ETEC 501 (Week 3) – eLearning History and Trends

  • Choose one sector that most interests you – K-12, Higher Education, Business/Industry, etc. and discuss key trends in e-learning in the sector of your choice. Explain the kinds of e-learning courses offered and the technology tools most commonly used for course delivery in that sector.
    • Trends in e-learning have emerged in K-12 education, that have transformed the way educators teach course material and how students learn the material presented to them. Some of the key trends in K-12 education include the utilization and implementation of, iPads, smartphones, mobile devices, Tech-based monitoring, cloud computing, gaming, social networks, adaptive learning, electronic/interactive textbooks, online summer school and simulation learning. The use of such trends in classroom settings creates many benefits for both students and teachers. For instance, the use of different technological advances can help accommodate the different learning style of students, makes instant feedback possible, allows for easier collaboration, and helps create engaging lessons.
    • I was not familiar with e-learning courses in K-12 education, so I looked through several online schools/academies that offer online courses for K-12 students. The courses offered are similar to the courses offered in a traditional school, ranging from English, math, science and even foreign languages. Similar to a traditional classroom, there exists a state-certified teacher to monitor and lead the online classes, courses include workbooks and textbooks that are provided by the chosen school/academy. The online course content, instructions, programs, and games are accessed through any technological device with access to the internet.
  • There are many terms that are interchangeably used with e-learning such as online learning, blended learning, and distance learning. Define each of these terms based on the readings and through online research, be sure to provide citations for the work in APA format.
    • According to our reading material written by Perry and Pilati (2011), “there are no exacting definitions in the online realm” because everyone experiences e-learning differently. However, chapter 1 of our textbook by Garrison (2017), helps define certain terms to clarify any confusion and gain a better understand of how they are alike and different.
      • e-learning: “the utilization of electronically mediated asynchronous and synchronous communication for the purpose of thinking and learning collaboratively”
      • online learning: one of the two primary applications that constitute e-learning, “Fully online learning is a form of distance education that had its genesis in the field of computer conferencing with its focus on thinking and learning collaboratively. Because of its collaborative nature, online learning is very different form traditional distance education that had its focus on content delivery and autonomous approaches to learning.”
      • blended learning: one of the two primary applications that constitute e-learning, “has become the most prevalent application of e-learning in traditiona education institutions…. has shifted the thinking of educators in terms of transformative course and program redesign”
      • distance learning: “e-learning can make education accessible at a distance, it represents very differetn educational characteristics and possiblities… online leanring is very different from traditional distance education that had its focus on content delivery and autonomous approaches to learning”
  • While reading assigned materials, search for additional relevant and reasonably sourced information from the Internet. Organize and provide a history of distance education chronologically (key events) –some of the ways to present this information could include timeline format, images, video — be creative.
  • What’s the one useful thing you learned through the discussions this week that will be useful to you in your profession, or that changed your way of thinking?
    • One useful thing that I learned through the discussions this week that will be useful to me in my profession was the current key trends in e-learning that exist in K-12 education. I want to pursue a career as a mathematics teacher, learning about the different types of technology and programs that can be used to enhance material will help me create engaging material for my future students. Understanding how certain technologies can help my students will hopefully allow me to maximize their learning and make me an effective educator.

References

A. (2016, June 30). The Evolution of Distance Learning. Retrieved from http://www.fnu.edu/evolution-distance-learning/

Garrison, D. R. (2017). E-learning in the 21st century: a community of inquiry framework for research and practice. London: Routledge.

Pappas, C. (2016, November 23). The History Of Distance Learning – Infographic. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/the-history-of-distance-learning-infographic

Perry, E. H., & Pilati, M. L. (2011). Online learning. New Directions For Teaching & Learning2011(128), 95-104. doi:10.1002/tl.472

Ready to Start. (n.d.). Retrieved April 13, 2017, from http://start.k12.com/schoolindividual.html?st=CA&product=cava&leadsource=sem&vendor=acronym&utm_source=Google%2BAdwords&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=CA%3EBrand%3ECatch_All&ad_group=CA%3EBrand%3EMain%3EK12%2BMain%3ECatch_All&lead_source_detail=Google%2BAdwords&s_kwcid=AL%212165%213%21189482651986%21p%21%21g%21%21k12&ef_id=V2WzAQAABQKl%40-IN%3A20170413060114%3As&utm_term=&keyword_match=

The History of Distance Learning [INFOGRAPHIC]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.learndash.com/the-history-of-distance-learning-infographic/

