The Impact of Technology on Online Learning

Multimedia changes the face of learning. Students are able to learn from anywhere they can connect. “Learning resources and spaces are more flexible.” (Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). For me personally, I have been able to learn while on a multi-state trip, while moving my son from Michigan to California. As long as I had connectivity, I could accomplish my schoolwork. This has opened the door to many people who may not live near a college or university. One of my reasons for choosing an online program was because I was considering moving from Michigan to another state. I did not want to be tied down to a specific geographical area so I chose to learn online.

One of the most important items to keep in mind for the online instructor is to be present. Due to the fact that students and instructors are not face to face, the instructor must reach out to allow the students to feel connected to both the instructor and classmates. Communication is also a very important factor for online learners. When creating learning groups the instructor must be aware of the possibilities of student frustration while working in groups (Dirlex, J.M., Smith, R.O., 2004). Clear direction from the instructor and frequent communication are key to the instructor stopping the frustration early in the group formation process.

 

When creating the learning experience, thinking of the appropriate tools to use is vital to the successful completion for the students. Learning how to use the technology should not be a major focus of the student. The technology should be an enhancement to the learning. “To avoid unnecessary frustration, we recommend that students be comfortable with a tool prior to its use in a graded assignment.” (Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J. A. (2011) This statement rings true to me. I do not want to have the stress of learning a new technology as I am creating an assignment that is to be graded.

As an instructional designer, I think a nice blend of using technology while creating learning is very important. I have been creating online learning solutions for many years now and find there are many different technology tools that can be incorporated to designing and developing learning activities. For instance, for interactive simulation learning solutions I utilize Captivate®. I like the flexibility of placing interactive items such as click boxes or fill in the blank text boxes as well as drag and drop activities. The program encourages instantaneous feedback options while creating the learning. Also It is easy to embed both audio and video into the program. I am also getting used to using Storyline® in order to create rapid developed online eLearning. Also important is to have a sound Learning Management System (LMS), that is a platform that hosts the learning. I also have the understanding that not all students learn the same so I try to offer other means of learning for the students such as Jive online discussions as well as printable materials.

References:

Boettcher, J. V., & Conrad, R. (2010). The online teaching survival guide: Simple and practical pedagogical tips. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Dirlex, J. M; Smith, R.O. MSU (2004) Online Collaborative Learning: Theory and Practice Chapter VI Thinking Out of a Bowl of Spaghetti: Learning to Learn with Online Collaboration Groups. Idea Group

Conrad, R., & Donaldson, J. A. (2011). Engaging the online learner: Activities and resources for creative instruction (Updated ed.). San Francisco, CA:

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