4 min read

How to Leverage Primary Sources in Instructional Design

By Rachel Peachey on Aug 12, 2022 11:44:11 AM

Photo by Photoholgic. Description: Photo of wrinkled newspaper, business cards, and other historical documents.

Think of an important event in history that occurred during your lifetime. You probably remember watching the news on TV or seeing the newspaper headlines related to the event. These primary sources are part of our collective cultural memory. 

Primary sources can also serve as important learning materials for students. Helping learners step within inches of historical events and the news, primary sources are invaluable. Not only do primary sources bring benefits for learners, but they are also versatile. 

In this guide, learn how to pick out the best primary sources for your course needs. Then, discover activities you can leverage to get the most out of primary sources in instructional design.

Topics: Issues in Education Teaching Methodologies Tips for Using Video Video in Digital Learning Instructional Design Educational Videos
5 min read

Do Current Events Belong in Core Curriculum?

By Rachel Peachey on Jul 21, 2022 12:02:07 PM

Photo by Utsav Srestha. Photo description: Close-up of a stack of newspapers.

When presented with the question above, any educator may answer with something like “In theory, yes, current events belong in the core curriculum.” In practice, educators and curriculum designers may wrestle with the decision. What if the news is too controversial? What if the news changes within hours? How would instructional content be sourced so that it’s appropriate and age-appropriate for multiple grades?

Despite some drawbacks, including current events in courseware can bring many benefits to students. What’s more, with the right approach, adding current events can enhance curriculums to build context around course content and care for students in a holistic way.. 

Read on to discover the benefits of studying current events and historical news reports. Plus, we’ll include some tips on how to include journalism in courseware in a way that meets standards, boosts student achievement, and more:

Topics: Issues in Education Teaching Methodologies Tips for Using Video Video in Digital Learning
4 min read

Best Practices to Support Multimodal Learning: 5 Tips to Follow

By Rachel Peachey on Jun 30, 2022 8:30:00 AM

Photo by Robo Wunderkind: Flat-lay photograph of brightly colored toys on a white tabletop, and a child's hands touching an iPad.

Multimodal learning engages learners, makes learning more effective, and also improves accessibility. Any educator would be glad to offer these advantages to their students. But, incorporating multimodal learning into courseware or making use of it in the classroom isn’t always straightforward. There are many possible ways to use multimodal learning, and not all of them guarantee the best outcomes. 

To help instructional designers and other education professionals, we’ve put together 5 tips to support multimodal learning when designing courses, curriculum materials, or planning for its use in the classroom: 

Topics: Video and Teaching Tools Teaching Methodologies Video in Digital Learning Multimodal Learning
4 min read

5 practical ways to leverage multimedia in courseware

By Rachel Peachey on Jun 17, 2022 11:38:28 AM

Description: A woman in a green turtleneck and glasses sits at a wooden table, smiling down at a colorful laptop.

As recently as twenty years ago, university and ongoing education courses relied on lectures and textbooks alone. Today’s students immerse themselves in course material through a wide range of multimedia resources and interactive courseware. 

A multimedia or multimodal approach to learning is not only more interesting for students but also brings learning benefits. Multimedia tools and resources can help bring abstract concepts to life, boost student motivation and interest, and introduce large amounts of information efficiently, among other advantages.

As a courseware or instructional designer, you naturally want to bring all of these benefits to your students. Here are five practical ways to create a multimodal environment in your courseware:

Topics: Video and Teaching Tools Teaching Methodologies Video in Digital Learning Multimodal Learning
4 min read

A User's Guide to Multimodal Learning

By Rachel Peachey on May 19, 2022 2:45:20 PM

Photo by Yarenci Hdz

Which would be more memorable for you, reading a section of a textbook about an event in history, or watching a musical that depicts that same historical event? 

If you answered “watching a musical,” then you know the power of multimodal learning. When building effective, engaging lessons, teachers and instructional designers know that you can’t just give students reading materials and expect them to understand the content. Multimodal learning helps boost engagement, build connections, and improve learning overall. 

Yet, what exactly is multimodal learning, what are some examples of its use, and how does it benefit learners?  

Topics: Issues in Education Video and Teaching Tools Teaching Methodologies Multimodal Learning
4 min read

Are Applications of Learning Styles Theory Effective?

By Rachel Peachey on May 10, 2022 1:00:00 PM

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon

Learning styles are viewed in a positive light by many people. You may agree that, at worst, learning styles are harmless and at best they improve learning. What damage could the theory of learning styles possibly cause?

If everyone understood how to apply learning styles theory, the answer would be “Very little. In fact, they can do a lot of good.”

Unfortunately, people’s beliefs surrounding learning styles aren’t always accurate. Up to 90% of people believe that learners perform better when taught in their predominant learning style. Yet, the idea that visual learners should only have visually-focused lessons, or that audio lessons require audio-based lessons, is largely a myth. This rigid take on learning styles doesn’t take into account details like course content, the diversity of student needs, and more. 

So, what problems does this belief create?

Topics: Issues in Education Video and Teaching Tools Teaching Methodologies
3 min read

What is Flipped Learning and Why Does it Matter for Courseware?

By Suzanna Taylor on Jan 29, 2021 11:29:21 AM

With so many teaching models emerging - blended, hybrid, and flipped learning, to name a few- it can be difficult to pin down exactly what each one involves. This is especially true when they all aim to improve student engagement with targeted use of technology.

Topics: Teaching Methodologies Boclips for Publishers
2 min read

Project-Based Learning is an Opportunity in Equity

By Bree Fabig on Jul 14, 2020 12:58:11 PM

When it comes to teaching collaboration and inquiry skills, many educators face a tough hurdle: the ever-present pressure of rigid test-oriented standards. But reinforcing core learning outcomes to meet state and federal standards doesn’t need to be antithetical to innovative teaching methods.

Topics: Teaching Methodologies Tips for Using Video
7 min read

8 Tips for Online Distance Learning

By Bree Fabig on Mar 31, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Thousands of teachers are making the shift to online digital learning virtually overnight. This is a tricky situation as not all school districts have the same academic expectations about what the remainder of the year should look like, and not all students have equal access to technology at home. 

Topics: Video and Digital Literacy Teaching Methodologies Video in Digital Learning
2 min read

A Guide to Differentiating the Learning Process with Video

By Bree Fabig on Mar 9, 2020 6:45:13 AM

Differentiation is at the forefront of every teacher’s mind. Each student is different and needs to be given the opportunity to learn in ways that work for them. Plus, many schools and districts require proof of differentiated instruction. This can seem like a huge task for teachers but it doesn’t have to be. 

Topics: Video and Teaching Tools Teaching Methodologies Tips for Using Video