Top 10 eLearning Trends in K-12 Education. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.teachhub.com/top-10-elearning-trends-k-12-education

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ETEC 501 (Week 1) – ICE Breaker Discussion

To begin with my name is Jacqueline Felix, I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of California Irvine, majoring in mathematics. I decided to continue my studies here at Cal State San Bernardino as a full-time student with the hopes of receiving a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology, as well as my teaching credentials. After accomplishing my college goals, I would like to pursue a career in teaching mathematics at a secondary school level. What I expect to learn after this program is pretty simple, by the end of this program I want to design and develop effective learning programs to help others learn the material they are working on. In addition, I hope to learn e-Learning concepts and skills that will build and strengthen my knowledge on instructional technology that will be beneficial for me as a teacher.

I have been a distance learning student for the majority of the courses needed to complete my Master’s degree in Instructional Technology. Overall, my experience has been very positive, the instructors made the courses engaging and interactive both synchronously and asynchronously. In addition, the instructors were always available when help was needed and interacting with other students was also great due to the amount of feedback received. The courses were organized and the amount of time and work needed to complete assignments was just right. I can’t say I have ever regretted being a distance learning student and I am sure that for many of you this will be a pleasant experience as well.

Session 10: Response to Prompts 

1. Identify five key concepts or themes related to eLearning Design and Development and explain what you know about each.

  • Content, Instructor and Student Interactions: Due to my inexperience in teaching, I had not heard of content, instructor and student interaction before, even as a student I did not realize that my teachers lesson plans aimed to include activities to satisfy all three interactions. Interactions in an online learning environment are more difficult to create and complete, not only because delivering  and creating the media takes more work, but the characteristics of each affect the amount and kind of interactions that takes place. For instance, the difficulty of the content can intimidate students, the instructor may be new to the world of eLearning so the medium he or she uses may not be the most appropriate and if the student lacks motivation then the entire program may be useless, since the student won’t interact at all or very little. Overall, without the sufficient amount of each interaction, learning won’t be maximized.
  • Absorb, Do and Connect Activites: Similarly to the three interactions, within these three Activites there needs to exist a perfect balance, there cannot be too much of one than others or else the learning experience isn’t always the best. During the week that we discussed absorb, do and connect activities, I found an interesting article that compares these three to a workout. Absorb activities are like stretching before a workout, we are preparing ourselves for what is to come in the Do activities by absorbing all the information. The Do activities are like the actual workout that comes right after stretching, in these activities we apply what was absorbed. Last are the connect activities, which are workouts to make us even stronger such as lifting weights, because in connect activities allows us to go beyond just the basic principles.
  • New Media: The subject of new media was very interesting, since media and all it’s types have taken over our every day lives. There are so many types of new media that it is hard to keep up, so it was helpful to have a lesson that summed up the different types pretty well, especially the advantages and disadvantages of each. For example, using YouTube, a type of new media that benefits many teachers since it is easy to access and there are so many useful videos, however there are also the not so useful videos, which is why a more reliable version was created, TeacherTube.
  • Testing Online Learning: In the session that covered testing online learning materials, I learned more about the “behind the scenes ” type of work that goes into eLearning. There a lot of details to take into consideration when testing, the two major tests include testing media fidelity and testing that ensures the material does what it is intended to do. What stood out to me the most was, ADA compliance, it was an interesting subject because throughout the weeks we talked about taking into consideration the students and creating activities to suit them, but I overlooked those with disabilities. It’s extremely important to satisfy the needs of every student and keep an open mind as to who the possible audience of your online learning material could be.
  • Gamification: The idea of applying game-like designs in an environment such as learning, is amazing. Gamification increases individuals motivation and dedication to learning, allowing learners to become more engaged in the subject they are learning. The downside of gamification is that the price of producing this type of material and be very expensive.

2. Speculate on the future of eLearning and what your role in that future might be.

The future of eLearning is definetely just at its beginnings at this point, and it will keep on growing as long as technology continues to evolve and continue to be incorporated in everything we do. I am excited to see where technology will take us with eLearning and how it will soon give access to many more individuals in third world countries. As of right now, my experience and involvement in eLearning is nonexistent, but I would definitely like to be a part of such a revolutionary change. I would first begin by teaching in a physical setting, once I am comfortable I would venture into the world of eLearning because technology is taking over and I would not want to be left behind with such innovations.

3. Revise the eLearning development template/instructional design process you developed earlier for yourself. Be sure to:

a) List all of the roles of people who will be involved in the typical development.

  1. Project Manager/Scriptwriter
  2. Subject Matter Expert
  3. eLearning Developer Expert
  4. Graphic Designer
  5. Systems Administrator

b) Identify your role.

