Unwrapping 2022: Supporting Learners

Red ornament with gold deciduous tree details in foregone with a blurred Christmas tree, lights, and other red bulbs in background.

It’s that time of the year again. If you’ve been following Model eLearning for some time, you know we use our last post of the year to reflect on the past year. We enjoy the opportunity to look back at the themes of the year (and we hope you do too!).

In 2022, our team continued to adapt to remote workflows as we serve the university from across the state. We saw the rollout of Blackboard Ultra course view and updated system-wide projects. We’ve lost and gained members of our team, and it has given us the opportunity to explore new topics as we onboard and get to know our new team members. In addition to course developments, redevelopments, maintenance, and verifications, we wrote numerous blog posts. So, let’s look at what we discussed on the blog this year.

The power of story in learning

The stories that stay with us shape the way we see the world. As educators, the stories we tell can help us ask questions to reimagine higher education (again). This year, Ann explored the importance and power of storytelling in education. She encouraged instructional designers and educators to find opportunities to engage learners through stories—and inspire students to share their own stories. 

Our learners must discern the accuracy and bias found within the stories being told. With the amount of content being published each day, our learners encounter many things which grab for their attention. We should consider ways to segment course content to engage our learners. We can curate instructional content collections as well as add assignments and activities which encourage learners to gain curation and evaluation skills through their own content collections. When we chose tools for content curation, we need to ask ourselves if the tool aids or hinders learning.

Supporting learners as they learn

We live in a global learning community, and different cultures and subcultures value the relationships between teacher and student in distinct ways. Cultural awareness makes a difference to how learners experience a learning environment—we must be cognizant of our learners’ cultural norms of learning

Similarly, the transition between K12 to early college career should not be a barrier to learners. We can provide authentic self-assessment to help learners as they gain the experience in their learning journeys. We welcome our new team member Audrey’s experience with K12 as we support learners through this transition.

Accessible learning content for all learners

At Model eLearning, we strive to find more ways provide more accessible learning content. We’re excited to explore Blackboard Ally in the upcoming year—the tool will make it easier than ever for educators and students to create accessible materials. 

The accessibility of Excel often gets overlooked in learning materials. Kyle explored the creating accessible Microsoft Excel documents in the final post of his final Creating Accessible Learning Materials series. Kyle got another job on campus in the late spring, and while we’re sad to see him leave the team, we’re glad we can continue collaborate with him.

‘Tis the season for reflection, and looking to the next year

Whether you’re building student-centered learning environments, curating and evaluating instructional content, gathering stories, creating accessible course materials, or infusing authentic self-assessment, we must always stay focused on our learners’ needs to support them as they learn.

As we look forward to the year ahead, we want to hear from you—our readers, supporters, and colleagues. We started Model eLearning to develop professionally while sharing the best practices of instructional design, teaching, and learning. We want to make sure we keep our content relevant to your interests and needs. Keep your eyes out for a reader survey to gather information about the educational topics you want to know more about. 

Merriest Christmas and holiday wishes from the Model eLearning team to you—enjoy the holiday season and the start of a brand-new year.

Jessica M. Bishop

Instructional Designer and Model eLearning Editor

Author: Jessica Bishop, Instructional Designer

Jessica is a designer and writer focused on learnability, storytelling, sensemaking, wayfinding, and removing barriers to learning. A Michigan native, she likes crafting, reading, walking, and spending way too much time in the distant corners of the internet. You can also find her at JessicaMBishop.com.

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