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”
Creating Accessible Learning Materials – Microsoft PowerPoint
Welcome back! In Creating Accessible Learning Materials – Microsoft Word, I outlined some ways you can format your Microsoft Word documents to be more accessible. By maintaining the alt text, color contrast, and using the accessibility checker, your document should be accessible to anyone who needs it.Continue reading “Creating Accessible Learning Materials – Microsoft PowerPoint”
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”
Creating Accessible Learning Materials – Microsoft Word
Our team has been infusing accessibility into our process for a while. In the blog series, “Formatting eLearning Documents,” former team member Wendy detailed how to effectively format documents in Microsoft Word and take full advantage of its features. I intend to add to that resource with my own article series, with a specific focus on accessibility.
In “Creating Accessible Learning Materials,” I’ll explore a few ways accessibility practices can be implemented when creating content in Microsoft Office. Today, I’ll focus on Word and briefly cover some useful tips to improve the documents you share.Continue reading “Creating Accessible Learning Materials – Microsoft Word”
How Much Is Too Much?: A Look at Tool Use in an Online Course
We’ve all done it. A new tool gets introduced, and we find several ways it can be applicable to the lessons we teach all in the pursuit of making sure the ways we present information to our students are relevant, interesting, efficient, and current. But is this actually helpful? Do our students get a better experience when we introduce the latest programs, software, and technologies?Continue reading “How Much Is Too Much?: A Look at Tool Use in an Online Course”
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”
eLearning Past, Present, and Future (2011-2021): A Conversation about Trends in eLearning, Instructional Design, and Online Learning
In May 2011, I graduated from high school. In June, before I started college, I walked into my first group interview. While I had never heard of eLearning or instructional design, I was still intrigued. Dave Goodrich, one of my high school science teachers, now worked at Spring Arbor University (SAU) as an instructional designer. He believed in my potential and said this student worker job could last throughout my undergraduate career if I wanted.
I met Dave, Tara McCoy , and a couple others from what was formerly the Office of Academic Technology (OAT) outside a coffee shop. When I was hired on the spot, I had no idea what I was getting into or how this field and career would help me as a student and as a professor.Continue reading “eLearning Past, Present, and Future (2011-2021): A Conversation about Trends in eLearning, Instructional Design, and Online Learning”
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