Context & Implementation
The most successful (online) learning experiences are the ones that are fit to - and implemented in - the context they are taught in. Although many of the components of these two dimensions are already (partially) set when teaching in Leiden University, you can still make a big difference by taking context and implementation into account when designing your program.
When you are providing academic education the ‘Field of use’ will - in most situations - be either higher or professional education in which the ‘Provider’ is Leiden University.
The ‘Breath’ of the learning experience you are (re)designing might vary depending on your role. However, whether you are teaching a single course or are responsible for a complete programme, you have to ensure that your design is coherent, and in line with linked elements such as other lectures, assignments, courses and the program’s end terms.
Learner’s characteristics, prerequisites and skills
Although this component is considered to be part of the context dimension, it is of great importance to consider the learner’s characteristics, prerequisites and skills before you start (re)designing your program or course. Some prerequisites - like pre-knowledge - are easy to identify, while others - e.g. language fluency, technological skills and self-regulation - are hard to identify.
If you want a fast but structured approach to include a learner analysis in your design, you can use this short template from the Digital Learning Toolkit or this more thorough Learner Analysis Worksheet.
When it comes to the implementation of online programs, there are 3 components to consider.
- The learning location
Where are your students learning? At home, in a dorm, at school, at another location or a mixture of these locations? As a teacher it is important to take into account the possibilities and possible consequences of that location. Are there more distractions or is it difficult to work with a specific format? Don’t forget to take into consideration how to handle your students’ (and your own) privacy when working from home.
- Co-located facilitator
Your role and presence might be different, depending on the modality (online/offline/combination) and the location. With all online elements it is essential to have an online presence as a teacher, ensure sufficient technical support, and manage expectations.
- Student interaction
There are 3 types of student interaction that should be considered in the (re)design of any learning experience.
- Student-content interaction
- Student-instructor interaction
- Student-student interaction
In general higher levels of student interaction lead to better results, but only when it is relevant and contributes to the learning experience. Take some time to explore how you would like to integrate these types of interaction.