Online classrooms and their associated technological tools are constantly evolving May 8

Desirable Difficulties in Convenient Coursework

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The phrase “desirable difficulties” was first coined in the nineties by psychologist Robert Bjork to describe learning conditions that introduced inconveniences to yield greater learner retention of material. According to the literature, the more work that is required to learn a concept, the greater the mastery (Sparks, 2011). To illustrate, a classical example of a desirable difficulty is found in the use of flashcards as study tools. Flashcards typically display only partial information, as a cue for the user to recall a more complete set of facts. When compared to lecture notes, flashcards require a student to work harder in recalling materials and are therefore especially effective study tools. As such, flashcards have been popular among students for decades.





January 22, 2010

Online Course Quality Assurance: Using Evaluations and Surveys to Improve Online Teaching and Learning

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In order to improve online programs, courses, and instruction, you have to first determine your goals, select metrics that will tell you what we want to know, analyze these metrics for clues about needed changes, and then make those changes. It may sound simple, but it isn’t.






March 27, 2009

Distance Learning Administration and Policy: Strategies for Achieving Excellence

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Although distance learning is no longer in its infancy, there are still a lot of unknowns. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the questions and the possibilities of what you want your online program to look like today … not to mention five years from now. Here’s your chance to take advantage some of the best practices learned by those who blazed the trail before you.