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Tag Archives: adult education

Engagement…. How Does That Happen in e-learning?

One of the biggest complaints I hear about e-learning is that “It’s just like looking at a PowerPoint slide show.” When I hear that criticism, I know that the learner has not been engaged by an interactive e-learning offering, but rather sat through a somewhat bland or boring presentation of facts. Even the most high quality content, polished design and easy navigability can’t overcome the lack of interactivity in an online course. So, how does one engage learners in through interactivity in an e-learning course?

Accomplished instructional designers build in interactivity, and they can do it in a number of ways. For instance they may include:

  • Exploration in the form of links that learners can click on to explore a topic further.
  • Videos that add real-life animation to the content.
  • Reality based interactive scenarios that integrate real life examples and problems into training
  • Flip Books that can support self-paced interactive in-depth content exploration
  • Handouts that can be downloaded and printed for use during and after the training
  • Discussion Posts that can be used to build community across participants and content.
  • Interactive Games that promote hypotheses and knowledge testing in fun ways.
  • Quizzes or assessments placed at the end of a module to allow facilitators to assess effectiveness of course, and learners to gauge progress and summarize content.
  • Polls that can provide immediate feedback from the group to the individual student.
  • Collaborative Virtual Group Discussions that allow learners to discuss issues with one another, and increase the “human element” of e-learning.
  • Calls to Action that encourage learners to use the information they have learned by creating action plans, follow up reports, etc.

It is important to ensure that the videos, images, and other interactive elements included in an e-learning course should not take away from the core content. For example, an abundance of graphics on a given page may distract the learner from the content. Use only the multimedia and visual components that are relevant to course content to help highlight the major principles and engage the learner without distraction.

Graphic Display of Learning Objectives


Seeking ideas for a class presentation, I came across an article on the graphic display of learning outcomes/objectives by Billie Hara in The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the field of Early Care and Education, where I practice, all training has to be approved by cognitive level through a rigorous training approval system. I typically submit an instructional plan with learning objectives keyed to specific activities to make it easy for those who approve the training to see that the objectives match the activities according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. However, when presenting those learning objectives on a PowerPoint slide during a training session, they always seem a little bland and boring. I like the idea of being able to visually enhance the objectives so that the learners can see that when they are involved in a certain activity, it is tied into a particular learning objective. These graphic displays may be just thing to do that. It is important to me that learners know how they learn best and I often encourage them to reflect not only about what they learned during an activity, but also how they learned it, relating back to the learning objective.

As for me and my learning, this is a great example of informal or incidental learning. I just picked up this information along the way and it’s now fueling some exciting ideas about how I can change my course development practices.

Check out Marsick and Watkins, Informal and Incidental Learning in the Workplace, )

Here is a link to the Chronicle article:

Do You Know Your ECE Training Level?

Professionals working in the field of Early Care and Education in Georgia can find state approved training and professional development opportunities designed and developed to fit their individual career level. Training competencies have been developed to describe abilities at three levels of competence: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced. These competencies guide program development, inform the approval process, and provide Early Care and Education professionals with the ability to select training geared toward their individual level of career development.

  •  Beginning Level Training includes the courses mandated for the first year in the field, such as recognition and reporting of abuse and neglect, health and safety and basic information such as child development, rules and regulations, supervision, and positive discipline. This is not an exclusive list and although these courses are designed to meet the needs of beginning professionals, they are often good refreshers for more experienced workers and provide new or updated information.
  • Intermediate Level Training has been developed and approved for professionals who have several years of experience and training in the field, field related credentials and/or formal education. This training typically focuses on expanding knowledge and its application and refining skills.
  • Advanced Level Training is most appropriate for professionals who have formal education in the early care and education field and numerous years of experience. This level of training is appropriate for those serving in leadership, management, or mentor roles as lead teachers, center administrators, program coordinators, etc. The focus of advanced level training is typically on knowledge, skills and abilities in leading and managing best practices in the field.

If you want to know more, check out these links:

We all know what pedagogy is, but what is “andragogy?”

Adult education practice is most often associated with the term “andragogy.” Malcolm Knowles (1984), first introduced the term in America in 1967, describing it as “the art and science of helping adults learn.” The “science” is usually thought of as the systematic activity, methods and knowledge acquired through formal education, training and practical experience and used to design, develop, implement and evaluate training and educational programs for adult learners. For example, an adult educator might study learning theory in college, program design in a certification workshop, or learn about evaluation processes on the job. The “art” however, is often associated with educators’ activities of using insight, imagination, and creativity in practice.  It is the manner in which the science of teaching is carried out, the style and grace with which facilitators engage learners and the environment, placing their personal mark on the process.  Andragogy is the adult compliment to pedagogy.  The intent of this blog is to explore the many aspects of adult learning and adult education…..andragogy.