I hope you are enJOYing the beauty and colors of Spring. I’m about to die in the midst of pollen and allergies, but I’m a happy camper!
Well, this week, I’ll talk to you about “Connect” type activities and assessment when planning your e-learning environment or course. Horton (2012) makes an analogy that makes perfect sense to me. He says that "Absorb type activities are nouns, Do type activities are the verb and the Connect type activities are conjunctions" that link phrases or clauses and make the sentences and ideas flow more naturally. The connect activities should prepare learners to deal with the situations they have just learned in their real lives back at work or school.
I have to confess that I had no idea what E-Learning Design actually meant, but it is fascinating to know all the work and thought designers go through behind the scenes. Next time you take a standalone course, have in mind that although it may look simple, there was a lot of work and planning involved in it.
Tests: To give or not to give....
Assessment, without a doubt, is crucial in our learning process. Unfortunately, we all seem traumatized by summative tests that most of the time don’t really reflect our learning and knowledge acquired and skills. However, formative tests are very effective, and they can be given in formats that learners not even realize they are being assessed.
I’d like to present you with a video that really reflects what goes into students minds when it comes to testing, and I think it gets worse in some continents such as the Asian that a number of teenagers have committed suicide over bad test results along the years.
The very word “test” is scary, but let’s start by defining this word. According to Horton (2012), “test is any kind of activity that indicates how the learners met their learning objectives”. He adds to that definition saying that “any activity that provides feedback on performance of an object can serve as a test”.
It is very important to have in mind when tests are necessary. Do your learners need that specific skills? Are you unsure about how much your learners already know about a specific subject? Is a test the best way to provide assessment? If you answered yes for one or all of these questions, so a “formal” test or assessment is necessary. If the answers for these questions is “no”, so you can be as creative as you feel like to assess learning acquisition such as surveys, ungraded or practice quizzes.
I liked the idea of “test and then tell” in the article The Power of “Test Then Tell” in e-Learning Design by Edwards (2016). In fact, I use this practice quite frequently to assess how much my students already know before I start teaching them. It not only saves me time and gives me perspective on which direction my classes should go but also shows my students that I value and respect their previous knowledge. In the e-learning course I’m developing on Refugees, Trauma and Its Effect on Their Ability To Learn, I start my first module with mini quizzes and drag and drop activities that will show my learners how much they already know. I even think I should give them the option to read about what they already know or skip the information and advance in the course. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
I'd like to finish my post today with the video below, because it gives us great suggestions on how to create the best creative and engaging e-learning courses. I’m very far from being at that level of creation, but I hope to get there some day.
I hope you enJOY it!
Horton, W. (2012). E-Learning by Design. Retrieved from http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.postu.idm.oclc.org/ehost/ebookviewer/ebook?sid=be273e1c-11b2-4b7e-b610-3c467437fc52%40pdc-v-sessmgr06&ppid=pp_67&vid=0&format=EB
Eduards, E. (2016). The power of “test then tell” in e-learning design. Allen Interactions. Retrieved from http://info.alleninteractions.com/the-power-of-test-then-tell-in-e-learning-design
Hi. I'm Raquel Poteet, an ESL and Spanish teacher. My calling is definitely teaching. That's why I decided to further my education. I'm enrolled in my TESOL M. Ed. program at Post University and loving it!