I'm often engaged in the business of breaking things down for academic colleagues so that the process of designing an online learning course seems less challenging. Sometimes it feels like I'm going against the grain a bit and distilling the academic rigour of the e-learning research that I read and hear about. Actually, its more than a feeling, its a reality and a deliberate policy. I do this because its needed. Its needed for the great mass of educators not convinced by the virtues of teaching and learning using internet-based technology. The hard part is to distill and not water down or dumb down. The aim is for simplicity or to explain in simple terms that which can be seen as too complex and unwielding.
I've blogged previously about example activities templates which I've started using in face-to-face training to give educators a starting point when engaged in designing learning activities using the standard VLE communication/collaboration tools. These templates are as simple and succinct as I can possibly get them. This is one part of process.
Another stage would be to aid educators with a process that is commonly faced - using a face-to-face course design to design a purely online version of the same course. Here you have a starting point, you have content, you have knowledge and understanding of how you taught in each face-to-face session but how would you engage students in the same way online. This is where I will develop ideas. The concepts are simple - discuss face-to-face - discuss online. For those in the know this is simple. For those with no experience and don't really want to do it in the first place, I could support the process by describing the process. More to follow....
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