Arrangement of traditional classroom learning material (General – VET) can follow two basic routes:
- E-books: thematic breakdown driven by the content
- E-learning: objective/learning outcome breakdown driven by the educational goal or professional skill requirements
E-books: Thematic arrangement in digitalisation is not much different of non-digital content. We take the content and try to find the topics that will be the chapters, then we look at the internal content of those chapters to find sub-chapters in two, three, four levels. In this process we try to find more or less equally long sets of text so that our content is arranged evenly split or at least proportionally. There are some internal arrangement rules to decide, whether we want to discuss the different issues by time sequence, geographical sequence, order of measure (from small to large or opposite) from simple to complex. ect. It is the freedom of the author. The olny requirement is the clear logic behind the arrangement. (http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning_design/how-to-organize-content/)
Is there any difference if we prepare a digital thematic arrangemet? I would answer: Yes. After having edited so many e-book-type university textbooks, I would list some important points, mostly when we want to re-develop already existing multiple text books that were edited for print use:
- Digital content is better arranged in smaller, simpler pieces. Very long intact chapers are not easy to follow on any screen, especially on small smaprtphone screens.
- Try to avoid book and volume arrangement if possible, it was earlier a necessity due to phisical barriers of handling large print books. It is enough to break down a course in three, maximum four levels, starting from course, chapter, sub-chapter and section (and maybe sub-section).
- Try to use logical and continous numbering. 1.1.1.
- Avoid title page, copyright page, etc.
- Avoid classic table of contents, change it to linked table, or use other techniques (side bar, content player, menu system).
Formatting and graphics will be discussed in the second unit.
E-learning: Breaking down topics by learning objectives or learning outcomes is a well known techique in more and more sectors of education. The most important change is that on the first level we do not think of the content, but the learning objectives that we want to reach. We start from the highest objective (learning aim) and we try to break down this general objectve into measurable sub-objectives, that can be observed even by third party evaluators. We have to do this process till we reach the level of objectives that are covering a simple learner’s performance. For this we have to know how to construct a measurable learning objective, and we have to choose a taxonomy that helps us to arrange our objectives, but also to get help how to measure different type of objectives. The literature is big. The most commonly used system is the Bloom, or modified/revised bloom taxonomy. Many good sites are discussing the details. (https://www.cloud.edu/Assets/PDFs/assessment/revised-blooms-chart.pdf)
Once the long and complex list of
objectives are ready it is easy to find and mach the lelated content to develop it (e.g. write,
adapt, retrive, construct). Normally in this system we arrange a big list of
objectives and related content to modules and smaller units (or lessons). Modules
are defined and can be evaluated individually (examination).
More on content organisation:
More on taxonomy of learning objectives:
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