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Welcome to Unit 2 of the LRNT527 course. Watch the video below for an orientation to the tasks of this four-week unit.

In this unit, you will be engaging in a variety of learning and practice activities focused on creating a draft version of the digital learning resource you proposed in your Unit 1 video. Before you build your draft resource, you will explore some additional resources about adult education and learning theory and consider what type of theory or models might influence your design choices. You will also learn and explore more about generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools.

Your required team assignment (Assignment 2) as part of this unit will be to co-create a learning design using AI tools to determine as a team whether they are useful or effective. This collaborative activity, the building of a short learning experience, will present opportunities for you and your team to consider what makes an effective learning design. You will determine as a group in what ways AI tools might be useful (or not useful) in creating digital learning resources.

For Assignment 3 in the course, you will produce and turn in a draft (prototype) of your digital learning resource (the major course project) for review and feedback.

This Unit addresses Course Learning Outcome B: Design and create a digital learning resource and C: Critique a digital learning resource.

Learning Activities and Assignments

Activity 1 – Theory-Informed Learning Design

Before making any decisions about how to implement your ideas and the choice and use of various digital tools for your digital learning resource, you should consider a variety of learning theories and instructional design principles that may be applied to your instructional context. Learning theories and instructional design principles provide a foundation for the use of digital technology in teaching and learning and can influence the choice of digital tools as well as the approach taken when creating digital learning resources.

You may already be familiar with many key learning theories and instructional design principles, but take a moment to read or re-read the following required articles and apply one or more of the learning theories described to your digital learning resource proposal (and your proposed learners) Anderson (2016) and Bates (2022). Another inspirational reference (optional) to consult, and then follow on with new learning theory explorations is Richard Millwood’s (2013) amazing diagram called simply Learning Theory

If there are other theories you’ve explored as part of your other courses you are welcome to use any that resonate with you and that align with your proposed resource.

Activity 1 – Take Action

Draw, diagram, or use a favourite concept mapping tool to begin to diagram connections from learning theory and instructional design (ID) frameworks to your proposed learning resource. You will add to your diagram to the Unit 2 Discussion Forum after completing Activity 2 below. Explain the elements of learning theory and ID frameworks that you believe influence and can connect with your Assignment 1 proposal. Include theories and practices that are relevant in your professional context and the context of your learners.

Activity 2 – Evaluating Technology for Digital Resources

At this point in the course, you probably have many ideas for potential resource solutions and you may have already identified some digital tools that can be used to create your digital learning resource. If you are looking for some ideas for digital tools, you can start by looking at the Top 100 Learning Tools for 2023 by Jane Hart. Take some time to check them out and consider which could fulfill the requirements you have identified.

The next step in the design thinking process is to narrow down your ideas and select the most promising ones. When dealing with the creation of a digital learning resource, there are a variety of theoretical frameworks that can be used to help you make effective decisions about the choice and use of various digital tools. Some frameworks include the SECTIONS model (Bates, 2015), Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model (Koehler & Mishra, 2009), and the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) model (Hamilton, Rosenberg, & Akcaoglu, 2016). You may already be familiar with most of these frameworks, so please skim the articles as needed for a review of the models. An additional resource for you to explore is Anstey and Watson’s (2018) Rubric for eLearning Tool Evaluation.

Activity 2 – Take Action

Consider how you might be able to apply one or more technology evaluation frameworks to narrow down your resource design ideas. Choose one or more technology selection frameworks that you have reviewed in your readings and describe how the framework you prefer aligns with your concept map created in Activity 1 for this use. Share your thoughts in the Unit 2 Activities Discussion Forum and provide feedback on postings from your peers.

Activity 3 – Open Educational Resources (OER) – this is an optional activity.

OER is Sharing by Giulia Forsythe is in the public domain

You may already be familiar with open educational resources in your work, certainly you will have seen OER in your MALAT courses. All of the basic content of each course in the MALAT program is licensed as follows:

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License unless otherwise noted.

You can use the link above to explore what that means if you’re not certain. If you’d like to learn more about OER, and consider the possibility of designing your digital learning resources as an OER, explore the following OpenLearn (n.d.) open course, Creating Open Educational Resources with a particular focus on Unit 1 – What is open learning and why OERs?

