Evaluation for an instructor led course (the materials)

Evaluation for an instructor led course (the materials)

The following is a guide for evaluating materials for an instructor led course. This is not a guide for evaluating a person teaching the course.

Criteria Description Scale
N/A Comments
Working memory/Cognitive load


Learners can hold 5-7 concepts in their working memory at one time. Does this content ask learners to work with more at one time (per screen/topic)? Thus screens should have limited text/bullet points.


Multimedia principles


Images and text (or narration) that explain for one another are better for learning and communication then just one by itself. Thus PPT or lecture should follow this model.


No extra details – only what is required Extra images, text, or colors distracts
Highlight important information


Use of cues or color coding for important concepts
No busy screens/backgrounds/fonts


These distract learners
Objectives are clear What is the point?
Content is inline with objectives Does the site do what it says?
Assessment is inline with content Is there an assessment and does it asses each objective?
Flow Introduction, content, ending
Learning strategies Are learning strategies apparent and appropriate?
Motivation Are motivation (ARCS) applied?
Learners apply/problem solve (ie case studies) Are the learners actually learning more than factual information?
Sources To back up claims
Is there an assessment?
Assessment measures high level knowledge Does the assessment measure more than factual information?
Is there a satisfaction survey?


These should be standard throughout
Colors Should NOT be more than 2-4 colors on screen
fonts Are fonts legible


Grid and organized
Simple and natural dialogue


Speak the users’ language – informal is better than formal for learning


Rule of thirds


Does the screen utilize them?
Audio Sound/voices volume, background noise, easy to understand
File formats Are they compatible with all hardware
Video Does it play well/take a while to load?
Develop for the output technology


Resolution – is the resolution look correct or pixelated?, colors look right on screen, golden ratio/rectangle (organization and layout look correct)
Instructor Guide
Time How long does it take to complete each section?
Narration Does it tell the instructor what to say?
Notes Are there notes for the instructor?
Materials Are all materials provided for the instructor?
Facilitating/teaching Does the instructor guide contain enough information that one could pick it up and teach the course (assuming they have all the materials, know the content, know how to teach)?
Student Guide
Schedule Do students know the schedule of the course and topics?
Objectives Do students have the objectives?
Content Do students have a copy of the PPT/Materials to take notes and follow along?
Materials Are student materials included in this guide?
Job aid Is there a job aid for students to take with them to help them transfer knowledge from course to job?


Learn to teach online: Online Teaching and Learning (OT&L) Certificate from UNCW

If you are a teacher, professor, or corporate trainer, UNCW has put together an online teaching and learning certificate program that trains and prepares you to teach online.

Here is the official description. A link the program is here: http://www.uncw.edu/ed/mit/otlcertification.html

Program Description

The certificate program in Online Teaching and Learning (OT&L) will provide participants with a diversity of learning experiences. These include design, development, implementation, and management of online courses using various Learning Management Systems (LMS); design and delivery of synchronous learning environments and learning management systems; design and development of electronic, self-directed learning materials, and others. The program is designed to be flexible in order to remain current with developing technologies and delivery systems.

The intention for establishing this proposed graduate certificate program has been discussed with North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), Division of Instructional Technology. Although an official endorsement has not been established for K-12 educators yet, NCDPI has expressed its interest and support for the program and for considering Online Teaching and Learning endorsement for K-12 educators who will take the challenge of teaching online courses in their schools.

Until NCDPI officially establishes special endorsement for K-12 teachers who complete the certificate program, the licensed teachers who fulfill requirements of the program will receive Online Teaching and Learning professional certificate similar to other candidates from higher education, health, and other government agencies and business industries. By completing this certificate program, the licensed teachers and other candidates have required competencies for teaching online courses and managing online programs.

Certificate Program Objectives

The certificate program seeks to prepare professionals who have:

  1. Developed knowledge and skills of designing, developing, implementing, managing, and evaluating online learning environments and programs.
  2. Developed conceptual and practical understanding of principles of instructional design and effective online teaching.
  3. Demonstrated application of research-based, pedagogically effective learning strategies, appropriate organization of content, level of student engagement, differentiated learning, higher order thinking skills, and appropriate instructor-student and student-student interaction in the design of online learning environments.
  4. Demonstrated skills in integrating instructional design principles and procedures with multimedia technologies and course management tools to develop highly engaging and interactive online learning environments.
  5. Developed skills of planning, designing and incorporating strategies to encourage active learning, interaction, participation and collaboration in the online environment.
  6. Developed knowledge of legal, ethical, safe, and healthy behavior related to technology use.
  7. Developed knowledge and skills of designing, developing, delivering, and evaluating online learning environments and programs that are accessible for individuals with disabilities and are responsive to learners’ diversity and cultural differences.
  8. Demonstrated competencies in creating and implementing assessments in online learning environments in ways that assure validity and reliability of instruments and procedures.
  9. Demonstrated administrative skills in planning, launching, maintaining, and coordinating distance education programs.

Confusion over ADDIE

Why are we trying to replace ADDIE? What is wrong with ADDIE? Should we be replacing ADDIE? Let’s replace ADDIE with XYZ. 

I keep seeing these discussions over and over again in the field. Why? I am actually not quite sure. One guess is that people can ‘get known’ or ‘make money’ off of a new process. Maybe people just like to see new things – after all we are a tech field where nothing lasts more than 2 years. Honestly though I am not quite sure why we are trying to replace ADDIE.

So what is ADDIE?

ADDIE is a design process used for training design and development. You can read about what it is here.

The big question though, can we replace it?

The simple and short answer is NO. You cannot. Unfortunately for the people trying to replace ADDIE, it cannot and will not be replaced in instructional design. We might call it something else or even have our own unique way of doing it but guess what – its still ADDIE. That’s right. Regardless of what someone tells you – you will always need to do an analysis before you start a project. Always. 70% of projects in corporate america do not meet their desired expectations (as in fail) and one of the main reasons is a poor analysis (1, 2). If you want to fall in that category then do not do your analysis. I prefer to be in the ‘successful’ project category so I do analysis.

Guess what, (and this is the kicker) there is not one way to do an analysis or any step in the ADDIE process. That’s right – each company, project, branch of the military, contractor, etc has their own way of doing ADDIE that works for them. It does not need to be linear and each step, for instance, analysis, might need to be done differently for each project you work on. There is no one way to do analysis. This is really where things like SAM, AGILE, Rapid Prototyping, Dick and Carey, etc come in. They do not replace ADDIE. Instead, they define how to do one or many of the steps in ADDIE. And they are 1 of a 1000 ways to do it. Do not think one of them is the ‘best’ all the time. You need to change these steps for each project or client due to the million different factors that comes with that client/project. So guess what? They are all just ways to do ADDIE. They are NOT replacing it at all.


ADDIE – Development


*If you are just coming to this screen, you might want to read about ADDIE, Analysis, or Design first

During this phase of instructional design (ADDIE) we develop our instructional product and get it ready for implementation.

Prototype – From our design, we should build our prototype. This can be a screen shot or mock-up of screens that show what the final product could look like. It is very important to get client approval here before moving onto storyboard development. These should also look good – so get a graphic designer to design them if needed. These will help the developer and graphic designer in the long run when looking at the storyboards if these are done well.

Storyboard – This is the story. Each screen (or scene/action if developing a game) will be depicted. Everything we have done in design will aid in the development of the storyboards. The client should be able to look at these (and see the visual in the prototype) and have an exact idea of what the final product will look and feel like. Again, these need to be signed off on.

Development – Once the storyboards are completed, development can begin. Thus, the instructional developer, programmers, graphic artists, etc. will develop the software or instruction. This might involve one to many different deliverables depending on the type of instruction being developed (i.e., CBT, software, game, simulation, training manual, instructor guide, etc.)

System Testing – During this phase the LMS, network, etc. should be tested (if needed) to ensure that the servers and network are prepared for the implementation. This is the time that the IT team and ISDers work out any system glitches, especially if delivering this to many users. This way when implementation is ready the rollout will run without glitches. And if you’re looking to effectively build and deploy your app, you should learn more about the event based architecture business.


