Become a Better Blogger: Content Planning

Starting a blog is easy. Keeping it filled with interesting and engaging content is the tough part. 

So, are you ready to kick your blogging efforts up a notch? In this class you’ll complete a three month editorial calendar to help you map out your content and plan ahead. This will help you: 

Take this class, and you’ll walk away with much more than a spreadsheet. You’ll also learn how to give your blog character and help it stand out from the crowd. 

  • Create quality content on a regular schedule
  • Use your blog to map back to specific business strategies
  • Manage multiple authors or contributors
  • Track publication and marketing efforts
  • Capitalize on trends and increase visibility

Section 1: Define Your Blogging Strategy
We’ll look at the fundementals of your blog, such as your style, audience, and goals. You’ll develop a comprehensive brand statement to help you smash through even the worst case of writer’s block. 

Section 2: Search For Inspiration
Like any writer, the more you read, the better you write. We’ll look at ways to source quality content that motivates you to create, but doesn’t take forever to find. 

Section 3: Create Your Calendar Template
Lucky for you, I’ve done all the hard work. This class comes complete with a link to a google spreadsheet that you can immediately implement for your own content. 

Section 4: Complete Calendar Details
In this section, I’ll give you my best tips and tricks for using an editorial calendar to help you manage a team. I developed these techniques while managing the social media content of one of the world’s biggest brands. I share my mistakes so you don’t have to make them. 

Source: skillshare.com

Five Essential Online Learning Strategies

Online learning environment can seem intimidating to students who haven’t tried it. But, according to Dr. Jennifer Bachner, Director of the MS in Government Analytics and Certificate in Government Analytics, online learning isn’t much different than a classroom.

By employing a few essential strategies, any student can learn not only to succeed, but to flourish in the online learning environment.

Top five strategies for success in online learning:

1. Devote consistent blocs of time to the class

Online courses are often attractive to students because they offer flexibility, particularly for those with demanding professional or personal responsibilities. This flexibility, however, can lead students into trouble. It can be tempting for students to delay working through the course material, thinking they’ll find time later in the week.

2. Communicate regularly with the professor

Opening and using these lines of communication will benefit you both during and beyond the course. During the course, it’s important to ask questions when the material or assignments are unclear and discuss larger assignments such as research papers. Use the mode of communication preferred by the instructor (e.g. email, Skype, phone) but don’t shrink away from these conversations.

3. Engage with your classmates

Don’t limit your discussion postings to responding to the prompts posted by the instructor. Add your own insights and questions to the discussion. I always appreciate when students post a relevant news article or scholarly publication they’ve come across. These contributions help other students relate the course material to the real world and other areas of study.

4. Begin your work early

In an online class, particularly for first-time students, there may be technical difficulties to overcome. Take the risk of these difficulties into account, and give yourself time to acclimate to new software and hardware. Further, give your instructors a reasonable amount of time to answer your questions. In an online class, exchanging emails or arranging phone conversations takes time. In short, expect that you will encounter hurdles when completing the work and leave yourself time to overcome them.

5. Remember that online classes vary greatly

Just as with on-the-ground classes, there are many ways to design an online class. Research course offerings ahead of time to determine if the instructor, structure and material are a good fit for you. Some online classes, for example, rely largely on the discussion boards to further your learning while others make heavier use of group projects, individually-written papers or collaborative problem sets.

Source: advanced.jhu.edu

Insights on How to Improve Your Teaching

Online courses have become an incredibly popular way for students and employees to advance their education or professional development. Teaching an online course requires different methods from the traditional classroom, so it’s important that teachers adapt or develop their skills to the online learning environment, to make their materials effective and engaging for learners. 

Let’s look at 5 strategies you can implement to improve your online teaching and make your eLearning course a successful experience for both you and your learners.

1. Engage With Your Learners Online

Without your physical presence in the classroom, it’s vital that you establish a virtual presence at the very beginning of the eLearning course. Online teachers need to be engaging and supporting students right from the start and for the duration of the course, to maintain an effective learning community.

2. Create A Supportive Learning Environment

As an online teacher, you have an opportunity to create a supportive online community for your learners.

The best way to achieve this is through encouraging both teacher-to-student engagement and student-to-student interaction.

3. Use A Mix Of Learning Tools For Better Engagement

These days, we’re fortunate to have the technology to create virtual learning environments that allow us to collaborate and engage just as well as if we were in the classroom.

As Dr Boettche says, “the variety of activities that are now possible online makes it possible to create many types of effective learning environments.”

4. Provide Ongoing Feedback

Feedback is an essential component of all effective learning environments – including online.

As an online teacher, your feedback will help to create an eLearning experience that is informative, engaging, and motivational for the learner. 

