Multimedia Instruction in the Culinary Arts

For this week’s coursework I chose to watch a 30-minute instructional video, the second one in a series. Chef Jonathan Collins teaches the fundamentals of French cuisine and demonstrates how to use several products from Cuisinart.

Analysed with the perspective of the Meyer and Moreno 2003 reading:


Segmenting: breaks the 30-minute episode into four clear parts, which are first communicated in the video title.

Signaling: Each part is announced with a signal at the beginning. The recipe of what he just prepared appears. You need to pause and take a screenshot because it only appears for a few seconds. There is no talking when the screenshots appear but the music continues.

Off-loading and Synchronising: The chef talks in a conversational style whilst he is demonstrating the technique– close-up camera to the slicing but there is still a voiceover.

Pre-training: Chef Collinss reviews the julienne and bruniose cuts from Episode 1 whilst dicing red pepper and mango.

Analysed with the perspective of the Mayer and Moreno 2000 reading:

Split-attention principle: no text appears during the demonstration and chef narration. Sometimes you see this in videos used as a way to reinforce the principle being taught, but according to Meyer and Moreno it produces additional cognitive load.


Coherence principle (Meyer and Moreno, 2000): There is accompanying music looping during the chef’s demos which is irritating and distracting. This adds cognitive load as I try to listen to what the chef is saying.

Recommendations for improvement:

  • Provide a link or attached reference summarising the concepts for the viewer, as well as the recipes.
  • Comments are disabled for the video. It would be interesting if YouTube had additional comment types available only to logged-in users, where they could ask questions or interact with each other. This would move the instructional design also more in the Connectivism direction.


Cuisinart Canada, & Collins, J. (2017, November 22). Cuisinart Culinary School, Cuisinart Canada Episode 2: Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs and Spices. Retrieved November 21, 2017, from

Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine Ways to Reduce Cognitive Load in Multimedia Learning. EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST, 38(1), 43-52. Retrieved November 16, 2017, from

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). A learner-centered approach to multimedia explanations: Deriving instructional design principles from cognitive theory. Interactive Multimedia Electronic Journal of Computer Enhanced Learning. Retrieved November 22,2017, from

Behaviourism-Toilet Training My Toddler

I was trying to think of an example of an animal-like behaviour which I had to teach to a human, i.e. there is a very clear idea of the desirable behaviour vs. non-desirable. As I have no pets, toilet training my son was the best scenario I could come up with. This started with an intense weekend crash-course. My husband and I planned to stay home and focus on the potty. My son was taken out of nappies during the day and wore regular underpants. At first we would sit him on the potty every half hour. If he went wee (desired behaviour and potentially unconditioned response if we got lucky), he would receive a chocolate-covered raisin (primary reward) and lots of praise and clapping (secondary reward). If he sat on the potty but did not go wee, he would still receive lots of praise and clapping, but no chocolate-covered raisin (still secondary reward). In between we tried to communicate what sensation he would have when he needed to go wee, so he would know in advance to sit on the potty. Gradually the idea was to replace the primary reward with the secondary reward. An additional aspect was that if the child wees in the regular underpants, s/he would find this wet pants sensation unpleasant (punishment) and would learn to stop weeing and go do it on the potty instead. The reward in that case would be nice dry underpants and of course, happy parents. If the child weed in the underpants, our guidebook said not to react too much (neutral operant) but change the pants and maybe talk about how much nicer it would be to do it in the potty properly next time. My son figured everything out with weeing on the first day, although of course he was initially unhappy that simply sitting on the potty did not produce a chocolate raisin. Number two took several weeks longer for him to work out. It seemed to be that he simply didn’t want to give up the convenience and comfort of using a nappy for this purpose. I recall one time when we were working on this part of the process and rather than use the potty, he found it intriguing to transfer the results of his efforts from his nappy to his his face, clothes, and arms. I did my best not to react at all (neutral operant, although I’m quite sure I raised my eyebrows to the middle of my scalp) and deposited him immediately in the shower. We kept up the primary reward for number two for quite some time and I believe in desperation, even raised the reward from one to several chocolate raisins.

