Wednesday, May 15, 2013
A new app has recently appeared in the Google Play Store called “Learning Objectives Generator”. This app is not affiliated with WVU or the iDesign office in any way. However, it is a tool aimed at helping educators properly construct measurable learning objectives/outcomes, based on good educational foundations. The app has options to choose the domain and knowledge level of learning for your objective, as well as help choosing an action word/verb that is measurable by your assessments. At $1.65 as of this writing, it is a handy tool you may want to consider adding to your bag of tricks.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Click here for the pictures and full article
"Startups, this is wow design works is a great guide for non-designers, by Wells Riley. It offers information on what design is, what makes "good design", and even includes Dieter Rams' ten principles of "Good Design". It's a fantastic resource to share with clients or others who aren't designers by trade but should have a basic working knowledge of what design is and how it works."
Click here to visit Web Colour Data
Most of the visuals have little animations as well.
Click here to go to the iTunes Store (Story App)
"Story is a storytelling app that pays attention to the moments in your phone and compiles them into events you can then go in and curate into your own shareable story. Story allows you to add text, zoom, crop, rearrange and even add video. When your story is arranged perfectly you can either email it, share it on facebook or simply keep it on your phone to share with strangers on the airplane."
Click here for the full article: "Story: The New Storytelling App From Disney"
Everything that you design should take color into serious and careful consideration. The color choices that you make can create a drastic effect on the mood of your work. The right combination can gain attention and convey the right message visually, further driving the message into your viewers’ minds.A straight-forward breakdown of color and it's effect on the viewer's mood, feelings, and memories.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Teaching students with Asperger's Syndrome can be challenging under any circumstances, but I wondered how, in an online course, you could accomodate the unique needs of a student with AS if you didn't know the the student had AS. So, I asked in one of our online discussions and got this great reponse from Coates that she said I could share with anyone I wanted.
Question:Bottom line: Every student has unique needs. Meet each student where he or she is, with whatever challenges that present themselves, and don't assume that what you might consider "bad behavior" is intended to personally harass you, the instructor.
In online higher education, our disabilities services folks will let the instructor know what accommodation must be made for a particular student (mostly extra time on tests). But the nature of the disability is never revealed. I'm curious... how would an online instructor even know if a student had Asperger's. Might they have a language idiosyncracy in an online course that would indicate that?
What an insightful question. It might have been in this course that I made the comment, "When you have met one student with Asperger's you have met one student with Asperger's." There is a very broad range of behaviors that one experiences in any human interaction. With AS, it is not different. What is important to understand is that there are certain behaviors that are common with AS that you might be aware of in an online course:
- Sophisticated use of language. Many with AS are use very sophisticated and formal speech. This is apparent in written communication as well as verbal communication. Often, the advanced vocabulary gives the impression that the student is very knowledgeable, when, in fact, there may be a big disconnect between the words used and understanding what they really mean. If you encounter a student who seems very articulate but who does not seem to grasp content, you may be dealing with and AS student. The literalness with which AS students interpret language may create problems with comprehension. This often shows up when students are asked to do analysis of information they have read.
In addition, any question dealing with affect may solicit a non-respnse or a confused response. Talking about emotions, feelings, etc. or being asked "How to you feel about X," or "How do you think Huck felt when he realized that Jim might be put to death for taking him on the raft?," can present an impossible situation for an AS student. Articulating how they feel or describing how they think someone else feels may be beyond their ability to express.
- Literal interpretation of information or instructions. Many with AS are very literal in their interpretation of language. My son, for example, was once disciplined by a teacher who asked students to turn in their notes. He ripped the notes out of his spiral bound notebook and turned them in. All the other students turned in their notebooks. My son was very upset because he had done exactly what was asked and could not understand why he was in trouble. Online you might find that a student answerers a question very literally or interprets an instruction very literally and thus fails to answer in the way you expected or fails to follow the instruction as you had intended.
- Confusion with simple instructions. Often, instructions that seem very straightforward or simple to most of us are absolutely baffling to those with AS. They may ask for clarification on things that you cannot imagine are confusing. Many students have encountered instructors who have misinterpreted this legitimate confusion with laziness or oppositional behavior, and are very reluctant to ask questions.
- Not meeting deadlines. Many AS student need extra time for tests or for processing information. They can become easily overwhelmed, and with this comes an increase in anxiety. This can cause them to fall behind. When this happens, many are reluctant to try to explain or ask for accommodation because their efforts in the past may not have been successful.
- Withdrawal form participation. Many with AS are very sensitive. That, in combination with their tendency to misinterpret language, can lead to withdrawal behavior. If you find a student who stops participating, efforts to encourge him or her might be helpful to get them back on track.
- Anxiety. Anxiety disorders are frequently co-morbid with AS. If you have a student who exhibits undue anxiety in communications with you, and who has been identified as a student with special needs, efforts to help resolve the anxiety and find a resolution to the problem confronting the student may be valuable.
- If you are given information about accommodations needed, you might be especially attentive and take the initiative in asking students who seem to be having problems like those mentioned above about how you might help. This will often give them the confidence they need and the support they need to ask for help and thus be more successful.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
From Webdesigner Depot Newsletter - http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/newsletter/issue-59/
"If you're fascinated by the passage of time and how different units of measure time relate to one another, then Here is Today is a great way to visualize just that. It starts out showing you today, before moving into the week, month, year, century, millennium, and more. It's beautifully designed and fully animated, and lets you easily move backward and forward through time."
From Webdesigner Depot Newsletter - http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/newsletter/issue-66/
This is a great visual example of an animated infographic. Just simply click "okay" or "-back" to go through the passage of time.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
However, you can use some neat online tools for the alternative info-dump lecture. Best of all they are free! Here are a few of my favorite:
Monday, May 6, 2013
Case in point. The IRS spent $60,000 on a video for their leadership training conference in 2010. The video was made public last week and many are upset for two primary reasons. First, this video was made with $60,000 of tax payer dollars and secondly, doesn't teach anything. Take a look.
Three Steps to Better Content
Step 1: Ask yourself what you want them to do.
Step 2: Ask yourself what you want them to "know" in order to "do".
- textbook reading
- your lecture
previous post, my colleague Lydia Mong wrote about creating memorable content. I consider Lydia a master when it comes to online message design. One thing I have learned from her is about the process of "chunking".
Chunking refers to breaking down your message into bite size pieces that enable the user to "digest" what you are giving them without information overload. This is important because our working memory can only hold so much information.
Using pull quotes and headings also are great for letting your students scan the content. Scanning is an important activity that can and should be promoted by chunking.