Managing your Digital Toolbox

In the past I’ve talked about how it’s important to not let efficiency get in the way of trying to master a new skill or tool. Today, I want to expand on that a little bit and argue that sometimes, leaning too much into monetary efficiency is bad.

Yeah. Sometimes you just gotta spend money.

I’m not saying be frivolous. But rather try not to get locked into design patters solely by financial concerns. Let me explain.

Continue reading “Managing your Digital Toolbox”

Foster Collaboration with Open Pedagogy

Since this week is Open Educational Resources (OER) week, and 2018 was the year of open, I’m eager to touch on a topic that I feel passionate about that aligns with OER—Open Pedagogy. 

When I think of Open Pedagogy, it brings to mind areas that I have a background in—practices and theories related to teaching and learning with technology and social justice. Open Pedagogy has several meanings, but we’re going to focus on perspectives specific to OER and Open Educational Practices (OEP).  

Continue reading “Foster Collaboration with Open Pedagogy”

Formatting eLearning Documents: Table That Thought

We have a love/hate relationship with tables. On the one hand, tables organize information, especially when you need to make a side-by-side comparison or display data. On the other hand, it’s easy to get a little table-slap-happy, creating a choppy document that is difficult to view or read and is especially difficult for a screen reader. And let’s not even talk about the potential accessibility nightmare.

A table is a good option if you need to display dates, lists, or side-by-side information. Tables help us avoid using the Tab button, which can cause screen reader navigation problems. However, too much information or too many columns and rows are difficult to view and read in a table. So, it is best to revise your content or find a way to avoid using a table.

There are times when a table is the cleanest way to present the information, but a poorly formatted table is also difficult to distinguish visually. So, let me share some best practices for formatting tables in eLearning.

Continue reading “Formatting eLearning Documents: Table That Thought”

Staying Relevant with Tech Trends While Meeting the Needs of Future Students

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”

The eLearning Communication Loop

So, over the holiday break, in-between stuffing my face with food and watching holiday movies (yes, Die Hard counts), I took some time to catch up on my podcast backlog. Particularly, Limetown.

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Remove Barriers to Learning with Design and Plain Writing

Over the summer, we updated our online general education syllabus template using learning theory, universal design for learning (UDL), plain writing, and accessibility principles. Recently, Dave, Tara, and I presented this process at Continue reading “Remove Barriers to Learning with Design and Plain Writing”

Symposium on Universal Design for Instruction and Learning

While we planned to have content for you this week, we’ve spent most of our time preparing to present at IUPUC’s Symposium on Universal Design for Instruction and Learning. In our session, we’ll discuss “Why, What, & How: Using UDL in Course Materials to Enhance Learner Experience.” Don’t worry, we’ll share our research on the blog!

Since next week is Thanksgiving, we’ll be back with new content in two weeks.

Are you going to be at the Symposium? Stop by to see us!

Abandoning Dead End Ideas

A few members of our team (myself included) are preparing to present at the Symposium on Universal Design for Instruction and Learning. We’ve also got course starts, a project list as long as my arm, and new assessment tools we’re implementing in our LMS. And with the holidays fast approaching, needless to say, it’s just a teeny bit busy around here.

Then I discovered I had to write a blog post. Continue reading “Abandoning Dead End Ideas”

An Overview of Universal Design for Learning

A Heightened Awareness of Accommodations

At a recent Toastmasters officers meeting in a popular coffee house, the club secretary asked me to switch seats with him. While I didn’t have a problem switching, I was curious why he wanted me to move. He informed me that as our meeting’s notetaker—and left-handed person—he needed a space conducive for taking notes. My seat was the only space at the table that met his need.

As an Instructional Designer, his request made me think about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the importance of designing environments to meet the needs of everyone. Continue reading “An Overview of Universal Design for Learning”

5 Things I do when I need Inspiration

Last week, Dave talked about a few strategies for beating design slumps. I thought I’d build on that and chime in with a few specifics—namely some of my favorite places to go for inspiration when I’m stuck. Continue reading “5 Things I do when I need Inspiration”