5. Make eLearning Content Mobile

It’s wise to acknowledge the importance of mobile learning for online teachers, with students and employees now accustomed to using their mobile devices for learning.

Mobile learning holds key advantages for learners, allowing them to access up-to-date course materials and relevant content anywhere, anytime. With bite-sized pieces of information available to be digested quickly and easily, learners can work through course materials at their own pace, assisting both performance and productivity.

Source: elearningindustry.com

Do Management Systems Improve K-12 Outcomes?

Today, organizations and academic institutes require robust and strategic learning management systems (LMS) that can automate manual processes of traditional tools. Effective learning management systems can empower departments and enable business growth, as well as further educational initiatives.

Unlike the human researchers, the computer program was able to identify about twice as many systems. However, after additional investigation, the human researchers successfully confirmed about 97% of the info provided by Kimmon’s program.

Over the years, LMS has become a vital tool to achieve enterprise learning objectives. It is no wonder the LMS market will be worth $22.4 billion by 2023. Learning management systems, for instance, can be used in several formats. You can use it as a formal, experimental, or social managerial compliance training program.

Moreover, the role of eLearning to generate revenue for enterprises continues to evolve. LMS personalizes feedback to promote a self-regulating learning process. In fact, LMS has been proven to increase the effectiveness of students’ and employees’ learning outcomes.

The Evolving Role of the Learning Management System

A revolutionary change in the LMS is the contextualization of the learning process for teachers and employers. The right LMS can enable increased interaction between instructors and learners. Consequently, a collaborative virtual learning experience improves outcomes for online learners.

Adoption of LMS by K-12 Schools

It is true – the skepticism towards LMS no longer exists. And why would it? The majority of institutions have successfully implemented the systems in higher education to improve student’s learning process. Similarly, LMS is now widely used by K-12 schools. It does, however, present an opportunity for researchers to learn the standardized testing process at such a scale.

What’s interesting is that the adoption of an LMS solution goes beyond higher standardized test scores. However, this effectiveness is interconnected with the cost and nature of the system itself. For example, an education system should have a proprietary system configuration, while an open-source solution is preferable for an organization.

Source: blogs.onlineeducation.touro.edu

Unveiling the Secrets of Online Teaching

Online teaching is increasingly common at many types of higher education institutions, ranging from hybrid courses that offer a combination of in-person and online instruction, to fully online experiences and distance learning. The following resources provide guidelines for creating an online course, best practices for teaching online, and strategies for assessing the quality of online education

Online references for the following topics: instructor and student roles, building online learning communities, online course design, examples of online courses and degree programs, etc.

CRLT Occasional Paper #18: Online Teaching (Zhu, Dezure, & Payette, 2003)
This paper explores key questions to consider when planning an online course and provides guidelines for effective instructional practices.

Instructional Design (Illinois Online Network)
An ever-changing collection of articles related to teaching online (including Tip of the Month), basic resources, and spotlight issues. As this site is well-maintained, it is worth occasionally checking in to see if new material has been added.

Instructional Strategies for Online Courses (Illinois Online Network)
An ever-changing collection of articles related to teaching online (including Tip of the Month), basic resources, and spotlight issues. As this site is well-maintained, it is worth occasionally checking in to see if new material has been added.

The site provides a summary of instructional strategies for online course. Effective online instruction depends on learning experiences appropriately designed and facilitated by knowledgeable educators. Because learners have different learning styles or a combination of styles, online educators should design activities that address their modes of learning in order to provide significant experiences for each class participant.

Research on Best Practices (San Juan College)
These pages present a summary of research related to best practices of teaching online. It is divided into 4 sections: content and structure, communication, assessment, and references. The symbols (described below) indicate our recommendations for application of the concepts in your course.

Source: www.crlt.umich.edu

Promoting Your Online Business on Pinterest

Did you know that Pinterest has 200+ Million monthly users? And a huge portion of those users are not only clicking through on pins to get more information, but they’re also BUYING things they find there! 

When I noticed that over 60% of my own traffic was coming from Pinterest (where I have around 6600 followers) and only 3% was coming from Instagram (where I have 110k+ followers) — despite the fact that I was spending way less time on Pinterest and way too much time on Instagram I knew I needed to change my game plan.

This class is especially for artists, makers, and creatives! But it will be helpful to anyone who wants to learn more about the power of free exposure you can get on Pinterest.

Maybe you do, too?

In this class I’ll be covering:

  • Perfecting Your Pinterest Profile
  • Creating Eye-Catching Pinterest Boards
  • The Anatomy of a Perfect Pin
  • Pinning from Etsy
  • Pinning from Your Website or Blog
  • How to Pin? Yep! How to Pin!
  • Making Your Life Easier by Scheduling Pins

And in the end we will share our class project: a Pin based on all of the information we learned in the class! (Plus I share a link to a free trial of my favorite Pinterest approved software!) 

