Category Archives: Research

Revisiting the Role of Instructional Design in E-learning

After my Big Paper on evaluating learner support for a global, blended learning program is finally passed, marked, bound and archived in Sheffield U  I’ve been doing a re-visitation of old e-learning concepts that flit into the real world practice of designing for learning.  Came across George Siemen’s old article Elearnspace’s post on how instructional design figures in e-learning.  A refresher article on some of the classic ID frameworks:

  • ADDIE – refers to Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, Evaluate. 
  • Algo-Heuristic  “The theory specifies that students ought to be taught not only knowledge but the algorithms and heuristics of experts as well.”
  • Dick and Carey Model – “The Dick and Carey model prescribes a methodology for designing instruction based on a reductionist model of breaking instruction down into smaller components. 
  • Robert Gagné’s ID Model -Gagné proposed that events of learning and categories of learning outcomes together provide a framework for an account of learning conditions. 
  • Minimalism ” The Minimalist theory of J.M. Carroll is a framework for the design of instruction, especially training materials for computer users. The theory suggests that (1) all learning tasks should be meaningful and self-contained activities, (2) learners should be given realistic projects as quickly as possible, (3) instruction should permit self-directed reasoning and improvising by increasing the number of active learning activities, (4) training materials and activities should provide for error recognition and recovery and, (5) there should be a close linkage between the training and actual system.”
  • Kemp, Morrison, and Ross Nine step instructional design model.
  • Rapid Prototyping – “Generally, rapid prototyping models involve learners and/or subject matter experts (SMEs) interacting with prototypes and instructional designers in a continuous review/revision cycle. Developing a prototype is practically the first step, while front-end analysis is generally reduced or convereted into an on-going, interactive process between subject-matter, objectives, and materials ” Thiagi – Rapid ID
  • Epathic Instructional Design – 5-step process: Observe, capture data, reflect and analyze, brainstorm for solutions, develop prototypes

Coming from the networked collaborative learning viewpoint, my classmates greatly emphasized that e-learning is NOT instructional design.  It is hard though to ignore ID’s prominence in e-learning.  For many, it’s probably the best introduction to e-learning as it informed previous curriculum design courses.  I feel that the challenge of ID is to bring together the current batch of media-rich, complex, yet accessible grassroot technologies as defined in my earlier post on the 2008 Horizon Report, incorporate it into cohesive, blended learning courses and stimulate further the growth of knowledge and collaboration networks that build on the course like a foundation.  In Siemen’s post  ID’s role is  to incorporate through a systematic design process appropriate instructional technology tools , but emphasize that doing so is secondary to designing for learner needs and learner experience.  But Siemen’s old post needs to be updated with the incorporation of the current grassroot collaboration pedagogies.  When one looks now at Facebook, Google Documents (which is a dream for more mature learners who wish to update their IT skills in a web-based environment), Multiply, and the Horizon time to adapation for learning is a year or less, ID becomes a tool to practice what I call technology literacy. That is, to resist the lure of peppering your courses with every New technology that emerges on daily basis, and to discern which technologies, methods, or pedagogies would best accomplish the learning objectives.  


E-learning Metatrends, Key Emerging Technologies 2008

YouTube, podcasting, Facebook, Google Docs, data mashups, collaboration webs, grassroots video. . .the implication for learning, teaching and creative expressions can be found in the 2008 Horizons Report. Many thanks to Angelo Agujo, Philippine E-learning Society’s Board Member, for leading us to this highly exciting, informative report.

Sites to Engage Kids (and Anyone Else) to Create Online Content!

And last but not the least from Larry (his blog is such a goldmine of teaching and learning links!!), how to get over techphobia and I.T. inertia through a sampling of these links.  Quick, easy and relatively painless ways of creating online content.

Larry’s post is so helpful, so I just have to lift his descriptions verbatim from his Best Websites of the Day. To quote Larry:

MAKE A MOVIE: Use Dvolver Moviemaker to create short animations with text bubble dialogue.  You can see many examples of these films on my Examples of Student Work page.

WRITE A SONG: Use Let Them Sing It For You to write lyrics, and have each word sung by a different singer.  You have to hear it to believe it…Or, if you’re an American Idol fan, you can try Don Pablo’s Tex Mex Serenade, choose a singer and a song, and then use a text-to-speech feature to act as one of the judges.  For more ideas on how to use viral marketing gimmicks like this in the classroom, please see my TechLearning article Samuel L. Jackson, My ESL Students, And Me.

MAKE A MAP: There are two sites in particular that allow you easily make and save maps (without registration) that include multiple ”pushpins.”  These are spots on the map where you can insert more information about different places.  These map-making sites are Quikmaps and TinyMap.

CREATE A PIECE OF ART: There are numerous sites that “fit this bill.”  They included Imagination Cubed (which actually has multiple uses — see the Solar Systems my students created), Art Pad, Mr. Picassohead, and Etchy (an online Etch-A-Sketch).

CREATE A CARTOON/COMIC: Again, there are a number of great sites in this category.   They include MakeBeliefsComix, the Toronto Public Library Tell-A-Story Builder,  Scholastic’s Captain Underpants, and Kiddonet.

MAKE A SLIDESHOW: Bookr is about as easy of a slideshow maker as they get.  You can search through images with a tag word, drag them into a flip-like book, and add text.  My students love it.  You can see some of their samples here.  For an even easier way to create a slideshow, you can try Colgate’s Smile Slideshow.

PICK AN IMAGE AND WRITE A SPEECH BUBBLE: There are a number of sites that allow you to easily grab an image off the web and add a speech bubble with your text.  The best ones are Bubblr and Caption Bubble.

