18 09, 2019

Profile of Instructional Designers in Higher Education Course Design

2019-09-18T06:11:38-04:00 September 18th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Like every other aspect of modern life, higher education is rapidly being transformed by technology. Online enrollments continue to grow even as overall enrollments are in decline. There were more than 6 million students taking at least one online course in the Fall of 2016 (2017 Survey of Online Learning).  As colleges rush to launch more online course offerings, the demand for instructional designers has grown. A recent study estimated that there were over 13,000 working in higher education in the United States. Who are they? Instructional design began during World War II with the need to train massive numbers of troops. A team of psychologists and educators were tasked to lead this effort. After the war, the field was shaped by important advances in learning theory by Bloom and others. More recently, information technology has completely transformed the higher education landscape.  Today’s instructional designers tend to hold advanced degrees from a range of disciplines. Intentional Futures surveyed 853 instructional designers working in higher ed and found that: 87% of respondents have masters’ degrees, and 32% [...]

20 03, 2019

3 Best Practices for Training Teachers to Talk Politics

2019-03-20T13:14:58-04:00 March 20th, 2019|Professional Development, Social Studies, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Today’s polarized environment makes discussing politics in the classroom tricky.  Here are three important considerations to keep in mind when planning professional development for teachers to train them to handle discussions on politics in the classroom. Establishing the right mindset Leading students through a meaningful discussion requires planning.  This is especially true with controversial topics. The key is to manage expectations by setting the right tone for a productive conversation.  Students should learn the difference between unhelpful, angry arguing and valuable, analytical argument based on logic, fact, and respect. Teachers can navigate students through thoughtful, civil discourse through guided questions, graphic organizers, and sentences starters.  You can best prepare your teachers to lead students by offering professional development that zeroes in on best practices for: Managing classroom discussions Creating structures for student reflection and input Approaching supercharged topics respectfully Check out this A Pass curriculum sample. Impartiality The question sometimes arises: Should teachers share their political opinions?  The truth is teachers should strive to be impartial. In such a heated political environment, sharing personal viewpoints could [...]

24 10, 2018

5 Keys to Quality Assurance in Educational Content Development

2018-10-24T14:30:28-04:00 October 24th, 2018|Course Writers, Curriculum Planning, Instructional Design, Science, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Any content developer can tell you that having a solid quality assurance (QA) process will ensure deliverables that hit the mark. From our years of developing educational content development, we’ve identified the following five keys to quality assurance. Training Both client-provided and in-house training can ensure that project team members are up to speed on what is required for a specific project. Senior project staff can rally a team’s focus and confirm workflow readiness. Acceptance criteria checklists provide the development team with clear direction and requirements. Calibration Instead of jumping into a large project full-steam, it’s helpful to begin with a small calibration batch to give the development team a chance to get accustomed to the specifications and the client a chance to ensure their requirements are being met. Feedback can be provided and utilized by the development team to hone their understanding and improve quality. QA-Friendly Workflow A development workflow with collaboration and built-in overlapping reviews adds another layer of vital QA. Multiple rounds of review and revision lead to high-quality deliverables. Building adequate cushioning [...]

10 10, 2018

4 Ways A Pass Educational Group is Unique in Educational Content Development

2018-12-07T05:43:51-04:00 October 10th, 2018|curriculum, education, Educational Content, Instructional Design, Uncategorized|0 Comments

What makes A Pass unique and allows you to trust us with all of your educational content development needs? Nimbleness and flexibility allow us to scale up or down as needed to fit into your development process or take on an entire project start to finish. We select the perfect mix of experts to meet your content development needs, and then respond quickly and accurately to direction and feedback. Some of the ways we can partner with you are to provide: Copyediting and proofreading Instructional design assistance eLearning course development Full-service content development Subject matter experts to partner with your team Roles you need help with (writers, editors, artistic/production folks, etc.) Proprietary processes and systems ensure on-time delivery of high-quality work. We start with an intensive needs analysis in order to fully understand your needs and specifications. Next, we create custom solutions that lay the foundation for future success. We will help you navigate the world of educational content creation by asking the right questions and digging deeper into the subject matter and measures of analysis; [...]

