An instructional designer knows the challenging work involve in developing or adapting contents for online learning. One thing is for you as a designer to have first hand information about the physical students in your face-to-face classroom. This is either by observing and asserting evidences collected by your previous interaction with them in your into your design to enforce better learning engagement activities within and outside your contents.
These traditional design strategies are different in today online learning environment where students are scattered geographically by race, status, income level, access to education, religion and other man made divides. You must, as a designer address significantly these aspects in your contents in order to have participation as most online learning tends towards global studentship.
However proven effective learning strategies such as group work and role-play can be adapted in an online learning environment. Some have results that have foster better students engagements with the contents. This however was possible where the instructor assessing the learners, knows the context and environment in which learners will be operating. Here the instructional tools and content delivery techniques are well spelt out for the student.
First of all, knowing these instructional tools and techniques for delivery and developing learners supporting strategies gives the designer a good start better profiling of the students in terms of better engagement with the contents. This gives the designer a definite start for an active online learning in the form of deliberate planned interaction with the provided learning resources, incorporating assessment of learning outcomes of the main content.
According to (Mantyla, 2009). Components of good active learning activities are the same, whether presented in traditional or in online environments. Here are tips for to consider for your strategy.
- Your topic title and content must address a specific/general-learning goal with clear purpose – depending on the program/career path the topic is addressing. It must state the categories of a learning discipline or career path it is addressing and cite some visible application in the real world.
- Learning activities having an exact start and conclusion. Your learning activities should be linked to your measurable learning outcomes, which must have a learning engagement by the student with the content. i.e. an in text question must address the learning outcome with an in text answer. This must be represented in the end of the topic assessment to enforce learning
- There must be learning activities outside the contents at least where the students have to engage in two or three of the followings: selected readings, case studies, research on the internet, internships and field trips. These learning activities must start and finish period/date with measurable and understandable conclusions.
- There is a need now that we are in a social global village to video and record these activities to enhance feedback mechanism and continuity in research and curriculum updates.
- The inclusion of the tools to be used for online interaction and learning engagements with the contents and outside the contents must be able to answer the following:
- The issue of support before or during the learning activity.
- Will visuals or other materials be needed? How will they be assess
- Do you Tools address collaboration with other learners?
- Do the tools give accessibility for learners to ask question?
- How does these tools address formative or summative evaluation?
- Does these tools support multiple ways of experiencing learning?