elearning toolbox

Education and training is not a one-size-fits-all experience, and it is important to select a learning experience that incorporates this understanding. Every client is unique and requires a unique elearning space.

how to learn
Universal Instructional Design (UID) provides a variety of learning and assessment methods to remove obstructions to a student’s learning. UID considers the potential needs of all learners when designing and delivering instructions. “Through that process, one can identify and eliminate barriers to teaching and learning, thus maximizing learning for students of all backgrounds and learner preferences.”[1] The focus in not on the barriers themselves but, instead, is placed on providing a variety of learning and assessment methods, so that a student avoids the barrier preventing learning.
Barriers to learning are created when the learning experience reduces a student’s capacity to learn. Brock University defines UID as “identifying and eliminating unnecessary barriers to teaching and learning while maintaining academic rigour.”[2] elearning space removes these barriers by ensuring that the learning experience includes learning and assessment methods that are all-encompassing of individual student learning needs. It is not one, but the range of learning and assessment methods that cater for all student learning abilities.
 
[1] Caputo, Aldo. 2016. “Open Learning and educational support”. Accessed Feburary 18, 2017. http://opened.uoguelph.ca/students/resources/uid_implimentation_guide_15.pdf
 
[2] Brock University. 2012. Seven Principles of Universal Instructional Design (UID). 26 March. Accessed Feburary 18, 2017. http://kumu.brocku.ca/twiki/Seven_Principles_of_Universal_Instructional_D (Lombardi n.d.)esign_%28UID%29
Traditionally, students attend a physical location at a set time to listen to a lecture to acquire new knowledge. Each student applies this newly learnt information by completing a learning activity. The learning activity is then assessed by an expert to record the level of understanding obtained by each student. Flipped learning ‘flips’ this traditional model. In essence, “flipping the classroom” means that students gain first exposure to new material outside of class, usually via reading or lecture videos, and then use class time to do the harder work of assimilating that knowledge.”[1] Student’s listen to the lecture online at a time and location of their choosing to learn new knowledge. Students come together in either the elearning space or physical classroom to complete activities, so they can demonstrate their newly learnt knowledge. The teacher, trainer or lecturer is no longer the disseminator of information―because this has already happened―instead the they becomes a facilitator. A facilitator helps and supports the students as each attempt to complete the learning activities. The facilitators time is used to support student understanding of the content, instead of delivering the content.
 
[1] Brame, C., 2013. Flipping the classroom. Accessed February 18, 2017 from http://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/flipping-the-classroom
Social interaction is an important aspect of elearning space. Social
Interaction happens via an elearning space or face-to-face workshop. “Even as early as 1930 Vygotsky identifies the importance of social interaction to the learning process.”[1] It is essential that students engage in the learning process with each other to maximise learning potential. According to Cohen, “Students learn a great deal by explaining their ideas to others and by participating in activities in which they can learn from their peers.”[2] Time within an elearning space or face-to-face workshop will used to ensure students can work together to engage with their peers. Engaging with peers ensure that students participate in an active learning process. “Active learning means students engage with the material, participate in the class, and collaborate with each other.”[3]
 
[1] Mcloud, S. A., 2014. Lev Vygotsky. Accessed Feburary 18, 2017. www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html
 
[2] Ruth Cohen, Jane Sampson. 2012. Peer Learning in Higher Education: Learning From & With Each Other. Edited by David Bond. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing Inc.
 
[3] Stanford University, 2017. Promoting Active Learning. Accessed February 18, 2017 from https://teachingcommons.stanford.edu/resources/learning-resources/promoting-active-learning
elearning space focuses on authentic learning principles. “Authentic learning typically focuses on real-world, complex problems and their solutions, using role-playing exercises, problem-based activities, case studies, and participation in virtual communities of practice.” [1] Authentic learning attempts to make connections for the student between the newly learnt content and experiences that have happened in their real life. This supports learning because, as a student connect the newly learnt knowledge to a real-life experience, this new knowledge is more likely to remembered.
 
[1] Lombardi, Marilyn M. 2007. “Authentic Learning for the 21st Century: An Overview.” Edited by Diana G. Oblinger. Accessed February 18, 2017. https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI3009.pdf
Scenario based learning provides the learner with motivating and engaging learning experiences within an elearning space. Scenarios provide a number of different choices to a question, so the learner can select the correct option to complete the learning experience. This includes the learner in the learning experience because he/she must make a real-life choice to answer the scenario question. According to Whybrow, “Situations which require learners to take action by making decisions and seeing consequences is a much better way of learning than being passive.”[1] Scenarios require learners to actively use the information they have learnt to make the correct decision. This is active learning.
 