  1. Project Manager/Script writer- will be collaborating with others throughout project

c) Explain the type of courses or other eLearning development the template is for (higher education course, corporate training etc.)

When I thought about this template, there wasn’t a particular subject area or level of education that I had in mind. However, I thought it should be suited for those who enjoy a little bit of freedom in deciding what should be done first, second or third. It is a less rigid template and allows those who utilize the template to discuss steps in the order they wish.

d) Provide a clear label for all included elements., e) Provide a clear description of each included element., f) Provide a narrative explaining how the template would be used.

*** FROM SESSION 8 ***

Steps 

1. Analyze learners’s needs and abilities (Add an analysis of content and instructor needs/abilities/preferences)

2a. Identify your underlying goal

2b. Identify what to teach 

2c. Set learning objectives

2d. Identify prerequisites

3a. Pick the approach to meet each objective

3b. Decide the teaching sequence of your objectives

4a. Create objects to accomplish objectives

4b. Create tests (Add other methods to determine whether or not objectives are met as appropriate.)

 4c. Select learning activities

4d. Choose Media (Add a discussion of activity structures and interactions)

After revising the 11 step instructional design steps presented in Chapter 1 I would make several modifications to the order and would put some steps together since some steps seem to overlap with the others. This is how I would utilize this template and how anyone else should use it when creating an online course. First and foremost as an online course designer I would concentrate heavily on the audience. Learners taking the course are the ones who will want and need to benefit from the program so their needs and abilities are extremely important, and as we learned in this week’s session we must keep in mind the disabilities of our students as well. In this same step I will also analyze the content of the instructor(s) since all elements are important for the decisions that will be made further into the process. I decided to combine steps 1, 3, 4 and 5 since they all require deciding what what the objectives will be and what skills will be required from the students, it will basically be the “skeleton” of the online course. For the next group I put together steps 6 and 7 due to the fact that they are both steps that focus on brainstorming the type of media that will be created, this is important to do before making any final decisions on media. The next group of steps I believe will be one of the most time consuming since it will require testing and taking many things into consideration. In the last final four steps all the attention is focused on how the material will be delivered. Withing these steps we must again keep in mind the students with disabilities, provide Absorb, Do and Connect activities, provide media that allows Student-Student, Student-Content and Student-Instructor interaction and most importantly testing the eLearning materials before it is too late. The main point for grouping steps together, is to give those who are designing the program the freedom to skip over steps that they are not so sure of, the sequence of step 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d does not necessarily have to be followed. A designer can rearrange the sequence to their advantage.

Session 9: Response to Prompts

1. Define the terms “Game” and “Simulation” as they relate to eLearning.

According to the text, e-Learning by design, game and simulation as they relate to eLearning,

  • allow learners to practice tasks, apply knowledge and infer principles all while having fun
  • may provide a complete model of a real-world system or just a rapid-fire series of questions to answer
  • can be individual Do activities, test, whole topics, sprawling lessons, and even entire courses.

2. What are the key characteristics of a Simulation?

As I read through Chapter 7 of William Horton’s text I took notes of the key characteristics that differed Simulation from games, tests and demonstrations. Several key characteristics are the following:

  • a simulation can be used for several different purposes
  • simulations tend to look more realistic
  • in true simulations, the learner controls the sequence of events
  • learners decide and act
  • learning results from practice and authentic feedback
  • useful for educating and training workers (retention is greater and understanding is deeper)
  • simulations let learners practice as much as they want to or need to.

3. What are some of the strengths or advantages of Games and Simulations in eLearning?

Games and simulations allows students to learn in ways that are not suited for classroom or eLearning environments. According to William Horton there are many other advantages in the use of games and simulations which are the following, they show consequences not normally visible, let learners make mistakes without suffering permanent consequences, encourage learners to pause, reflect, and revise, provide a laboratory, simplify complex situations, give opportunities for abundant practice and feedback and reawaken learning by play.

4. What are some of the weaknesses or disadvantages of Games and Simulations in eLearning?

Similar to everything else in the world, games and simulations have its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages of games and simulations mentioned by Horton are include cost of failure being high (failures that endanger life, public safety, and financial success), learning with real systems is not practical, learners need individual attention, many people must be educated, tasks are complex and time is short, skills to be taught are subtle and complex and there is a time and budget to see the project through.

