Use the Technology, Luke

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Online learning is generally challenging for many reasons… for those of us who are accustomed to walking into a classroom, sitting down, listening and taking notes, online learning introduces a whole host of new potential barriers to learning. The online learning environment is especially difficult for those of us who aren’t technologically savvy. So, how can we help learners overcome these barriers? One simple and effective way is to use hyperlinks wherever possible. Continue reading...

What is Chunking and Why is it Important for Your Online Course?

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In the simplest terms chunking is breaking down something large into smaller, more manageable pieces. In the book Supercharge Your Professional Learning, the authors describe chunking as a “technique [that] can offset cognitive load and enable participants to retain more information because seemingly disparate pieces of information are grouped into smaller, more conceptual chunks” (Derbiszewska & Tucker-Smith, 2020). So, what does this look like? Continue reading...

Goals are the Guide to Learning

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Goals in education are exactly this: directing the learners’ aim and effort to produce a desired result of learning. By adding goals to our content we explicitly inform the learner of the important pieces of information in a specific unit, module, chapter, etc. Goals are like the tracks for the train; the destination on your GPS; the stars for the seafarer. They paint the big picture and help to prime and guide our learners. Continue reading...

Multiple Means of Representation With Visuals

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When we talk about visual aids in the context of learning we’re talking about anything that can help a learner grapple with the content — however simple or complex the topic may be. This can be a graphic, chart, image, etc. that you find online (just remember to cite or use open source!), or it can be something that you create yourself. Remember, variability is the norm and everyone learns differently. Supplementing your content with visual aids is essential in order to reach all of your learners — essential for some; good for all. Continue reading...

Navigating the Path: Removing Barriers from Your Online Course

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Too often learning experiences are designed around the "average learner." This type of design generally consists of one way to learn the content (e.g., reading) and one way to express understanding (e.g., essay). The problem inherent in this design is that it is full of unnecessary barriers that leave many learners struggling to achieve the learning goal. By removing these barriers we create multiple paths that all lead back to the same learning goal. Continue reading...

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