I’ve been working lately on learning modules for the online learning platform MathemaTIC where we develop coherent learning arrangements for mathematical content.
MathemaTIC has the ambitious aim of using technology to offer a relatively “language-free” solution to raise attainment in numeracy while simultaneously enabling teachers to better support the learning needs of an increasingly heterogeneous classroom of 10-11 year-old students in grades 5 and 6 of fundamental schools.
MathemaTIC contains the multilingual resources to offer a relatively language-free space to learn mathematics, an incredible benefit to learners who struggle with languages and yet need to master them to succeed. It is hoped that neutralizing the language factor in the learning of mathematics will enable all students irrespective of their origin and command of the instruction language to become more proficient in maths.
The integrated system of continuous feedback in the adaptive environment delivers real-time online individual tips and strategies adapted to the individual needs of students. Remedial help assists students who are falling behind while more advanced tasks help faster learning students to move on, all at their own pace. The teacher is able to follow the progress of each student online, to identify difficulties early on and provide supplementary explanation or exercises exactly to whom and where it is needed.
During the elaboration process, I’ve collected some essential aspects that, in my humble opinion, should be guiding lines for the development of the system and the respective learning modules.
7 essential principles for the creation of multimedia learning arrangements
1. PINPOINT THE LEARNING OUTCOMES
Nehru said that failure comes only if you forget your objectives. Therefore it is essential to fix as precisely as possible the learning outcomes of your tool. They will serve as lighthouse throughout the whole development process.
2. IDENTIFY THE LEARNING OBJECTS
Outcomes reveal their internal essence only when they are linked to concrete situations and well defined knowledge. To make objectives come alive, you need describe In detail the context in which the learner will have to operate.
3. HAVE A PRECISE IDEA OF THE LEARNING TASK
Once you’ve described the context, it necessary to imagine the learning paths (yes, there’s more than one) and the different tasks that will be proposed to the learner.
4. FOSTER INTERACTION – ONLINE AND OFFLINE
In order to learn, the user has to be active and constantly challenge by the learning system. These challenges should be tackled by the learner inside the tool, but also in cooperation with other learners, because learning happened not only in interaction with the system, but also in collaborative environments
5. KNOW YOUR TOOLS
Develop for your learning system polyvalent tools that can be used in different settings and learning arrangements. This not only eases their use by the learner because they are acquainted to it, but it also reduces the development cycles.
6. PROMOTE STRATEGIES FOR SCAFFOLDING
Your learning system should be designed to give the learner constant support and feedback in order to move him progressively toward stronger understanding and, ultimately, greater independence in the learning process.
7. HAVE A COHERENT VISUAL IDENTITY
Nothing is more disturbing as permanent change in style or visual representation. Because graphic are an important aspect of a multimedia tool, you should elaborate a coherent visual representation charter that you deploy all along your system.