5. Explain the term, “Gamification” and explain how this concept might apply to eLearning.

Gamification according to the Wikipedia link provided by Dr. Newberry is, “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users’ contributions”. Game mechanics are things such as points, badges, levels, leader boards and challenges used to increase the users interests. This concept of gamification is being applied to education, whether it is in a classroom setting or in virtual eLearning classroom, it’s an new, exciting and effective way for students to learn. Educators may include a game for students to utilize every week and require them to complete certain amount of levels each week.

https://badgeville.com/wiki/Gamification

  

6. Pick a topic and describe a game or a simulation or gamification concept that would be effective.

In any subject, terminology is key to understanding a lesson, hence the entire course. As I have mentioned throughout these past 9 weeks I would like to teach Geometry once I begin my teaching career, this subject involves many definitions and theorems that are important when solving problems. An important topic in this course with be learning/remembering/memorizing important definitions and theorems. A game that would be effective in helping students learning so many concepts would be quiz-show games and word games. Quiz-show games as stated in the text are good for testing factual knowledge, provided answers are clearly right or wrong. The possibilities for quiz-show game questions are endless, since you can also include formulas as well even pictures of the shapes. Similar things can be done with word games, in a crossword puzzle an angle or shape can be described and the student can fill the puzzle with the correct answer.

Session 8: Response to Prompts

1. List the two levels of testing as outlined in the presentation and discuss each one in turn. Then describe the types of testing activities for each level of testing.

The main idea of Dr. Newberry’s podcast was to inform us of the different types and levels of testing done to make sure that online learning materials are useful and effective, which includes the following, “testing done to ensure the fidelity of the media used to present the material and testing done to ensure that the material presented leads to the desired student outcomes”. Of the two, testing media fidelity is the easiest to perform considering the fact that it has to do more with the technical aspects of an online course, where as testing instructional quality is more based on content. Whether one is easier to test than the other does not signify that the importance of one dominates the other, both must equally be well tested since they are key to a good end product.

Technical Media Fidelity Type of Testing:

  • First thing to test when testing media fidelity is to make sure that the final product is complete and of course acceptable quality. Most likely this is done by the creator, if not created by a single individual, then the person who owns the gold version of the media would run this test.
  • A more elaborate manner of testing media fidelity requires to test the media when it is about to be released for the consumer to try. The typical way of doing so requires an individual to review and utilize the material as if they are the ones who will be learning from the online learning materials. This gives the individual who is trying the product to make sure that everything works properly. Another way to test if the product is performing the way it should would be to run web-based validation checkers, which checks HTML code, CSS coding and ADA compliance. The degree at which the creator decides to test the product depends greatly on the scale of the project. When it is a small-scale development the degree of testing is small since changes can be made later on with greater ease, as opposed to large-scale developments where making changes becomes very difficult.
  • Another level of media fidelity testing is said to be sophisticated since the developer must test the media under different circumstances that the user creates. For example, users may use different web browsers and different software, in this case the best way to pursue this is to test the media by running different browsers and with different software installations. Similarly, the creator must keep in mind the bandwidth and network performance differences that may arise, so he or she must test the material in locations similar to those who will be using the material.
  • Last but not least, media fidelity testing should include testing to ensure that individuals who have disabilities can access and utilize the online learning materials. This is a matter of following the laws and polices set to protect those with disabilities and following the Do’s and Dont’s guidelines when creating material that should be accessible to everyone. Examples of some of the guidelines include high contrast for color blindness, text version for low vision, avoid strobes for those who have seizures, captioning videos for those with auditory problems and navigability issues for those with little motor-ability.

Content Focused Instructional Quality Testing:

  • According to Dr. Newberry, “this type of testing occurs in many stages along the development cycle for the materials being created [and] the key to this type of testing is to ensure that the materials that are created result in the desired student outcomes”.
  • Before the developer can begin with the first level of instructional quality testing, he or she must set the objectives. After this is done the creator will have a subject matter expert(s) review the media design plan, since they are the most qualified individuals to do this job. This can be done in various steps, for example, Dr. Newberry mentioned working on a project where two levels of subject matter experts were asked to review the material. The first level subject experts reviewed the content to make sure that the topics chosen for the program were the most important and appropriate according to their expertise. Second level subject experts took it a step forward and reviewed the outline of the presentations created to successfully address every topic in the subject area. Overall the testing is reviewed by many and through various steps in order to get the best results.
  • Lastly there is the beta test with actual students, where the results of the learning outcomes from the use of the materials will give the developer an idea of whether or not the materials are actually working towards its main objective.

