With the continuing growth of online learning in the past few decades, one significant argument against it has been the perceived loss of non-verbal communication and human relationships within the course. Instructors new to the modality often believe that the online delivery format is less interactive than face-to-face, and therefore assume it’s harder (if even possible) to get to know the other participants. Some university instructors even hesitate to teach online because they feel there is a lack of connection and communication, which then creates more room for misinterpretation, negative reviews of the experience, or even failure for some students. Today, I’d like to share the data behind this topic and help to point to the fact that this is not as worrisome as these instructors assume.Continue reading “But what about nonverbal communication?—A look at interactions online”
There is a spectrum of opinion about online learning, inclusive of two polar opposite sides in the discussion: it’s either new and exciting and every course should be online, or it is a scary new technology that destroys the personal communication essential for a “good class”. As I consider this debate, something that both groups should realize is that it’s easy to fall into the trap of defining instruction through the use of a tool, rather than realizing there is an inherent separation between the instruction and the tool. Today I’ll explore the differences and how this separation impacts our design.Continue reading “Looking Through a Learning Tool”
When you’re developing an eLearning course, there is always an overload of “practical” stuff that you have to keep in mind. Development timelines, coordinating with subject matter experts, and making sure all the nuts and bolts are ready for the launch day of your course.
In the midst of all the details, I like to stop and consider how I can make each course I develop more effective than the last. There’s always a new angle or strategy out there to consider. I’m sharing 3 ideas here and I hope you’ll try them out.Continue reading “Three Things to Consider when Designing your next Learning Experience”
You can’t really go anywhere on the internet without running into the ubiquitous animated GIF (graphical interchange format). Originating in 1987, GIFs shaped—and grew—with the internet in the following 30+ years (for those who missed the 90s or want to reminisce, the Internet Archive created a search for early GIFs).Continue reading “Engage Learners with Instructional GIFs”
Images are a great way to add a little life to your document. Microsoft Word makes it especially easy to insert images into a document. But, with great power comes great responsibility, and you should stick with some basic principles when inserting images. If not, they can be overwhelming, hard to see, and difficult for a reader to interpret the relationship of the image to the text.
So, in this post, we’ll explore the basics of inserting and formatting an image and some little extras, like adding alt text to improve the accessibility of your documents.Continue reading “Formatting eLearning Documents: Picture This”
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 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”
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”
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”
Disclaimer: I’ve downloaded the UX + LX mobile app to my devices for personal use. I didn’t receive compensation for this review.
According to Pew Research Center, more people own smartphones than computers. When people don’t have anything to do, we pull out our ubiquitous devices. Imagine if we had as many learning apps as games and other apps—every moment would be an opportunity to learn (personalized learning, here we come!).
As Tara share in her post about universal design for learning, mobile learning, or mLearning, looms before us. Yet we still design learning within the confines of a learning management system (LMS) accessed by a computer.
UX + LX takes us outside of the traditional LMS and into a true mobile learning experience.Continue reading “Review: UX + LX App (And a Look at the Future of Learning Design)”