Learning-category

Designing for Outcomes

Creating a Design Blueprint

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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...

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Blending Synchronous and Asynchronous Approaches

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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...

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Blended Learning

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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...

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Modalities

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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...

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Summative Assessment

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Summative assessments seek to measure student achievement of course-level learning objectives or competencies. One of the most common methods of summative assessment is a final exam. Although it is possible to measure some of our learning objectives with an exam, others are very difficult to measure that way. In addition, when it comes to online learning, exams are much more difficult to administer to geographically dispersed students with the same level of accountability as a proctored exam in the classroom. However, exams are merely one method of measuring student learning. Other methods of assessment can be just as effective—in some cases even more effective—at measuring our learning objectives. 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, though this is not always possible. When we consider our strategy for summative assessment,...

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Formative Assessment

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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...

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Diagnostic Assessment

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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...

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Writing Affective Objectives

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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,...

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Writing Behavioral Objectives

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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...

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Writing Cognitive Objectives

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In 1956 an educational psychologist, Benjamin Bloom, articulated a hierarchy (taxonomy) for understanding differing levels of cognition, starting with the most basic function of recalling knowledge which he termed “knowledge” to the most advanced function of making judgements about the value of knowledge or learning which he termed “evaluation.” This original system for categorizing levels of cognition was later revised by one of Bloom’s students [1], reordering and redefining two of Bloom’s original categories (the final two) and adapting the titles of each level from nouns to verbs. The graphic below reflects these refined categories, along with a more recent perspective that encourages us to envision the final three categories as reflecting comparable levels of higher cognition rather than linear progressions. Take a look at the graphic on this page, which reflects Horizon’s growing understanding of these revised categories. This depiction moves from the less complex cognitive category of “remember” to the more...

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