Let’s Learn About the Matrix by Jeff Powers is an interactive tutorial delivered in a PowerPoint in kiosk mode format. In...
Let’s Learn About the Matrix by Jeff Powers is an interactive tutorial delivered in a PowerPoint in kiosk mode format. In the instructional design, the concept of a matrix is explained by “breaking apart “the elements and explaining the row, column, and cell sections that make up a matrix. Following the instructional material, test questions are presented in an interactive format. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles are addressed in the tutorial. Listed below are examples: •Provides alternatives for visual information- text-to-speech: This is my favorite part of the tutorial. Learners are provided the option to click on an information icon. They are rewarded with the author’s narration of the material on the slide being presented. Later, in the test section, reinforcement is provided by the sound of the author’s children’s voices congratulating a correct answer or informing the learner of a wrong answer. •Provides alternatives for auditory information. The material is presented with text and images in addition to sound. Animated graphics are used as part of the “reward” for correct answers in the test portion. •Increases individual choice and autonomy- Learners are given a choice right away about what option they want to pursue in learning about this topic – rows, columns, cells, or test. •Provides ways to scaffold practice and performance. This is achieved by the step-by-step approach to teaching the concepts. Instructional approaches recommended by Marzano are also seen in the work: •Using non-linguistic representations – this is seen throughout. The concept of a matrix is a non-linguistic representation. •Reinforcing effort and providing recognition- the author does a very good job of this via images and sound. The tutorial also presents visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (Multiple Intelligences – Gardner) learners with content delivered in a way that would appeal to them. One area that I think could be improved is when a learner makes an incorrect response to a test question. On the slides that provide “incorrect response” feedback to the learner, it would be nice to see a “tip” that would help re-teach the concept. Since this was written with 1st graders as the target audience, I think it would be nice if test questions were also incorporated earlier and at an easier level (e.g. questions about a row, column, or cell.) This is a wonderful resource and I plan to use it with my middle school students before we start spreadsheet assignments.