Midwest instructors move classes online during polar vortex

Educationdive | February 04, 2019

Midwest instructors move classes online during polar vortex
When a polar vortex swept through the Midwest last week and triggered wind chills as low as 66 degrees below zero, University of Michigan professor Perry Samson thought it was too good of a teaching opportunity to pass up.Samson, an atmospheric sciences professor, teaches a course called "extreme weather." In it, he covers topics such as hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning, as well as how a changing climate can alter the frequency and intensity of such events. The week the polar vortex hit, he was scheduled to lecture about heat waves. Even if students were willing to chance frostbite in the record-breaking cold to get to his class, the university had made the rare call to close the campus. So instead, Samson took the class online.Using the video platform Echo360, Samson was able to teach his students while he himself was hundreds of miles away in Washington. (Samson is head of teaching innovation for Echo360.) "The extreme weather case is obviously an outlier — that's my hope," he said. "But it's nice to have the option that when they do happen, you can continue teaching."

Spotlight

E-learning courses need to be learner-centric to ensure they engage the learner. There are many ways to do this. First, learning designers need to understand training requirements and the knowledge gaps in learners.Setting the right learning objectives is crucial because this will help learners know what they can expect from the course. This helps learning designers design assessments based on these objectives. To make the course appealing to learners, instructional designers will have to pay attention to the learner profile and the learning objectives to decide on the right instructional strategies and select the media elements for the course.

Spotlight

E-learning courses need to be learner-centric to ensure they engage the learner. There are many ways to do this. First, learning designers need to understand training requirements and the knowledge gaps in learners.Setting the right learning objectives is crucial because this will help learners know what they can expect from the course. This helps learning designers design assessments based on these objectives. To make the course appealing to learners, instructional designers will have to pay attention to the learner profile and the learning objectives to decide on the right instructional strategies and select the media elements for the course.

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