In terms of how aligned design translates to an e-learning environment, take a look at the schematic on the right. This schematic demonstrates the elements that contribute toward alignment within a course; this schematic can be adapted to show alignment across courses and curricula for desired competencies, if that was the level one was interested in.
Within an e-learning environment designed to enhance faculty reach and offer opportunities for time savings, we are concerned about how interactions are designed and developed. These interactions can be thought of as both content and activities including assessments. They can be implemented to incorporate, as needed, both individual and social engagement. Following are examples of interactions:
- a 10-minute video of a faculty member’s lecture is considered content. The interaction with that video could be thought of in terms of how many times one watches it, number of downloads, etc. Also, the interaction between the learner and the content of the video could go beyond the immediate interface engagement of watching a lecture toward action, such as when a learner acts on a suggestion that the faculty member suggested in the video for accessing a particular reading, etc.
- In terms of time savings, lecture capture is a technique which allows one to capture and distribute electronically a lecture that takes place live within face to face environments. Students at a distance could watch it live and all students get to access it for review after it is delivered.
- a self-assessment would be considered an activity. The interaction with the activity could be thought of in terms of whether one has completed it or not, even the progress they made toward its completion.
- In terms of time savings, self-assessments can be set up electronically within a Learning Management System. This enables individual learners to complete the self-assessment on their own and compare their responses to correct answers designated within the system. Formative feedback can be pre-loaded so that it can be accessed based on learner selections.
- discussion posts would also be considered an activity. The interaction with this activity could be broken down in terms of individual and social engagement.
- In terms of time savings, discussions posts could be set up to capture student questions that may be answered by peers and the faculty; this enables a longer-term time savings since, in essence, this activity is documenting Frequently Asked Questions that may be of relevance to other students outside of the traditional classroom setting and in future courses.
Within the context of e-learning, at the course level, outcomes include the course-level learning goals and objectives. The types and levels of interaction, described above, are decided on in relation to the support they provide toward the achievement of the objectives which, in turn, feed up to the achievement of the goals.
Finally, taxonomies refer to the domains of learning and enable us to categorize the type of learning, given the interaction and outcomes. Within e-learning environments this aligned design has the potential to serve as a model for the implementation of academic and learning analytics. Academic and learning analytics is one of the emerging fields of research within instructional design.
Next week, I will address design and technology acceptance.