When instructional designers or subject matter experts (SMEs) design a course, students’ mental health often unintentionally gets overlooked. Courses that overlook students’ mental health, even unintentionally, show a lack of empathy and understanding on our part.Continue reading “Instructional Design for Mental Health”
Category: Instructional Design
Collaborative and Social Learning Tools for eLearning
Authentic engagement between students and instructors is immensely important in eLearning. That being said, both collaborative and social learning are the heart behind any virtual course. Not only that, but researchers at the University of Calgary Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning describe these modes of learning as an “opportunity for students and instructors to engage in shared efforts to search for meaning, understanding, and solutions to complex problems or concepts” (Anselmo et al., n.d.). Thankfully, the rapidly-developing sector of collaborative and social learning tools allows us to provide these opportunities for authentic engagement.Continue reading “Collaborative and Social Learning Tools for eLearning”
Digital Content Curation Tools for Education
Digital content curation tools allow us to easily create, collaborate, share, and evaluate educational resources and collections. With “[…] advances in technology, enhanced tools allow researchers to preserve their work in new venues and formats to reach new audiences. (Deschaine & Sharma, 2015, p. 20). In Curating an Instructional Content Collection for Teaching and Learning, I shared how to use content curation in course design to provide accurate, relevant learning resources and model 21st century information literacy skills. In this post, I’ll discuss digital tools for curating educational content.Continue reading “Digital Content Curation Tools for Education”
Building Learning Environments to Engage Our Learners’ Attention Span
An interesting development within the expanding research on the brain and its functions is the study of attention spans in humans. Based on the new information and data found in these studies, we can build learning environments that are more interesting to our students as they are able to engage in the content more effectively since it aligns with the way their brains prefer to engage in the world.Continue reading “Building Learning Environments to Engage Our Learners’ Attention Span”
Curating an Instructional Content Collection for Teaching and Learning
Content continues to be published at staggering rates—and it’s only likely to increase. With the proper equipment, time, and an internet connection, anyone can publish content with relatively low effort. The value and accuracy of this content might not go through vigorous quality checks (or may be outright fictitious and created for malicious purposes), which means we must become savvy to identify, evaluate, and share the best resources.Continue reading “Curating an Instructional Content Collection for Teaching and Learning”
A Melting Pot of Learning
(While I try to speak without bias, I should note that I have a Western Mind model and come from the Euro-American cultural background. I welcome any comments to discuss these ideas in greater depth as I find this topic very fascinating and relevant to what we need to be discussing in this day and age. The more perspectives we can gain from others the more we learn about their culture and our own biases.)
As an instructional designer, familiarity with how to make learning material (in whatever modality) reach as many students as necessary and possible in ways they can comprehend is essential. In this pursuit, we focus on topics such as accessibility, universal design for learning (UDL), and inclusion. However, in addition to those, I have been exploring an area that could use more data—the integration of cultural understanding in learning design.Continue reading “A Melting Pot of Learning”
Why Storytelling Matters in Teaching and Instructional Design
I love stories and believe in their power and ability to change people’s lives by calling them to action. Littlejohn, Foss, and Oetzel (2017) concur, asserting that “storytelling is a universal function, a natural human capacity that crosses time and culture; humans comprehend their actions and those of others in the form of stories” (p. 348). Recently I’ve been pondering the importance of incorporating the art of storytelling into teaching and instructional design.Continue reading “Why Storytelling Matters in Teaching and Instructional Design”
A Learner-Centered Focus: Reflecting on 2021
As with other years, we’re taking time this season to reflect on a year once again defined by uncertainty. In some ways, 2021 seemed like a blur—a continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic challenges we faced in 2020.
Despite these challenges, Model eLearning continues to be a creative outlet for our research, writing, and passion for meeting the needs of our learners. We’re thankful for you—our readers, community of practice, and colleagues. Your support makes our efforts on the blog meaningful as we approach two years of remote work. Our team’s focus—creating learner-centered experiences—remains our compass as we look to 2022 and beyond.Continue reading “A Learner-Centered Focus: Reflecting on 2021”
Alternative Ideas for Discussion Boards: Reinventing a Classic Online Class Activity
If you’ve been around higher education for very long as a professor, instructional designer, or student, you know there’s one activity you can never seem to get away from in an online course: Discussion Boards.Continue reading “Alternative Ideas for Discussion Boards: Reinventing a Classic Online Class Activity”
Small Steps to Make Your Class a More Accessible Experience
Have you wanted make your class more accessible and inclusive, but you just didn’t know where to start? Maybe you know you should add accessibility into your course, but it feels like you don’t have enough time to redesign the whole course.
Accessibility improves the learning experience for all learners. Not every student discloses their needs (whether physical or cognitive, permanent or situational), so it’s important to take a proactive approach to create an inclusive learning environment.
When you pick small, manageable elements to focus on, you can slowly infuse accessibility into your course each time it runs. With a few changes, you can start to make your course materials more accessible.Continue reading “Small Steps to Make Your Class a More Accessible Experience”
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