This 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.
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.
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.
We discussed a numberof practical suggestions from experience and the research and indulged a little in information overload. Lots of good discussion and resources!
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:
WebQuests have been around since 1995 and came about, in part, to address the need for critical thinking skills in the active investigation of web resources for learning. In this episode, we consider how WebQuests can be used to promote critical thinking and engaged learning.
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.
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.