I must admit that I was intrigued, excited, and nervous, all at the same time, with this past week’s challenge to create a digital instruction video for the Instructional Strategies course I am currently taking. As with any other learning task, I always have a plan of action in mind. As we’ve discussed in our Metacognition and “Learning to Learn” forum this week, expert learners possess more elaborate metacognitive skills that include: 1. having a plan 2. setting goals 3. monitoring progress and changing learning strategies as needed throughout the process, and 3. evaluating outcomes and adapting as necessary (Lovett, 2008). With a Master’s degree, and years of learning experience, I began this project by doing what I usually do. I researched my topic: the Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ). I made notes, loosely organized an outline for a presentation, and then set out to watch a number of excellent video tutorials I located easily using the Google search engine on how to use PowToon, a cartoon marketing tool that really impressed me. I also printed out “The Workbook“, created by PowToon’s “Chief Unicorn” Ilya Spitalnik.
I had a plan, set my goal to have this video completed by mid-week, and then jumped into creating my digital project. Here’s where it got interesting: based on my prior learning, I ignored PowToon’s advise that explicitly identified the need to create a 250 word script, then a story board (lots of planning) before beginning to build the presentation. I unfortunately relied on my preferred method of thinking through content as part of the process, and found that I wasted a fair amount of time, creating, rewording, reordering, and deleting ideas as I worked through this project in PowToon. This works for me in PowerPoint, but certainly didn’t in PowToon.
By day 3 of concentrated 3 hour sessions, I realized my challenge and adjusted my strategy. I went back to my draft, finalized the content, reordered it on paper, and then things ran much more smoothly. While one could say I wasted time, ironically it was quite a beneficial learning experience! I learned a great deal, both about myself, my planning, how stress sometimes makes me skip ahead of myself, and especially about new ways of doing things. I am thrilled with the instructional video I have created, and have a clear understanding and ability now on how to navigate and use this amazing technology.
So, although I feel somewhat sleep deprived (I think I was dreaming about this video all week!), I reached my goal and created new neural connections and built both a very useful PowToon instructional video. So, this week I created The CIQ video and built myself a better brain! Not bad for an intense week’s work!