5 06, 2019

Creating Authentic Learning Experiences Part 1: William Horton’s eLearning by Design

By | 2019-06-05T12:28:40+00:00 June 5th, 2019|Curriculum Planning, education, Educational Content, Instructional Design, project based learning|0 Comments

This is the first in a four-part blog series on authentic learning. We’ll start by defining what authentic learning is and how to design authentic learning experiences. Then, we’ll explore how to incorporate those experiences into existing curriculum. Finally, we’ll discuss how to create meaningful assessments that relate to those experiences. Authentic learning is rapidly gaining popularity. It works at every level of education. It connects what students learn in the classroom to real-world problems they will likely face in their future careers. Authentic learning can include activities such as scenarios, hands-on tasks, and debates. The goal of this approach is to increase student engagement. It gives students a concrete connection to their learning. They can see exactly how the information they’ve gained in the classroom applies to their future.   When students see how their learning connects to real life, their learning deepens and they are better equipped to apply it in their work. With the rapid growth of eLearning, the need for authentic learning experiences is more important now than ever. William Horton has written [...]

22 05, 2019

How to Equip Students with Workplace-Ready Soft Skills

By | 2019-05-22T09:57:54+00:00 May 22nd, 2019|Competency Based Education, continuing education, course design, Curriculum Planning, Educational Content|0 Comments

The price of college continues to rise. That’s a fact. With that rising price tag, it’s critical that colleges give students the workplace-ready soft skills they need. Historically, college skills included academic and sometimes technical skills. Recently, employers have noticed new graduates are missing some key skills: workplace-ready soft skills. Essentially, they weren’t able to effectively work with others. Colleges began to realize they needed to make changes. Hard academic skills were no longer enough. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and a group of education and HR professionals came together. They developed a recipe for career readiness. These eight key ingredients provide students with the tools they need to find success in any workplace. NACE’s Eight Career Readiness Skills Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Employees use reasoning and logic to make decisions and analyze problems. They make connections between factors to find the best solution. Communication Skills Employees convey thoughts and ideas to people both inside and outside of the organization. They need to know how to communicate both through writing [...]

8 05, 2019

Be Creative: Learner Engagement in Allied Health Courses

By | 2019-05-08T09:39:29+00:00 May 8th, 2019|Educational Content, Instructional Design, Know Your Students|0 Comments

What is Innovative Course Design? The challenge in any course is the design. A course should be designed for learner engagement at the highest level while preparing them academically. Allied health courses are especially challenging in this area. Because these professions have a large amount of content, it can be difficult to creatively present the information. Innovative course design is the solution to increased student engagement in allied health courses. There are a number of effective strategies to use when creatively designing these courses, but there are a few important features to consider first: Basic understanding Implementation Incorporation Human component Compassion Metacognition While this may sound similar to the idea of Bloom’s taxonomy, there is a major difference. Creative course design looks at these different levels of learning as interactive, rather than just a ladder to be climbed. Courses that use these more creative designs are incredibly focused on the active process of learning and how each aspect of that process works together. The most important result of these thoughtful, creatively designed courses is the increase [...]

13 03, 2019

Alt-Text: Things to Consider Before Writing

By | 2019-04-19T20:26:44+00:00 March 13th, 2019|504, Educational Content|0 Comments

Adding alt-text to images on websites and other digital products began in the mid-1990s. Simply stated, alt-text is wording added to an image that describes that image. It helps those who cannot see images in their web browsers know what the image represents.  Consequently, the quality of your alt-text is crucial, and that quality is largely reliant on your process. Let’s look at four questions to consider as you develop your alt-text process. 1. Who is the alt-text for? As you develop your process for adding alt-text to images, consider your audience.  Alt-text is mostly for those who use screen readers due to some level of vision impairment.  Others who might benefit from alt-text are those with slower internet connections that create a slower loading time for images.  To develop the most effective alt-text process for your organization, take the time to define your alt-text audience. In the long run, this will help you tailor your approach and create consistent alt-text that reaches those individuals. 2. What images need alt-text? It might seem like all images [...]

