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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

31 07, 2019

Improving the ID/SME Partnership for Effective Online Course Design

2019-08-07T09:48:34-04:00 July 31st, 2019|course design, eLearning, Instructional Design, subject matter expert|0 Comments

Most colleges are creating online courses that serve the learners’ needs for flexibility and convenience. A positive partnership between an instructional designer, or ID, and a subject matter expert, or SME, can lead to a dynamic online course. It’s all about teamwork!  Are you facing challenges, such as limited resources and time constraints to create an online course? What about faculty buy-in? Developing an online course involves more than moving textbook content to slides. It also involves understanding how to engage a learner online. Sometimes faculty don’t understand the role and contribution of an instructional designer. IDs work with SMEs to create engaging and interactive online courses. But, most importantly, it is the SMEs who have the expertise to bring meaning to it. Therefore, partnering a SME with an ID will result in an effective and engaging online course that serves the learner.  Here are some best practices that will ensure a successful partnership:  Create a good match  Partnering a SME with an ID who has expertise in the same area will strengthen the partnership. They [...]

17 07, 2019

Creating Authentic Learning Experiences Part 4: Assessment of Authentic Learning

2019-07-16T16:49:12-04:00 July 17th, 2019|assessment, Curriculum Planning, education, Instructional Design|0 Comments

This is the fourth and final installment in the four-part blog series on authentic learning. We’ll explore how assessments fit into the authentic learning process. So far in the series we have discussed the components of authentic learning, the elements of a successful authentic learning environment, and how to integrate these experiences into existing curriculums. The final piece is assessment. Why Do We Assess? While assessment is not usually anyone’s favorite part of the learning process, it is necessary. All assessment seeks to measure student performance toward learning objectives or standards. Types of Assessment Assessment usually takes one of two forms: formative or summative. Both types of assessment can be used in an authentic learning environment, but it does take some creative thinking to break out of the scantron bubble. Formative Assessment These assessments take place during the learning process, allowing for modification of both teaching and learning activities. A couple of great examples of formative assessment in authentic learning are journals and student interviews. Journals Journals are a space for students to process [...]

19 06, 2019

Creating Authentic Learning Experiences Part 2: Developing Authentic Learning Experiences

2019-07-09T16:35:07-04:00 June 19th, 2019|Course Writers, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Planning, Educational Content, Instructional Design, Interactive Learning|0 Comments

This is the second installment in a four-part blog series on authentic learning. We’ll explore what the environments look like that facilitate authentic learning and how to create them.   The first blog explored what authentic learning is and how it can better facilitate student learning. Authentic learning bridges the gap between the classroom and the real world. This creates a concrete connection for students and better equips them to apply what they are learning. Students absorb new material, put it into practice with hands-on activities, and connect it to something they already know. The ultimate goal of authentic learning is to increase student engagement. The Current Problem Implementing this approach requires the right environment. Recent studies have shown the breakdown in traditional classroom settings. Part of the problem is the delivery method used in many classrooms. Often, the instructor talks the information at students. This method does not allow for deeper learning experiences. Authentic learning is the way to create those experiences. What does such an environment look like? 10 Characteristics of Authentic [...]

5 06, 2019

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

2019-06-05T12:28:40-04:00 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 [...]

15 05, 2019

Student-centered learning: A summary of the IBIS curriculum

2019-05-15T10:10:24-04:00 May 15th, 2019|curriculum, Instructional Design|0 Comments

Many traditional biology class frameworks require students to memorize terms and processes. The IBIS (Integrating Biology and Inquiry Skills) curriculum is different. It asks students to collaborate with others to facilitate and take charge of their own learning. They take charge through experimentation, inquiry, and critical thinking activities. Since the IBIS curriculum has such a large focus on fostering these skills, lectures are minimal. The majority of learning is student-centered.  Student-Centered Learning: What’s the Fuss? Student-centered learning shifts the focus of learning from instructor to student. Students face scenarios and problems crafted by instructors. Each scenario requires hands-on learning that pushes students towards a specific learning outcome. They must collaborate, hypothesize, experiment, and reflect. Students take control of their learning which, in turn, increases student buy-in and learning. Additional Benefits The student-centered approach of IBIS is enough to set it apart from other traditional approaches. On top of that, there are other factors that make it so unique: Backward Design: IBIS starts with learning outcomes. From there, each subsequent piece is designed with each [...]