With the advance of technology, students and educators have options outside of the traditional classroom experience. Online learning, or eLearning, is a fresh educational setting that provides more opportunities for engagement and sets the stage for an inviting learning experience. Interactive assessments through eLearning are also transforming the way learners and educators exchange information. An effective online course ensures that varied learning styles are considered so that the learner remains engaged enough to complete the course. Since there is usually no instructor to guide the day-to-day activity, both the content and the related assessments must be engaging. Interactive assessments are assessments that involve interaction on part of the learner. This can be as simple as an immediate response that displays “Correct!” or “Good Job,” but the most effective interactive assessments require the learner to participate in the learning process. When this is done effectively, learners not only engage in the processing of content but are able to test their knowledge of the content almost simultaneously. Examples of interactive assessments in eLearning include the following: Drag and [...]
Content development involves more than researching the specified area and deciding which components of that area are worth developing into a deliverable, whether that be a course, a blog, an editorial, a handout, etc. It involves a team dedicated to the delivery of a quality curriculum. Developmental editing is an essential part of the development process. The developmental editor (DE) ensures the content being delivered is free of bias and meets the required specifications and guidelines. The DE is the ultimate proofreader. The DE has no investment in the piece being delivered. With no investment in the piece, there should be no conflict of interest in ensuring writers implement their edits. As many projects call on instructional designers or writers to put together initial versions of content, it is the developmental editor who takes those initial versions and checks for relevance, accuracy, and completion. If a piece needs revisions, it is the DE who sends recommendations for improvement to all vested parties. As part of their editing responsibilities, an effective DE may: Point out obscure or [...]
Bloom’s Taxonomy is the hallmark of learning models used today. In fact, most people utilize the strategies outlined in Bloom’s without even knowing it. Through early school experiences, we are taught to function through remembering, understanding/applying, and analyzing, which are the very tenets of Bloom’s. We take the most basic key points and develop or retrieve more information depending on how much we want to deduce. Let’s take a closer look at Bloom’s Taxonomy fully for clarification: Remembering: the basic recall of information presented through various methods. When we “remember” something, we are able to name it, locate it, define it, etc. We are able to take the content and paint a visual for the learner. Understanding: the demonstration of what we remember. When we “understand” something, we are able to apply that knowledge in a myriad of ways. We may compute, illustrate, or show others how we interpret that particular concept. Applying: the solving of problems associated with basic understanding: When we “apply” something, we try to understand its relevance in new situations. Analyzing: the [...]
Why is it important to use Instructional Designers (IDs)? The curriculum development process involves many moving parts that work to create material that compels the learner. This process includes a team of graphic designers, web developers, writers, copy editors and instructional designers. The instructional designer (ID) plays an important role in the curriculum development process. An ID is an expert in the learning process and advocates on behalf of the learner throughout the curriculum development process. The ID’s role To get a better understanding of what an ID does, let’s look at tasks they complete in the curriculum development process. An ID: Conducts a needs assessment to determine what the learner needs to know and what gap of knowledge exists. Identifies the learning environment and existing equipment available for the learners. Asks questions such as: Do the learners have access to Microsoft Word? Do the learners view the material on their phones or on a laptop? Works with a subject matter expert to collect information based on the needs of the learner. Writes learning objectives with [...]
Effective curriculum goals and objectives should have two major outcomes. First, students should acquire the same knowledge from the same courses, regardless of the teacher. Second, the students should finish a course ready to move on to the next course, year, or life stage. These goals and objectives aim to standardize learning objectives for all students and simplify outcomes for teachers. That said, constructing straightforward, achievable goals and objectives can be a lofty task. Here, we will discuss these processes so that you can more simply focus on constructing a holistic curriculum that benefits all parties. Curriculum Goals Curriculum goals are general, broad statements that lead towards long-term outcomes. These goals are typically designed to be met by students after a longer period of time such as a year of schooling or a series of courses in a discipline. Specifically, goals are always farther-reaching than objectives, and as such are usually based on the idea that they lead students towards being better able to be productive members of their societies. This handout explains how to [...]
The curriculum development 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 development process. 1. Gathering Information The first step of the curriculum development 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. Some examples of questions to ask at this stage are: 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 [...]
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.