The ‘Test then Tell’ Approach – A Revolutionary Methodology

3 Jun

Today I read a fascinating blog post by Toni Tasic from Saffron Interactive. Check out the post here:
http://www.saffroninteractive.com/taking-the-place-of-the-instructor-in-e-learning/
In Toni’s post, he explains the ‘Test then Tell’ approach that Saffron take when creating e-learning. Basically the ‘Test then Tell’ approach allows learners to reflect on a topic before receiving further information. For example, a topic is raised in a form of a question. From this question, learners use their own intuition, experience or previous learning to formulate an answer. Further information is then given, allowing the learners to refine their conclusions. This approach is the opposite of the more traditional ‘Tell and Test’ approach that has dominated education – learners have to absorb information and are tested on their memory recall.
I like the ‘Test then Tell’ approach because I would argue it offers a more engaging learning experience. For example, I’m currently working on a 1 minute screencast for file management training. In this screencast I want to get across the importance of versioning files. I could simply tell the learners about versioning and then create a test at the end. Or I could create a scenario that opens with a question. What would be more engaging? Right, clearly the scenario.
So, perhaps rather than calling the ‘Test then Tell’ approach, an approach, I would suggest we should start calling it a methodology. For me, the ‘Test then Tell’ approach presents a method that is revolutionary.

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