Tag Archives: learning activities

Moodle Course Design: a high-wire act #mootnz11

Zippos Circus UK, 2008I was very pleased to be one of  a number of presenters talking about learning design at this year’s New Zealand Moodle Moot. Stephen Lowe talked about learning theories and Julian Ridden did an epic session on Game Theory which unfortunately I missed but he’s uploading an open course about it to MOOCH soon. But what was even better is that all of us were almost accosted by #mootnz11 attendees wanting to talk about this topic more. Learning design is back, baby! And it’s hot!

Below you will find the slides for my MoodleMoot New Zealand presentation with tips for the course design process, as well as our templates. Continue reading

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The ID Litany

Sand Patterns - background #2Working as an eLearning Advisor in higher education, a large part of my role is instructional design. In course design meetings with academic staff, I find myself asking the same questions over and over again. For each element of the course, I have the same questions. I thought I’d share it with you here, in an instructional design litany. (Yes I’m a geek. Used to love the Dune novels…)

The ID Litany

  • What will your students do?
  • How will your students know what to do?
  • How will you know what they’re doing?
  • How will your students learn?
  • How will you know what they’re learning?
  • How will your students get support?
  • How will you support them?
  • How will they support each other?
  • How will you & your students communicate with each other?
  • How will your students communicate with each other?
  • How will your students learn from each other?
  • Why are you using this activity?
  • Why are you using this resource?
  • Why are you using this technology?
  • How does this activity/technology/resource relate to their current or future work, learning and life?

If you work in an educational institution where the course design phase is often skimmed or skipped entirely, you may begin the Litany against Fear now.

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer…

 

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Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers

A few weeks ago, a Social Media Cheat Sheet was doing the round. A nice visualization of the pro’s & cons of each social media channel, but with a business/marketing focus. I thought I should do one for social media use in education. However for most of the teachers I work with, our Moodle (EIT Online) is still their primary online teaching environment. So instead I set out to create this poster size guide for teachers, allowing them to compare the functionality and pedagogical advantages of some standard Moodle tools, adding a column to indicate how tricky the tool is to set up.

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers (icon)

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers

Hope you find it useful. Would appreciate your feedback.

Moodle Tool Guide for Teachers (PDF)

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Visualisation – Exploratree & Periodic Table of Visualisation Methods

As an instructional designer some days you are more creative than others. I’m afraid that after a day of project planning or strategic meetings, teachers who meet with me about their online or blended course design run a particular risk of getting short-changed.

Coffee helps, but what you really want is a menu – a range of options to get you started. I’ve found that Exploratree and the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods are two inspirational sites which can help me break through ‘designer’s block’. Each provides a list of visualisation methods, which can provide the basis for a learning activity at any cognitive level from remembering through creating.

The Periodic Table created by Ralph Lengler and Martin Eppler, is a listing of 100 methods, including methods like the Cycle Diagram, the Evocative Knowledge Map or Mintzberg Organigraph (and that’s not the only one I’ve never heard of). On hovering over the method, an example appears in a pop-up. Chris Wallace has created an accompanying page which links each method to its Wikipedia page and a stand-alone version of its example.

Exploratree goes a little further. Although you can certainly use the ‘thinking guides’ just to spark ideas, with a free account educators and/or students can create, edit and save the thinking guides online. Users can share guides and so collaborate on projects.

The two sites above contain many methods that can help a teacher and students explore, critically examine, fully map or actively discuss almost any topic. And provide a kick-start for an instructional designer with designer’s block. Usually once I’ve created the first activity, it’s all downhill from there.

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