2. What is ADA and how does it apply to the design and development of eLearning materials?

ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act which came into effect in 1990. This act, “is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else”(ADA National Network). The Americans with Disabilities Act is important to consider and keep in mind when designing and developing eLearning material, not only is it required by law but it is also important to be considerate and open minded as to who your audience will be. To design and develop eLearning material we must keep in mind the content, instructor and most importantly the student. Before this podcast I never really thought about those who have disabilities and it is something that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked because once the final product is created it can be difficult to make adjustments. Even if more work is required it shouldn’t matter, because as educators we should meet the needs of the students. I conducted further research on this topic and found the Learning Solutions Magazine website very useful, below is a chart of various disabilities and design techniques to help the students.

Table 1 Summary of disability and design techniques

Disability Type/Group Common Characteristics Design Techniques
Acquired Brain Injury Cognitive Deficits in language and communication, information processing, memory and perceptual skill challenges, balance, fine motor skills, strength and endurance.
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • Use sans-serif fonts
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Frequent practice and feedback
  • Provide alternative navigation
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Cognitive Distractible, impulsive, inattentive, difficulty staying on task, having many projects going on at one time and rarely completing any of them
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Frequent practice and feedback
Asperger’s Syndrome Cognitive Difficulty in articulating due to abnormalities of inflection, may display repetitive speech, and typically have gross motor difficulties.
  • Provide alternative navigation
  • Alternative to any speech requirements (i.e. text instead)
Auditory Perceptual Deficit Cognitive Challenges in understanding and remembering oral instructions, differentiating between similar sounds, may hear inaccurately, or have challenges hearing one sound over a background noise.
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • Provide text alternative for audio
  • Have a specific use for sound; no arbitrary sound
Autism Cognitive Difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication and social interactions, may process and respond to information in unique ways, display uneven gross or fine motor skills, and may be non-responsive to verbal cues.
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Provide alternative navigation
  • Have a specific use for sound; no arbitrary sound
Bipolar disorder Psychological Lack of motivation, difficulty doing tasks, short attention span.
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Frequent practice and feedback
Dyslexia Cognitive Difficulty with word recognition, may display a slow rate of reading, difficulty with spelling and written composition, and difficulty taking notes.
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • Use sans-serif fonts
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Allow fonts to be enlarged
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Chronic Health Difficulty concentrating, experience migraine headaches, photosensitivity, and temperature sensitivity.
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • Use sans-serif fonts
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Allow fonts to be enlarged
Depression Psychological Lack of motivation, difficulty doing tasks, short attention span.
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Frequent practice and feedback
Epilepsy Chronic Health Limitations in memory, disorientation, disorganization, time management, performing or completing tasks, difficulty using office equipment including the computer, limitations in motor abilities, and limitations associated with photosensitivity including using the computer and alternative lighting.
  • Use sans-serif fonts
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Frequent practice and feedback
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) Chronic Health Widespread pain and severe fatigue all over the body or in one particular region, may have difficulty concentrating, experience gross and fine motor impairments, and weakness.
  • Provide audio alternative for text
  • Provide alternative navigation
Lupus Chronic Health Joint and muscle pain, fatigue, photosensitivity, fine and gross motor impairment, cognitive impairment, and fatigue.
  • Provide audio alternative for text
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Frequent practice and feedback
  • Provide alternative navigation
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Chronic Health Difficulty walking, experience numbness or feelings of pins and needles, have pain and loss of vision, undergo inflammation of the optic nerve, experience lack of coordination, may have slurred speech, may face cognitive impairment, fatigue, fine and gross motor impairment, heat sensitivity, and vision and speech impairment.
  • Provide audio alternative for text
  • Use sans-serif fonts
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Frequent practice and feedback
  • Provide alternative navigation
  • Allow fonts to be enlarged
Sensory Integration Dysfunction Cognitive Difficulty registering and processing information from five senses (vision, auditory, touch, olfaction, and taste).
  • Multi-modal presentation
  • Provide audio alternative for text
  • Provide text for audio
  • Use sans-serif fonts
  • Frequent practice and feedback
  • Provide alternative navigation
  • Have a specific use for sound; no arbitrary sound
  • Allow fonts to be enlarged
Visual Perceptual Deficit Cognitive Challenges picking out an object from a background of other objects or seeing things in correct order.
  • Use sans-serif fonts
  • High contrast between text and background
  • Allow fonts to be enlarged

https://adata.org/learn-about-ada

http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/249/hidden-disabilities-is-your-e-learning-fully-section-508-compliant/

3. What is your institutions (You may use CSUSB’s) policy towards ADA and eLearning? Explain what this means in practical terms and what you think the strengths and weaknesses of the policy.

