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Top Ten Tips in Instructional Design

CourseArc

Check out our video blog on the top ten ways to improve the design of your online course. You can find the content used in the video here. Webinar Course Content. Begin with the End in Mind.

CourseArc Announces Partnership with Griffin-Hammis Associates

CourseArc

Griffin-Hammis Associates (GHA), a nationally recognized leader in Customized Employment training and technical assistance, announces the upcoming release of its newly revised Certified Business and Technical Assistance Consultant (CBTAC) course.

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How to Help Struggling Adult Learners

CourseArc

Young students may be open to receiving helpful guidance or critiques from their teachers, but adult learners tend to have a much different perception of their own abilities. (If

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How to Create Effective Test Questions

CourseArc

Since online learning often separates teachers from learners across time and distance, we rely on evaluations – in the form of tests, quizzes and assessments – to judge each student’s successful comprehension of the content (and to judge how well the course designers presented their information). But what makes a good test question? Is it meant to challenge a student? Should it stump as many students as possible? If every student answers a question correctly, does that mean your question is too easy, or is it a perfect example of an effective test question? To find out, let’s begin by reminding ourselves why we test our students in the first place. The Purpose of a Good Test Question. As a general rule, a good question tests the 6-levels of intellectual understanding, as espoused in Bloom’s Taxonomy : Knowledge. Comprehension. Application. Analysis. Synthesis. Evaluation. Going further, the Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Excellence provides a great summary of the characteristics of what a “good question” is: Intention: Did the question assess what you intended to assess? Demonstration: Did learners demonstrate that they learned what they needed to learn? Progress: Were learners able to show progress in their learning? Motivation: Did the question help motivate learners to further their academic pursuits of the subject matter? Distinction: Did the question help distinguish learners from “non-learners”? Notice that these guidelines have nothing to do with the structure of the question itself. Whether your questions involve True/False answers, Multiple Choice responses, Matching items, Fill-in-the-Blanks or Essay responses, good questions must demonstrate all of these traits. How to Create Effective Tests and Quizzes. At the heart of any good question is an understanding of the learning outcomes that the questions are seeking to measure. Before you develop your question bank, revisit the objectives of the course to ensure your questions are built with those objectives in mind. For example, if the objective of a course is to ensure that students are capable of executing the basic functions of trigonometry, you might begin to formulate your final exam by first listing all the necessary functions you would expect a student to be able to execute by the end of your course. This will give you a checklist of “must-have” test questions, and provide a structure for the progression of the test. For a more subjective topic, like political theory, you might first list all the key concepts you’d expect a student to be able to explain by the end of your course, as well as the critical thinking skills you’d expect them to be able to employ. Then you could devise an exam which includes all the necessary topics while simultaneously testing the students’ cognitive functions in their explanation of those terms. From there, you can decide which question formats best serve those purposes. While choosing from a series of Multiple Choice or True/False answers may be sufficient to prove a student’s familiarity with glossary terms or the basic comprehension of functions, those formats also allow for “educated guesses,” which may not be enough to prove a student truly understands the underlying concepts. Thus, you should also include Essay, Fill-in-the-Blank, and other open-ended question formats that require a student not just to deduce (or guess) the correct answer but to apply their knowledge and rhetorical reasoning — or, in the case of mathematics, to prove they can actually perform the computations effectively. How Hard Should a Test Be? Experts vary on their responses to this question, but the general consensus seems to be: harder is better, with a caveat. Students who feel “put on the spot” or otherwise expected to achieve errorless results in a difficult situation are reportedly more likely to retain the correct information afterward, even if they make mistakes. The caveat? For this approach to work best, students must also have the opportunity to review their responses and understand what they got wrong. (Understanding why an answer is wrong also helps with retention.). However, it’s critical to note that a question’s difficulty should be derived from the challenge it presents , not from any complexity in the way it’s phrased. As a recent incident in the UK proved , students of all ages can feel “demoralized” if they struggle to even understand the questions on a test. Thus, if you’re presenting questions in such a manner that your students will barely be able to answer them — whether by writing them for an advanced reading level or by purposely writing them to be obtuse — you’re not truly testing your students’ knowledge; you’re making them jump through needless hoops which may result in lower scores and a dislike of the material simply for the sake of appearing “challenging.” Testing the Test-Makers. Not sure if your test is too hard? Ask a beta tester in your target audience to take it before you administer it to your class. For example, a grad student or teacher’s aide in the field should have no real trouble passing a test for undergrads, nor should a senior manager in a department that’s receiving employee training in a specific topic. If they do, you may want to step your difficulty level down a notch or two. After all, a test that no one passes means it might be you, and not your students, who need a refresher. Image: “ Quiz ” by Animated Heaven, via Flickr Creative Commons License. Accessibility eLearning Tools Instructional Design Online Learning assessment beta testing eLearning evaluation feedback instructional design Pedagogy quiz tests user experience

