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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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, [...]
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 [...]
Education hashtags on Twitter are a powerful way to sort information. The hashtag #studentsfirst has been popular this August as educators prepare to head back into classrooms. Recent conferences such as NPC17 and ISTE17 energized the education community this summer. Providing educators with resources and supports seems to be a surefire way to make sure that student needs are met completely. As the old adage goes, teachers who remember to put their own oxygen masks on first are well equipped for a new school year. What should be in a teacher’s tool kit? A solid plan for classroom management. Whether the students are graduate or kindergarten level, whether the classroom is digital or face to face, building a learning community and establishing norms for communication is important. Many teachers are fans of The First Days of School by Harry K. and Rosemary T. Wong. For digital classrooms—there’s an app for that! Engaging resources for students, mapped to curriculum goals. This is where things can get tricky for teachers. Do engaging [...]
Connecting the classroom to spirituality.