I would like to share some e-books I read recently.

  • e-learning trends and predictions for 2017   EI-Design-eLearning-Trends-and-Predictions-for-2017-14ft6z5

    This list of eLearning trends and predictions is based on  how ideas evolved into trends in the last few years and ideas that are in practice today.  The author provides three lists

    1. What will continue to offer value (what has worked and delivered value in the recent past).
    2. Where we will see increased focus.
    3. What to watch out for in 2017.

The author compares the popular Disney princesses as e-learning issues. He also provides an action tip for each issue.

Check out this infographic 🙂

Gamification is hot new trend in e-learning industry and will continue to remain so according to the author of the first e-book listed above. This book  offers guidance for designing and implementing effective gamification initiatives. The author offers 22 best practices and the topics include identifying goals, game design, the role of leaderboards etc.

I hope you enjoy these books!

Continue reading e-books

Involving Learners

We instructional designers always try to identify the most effective ways to engage learners online when creating tutorials or learning objects. Yet, it’s too easy to create learning which falls into  the “information shoveling” type, a bunch of slides with audio added on top with no or minimal interaction between the learners and the content. Letting our ID mind run free with engagement strategies feels like a tough game sometimes.

Cathy Moore, an internationally recognized instructional designer, shares her answer to the question, “how do I design engaging learning?”.    The answer actually sounds simple: designing the learning in a way where your learners will enjoy exploring it as much as you enjoyed creating it.

So, the key word is “exploring” instead of “receiving”.  Let learners explore and experiment. Avoid the information dump and make our training learner-focused.

In her blog,  Cathy Moore shares some great engagement strategies including providing practice activities, and using a mini-scenario.  Do not push information out, and let learners pull information in instead. Check her blog out.

eLearning Trends 2017 Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

How to really involve learners

Best Practices for Deploying and Using TurnitIn

Call it an anti-plagiarism tool or a tool that detects originality, TurnitIn is going to represent a change in the way many faculty review and grade assignments delivered through ELMS.    As you experiment with the tool in umd.test.instructure.com and talk with the faculty that you support, please share your thoughts about best practices for the tool and best practices for its use.

Sharing Best Practices in Accessible and Inclusive Learning

I recently returned from a 2-week visit to the University of Edinburgh, thanks to a grant from the UMD Global Partnerships program for my proposal “Sharing Best Practices in Accessible and Inclusive Learning Between the University of Maryland Learning Technology Design and the University of Edinburgh Institute for Academic Development.” I’ll be presenting about my experience at the ITL Conference in May, but I’ve also been keeping a blog during the trip.  Although I’ve been back for about a week, I continue to process what I learned and how I can use this experience to inform my work in accessibility, and in instructional design in general. So although the trip is over, I plan to keep writing at the blog as I continue to process everything I have experienced. My latest post is an attempt to sort through some of this, so I hope you enjoy:

Lessons Learned (Part 1)

If you are interested in learning more about the Global Partnerships grant program, I’d be happy to answer any questions about my experience. It is truly a wonderful opportunity provided by the University.

Conference Presentation and/or Participation Opportunity

The 3rd annual Mid-Atlantic Group Instructing with Canvas (MAGIC) conference will be held on Friday, April 7 at Howard County Community College (Columbia, Maryland).   Conference coordinators are looking for proposals to present on topics related to

  • innovative pedagogical strategies
  • agile LMS administration
  • assessment and learning metrics
  • faculty development and implementation
  • other ideas you might want to contribute

Deadline for submitting a proposal to present is March 8.  Submit at: http://www.canvasmagic.org/cfp/   (Presenters receive free conference registration.)

Conference registration is also now open at a fee of $27.49.

TOEP – Tools of Engagement Project

Recently, I attended a webinar about the Tools of Engagement Project (TOEP) developed by The State University of New York  (http://suny.edu/toep).  The instructional design model for this project is built on discovery learning.  Instead of cataloging tools and how to use them in the classroom, the TOEP project flips this model and lists types of assignments used in a classroom. The user can then search on the assignment type and the tools that support it.  For instance, “presentations” offers suggestions for implementing this type of assignment, numerous tools to use in a presentation assignment (MSPowerpoint, Prezi, Google Presentations,Haiku Deck, and more), and presentation assignments developed by peers in other colleges and universities.  I really like this resource because it is comprehensive, innovative and constantly being updated by peer educators and instructional designers.  This project  goes into depth with resources,  research and exercises for each type of assignment. Badges can be earned as well.  Instructors are encouraged to add to the data base for fresh ideas.  This is a valuable resource for all instructional designers to add breadth and depth to their repertoire of pedagogical solutions.  Below is a screen shot of one of the Presentations pages.

