The “Dreaded 40% Project”

Perhaps, it was in the perception that so much would rest upon this one aspect of our classwork. Or perhaps, it was just that there was such a degree of anxiety surrounding the completion of the development phase of our project work. For whatever reason, our final assignment has somehow earned the label of, The “Dreaded 40% Project”. However, I am attempting to change my perception of this assignment and approach it with a more positive attitude. I would rather think of this project as the culmination of all that we have learned thus far in this course and a chance to put it all together and apply our learning to an actual instructional design. Therefore, I’m officially renaming the final project for myself to the, “The 40% Culmination Project” and attempting to replace any sense of “dread” with anticipation and excitement about the challenge before me.

My particular project involves a course centered on adult learning theory which is something near and dear to my heart. Yes – I confess, I love learning theory. What’s more, I am excited about the opportunity to apply learning theory to medical education. Finally, this is an opportunity to incorporate the learning from our readings into the actual practice of instructional design. For instance, I was fascinated this weekend to read about “dual coding”, the concept of incorporating more than one code through the use of multimedia into the learning process. Chapter Nine in our text explains that, “Dual coding not only helps in terms of allowing a person to absorb information from the environment using two channels, it also helps in reducing cognitive load in a person’s working memory” (Uden, 2002). The theory of “dual coding” was first introduced by Paivio and basically proposes that the human mind operates with two mental representations or “codes” to absorb new information, verbal representations and mental imagery. It is not as though the idea of using verbal information and imagery together to enhance learning was entirely new to me; however, I was previously unaware of the specific theory behind this concept and the term “dual coding”. Understanding that a particular design method can enhance learning is one thing. Understanding the theory behind the design method and why it works is another. Thus, it would seem that the deeper one’s understanding of the theory surrounding a particular approach to design and its impact on learning, the greater one’s ability to design a course with the use of multimedia in such a way as to maximize a participant’s learning.

Turns out the, the “Dreaded 40% Project” may not be all that “dreaded” after all. As I launch into this final project, it is not the “dread” that is foremost in my mind, but rather the excitement of a new challenge which will take me further into the realm of developing the skill and knowledge to make real life application of our learning and practice in ADLT 642 thus far.

Uden, L. (2002). Designing hypermedia instruction. In Rogers, P. L., Designing Instruction for technology-enhanced learning (pp. 161 – 182). Retrieved from

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4 Responses to The “Dreaded 40% Project”

  1. Joanne Even says:

    I’m excited that these project have real-world and almost immediate uses! Adds a little pressure, but not dread. And if you like this project, you’re going to love ADLT 606. 🙂

  2. I’m pleased you’ve had a change in attitude. I have always liked the way development made all the lovely ideas real. You get to create theory in practice.

  3. MelKoch says:

    I think it’s easy to dread something that is such a huge part of one’s grade, but you have such a positive outlook on it now! Putting three semesters of work into one project is scary but we get to show what we’ve learned! I’m excited to read more about practical application of theory as I begin my project. Great post, Wally!

  4. rhettwilcox says:

    “Dreaded” – I understand the concern that so much of our grade is centered around one project, but as you stated it is nice to be able to apply what we are learning to an actual issue.

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