Arts Pedagogy Research and Innovation Laboratory

Learning Outcomes: Good, Bad & Ugly

Why do instructional designers laud "learning outcomes," while many instructors resist writing them? The call to create fine grained "learning outcomes" has its perils. But learning outcomes aren't all bad, either. Read more in the April Blog.

Blended Learning Tools: Yes You Can!

APRIL’s Blended Learning Working Group held its second meeting March 4th. Oksana Perets, with the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies showed off the online learning modules she has been developing to complement classes in Ukrainian language learning. Using Blendspace to coordinate a variety of quizzes and activities, Oksana and her team have created a fun way for students to practice and reinforce what they learn in class.

We also followed up a little bit from our last meeting, in which we explored how drawing tablets can be used to create short, engaging, Kahn Academy style video tutorials that instructors can use to reinforce concepts, model problem solving, or talk students through graphic organizations of ideas. Our new CTS liaison Diane Janes shared another very easy to use tool, Explain Everything, which can be used to record mini tutorials on your iPad or tablet.

We talked a little bit about the importance of tools being accessible and easy to learn. While enormous resources are poured into creating MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), so of the most interesting and innovating pedagogical work flies under the radar – it’s done by teachers and professors who never tire of looking for ways to improve student learning, and enjoy exploring the many tools available to teachers to enhance their face-to-face classroom time with online lessons, practice, and enrichment.

APRIL’s Blended Learning Working Group is a fun, collegial space to have coffee and treats, and look at online tools, programs and teaching strategies that can be learned and implemented quickly and easily. If you’d like to be added to the Blended Learning mailing list, please contact Laura Servage, APRIL Research Coordinator. We meet monthly during the fall and winter terms.