I tried to find CSUSB’s policy towards ADA and eLearning but didn’t have any luck, instead I just found ADA policies and procedures along with a 76 page long PDF that mentions the services to students with disabilities. The ADA policies and procedures webpage states the following,”CSUSB has a responsibility to comply with ADA regulations for faculty, staff, students and visitors. This responsibility takes the form of reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities as well as facility access for persons with disabilities”. In the PDF file it states the rights of students with disabilities at CSUSB to be to have equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the University. If special accommodations are needed the student must request it and inform the school, then it goes through a six step process to come to a solution to better accommodate the student. The six step process is the following,

  1. Identification of the interest, problem or concern.
  2. An analysis of the factors involved, including cost and funding sources.
  3. A review of the alternatives possible, including cost.
  4. A response to the originator of the item.
  5. Implementation of the solution.
  6. Closure of the process.

*Funding for individual applicant and employee ADA reasonable accommodation is addressed in the University budget policy. 

This process is followed by the ADA management groups which include, ADA Compliance Officer and Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Director of Services to Students with Disabilities, Director of Facilities Services and Director of Capital Planning, Design and Construction. Overall the ADA policies and procedures are well put together and address the main questions that a student with disabilities would have. However, it has three main weaknesses, first of all there is no section for eLearning it mostly focuses on student accessibility to buildings and physical classroom learning. It also does not include a Director for eLearning, which should be included since eLearning is a growing field in education. Lastly, accommodations are only made if the school’s budget allows the changes to be made. This is the biggest weaknesses and probably the most difficult to solve since it involves money getting in the way of students with disabilities learning experience.

http://policies.csusb.edu/ada_procedures_and_guidelines.htm

http://ssd.csusb.edu/policiesProcedures/documents/StudentResourceGuide-Accessible_002.pdf

4. Revisit the 11 instructional design steps presented in chapter 1 of the text (Design Quickly and Reliably).* Revise this 11 step system using what you now know about development and testing. Try to create your own instructional design process/template that you might actually use. Briefly explain your modifications.

*11 step instructional design process as presented in the text

  1. Identify your underlying goal
  2. Analyze learners’ needs and abilities (Add an analysis of content and instructor needs/abilities/preferences.)
  3. Identify what to teach
  4. Set learning objectives
  5. Identify prerequisites
  6. Pick the approach to meet each objective
  7. Decide the teaching sequence of your objectives
  8. Create objects to accomplish objectives
  9. Create tests (Add other methods to determine whether or not objectives are met as appropriate.)
  10. Select learning activities
  11. Choose Media (Add a discussion of activity structures and interactions.)

Modified Steps

  1. Analyze learners’s needs and abilities (Add an analysis of content and instructor needs/abilities/preferences)
  2. a. Identify your underlying goal, b. Identify what to teach, c. Set learning objectives, d. Identify prerequisites
  3. a. Pick the approach to meet each objective, b. Decide the teaching sequence of your objectives
  4. a. Create objects to accomplish objectives, b. Create tests (Add other methods to determine whether or not objectives are met as appropriate.), c. Select learning activities, d. Choose Media (Add a discussion of activity structures and interactions)

After revising the 11 step instructional design steps presented in Chapter 1 I would make several modifications to the order and would put some steps together since some steps seem to overlap with the others. First and foremost as an online course designer I would concentrate heavily on the audience. Learners taking the course are the ones who will want and need to benefit from the program so their needs and abilities are extremely important, and as we learned in this week’s session we must keep in mind the disabilities of our students as well. In this same step I will also analyze the content of the instructor(s) since all elements are important for the decisions that will be made further into the process. I decided to combine steps 1, 3, 4 and 5 since they all require deciding what what the objectives will be and what skills will be required from the students, it will basically be the “skeleton” of the online course. For the next group I put together steps 6 and 7 due to the fact that they are both steps that focus on brainstorming the type of media that will be created, this is important to do before making any final decisions on media. The next group of steps I believe will be one of the most time consuming since it will require testing and taking many things into consideration. In the last final four steps all the attention is focused on how the material will be delivered. Withing these steps we must again keep in mind the students with disabilities, provide Absorb, Do and Connect activities, provide media that allows Student-Student, Student-Content and Student-Instructor interaction and most importantly testing the eLearning materials before it is too late.

