1st Edition

Designing the Online Learning Experience Evidence-Based Principles and Strategies

    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides instructors with a holistic way of thinking about learners, learning, and online course design. The distinctive strategies derived from an integrated framework for designing the online learning experience help create an experience that is more personalized, engaging, and meaningful for online learners.The focus of this book is on the learners and the design of their online learning experiences. The authors refer to learning design instead of instructional design – which focuses on instruction and places the instructor at the center stage of the process. Therefore, the focus is on approaching a learner’s online course experience as a journey consisting of a combination of learning interactions with content, instructor, and other learners. In most online courses, instructors and learners are separated in time and space and depend on technology to facilitate interactions that often lack a strong personal dimension. As online learning continues to proliferate and mature, the emphasis on simply making content available to students online is no longer acceptable. Creating online courses now requires a new way of thinking that incorporates new design ideas and approaches from a variety of fields; it also requires a new set of learning design skills for instructors and course designers.Organized into eight chapters, this volume focuses on enhancing online learning experiences for each of the major aspects of an online course, providing evidence-based principles and strategies to promote learner engagement and deep learning. The concluding chapter provides an example illustrating a real-world application of the principles and strategies covered in the book, using Design Thinking to create learning experiences.This book provides strategies for approaching the learning experience from an integrative perspective for both experienced online instructors and those new to online course design. These strategies are based on evidence-based learning design principles and encourage the reader to adopt an empathic mindset focused on the experience of the learner.

    Foreword—B. Jean Mandernach Preface 1. Designing for the Learner Experience 2. Integrated Framework for Designing the Online Learning Experience 3. Designing the Course Structure and Learner Interface 4. Facilitating Learning Through Instructional Content Design 5. Creating Meaningful Learning Activities Through Learning Experience Design 6. Enhancing Motivation, Engagement, and Learning Through Social Interactions 7. Incorporating Assessments and Feedback Throughout the Learning Experience 8. Putting It Together Glossary References About the Authors Index


    Simone C. O. Conceição is a professor and chair in the Department of Administrative Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received her doctorate in adult and distance education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her master's in adult and continuing education leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has served on the editorial board of six journals and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals; written more than 20 book chapters; and authored five books on the topics of online education, adult learning, online student motivation and support, and faculty workload when teaching online. Les L. Howles has over 30 years professional experience in distance educa­tion, eLearning, media production, and instructional design. He has held multiple positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison including direc­tor of Distance Education Professional Development, team leader for the Learning Solutions group and senior eLearning consultant. Throughout his career, Howles has developed and taught online courses, designed educational software, and led groups of professionals in creating innovative learning solu­tions for education and training. He has worked in multiple industries includ­ing higher education, corporate training, government, health care, K–12 and is an independent learning design strategist for Howles Associates. He serves on the editorial board of eLearn Magazine and has authored and coauthored numerous articles for professional publications. Howles holds undergradu­ate degrees from Saint Edward’s University and the State University of New York. He earned his graduate degree in Educational Technology from the University of Oregon. Howles has been a frequent presenter at regional, national, and international conferences and directed the Annual Distance Teaching & Learning Conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

    From the Foreword:

    "Designing the Online Learning Experience delivers the inspiration and guidance that online instructors and course designers need right now. While the COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly end, the widespread repercussions of higher education’s immersion in online education will not. Experienced online instructors were forced to dig deeper and think differently to meet student demands that had not previously existed. Instructors new to online teaching were pressed to reconsider the fundamental meaning of effective teaching and explore the potential available via online education. The questions, concerns, and challenges raised during the pandemic-induced shift to online teaching and learning are not likely to fade as we return to “normal.” Higher education is ripe for a new approach to meaningful, engaging, learner-centered online education. And Designing the Online Learning Experience provides it."

    B. Jean Mandernach, Research Professor & Executive Director, Center for Innovation in Research and Teaching

    Grand Canyon University

    "COVID-19 has pushed education at all levels over the tipping point for online education. This book provides an innovative framework and strategies that bring together user experience, human factors, and design thinking to create a model that wraps around the online learner. Conceição and Howles draw on their experiences as both scholars and practitioners to create a holistic way to think about learning. Both newcomers and experienced online instructors and designers will find creative solutions and strategies to make online teaching more engaging, personalized, and meaningful. The authors share, in this book, a map to the future of online teaching and learning."

    Michelle Glowacki-Dudka, Professor of Adult, Higher, and Community Education Educational Studies

    Ball State University

    "Conceição and Howles’ book digs deep into the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social dimensions of learning and explains what it truly means to be learner-centered. Their integrated framework brings a fresh approach to online instruction. The text delivers the right mix of research and practical strategies to empower both new and experienced instructors and course designers to craft the best possible online learning experiences for students."

    Penny Ralston-Berg, Senior Instructional Designer

    Penn State World Campus

    "This book is a great practical guide for any educator charged with developing and teaching online courses. It includes many useful strategies that can be implemented immediately."

    Steven W. Schmidt, Professor of Adult Education

    East Carolina University

    "Designing effective instruction is hard. So, too, is designing engaging experiences. Doing both together is even harder! Fortunately, Conceição and Howles have written a principled yet practical guide to systematically creating engaging and effective online courses. Recommended."

    Clark Quinn


    "Exceptionally informative, impressively organized and presented, Designing the Online Learning Experience: Evidence-Based Principles and Strategies is especially timely given the current pandemic mandated replacement of traditional schooling with 'distance learning' from preschool to graduate school. [The book] must be considered as an essential and core addition to school district, college, and university library Contemporary Teacher Education collections in general, and On-Line Learning supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular."

    MidWest Book Review