How UserTesting Drives Product Adoption and CX with Customer Education

Speaker: Steve Fleming-Prot, Content Strategist, UserTesting

In this webinar, Steve Fleming-Prot of UserTesting will share lessons learned from building UserTesting’s Learning Navigator and on-demand University, and why Customer Education is an important part of CX—and CX is an important part of Customer Education.

10 Helpful Resources for Online Course Designers

CourseArc

If you’ve never created an online course before, you may not be familiar with the term “instructional designer,” but that’s exactly what you’re about to become! Instructional design is the act of creating of educational resources.

Quality Control: Best Practices in Online Course Design and Delivery

CourseArc

Like any other product or service, online course design and development must be subjected to quality control (QC) standards to ensure that its users’ needs are truly being met.

How to Improve Student Retention in eLearning

CourseArc

Connecting with students can be difficult even in ideal circumstances. Unlike regular classroom-based courses, digital learning poses an additional set of challenges for instructional designers and students alike. Sometimes even the most well-designed courses may not resonate with certain learners.

The Secret to Beating the Forgetting Curve

CourseArc

Is it better to binge on new lessons, or to learn incrementally over time? If your goal is to retain that knowledge and apply it when new situations require it, studies have shown that your best bet is to learn in smaller doses, and repeat key information over time. But why?

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Why Accessibility Matters in Online Learning

CourseArc

Sample Bar Graph that Includes an Accessible, Alternative Version in a Table. Technology is present in every facet of life. It is now common in classrooms of all varieties, placing a responsibility on instructors and administrators to ensure the equitable use of technology.

Training for Lead Generation, Customer Onboarding and Support

Customer lifecycle training gives customers the knowledge and tools they need to be successful. As customer success and satisfaction grows, so does retention and repeat business. This eBook can help training teams improve or expand their customer training programs.

Best Practices for Improving Online Courses Using Student Feedback

CourseArc

Like art or cooking, instructional design is a process of continual improvement. Rarely satisfied with their creations, instructional designers revise, update, and improve their courses throughout every iteration of their delivery.

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Video-Based Learning: Engaging Your Audience with Video Content

CourseArc

A study investigating the effectiveness of two teaching approaches, illustrated text-based versus video-based, concluded the following: “Video-based e Learning is superior to illustrated text-based e Llearning when teaching certain practical skills.”.

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Customize Your Classroom with Blended Learning

CourseArc

Every school district, every classroom, every teacher, and every student is different. The needs, expectations, and the methods to meet desired outcomes for each are different.

How Reusable Learning Objects Can Help You Design Online Courses Faster

CourseArc

Instructional design requires a lot of time, energy and resources to ensure truly remarkable results. That’s why the growing use of Reusable Learning Objects (RLOs) can be a great addition to the arsenal of tools available to course developers.

There’s Not a Skills Gap in the U.S… or Is There?

Your search for the perfect candidate has resulted in zero perfectly skilled applicants. What’s going on? Enter… the skills gap. This report, ‘The Employment Skills Gap and What To Do About It,' breaks down the issue with solutions you can apply now.

How Does CourseArc Make Your LMS Even Better?

CourseArc

With CourseArc, you can make the learning count and keep your students coming back for more online courses with engaging, interactive, and accessible content.

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How to Measure Online Course Effectiveness

CourseArc

Every course or training initiative has at least one of two goals: to bridge knowledge gaps , and/or to transform the learner’s behavior.

