Quality Matters Internal Online Course Review #Done

Late last night, I finished a QM internal online course review. One thing I have noticed that instructors miss is providing learners with detailed navigational instructions for their online course.  Instructors should be careful to tell learners how to locate content, learning activities, assignments, announcements, assessments, and other course material. Not all learners have taken an online course and not all online courses are arranged the same way. Providing learners with navigational instructions reduces cognitive load as the learner will not expend cognitive resources to figure out where to find things– cognitive resources may be appropriately applied to learning the content.

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives

I am in the process of creating two curriculum outlines. Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives with corresponding action verbs is a constant companion while I draft terminal performance objectives and enabling objectives from the task analyses. Use of the hierarchical list of educational objectives–Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation– and verbs facilitates the development of objectives that are appropriately sequenced– from LOTS (lower order thinking skills) to HOTS (higher order thinking skills)– and aligned with instructional materials, learning activities, and assessment items.

Instructional Designer as Investigator

Problems arise–learners do not meet learning objectives, performance goals are not attained, learners become frustrated–when instruction is created without a thorough analysis. When this happens the instructional designer must put on his or her investigator hat and locate the holes in the content and/or instructional materials. Instructional and training programs that begin with a thorough analysis produce efficient, effective, extraordinary results the first time around.