Friday, October 2, 2015

Design of multimedia learning v pedagogic approaches to elearning

In my current work, I create e-learning modules for learners who access these through a Learning Management System (LMS). I'm keen to develop some guiding principles for my team based on theory and research by Richard E Mayers, Ruth Clark and John Sweller. In addition, I'm influenced by industry leaders in this field like Cathy Moore and Anna Sabramowicz.
However, I'm also looking forward to collating the theoretical principles that will guide and underpin the development of our e-learning. While reading Mayes and Freitas (2004), I've come across some useful 'language' that I believe will help me to sell my ideas to the company. Up to recent times, the company has been putting out e-learning based on an industry-wide 'understanding' that colourful pages with narration and interaction will sell e-learning. I was pleased to read that "there is no real theoretical base, but rather a strong folk tradition that compelling explanations will lead to better learning" (Mayes and Freitas, 2004). I've wanted to have a good reason for moving away from the digital chalk and talk to a more scenario-based, constructivist approach and I think I'm building up some good arguments to move us in that direction. (We've already started by shoe-horning in some scenarios but we've not yet re-designed our whole approach).
Using Biggs' model of constructive alignment, we should be looking at our curriculum or learning outcomes (LOs), our teaching and learning activities (TLAs), the learning environment and the assessment methods. Because we work in a compliance industry, we have no say in the LOs. Our learners have to use our LMS to access the learning, so the learning environment is fixed. We have the most control over the TLAs and the writing of our assessments and I intend to use theory to produce our e-learning guidelines 2.0 and start to move us away from the 'presentation of facts' mode to a more learner-centred approach.

No comments: