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 [...]
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 [...]
Have you worked with an instructional designer before? An instructional designer (ID) creates learning outcomes and builds activities that help learners master those outcomes in engaging ways. Schools, districts, and organizations can use instructional designers to create contemporary, learner-focused professional development courses for their staff. But, before you choose your instructional designer, find one who fits your needs by asking candidates these four questions: 1. Are you familiar with the standards to which our teachers align? You don’t want an instructional designer navigating your curricular standards for the first time. Ask your candidates to provide you with a sample of a course or unit designed using the CTE, Common Core, NCSS, or other curricular standards you use. 2. How might you take the diverse needs of learners into account in your instructional design? A strong ID creates learning activities that engage all types of learners. When reviewing your candidates’ samples, choose the ID who offers learning activities designed for multiple intelligences and different learning styles. 3. With which learner management systems (LMS) are you familiar? [...]
Instructional Designers should ask these five quesitons.