TOEP page for Presentations

Educause Learning Initiative Focus Session Announced

ELI will conduct an online focus session on “New Directions in Instructional Design:  Keeping Pace in a Time of Rapid Change” on April 19 and 20 from noon-3:30 p.m. each day.  ELI will confer a digital badge to those who are actively engaged during the sessions as a recognition of their professional development accomplishment.   See ELI Online Focus Session for more details and to register.

Closed captions, transcripts aid learning for almost all students

New research from Oregon State University highlights the importance of providing captions to videos for the benefit of all users. As described in the article Closed captions, transcripts aid learning for almost all students, the researchers found that “98.6 percent of students say captions are helpful, with 75 percent of them noting that they use captions as a learning aid in face-to-face and online classrooms.”

So while we now that we must provide captions for students with documented disabilities, the reality is that almost 99% of all students can benefit from them.  By including captioning in the planning of any video component in your course you can be confident that you are creating content that will impactful for the vast majority of all students who view it.

As we continue to work to find an affordable way to provide captioning services on campus beyond those captions required by law, which are coordinated by the UMD Disability Support Services, there are free options for creating captions using Camtasia, YouTube, or Vimeo. It’s important to remember that many qualified students at the higher education level choose not to identify as someone with a disability, or do not have the documentation necessary to receive accommodations for their disability.  Add to this the number of students who are not native English speakers, and you have a roster full of students who would utilize captions to further their learning — if captions were available:

For video transcripts, students referenced the tool as a learning aid 85 percent of the time …. More than half of students surveyed said captions help by improving comprehension. The most common reasons students use captions are to help them focus, retain information and overcome poor audio quality of the videos, while transcripts are often used as study guides and to find and retain information.

I encourage you to read the full Study from Oregon State and 3Play Media, and then begin thinking about how we can increase the use of captions to help our students have a more meaningful learning experience in our online spaces. What do you think?

My Favoriate Blog Sites on E-Learning Instructional Design

As an instructional designer, we use our craft resolving unique and challenging problems via the design and delivery of instructional materials.  During the process, we hone job skills daily via all sorts of venues: practices and practices, challenge and challenges, and one of those venues as being learning from our co-workers and from the eLearing gurus in the field. During the past few years, I have benefited immensely by reading and following the blogs published by ID experts in the field.  The following are my favorite sites:

1. Cathy-Moore

Cathy-Moore is an internationally recognized instructional designer.  Her blog offers great design ideas, practical examples and templates to help instructional designers in any level to develop interactive learning materials. http://blog.cathy-moore.com/

Her Training Designer’s  Guide and Action Mapping concept are great resources for all instructional designers.

2. eLearning Industry

eLearning Industry has one of the the best eLearning instructional design blogs, the largest online community of ID professionals.

3. Rapid eLearning Blog

Many of us are familiar with the famous Articulate Rapid eLearning Blog by the eLearning pro, Tom Kuhlman. He offers tons of expert advice, design best practices and examples. http://blogs.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/

4. eLearning Brother
Check out their Instructional Design Best Practices site:

5. eLearning Guild
The basic eLearning guild membership is free. Many professionals  think the  eLearning Guild is  eLearning professionals’ most trusted source for trends, news, and updates.

The 12 Apps of Christmas

Here’s something a little different.  For the past couple of years, I have enjoyed participating in this project, run by folks at the Dublin Institute of Technology, known as “The 12 Apps of Christmas.” The idea is to learn about new apps being used in education to engage and motivate learners.  Starting December 1, a new web page becomes available to anyone who has registered at the site (you will be given a password when you register.) The new page will describe an app and where to access it, an example of how it is used, and a task for you to perform and share with others who are following the project.

This year, each app will also include a case study written by an educator who has used it in their instruction.  You just might see someone you know from UMD (no, not me!)  After the 12 Days are over, the site will be opened to the public, and you can share the information with your colleagues.

To register and to learn more about the project, visit the 12 Apps Of Christmas website.  To see last year’s project, visit the 2015 12 Apps of Christmas website.

This is a really interesting way to the creative and innovative ways that instructors are using these apps, even if they are apps you are already familiar with.  It’s also a great way to expand your network to educators around the world.  It’s low stress, in that if you have time to do the project the day it opens, great!  If you don’t have time that day — that’s okay too!  The deadlines are soft, and the commitment is minimal. It’s really about learning and sharing.

Where learning and technology meet

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