Some families got into the complexities of awarding stickers as well, but my son didn’t have the attention span for that.

I am not sure whether there is any other better method to use in this scenario rather than a Behaviourist approach. If we lived in a society where children ran around bare-bottomed until they were older, perhaps more sophisticated methods would be applicable. It gets results rather quickly, and more quickly the older the child is. In terms of downsides the first one is that the child needs to be old enough to understand what’s going on. This means s/he may not be cognitively ready until the age of two or older (Crockett, 2014) whereas perhaps 100 years ago parents would have started this process as soon as one year. The second disadvantage I mentioned: everyone in the family had to be very focused and consistent on this activity for a few weeks. I also had to brief my son’s caretakers on what to do when I was out. When considering some more historical, parent-centric methods of potty training like administering punishing enemas, laxatives, physical punishment or shame to the child (Crockett, 2014), this delayed Behaviorist method seems to be the most loving and appropriate.


For behaviourist concepts described in post: McLeod, S. (2015). Skinner – Operant Conditioning. Retrieved from

Crockett, Z. (2014, September 16). The Evolution of Potty Training. Retrieved November 01, 2017, from

For the image: Best potties: Which is the best potty for toilet training? (2017, July 18). Retrieved November 6, 2017, from



Cognitivism vs. Constructivism Venn Diagram

Here is this week’s offering. I can see we are using some of Bruner’s and Bandura’s concepts in our course in these ways:

  • The learning theories build on each other and we are encouraged to compare them.
  • Creating visual deliverables encourages us to structure the information in a different way.
  • We provide perspective and feedback to our classmates to assist them in their learning.

Example learning scenarios for each theory:

(Social) Constructivism: The Harvard Business School case study teaching method is facilitated by the professor. Students prepare for the session by reading a real business scenario and reflecting on some of the questions. The professor prepares the group discussion, which designed to allow the group to deepen understanding and build their knowledge on each other’s reflections. Part of the students’ grade is based on the quality of their participation in the discussion. (See the source below from the Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning for a comprehensive overview of the method.)

 Cognitivism: My son’s teaching team has recently introduced the Singapore Maths method for teaching arithmetic. They openly state in the orientation materials that the method is based on Bruner’s work, among other leading Western researchers. They sent the parents a lengthy orientation document and the method is significantly different to what I experienced as a child. These concepts stuck out for me:

  • Parents need to encourage self-esteem in the children and emphasise that anyone can learn math. It’s not just a natural gift some people have and others don’t.
  • If one child is picking up the concepts quickly, it’s no longer appropriate to allow him/her to simply move ahead to the next one and leave the rest of the class behind. Instead, the teacher has to challenge the student to explain how he/she arrived at the answer, and think of other possible ways to solve the problem. Then the student has to coach his/her classmates who may not be getting it as quickly. In this way the advanced student deepens his/her understanding and provides additional support to the other children.
  • Students are encouraged to draw arithmetic concepts with shapes as part of solving the problem, not simply rely on symbols. This is based on Bruner’s Concrete Pictorial Aspect method and helps make the concept less abstract. (See the Maths No Problem for a complete description of the method.)

Sources for Concepts:

McLeod, S. A. (2007). Multi Store Model of Memory – Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968. Retrieved from

McLeod, S. A. (2014). Lev Vygotsky. Retrieved from

Smith, M.K. (2002) ‘Jerome S. Bruner and the process of education’, the encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from

McLeod, S. A. (2016). Bandura – Social Learning Theory. Retrieved from

Christensen Center for Teaching and Learning. (n.d.). Teaching By the Case Method. Retrieved November 10, 2017, from

Maths No Problem. (n.d.). What is Singapore Maths. Retrieved November 18, 2017, from What is Singapore Maths. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2017, from

Sources for images:

Palmer, A. (1942). Carpenter at work on Douglas Dam, Tennessee (TVA). Retrieved from

Photographer Unknown. A Man Helps a Woman as She Takes a Flying Leap. Retrieved from

Photographer Unknown. Top Ten Innovations in Construction: Modular Construction. Retrieved from

Photographer Unknown. Breakthrough Autism: Success Stories. Retrieved from



This week’s assignment was to create an infographic summarising the most important points of the research around Constructivism.