Session 7: Response to Prompts

1. Why is media selection important in eLearning?

Media selection is important in eLearning because it defines whether or not the online course will successfully meet its objectives. As mentioned by Dr. Newberry, in his Session 7 introduction, “Each media, each technology has its own characteristics that need to be understood so that the designer of the eLearning environment can make the best media choices, and use the power of the available media to its best effect”. The media selection heavily depends on three different criteria, which are, instructor, content and students. Selecting the ideal media can be difficult considering the mentioned criteria, the instructor must choose the media they are most comfortable with and the media must be the most suitable for the content being taught. All three criteria are important, but probably the most important of all are the students, since they are the ones participating in the learning experience. The article that I provided below states that, “No matter how powerful in educational terms a particular medium or technology may be, if students cannot access it in a convenient and affordable manner they cannot learn from it”. Additional compelling arguments are made, such as that when choosing the right technology the designer must consider the students demographics and differences in how students learn.

http://www.tonybates.ca/2015/01/06/students-as-a-criterion-for-media-selection-in-online-learning/

2. Define “new media”?

The phrase “new media” is defined by Dr. Newberry as, “ease of sharing, but more than that, is the ability for others to use, reuse, link to and comment upon shared works”. New media exists in many forms, there is media where students can share videos, photographs, written documents and audio recordings. Before we could enjoy the advantages of new media, several changes had to take place, which are the availability of bandwidth and technology and the changes of attitudes of utilizing these new types of media. The concept of new media has revolutionized the way in which we teach and learn new material and pretty much anything else in our everyday lives.

3. Choose a “new media” and explain its strengths and weaknesses for supporting eLearning.

In Dr. Newberry’s first podcast, titled Media for eLearning, he mentions various types of “new media” and its strengths and weaknesses for supporting eLearning. One that was not mentioned and that has impacted the field of education is, Google+, which is a tool that includes of all the “new media” put into a single learning tool, making this a major strength. It allows you to organize groups by creating circles where the instructors can gather questions from their students before an upcoming lecture. The instructor can hold office hours and even review video presentations with students in order to re-teach difficult concepts. Not only can the students interact easily with the instructor but also with their fellow classmates and do collaborative writing and projects. Another major strength is that Google+ makes it possible for instructors to engage with students before they start school, to get a feel for what type of online course fits them best. The Google+ tool can also be accessed through any device which makes it easy for students to work on their assignments in any location. Some of the weaknesses include not being able to access Google+ material without WiFi and without possibly having to pay for extras, since some schools may opt to different software. An additional weakness would be students not having the time to participate in synchronous meetings with other students and the instructor.

I have not utilized Google+ in a classroom setting, so I would like to hear from those who have, what are some strengths and weaknesses of Google+ based on your personal experience?

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1WG6RjvDbiv7Z9Vv4qWR2CvFIEvKmZ2qdD1JEv1T5rfo/edit?pli=1#slide=id.p17

4. Explain the term “Mobile Learning” and discuss the importance of “Mobile Learning” in the current eLearning environment and in future eLearning environments.

William Horton’s definition of “Mobile Learning” has two main meanings          (1) participation in learning events while mobile and                                                 (2) learning from the world in which we move.                                                               “Mobile Learning” does not limit us to just learning from a single person, instead mobile learners have a world of teachers which can be objects, locations, environments, experts, fellow learners and the internet.

“Mobile Learning” is important in the current eLearning environment and in future eLearning environments since technology, social media and other online tools have taken over so many aspects of our lives and is currently being incorporated into education. Almost everything we do today requires technology, so familiarizing ourselves with the newest technological trends is crucial, for students, parents and teachers. This generation and future generation will be filled with Millennials, so its important to keep up with the tools that younger individuals like to use and include them in our lesson plans.

5. Explain the term “Virtual Classroom”. Describe how a “Virtual Classroom” can be used in eLearning.

“Virtual classrooms use collaboration tools to re-create the structure and learning experiences of a physical classroom”, as stated by William Horton. There exists standalone eLearning and learner-led social learning, but virtual classroom is the one that closely resembles the environment of an actual classroom that requires physical presence. “Virtual Classroom” can be used in eLearning for those who prefer to work closely with students and have more control over their students learning. According to Horton in a virtual classroom the teacher can adapt learning to learners, provide the community and discipline some learners need, is familiar and proven and flexible and active. It is an ideal type of classroom for those who have busy lives, but still want the structure and support provided by an on campus course.

