Overview

"If you don't know where you're going," the Scarecrow said to Dorothy, "it doesn't matter which road you take." ~ The Wizard of Oz

Connected Learning: 'ESSENCE' from DML Research Hub on Vimeo.

The Content Development module provides extensive information about the pedagogy for designing instructional units as well as designing content for presentation online. The internet holds a vast selection of fabricated modules and case studies that faculty can adopt at little or no cost. This site provides a link to the various collections that will facilitate the search for and possible adoption of these resources to help the faculty meet the objectives set for the course. To support meaningful learning from a constructivist perspective, suggestions for designing structure and navigation through the course are provided as well as information on methods of designing interaction into a course including the use of webquests, blogs/wikis, interactive online tools, student or group homepages, case studies and mind tools are included within this section.

Cautions

Technology should not be used as a method for delivering information to learners, but instead it should be use as to assist learners in developing knowledge. Technologies should engage learners in meaningful learning, where learners are intentionally and actively processing information while pursuing authentic tasks in order to construct personal and socially shared meaning for the phenomena they are exploring and manipulating (Jonassen, Peck, Wilson, 1999). The goal of technology-constructive exercises is for technology to help learners articulate and reflect on what they already know and apply that to the new learning environment.

Excellent online courses apply creative combinations of teaching strategies, using methods like instructional units, case studies, simulations, video units and other Web based resources to encourage learners. Such courses adhere to the following:

  • The readiness principle, enabling learners to see the relevance of the material
  • The experience principle, respecting the expertise learners bring to the course
  • The autonomy principle, allowing learners to control their own learning paths through meaningful exercise and activities
  • The action principle, emphasizing clearly and continually the connections between what is being learned and the real world in which it is applied