Additional (optional) Resources

  • Creating Open Educational Resources – Covers the basics of what are OER, what are open licenses, how do you create OER, where can you host OER, the importance of providing editable technical formats, and links to some examples.
  • Open Licensing for Instructors – Provides a good primer on licensing considerations and Creative Commons licenses.

Optional Activity 3 – Take Action

Consider whether or not you would want to design your digital learning resource as an OER. Form some questions and some rationale one way or the other and you will engage in discussion with your classmates in the Unit 2 Zoom session.

Readings for Assignment 2 – Using Generative Artificial Intelligence Tools

As part of this unit, you and your course team (you will have been pre-assigned to a group at the start of the course) will undertake a small-scale design project together to explore design skills and the potential for generative artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance or improve the design process. The purpose of this group (team) assignment is to provide you and your team an opportunity to explore the usefulness of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools to support the creation of digital learning resources. As part of your Unit 2 readings you will have explored two key readings––Bolick & da Silva (2024) and Parsons & Curry (2024) related to AI for digital design. All perspectives about the use of AI for digital resource design are acceptable for this assignment, not all explorations will have positive outcomes.

Assignment 2 -Investigating the Usefulness of AI as a Digital Resource Design Assistant

To review the purpose and details for Assignment 2, please follow the link: Link to Assignment 2.

Assignment 3 Considerations

By taking into consideration the theoretical frameworks, learning theories, and instructional design principles you have reviewed in Unit 2, you should be able to select at least one promising idea for a digital learning resource that you think would meet the needs of your end user. Assignment 3 involves creating a draft resource based on your ideas from Assignment 1 that have matured with further learning and investigation. Your digital learning resource for this course should represent approximately two hours of learning, interactivity, and assessment and should include opportunities for learners to provide feedback and reflect on their experiences. According to explorations related to learner needs, the choice of technologies to create your resource should be aligned with your context (technologies that you and your prospective learners can access) and literature-informed practice for the design of human learning.

For Assignment 3, you will build a prototype based on the following concepts (you should be tracking and sharing your process and reasoning for the design choices you make as you work):

  • Description: Clearly and concisely describe the purpose of your digital learning resource.
  • Learning Goals: Describe the intended learning goals of the digital learning resource as actions learners can take to demonstrate their achievement of the goals and evidence you can evaluate related to their achievement (active and measurable outcomes).
  • Intended Audience: Identify the intended audience (learners) for your digital learning resource.
  • Rationale: Explain how the digital resource will solve your problem of practice and meet the needs of the intended audience.
  • Tools: Provide a summary of the tools that you would like to use to develop your digital learning resource (including AI if you choose to use it) and justify why you would like to use them using one or more educational technology evaluation models.
  • Assessment/Evaluation Plan: Describe any assessments that you will use to ensure the learners have achieved the intended learning goals, and/or any evaluation methods that will be used to measure the effectiveness of the digital learning resource.
  • Learning Theories & Instructional Design Principles Used: Identify the specific learning theories and instructional design principles that you will use in the creation of your digital learning resource and include an explanation of how the theories and principles will inform the design of your digital learning resource.
  • Instructions for Use: Outline any instructions for users of your digital learning resource.
  • Plan for Use: Describe how the digital learning resource will be used by learners (their level of access to the resource, their level of technology skill to use the resource, purpose for their learning, etc.).

You are encouraged to share your evolving Design in the Unit 2 Activities Discussion Forum and seek feedback from your peers and your users (if you have easy access) as you iterate.

One strategy that you can use to seek (and provide) feedback, which is often used in the design process is the “I Like, I Wish, What If” method. Using this method, you can provide open feedback by providing three types of statements for your peer(s):

  • “I Like…” statements convey the aspects that you like about the draft design plan
  • “I Wish…” statements share ideas about how the draft design plan could potentially be enhanced or modified
  • “What if…” statements express new suggestions that might not have a direct link to the draft design plan, but might open up possibilities for new ideas that your peer can explore

Another strategy you can use for peer feedback for the draft design plans is a Feedback Capture Grid which includes four quadrants to note your likes, wishes, questions, and ideas. You can use the following template to guide your feedback if you choose to use this method.

Consider making your digital learning resource open so that it is publicly accessible for others to copy, use, adapt, and share. Please refer to the OER resources in Activity 3 from this unit.

Assignment 3 – Draft Digital Resource and Explanations (Individual Assignment)

To review the purpose and details for Assignment 3, please follow the link: Link to Assignment 3.