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 [...]
Effective curriculum goals and objectives should have two major outcomes. First, students should acquire the same knowledge from the same courses, regardless of teacher. Second, the students should finish a course ready to move on to the next course, year, or life stage. These goals and objectives aim to standardize learning objectives for all students and simplify outcomes for teachers. That said, constructing straightforward, achievable goals and objectives can be a lofty task. Here, we will discuss these processes so that you can more simply focus on constructing a holistic curriculum that benefits all parties. Curriculum Goals Curriculum goals are general, broad statements that lead towards long-term outcomes. These goals are typically designed to be met by students after a longer period of time such as a year of schooling or a series of courses in a discipline. Specifically, goals are always farther-reaching than objectives, and as such are usually based on the idea that they lead students towards being better able to be productive members of their societies. Here are some ideas to consider when [...]
The curriculum design process takes information from a subject matter expert and, through much iteration, creates instruction. But how does information from an expert get translated into educational content that is effective for learners? It goes through four steps of design. In each step are important team members including project managers, instructional designers, writers, copy editors, and subject matter experts. The team works together to create effective content. Let’s have a look at the four steps in the curriculum design process. Gathering Information The first step of the design process involves planning and determining who the learner is and what they need to get out of the material. The team begins by initially identifying what the scope is. This involves asking questions like: Who will take the course? What does the learner already know? What is their attitude towards the subject? Instructional designers then work with the subject matter expert and obtain the necessary information by asking many questions. With information in hand and a clear idea of the audience, the team moves on to the [...]
The year 2018 will bring innovative new developments in eLearning. The use of augmented reality and microlearning are just a few to look out for. Knowing these trends will help keep you ahead of the game and inspire your courses. Below are the top eight trends to look out for in 2018. 1. Location-Based Learning With a mobile device in hand, learners can receive educational content even in a natural environment. According to Metaari, a market researcher in education, this content is released when the learner reaches a specific location. First-responders can benefit from this innovative technology by testing their location-based knowledge in different facilities. 2. Mobile Learning Mobile learning is on the rise according to figures from Metaari’s Worldwide Mobile Learning Market Report. Out of 119 countries, 37 have seen a 20% increase over a five-year period. Students want easier access to educational content, and more learning institutions will need to adapt. 3. User-Generated Content The 2017 Learning Benchmark Report from Toward Maturity looks at the factors that lead to successful learning in the workplace. [...]
Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are changing the way we learn online. A MOOC allows a large number of students to learn online at their own pace. Students use open-source material and peer feedback to interact within the course. Top universities like Stanford and MIT are offering students around the world the chance to participate in their courses through MOOCs. The ability to attract a large number of students to a course can bring exposure to a university and potentially increase enrollment. Before designing a MOOC, it is important to consider the differences between a traditional online course and a MOOC. Read this brief, The Benefits of Using MOOCs or Micro-masters Courses, to explore this topic further.
Let’s think about verbs. Regardless of your level of interest in sentence structure, the word verb most likely brought one thing to mind: action. The physical act of doing something. Now, what verb in the following standard do you consider most significant? Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the Sun and the force of gravity. If you picked develop, congratulations! That’s what the middle-school science student has to do in this case: create something to describe something else. Both the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards are all about action, regardless of the age of the student. So, how does a student develop a model on a traditional multiple-choice assessment? Hmmm… Chances are, this question made you pause a bit and think about it. Can a model be made by choosing A, B, C, or D? Kind of. You can definitely complete a model by selecting the correct answer. You can troubleshoot a model’s design in a similar way. But the actual [...]
Deciding to present your curriculum to the world via a MicroMasters MOOC is an excellent decision! This environment opens doors for learners that they may have perceived as being closed. Work, family, and other obligations leave many with the impression that they don’t have time to further their education. With a MicroMasters MOOC, they get a taste of an advanced degree coupled with the confidence needed to be more productive in the workplace. This is a win-win for all parties involved. A MicroMasters course should be designed with the mindset that you are taking the learner to a higher elevation. Learners should feel like they are making a hearty investment in their futures, and they will rely on the course to be engaging, interactive, and meaningful. The MicroMasters course is different from traditional courses learners would take. It is designed from a professional development standpoint in which skills obtained can be utilized immediately. Learners should love the course, walk away changed, and tell others of the awesome experience. Where do you start? Drafting an outline for [...]
“Good morning, class! Today, we’re going to study the literature of the ancient Mayan civilization and examine how it shaped their economy, understanding of the natural world, and language. At the end of the lesson, you’ll be assessed based upon your ability to calculate the total increase, in square miles, by which their empire grew during the height of their literary period and apply this knowledge to civil engineering in our own community. Is everyone ready?” If the scenario above reminds you of the last interdisciplinary lesson plan you read (or wrote), you’re not alone! With more districts around the country moving toward the interdisciplinary approach, there’s a good chance it’s at least on your radar. Imagine, for a moment, the reactions of the students presented with this lesson. Or, the disbelief of an administrator preparing to observe it. To round out the ELA/math/science/social studies lesson, the students in the scenario are going to show what they know in a performance-based assessment (PBA). Another hot topic in the education world, these assessments allow for a deeper [...]