10 eLearning Design Principles Infographic

10 Design Principles for eLearning Infographic

Design is too often overlooked by course developers, or otherwise misunderstood – some eLearning designers think that as long as their course “looks good,” the visuals are sufficient. But graphical composition and design affect the way a learner takes in information, so giving a bit more thought to the visual layout of the pages of your course is an important part of eLearning best practices. The eLearning Design Principles Infographic presents 10 simple changes that will improve the layout of your eLearing course.

  1. Guide the viewer’s eye
  2. Control the clutter
  3. Shorten the columns
  4. Proper use of white space
  5. Smart font choices
  6. Keep things consistent
  7. Watch your alignment
  8. Let prominence inform position
  9. Offer easy access
  10. Use contrasting colors

via info.shifelearning.com

Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching and Learning

Blended and Flipped Special ReportAt the heart of both blended learning and flipped learning is a learner-centered curriculum that changes the traditional roles of instructor and student.

This downloadable special report features 12 articles curated from past issues of The Teaching Professor, Online Classroom, and Faculty Focus. With six articles dedicated to blended learning and six articles on the flipped classroom, Blended and Flipped: Exploring New Models for Effective Teaching & Learning provides an inside look at how faculty are using these approaches to reshape the college classroom. Articles include:

  • Putting the Learning in Blended Learning
  • Recommendations for Blended Learning Course Design
  • The Process Approach to Online and Blended Learning
  • Expanding the Definition of a Flipped Learning Environment
  • “I Don’t Like This One Little Bit.” Tales from a Flipped Classroom
  • Looking for ‘Flippable’ Moments in Your Class

Blackboard Exemplary Course Available for Self-Enroll and OER Download from CourseSites

ETT 510: Instructional Media & Technology
As I’ve previously shared, I was excited to learn that my online course, ETT 510: Instructional Media and Technology, has received the distinction as a Blackboard Catalyst Exemplary Course for 2013. Here’s a brief course tour I’ve prepared to be included with other Blackboard Exemplary Course Award-winning courses that showcases a few of the highlights of this course.

For those interested in getting a closer look at my course, I have also made the entire course available to self-enroll and/or download as OER package, available at http://jrho.de/ett510ecp.

Self-Enroll in this course

More details about this course and the elements that the reviewers of my course agreed were exemplary are available here.

If you have questions about any aspects of the course design, feel free to leave a comment, drop me an email (jrhode@niu.edu), or tweet me (@jasonrhode)

Free e-Book on TEC-VARIETY from Curtis Bonk and Elaine Khoo


A bit over two years ago, more than 3,500 people enrolled in the first Blackboard MOOC on “Instructional Strategies and Technology Tools for Online Success” with Professor Curtis J. Bonk from Indiana University. This course helped to set the stage for this exemplary course MOOC! In one of the synchronous sessions of that course, Dr. Bonk presented his online motivation framework called TEC-VARIETY with each letter representing a motivational principle backed by decades of research on human motivation. In a polling item at the end of that session, his MOOC participants overwhelmingly voted that Curt’s next book on online motivation and retention should be free to the world as an e-book.

Well, guess what? He did just that! After nearly 15 years of planning and 3 years of writing, his new book, “Adding Some TEC-VARIETY: 100+ Activities for Motivating and Retaining Learners Online” is done. And Curt Bonk has made this book FREE for anyone as an interactive PDF document both by chapter as well as in total. Explore the book homepage and you will find a download link for the entire 382 page book (http://tec-variety.com/). More important, there are dozens of low risk, low cost, low time activities featured in the book. In addition, each individual chapter is free to separately download and share with your students, trainees, colleagues, and administrators (see http://tec-variety.com/freestuff.php). You can find chapters on creating a safe tone or climate, learner engagement, online collaboration, interactivity, encouragement and feedback, learner autonomy, goal setting, and much more. You even can find a chapter on ways to support instructors who might remain hesitant or a tad resistant to online or blended instruction.

According to Professor Bonk and his co-author, Dr. Elaine Khoo of the University of Waikato in New Zealand, you are free to download, use, share, and, with permission, even translate any part of the book (for more details, see the Creative Commons license in the copyright page of the book). Adding Some TEC-VARIETY is already being translated into Chinese by scholars at Beijing Normal University as a free e-book. If you have any questions or comments about this new online motivation and retention book, you can contact Professor Bonk via email at curt@worldisopen.com.

Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences

2014 Online College Students

11 Key Findings About Online College Students

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2012 approximately 2.6 million students were enrolled in fully-online degree programs, while 5.5 million were taking at least one online course. For institutions to fully understand how to best serve this growing population, it is critical to understand who is studying online and what they are looking for in from their degree program.

The “Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences” report, a joint project of Learning House and Aslanian Market Research, shares the findings of the third annual survey of 1,500 former, current and future online students.

Some Key Findings of the Report

Online students are studying further away

Fifty-four percent of students attend an institution within 100 miles of where they live, showing a three-year trend of students increasingly willing to attend an institution farther from home. (In 2012, 80% reported attending an institution within 100 miles of where they lived. This declined to 69% in 2013.)

Cost and financial aid important, but not critical

Although students reported that cost was a primary selection factor when choosing an online degree program, approximately two-thirds of respondents said they did not choose the most inexpensive program. Only 20% said they would not attend an institution if financial aid was not offered, although approximately half said they would need financial aid.

Job placement messaging resonates

When given a choice of 18 marketing messages, the overwhelming favorite was “90% job placement.” This makes sense, given that a large majority of students pursuing an online degree are doing so for job-related reasons.

Transfer credit makes a difference

Approximately 80% of students have earned credit elsewhere, and those students want to bring that credit with them. Having a clearly defined, generous, and easy-to-navigate transfer credit policy can help institutions stand apart.

Download Online College Students 2014: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences