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18 01, 2018

Three Questions to Ask When Developing High-Quality Micro-Masters Courses

By | 2018-01-18T14:38:18+00:00 January 18th, 2018|curriculum, education, Instructional Design, mooc|0 Comments

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 [...]

11 01, 2018

Five Steps for Incorporating Performance-Based Assessment into Interdisciplinary Learning

By | 2018-01-11T16:02:29+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Course Writers, curriculum, Curriculum Planning, education, Instructional Design|0 Comments

“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 [...]

4 01, 2018

Two Principles to Consider when Developing a Degree Program

By | 2018-01-04T22:17:09+00:00 January 4th, 2018|content development, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Planning, education|0 Comments

The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. To give students an education they can be proud of—and one that will help them thrive in the career of their choice—higher education institutions have a responsibility to stay current and marketable. One way the academy can accomplish this feat is to offer new degree programs that help them expand their reach and demonstrate their relevance in an already saturated educational market. While program development can be an exciting adventure, it can also be overwhelming and a somewhat daunting and arduous undertaking. Whether an academic institution seeks to introduce a new discipline or make significant changes to an existing discipline, there are some key principles to keep in mind in the development of a degree program. To ensure success of the new program, things such as program viability, fit within an existing program, available resources, administrative support, financial stability, clear academic vision and mission, and [...]

28 12, 2017

3 Ways that MOOC Development Differs from the Development of Traditional Online Courses

By | 2018-01-03T16:51:23+00:00 December 28th, 2017|content development, education, Educational Content, Instructional Design|0 Comments

Students around the world are logging in to participate in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). A MOOC is traditionally open to anyone and all content is free. The openness of a MOOC leads to enrollment in the thousands with students of varying backgrounds. Students who choose to participate in MOOCs are motivated differently than those who enroll in traditional online courses. Traditionally, no credits are earned by taking a MOOC. Students are instead motivated by personal interest or professional development. The nature of a MOOC is changing. Top universities are now using MOOCs to gain wide exposure. Students can get a taste of what the university has to offer. Some universities are even offering university credits at a fraction of the cost for completing their MOOC. The large scale of a MOOC, and its openness to students from across the globe, changes the delivery of the course. MOOC lectures can be accessed at any time and the course is self-paced with no due dates. Three elements should be kept in mind when developing a MOOC. Peer [...]

21 12, 2017

Three Triggers for Beginning a High School eLearning Lesson

By | 2018-01-03T17:04:36+00:00 December 21st, 2017|education, Instructional Design|0 Comments

High school students across the nation are taking their courses online. It’s important to understand what motivates them. Identifying their motivation will help in building engaging content. Prior to developing an eLearning lesson, consider their learning characteristics. High School Student Learning Profile Critical thinker Goal setter Engages in self-reflection Preference of active learning over passive learning Highly curious thinker Seeks connections In the beginning of the Elearning lesson, the first goal is getting their attention. If the learner is initially hooked, it’s easier to keep their attention. But how do you initially capture the student’s attention and keep it? Below are three ways to trigger your high school student’s attention. 1. Interactivity To spark your student’s interest, give them control in the lesson by incorporating interactive elements. Instead of having a slide progress automatically, make it so the student has to drag, drop, and hover. This will trigger your student to stay alert and involved in the lesson. The student will know that their input is needed to progress the lesson. Changing the interactivity throughout the [...]

7 12, 2017

Instructional Design Is a System that Begins with You

By | 2018-01-03T17:29:33+00:00 December 7th, 2017|design, education, education policy, Educational Content|0 Comments

Your project needs quality instructional design elements or modules. Finding the best vendor for the work can be a challenging proposition, especially when you have never done it before. This post is designed to provide an actionable checklist that you can use to ensure you are hiring the best possible instructional design vendor. Strong credentials in instructional systems design. It is often tempting to place a large amount of content into a template and present it as a learning course. With educational standards in place, this seems to be a logical and quick process. This approach, however, often ignores your learners’ needs and learning styles while negatively impacting your enterprise’s goals. Look for vendors whose instructional designers are skilled in modern learning methods for varying audiences and topics, and have instructor-led training (ILT) and eLearning as integral aspects of their focus. Pre-established and clearly defined processes. Qualified vendors will maintain a core group of instructional design professionals that understand adult learning approaches and adhere to solid project management methods. With these sound qualifications, a professional group [...]

15 11, 2017

Benefits of Micro-Credentialing in Higher Education

By | 2017-12-04T19:39:39+00:00 November 15th, 2017|education, micro-credentialing|0 Comments

For years, institutions of higher learning have been diversifying their course offerings to appeal to more students. Not only are they offering a wider range of subjects in traditional study areas, they are capitalizing on technology to mix and match face-to-face and online learning for degree work. Not surprisingly, ambitious colleges are also turning their attention to a somewhat underserved market: people who need continuing education but cannot afford the cost or time commitment of regular college courses. More mainstream colleges are following the lead of professional organizations, technical institutes, and community colleges, and are adding micro-credentialing opportunities to their academic offerings. What Exactly is Micro-Credentialing? People without the time, money, or inclination to be full-time students can enroll in short,     relatively cheap online courses designed to impart knowledge in a limited subject area related to a career skill, such as coding. For the effort, the student earns a digital badge testifying to competence in that area. By stringing together a series of badges, the student can qualify for a certificate in a wider subject—say, [...]

7 09, 2017

Best Practices in Planning Professional Development for Educators

By | 2017-09-08T18:37:27+00:00 September 7th, 2017|continuing education, CPD, education, Educational Content, K12, PD, Professional Development, Teacher Professional Development, TPD|0 Comments

The most effective Teacher Professional Development (TPD) programs treat teachers as lifelong learners who want to integrate new curricular methods, content, and strategies into their classrooms. The Learning Policy Institute culled findings from 35 reports to describe the most effective TPD. Effective TPD is: ● Content focused ● Collaborative ● Sustained ● Coaching based ● Ongoing How can you include these elements into your TPD planning? Use the following steps. 1. Incorporate real-world modeling situations. The classroom shouldn’t be the first place teachers use new strategies. Instead, TPD should offer teacher opportunities to model classroom approaches to other attendees. Some examples might include: ● Interactive lectures ● Field or lab experiences ● Inquiry-oriented activities 2. Build in time to let teachers implement lesson plans and receive feedback. The best TPD gives teachers opportunities to try out their newly constructed lesson plans within weeks. Afterward, scaffold in time for feedback on other teachers’ new lessons and rubrics. This peer-to-peer collaboration can also last long after the TPD if teachers are given opportunity and means to share [...]