What is Quality Learning: Applying Construct’s Quality Dimensions Framework
By Sarah Polhill |
“As learning and teaching evolve to serve new and different needs, it is crucial for us to continually consider what guiding concepts for education will be essential and most effective for this stage in time. For this reason, we, at Construct, are committed to recognizing this “new normal” in learning while holding to time-tested and research-backed standards of producing quality learning experiences. Experiences designed to “best-suit” our era of education because they are the evolutionary building blocks of our time.”
What We Do
At Construct, we design top-notch online courses for your students. You may have noticed that designing an online course takes a lot of time and thought. We are here to help you not only create excellent online learning, but to also see the benefits of an online classroom.
As we have all learned these past few months, the online classroom is different from traditional face-to-face classrooms. Many teachers have experienced challenges as they have been moving their courses online and teaching remotely. To help bridge this gap, we have a team who is educated on the psychology and best practices of learning and elearning.
We start by learning what your students need and how they best learn. We will communicate with teachers to write a course for an online learning system based on their material.
We support teachers by building their courses in an LMS (Learning Management System) as well as designing lessons, materials, and assessments that are best fit for online.
From this point we create graphics, motion graphics, and videos, including on site filming. These products are not only beautiful, but they also help your students learn more effectively.
Our technology experts move your new courses into Bridge and Canvas and custom-build it using skills like CSS and html.
We also provide project management that works with your team to ensure we stay on track and within the budget to help both of our teams understand your priorities, values, and culture.
What is Quality Learning?
To help you get an idea of how we define quality online learning, we have assembled a list of 6 key attributes that are foundational to learning across time.
Quality online learning is . . .
Motivating. Humans have a natural tendency for learning that is strengthened and nurtured when 3 essential psychological needs are met: competence, relatedness, and autonomy (Deci and Ryan).
As we write courses, we try to help students feel like they have influence over their own learning. Online learning in itself helps students move at their own pace. One way to help students feel competent is to include rich, encouraging feedback for their quiz and assignment responses.
Authentic. Learners grow as individuals and as members of communities when they are asked to solve real-world problems that are relevant to their lives (Lave and Wenger, Herrington).
We create real-life scenarios in a video or in text to imitate the problems students will face in real life. We also take advantage of case studies to help students practically apply what they learn.
Active. To really learn, learners must do something with new information. Simply put, learning is doing (Freeman and Bloom).
We create Interactive Learning Objects like the ones below that enable students to interact with information as they learn it.
Accessible. Learners need to be met where they are. Universal design accommodates individual learning differences, including disability or technological, cultural, and geophysical challenges (Meyer and Rose).
At Construct, we follow WCAG guidelines for accessibility for various disabilities.
For example, through alt text a screenreader would be able to read the text within a graphic in a Canvas page. This way a student who is blind has equal access to each part of the course.
We try to make our courses accessible for everyone. For example, when we write for deaf students, students who are hard of hearing, and students who are on the autism spectrum, we avoid idioms and figures of speech by writing in plain language as recommended.
Memorable. When we lower cognitive load, especially in elearning and multimedia, we enable learners to encode more information in their long-term memories. This long-term memory becomes a library of knowledge they can draw upon to make meaningful changes to their ways of thinking and behavior (Sweller and Mayer).
In each of the courses we create, we try to ensure that students do not feel unnecessarily burdened as they learn. This means striking the right balance between text, video, and activities. Infographics and motion graphics can also capture information for efficient learning.
Social. Learners are social creatures who rely on interaction for growth (Bandura, Vygotsky). We learn by interacting with other people.
We can bring social interaction to elearning through discussions, video conferencing, and gamification.
Sarah Polhill - Learning Designer, Construct