The Learning Process
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Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Learning should be an Active, Cooperative, Collaborative, and Challenging Process

      The following article was adapted from Instruction and technology: Designs for everyday learning Mehlenbacher, © 2007 by 

      These recommendations are designed for course material developed as a university level course taken for credit; However, the concepts apply to courses for which no grades are given, but in-service credit is given to advance the skills and knowledge of individuals.

      It is possible to encourage student and faculty contact by enhancing and enriching the learning environment. These recommendations cross the boundaries of online teaching and traditional pedgogical of learning:


  • Include computer based instruction, such as tutorials, simulations and drills.
  • Does the course integrate the presentation and interaction by activities such as personal advising/counseling, delivery of course content, evaluation, collecting and returning assignments?
  • Are online resources such as course content, assignments, or other information germane to course posted online?
  • What technology options are allowed to turn in assignments?

Individual one-on-one learning support

  • Availability of mentoring via email, web meetings, instant messaging?
  • Does the learner experience include opportunities to interact with other classmates?

Student to Student interaction

  • Do learners engage in real dialog face to face or electronically?
  • Will there be a public record of confering, such as discussion forum posting, threaded discussions, emails to lists of participants, archived chat sessions?
  • Are classmates encouraged to participate in personal networking? 
  • What methods are provided to allow students to brainstorm with teachers or peers and to maintain social relationships?
  • Will learners be required to participate in peer reviews of class projects?
  • Will the course involve peer learning, groups/peer tutorial sessions, and peer counseling?


  • Will the course involve collaborative production of projects?
  • Is technology used as a medium of collaboration, conversation, discussions, exchange, and communication of ideas?
  • What is the minimum computer equipment and software required for the course?
  • Do course activities encourage collaboration and sharing of knowledge with different groups of people (different professional groups, people from different domains, experts and novices, for example)?
  • Are there examples of externalizing group processes and increasing awareness of them?

Knowledge building

  • Are learner activities included for building of new knowledge on the basis of others' contributions, sharing cognitive load?
  • Is computer mediation (for indexing, storing, searching, disseminating information) included?

Encourage active/engaged learning

Personal experience

  • Does the course encourage the integration of theoretical knowledge with practical experience of participants?
  • Is technology used as a medium for participating in simulated experiences and cognitive partnerships?
  • Does the course include a platform for the expression and contribution of artistic and cognitive understandings and meanings?


  • Is there a simple and familiar interface that allows all learners to be able to participate on an even playing field?
  • Are there activities emphasizing the links between authentic work activities and e-learning material and virtual discussion?
  • To what extent is there Geographic independence - learning without restriction to the physical buildings of the learning institution?
  • What functionality is provided to increase learners' control over their own educational experience and the way that they are asked to learn particular materials?
Provide Prompt Feedback Assessment / evaluation

  • Are structured support and guidance for learning in all phases of the learning process included?
  • What activities support conscious reasoning and self-assessment, setting one's own (i.e. not set by the environment) learning goals (What do I know?; What should I learn?)?
  • Are assignments returned graded with notes and comments?
  • How quickly are student questions answered?
  • Are the answers personalized or a generic response?
  • Are answers to students' questions accessible by all students in the class to ensure other students with the same questions do not need to ask the question as well?

Emphasize Time On Task


  • Are learners required to develop individual and group presentations?
  • Is there integration of e-learning with face-to-face learning situations whenever possible?
  • Are shared workspaces provided for collaborative activities?
  • Are there tasks that force groups to collaborate and co-ordinate knowledge?


  • Do learner activities include retrieval of information from online information archives, such as OPACs, ERIC, and commercial databases?

Communicate High Expectations


  • Do on-line participants have full access to instructor expectations, e.g. course syllabus, assignment information, grading criteria?
  • Is an evaluation rubric published showing grading criteria and associated scoring for each major assignment?
  • Do students provide input to the grading criteria?

Model behavior

  • Is the instructor communicating frequently as a demonstration of appropriate communication?
  • Are students talking more electronically (via e-mail or a chat program) than they do in a face-to-face situation?

Respect Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning


  • Is there appropriate inclusion of hyperlinked textual material, incorporating pictures, graphics, and animation?
  • Are learners offered different forms of representation and different forms of learning activities (reading, writing, discussing, using metaphors, audio, visual, etc.)?
  • Are there videotaped elaboration of subject matter, including interviews, and panel discussions?

Alternative learning

  • Are course materials provided in multiple formats for visual, auditory, read-write and kinesthetic learning?
  • Are there guest lectures included, which promote interaction between learners and persons in the larger community?
  • What tools are provided for the identification, evaluation, and integration of a variety of information?
  • Is there Platform independence from any particular hardware or software type (e.g. media players, browser specific display requirements)?
Recommended Reading:

Instructional Design:

Training Principles:

Principles of Sports Training:

Developing Course Materials:

Developing Training Plans

What are the goals and objectives?

What will is the subject content (message)?

What teaching methods and technology (media) will be used?

How will learners be assessed?

How will a course or lesson's instructional design be evaluated and improved?


Instructional Design Models and Components   Several models of instructional design exist. One of the most famous is Dick and Carey's Model for designing instruction.

Instructional Design Models - University of Windsor   Models for instructional design provide procedural frameworks for the ... how combinations of instructional strategy components should be integrated to produce a course of instruction.

There are five eLearning Components that are essential for all successful online courses. Understanding these components will help you design and develop a course that meets computer based training objectives.

Dick and Carey's Instructional Design Model

Kemp's Model Instructional Design Model

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Instructional Design
PDF  Writing Objectives Instructional Design Models
Instructional Design Components
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Evaluating Learning Outcomes

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The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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