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Engaging the Online Learner (Webinar 4/27) Discussion

DIR, ELC, and TEEX hosted a free one-hour webinar. This thread is being created to post follow-up information and dicussion.

Building Blocks of eLearning: Engaging the Online Learner

Looking for ways to jumpstart development of your online curriculum or just need to give it a facelift? This informal case study looks at two continuing education courses that are currently offered online and how they aim to keep the learner engaged. From storyboard concept to actual delivery, each example illustrates different types of activities and content layout. Presenter: Tonia Dousay, eLearning Manager Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX)




Engaging the Online Learner: the Presentation

For those who were interested or would like to share today's presentation, it has been uploaded to SlideShare and includes the videos embedded there.



Resource list

During the presentation we talked a bit about all the various groups and resources that are out.   Take a look at Mike Sullivan’s list or resources:
Also do not forget to register for the E-Learning Symposium June the 4th.  If you are an ELC you get an additional $10 discount of the Early Bird Registration fee!!!  To get the discount code click:



On this dreary, rainy Monday, we had 100+ colleagues join together for a one hour presentation.
On the plus side, we had fabulously talented Tonia Dousay with her wealth of knowledge presenting, a great collection of attendees, and no one had to fight the rain to participate.
On the minus side, the video demonstrations that we had successfully played at TWO different practice run-throughs failed to display properly.
E-Learning or face-to-face, sometimes things just don't go quite according to plan. Instead, Tonia presented the information verbally and supplemented with Q&A from attendees. And we'll continue the conversation here in this thread. Tonia will post the 4 video links here with bulleted notes as to the key points. Joy, Joachim, and anyone interested can also post resources, questions, or other information to be shared.
The learning continues....

Joy Hall Bryant
Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR)


Engaging the Online Learner: the Videos

As promised, here are the videos that did not cooperate during the actual webinar.

Grab your learner’s attention as soon as you can. This clip is the very first thing one of our learners sees when they launch the Suicide Detection & Prevention course. Rather than just list these statistics, we have placed the text and audio over a gruesome scenario to capture the audience and give them a reason to pay attention. The final statistic followed by the slamming jail cell hammers home the importance of the course subject.

Practice makes perfect, right? If your content lends itself to practice, include it! In this case, the learner must choose between what is positive and negative communication with inmates. These examples could just be listed on a screen for the learner to read in columns. However, having to read the statement and decide for themselves how to categorize it becomes the next best thing to actually practicing the activity. Watch closely. There might be one response that surprises you.

Many learners welcome feedback to gauge their progress. This becomes paramount in an online environment. Strengthen the learner’s desire to continue by displaying content in different ways and letting them know how they’re doing when faced with an activity. This example examines myths and facts related to suicidal behavior. With each question, the activity lets the user know if they got it wrong or right, and at the end a summary is displayed of each statement and why it was a myth or fact.

Correlating concepts can create a familiarity that makes it easier to grasp new information. From the puzzle scroll to the file folders with pictures to illustrate concepts, this example illustrates correlation. Inmate Rights & Privileges is a very legal-heavy course. This context provides something useful for learners to use in remembering different sections.

It was a pleasure sharing this with everyone and answering questions. I hope that we can all continue this discussion as a community and share with one another how we have or can implement these building blocks in our various development models.

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