Description: Some adult students do not feel prepared or even informed enough to tackle the complexities of going from a traditional face-to-face learning environment to one that is blended with some learning taking place in an online learning management system (LMS). The digital learning resource that I have chosen to create in hopes to assist students is a series of instructional videos on how to navigate and utilize the various facets of the LMS that the adult continuing education students at my school board use. I plan to create one video initially to gauge effectiveness. After considering the literature and feedback from peers, either a series of instructional videos or a preparatory course would be the best options. Given I do not have the resources to create an online course, the videos seemed to be the best path forward.
Learning Goals: The main goal of this digital learning resource to is have a series of multimedia instructional guides that can inform students on how to do various tasks within the LMS. A secondary goal is to help students become more comfortable in using the LMS and by extension other similar online platforms, by seeing how features and functions are properly used. By having online videos, students should be able to access them at any convenient time as many times as they so wish.
Intended Audience: The intended audience of my digital learning resource composes of the adult continuing education students within my school board who are or will be enrolled in a hybrid (blended) course. It is anticipated that students who may not be in continuing education could find some of the material useful as well. Students who are taking fully online courses could also use this resource, but the extent of usefulness may be limited as these students are typically more technically adept if they are choosing to enroll in online courses.
Rationale: Some adult students have voiced their opinions on the fact that they feel there is not enough preparation or resources to help them adjust to learning online. At this point, the majority of support they get is from their teacher which cuts into valuable class time that needs to be used for teaching the course matter. Adult students who are having difficulty navigating online need to be given a resource that is easily absorbed and familiar to them. In the focus groups, the majority of students mentioned having seen videos online (mainly Youtube). They were viewed on both mobile devices and computers. By using a platform that students are already aware of and comfortable with, the learning curve is diminished and students can focus on learning the LMS instead of trying to learn how to access and navigate training modules.
Tools: Time and resources are limited for the purposes of this course, but I will be using a screen capturing program Kaltura to record my actions navigating the LMS. Students will learn by seeing how to perform different tasks and it will be apparent where tools and buttons are with a live course being presented. Editing will be done in Windows Movie Maker as that is what I have access to. This will allow me to emphasize certain points of the video as well as provide captions where necessary. The platform where I will store these videos is Youtube, due to the open accessibility and the existing familiarity with the intended audience.
Assessment Plan: As this is not a formal resource for all learners, there was no formal assessment plan (i.e., not all students may need this). Usage of the digital learning resource can be tracked from the view count on Youtube. In addition, comments can be left to see whether students are finding the videos useful and also suggestions can be made. Even though this is a supplementary resource, teachers could be encouraged to quiz students (e.g., through clicker quizzes) on aspects of the LMS after either referring students to view a video or viewing it together in-class. Students can also be surveyed at the end of their course on whether they used the video series and if they found it useful.
Learning Theories & Instructional Design Principles Used: Two learning theories will primarily inform the design of my digital learning resource. The first is adult learning theory which recognizes that adults learn differently from children. Knowles (1984) made 5 assumptions regarding adult learners: 1) adults are more self-directed, 2) adults are coming from a place of experience, 3) adults are more willing to learn once relevance has been determined, 4) adults learn better by “doing”, 5) adults are more intrinsically motivated to learn. The second learning theory is cognitive load theory which will relate to the length, content and structure of the videos. As the working memory can only process a set amount of information at a time (Sweller, 1988), the length and content of the videos must not cognitively overload the student by either being too long in length or have too much extraneous material.
Instructions for Use: As these videos will be for reference, students should be encouraged to access them whenever they feel they need to learn or brush up on a skill or ability to complete a task. Links should be sent out to each student’s email with the Youtube channel that the videos will be hosted on. The teacher can also go over the videos at the beginning of the first class as part of their orientation. Students should be encouraged to pause the videos and try out for themselves what they see in the videos within their own class shells in the LMS.
Plan for Use: As mentioned earlier, the videos will be on Youtube on a public view setting. At this moment there does not seem to be an issue with having such videos public. Students from outside adult continuing education can access the videos if they so wish, but the content of the videos planned thus far will remain at the basic level. Other educators can also use the videos if they wish, but the content would be very specific to the LMS at my school board so the transferability of the resource may be limited.
As always any feedback on my preliminary design plan would be greatly appreciated.
Knowles, M. S. (1984). Andragogy in action: Applying modern principles of adult education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Sweller, J. (1988). Cognitive Load During Problem Solving: Effects on Learning. Cognitive Science, 12, 257-285. doi:10.1207/s15516709cog1202_4