From Recommendations to Reality: Designing Effective Online Tutorials

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This presentation will introduce two sets of design considerations for the development of online information literacy instruction and show how these considerations were implemented in the construction and implementation of Loyola Marymount University's First Year Seminar information literacy tutorial. The first set of best practices focuses on the visual and technical elements of a tutorial including User Control, Visual and Information Clarity, Navigation, and Accessibility. The second set addresses "best practices" in online instructional design and pedagogy and includes categories for Embedding Communication, Incorporating Active Learning, and Designing Test Questions. In order to be broadly applicable, each set of design considerations is intentionally formatted so that it may serve as rubric for assessing any online tutorial and will be made available both online and as handout for presentation attendees. This presentation also identifies the most common types of active learning exercises observed within the online tutorial environment, allowing attendees to gather ideas for maximizing good design elements and embedding active learning components into their own online tutorials.

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From Recommendations to Reality: Designing Effective Online Tutorials

  1. 1. FROM RECOMMENDATIONS TO REALITY: DESIGNING EFFECTIVE ONLINE TUTORIALS LOEX 2014 | May 8 – May 10 | Grand Rapids, MI Lindsey McLean Instructional Design Librarian Loyola Marymount University lindsey.mclean2@lmu.edu Twiter: @lmclean001
  2. 2. DESIGN & TEACHING RECOMMENDATIONS A framework for effective tutorial design
  3. 3. TUTORIAL DESIGN & TEACHING RECOMMENDATIONS INSTRUCTIONAL • Plan • Incorporate Active Learning • Embed Communication • Pedagogy • Testing / Assessment VISUAL / TECHNICAL • Visual Clarity • Information Clarity • Clear Navigation • User Control • Technical Considerations • Accessibility
  4. 4. PART I: INSTRUCTIONAL Applying the instructional recommendations
  5. 5. PLANNING Advance planning is essential when developing online tutorials. Tutorials are difficult to overhaul once they are finished so planning will help to you understand your audience and their IL needs. Knowing this will shape the content of the tutorial and help you deliver meaningful instruction.
  6. 6. PEDAGOGY The basic principles of good library instruction in face-to- face environments are transferrable to online tutorials. Utilize these principles to help guide the content and maintain best practices in your online tutorial.
  7. 7. ACTIVE LEARNING According to the ACRL Instructional Technologies Committee (2008), “Web tutorials should include interactive exercises such as simulations or quizzes.” Interactivity, multimedia, and game-like quality are identified as essential components in an effective online tutorial. Passive and Active Learning Passive Active RECEIVING INFORMATION AND IDEAS EXPERIENCES: • Doing • Observing REFLECTION • On what one is learning and how one is learning • Alone & with others Diagram reproduced from : Fink, L. Dee. Creating Significant Learning Experiences. 2003.
  8. 8. ACTIVE LEARNING According to the ACRL Instructional Technologies Committee (2008), “Web tutorials should include interactive exercises such as simulations or quizzes.” Interactivity, multimedia, and game-like quality are identified as essential components in an effective online tutorial.
  9. 9. EMBED COMMUNICATION Embed multiple forms of communication within the tutorial. This communication can range from emailing with a librarian with a question, providing feedback on the tutorial’s usefulness, or commenting for the benefit of other students.
  10. 10. TESTING / ASSESSMENT Including tests in an online tutorial both promote interactivity and active learning and assess the user’s performance. Make sure that you follow best practices for constructing test questions for the greatest impact on learning.
  11. 11. PART II: VISUAL & TECHNICAL Applying the visual & technical recommendations
  12. 12. VISUAL CLARITY The design of the tutorial should be minimal, clear, and visually consistent throughout. The goal is to enable the user to focus on learning the content of the tutorial instead of becoming distracted or confused by complicated design elements.
  13. 13. INFORMATION CLARITY Users of the tutorial should be presented with clear and concise information throughout the tutorial. It is recommended that information within the tutorial should be divided into multiple modules with each module covering one distinct topic.
  14. 14. INFORMATION CLARITY Users of the tutorial should be presented with clear and concise information throughout the tutorial. It is recommended that information within the tutorial should be divided into multiple modules with each module covering one distinct topic.
  15. 15. CLEAR NAVIGATION Consistent, clear, and highly visible navigation is essential to an effective online tutorial. Users should be able to move through the tutorial both linearly and non-linearly without becoming confused about their place within the tutorial or the tutorials content.
  16. 16. USER CONTROL The users of your tutorial should have some control over how they use it. By designing the tutorial to embed user control, the users can decide what they learn based on their own needs as well as how they learn it based on their learning style. before… after…
  17. 17. TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS The tutorial should function properly in as many technological environments as possible because users will be utilizing various devices and browsers and have varying access to bandwidth and software. The back-end of the tutorial has to take as many of these variables into consideration as possible. Image via Brad Frost: http://bradfrostweb.com/blog/post/this-is-the-web/
