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”

The Future from My Rearview Mirror

On my journey to becoming an eLearning Expert I have taken the Gallup Clifton Strengths Survey several times to discover my Signature Themes. My top 5 are very consistent—I always get Futuristic. I nod in agreement as the Clifton Strengths survey says, “The future fascinates you.” I guess that explains why I‘m drawn to articles written by futurists.

I just read an interesting article by Kevin Drum in the July/August of Tech World Welcome to the Digital Revolution.” Kevin challenges us that the best lens at gaining the elusive glimpse of the future may be the past. Continue reading “The Future from My Rearview Mirror”

The New Digital Divide in Instructional Design

Many people are familiar with the concept of the digital divide—the idea that as technology continues to advance at a remarkable pace, there is a growing gulf between the “haves” and the “have-nots” when it comes to access to, and adoption of technologies. Many in instructional design consider these technologies essential for our day-to-day careers: internet access, easy access to information, and ubiquitous WiFi. Which makes it challenging when we design content for those who don’t have easy access to those things.

But, there’s another gulf forming in Instructional Design. Continue reading “The New Digital Divide in Instructional Design”

Efficiency: The Trap of Modern Design

We live in a culture, and work in a field, that prizes and demands efficiency. A million things always need to be done immediately, and at least a thousand projects needed launch yesterday. We make endless to-do lists, debate time tracking and performance metrics, hire project managers by the truckload, and do everything in our power to wring every last drop of “efficiency” out of our daily lives.

And often, we’re making a mistake. Continue reading “Efficiency: The Trap of Modern Design”

Experts and eLearning Ecosystems

The term “elearning ecosystem” appears more and more frequently in eLearning writings. As a leader in eLearning, I like this metaphor—not because it’s scientifically-based and sounds cool (although it is and it does), but because I find the metaphor reflects some foundational changes influencing eLearning instructional design. Continue reading “Experts and eLearning Ecosystems”

The Building Blocks of OER

We’ve put together an infographic of OER data for you to share with your colleagues, department chairs, and administrators. Let’s build relationships and keep the conversation going to increase OER awareness and adoption on campuses across the world. Continue reading “The Building Blocks of OER”

Tips for Bringing OER to Your University, Institution, or School

In our OER series, we’ve explored how cost-friendly open educational resources (OER) can replace the expense of traditional textbooks. We’ve looked at where to find OER as well as how to choose quality materials. By now, you’re probably wondering how to bring OER into your institution.

Continue reading “Tips for Bringing OER to Your University, Institution, or School”

Bringing Value to your Learners with OER

You walk into the campus student bookstore. Classes started last week, and you just got paid at your part-time, minimum wage student job. You nervously add the cost of the stack of textbooks in your head.

You don’t have enough cash. You never have enough cash.

What do you do? Put some books back? Continue reading “Bringing Value to your Learners with OER”

Make your eLearning More Authentic

Have you noticed that our culture is beginning to value authenticity over authority?

We’re tired of being told. We want to be asked.

We’re tired of overly-complicated wordsmithing. We want clear and concise information.

We’re tired of not knowing. We want to be kept in the loop.

Authenticity is what we all crave. Continue reading “Make your eLearning More Authentic”

Personalized Learning

Innovation in the digital world seems to move at the speed-of-light.  As I wonder what the conversations around digital learning will center on in five years, I believe the lasting dialogue will be “personalized learning.”

Those of us in the world of educational technology know of the rhetoric around the term, but we do not seem to have a shared understanding of its meaning.  Many use the omnipresent phrase to refer to efforts to tailor instruction to each student’s unique needs and preferences.  Continue reading “Personalized Learning”