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”

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”

Implementing the Community of Inquiry (CoI) Model into Your Online Course: Social Presence

As an online instructor, it can be challenging to create and maintain community with students in your courses. Last fall I discovered an education model that continues to help me create and maintain community, both as an instructional designer and as an adjunct instructor: Charles Sanders Peirce’s Community of Inquiry (CoI).

Continue reading “Implementing the Community of Inquiry (CoI) Model into Your Online Course: Social Presence”

Student-Teacher Relationships: The Key to Motivating Students

I recently concluded my Motivation in Education series, which explored Keller’s ARCS Model for Motivation. Each of the model’s components (attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction) share a common thread: the relationship between a teacher and their students.

Continue reading “Student-Teacher Relationships: The Key to Motivating Students”

Student Centered Faculty Training

A few years ago, a friend stopped by for a visit. When it was time for her to leave, I walked her to the front door where we chatted a bit. I slipped on a pair of black flats sitting in front of the door and continued talking. We exhausted our good-byes, and my friend grew silent.

Finally she said: “I’d leave if I could have my shoes!”

It turns out we had the very same shoes, and I had slipped HERS on by mistake! #embarrassing

A Mile in a Student’s Shoes Builds Empathy

In the context of teaching and learning online, Continue reading “Student Centered Faculty Training”

A Year’s End Review

When our team started Model eLearning in January, we wanted to explore and share the eLearning theories, trends, and tools that excite us. One of the top instructional design skills is Googler—so we wanted to contribute to that growing body of knowledge and help the eLearning community.

Over the past year, we’ve shared our team’s practical tips for instructional designers (ID), subject matter experts (SME), and instructors. Now—in a time-honored December blog tradition—let’s review some of our favorite posts of 2017. Continue reading “A Year’s End Review”

Motivation in Education: Relevance

Throughout this series, we’ve explored Keller’s ARCS Model for Motivation, which includes attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction—four components used in successful face-to-face, online, and blended learning environments.

In my last post, I shared different strategies to motivate students through gaining and maintaining their attention.

Today we’ll look at practical ways you can motivate your students through course content that’s relevant to them in and outside of the classroom. Continue reading “Motivation in Education: Relevance”

Improve Your Course Content: Active Voice

Content is difficult to read on a screen. If you want students to engage with your online course, you need to improve the cognitive load. The best practices used for writing for the web include active voice, positive tone, the inverted pyramid, chunking text, bullet and number lists, and descriptive headings. In this post, we’ll examine how to improve the readability of your course using active voice. Continue reading “Improve Your Course Content: Active Voice”

Three Ways to Become Student-Centered

Our eLearning Team is moving toward student-centered learning in our courses. This approach is often miles away from how the course existed in the past, or how the subject matter expert envisions the online course to be.

I have found three ways to help our team and SMEs move toward becoming student-centered in all of our course development projects.

First, provide onboard training for online/blended instructors. Next, build interaction into every course. And finally, establish and sustain teacher presence while facilitating the course. Continue reading “Three Ways to Become Student-Centered”

Form an Online Connection: Part 1

Ask any online student what they like about eLearning and they are likely to respond “the flexibility and convenience to study as it fits my schedule.” Ask them what they dislike and you may hear “the lack of personal connection.”

While students enjoy online learning, they sometimes feel isolated and detached from their instructor and peers. This is why instructors must look for ways to connect with online students. One way to connect is vocally. Continue reading “Form an Online Connection: Part 1”