I hope you’ll join me in the class! And if you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the class discussion area.

Source: Skillshare.com

Gamification and Game-Based Learning

When discussing gamification and game-based learning there is often some confusion as to how they differ. Many people use the terms interchangeably but they are not the same. However they are often linked together so it isn’t always easy to separate them.

Game-based learning and gamification have been around for a number of years at the elementary and high school level. More recently it has been making its way into higher education as it offers a number of benefits to students.

What is Game-Based Learning?

Game-Based Learning or GBL is using a game as part of the learning process. Some examples of GBL could be using monopoly to teach the basics of money management or playing scrabble to help improve vocabulary skills. However, today when people talk about game-based learning they are usually referring to digital game-based learning. Game-based learning teaches through repetition, failure and the accomplishment of goals which is basically the way players become good at video games.

What is Gamification?

In education gamification is the introduction of game-like elements into the learning environment to help motivate students and make the process more engaging. This is accomplished by taking some of the elements that make games fun and that motivate people to keep playing and using those elements in a learning situation. Some examples of gamification include:

  • Points/Badges : The use of points and badges provides tangible evidence of accomplishment
  • Immediate Feedback: Fast response to actions that are taken rather than waiting for a paper to be graded.
  • Levels/Quests: Provide missions and goals to be accomplished
  • Leveling Up: Indication of achievement and opening up of new missions, badges and activities
  • Collaboration/Teamwork: Accomplish a goal working with others

Source: blogs.onlineeducation.touro.edu

Designing an Online Course from Expert’s Perspective

Teaching in a fully online environment can be daunting even for seasoned online instructors when they have to prep a new course.  However, with a few simple strategies, the process can be smooth and enjoyable. Here are four strategies that any instructor can use to successfully build an online course. 

Steps for success include involving the learner, making collaboration work, devising a consistent structure and revising based on evaluation. 

By Amy Rottmann and Salena Rabidoux

A common perception is that online courses require students to just read or view videos, and then regurgitate the information in an essay or simple discussion post.  However, this is false because there are numerous activities that fully engage online students.

Students should demonstrate their understanding of the content as well as heighten their engagement with the content throughout any course.  Instructors can incorporate authentic activities that connect real-world relevance and content knowledge. Authentic activities can range from examining case studies to creating problem-based scenarios in which the students research the problem and create solutions or address gaps within the problem.

Instructors also can use inquiry-based learning (IBL), which requires students to investigate questions they have concerning the content.  One strategy that online instructors can implement to establish IBL is through the implementation of Know, Want to Know, and Learned (KWL) charts. Utilizing KWL charts can initiate exploration of the content as students identify what they know and what they want to know about the topic.

Source: www.insidehighered.com

Why Online Courses Are the Future of Education

High quality education can make all the difference in people’s lives. It helps individuals escape poverty, earn a promotion, or find better paid jobs. But getting a university degree or a training certificate often costs a lot of money, and strict class schedules clash with work shifts, preventing people from enrolling in educational programs.

Fortunately, online courses are providing a viable alternative for millions of people. And as a part of the thriving e-learning industry that will grow to $325 billion by 2025, they’re no longer a fringe idea.

Instead, online courses are becoming increasingly popular, and there are many reasons why they’re the future of education

  1. Online learning offers convenience and flexibility
  2. High-quality student-tutor interactions
  3. Studying online is affordable for many people
  4. All age groups benefit from online learning
  5. More students can be enrolled
  6. There’s a vast amount of online learning resources
  7. Web-based learning will grow in popularity

Online learning offers convenience and flexibility

Flexibility is one of the key reasons behind the growing demand for web-based learning. According to survey results published by the university ranking website Best Colleges, 59% of students who enroll in online education programs have children and 50% of them are employed. They highly value the opportunity to study when they can, as lectures are typically archived for later reference, making compulsory campus attendance a thing of the past. Also, they can work faster or slower on course material, depending on their current needs and understanding of the subject matter.

High-quality student-tutor interactions

Another advantage of online education is improved communication between students and tutors. A study by California State University in San Bernardinofound that although people who study online absorb knowledge equally well as those who go to class, they’re more active in discussions and enjoy a better interaction with instructors. Technologies such as video conferencing and VOIP calls make it easy to communicate with people across the world. Online students also benefit from more frequent assessments, with professors able to spot knowledge gaps faster and provide suggestions on how to move forward.

Source: blogs.onlineeducation.touro.edu

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