  18. 18. TECHNICAL CONSIDERATIONS The tutorial should function properly in as many technological environments as possible because users will be utilizing various devices and browsers and have varying access to bandwidth and software. The back-end of the tutorial has to take as many of these variables into consideration as possible.
  19. 19. ACCESSIBILITY The tutorial should be accessible to all of the potential users of that tutorial.
  20. 20. PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER What I have learned from planning, building, and implementing an online information literacy tutorial.
  21. 21. THEDESIGN&TEACHING RECOMMENDATIONS None of these design and teaching recommendations for online tutorial design are mutually exclusive. Some of them are even contradictory. As the designer it is up to you to apply them in a way that best suits the project goal.
  22. 22. FACULTY ARE YOUR USERS TOO If you are building a tutorial for use in a course that is not your own, you have to balance the needs of the students as well as the needs of the faculty.
  23. 23. THERE WILL BE PROBLEMS Do user testing before implementation, but plan on doing revisions Be prepared for technology failure (Browsers, LMS, etc.) Create a plan for dealing with problems. Provide fast and comprehensive “customer service”
  24. 24. LINKS DESIGN RECOMMENDATIONS http://tinyurl.com/kscc2ea LION”S GUIDE TO RESEARCH & THE LIBRARY TUTORIAL http://library.lmu.edu/research/researchtutorials/ ACTIVE LEARNING EXERCISE LIBGUIDE http://libguides.lmu.edu/onlinetutorialactivities
  25. 25. REFERENCESAppelt, Kristina M. and Kimberly Pendell. "Assess and Invest: Faculty Feedback on Library Tutorials." College & Research Libraries 71.3 (2010): 245-253. ALA Journals. Web. 5 November 2012. Betrancourt, M. “The animation and interactivity principles in multimedia learning.” Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (Ed.) R. E. Mayer. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005 (p. 287–296). Print. Blummer, Barbara A. and Olga Kritskaya. “Best practices for creating an online tutorial: A literature review.” Journal of Web Librarianship 3.3 (2009): 199-216. Taylor and Francis Online. Web. 5 Nov 2012. Conderman, Greg and Carol Koroghlanian. "Writing Test Questions Like a Pro." Intervention in School and Clinic 38.2 (2002): 83-87. Dewald, Nancy H. “Transporting good library instruction practices into the web environment: An analysis of online tutorials.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 25.1 (1999): 26-3. ScienceDirect. Web. 5 Nov 2012. Dewald, Nancy H. "Web-Based Library Instruction: What Is Good Pedagogy?." Information Technology & Libraries 18.1 (1999): 26-31. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 9 Nov. 2012. Dewald, Nancy H. “Pedagogy and Andragogy.” Developing Web-based Instruction: Planning, Designing, Managing, and Evaluating for Results (Ed.) Elizabeth A. Dupuis. Ney York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2003 9 (p. 47-68). Print. Dewey, Russell A. “Writing Multiple Choice Items which Require Comprehension.” Psycwww.com. n.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov 2012. Grassian, Esther S. and Joan R. Kaplowitz. Information Literacy Instruction: Theory and Practice. 2nd Edition. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. 2009. Print. Karpicke, Jeffrey D. “Retrieval-Based Learning : Active Retrieval Promotes Meaningful Learning,” Current Directions in Psychological Science. 21.3 (2012): 157–163. SAGE Journals. Web. 9 Nov 2012. Kupersmith, John. “Library Terms That Users Understand.” UC Berkeley: UC Berkeley Library. California Digital Library, 2012. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/3qq499w7 Mehlenbacher, Brad, et al. "Usable E-Learning: A Conceptual Model for Evaluation and Design." Proceedings of the HCI International 2005: 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, Volume 4 - Theories, Models, and Processes in HCI. LAs Vegas, NV: Mira Digital P, 1-10. Mestre, Lois S. “Student preference for tutorial design: a usability study.” Reference Services Review 40.2: (2012):258 – 276. Emerald Journals. Web. 5 Nov 2012. Nielsen, Jakob. “Enhancing the Explanatory Power of Usability Heuristics.” CHI '94 Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems: celebrating interdependence. New York, NY: ACM, 1994. Nielsen, Jakob. “Ten Usability Heuristics.” http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html. Jakob Nielsen, 2005. Web. 15 May 2012. Oud, Joanne. “Guidelines for effective online instruction using multimedia screencasts.” Reference Services Review 37.2 (2009): 164-177. Emerald Journals. Web. 5 Nov 2012. Plumb, Tawnya. K. “Creating electronic tutorials: On your mark, get set, go!” Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship 22.1(2010): 49-64. Taylor and Francis Online. Web. 5 Nov 2012. Reece, Gwendolyn J. “Critical thinking and cognitive transfer: Implications for the development of online information literacy tutorials.” Research Strategies, 20.4: (2005: 482-493. ScienceDirect. Web. 9 Nov 2012. Smith, Susan Sharpless. Web-Based Instruction: A Guide for Libraries. 3rd edition. Chicago: American Library Association. 2010. Print. Tancheva, Kornelia. “Online Tutorials for Library Instruction: An Ongoing Project Under Constant Revision.” ACRL Eleventh National Conference. Charlotte, NC, 10-13 April 2003. Tognazzini, Bruce. “First Principles of Interaction Design.” http://www.asktog.com/basics/firstPrinciples.html. Neilsen Norman Group. n.d. Web. 15 May 2012. Winograd, Terry and Fernando Flores. Understanding Computers and Cognition: A New Foundation for Design. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation, 1986. Print. Zhang, Li. “Effectively Incorporating Instructional Media into Web-Based Information Literacy.” The Electronic Library 24.3 (2006): 294-306. . Emerald Journals. Web. 5 Nov 2012.

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