image courtesy of wikipedia

iLearn-ing and signposting – the search for pattern

Have you thought about the visual design of your iLearn unit and its impact on your students and their learning?

As with all types of design, there are good and bad, and online learning is certainly not exempt.  Take a moment to consider the experience of students.  They take up to four units a session, all iLearn units being designed in a way that is the wont of the Convenor.  This means that in most cases, units will all have their own particular design.  Now this is not a problem but spare a thought for the student trying to navigate through completely different layouts of their online units. 

Tapping into the knowledge garnered through research that the human brain searches for patterns to make connections and meaning from stimuli, we can harness this notion and apply it on the online learning environment.  A simple way is by using the style icons in iLearn to signpost types of activities and resources.  This will provide students with visual cues and a consistency that the human brain searches for.

It is always an interesting experience to register for an online MOOC iLearn icon_setsuch as those offered by Coursea, Open2Study, edX or Udacity to understand what it is like to be an online student.  Often what makes sense to us as the teaching staff, doesn’t necessarily mean it makes sense to students or is the most effective way of delivering content or way to encourage/seek engagement.

Part of iLearns new look is an improved set of style icons.    This quick guide outlines how to use these icons.  Better yet, why not make an appointment with the Educational Designer for your Faculty to discuss the design of your iLearn unit or apply for an LTC-Faculty Partnership Program to review the learning design of your online unit?