Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pushing a scenario to help college students with interview skills

Recently, I was working on a course to prepare college students for life after graduation. You know the drill: resume preparation, job search skills, interview etiquette - the whole nine yards. As online courses go, it's pretty good. We provided lots of opportunities for the students to interact with the materials, the facilitator, and each other. We had them post to the discussion board, prepare an electronic portfolio, and present the portfolio to the group through a web conferencing session.

I sit here today trying to figure out how we could have done it better. For all our efforts, we were still pushing the bulk of the learning materials to the students. How could we get them to pull the information instead? And then it clicked. A scenario could pull all of this together!

I quickly mapped out the beginnings of a scenario in  PowerPoint 2010, as seen below:

 This is a simple hyper-linking procedure in PowerPoint 2010. In the first slide, choosing Google brings the user to slide two, and explains why the choice is incorrect. If the user answers FaceBook,  they are brought to Slide four, which is also incorrect.. If the user picks either of these incorrect answer choices  they will not be able to proceed. The company's website answer is the correct option, so that option brings the user to the next challenge slide.

The next challenge presents the student with two choices to prepare for the interview:

The third challenge is the interview itself. I'm not going to show you all the slides, but the scenario is this: you reach the interview room, meet the interviewer, and exchange greetings. After that, the interviewer asks your avatar (Lara, in this case) to tell her about herself.

The next few challenges ask you to answer some standard interview questions. After those are completed, you'll be taken to another slide that provides even more resources for you to examine. How is this better than pushing content? I believe that giving the student the flexibility to choose different responses - and providing feedback - will help them to see how the interview process might function in real life.

After the presentation is complete, I'll convert it to flash and post it.

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