26 12, 2018

Four Ways to Include Digital Games in the Classroom

By | 2018-12-25T08:33:25+00:00 December 26th, 2018|education, educational activities, Educational Content|0 Comments

Children love video games.  In our increasingly digital world, we can leverage their use for instructional purposes.  Here are four tips for educators and curriculum developers to use digital games in the classroom. Games as motivational aids Research has shown that video games help in promoting learning and motivating students.  A study at NYU found that gaming encourages students to become more engaged about their learning, and to become confident about their skills.  Games have an inherent motivational element, as they mostly contain leaderboards and built-in competition. This will eventually lead to progress in their learning. Use them to enhance instruction When selecting games to enhance instruction, make sure that the game you are using fits with your subject’s requirements, the needs of your students, and the skills they will need to develop to complete a lesson.  The key is to use games to help you plan curricula that engage students and support learning, and are not merely an end in themselves. Don’t reinvent the wheel Don't spend your time developing new video games to teach [...]

21 11, 2018

We are grateful for…

By | 2018-12-04T04:24:56+00:00 November 21st, 2018|curriculum, Curriculum Planning, Educational Content|0 Comments

Thanksgiving is not only a time to savor the bounties of the season, but also a time to pause and reflect on the things we are grateful for.  At A Pass, it gives us a chance to think about our company’s core values and how they align with what we love most about our jobs. We are incredibly grateful for the rich experiences we enjoy through our work.  One of the perks of educational content development is being able to interact with interesting clients and work on some truly exciting and meaningful projects.  These experiences help us see the world through multiple perspectives, all while we are engaged in creating valuable content. Here’s how we live by our company’s core values and what our leadership team has to say about what they love about their jobs and what they are grateful for. “As the founder and CEO of A Pass Educational Group, I have the opportunity to do a great deal of traveling and to meet with some very interesting people.  Just today, in Israel, I [...]

31 10, 2018

Pay the Right Price for Educational Content Development

By | 2018-10-31T21:29:20+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Educational Content, Instructional Design|0 Comments

They say you get what you pay for. With educational content development, that’s certainly true! But there are many ways to manage projects to keep your budget under control while creating a high-quality product that achieves your educational goals. How Pricing Can Become a Problem Many curriculum development companies have a one-size-fits-all approach to creating educational content. Others are eager to “up-sell” their products, and recommend the most expensive available options. This means you may encounter bids that Offer an inappropriate process, product, or scope of work Hide some costs within large budget lines with names like “content development” Suggest very expensive budget-breaking multimedia options How to Make Pricing Work for You Instructional design is not a commodity, and instructional design companies should not be offering you a “fill-in-the-blanks” product or a pricing structure that doesn’t fit your needs. In fact, top curriculum development companies like A Pass work closely with each client to prepare customized bids. This occurs after in-depth scoping meetings and a detailed review of available resources. Pricing can, and should, be itemized [...]

17 10, 2018

The Process of Educational Content Development

By | 2018-10-17T14:14:34+00:00 October 17th, 2018|curriculum, Curriculum Planning, Educational Content, Instructional Design|0 Comments

As content developers, we are often asked the question, “How does the educational content development process work?”  If you’re just getting your feet wet in the area of educational content development, you’ve come to the right place.  We’ll explain what the process entails and what you need to look out for if you are considering collaboration with a content development provider. What Is a Development Cycle? Let’s begin by defining a development cycle.  A development cycle refers to the framework, steps, or tasks comprising the development and creation of a finished product.  It’s a lot like building a car in a factory.  You follow a series of steps in a predetermined order, with inspections at specific intervals, to deliver a fully functional vehicle.  In the context of content creation, the development cycle refers to all those tasks required to create and deliver content. Project Launch So, let’s look at how it all begins.  Once a client and vendor have agreed to collaborate, the first question is, “How long does it take to launch a project?”  The [...]