Solution for snow days in K-12 eduction

No more snow days? Yes there is a solution and it sounds simple but its not as easy as it sounds. The solution: Online learning during snow days.

Why its simple and how it would work…

Students could log in during the snow day and participate in asynchronous (not live) discussion and assignments or they could participate in live virtual classrooms with their teachers. It would almost be like regular school and prevent districts from having to make up days.

Why its not simple and will cost a lot…

All students would need internet connections and computers. While this is common in wealthier districts, this is not the norm in schools that have lower income families. Also the school would need to set up and purchase an online LMS to track/teach these classes. They would also need to pay for teacher training to use them and then train the teachers to teach online.

This is an article on the topic posted by one of my Master’s degree professors Karl Kapp: http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/23/living/snow-days-virtual-schools/index.html?sr=sharebar_twitter

Get certified to teach online!

The Watson College of Education at UNCW Introduces New Online Teaching & Learning Certificate Program

Beginning this summer, the Watson College of Education will offer a post-baccalaureate certificate in Online Teaching and Learning (OT&L).  The 18-credit hour program is designed to meet growing demand from K-12 schools, colleges and universities and businesses for professionals who are interested to gain knowledge and skills to design, develop, implement, manage and evaluate effective online and blended learning programs.

WCE’s Online Teaching and Learning certificate is the first program of its kind in the state.  Courses are offered in the evening and led by faculty with real-world experience in K-12, government and corporate settings.  Full time students and working professionals who enroll in the program can participate either face-to-face or online through synchronous conferencing technology.

The Watson College of Education is now accepting applications for summer and fall 2014. For more information please see the attached flyer, visit http://uncw.edu/ed/mit/otlcertification.html or contact Florence Martin, Instructional Technology Program Coordinator (martinf@uncw.edu or 910-962-7174).

See attached brochure:  MIT_OTLCertbrochure

Kids, Bullying, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Usually my posts relate to technology but today it will focus on another passion of mine – Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) and School Bullying. The reason I am writing this: I believe that every kid in K-12 should be taking brazilian jiu jitsu (or wrestling) as part of their school curriculum. Now of course I believe all adults should be as well but this article will only focus on K-12 school kids. Please note that this article is my opinion and based on my experiences only.

Let me start with, what is brazilian jiu jitsu? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a form of ground fighting, known as grappling. It is very similar to wrestling that most have seen in the olympics and in schools across the US. The difference? Instead of winning to pin, you win when you can control and submit your opponent. Also, instead of a small rash guard type outfit you wear a gi, which is an outfit that simulates clothing. MMA training also boosts your confidence and self-esteem. There is also belt rank in brazilian jiu jitsu. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a combat martial art and has been used in every UFC, in fact, it was made known to the world during UFC 1. Here is more info on the what is.

Now, why do I believe this art should be taught to our kids and how do I think it would help with bullying? First let me by clear that I do not think this would solve our bullying problem 100% and I think there are many good things being done in schools to prevent it. However, I think its still a problem and that this would help tremendously. Now I think all sports are great for kids as they burn their energy, let them learn how to play as a team, work together, compete, and improve their motor skills, cardio, and fitness. BJJ does all of this and much more. It is a physical sport. It requires you to

-Learn to deal with winning and losing.
-Learn to deal with your adrenaline during stressful situation.
-wrestle people.
-Learn to properly use small devices, such as a tactical pen.
-use muscles you did not know you had.
-practice – a lot.
-learn about human anatomy.
-use your skills in BJJ to overcome strength and size – Yes size and strength are not important in bjj when skill is greater. This sport was designed for the smaller/weaker person to be able to win in a fight (yes a fight) against a stronger/bigger opponent. In fact, the inventor of the art was a 135 pound man that would win in full combat against 200 pound skilled fighters. If you do not think your kid should learn to fight, please reconsider. Fighting at many levels (physical/mental) WILL happen from the time that kid enters schools throughout the rest of their lives, even in the workplace. Shouldn’t they learn strategies to win and deal with this at the early age?

So why do I think this would help kids?

