Increasing Cognitive Challenge and Participant Engagement

Online Events Archive

Online Forums 2012 - January 26, 2012
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Bea Babbitt, Ph.D.

Director of Academic Assessment
University of Nevada - Las Vegas (UNLV)

Many organizations need to train large numbers of adult employees using a common curriculum. While the training’s goal is often laudatory — safety, efficiency, improved performance — the delivery can leave much to be desired. Employees dread the upcoming “death by PowerPoint” while instructors anticipate spending hours with disengaged learners. Is it possible to raise the level of cognitive challenge and learner engagement in mandatory training?

Participants in this session will learn about and see a demonstration of an enhanced training system developed for the U.S. Army Combat Lifesaver Course. You’ll see how the system’s designers and developers altered an existing Army training curriculum to incorporate personal-response systems while enhancing the curriculum’s cognitive challenge. You’ll also learn about the series of interactive e-modules they created to compliment the classroom instruction, strategies for increasing the cognitive challenge of basic training, and the research study that investigated the effectiveness of the enhanced course.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to introduce personal-response systems to employees
  • How to rewrite questions to provoke critical thinking
  • How to maximize the effect of response system feedback
  • Elements to include in supplementary interactive e-modules
  • Pitfalls to avoid


Handouts are available for Learning Guild members. Please log in or join to download these files.


This recording is available for Learning Guild members. Please log in or join to download this file.


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