6. Thinking about the class you have been designing, what are some ways you could potentially use some new media?

As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I have been focusing my designing assignments on high school mathematics, specifically geometry. Some ways in which I could potentially use some new media would be to deliver lectures by creating audio and video presentations for student-content interaction and VOIP technology for student-student and student-instructor interactions. The audio and video presentations will require streaming media or podcast media in order to create the student-content interaction. I would most likely utilize the podcast media since it allows students to download the file and access it through different technological machines. Allowing the material to have great portability, will also allow students to interact with one another and the content with greater ease. For example, if students would like to go over certain material together they can download the video ahead of time and meet where it best suits them both without there having to be any internet access. For VOIP technology I would suggest student to opt to the media that they are most familiar with, taking into consideration that there are multiple mediums that could be utilized for students to communicate.

Session 6: Response to Prompts

1. Describe an “Absorb” type activity for one of the objectives in your course plan.

According to William Horton “Absorb” activities “usually consist of information and the actions learners take to extract and comprehend knowledge from that information”. Some examples of absorb activities include presentations, readings, stories by a teacher and field trips. For one and all the other objectives that I mentioned in my course plan, I will be including an absorb activity by providing students not only with video presentations but also a word document that will include important theorems, definitions and formulas for each chapter. Geometry is a subject with many important definitions and formulas that need to be recalled constantly, having access to a text document will help students “absorb” the information with greater ease.

2. Describe a “Do” type activity for one of the objectives in your course plan.

“Do”activities are defined in our text to be activities  where, “learners discover, parse, decode, analyze, verify, combine, organize, discuss, debate, evaluate, condense, refine, elaborate, and, most importantly, apply knowledge”. Throughout my course plan I decided to incorporate a “do” activity which is group work. Since my course will be a hybrid class where students will meet in a classroom setting twice a week, they will be required to work in groups on a problem set that is assigned from the textbook. This “drill-and-practice” type of activity will, “help learners automate skills and improve fluidity of application”. I believe this type of activity that involves practice, communication and repetition is crucial for the learning of mathematics.

3. Describe a “Connect” type activity for one of the objectives in your course plan. 

Activities classified as “Connect” activities are important for students to exercise since they help them apply the concepts that they learned in previous and current lessons. I had a difficult time incorporating a connect activity for my students who will be taking this course due to the fact that this is the first course I will be teaching and creating, however I will see how I can manage my time to include a connect activity. It all depends on how well students are receiving the material and the time it will take for them to feel comfortable with the material. If I do end up assigning connect activities to my students it will be a group project that will require them to research careers where geometry and other math courses are applied in real world situations.

4. Choose one of the above activities and discuss the process you would use to create this presentation. For this task assume that you have no additional assistance other than the instructor who would be able to write content as you describe it and perform for a recording as needed.

An absorb activity that I included above was video presentations along with a word document that included theorems, definitions and formulas. I would follow the process mentioned in Dr.Newberry’s podcast, which works in three stages, preparation, production and delivery. This three stage process seems like the most efficient and appropriate because it does not overlook any detail. Throughout this process of producing eLearning resources I will work closely with the instructor since they are the experts of the course. For the audio in the video presentations, I would prefer it to be done by the instructor, since they are well experienced and will be able to explain the steps clearer and add any additional useful tricks and skills to solving math problems.

5. Discuss how would your approach for the above task would be different if you were directing the development efforts of a team that included a graphic designer, a video editor and a web programmer along with all of the tools that such a team would typically use.

The impact of having a graphic designer, a video editor and a web programmer would be positive and would result in a much more effective course. For the above task the process would be the same since I would not want to leave out any important detail, however, what would change would be the workload that would be distributed among each other and who I would work with in each step. When in the preparation stage I would probably work close with the instructor and graphic designer, in the production stage with video editor and in the final stage with the web programmer. Having a wide variety of experts and tools will allow me to create learning resources to best fit the needs of the students.

6. The text presents test types and presents a list of common types of test questions. In light of these, describe a test that would be appropriate for the class your team planned in the previous session.

For this course the main purpose for testing will be to measure the progress of learners, which is why I decided to have weekly quizzes and chapter tests. These tests will include a mixture of true/false, pick-one, fill-in-the-blanks, and matching-list, the type of questions will depend on what exactly I want to test. For example,quizzes will include 3-4 pick-one questions where students will be required to show all work, and all work/steps must lead to the correct answer. Chapter tests will be greater in length of course, and will include a test that test the comprehension of definitions as well and not just the students ability to perform the correct steps. To test definition and theorem comprehension I will ask students true/false, fill-in-the-blanks and matching-list questions during different chapter test, not all at once. For problems that require a specific answer the pick-one questions will be the most appropriate, again students will be required to show all work in order to receive full credit in order to avoid lucky guessing and defeating the purpose of the test, which is to test the progress of students.