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ILED Designcast #1: What’s a Syllabus Good for When it Comes to Learning?

(ILED Designcasts is a series of informal video discussions between ILED co-founders Bucky Dodd and Rob Reynolds. Each short video addresses a current topic in educational media or technology from the perspective of Learning Environment Design. Click here to see our Designcast schedule and topics.) What’s a Syllabus Good for When it Comes to Learning? In this ILED Designcast episode, we tackle the topic of the course syllabus. Is it a contract for a transaction? Is it a permanent record? Is it a learning environment? Are there alternative formats we should consider? In our discussion, we focus on the importance of...

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Designing Writing Assignments

  In our latest Design Studio session we explored how to create effective writing assignments. What are some successful frameworks for writing assignments? What tools have worked best for you? How can we make writing assignment personally relevant while teaching a universal set of skills and capabilities? How can/do we provide context for the experience?     [Click here to access the recording for this session] The group focused on relevance and creating writing assignments tied to real-live scenarios (with consequences). The resulting design included a good mix of diagnostic evaluation, skill development, and meaningful writing. Not bad for 45...

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Creating Successful Course Introductions

In our latest Design Studio session we explored how to create successful course introductions. What information do learners require to be successful in a course? How can/do we provide context for the experience? How can we get the most out of course introductions? [Click here to access the recording for this session] The group focused on relevance and learner agency in the design process, with a focus on using the introduction to give learners greater ownership of the entire course. Here is the resulting learning environment model (LEM) from our session. (Click here to view larger version) If you have...

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Designing Learning Environments that Meet the Entire Educational Lifecycle

In this week’s Design Studio session we want to take a look at all the “other things” that, combined with great content and instruction, make for a great educational experience or program. [Click here to access this week’s session] While this may seem more skewed toward degree or training programs, I think many of these “other things” are also critical (if somewhat invisible) in any successful course or learning experience. In short, they form the infrastructure that make the learning environment understandable, meaningful, and personally relevant. They contribute significantly to a learner’s success. So, what are other things that...

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Designing Learning Environments for Synchronous Virtual Learning

Introduction: Designing Learning Environments for Synchronous Virtual Learning This Design Studio session focused on designing learning environments for synchronous virtual learning. Our goal, as always, is to work together collaboratively to develop a shareable learning environment model (LEM). While our previous Design Studio sessions have dealt with specific pedagogies and strategies for smaller environments, in this workshop we decided to address a popular, larger environment type, the massively asynchronous learning environment. Specifically, we wanted to  different ways to design massively asynchronous spaces, digital and analog, in ways that lead to effective learning for a significant percentage of participants. Watch...

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