This school year, I dove into e-learning by building what I called “self-paced learning” modules in our learning management system (LMS), Schoology. These self-paced learning units were designed to take less than three or four hours to complete and relied heavily on outside supporting resources for edtech software. So many new services have realized the power of sharing documentation, whether through their support website, YouTube or social media. And when you don’t find what you need from them, you can turn to screen recorders and YouTube, much as I have done.
Below is a gallery of my most current offerings. I plan to expand this format to also include some of the badge or certification programs that are out there. As new tools come out, I also think there will be room to tag or label these with other
As I was developing a template, I knew I wanted the description of the course to be clear. Also, I wanted to use the tool logo and a logo to label that these were meant to be self-paced. This way, I ended up with a visual catalog in our faculty course.
Each of the courses also had some required production, whether that be creating a vocab set in Quizlet or enrolling students in a service and trying it out. Reflection is key to pedagogical change, so brainstorming and reflection discussion boards were included in all courses, too.
Leaning on the ADDIE instructional design framework, I also was intentional about creating a post-course survey to measure the quality of the modules. An exit survey was required before continuing education credits were awarded in our transcript service.
Benefits & Drawbacks
The convenience is what many of my busy special education teachers have been looking for. Special education teachers have more clerical work and meetings than any other group. They have expressed a wish to be involved in professional learning, but they just can’t make it when everyone else can. Recently, I have been seeing a decline in signups for face-to-face trainings, too. So, I wondered if the general overwhelmed feeling was spreading.
Once listed, many teachers signed up, but few completed. So, in turning to this format, I saw a new rise in signups. However, completers for these trainings are about 50-50. I’ll need to refine due dates or reminders. Unfortunately, I can’t customize the LMS to have triggered reminders after a certain amount of time has gone by with inactivity.