Month: September 2015

INTE 6720

The Merri-Weathers represent the spectrum of online teachers. Tammie ‘Vail’, an early childhood instructor at Colorado Mesa University, designs both online and on-site courses. Jennifer works with K12 as an online instructor, and Alicia is a wanna-be designer/instructor of online higher ed courses. Our mutual interests lie in the variety of components that make up great online learning experiences for our students.

Do elearning designs that focus on creativity increase learner motivation?

Background

Traditionally, instructors design class assignments around pre-determined themes, structure and formats leaving little opportunity for creative expression. With the surplus of multi-media design apps now available, educators might develop assignments that allow students to take a more autonomous and creative means to show understanding. Does this type of design tap into the elusive motivation of the learner?

Problem Statement

Stimulating student motivation to participate in learning has consistently taxed instructors from all educational settings.

Participants

  • K-12 and Higher Ed. online instructors
  • K-12 online students
  • University distance learners

Methods

  • Individual student surveys
  • Teacher observation surveys

Impact

Ultimately, the results might offer insights into what motivates learners thereby improving instructional designs in a variety of ‘classroom’ settings.

Does social media inclusion in assignments help students to connect and learn more than traditional online classrooms?

Background

Traditionally, online classrooms are self-contained. Students must learn to navigate them but once the course is completed they do not have access to information that was shared within the classroom. Currently the majority of students use social media to connect and keep up with current trends on a daily basis. Can including this type of interaction, which will continue to be available after the course ends, help students learn and retain more?

Problem Statement

Students lose access to other students and the shared information after the course ends..

Participants

  • Higher Ed. online instructors
  • Higher Ed.  online students
  • University distance learners (in our class)

Methods

  • Individual student surveys
  • Teacher observation surveys

Impact

The goal is to identify if it is worth it for instructors to include a variety of different social media into their course to engage the learner and give them resources that they can use later on..

How does the structure of an online game affect learning?

Background

Some games used in the classroom are prefaced as fun while others are prefaced as educational. Most games used in the education field are meant to teach the students about a concept or idea. Teachers often present the games as educational and students seem to immediately disengage from it. Perhaps if teachers prefaced the game as a reward or just for fun game the students would be more motivated and actually learn more from it.

Problem Statement

Students learn more from games perceived as “fun” rather than games perceived as “educational.

Participants

  • K-12 and Higher Ed. online instructors
  • K-12 online students
  • University distance learners

Methods

  • Individual student surveys
  • Teacher observation surveys

Impact

Ultimately, the results might offer insights into what types of games help students learn more about any given subject.