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Wednesday, June 18 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
CON3.05 – Designing for Learner Motivation in Online Courses (Room A333)

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Learner motivation has been found to be a complex and nuanced phenomenon; at the same time, we have some fairly reliable general predictors of success (Keller, 2006; Hartnett, St. George, & Dron, 2011). For this study, a seasoned and innovative educator was interviewed to harvest qualitative observations in the context of a course development and learning design pilot project. The instructor was asked about his approach to designing online courses that support learner motivation and help passive students become active learners.

 In 2011, a course design pilot was started for Athabasca University courses in the School of Computing and Information Systems (SCIS). This project built on a development pilot initiated after a program review. The goal was to share an understanding of theory and effective practice for online learning and to develop guidelines to facilitate creative design and solution finding. 

At that time all SCIS courses were developed using one HTML design template. Initial changes were made to give each course its own visual identity and add course-specific resources. The next level of the design pilot looked for more effective ways to present content in the form of learning activities.

In 2013, a formative evaluation was undertaken of the content and presentation of courses and of the design process with the goal of informing improvements in both courses and process.  The coordinator and course author, TerryTaylor, (who was interviewed for this study) introduced effective new ideas for presenting content, and the evaluation team wished to know more about his approach to motivating learners. 

The session reports on this study and provides concrete ways to help passive online students become active learners. Participants will learn and be able to apply some of the reported strategies to increase learner motivation and engagement.

Wednesday June 18, 2014 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
A333 McArthur Hall

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