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This content is taken from the The University of Nottingham's online course, Designing E-Learning for Health. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Before you begin the development of your own resource, you need to think about the aims of that resource– that’s to say, why you want to develop and deliver it, what you hope to achieve. In thinking about this, it helps to ask some simple questions about who it’s targeted at, what the learning goals for the resource are, and so on. As RLOs are small, highly-focused resources, lasting on average about 10 to 15 minutes, it’s essential that the aims, too, are highly focused and specific. In our experience, getting this right makes the whole development process easier and also results in a much more usable resource.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds One of the things that learners comment on very positively when using RLOs is the sense of ownership and control that they provide them over their learning. Clear aims help with this sense of control and ownership. Learners like to be able to access a resource, work through this, and be able to get a sense of achievement from addressing a specific learning goal. In contrast, a resource that is not so focused, or where the aims are less clear, can leave the learner confused and uncertain about their learning.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 seconds So the first question to ask yourself is, what is the learning goal for the resource you wish to create? Be as specific as possible. What do you want your learners to know or be able to do after completing the resource that they maybe didn’t or couldn’t at the start? We would suggest that you focus on one single learning goal. Very often at this stage, people realise that they are, in fact, planning a whole series of resources, and it may be necessary to focus in on one aspect. Remember, you only have about 10 to 15 minutes with your learners.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds I know that trying to define the extent of a single learning goal is like asking the question, how long is a piece of string? But think about the smallest goal that you can– that is to say, the point at which dividing the learning any further is not possible or does not make sense. It really helps to get feedback on your learning goals at this stage. You could also use the SMART analogy to help you here, too. Make your goal Specific and Measurable. Will the learner know when they have attained it? Is what you’re proposing Achievable within the time confines of your resource? Is the goal Relevant and Timely for your learners? Be clear about who your learners will be.

Skip to 2 minutes and 37 seconds What are their specific learning needs and characteristics? Are there any special considerations to be made in relation to this learning group? How, when, and where are they likely to want to access the resource, and in what context? Remember, even if you think you have the most relevant and most interesting resource for them, you still have to work to engage them in the resource and show them why it’s important for them to access it. One of the hardest things to get right is to consider the context in which the learning within your resource is going to take place. No resource sits in isolation, but rather is part of a greater learning journey.

Skip to 3 minutes and 15 seconds You need to think about the level at which you’re going to pitch the materials within your resource. How much background knowledge will you expect your learners to have in this area? Or are their prerequisites to their using the resource successfully? Only you will know the answer to this. Remember, don’t try to make your resource all things to all people. It’s better to have a clear idea about where it’s aimed and be overt about this. When you begin to develop your resource, there are devices, such as glossaries that explain terms or additional explanation sections that help with differential learning.

Skip to 3 minutes and 52 seconds Whilst you can address the question of how the resource will be delivered at a later stage, it’s worth at least considering this now, as the method of delivery might influence some fundamental elements of your resource design. One thing to think about is the type of media or platforms that users might access it from, but also the relationship that you might have with the learners and the resource. For example, do you want to be able to track use, engage in assessment or discussions with your learners? These approaches will influence design. Do you want others to be able to access and use your resource?

Skip to 4 minutes and 28 seconds You may want to create it as an open educational resource that is freely available for all to use, in addition to your target learner group. This might require you to make some decisions about the level of specificity and context within the resource. However, as stated earlier, don’t try to make it all things to all people. Experience suggests that the most successfully reused resources tend to be those created with specific learner groups in mind. Reusers seem to be, at the very least, forgiving of context, or may even find that a degree of context helps them to put the content into a real world perspective.

Skip to 5 minutes and 4 seconds If you do choose to go for a reusable resource, there will be decisions be made about the copyright and intellectual property that surrounds the resource and its content, however. So, there are a number of things to consider at this early stage, and getting them right can be really helpful. You’ll have a chance to consider these in a later activity in this session.

Developing your aims

The first step in the ASPIRE process is getting the learning aim right for your E-learning resource.

Watch the video to find out some of the considerations that you will need to give to this step. Remember, if you get things right at this stage, then the whole process becomes easier as you move to the subsequent steps, so it is worth spending some time here.

Once you have watched this video you will have a chance to consider some of the work of Fern’s project team in this area and contribute to discussions before going on to consider your own learning aims.

Discussion points - focus on reuse

  • How would you define the relationship between context and reuse?
  • Should we be concerned about reuse of our learning resources?
  • Why has the level of reuse of learning resources generally been so low - despite so many efforts to support it?

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This video is from the free online course:

Designing E-Learning for Health

The University of Nottingham