Mary Engstrom

Instructional-Design-Live#19 2010-05-21 Authentic Assessment

what is authentic assessmentThis week, Mary Engstrom, senior instructional designer at the University of Montana, discusses a framework for implementing authentic tasks and assessments in online courses. The discussion turns to a number of practical suggestions for implementing tasks that provide learners with opportunities to develop skills applicable in real life as well as the ability to monitor their own learning. And ultimately, escape from the experience of high-stakes multiple choics exams→

Authentic assessment is within the reach of most online instructors. It's just a matter of starting small and considering some basic principles in designing effective learning experiences, notes Mary Engstrom, senior instructional designer at the University of Montana. Mary discusses a framework for developing authentic tasks and identifies a number of examples.

Instructional-Design-Live#18 2010-05-14 Avoiding Overload in Online Courses

The capacity of working memory is limited, Miller (1956) would say to 7 items +/- 2 and the ability to process between 2-4 tasks simultaneously. Long-tern memroy is essentially unlimited. If we follow cognitive load theory, the task is to devise learning so that it falls into an area where it can be processed into the long term memory in the form of schemata. The discussion this week focusses on the findings of cognitive load theory in terms of designing effective materials and online courses for students. Questions abound, so we may revisit this at a later date.

Cognitive Load

As part of a series that focusses on practical strategies for designing effective online courses, the IDL team focus on how to avoid cognitive overload this week.

Cognitive Load


We discussed a numberof practical suggestions from experience and the research and indulged a little in information overload. Lots of good discussion and resources!

Instructional-Design-Live#17 2010-05-07 John Graves: Engaging Online Learners in the Early Stages of Online Courses

John Graves, the lead faculty in the Master of Science in Science Education program at Montana State University, Bozeman, spends 30 minutes sharing over a decade of expertise in the design and delivery of online courses. John touches on a number of key considerations in terms of engaging learners in the early stages of an online course:

Instructional-Design-Live #13: Social Presence in Online Courses

Jennifer Maddrell leads off a three part series on the Community of Inquiry framework. The CoI framework addresses the need for the elements of social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence to be present in order for a learning experience to be successful. In the first show, key definitions of social presence are highlighted and we discuss the practical activities that enhance social presence in online courses. Sessions are also available for viewing in a web-conferencing format. 

community of inquiry image

According to Garrison (2009), Social presence is “the ability of participants to identify with the community (e.g., course of study), communicate purposefully in a trusting environment, and develop inter-personal relationships by way of projecting their individual personalities.”

Defining, creating and maintaining social presence in online courses is the focus of this week's show and is part of a three-part series that considers the Community of Inquiry framework.

Instructional-Design-Live #7 2010-2-26: Learning in the Information Age

Professor Charles Reigeluth from Indiana University shares his thoughts on Instructional Theory for education in the Information Age. Charles and Allison Carr-Chellman recently co-edited Volume III of the seminal Instructional Design Theories and Models (The Green Book):



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