19 09, 2018

Encouraging Teachers to Integrate SEL Education in the Classroom

By | 2018-09-19T13:49:26+00:00 September 19th, 2018|Curriculum Planning, education|0 Comments

Exciting changes are happening in the world of education, but these changes come with their own unique set of challenges. The recent Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has made necessary adjustments to our national model of education. Perhaps the most positive change is a national shift from the focus on standardized testing to a more “whole child” model. This shift allows educators to recognize the value of non-academic success and developing crucial life skills. Let’s look at the different ways you can support your teachers in the integration of SEL education in the classroom. What is SEL education? Social emotional learning, or SEL, focuses on non-academic core competencies beyond the academic field that will help students tackle the real world. The core competencies of SEL education are: Self-Awareness: The student can recognize their own emotions, thoughts, values, strengths, and limitations and how they influence their behavior. The student has a sense of self-confidence and optimism, or growth mindset. Self-Management: The student can regulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in order to manage their stress, impulses, and [...]

20 06, 2018

Subject Matter Expert: Use In-House or Outsource?

By | 2018-08-23T15:46:47+00:00 June 20th, 2018|Curriculum Planning, education, Educational Content, subject matter expert|0 Comments

When designing curriculum, a subject matter expert, or SME, is called upon for their expertise in the subject area. There are two routes to choose from when selecting SMEs: Using a SME that is already a part of your company Outsourcing a SME Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Being aware of the pros and cons of each will help you to better navigate while working with a subject matter expert. In-House Let’s begin with the good stuff. If you are working with a subject matter expert in-house, you may experience a faster response time. The in-house SME has likely worked on another project before and has developed a rapport with the team. Since they may already be familiar with the workflow, this may save time explaining to them how to document suggested changes and navigate the content of the course. It also may be easier to communicate with an in-house SME. There are some drawbacks to using in-house SMEs, however. For example, they may already be the dedicated SME on several other projects. [...]

30 05, 2018

Supplemental Materials in Curriculum Development

By | 2018-05-30T14:49:57+00:00 May 30th, 2018|curriculum, Curriculum Planning, education, Educational Content, Instructional Design|0 Comments

How can we help teachers excite students? For that matter, how can we help teachers get excited? One way is through the use of supplemental materials that help students learn textbook information in different ways. If we rely on textbooks to help teachers teach, we limit their ability to teach the students. Textbooks give information, but they do not give students a means of moving that information off of the page and into real life. Materials and activities that ask the student to move beyond the textbook help them learn (Reddy, 2013). The added materials offer instructors useful resources and activities to help design lessons that will engage students. Activities used with textbooks help students practice what they are learning. While some supplemental materials help students work with the content, others offer instructors activities that can increase interest and learning. Some examples of helpful materials include worksheets, group discussion prompts, and hands-on activities. These materials help reach more students and are written with different learning styles in mind (Reddy, 2013). Supplemental materials such as lesson plans, [...]

9 05, 2018

Three Qualities of a Great Content Writer

By | 2018-05-22T02:22:02+00:00 May 9th, 2018|Course Writers, curriculum, Curriculum Planning, education, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Today’s headlines seem to focus on everything that’s wrong with education. “American Schools vs. the World: Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math”–The Atlantic “Wake-Up Call: U.S. Students Trail Global Leaders”–nbcnews.com “Obama Administration Spent Billions to Fix Failing Schools, and It Didn’t Work”–The Washington Post The list of objectives for educators at all levels seems to have no end: increasing access to high-quality education closing achievement gaps raising graduation rates preparing students to excel in a globalized economy keeping pace with rapid educational reform Creating new educational content to enhance choice, keep students engaged, and measure growth is vital. But if they are continuously asked to do more with less, how can educators keep pace? One answer is, simply, with help. Professional educational content writers use their expertise to develop tools that any superintendent, curriculum manager, and content developer can use. The objective is to facilitate educators in reaching their goals. And it’s those in the field who have had experience with successful students that know how to help students succeed. These writers can develop courses, curricula, and [...]

