Saving lives through better instructional design

Gamze Ozogul

When she’s not teaching in the Instructional Systems Technology Department, Gamze Ozogul serves as an appointed member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council as part of a three-year term. As a member of the Education Sub-Council, she helps identify effective methods for teaching skills and procedures various in Red Cross trainings. The goal of the Sub-Council is to seek the best ways to instill or build confidence in people and desire to step forward and use those competencies to help people in need.

She donates her instructional design and evaluation expertise, time and effort to prevent and respond to emergencies and to help save lives: “The work is very impactful,” Ozogul said. “I volunteer because it feels good to know that so many lives are saved because someone attended a training session, and chose to act in an emergency—and that they succeeded as a result of a systematically designed training, informed by latest research in the field of instructional technology."

I volunteer because it feels good to know that so many lives are saved because someone attended a training session.

Gamze Ozogul

Her first task with this group was to identify, why people attend these trainings and followed by how does first aid education increase (i.e. motivate) willingness to help in emergencies, with a focus on the motivations that result from participating in first aid education. Their findings indicated that willingness may increase as a result of education that is practical, repetitive, provides positive feedback and is delivered in chunks. The duration of the course was also found to be relevant, as is the relationship of the helper to the person who is in need. Findings also showed that the greater degree of confidence that results from training sessions, the greater willingness someone may have to help. Later the education sub-council conducted a systematic review on lay persons who acted in an emergency situation and why they did act. These findings informed types of messaging that should be used in the training sessions to lead to people becoming more likely to act in an emergency.

Next up, Ozogul will conduct a literature review on flipped classroom, a type of instructional strategy, used in medical and first aid training, and report back the analysis of how this model works for student performance and attitudes. Based on these findings, future Red Cross trainings will be informed and instructionally designed.

Ozogul’s overall research agenda focuses on investigating elements of systematically-designed instruction, and specifically focuses on each of these elements in relation to outcomes in terms of knowledge, skills, attitudes in precollege and higher education contexts in various delivery mediums. The outcomes of her research agenda have direct implications toward design of various instructional environments such as, instructional tutorials, online textbooks, online courses, instructional games, training programs and classroom courses.