Monday, May 23, 2011


Rating: 5 Stars - 4 Gold & 1 Silver
The website provides courses over business. The courses cover "Product Business", "Service Business", "Retail Business", "Restaurant Business", and "Your Own Business". Each tab or course provided a real-world example to help facilitate learning. For the purpose of this critique, I will focus on the "Product Business" tutorial and Veasna's Pig Farm. Veasna's Pig Farm was used as a way to explain the process Entrepreneurs should take to start a business.

  • Is the course presented in the context of real world problems?
    • bronze - the course presents a view of the completion of a module resulting in the learner's ability to perform a task
    • silver - students are engaged in the problem and task levels as well as the operation and action levels
    • gold - students complete multiple problems rather than just 1
1 Star - Gold
The Product Business instruction was presented in the context of real world problems as they relate to Veasna's Pig Farm. As the learner works their way through each of Veasna's steps, they unknowingly are learning the steps a good Entrepreneur takes. The objectives for each segment was clearly stated in the steps.
  1. Identify the Problem
  2. Define the Idea
  3. Identify Resources
  4. Acquire Resources
  5. Start Your Business
  6. Manage Business
  • Does the courseware attempt to activate relevant prior knowledge or experience? (Activation)
    • bronze - students use prior knowledge as a basis to build in the new learning
    • silver - the course facilitates students in building relevant experience to build knowledge upon
    • gold - students are given opportunities to utilize prior experience and knowledge of subjects
1 Star - Gold
The course facilitates building relevant experience by opening with Veasna's Pig Farm. By establishing this story, the course is then allowed to build upon the overall knowledge as well as provide a break-down of the steps. The topic of entrepreneur implies that the learner may not have any previous knowledge, thus Veasna's story is that much more important.
  • Does the courseware demonstrate (show examples) of what is to be learned rather than merely tell information about what is to be learned? (Demonstration)
    • bronze - the course maintains consistency between the demonstrations being utilized and the skills being developed
    • silver - learner guidance techniques are being applied
    • gold - media is both used to enhance learning and relevant to coursework
1 Star - Gold
The course provides examples of Veasna's Business Plan was presented and critiqued. Veasna's story is used throughout the course, providing consistency in the learning. The audio and visual media are successfully used to enhance the course.
  • Do learners have an opportunity to practice and apply their newly acquired knowledge or skill? (Application)
    • bronze - practice and tests are consistent with stated objectives
    • silver - learners are required to complete varied sequences of problems and are provided constructive feedback
    • gold - students are able to access help and guidance from instructors if faced with problems, and this safety net is gradually reduced through the progression of the course
1 Star - Gold
Application of the learned materials are available within the course. The learner is allowed to explore sections by selecting on certain words. After selecting a work, an explanation is provided. After completion of a section, a comment is provided to give positive feedback for completion.
  • Does the courseware provide techniques that encourage leaner's to integrate (transfer) the new knowledge or skill into their everyday life? (Integration)
    • bronze - students are able to publicly demonstrate gained knowledge
    • silver - students are provided opportunities to discuss and defend their new knowledge
    • gold - students are provided opportunities to use their new knowledge to invent, create, and learn
1 Star - Silver
Integration is built into all courses, but also relies on the learner's motivation for starting a business. The learner is provided opportunities throughout the course to answer questions. Most of the actual responses were contained under the "Your Own Business" tab. Learners are not provided an opportunity to discuss and defend their knowledge or to invent or create. Learners are able to invent, create, and discuss in the real-world setting if they choose to become an entrepreneur.

Merrill, M.D. (2001). 5 star instructional design rating. Utah State University.
Product Business.

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