About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 882-886
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1191

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

FORMAT CHOICES ARE CONTENT CHOICES: UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOUR ELEARNING SHOULD LOOK LIKE

R. Leporati, K. Tilton

University of Cincinnati (UNITED STATES)
As universities seek to make the most of the online environment for student learning, eLearning tools are an increasing focus of thoughtful and strategic educators. At our university, librarians often fill the role of instructional designers in creating videos, tutorials, and other electronic guides. Usually, these are based on needs identified in collaboration with students and faculty. After librarians and collaborators determine learning outcomes and content, the inevitable question arises: What should this look like? Choosing a format for eLearning objects is the most important and frequently the most difficult decision to make. Through our work, though, we have developed a few guiding principles to determine exactly what our digital learning objects should look like.

We work with three main formats: Interactive tutorials, videos, and webpages. The more technically difficult of these are the interactive tutorials, though they all pose their own challenges in terms of development. The first questions we always ask ourselves when determining which format to choose is: what will students learn from this and how will they use it? For example, if a student will need to refer to the tool in the future, a webpage may be the easiest to navigate. By contrast, interactive tutorials are best for single-use, especially when more time is assigned for it.

Useful library tutorials bring together engaging content with practical learning outcomes. Content which fits best into a video tends to focus on a single concept, clearly defined, hopefully with a strong narrative hook. Videos that tell a story keep students engaged, for a longer period of time. Research and experience shows us that an instructional video without a narrative will only hold student interest for two to three minutes. Those that incorporate a story can expand well past that time, as long as it remains engaging. We have also used this format when creating a series of short lessons, especially when faculty will be selecting a customized collection for use in their classes. Additionally, tutorials have a variety of design options allowing designers to work at the level they are comfortable.

Building an interactive tutorial requires special software. Using these kinds of tools, we are able to create an immersive environment which recreates some of the learner input techniques in-class pedagogy thrives on. For instance, students can be prompted with periodic questions to check their understanding or choose the order in which they review material. Given the time-intensive nature of creating interactive tutorials, we need to know ahead of time that the material is appropriate for this format.

In the library setting, webpages used for instruction are often called libguides. These can be one to several static pages covering a specific subject or topic. This format works best for information that may need to be accessed repeatedly by a student. When aspects of an eLearning object may need to be updated frequently in the future, we also choose libguides. Changing out information in a video or tutorial is usually time intensive, whereas updating links in a libguide can be done with ease.

Using learning outcomes to drive eLearning format choices will save the creator time, make the content more applicable and increase the efficacy of the tool.
@InProceedings{LEPORATI2017FOR,
author = {Leporati, R. and Tilton, K.},
title = {FORMAT CHOICES ARE CONTENT CHOICES: UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOUR ELEARNING SHOULD LOOK LIKE},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1191},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1191},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {882-886}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Leporati AU - K. Tilton
TI - FORMAT CHOICES ARE CONTENT CHOICES: UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOUR ELEARNING SHOULD LOOK LIKE
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1191
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 882
EP - 886
ER -
R. Leporati, K. Tilton (2017) FORMAT CHOICES ARE CONTENT CHOICES: UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOUR ELEARNING SHOULD LOOK LIKE, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 882-886.
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