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 [...]
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 [...]