Learning-category

Designing for Learning

Creating a Design Blueprint

Posted in , ,

Horizon’s Designing for Online Learning (DOL) Moodle course makes use of the ADDIE model of course design in the development of two course design documents – an Analyses Document and a Design Blueprint. Although DOL uses a series of forms and interactive learning to help designers generate these documents, it may be that these documents would be helpful to you in your current course design project. For this reason, we have distilled these design processes into two documents: a questionnaire and a blank blueprint.  Horizon’s Analyses Document is a product that is generated by a series of questions on the topics of Analyzing the Learners who will take your course, Analyzing the Learning Environment of the course, and Analyzing the Learning Goals for the course. This series of questions is available in the Analyzing Questionnaire. These questions are organized to assist you in the Analysis stage of the ADDIE model of...

Read More

Designing Good Discussion Questions

Posted in , ,

In another post we introduced Bloom’s Taxonomy, specifying how these categories of understanding might help us as we design discussion questions or other learning activities. Thus, as we set our minds to designing “good” discussion questions, we should consider how we might invite learners to engage Bloom’s more complex forms of understanding (analyze, evaluate, or create) in our assessments. Take a look at the following helps sheet developed by The College of New Jersey designed to assist teachers who are seeking to create good discussion questions. For those of you who have a greater interest in exploring the subject of designing discussion questions, you may find an article on MERLOT helpful. MERLOT, which stands for “Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching,” is a website which also hosts an online journal exploring issues of online learning and teaching. The following link will direct you to an article written by Lynn Akin and Diane Neal (2007) entitled, “CREST+ Model: Writing...

Read More

Blending Synchronous and Asynchronous Approaches

Posted in , ,

Traditionally, blended learning has been defined as a course that includes both face-to-face and online learning components. But in the context of COVID-19, there is a new type of blending to think about and that is the mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Due to the pandemic schools around the world had to move rapidly into fully-distanced models of teaching and learning. By far the easiest way to do that for most faculty members was to substitute Zoom calls for classroom lectures. While this model has a lot of advantages–social interaction for isolated students, opportunity for dialogue, the ability of the teacher to address misunderstandings as they arise–it also has some significant disadvantages. Internet connectivity is not always dependable for many of our students (and faculty, for that matter). Low bandwidth, internet service interruptions, rolling power outages, and other infrastructure issues can make it difficult to get the entire class...

Read More

Blended Learning

Posted in , ,

Blended learning combines traditional face-to-face instruction with online instruction in a more robust way than simply adding a learning management system (LMS) like Moodle to a face-to-face course. In blended learning, some of the time that would otherwise have been spent in the classroom is now spent online. Blended learning means respecting the true value of conventional methods – such as seminars, tutorials, projects, labs, field trips, physical materials. And it means acknowledging the extraordinary power and flexibility of digital technologies. How can the two be thoughtfully integrated to give education the power and flexibility it needs in order to play its proper role in 21st century life? [1]Diana Laurillard Blended learning can take a variety of formats. In a flipped classroom model, students study the course material online and come into the physical classroom periodically to focus on application of the material. The classroom time becomes more of a laboratory to put...

Read More

Modalities

Posted in , ,

Although the name of this website is Designing for Online Learning, the principles of online course design can be applied in courses that are not conducted fully online. In fact, there are three course modalities that make use of online components to the course. The first modality to consider is the traditional classroom where teacher and students meet together in the same physical space. In this scenario, less than 10 percent of in-class time is conducted online or via technology. However, a teacher might want her students to make use of electronic copies of course documents or other online resources like articles or videos. She might also want to encourage her students to collaborate with each other using online tools like discussion forums or Google tools (Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.) as they work on a group project. Or, a teacher might want her students to take quizzes or submit papers...