BJJ improves:

-Confidence – You learn that regardless of any disability you have (physical) you can improve and win.
-Attitude – Bullies who come into the gym soon realize that a smaller person can beat them in a ‘wrestling match’. You quickly learn that this is ok. A basic rule of bjj is leave your ego at the door. This translates into real life. Most BJJers do not fight outside of the gym as they get that energy out of them in the gym. Additionally people who are weaker are not ‘afraid’ outside the gym. They are able to deal with everything in their day to day life better as they have confidence and realize that even in a threatening situation that they can overcome it and losing or winning is not as important as trying.
– Learn to win and lose. Its ok and it happens to all bjj students. You will win and lose and learn to be OK with that.
-ego. While you lose your ego, you gain one. You learn what you can accomplish and that others can accomplish their own personal feats.
-individual/self – you get to see yourself improve on a daily basis
– Stress
-Physical strength and stamina – you will be in great shape all the time

What about other martial arts? NO. Most martial arts are really babysitting clubs. They do a lot of the wrong things. The kids never really learn to defend themselves and they gain a false sense of confidence. For example, in many TKD/Karate schools, the kids break boards, punch bags, and kick the air. As has been demonstrated time and time again, you need to practice your martial art at full speed every week in order to actually learn to defend yourself. The reason that TKD/Karate does NOT do this is that kids cannot get kicked and punched in the face every week on purpose by other kids. Thus I would never recommend these arts for self defense unless your child is actually sparring, full speed, routinely. I see boxers sparring in the gym every week and they leave with blackeyes, bloody noses, and need to soak in ice after sparring because they hurt so bad – I do NOT see TKD practitioners doing this, especially kids. There is also the issue of brain damage but that is off topic here as it doesnt apply to bjj.

What about other sports? Other sports are great. But they do not have the physical demands that BJJ does (except wrestling/judo). BJJ requires you to be hands on and requires you to learn how to use your adrenaline in the most uncomfortable situations (getting beat in a wrestling match). Once you can deal with that, you can deal with anything life will throw at you. Do I think this would solve bullying? I think that it would stop ‘some’ bullies from even starting to bully. I also think it would help ‘some’ people deal with bullying in a much better manner.

U.S. Test Scores Remain Stagnant While Other Countries See Rapid Rise

Most of this article is not surprising. There are many problems with education. Here are some things I believe would help:

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/03/us-test-scores_n_4374075.html
1. National curriculum. Sure this is a bold statement and I do not mean it to be. There would have to be variations of it and valid means to test it but this is a start.

2. Better testing. Quite simply, testing for improvement, not just a cut off level. Also handicaps which take variables like income, parents, IQ, learning disabilities, etc into consideration when looking at the scores.

3. Better teacher recruitment. At this point in time, our best and brightest do not want to be teachers. Heck who would for 30k a year?

4. Pay teachers comparable salaries that they would get in the corporate world. This is really the only way to get the best and brightest. Wanting to help kids only goes so far when the bank wants your mortgage paid. Many of my graduate students are teachers who are getting a degree in my field so that they can go corporate and make a better salary.

5. Get rid of under performing teachers. Now a good evaluation tool needs to first be put in place that does not solely rely on test scores but if a teacher is not doing well they should not be in the classroom. Tenure should be a non issue as it should be reevaluated with performance anyway.


Global Learning Technology Conference in Wilmington, NC, OCTOBER 10-11, 2013

Faculty, administrators, e-learning and instructional design specialists, LMS system administrators – you may be interested!

Global Learning Technology Conference in Wilmington, NC, OCTOBER 10-11, 2013

This conference located at Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel will provide an opportunity for those working or teaching in the Instructional Design and Technology field to learn new tools, strategies, and network with one another.

GLTC will consist of half-day workshops. These hands-on presentations are in lab settings and explore various technologies for teaching and learning. The conference keynote and presentations offer those interested in improving the quality of education the opportunity to gain information and exchange ideas on the applications of learning technologies for education and training.

GLTC 2013 themes

· Innovative Instructional Strategies

· Community Partnerships

· Training & Professional Development

Visit our website for more information http://uncw.edu/ed/gltc/ or email us at e-learning@uncw.edu