The doorway to professional learning communities

I recently enrolled in an online course in Instructional design and boy is it an eye-opener. As an educator I always strive to keep abreast of developments in instructional technlology but having consulted the resources available for my first week I was blown away by the wide variety of instructional design tools available for use. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the various sites and exploring the features they offered. Below I have written reviews on a few instructional design blogs that speaks directly to the creation of valuable learning events which every person, be it educator or trainer who aspires to provide a learning experience that is purposeful and long-lasting.

http://buckeyeonbragg.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/a-few-thoughts-on-effective-elearning-design/

This blog offers very useful issues to consider as an instructional designer. What I liked most about this blog was not only did it clearly critique the flaws in some elearning programs but it offered ways thats these flaws could be corrected.

http://karenmahon.com/2012/06/29/top-10-elearning-design-principles-compared/

This second blog identifies top ten issues to be considered when designing an elearning experience. I particularly liked the fact that Karen provided her suggestions in useful chunks. By doing this, it makes it easier for a novice like myself to recognize and understand what to look for in designing a valuable online lesson. The fact that the information was listed gave individuals like myself a checklist of sorts where you could truly evaluate your lesson design to assess whether or not you have met all the identified criteria for a meaningful online learning experience.

http://onlinelearninginsights.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/the-methods-and-means-to-grading-student-participation-in-online-discussions/

As with any teaching experience, evaluation is a key component. Online learning is no different. It however, utilizes a few different methodologies than face-to face learning. Class participation is always a key component that educators and instructors use to gauge how much students are learning from what they present. With the face-to-face element removed, online instructors are tasked with devising a way to deal with this missing component. Enter the required online discussion forum. It is not always easy to get participants to post comments to a discussion as they may not be comfortable or accustomed to having to ‘write’ what their thoughts are. On the opposite side of the table, the facilitator needs to know how to assess comments posted by students. This can be quite subjective if you are not careful. This third blog provides guidelines to overcoming this hurdle. It is the last in a 3-part blog that looked at grading online discussions and the importance of using a rubric which aids significantly in making the process more objective. if you have the time I would encourage you to go through all the blogs in the series as it is quite useful information to consider.

Final thoughts

All together these blogs provided quite useful information that I will definitely be returning to as prepare to set -up an online learning environment for my high school students. As a newbie to this aspect of ICT in the classroom I found each blog thought provoking for one, while at the same time giving clear do’s and don’t’s for setting up instructional design portals.

2 thoughts on “The doorway to professional learning communities

  1. 🙂 Thank you for thanking me. Your blog was quite helpful. I intend to encourage my colleagues to use it as a go to site for getting started.

    Regards,

    Georgia

  2. Thanks for mentioning me and my blog! And congrats on starting a blog of your own…you’ll have a blast with it!!

    Best,
    Karen

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