Instructional Design

Finding the Muddiest Point of your eLearning Course

eLearning drop off point

The muddiest point of your course is the area that is the hardest to grasp or the most confusing to understand. This part of your course needs to be reinforced with extra resources and activities.

If the muddiest point of your course is not determined, your learners may lag behind and more often, drop out. To retain and engage your learners, integrate an activity that helps uncover the muddiest point of the course (so far).

This activity has to be social in nature to be more effective. In this article, we will describe an example of an eLearning activity that helps the instructor find the muddiest point of the course.

An online activity that assesses the skills learned towards the middle of the course is a great way to check the progress of the learner. It is also a good opportunity to present the reflection question: What was the muddiest point of this activity?

This activity can be used as a peer to peer evaluation tool as well as a personal reflection exercise. The responses to the muddiest point question can be used to create further activities that reinforce the weak areas in the topic.

Online Teaching Activity: Create a Video about yourself

Task: For the Fundamentals of Multimedia class, create a video using the software tools used in the classroom.
Objective: To work as an individual and then comment on your peer: Create a Video about yourself. Answer the muddiest point question after you complete the activity:

Which step in the video development process was the toughest?

Directions:

  • Your task is to create a video for your prospective employers. Talk about your learning and professional achievements, in short, everything you would say in your resume, but in an interesting manner.
    Use interesting sound effects and diagrams, to demonstrate your point. Your goal is to convince the employer to hire you!
  • Prepare a storyboard and submit it as a word document along with your video.
  • Use a video camera of your choice or your smartphone to capture your video.
  • Use a microphone if necessary.
  • Make sure your audience can see you and hear you easily. There should be no background noise.
  • Use Fox Pro to edit your video. The video should be between eight to ten minutes long.
  • Use images to explain your points.
  • Use Audacity to edit the sound.
  • Provide transcripts with your video.
  • End your presentation with a references page.
  • Upload your video to the class Youtube channel.
    • Post the link under the discussion board activity.
  • Provide feedback to three of your classmates’ videos. Use any five criteria from the evaluation rubric to comment on their video. Your criteria should be clearly labelled with comments. You will be awarded 10 points for each response.
  • After you have completed the above steps, respond to the next discussion board question: What was the muddiest point of this activity?

Intended Outcomes

This eLearning activity is a mid-course skills check-point. It helps learners revise and apply all multimedia development tools in a meaningful manner. They are given several resources dealing with model video-resume and are requested to cite any sources they used in any step of the development process.

The objective of this activity is to create their video using the rubric described below. After uploading their video on Youtube Channel, learners are required to upload the link of this video in the discussion forum for the course. They are required to evaluate their peers’ video using at least five of the evaluation criteria described in the rubric.

This discussion activity will guide the video-maker to improve their video in the future. It will also be a platform where different experiences regarding the nuances of recording and editing a scripted video are shared. Multiple solutions will be shared. Learners will be helping each other out.

The response to the muddiest point question will be closely tied to the discussions in the previous activity. Learners will share their problems in planning and developing their videos. The instructor will understand the problem area of this process and will be able to change future lessons to fill the learning gap.

By the end of this activity, learners will not only improve their videos but will also be able to use them as a part of their job search.

Evaluation Rubric (adapted closely from A+ Rubric for Evaluating Videos, University of Wisconsin)

References

Conrad, R. & Donaldson, J. (2012) Continuing to Engage the Online Learner.

A+ Rubric. University of Wisconsin (2011). Retrieved from, https://www2.uwstout.edu/content/profdev/rubrics/videorubric.html