In addition to the technological trends and innovations posted in 2013 Crystal Ball…Learning Trends Part1, Part 2 provides you some learning design strategies to mull over. Topics include: blended learning, customization of learning content, focus on engagement and interaction with learners, gamification, social learning, and collaborative learning/e-workshops. This is where the art meets the science in education and training and in my opinion, is the point of departure for inspired course development! Customizing courses to enable learners to become active learners who buy into the material, not just because they have to, but because they are totally engaged, is the goal. This means consciously developing relevant activities for the target audience. Read the Custom Training and eLearning blog Part 2 here, and let your imagination play with how you might engage your students in a new way!
Universities Academic Support Services invest significant amounts of money each year to support students on campus. As online programs continue to expand the question is being raised, are these same support services the right kind of support for our online learners? Do the online students use those services? Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Steven Sachs, vice president for instructional and information technology at NOVA, addressed this topic in his talk at Educause 2012, “Engagement Beyond the LMS.” Are online students getting counseling for financial aid? Do they have access to tutoring? Are supports in place to help online students get jobs at the end of their program? Do they know how to get advice about graduation? Do online students who are falling behind get encouragement and support?
NOVA discovered that support services on campus were not meeting the needs of the online learner and invested $2 million in the “Next Level Initiative,” a project designed to recognize the needs of the online learner and provide support to them. Read more about the project at Inside Higher Ed, Calling In Web Support.