I am auditing an online course from Acumen Academy called Introduction to Human-centered Design, and it does not have a facilitator. When I ran this online course through the old Keller’s ARCS model, it proved that this course, facilitator or no facilitator, was doing many things right. It keeps the students’ attention pretty well when excluding the humour and conflict categories. It provides many activities through its collaborative workshops that give the students hands-on, role-playing, and problem-solving experiences that they can use in their everyday lives. While there are a lot of positives with this course, it still has confidence issues because there is no facilitator, and it prevents this course from becoming great and being able to throw away that free price tag.
Due to the lack of a facilitator, there are no clear expectations, evaluation criteria, or professional feedback. The students do not know if they are doing the workshops correctly. They submit their workshop assignments only to get a completion check-mark, and that’s it. Pappas (2015) states that “if no feedback is provided, learners feel confused as they cannot be sure about their progress in the eLearning course.” This course tries to counteract the students’ confusion with their progression by having their group partners, who can be family members, friends, or other students, evaluate and give constructive feedback. The students are learning how to create and design something tailormade for the people they are working with, and they can achieve this through group work. If the students only design something that aligns with the expectations of a facilitator, then it would not give them the tools and knowledge to design something for different people. This course does a good job of providing progression through group critique; however, it would be nice for a facilitator who knows what they are talking about to give the students feedback and confirmation that they are on the right track. Combining these collaborative workshops with a professional facilitator to encourage and evaluate the students’ efforts would make it into a motivating and confidence-building online design course.
Alexandra_Koch (Illustrator). (2020). Video Conference Webinar Skype. [Illustration]. https://pixabay.com/illustrations/video-conference-webinar-skype-5363856/
Pappas, C. (2015, May 20). Instructional design models and theories: Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivation. https://elearningindustry.com/arcs-model-of-motivation