Scenario-Based Learning in a Virtual Classroom

CourseArc

Scenario-based learning, also known as problem-based learning, seeks to elevate the learner’s training outcomes from merely comprehension to analysis, synthesis, and application.

Designing Mobile Learning Solutions

CourseArc

With so much of our lives lived “on the go”, mobile learning has acquired a new paradigm. If designed correctly, mLearning can save time while providing just-in-time learning opportunities.

A New Segmentation Model for Customer Onboarding

A great customer onboarding program is a proactive and meaningful way to make a lasting impact on customer engagement, retention, and expansion. In this eBook, Skilljar will show you a new framework for building a customer onboarding program, including how to segment users and drive long-term value and retention through education.

How to Maximize Collaboration in Instructional Design

CourseArc

Designing online courses is a multifaceted endeavor — and all those different facets are often the job of the same person: you. Each stage of the process, from analysis and design to development, testing, implementation, and evaluation, requires a different mindset, skills, and expertise.

How to Make Sure Your Course Meets Its Learning Objectives

CourseArc

Scientists, economists, accountants, and mathematicians all have one thing in common: they all deal in “absolutes.” ” They follow rules, theories, or laws governing the objectives they espouse, and they measure the outcomes of their efforts against those objectives.

Which Strategy Is Better: Frequent Quizzing or End-of-Milestone Quizzing?

CourseArc

How Should You Design Your Online Course’s Assessments? Assessments are a critical component of eLearning courses, but is there a best practice for designing their frequency or depth?

How Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction Can Make Your Online Courses Better

CourseArc

During Word War II, educational psychologist Robert Gagné’s evaluated the aptitude of Air Force pilots. His pioneering work in instructional design led to a systematic approach to learning that we know today as Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction.

The Definitive Guide to Customer Education Metrics

As you build and scale your customer education program, the right data can help you identify patterns, make evidence-based decisions, and adapt strategy to meet business goals. In this eBook, Skilljar will share the data and metrics best practices that have helped their customers meet program goals and communicate business impact.

How to Make Sure Your Online Education Materials Are Section 508 Compliant

CourseArc

You may already know that your eLearning materials must be fully compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act — but what does full compliance actually look like in practice?

Are Online Courses as Effective as In-Person Education?

CourseArc

Comparing the effectiveness of eLearning against its in-person peer poses a challenge. On one hand, the rapid growth of Internet technologies has seen a corresponding growth in online education.

Introducing CourseArc’s New Block Edit Feature!

CourseArc

At CourseArc, we build tools that make online course creation as simple and easy as possible, even for users who have no prior experience in programming or design.

How to Create Mnemonic Devices That Help Your Students Remember

CourseArc

Students can often feel overwhelmed by the extent of new information and concepts that they are exposed to throughout a course. As an instructional designer, it’s your responsibility to help learners remember and retain key information and take-aways from your courses.

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Top E-Learning Software - Recommendations and Pricing

Zero in on the best E-Learning software for your company. Get expert recommendations and pricing comparisons based on your specific needs.

Tips for Bridging Generational Gaps in Workplace Training

CourseArc

Today’s workforce is a multigenerational collection of individuals who have grown together as a result of many years of expansion, attrition, consolidation, and new hiring policies.

7 Components of High-Quality Online Content

CourseArc

Students of today are very different from those in the past. Is education changing to keep up? Probably not fast enough.

Comparing Video Hosting, Transcribing, and Captioning Tools

CourseArc

Video is a powerful instructional tool, but some of your students will need the extra step of captions in order to fully appreciate the message in a video-based lesson.

How to Make Online Learning Easy for First-Time eLearners

CourseArc

Making the transition from traditional textbook learning and instructor-led classroom courses to the strange new world of online learning can be a daunting challenge – especially for first-time online learners who’ve never had to navigate a digital learning interface before.

Choosing the Right Technology for External Training

According to Talented Learning, more than 700 LMS vendors compete in today’s learning platforms marketplace. But of course, not all platforms are created equal. In this eBook, Skilljar will discuss the key components of an external training LMS, and why they’re essential for a well-designed customer training program.