Thus many hours of teaching myself Canva ensue. Why God, why…this sort of fiddling with text and graphics simply is not my favourite way to be creative. Also to me it’s not easy to illustrate these learning and development theories with pictures. I have done my best given the pictures in my head when I think about each concept.

Anyway here it is and I hope it’s 1. accurate and 2. gets the point across.


Learning through the ages

That 70s Girl

Photo: not me in the 70’s but pretty close! I wore those turtlenecks and crocheted vests. I had that Dorothy Hamill haircut after the 1978 Winter Olympics! I had streamers on my bike handles!

This is a Week 1 assignment for my LDT100x Instructional Design and Technology: Learning Theories course on edX. We are required to describe three learning experiences during our lives.

  1. Elementary school: I remember teaching myself long division. I was self-sufficient and ahead of the rest of the class, so the teacher explained the basic principles and assigned me loads of problems to go practise on my own. I literally did arithmetic problems over and over on paper until I learned the skill. I understand the method we used back then is considered to complicated for kids now and they learn shortcuts…but long division is one of those skills you just have to learn in life!
  2. High school: Switch to 4th year French. We needed to memorise the verb etre (to be) in about 20 different tenses and often our homework would be simply to conjugate the damn verb for all subjects and all cases on a piece of paper. Then we would review it in class on the blackboards together. This is a very necessary, yet boring skill required to speak proper French.
  3. As an adult, I’ve had to learn several software systems like the one I work with today. In my most recent learning experience, the training I did was all online. It was a combination of structured e-learning courses, recorded “deep dive” descriptions of each feature, and finally a “scavenger hunt” to encourage experimentation and building functionality in the system. I could submit questions to the instructor, as well as join a call to ask questions. The hunts were my favourite parts of the training. I needed to learn this skill to do my job, which is helping clients configure a good user experience in our system. This hopefully helps them achieve their business goals, which I also work with clients to help them define.

Behaviourism: Why is so much of education still like this?

Well, for one thing the Behaviourism approach is a good way to drill basic information into little and not-so-little brains rather quickly. My impression is that the primary purpose of education in the last few hundred years (in the industrialised West anyway) has been to prime students to go out and deliver some type of value in the economy. This was a worthy purpose for the time wasn’t it?

Behaviourism is the classic “carrot/stick” approach. The trainer explains the concept, shows how to obtain the correct answer (there are only a limited number of correct answers), and leads the student through various scenarios designed to help the student learn all the different ways to elicit the correct answer. The student gets some positive stimulus or reward (think: a good grade, praise, stickers, badges) for getting the correct answer and a negative one for an incorrect answer (think: poor grades, criticism or even lack of attention from the instructor). We are all familiar with this technique; it’s likely how we managed to cram the multiplication tables in when we were eight years old.

Behaviourist learning techniques are characterised by:

  • Significant repetition to consistently provide positive stimuli
  • Memorisation, learning by rote
  • Valuing observable behaviour and end result, not necessarily the process which got the student to the result

Behaviourism gets a bad rap, perhaps because the leading research is associated with B.F. Skinner’s lab rats. The method can be effective for learning structured material with a correct answer such as arithmetic, foreign language vocabulary, anatomy etc. After all, you don’t need to put a lot of reasoning why 8 x 7=56, or that bone there is called a tibia, you just need to remember that fact to move on to more sophisticated concepts. The disappointment comes when an instructor doesn’t move beyond this method, even when they could.

Behaviourism in action: I remember needing this technique even in university whilst taking my first East Asian History class. Early on in the semester, the professor gave us a test on all of the Chinese dynasties (names and years) as well as basic geography of China (provinces, cities, rivers). We had to train ourselves on these with flashcards, repetitive filling out of blank maps, lists etc. in order to pass the test.

Although this was a university course and we moved on to produce work with more nuanced thinking, knowing these basics was certainly important to understand the 4,000 years’ worth of history we were learning during that term.