Read More

Summative Assessment

Posted in , ,

Summative assessments seek to measure student achievement of course-level learning objectives or competencies.  Comprehensive Good summative assessments seek to be as comprehensive as possible in their coverage of the course objectives. Ideally all of the course objectives would be covered by the summative assessment. Lead-up Some assessments scaffold student learning in ways that help learners achieve the summative assessment. When minor assignments build toward the summative assessment, this increases student motivation to spend time on the earlier assignments. Coverage Other assessments may be required to measure student achievement of learning objectives/competencies not covered by the comprehensive summative assessment. These may be minor assessments that do not lead toward the summative assessment. Examples of summative assessments include: QUIZZES AND EXAMS PAPERS Subject/topic summaryLiterature reviewArticle critiqueSelf-directed learning assignment PROJECTS SimulationDebatePeer-review CASE STUDIES Critique or evaluate a case study and post conclusions in a forumProblem-based learningGroups have to solve a messy real-to-life problem & present their strategiesNon-graded...

Read More

Formative Assessment

Posted in , ,

Formative assessments are typically non-graded assessments that help a teacher gauge student learning or competency related to the learning objectives. Data from formative assessments are usually used to influence teaching strategy during a course. Examples of formative assessment include: Classroom assessment techniques (CATs)Homework as review for summative assessmentReflective journalsGroup or small group feedback (discussion forum) One of the most popular CATs is called “Muddiest Point.” Students are asked the question, “What was the muddiest point in the lesson?” and then are given a few minutes to write down their answer. In a face-to-face classroom this could be accomplished on scrap paper and turned into the teacher as they leave. In an online class, this could be accomplished through a survey question. (Moodle has Feedback and Questionnaire activities that works well for this.) Whatever the mechanism for collecting the responses, the teacher can then look through them and see what she...

Read More

Diagnostic Assessment

Posted in , ,

Diagnostic assessments are typically non-graded assessments that help a teacher gauge students’ prior knowledge of a subject matter. Some examples of diagnostic assessment include: Pre-testSelf-assessmentSurvey or questionnaireIntroduction forum In a Mosaic Literature course where some of the students have grown up in church and others have never read the Bible before, an introduction forum that asks students to share a bit about their religious background is a very useful diagnostic assessment. The teacher can learn about each student’s level of familiarity with the Bible in general, or the Old Testament or Pentateuch in particular, before any graded work is done in the course through what students choose to share in their introductions. In a first-year language course, vocabulary quizzes could be part of the graded assessment strategy for the course, but they could also be conceived of as diagnostic assessments for the student. If students are encouraged to use the...

Read More

Writing Affective Objectives

Posted in , , ,

The affective learning taxonomy is one that is often overlooked in our traditional educational models, and yet is absolutely essential to accomplishing our long-range goals of life transformation and ministry competence. Since the time of the enlightenment, formal education has increasingly become preoccupied with a focus on cognition over and above behavior and affect. Thus today, one practical reason why we tend to ignore the affective domain in our teaching and learning is that contemporary accreditation requirements specify that our learning goals must be measurable. We recognize that a person’s character, inner thoughts, or value system cannot be quantified in the same way that cognitive demonstrations of learning can. In his book Transforming Theological Education, Perry Shaw admonishes us as theological educators noting our common failure to influence affective learning in the hearts and minds of our students. He goes on to highlight the strong biblical imperatives of developing Christian character,...

Read More

Writing Behavioral Objectives

Posted in , , ,

There is less consensus surrounding which theory best categorizes a hierarchy of behavioral (or psychomotor) learning. We will not take the time to explore a list of possible behavioral taxonomies, as this can be pursued via a Google search on the topic. Instead, we will focus on a proven model that we believe has value in theological education, namely, Horizon’s adaptation of Ravindra Dave’s taxonomy [1] of behavioral learning.  Horizon adapted Dave’s taxonomy by changing her titles from nouns to verbs and by seeking to better align them with our priorities in theological education. So, what do you think? Do you find these categories and descriptions helpful? One common critique of online education related to behavioral learning is how to address the physical distance that separates teachers and students from one another. How would you respond to this challenge? At Horizon, we have responded in two ways.  First, we have discovered that applying this same critique...

Read More