Learning Activity 2: Blog Post – Week 10

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.

Confidence (Feedback)

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.

References

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

3 Comments

  1. Hi Michael
    I can read you are a bit disappointed by the course you audit. I agree that when it is not a facilitator around to provide some feedback on students’ performance it might discourage learners and fade out their motivation. However, in a case when students’ attention obtains through inquiry arousal then challenging tasks might stimulate motivation (Pappas, 2015). Keller’s model provides quite a variety of tools that course developers might want to implement to engage students and keep them curious about learning. You have mentioned group critique as one of the course interactive tools as well as the humour and conflict categories and listed collaborative activities that I find represent some ARCS model components. Having a facilitator presented in the course would be a great asset in addition to all these activities. Regardless of your overall disappointing experience, what was the activity you participated in during the course that worked best to stimulate and encourage your learning? Would you implement the activity into your class?
    Pappas, C. (2015). Instructional design models and theories: Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivation. Retrieved from “https://elearningindustry.com/arcs-model-of-motivation”

  2. Hey Gulia,

    While I am disappointed, I am also impressed by the workshop activities presented in the class and feel that the course designers did their best in the absence of a facilitator. I would use all the workshop booklets provided in the class because they provide the students the tools and knowledge to use their creativity, problem-solving, and reflection skills for real-life situations and for other group members, which is great. This use of active participation and real world examples encourages the students to learn and have fun because it applies to their life (Pappas, 2015). I hope to provide something like that for my students in the future.

    Cheers,
    Michael

    References
    Pappas, C. (2015, May 20). Instructional design models and theories: Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivation. https://elearningindustry.com/arcs-model-of-motivation

  3. Hi Michael! I too find myself impressed by the materials in the course I am taking yet I really miss having the course facilitated by someone who is able to provide personalized feedback (and reassurance to some degree) on my progress. I completely understand why it’s not feasible in an open online course, but it would be pretty darn nice 🙂

    I find myself wondering about the possibility of MOOC courses being used in blended learning situations where class time could be spent on group activities, etc. that could deepen understanding and assess progress. I imagine there would be copyright considerations though. Who knows, instead of a book club, a MOOC club?

    I found myself googling “can MOOCs replace teachers” and came across an opinion piece I think you might also enjoy: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2014/06/25/the-future-of-moocs-in-the-11-18-classroom/?sh=530ded06209b There are definitely some really important potential uses for MOOCs in the school system… but I’m going to go ahead and say that nothing replaces having a teacher who is present with you (granted, I am biased!).

    Hope you’re having a great weekend!

    Kate

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