Design Matters: 4 Timeless Must-Read Books For eLearning Professionals

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According to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey, young people are using social media sites to connect with friends and family, to receive news and information, or to reach out to people with compatible interests. They primarily do this over YouTube, which 95% of respondents use, followed by Instagram. Despite how well most teens use social media platforms, an article from the Computers in Human Behavior Reports journal notes how they have struggled to adjust with online learning since the pandemic.

Although the academic outcomes were positive, the transition ushered in technological and instructional challenges. Teachers faced difficulty supporting students in online learning environments. This is relevant for eLearning professionals because now, everyone is growing interested in educational technologies. Those in the eLearning sector can identify more gaps in the process, as more people take fully online classes. Fortunately, literature provides us with insights on this. Here are four must-read books for 2022:

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Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies by Michelle Pacansky-Brock

Author Michelle Pacansky-Brock is passionate about ensuring well-designed courses can actually translate into a meaningful online learning experience that meets the needs of diverse student populations. In Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies, she takes a look at social media and Web 2.0 technologies so online, hybrid, and face-to-face instructors can understand how learning trends and preferences are transforming. This is a good read if you’re looking to refresh the way you integrate technology into your teaching. Even if the emerging tech feels a little outdated now, Pacansky-Brock challenges us to rethink our perspective on the tools we have.

Design for How People Learn (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) by Julie Dirksen

Let’s face it: Creating a great eLearning experience is more difficult than it seems. To be successful, you have to take the basics of teaching and mesh them with technology. Enter Design for How People Learn, which provides professionals with a checklist of what is involved in designing a great experience. It talks about understanding your learners, defining the behaviors you want them to learn, and conveying how to perform these behaviors in a way that is memorable and practical for the learner. Author Julie Dirksen emphasizes that the goal of good learning design is to help learners come out with skills they can take back to the real world and apply immediately.

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel

Teachers and students alike believe in certain study habits and practice routines. However, the authors of Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning debunk these conventions as myths. The book dissects how underlining, highlighting, and other repetitive processes are counterproductive to learning. Rather, the book proposes more complicated methods to help mastery sink in. The authors highlight how introducing “desirable difficulties” can create the opportunity for improved learning. Educators can adopt the practices the book proposes for an engaging and effective eLearning experience.

Like No Other School Year by Pamela Livingston Gaudet

The recent pandemic has forced educational systems to change almost overnight. In Like No Other School Year, author Pamela Livingston Gaudet interviews educators from around the world on how they steered their institutions through the pandemic. The book outlines how the expectations for students, teachers, and parents changed drastically, and puts together suggestions for a path forward. Whether its food security or digital equity, Like No Other School Year synthesizes the wins and challenges we’ve all experienced — and offers some hope for 2022 and beyond.

Affiliate disclaimer: Links to Amazon include an affiliate tag. Using these links to purchase will generate a small commission to LMSPulse which does not affect the retail price.

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