Principles of Successful E-Learning

Before going to bed, I like to read articles in a variety of contents, such as Food & Cooking, Fashion, Technology, Entertainment, E-Learning, Web Design, and Higher Education. I have been really enjoying the Zite app. I encourage iPad users to download and give it a try. It’s a free app, too!

Last night I read an article discussing principles for successful E-Learning. The authors listed 10 principles and provided brief but concise description for each principle. The principles are quite different from the principles I read from the E-Learning and the Science of Instruction book by Clark and Mayer (multimedia, spatial contiguity, temporal contiguity, coherence, modality, redundancy, individual differences, practice, learner control, and professionalization).

The authors of this article pointed out some interesting principles. Those principles are generic and focus more on the pedagogic principles. The principles were defined and proposed by Professors Anderson and McCormick. Ten principles of successful E-Learning are the following:

1. Match to the curriculum – all the activities, assignments, and content should be relevant to course objectives.

2. Inclusion – the pedagogy should be universal design (accessible to broader audiences)

3. Learner engagement – the pedagogy should motivate learners.

4. Innovative approaches – technological tools are implemented to support learning process.

5. Effective learning – the pedagogy should be designed to fit learners’ different learning styles.

6. Formative assessment – the pedagogy should provide formative assessments

7. Summative assessment – the summative assessments must be reliable and comprehensible to instructors, learners, and parents.

8. Coherence, consistency & transparency – the pedagogy must be internally coherent and consistent with the objectives.

9. Ease of use – E-Learning should be easy to use.

10. cost-effectiveness – technology solutions should be affordable and costs sustainable.

You can read the article HERE, or you can download the White Paper here.

In my opinion, based on my experience I have to disagree some of the principles listed above. I’m not sure about the concept and benefit of the principle 6 and 7. Moreover, the principle 8 is redundant – it is similar to the principle 1. However, I do strongly agree with the principle 9 and 10. The E-Learning platform should be easy for learners to use. The platform should also be cost-effective.

US Chamber of Commerce

In addition to those principle listed above and principles proposed by Clark and Mayer, I have my own principles that I used when designing and developing an E-Learning program. My personal principles for successful E-Learning are listed below:

1. Principle of perception – I always cautious about people’s perception. In E-Learning, a lot of time learners interact with a computer and monitor screen. Gestalt principles are often applied to my program interface design to reduce a risk of miscommunication. These principles also help me organize all the design elements and content displayed on the screen in the way that makes senses to the learners.

2. Principle of flexibility – This principle is similar to the principle of learner control, proposed by Clark and Mayer. Most of E-Learning programs are self-pace. It’s very important to design the program that allows learners to start and stop the instruction anytime they want. The E-learning program should provide the learners with a sense of user control and program flexibility. For example, a video or audio clip should have a progressing bar, so the learners can pause or rewind it when they need to.

3. Principle of visualization – This principle is not the same as the principle of perception which deals with content organization. The principle of visualization rather focuses on the look and feel of the program. The multimedia using in an E-Learning program should be clean, consistent, relevant, and high quality. The instructional designers should be cautious about the effects of using colors, graphics, symbols, tables, and other visual displays.

What do you think about my principles of E-Learning? Do you agree or disagree? If you have your own principles, please share!

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