Monday, July 23

Some Principles of Effective E-Learning

Link to article (By Stephen Downes)
" (Extracts) Pedagogical theorists will talk about scaffolding, talk about learning objectives and outcomes, talk about practice and examination, and more. In various contexts these are all important and will play a significant role in determining the success of failure of a given learning enterprise.

None of these, though, are as central to the design of effective learning as interaction, usability and relevance (If you read this article you will know what he means ). By ensuring that e-learning content is interactive, usable and relevant a designer can be virtually sure that the e-learning outcome will be a success. or at the very least, appreciated by the learners. Who are, after all, the final judge...

...By 'interaction' what I mean is the capacity to communicate with other people interested in the same topic or using the same online resource...But more than the human contact, interaction fosters the development of human content...probably the greatest usability experts are found in the design labs of Google and Yahoo!..Between the two sites, designers have hit on what are probably the two essential elements of usability: consistency and simplicity (and speed)...Relevance is probably the most difficult of the three criteria to get right. It is what marks, at its core, the distinction between formal and informal learning. It is the principle that learners should get what they want, when they want it, and where they want it (one might also say 'how they want it' but for today I will assume that this is covered under the principle of simplicity)...What makes e-learning effective is, of course, typically in the eye of the beholder....Good e-learning practice, indeed, may not even flow from the principles of pedagogy at all. As my colleague Jay Cross points out, the bulk of learning, even in a corporate environment, is comprised by informal learning..."
A great article by a true Genius! Make e-learning simple, interactive (more human interaction), user-friendly, relevant, and fun and surely students will enjoy it as much as playing Star Wars III (Hmm, not sure about that one!).

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