Select Technology Tools that Support Objectives

Quality Review Showcase

The Quality and High Quality online course reviews explore components proven to be best practices in online course design. This post showcases Quality item, “Technology tools support learning objectives and/or outcomes.”

By: Roslyn Miller, Instructional Designer, CDL

Technology tools are software and applications that can be used to engage students in a course; they may be internal to the learning management system (such as Webcourses@UCF), or external. Examples of tools internal to Webcourses@UCF include Discussions, Assignments, and Quizzes. Examples of external tools include conferencing platforms, social media, plagiarism detectors, online proctoring, statistical software, and web applications.

It can be tempting to select a tool because it is new, popular, or dazzling. Take caution to not put the cart before the horse, or in this case, the technology before the learning objective. It is critical to first ask, what do I want my students to be able to do? And then – what tool will best help them show what they know, or enable them to do it? Be transparent about why the tool is being used.

What are Some Ways your Online Course can be Designed to Meet this Standard?

  • If you have existing module objectives, review them. For each one, think of the tools they are using. How do they help or hinder?
  • Ask your students to give you feedback on how well the technology tools and objectives relate. A one-question anonymous survey could be incorporated: “How well did the technology tool support you to demonstrate that you have met the objectives?”
  • Use the Module Introduction page available within the Webcourses@UCF Templater tool that includes a pre-built area for showcasing the alignment between objectives and other course components.
  • Be transparent about the purpose of the tools in your course (e.g., “We are using the Discussions tool to problem-solve together….”)

What Does This Look Like in a Real Online Course?

Example 1: Joshua Colwell, PHY1038, Physics of Energy, Climate Change, and the Environment

Each module begins with an overview page that shows relationships among the module’s objectives, activities, instructional materials, and tools. For example, the course shows how use of Perusall supports the learning objectives.

Module Overview Example

Example 2: Tamra Legron-Rodriguez, CHS 4537, Forensic Laboratory Quality Assurance

Each module begins with an overview page that lists the module’s learning objectives. In this case, the course makes clear the role of Excel in supporting the learning objectives.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module you should be able to:

  • Explain methods used to monitor quality control
  • Apply simple statistical tests for the purpose of quality control
  • Use Excel to develop a control chart
  • Using control charts, determine if processes are within/outside of control limits
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