From Courses to Communities

The long tail of open learning – free online courses of any type, cMOOCs, xMOOCs – is the community that forms around each one.  This has been my personal experience, and one we don’t usually hear discussed.  The course may not ever be completed, but the people we virtually bump into often share common interests and become a part of our PLNs.  In some cases we already know them from other virtual learning environments.  Interests intersect, and we bump into others – nodes in our networks.  This has been so valuable.  This article is from DML Central.

“When I started collaborating with Mitchel Resnick and Natalie Rusk at the MIT Media Lab we set out to design and offer a somewhat different online course. It would be easy to say now that creating an online learning community was our intention from the start, but the truth is, we were a little surprised ourselves, surprised and excited. Learning Creative Learning, the online course we created, became a springboard for learning with family, friends, and colleagues and turned into an ongoing community.”

via From Courses to Communities | DMLcentral.

Instructional Design Based on Cognitive Theory

 

There are a number of instructional design and cognitive theories, but Florida Institute of Technology is using Mayer’s Cognitive Theory of Multi-Media Learning for instructional design.

“This theory posits the following:

The brain processes auditory and visual information differently

There are limits to how much auditory and visual information people can process

People must be actively engaged in order to move knowledge from working memory to long-term memory”

While seemingly an expanded view of experiential or action learning, both theories were developed long before recorded audio and video were being used extensively for learning.  Processing of audio and video is very different, and the theory suggests that video images provides an extra layer of difficulty (or required filter) to process content that might inhibit learning.

Recommendations for efficacy are recommended:

“Short, focused lessons

Proper balance of text, image, and narration

Avoid distractions

Think like an instructional designer”

Full article at Faculty Focus, link below.

 

via Instructional Design Based on Cognitive Theory | Faculty Focus.

15 Questions To Help Students Respond To New Ideas

 

In learning and its design, we have always referred to essential or generative questions.  Through the use of questions, deeper learning objectives are often recognized.  Thoughts are generated and connections are made.  In TeachThought, Terry Heick asks us to think about how we can use questions in ways that work best with the Google generation.  Information is ubiquitous, but helping them slow down to navigate information requires supporting them.  Using these questions is a way of teaching them to think. “Metacognition isn’t a matter of a “lesson,” or a teacher telling students it’s something they should do. Rather, it’s a matter of habit. Habits are everything. So, below are 15 questions to help students respond to new ideas, and begin to establish the kinds of habits that make thinkers, and just maybe, starting telling you what you want to hear.”

via 15 Questions To Help Students Respond To New Ideas.

Adapting student assessment to the needs of a digital age

In digital environments there is still not a clear answer about best practice or efficacy of assessments.  One thing we do know – digital environments require a different type of assessment and contextual lens through which to gauge meaning-making  .  But how do learning designers make decisions about effective and comprehensive assessments of understanding?  Every course is different – whether quantitative or qualitative.  In this article, Tony Bates shares his thoughts about assessment in the digital age.  “instructors should think about design through the lens of constructing a comprehensive learning environment in which teaching and learning will take place. I have been working through the various components of a learning environment, focusing particularly on how the digital age affects the way we need to look at some of these components.”

via Adapting student assessment to the needs of a digital age.

2014 Student and Faculty Technology Research Studies

1/3 of faculty have taught an online class in the past year, and 62% of those faculty say that online learning will lead to pedagogical breakthroughs, according to a new study done by Educause.  Educause, a higher ed technology organization, is likely sharing information from its own member base who are all technology users – which is a subset of the total faculty population – but it is still very interesting.  Shared by Daniel Christian, here are some key findings.

 

“Faculty recognize that online learning opportunities can promote access to higher education but are more reserved in their expectations for online courses to improve outcomes.

Faculty interest in early-alert systems and intervention notifications is strong.

The majority of faculty are using basic features and functions of LMSs but recognize that these systems have much more potential to enhance teaching and learning.

Faculty think they could be more effective instructors if they were better skilled at integrating various kinds of technology into their courses.

Faculty recognize that mobile devices have the potential to enhance learning.”

via 2014 Student and Faculty Technology Research Studies [Educause/ECAR].

These are the trends and challenges shaping online learning

 

 

It is interesting to see where online programs “live” in a school.  Sometimes each school within a University makes its own decisions and has its own faculty readiness program and expectations, but increasingly the decision making is being moved to one centralized location.  This infographic from Education Dive shares the results of a survey of 675 administrators, and depicts the online program roll out strategy that they found was most common.

 

These are the trends and challenges shaping online learning [Infographic] | Education Dive.