As an educator, did you ever finish a class, a tutoring session or an entire day when you felt on top of your game?
You know the feeling. The flow and sequence of content was perfect. The students were engaged and involved. You were able to anticipate and correct student misconceptions.
And best of all, you saw light bulbs going off in your students.
As a learning engineer at Acrobatiq, it’s my goal to take those aspects of the “perfect” teaching day and translate them into the online learning environment.
“How is that possible?” you may ask.
The qualities you need to be an effective teacher − whether it’s online or in the classroom − are the same qualities you need to design effective online courseware: a clear vision, a thoughtful approach to the subject and teamwork.
Align content, assessments & learning objectives
The vision for Acrobatiq courseware originates from Carnegie Mellon University’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI), and is based on the findings of learning science. A clear sense of how students learn best − by doing and not just by reading or watching − comes from years of OLI research and classroom experience. We incorporate this principle into every course we develop.
This vision includes strict adherence to aligning the course content, assessments and learning objectives. We call these three elements the Course Design Triangle. It contains:
- Student-centered and measurable objectives
- A clear and logical sequence of content
- Numerous adaptive, problem-solving activities (which we call ADAPTivities)
- Authentic assessments
Be creative in crafting activities
Take the example of the heredity module in Acrobatiq’s Introduction to Biology courseware. I had fun interacting with our course authors on this module. We were creative in crafting a variety of activities that scaffold the student carefully through the concepts of heredity, and help head off misconceptions. This is a critical part of the education process.
The final result is a module with a minimum of text. Students are kept engaged and motivated with:
- Interesting visuals & drag and drops
- Video walkthroughs
- Multiple choice
- Essay and fill in the blank activities
Along with carefully constructed content, it takes teamwork: learning engineers, authors, instructors, subject matter experts and software engineers, who are all passionate about creating exceptional educational experiences for students.
The light bulb effect
So, what about those light bulbs going off? We capture the “light bulb effect” at Acrobatiq through The Learning Dashboard, which gives instructors a visual picture of how well students are meeting the course objectives.
The Learning Dashboard allows you to see, in real-time, where students are having difficulties and misconceptions. Now, you can adjust your lessons and instruction quickly to meet the specific needs of your students.
As a result, your students are better prepared, so you can spend less time on the basics and more time focused on giving them a deeper understanding and more memorable learning experience. If that’s not a perfect teaching day, it comes close.