Time to put a little fun into online learning--with good reason: 'Emotional arousal helps the brain learn'. Medina, Brain Rules (2008). Joni Dunlap leads the IDLive team in considering how to incorporate fun into the fabric of a course to provide a more stimulating learning experience.
Inspired by a number of discussions at the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning in Madison Wisconsin, we consider the process of transitioning from a proprietary learning management system such as Blackboard to an open source system such as Moodle.
Dr. Helen Barrett, recipient of the EIFEL lifetime achievement award for her contributions to e-portfolio research and development, joins us this week to put a firm emphasis on having students control their learning through e-portfolios. In addition to highlighting the ‘two faces of e-portfolios’, Helen makes the case that universities have been placing too great an emphasis on e-portfolios for summative learning.
Having recently discussed the need to avoid cognitive overload in online courses, we take a step back to consider whether or not cognitive overload is actually an issue. As Arlene Walker-Andrews, Associate Provost and Psychology Professor at the University of Montana, points out: “I do not believe that attention and cognitive capacities are limited. In my view, attention shouldn’t be considered a finite resource, rather it should be characterized as “attending,” which suggests flexible, skilled action. Recent theories about attention suggest that although not all stimuli are analyzed, nonattended stimuli are not all filtered out and their impact on learning and memory will vary depending on relevance and/or personal experience.” Great stuff!
Join Arlene and the ID team this week to listen to what this means for individualizing the learning experience and tailoring instructional strategies to the cognitive abilities of learners.