Sunday, January 20, 2013

Articles on Information Processing Theory

Ally, M. (2004). Foundations of educational theory for online learning. In T. Anderson & F. Elloumi (Eds.), Theory and practice of online learning (1-31). Athabasca : Athabasca University.

This paper discusses behaviorist, cognitivist, and constructivist educational theories as the basis for designing effective online learning materials, and suggests a model for developing online instruction based on the appropriate educational theory. Although this article is nine years old, the information is still relevant and useful, and provides a strong instructional design foundation for developing online learning materials.

Willingham, D. T. (2008). Ask the cognitive scientist: what will improve a student’s memory? American Educator, Winter (2008-2009), 17-25.

The author discusses how memory works and provides examples and strategies for how to improve a student’s memory. This article is very interesting, as it includes anecdotes and various tips and strategies in graphic and outline format.

Oppenheimer, D. M., & Frank, M. C., A rose in any other font would not smell as sweet:  effects of perceptual fluency on categorization. Cognition, (2007), doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2007.05.010

This study proves that making something hard to read means it is more likely to be remembered. The article is not very useful to me, as it contains no application to teaching, or application to anything, for that matter, and I don’t think there was much point to this study. I can’t see educators and instructional designers deliberately making their learning materials difficult to read.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Instructional Design Blogs

As an Instructional Designer, I use the following blogs to stay up-to-date on the various teaching and learning topics described below, especially instructional technology tools, which are always changing. As I work with faculty to develop and revise online courses, I am always looking for new ideas relating to course design, technology tools, and other strategies for developing course materials that are aligned with course objectives and optimized for the online environment.

In addition to being learning tools for me, these blogs are also networking opportunities. I feel like I could share some of these blogs with our faculty, to help them develop new ideas for their courses. I could also take advantage of the "commenting" feature on these blogs and start networking with other Instructional Design professionals associated with these blogs.


DePaul University’s Instructional Design and Development Blog

DePaul University's Instructional Design and Development blog is published by the Faculty Instructional Technology Services department. This blog is authored by teachers and instructional designers and covers the following:
  • pedagogical issues such as the benefits of using rubrics
  • flipped classroom techniques
  • using technology tools to meet teaching styles and learning goals
  • LMS issues like accessibility, multimedia, giving students audio and video feedback 
  • administration issues like Quality Matters (certification for online courses)


Missouri State University’s IDEA
(Instructional Design & Education in Action)

This blog is authored by Instructional Designers from the Instructional Design Division of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, which provides tools and expertise needed to support instructors who are teaching at a distance. This blog covers various teaching and learning topics:
  • MERLOT (multimedia educational resource for learning and online teaching)
  • course design and accessibility, including universal design concepts 
  • teaching and learning trends for 2012 
  • teaching tips, like giving students audio feedback with Adobe Acrobat Pro 
  • opportunities for peer collaboration online (fostering instruction through constructivism and cooperative learning through cloud computing options)
  • Copyright, accessibility


Cathy Moore: Let’s Save the World from Boring eLearning!

Cathy Moore’s blog talks a lot about action mapping, which is a streamlined approach to instructional design. Cathy’s posts cover various aspects of the instructional design process, including project management, learning goals, assessment, learner motivation, and various learning activities.