About APass Education

A Pass Educational Group, LLC is an organization dedicated to the development of quality educational resources. We work with organizations of all sizes and types, developing assessment questions, lesson plans, curricula, and eCourses. Started by Andrew Pass in 2009, the company now employs more than 1,400 experts in multiple disciplines. Our clients include education giants such as Pearson Education, Scholastic, and Britannica.
So far APass Education has created 25 blog entries.
2 10, 2019

Should you integrate new technology in eLearning courses?

2019-10-01T22:29:56-04:00 October 2nd, 2019|eLearning, Instructional Design, technology|0 Comments

With today’s new technology, it is tempting to add sparkle and glitz to an eLearning course. But as the saying goes, not everything that glitters is gold. Deciding if and when  to use new technology can be tricky. Here are four factors to consider. Relevance The general rule of thumb is only use new technology, like games or AR/VR, if it adds meaning to an eLearning course. When creating a module, ask what would help the learner meet the objective. If a simple diagram works, use that. If a learner has to demonstrate mastery of knowledge, such as a process, new technology may be the most effective. The key is to consider the learner. What does the learner need in order to be successful?  Possibilities When looking to add technology, there is an ever-increasing range of possibilities. However, not all options are appropriate for every module. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of new technology. For example, creating virtual reality (VR) could be very expensive. It may also be hard for an older learner [...]

24 09, 2019

4 High-Impact Approaches for Increasing Student Engagement in Higher Ed

2019-09-25T06:07:13-04:00 September 24th, 2019|Curriculum Planning, education, higher education, Learning|0 Comments

Student engagement and retention improve when universities take action. Campus beautification and student demographics definitely play a part. A rich learning experience, however, is even more important in helping students finish strong. Many institutions are using the following high impact approaches to keep learners engaged. Structured Learning Communities Increase Student Engagement Learning communities give students a sense of belonging and increase engagement. A structured community will group learners together and give them more time to interact.  Students can collaborate to solve problems, review peer work, or conduct research. Such a community should also include faculty who ask students about their personal life and give career guidance. An LMS (Learning Management System) makes it all easier.  For example, one community college found that students in a structured learning community attended class more often.   What are some approaches to keep your millennial learners engaged? Read this article that discusses some curricular approaches based on their unique learning styles.   Writing Intensive Courses Universities such as Harvard are offering writing intensive courses. A writing intensive course amplifies student [...]

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% [...]

11 09, 2019

3 Powerful Project Evaluation Practices for IDs

2019-09-19T14:17:30-04:00 September 11th, 2019|assessment, Instructional Design, project management|0 Comments

As an instructional designer (ID), you have carefully designed and developed useful content, engaging learning activities, and challenging assessment items for a project. You feel good about what you have created, but ‘So What?’  The important question is, Does the instruction actually address the learning need?  To answer this question, you should consider three important project evaluation practices.  Formative project evaluations Summative project evaluations Reflection Formative Project Evaluations The first practice to consider is formative evaluation. It is a method for judging the worth of the instructional project while the content and activities are in development or in progress. This type of evaluation focuses on the process.  Remember the goal is for learners to master new skills and knowledge. Thus a formative evaluation is a useful tool for instructional designers, teachers, and students to use during the design, development, and implementation of the project. Its main purpose is to monitor how well the content, learning activities, and assessment items align with the learning objectives. This will help you address any deficiencies immediately.  Download the article: Launching [...]

4 09, 2019

How to Make a Content Vendor Partnership Work for You

2019-09-04T09:05:48-04:00 September 4th, 2019|content development, Course Creation, course design, vendor|0 Comments

  Partnering with a content vendor offers you several benefits.  Whether you need lesson planning, micro-credentialing, item writing, or full course development, you can benefit from outsourcing your project. Some vendors even offer customization to suit your specific project needs. In such instances, the development options are endless! Below are several ways how you can make a content vendor partnership work for you.   Large number of contractors With content vendors such as A Pass, we have access to a large number of contractors with diverse specialities. This provides you with a workforce that is ready to tackle any project on nearly any timeline.   A successful vendor-client partnership accurately conveys project specifications and ensures development meets your needs. Download this free article, The Key to Successful Client Vendor Relationships Experienced subject matter experts In a large pool of contractors, you will find workers with varying backgrounds. Each contractor will bring their own expertise to the course development. A vendor has experience working with different industries and will pair contractors with the right backgrounds to your course development. [...]

28 08, 2019

3 Connections Between Learning Standards and Performance-Based Assessments

2019-08-27T19:58:01-04:00 August 28th, 2019|curriculum, Curriculum Planning, education, Instructional Design|0 Comments

What are performance-based assessments (PBA)? Here's an example to help you understand PBAs. 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? 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 [...]

21 08, 2019

Online Course Development: Start to Finish

2019-08-21T06:26:25-04:00 August 21st, 2019|eLearning|0 Comments

As more learning becomes digital, the mysteries of instructional design unfold. Luckily, the secrets to developing a great online course follow a logical process. But before developing an online course, there are several wh-questions to ask. These questions determine who the course is for, why the course is needed, and so on. The answers to the wh-questions will differ for each developed course, but the steps for developing each e-course will follow the same basic pattern. Analyzing your online course objective(s) Once an online course objective has been decided, it must be analyzed. Breaking the course into manageable chunks will give the online course structure. One pitfall of chunking a concept is to make the pieces too large. Each chunk should be small enough for a learner to cover in one module. This may mean dividing chunks into smaller pieces. Revision may be necessary along the way.     Assembling the online course development team  Developing an online course requires a team of experts. These include subject matter experts, instructional designers, project managers, graphic [...]

14 08, 2019

3 Tips for Writing Great Alt-Text Descriptions

2019-08-15T09:48:56-04:00 August 14th, 2019|Alternative Text|0 Comments

Alt-text, or alternative text, is one of the critical components of good content design. For those newer to the topic, alt-text sometimes is referred to as alt-attributes, alt-descriptions, or alt-tags. Great instructional designers, course developers, and content writers keep the audience in mind as they develop content- and that includes associated images! Why is alt-text important? Screen Readers Individuals relying on screen readers will use alt-text so to interpret visual information as well as text. A lot of thought goes into the decision to use particular images. This effort should continue over onto the alt-text design to convey meaning effectively. Imagine reading a course question about a map showing a geographic location. Without a well-written alt-text description the user is left wondering and unable to access all of the course content. Unloaded Image Files If an image file cannot be loaded the user is also left to wonder what information and context might have been provided by the broken image link. Curious to learn more about how we can help you with an alt-text project? Download [...]