I don’t know about you, but these past few months have been crazy for me. The week before the coronavirus (COVID-19) started picking up in my hometown, I was out of the office focusing on my first residency for my doctoral program. When I returned, my inbox was full of emails about projects that were already in progress before I left as well as emails from instructors asking me to help them transfer their face-to-face courses to online using web conferencing and our university’s LMS, Blackboard. So, March 2020 was pretty much a blur.
Once I began working from home, I discovered it was more difficult to maintain a balance between my work and personal life. My daily schedule and routine remained the same, but it was all within the comfort of my home. Throughout March when people asked me how I was doing, the analogy that I liked to use was I felt like a steam engine or a bullet train and I wasn’t slowing down. Herein lies my problem:
I wasn’t slowing down.
Continue reading “Self-Care for Essential Designers”
In November 2019, several members of our eLearning team attended Michigan State University’s (MSU) 5thannual Accessible Learning Conference (ALC). The theme of the conference was storytelling, emphasizing that the core of accessibility is “people and their stories.” As someone who’s been a student in the communication and theatre fields for almost a decade, this theme struck a chord with me. Often, at both private and public universities, the majority of students’ disabilities are often unidentified, so their stories go untold. These untold stories create a roadblock in these students’ ability to succeed in learning environments.
Continue reading “Sharing Accessibility Stories: Making eLearning for Everyone”
When thinking about the demographics of students currently enrolled in colleges and universities, we often first consider traditional students, between ages 18-24. However, enrollment trends in traditional, blended, and online programs are revealing that nontraditional students, those ages 25 and older, are becoming more and more prominent in the classroom. Today I want to discuss the dynamics of nontraditional students, the pressures they face, and what it means to go the extra mile in order to understand their needs and enable them to succeed.
Continue reading “Going the Extra Mile: Understanding Non-Traditional Students”
Inspiration can strike in the most unexpected places—even a Swedish furniture store. As my coworker and fellow blogger Gwen would tell you, IKEA is one of the best places for instructional designers (ID) to find inspiration. I’ll admit that I didn’t believe her at first. However, when we visited IKEA last year as a team-building exercise, I was surprised by the inspiration that sparked my creativity and motivated me to be a better ID. Many of the ideas I found that day have stayed with me and helped me improve the ways I work with programs, subject matter experts (SME), and stakeholders to design online, blended, and face-to-face courses.
Continue reading “Surprised by Inspiration from IKEA”
What if you entered a face-to-face classroom and found no instructor to welcome you to class, give you an overview of the semester, or guide you through your projects? Or what if your instructor made an appearance the first day of class, but slowly became less and less engaged as the semester progressed?
You’d be in the dark for most of the semester and probably pretty frustrated with your instructor, right?
Continue reading “Announcements: Finding the Balance Between Posting Too Little or Too Much”
Wendy and Ann have often worked together on rubrics sent to them by instructors. Today they’d like to discuss the importance of effective rubrics and walk you through the process of creating one that visually communicates your expectations. Ann’s going to start by discussing the importance of rubrics.
Continue reading “Creating Effective Rubrics”
Throughout my eLearning Feedback series, we’ve looked at the significance of relevant, relational feedback and how instructors can enhance their feedback by providing it to their learners through various audio and video tools. In the conclusion of this series, we’ll explore the value of learner-to-learner feedback and how you can create opportunities for students to provide relevant, relational feedback to each other.
Continue reading “eLearning Feedback: Encouraging Learner to Learner Feedback”
In my last post on relevant and relational feedback, I mentioned how adding a human factor into your online courses creates another dimension of building relationships with students. Constructive, relevant, and relational feedback helps students develop an awareness of their learning as well as the ability to recognize and address their weak points on their own. Today we’ll look at audio and video feedback tools you can use to build relationships with your students and help them take these important steps in their learning.
Continue reading “eLearning Feedback: Enhancing Instructor to Learner Feedback”
In my series on Keller’s ARCS Model for Motivation, I discussed the important role satisfaction plays in increasing and maintaining a student’s motivation to learn.
Students are satisfied and motivated to improve when teachers provide clear, constructive feedback and affirm and encourage them, both verbally and nonverbally. As classroom environments become more digital and asynchronous, we must find ways to improve instructor and student communication, especially feedback.
In this series, I’ll share practical tips for
instructor to learner feedback and learner to learner feedback. We’ll look at tools
to help you improve and enhance the feedback experience in online courses. Today
we’ll begin with why you should provide constructive feedback.
Continue reading “eLearning Feedback: Make it Relevant and Relational”
June 2018 marked my seventh year in the
eLearning/Instructional Design field. In September 2018 I became a full time
Instructional Designer. You would think that after seven years, I’d have all
the knowledge, skills, and tools I need to do my job well.
Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m still learning.
Recently, I’ve been exploring and learning about the
next generation of learners: Generation (Gen) Z.
Continue reading “Staying Relevant with Tech Trends While Meeting the Needs of Future Students”