TELL A MEDIEVAL TALE: Use the great Historic Tale Construction Kit to tell a story with images and text while you create a virtual medieval tapestry.

WRITE A POEM:  Write ones using virtual refrigerator magnets at Shocked Poetry or Fridge Messages.

CREATE A POLL: Come-up with questions for a poll you want your friends or others to participate in with Snappoll or Flektor (click on “guest”).

DESIGN AN EARTH-FRIENDLY HOUSE: My Abodo lets users design a house and then get a rating for how environmentally-friendly it is.

SUBTITLE A CLIP FROM A BOLLYWOOD MOVIE: Bombay TV lets you choose a scene from a B movie from Bollywood and have fun creating subtitles for the clip.

DESIGN A VERY STRANGE-LOOKING BACKYARD: You can design a bizarre Backyard Paradise, name it and then add a description.  Here are some student examples.

SEND A TALKING EGG-A-GRAM: This is another strange example of viral marketing.  You can choose the way you want your eggs — scrambled, hard-boiled, etc. — and then use the site’s text-to-speech feature by having your chosen egg “speak” your Egg-A-Gram.  Again, you can see some student creations here.

WRITE AN E-CARD: I have links to literally thousands of different kinds of E-Cards on my website.  They include ones of images from every country in the world (Nations Illustrated), a Dancing Santa Claus or a Christmas treedinosaur pictures, a Valentine’s Day virtual cake,  and a big selection of virtual gifts.  You can see student examples of these at my website.

CREATE A PICTURE SENTENCE: Write a sentence and select an image to go with each word by using Phrasr.

CREATE A CHARACTER FROM THE DARK AGES:  Dress-up the character of your choice from the Middle Ages (Viking, nun, knight, peasant, etc.) with all the accessories.

MAKE A TALKING OTTER: Yes, that’s what it is.  Build and send an Ottogram.  I wonder how they come up with these things….

DESIGN A FLAG: Go to We Are Multicolored and design and describe a flag that represents you.

CREATE A MUSEUM EXHIBIT: The Object Of History from the National Museum of American History allows you to create a virtual museum exhibition about a number of historical events, including the California Gold Rush, desegregation, and organizing for the rights of farmworkers.

End of quote.  Note that some of the sites may require you to subscribe, paid or otherwise. 

Kudos to Larry Ferlazzo and his love for edublogging. 

5th Philippine eLearning Conference Marks Team Approach

Congratulations to Conference Chairman Toots Policarpio on the success of the recently concluded 5th eLearning Conference.  Too bad I missed it, but check out the PeLs website  for the various themes and papers. 

Philippine eLib One of the World’s Most Comprehensive

Have you visited the  Philippine eLib site lately? 

The Philippine eLib is a collaborative project of the National Library of the Philippines (NLP), University of the Philippines (UP), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

As lifted from the site, the site is funded through the e-Government Fund of the Philippine Government. The project aims to supply the information needs of all sectors of society in a convenient, affordable, and efficient way of delivery.

Available Resources include:

  • Union catalog of the 5 partners;
  • Digitized Filipiniana materials including theses and dissertations;
  • Special collection/researches of the 5 partners;
  • Online resources/subscription to electronic databases.

I’ve just done a token search on the subject “e-learning, elearning” .  Well, the first few entries on the list didn’t have anything to do with e-learning, just plain learning on a vast array of different fields.

I’m just rushing through the site, but for those who care to try it out, the eLib is a timely and valuable resource for today’s global, digital Pinoy.  Who can argue with 25 million pages culled from our very own Filipiniana and global databank resources, all at the click of a mouse?

CP Square Launches Bibliography on CoP

Etienne Wenger launches a rich, valuable online resource wiki on Communities of Practice at . Here’s an organic list of what you can find at the link:

General resources for the whole field

  • Classics and foundational materials
  • Learning and learning theory
  • Cases
  • Information_Science
  • Innovation
  • Leadership and community cultivation
  • Measurement and outcomes assessment
  • Narrative techniques
  • Organizational context and sponsorship
  • Related fields and literatures
  • Technology
    • tools
    • issues
    • support
  • Unclassified (please use only as a last resort)
  • Bibliographies and directories

Specific organizational or cultural settings

  • Civic Practices & Settings
  • Development (economic, social, and otherwise)
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Open Source Software
  • Pharmaceuticals

Formative and Summative Evaluation

Here's a useful paper by George K. Marsh of University of Alabama on formative and summative evaluation of education programs.

Formative evaluation is a way to detect prolems and weakesses in components in order to revise them. Summative evaluation is a process that concerns final evaluation to ask if the project or program met its goals. 

Communities in Cyberspace

Came across the draft article of introduction to the book, Communities in Cyberspace by Peter Kollock and Marc Smith of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). It gives a good overview of the implications of online interactions in building virtual communities in light of four key concepts: (1) identity, (2) social order and control, (3) community structure and dynamics, and (4) collective action. This final article appeared in the book "Communities in Cyberspace" (1999, London:Routledge).

Online Research Tools

I found out about Question Pro through a fellow PeLs member. It can be used for both corporate and academic research surveys. There's a nice link for students and academics on questionnaire design, survey questions and answer types. You can try  Survey Pro for comparison.

Check out the 30 day free trial if you need to do quick surveys. Or pay USD 99-249 for the whole survey suite. If you're doing research on a shoestring budget (like I am), create your questionnaire offline first, have a trusted friend or mentor critique it, then put in on line.