3 10, 2018

Content Development Sweet Spots

2018-10-01T21:07:38-04:00 October 3rd, 2018|course design, Course Writers, Science, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Custom content development is much like building a custom home. If you had a choice, would you settle for a cookie-cutter home that’s going to meet only some of your needs or a custom-designed one that incorporates all your unique needs? Just as an architect spends time understanding why you want a certain type of window or flooring, a custom content developer acknowledges an organization’s unique content needs.  We at A Pass know that a generic, off-the-shelf product or service is not going to work in most instances.  Our years of experience have taught us that great content development must recognize this need to successfully reach learners.  The depth and breadth of our experience helps bring your ideas to life quickly and exactly how you envisioned.  Here’s a snapshot of what we do best. Courses and Lesson Plans Course design and lesson plans are at the heart of good content development.  They are the vital roadmap necessary to reach your learners.  As a full-service content provider, we design, write, and produce content across grade levels and [...]

8 08, 2018

An Asset Library Makes Education Content Development Easy

2018-08-08T18:18:43-04:00 August 8th, 2018|education, Educational Content, Uncategorized|0 Comments

How a Good Presentation Keeps Learners Focused If you’ve had experience with education content development, you’ve probably been frustrated by how long it can take to find images that fit the topic and interest the audience. Maybe you were told that it was time well spent, as having the right look and feel for your PowerPoint or eLearning asset is essential for holding learners’ interest and increasing comprehension. But wouldn’t it be great to have a resource that could shortcut all that research? You need dynamic, focused, diverse graphic design assets that are recent and fresh. Where do you find those? Up-to-Date Images One problem with doing your own research is wading through images and illustrations that are out of date, poor quality, or justunimpressive. Learners may not be expert artists, but they do know quality when they see it. They are also very alert to out-of-date images. Content creators may remember when some feature they love was the newest thing in computer graphics, but users may have moved on. If you don’t keep up, you risk [...]

4 07, 2018

7 Summer Educational Activities to Keep Students Learning

2019-09-13T09:58:48-04:00 July 4th, 2018|education, educational activities, Educational Content, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Most parents know that their children suffer a learning deficit over the summer months, but we bet you’d be surprised to learn just how significant this loss can be. A recent five-year study considering students in grades two through nine found that students lost 25 to 30 percent of the learning they’d acquired over the school year. Educational activities are important in the summer months. Of course, the way to remedy this learning loss is to make sure your kids continue to learn over the summer. Here are seven ways to keep them learning this summer—even if they still insist you take them to the pool! For young students: Encourage young students to improve their STEM skills by asking them to make a windsock kite. Kids can experiment by adding decorations like streamers and beads, but what decorations will make the kite stop flying? Read books with your young children, and then connect reading to the activities described in the book. For example, you could read Laura Ingalls Wilder and take your kids on a trip [...]

16 05, 2018

eLearning 101

2019-05-24T13:37:26-04:00 May 16th, 2018|collaborative learning, digital content, education, education technology, Instructional Design, Uncategorized|0 Comments

If you are new to the eLearning creation world, there are some basics you need to know in order to get your bearings. The field of eLearning is composed of many theories, skills, and technologies that combined produce an online course. We will focus on the basics of eLearning creation, or online learning. Instructional Design Instructional design is the systematic process for developing content that is instructionally sound and engaging for the learner. It involves multiple steps, including: Analyzing the audience Creating learning objectives Designing material Developing material to be online Evaluation Implementing improvements Interactions The use of interactions in an eLearning course transforms the experience for the learner. Interactions can be defined as any instance where the design of your course is triggering the learner to engage with the material by clicking or hovering their mouse or finger (if on a touch screen). Instead of passively watching the content, the learner can drag and drop material, click on content to reveal more information, or trigger the lesson to show new animations or progress to the [...]