provide the opportunity to immediately use what is learned and make mistakes. Seeing how real-life project work happens gives the learner significant perspective as they return to the classroom.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. (2017, October 24). Occupational Outlook Handbook: Computer and Information Technology Occupations. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm

Thompson, C. (2017, February 8). The Next New Big Blue Collar Job is Coding. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.wired.com/2017/02/programming-is-the-new-blue-collar-job/

Deloitte. (2017, May). The Connected Worker: Clocking in to the Digital Age. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/uk/Documents/consumer-business/deloitte-uk-the-connected-worker-052017.pdf p. 27

Siemens, G. (2004). A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. Retrieved December 7, 2017 from http://www.itdl.org/journal/jan_05/article01.htm

Source for image:

Davinci Coders. (n.d.). Coding Bootcamps. Retrieved December 14, 2017, from https://www.davincicoders.com/codingblog/2017/2/15/blue-collar-python-coding-bootcamps

Microlearning: Recording Degreed Using Jing

For this week’s assignment I taught myself how to use the Jing application (see Jing.com) to demonstrate Degreed.com. Degreed provides a free platform for learners to record their lifelong learning from everywhere, which will be very useful for me. It was mentioned in the source article assigned by the instructor (Gallagher, 2017) , and the description “Learning Experience Platform” piqued my curiosity. Jing allows you to capture screengrabs or videos of what you are doing on your screen. This is right in line with the Microlearning philosophy of keeping content to a manageable length.

Jing imposes a limit of five minutes for your recordings and it’s meant to be a very quick, informal way to create content. The five minutes does impose a bit of discipline! I realised it goes by quickly, so you have to think about your demo in advance and what you are going to say.

To learn the application I watched one help video from Jing and read one help page, then I was ready to get started. After two false starts I finally came up with a good-enough recording. I’ve uploaded this to Screencast and here is my handiwork (NOTE: I found out you need to have Flash player to view the recordings as I’m using the free version. That may be an issue which one could avoid by buying the paid version or perhaps by buying SnagIt. In that case you can create an MP4 video, which is more easily shareable.)

Degreed.com Demo Using Jing

I would say I used Connectivism and Andragogy as the primary learning theories to teach myself these two applications, for these reasons:
1. I evaluated options and decided myself what would be worth learning, consistent with both theories.

2. The items I chose were immediately useful to me in my work and life (Andragogy).

3. The items I chose to learn were conceptual “nodes” or an offshoots of materials provided by the instructor (Connectivism).

4. I looked at the online help materials to teach myself the basics. I had to experiment a bit and search forums to troubleshoot a couple of technical issues (Connectivism).

5. I was free to experiment and make mistakes. It took me three attempts to get a video I was reasonably pleased with (Andragogy).

6. I’m publishing my experience for my peers to review and provide feedback (Connectivism).


Gallagher, S. (2017, November 6). As Corporate World Moves Toward Curated ‘Microlearning,’ Higher Ed Must Adapt. Retrieved December 10, 2017, from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-11-06-as-corporate-world-moves-toward-curated-microlearning-higher-ed-must-adapt