[1] Li Whybrow, April 10, 2015. Branching Scenario eLearning: 5 Killer Examples Accessed April 29, 2017 from https://elearningindustry.com/branching-scenario-elearning-5-killer-examples
Discovery learning promotes learners finding the information themselves. Learning is best achieved when the learner finds relationships between the facts themselves. Discovery learning “…takes place in problem solving situations where the learner draws on his or her own experience and existing knowledge to discover facts and relationships and new truths to be learned.” [1]. Learning becomes more of an active experience because the answer to the question is found by reading a multitude of sources and completing a number of activities. The learner must become actively involved in the learning process to answer the question. elearning space uses a discovery learning experience in the Show Me and Let me section of the elearning slides.
 
[1] Bruner, J. S. (1961). The Act of Discovery. Harvard Educational Review
We design a student-led, self-paced elearning experience, so the learner can learn the knowledge and skill learning objectives on their own without a trainer. These elearning experiences make up the elearning space. Progression through the elearning experiences is conditional on the learner’s correct responses to the questions. A correct response will progress the learner to the next elearning experience until mastery of the learning objectives is achieved. The elearning objectives are designed so the learner has a choice to progress through the learning experience at their own pace. Learners can learn what they want, when they want, and as fast or slow as needed. Also, before answering the questions, learners have opportunity to go back over the content to ensure the proficiency of knowledge and skills are achieved.
A learner-centred learning strategy puts the curriculum planning focus on the learner—not the teacher, trainer, or lecturer. The focus placed on equipping the learner with the skills to develop autonomy and independence for the learning experience. “…[Learner]-centered instruction focuses on skills and practices that enable lifelong learning and independent problem-solving.”[1] Some learners are already equipped with these skills, but others need direction with explicit teaching. If the thinking skills to promote independent learning are explicitly taught, then the learning objectives can be learnt with little to no input from the teacher, trainer, or lecturer. Basically, the learner learns how to learn for him/herself. elearning space is a learner-centric learning environment.
 
[1] Young, Lynne E.; Paterson, Barbara L. (2007). Teaching Nursing: Developing a Student-centered Learning Environment. p. 5.
elearning space uses instructor-led screencasts and webcasts to teach the user explicit instructions. “By explicit instruction, we mean teaching where the instructor clearly outlines what the learning goals are for the student and offers clear, unambiguous explanations of the skills…they are presenting.” [1] Explicit instructions teach learners the specific skill needed to complete the task to achieve a learning objective. elearning space uses our mascot, Asimo the Owl, to give these explicit instructions via screencasts. Our instructors conduct webcasts in real-time for learners to participate and learn new skills to achieve the elearning objectives.
 
[1] Smith, Hallie. (2017). Does traditional or exploratory learning work better? Accessed July 20, 2017 from http://www.scilearn.com/blog/implicit-vs-explicit-instruction-word-learning
This is a three-step instruction design method that uses a mix of instructor-led and student-led learning experiences. The Tell Me step begins by presenting the learner with knowledge and facts. Then, the learner is immersed in the topic with the use of videos, documents, webpages, and associated questions. This immersion generates a basic understanding of the topic. Afterwards, the learner must complete the Try Me step without assistance for it be an authentic learning experience; so, we use Backward Design to create the Show Me learning experiences. For the Show Me step, the learner is led through the task by Asimo the Owl with instructor-led instructions. The learner is equipped with the skills and knowledge to complete the final Try Me step independently.
Nano Learning fits nicely with the busy lifestyle of the modern learner. Nano learning splits larger learning programs up into smaller chunks of information. eLearning objectives are created for nano learning modules which are only 3-5 minutes in duration. “Each module can be completed…when it best suits the user. Together, they form an effective module of training. The best thing about this is that nano-modules can be completed purposefully. When you want to and, naturally, as many times as you need to.”[1] nano learning modules are effective because the learner can achieve the eLearning objective within a short period amidst his/her busy lifestyle.
[1] Teemu Torvelainen. (2007). What are nano-learning and m-learning? Accessed July 20, 2017 from http://newsletter.prewise.com/en/Prewise_Newsletter_32007/What_are_nano-learning_and_m-learning.aspx
mlearning refers to the multiple portable, hand-held mobile learning devices that can be used for an eLearning experience. With these mobile learning devices comes a mobile learning environment—learning can happen anywhere and at any time. “Mobile communication devices can be transformed into “classrooms on the move,” offering information and learning on demand via text, multimedia, and interactivities.”[1] We make sure your eLearning space is available at any time, anywhere, and on any mobile device.
 
[1] Desai, Nadia., Ko, Ya-Yin. (2017). Mobile Learning in Higher Education. Accessed July 20, 2017, from http://etec.ctlt.ubc.ca/510wiki/Mobile_Learning_in_Higher_Education
Gamification is an extension of flipped mastery learning. As student progress through their elearning objectives, and achieve mastery of skills and knowledge, he or she “levels up.” As an elearning objective is achieved, the student will receive a badge. According to Merriam-Webster, the word gamification “refers to the incorporation of game elements, like point and reward systems, to tasks as incentives for people to participate”.[1] elearning space engages students in the learning process by including gamification learning techniques in the learning experience.
 
[1] Merrian-Webster, 2017. Gamification. Accessed February 24, 2017 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gamification