25 04, 2018

How to Create Bias Free Educational Course Content

By | 2018-07-18T01:45:12+00:00 April 25th, 2018|Course Writers, curriculum, Curriculum Planning, editing, Instructional Design|0 Comments

It is impossible to be completely objective. Creating bias free content is challenging. Our experiences and beliefs create a lens through which we view the world. This lens can subconsciously create biases. A bias occurs when we favor one thing or one person over another for unfair reasons. When we create content for education, the material will be in the hands of learners. It is important during copyediting to be able to identify a bias and remove it. When educational content is written with biases, a learner is given an unfair advantage. We need to make the content inclusive for all learners. Below are several best practices to help you create bias free content. Cultural Diversity The inclusion of diversity in the language we use is critical. Text for students should use a variety of names from different cultural backgrounds such as Juan or Li. It is empowering for minority students to see their background represented in educational materials. When looking through your content, track the names and cultural practices that are written and detect if [...]

18 04, 2018

eLearning and Interactive Assessments: Increasing Student Engagement

By | 2018-05-31T07:32:00+00:00 April 18th, 2018|assessment, curriculum, Curriculum Planning, education, Instructional Design, interactive, Interactive Learning|0 Comments

With the advance of technology, students and educators have options outside of the traditional classroom experience. Online learning, or eLearning, is a fresh educational setting that provides more opportunities for engagement and sets the stage for an inviting learning experience. Interactive assessments through eLearning are also transforming the way learners and educators exchange information. An effective online course ensures that varied learning styles are considered so that the learner remains engaged enough to complete the course. Since there is usually no instructor to guide the day-to-day activity, both the content and the related assessments must be engaging. Interactive assessments are assessments that involve interaction on part of the learner. This can be as simple as an immediate response that displays “Correct!” or “Good Job,” but the most effective interactive assessments require the learner to participate in the learning process. When this is done effectively, learners not only engage in the processing of content but are able to test their knowledge of the content almost simultaneously. Examples of interactive assessments in eLearning include the following: Drag and [...]

22 03, 2018

Role of an Instructional Designer in Curriculum Development

By | 2018-07-19T20:42:52+00:00 March 22nd, 2018|curriculum, Curriculum Planning, education, Instructional Design, math, Social Studies|0 Comments

Why is it important to use Instructional Designers (IDs)? The curriculum development process involves many moving parts that work to create material that compels the learner. This process includes a team of graphic designers, web developers, writers, copy editors and instructional designers. The instructional designer (ID) plays an important role in the curriculum development process. An ID is an expert in the learning process and advocates on behalf of the learner throughout the curriculum development process. The ID’s role To get a better understanding of what an ID does, let’s look at tasks they complete in the curriculum development process. An ID: Conducts a needs assessment to determine what the learner needs to know and what gap of knowledge exists. Identifies the learning environment and existing equipment available for the learners. Asks questions such as: Do the learners have access to Microsoft Word? Do the learners view the material on their phones or on a laptop? Works with a subject matter expert to collect information based on the needs of the learner. Writes learning objectives with [...]

8 03, 2018

Instructional Design and Characteristics of Effective IDs

By | 2018-06-11T20:51:44+00:00 March 8th, 2018|Curriculum Planning, education, Instructional Design|0 Comments

The instructional design process takes information from a subject matter expert and transforms it into curriculum with measurable results. An effective instructional designer (ID) creates dynamic instruction that meets the diverse needs of specific learner groups. IDs who create engaging curriculum share similar characteristics. Below are the top five characteristics you can expect to find in effective IDs.   Knowledge of learning theories An effective ID is knowledgeable of learning theories and employs those theories to meet the course objectives. This knowledge helps to make the appropriate design decisions. The ID stays on top of current research and communicates the importance of this research to the team. Download the Brief: 4 Critical Questions to Ask Instructional Designers Advocate for the learner Each individual learner group has its own needs and will take different approaches to the course material. In the analysis phase, the ID identifies the specific needs of the learner group to create a learner profile. The learner profile is used throughout the development process. The ID then gathers the information from the subject [...]