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.
- Project Manager/Scriptwriter
- Subject Matter Expert
- eLearning Developer Expert
- Graphic Designer
- Systems Administrator
b) Identify your role.
- 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 ***
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.