Content development involves more than researching the specified area and deciding which components of that area are worth developing into a deliverable, whether that be a course, a blog, an editorial, a handout, etc. It involves a team dedicated to the delivery of a quality curriculum. Developmental editing is an essential part of the development process. The developmental editor (DE) ensures the content being delivered is free of bias and meets the required specifications and guidelines. The DE is the ultimate proofreader. The DE has no investment in the piece being delivered. With no investment in the piece, there should be no conflict of interest in ensuring writers implement their edits. As many projects call on instructional designers or writers to put together initial versions of content, it is the developmental editor who takes those initial versions and checks for relevance, accuracy, and completion. If a piece needs revisions, it is the DE who sends recommendations for improvement to all vested parties. As part of their editing responsibilities, an effective DE may: Point out obscure or [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
For a student who is visually impaired, alt-text descriptions are very important pieces of information. And when these descriptions are well-written, they can provide information just as effectively as the image they describe. So what makes an alt-text description effective? Here are five important characteristics they share: 1. Overall Brevity It's important to remember that an alt-text description will be "heard" and not "seen." Because of this, the description should be as short as possible while still describing all of the critical information. A shorter description is easier for the listener to process than a longer one would be. If a description gets too lengthy, the listener's attention might waver, and they may get confused. 2. Short, Simple Sentences Not only should the overall description be as concise as possible, but the sentences themselves should be short and simple. Typically, long sentences can be split into two or more short sentences that will be easier to understand and process. Also, the description should try to avoid repeating lengthy words or phrases over and over again. [...]
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.
When preparing to create an alt-text description, there are several questions a writer should analyze before getting started. Having the answers to these questions will allow the writer to craft a more effective description. 1. What is the purpose of the image? Different types of images are used for different purposes. Maybe it's a graph that conveys a relationship between two or more numerical quantities. Or maybe it's a photograph showing some type of equipment for a procedure. Or it could be a flow chart or other diagram that details a structure or process. Understanding the purpose of an image allows the writer to determine critical information that must be included in the description. Download the Checklist - 6 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Alt-Text 2. Which information can be omitted (if any)? Is the layout or arrangement of the information critical to understanding the image? Are descriptions such as shape, color, and size important to the message of the image? If not, maybe these types of details can be omitted from the description. For [...]