10 eLearning design principles

#1: First and foremost: the interaction between learners…

This one was passed on to me by Fiona Thomas, who quoted:

Grab a piece of paper and pen (or new browser window) and jot down what you believe are your top 10 eLearning design principles. These should be the beliefs and goals that drive your eLearning design process and eventual implementation. Once you have done this, watch this video…

I've not actually watched the video yet (posted on Jason Renshaw's English Raven blog) but here are mine, Fiona, in approximately order of importance:

  1. The interaction between learners is way more important than interaction between the individual learner and his/her computer
  2. Learners need to know exactly what they are expected to do, how and when (including deadlines)
  3. Clear indications must be given of what is going to be evaluated, how
  4. Content must be multimedia (audio, text, images, video…)
  5. Activities must involve learners creating and sharing things together: they should not be merely consuming "content"
  6. The learning must be "social": the activities must lead to the creation of good group dynamics and (thus) a feeling of community
  7. Content and activities should provide practical, useable ideas, not merely theory
  8. Learners should be encouraged to try those ideas out with their own classes and report back on success (or lack of!) to a public course forum
  9. Delivery of courses should be preceded by needs analysis, and must then meet those needs
  10. Courses should ideally have some form of external accreditation

I was thinking more in terms of online teacher training courses, which I have been involved in designing, rather than language learning, but I think that most of the above would also apply to that.

And I'd suggest that at least 3 or 4 of them should apply in a face-to-face language classroom in which technology was being used…

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  1. Having now watched the video, I was reminded of another I ought to include in my top 10: always get learner feedback on the course.

    And always be prepared to act on that to improve on the original design.

  2. An interesting similar(?) question here: What's a 21st century teacher?

    OK, not so much similar as a question you could do the same thing with: write down your own answer before reading it. Un beso, K.

  3. Yes, thanks for that Kate: definitely something you could do the same thing with.

    With language learners, the same kind of task makes a great activity!

  4. Thank you Tom for this top 10 principle reminder! I am a Generalitat teacher who took a technology course with you at Ih two years ago. This post has made me remember about the philosophy behind using technology in the classroom that you insisted on so much during the course. I've taken several courses since then, and believe me, now I understand the meaning of the 'compass'!. I know you are running a Generalitat course at the moment and that you have a colleague and close friend of mine in your group. We both work at Quercus secondary school in St. Joan de Vilatorrada. Please, ask her to take good note of what is going on during this week!
    Have a nice summer and please, do not lose your compass…!!

  5. Thanks, Carme :-)!

    Your colleague mentioned you the other day: don't worry, she's been working really hard and has created a great blog this week!!!

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