A panel of experts discussed and presented key concepts and teaching strategies on the topics of Learning Experience Design and Digital Storytelling to help onboard basic and higher education instructors on how to set up an engaging digital classroom for students.
Led by Lea Sacdalan-Abarentos and Jag Garcia of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, live demonstrations and discussion on applications of online instructional design and materials development were featured during the latest installment of Globe myBusiness “E-skwela” online learning series.
Also discussed were industry best practices in the new normal. Serving as webinar moderator was Globe Education Industry Lead Mark Arthur Payumo Abalos.
In what Abarentos described as an evolution toward becoming effective learning designers, the role of teachers has seen the biggest shift during the pandemic. She explained that by learning how to transform content into something more interactive can significantly level up student engagement.
She added that such is the essence behind Learning Experience Design – to design course content that achieves learning outcomes through the “creation of meaningful experiences” and using varied learning tools and teaching approaches.
The web designer and developer demonstrated how she takes a course outline syllabus and transforms it into a Learning Experience Design Plan by using a Learning Management System (LMS) on top of other online tools. She highlighted six main steps in the process: discover, define, durate, develop, learn, and evolve.
To know which best strategies in teaching to apply, she encouraged teachers to first discover and assess the students’ needs through personal sessions or through a survey. This may range from issues in accessibility to learning materials, to even more personal challenges such as learning capabilities.
The next step would be to revisit and transform the course syllabus based on the “pain points” and then refining it as you curate it. The most tedious step, teachers must select and identify the “must-have” from the “nice-to-have content,” which means having to decide if students can easily use the needed technology and then choosing the most appropriate mode of delivery.
After linking the best content and mode of delivery to address learning needs, the next step is to develop and structure the course content on an LMS such as Google Classrooms. Easy-to-navigate platforms best allow teachers and instructors to layout their design plan, such as Canva online tools, where teachers are allowed to attach presentations that students can access through links, or even attach padlet and Google survey forms for assessment after activities.
Through the processes of learning and evolving, teachers can measure if learning outcomes are met by assessing student engagements, and then revising their syllabus based on the outcomes of the assessments.
“As the world and our students are changing, so must our designs for learning,” Abarentos concluded.
Storytelling in virtual classroom
A teaching strategy that teachers can employ in their Learning Experience Design Plan is the use of digital stories.
In his presentation, Garcia highlighted the idea of narrative-based learning where the use of stories and storytelling can help students better understand concepts and digest lessons.
Applying the same concepts in Learning Experience Design, being able to skillfully optimize digital stories can level up student engagement, especially in settings where flexible learning is needed.
Garcia explained that Digital Storytelling is the practice of using computer-based tools to tell stories, combining the concept of the oral tradition of storytelling with the added visual and aural capabilities of technology.
Digital stories are best presented not more than five minutes long and only using 20 images at most to be effective in contextualizing concepts and in allowing students to absorb and reflect, he said.
Creating a digital story begins with writing an engaging story, he shared, such as the “Someone Wanted Something” strategy that seeks to answer questions of “who is the main character,” “what does this character want,” “what is the problem,” “how is it solved” and “what is the result?”
Teachers are encouraged to experiment with their stories by using engaging music and creating unique characters. Examples of available tools that teachers can maximize are My Storybook, Book Creator, Plotagon and Puppet Pals.
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