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Designing Online Courses for
Diverse Communities of Learners
Jill Hurst-Wahl
@Jill_HW
Jan. 21, 2014
Why Do I Care?
Are online students different?
• Possible generalities • Possible concerns
– Older
– Working full-time
– Have a family
– S...
Two Areas of Consideration

• Information in different
formats

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt/2737296133/

• Regiona...
Regional / Ethnic Cultural
Context
• Easier for students to
attend distant program.
• Will not have the same
language skil...
Recommendations: Instruction
• Explain. Explain. Explain.
• Eliminate colloquial language, jargon & acronyms.
• With video...
Recommendations:
Communication
• Ask students to introduce themselves.
–Model what you want them to do.
–Audio? Video? Pho...
Information in Different Formats
•
•
•
•
•

Different learning styles
Hearing vs. seeing vs. doing
Use handouts
Allow your...
Keep in Mind…
Make the
course
structure
obvious
Jill Hurst-Wahl
Director, LIS and School
Media Programs
jahurst@syr.edu
(315) 443-1070
@Jill_HW
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WISE Workshop: Designing Online Courses for Diverse Communities of Learners

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This is one of several presentations given at the Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) Workshop during the ALISE Annual Conference (Jan. 21, 2014).

Workshop description: "As LIS programs become more entrepreneurial, reaching more diverse groups of learners, LIS educators are challenged to design their courses for diverse communities. There are many possible dimensions of diversity—different learner work contexts with different value structures (e.g., library vs. business), different cultural contexts when courses have a global reach, differences in learner demographics (age, gender, ethnicity), and differences in technology use outside of class, including social media. How does online course design take into account this diversity? This panel of experienced online educators will provide examples of how they have worked to address diverse communities of learners in their course designs and encourage interaction with members of the audience."

Published in: Education
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WISE Workshop: Designing Online Courses for Diverse Communities of Learners

  1. 1. Designing Online Courses for Diverse Communities of Learners Jill Hurst-Wahl @Jill_HW Jan. 21, 2014
  2. 2. Why Do I Care?
  3. 3. Are online students different? • Possible generalities • Possible concerns – Older – Working full-time – Have a family – Self-starters – Comfortable w/tech – Tough setting aside time – Dependent on fallible tech – Lack of cultural clues – Time zone differences – Need to be present
  4. 4. Two Areas of Consideration • Information in different formats http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt/2737296133/ • Regional / ethnic cultural context
  5. 5. Regional / Ethnic Cultural Context • Easier for students to attend distant program. • Will not have the same language skills or cultural context. • Need to teach to a global – not local – audience.
  6. 6. Recommendations: Instruction • Explain. Explain. Explain. • Eliminate colloquial language, jargon & acronyms. • With video and audio, be aware of your pace. – Include text, so students can read and hear. • Use non-”your region of the world” examples.
  7. 7. Recommendations: Communication • Ask students to introduce themselves. –Model what you want them to do. –Audio? Video? Photos? • Create discussions where all can participate. • Check-in with students using other communication methods.
  8. 8. Information in Different Formats • • • • • Different learning styles Hearing vs. seeing vs. doing Use handouts Allow your materials to be downloaded Be more than a “talking head” • Challenge yourself!
  9. 9. Keep in Mind…
  10. 10. Make the course structure obvious
  11. 11. Jill Hurst-Wahl Director, LIS and School Media Programs jahurst@syr.edu (315) 443-1070 @Jill_HW

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