CoE Explores the Possibilities of Online Education at Active Learning Lunch and Learn

CoE Explores the Possibilities of Online Education at Active Learning Lunch and Learn

By UM News

CoE Explores the Possibilities of Online Education at Active Learning Lunch and Learn

By UM News
Johnny Orr, assistant director of the Distance Learning Institute, served as guest presenter at the University of Miami College of Engineering’s (CoE) first Active Learning Lunch And Learn workshop of the semester.

Many higher education institutions have used online learning as a way of reaching a wider student audience, as well as to enhance and improve student learning. On February 14, Johnny Orr, assistant director of the Distance Learning Institute, served as guest presenter at the University of Miami College of Engineering’s (CoE) first Active Learning Lunch And Learn workshop of the semester. His presentation, which was entitled “UM Distance Learning Institute - Instructional Design Best Practices,” was interesting, insightful and thought-provoking look at coupling active and distance learning.

He began his presentation with an overview of the Distance Learning Institute, which highlighted the latest principles of instructional design the institute is utilizing to foster high quality education, as well as to oversee and support faculty through continuing education programs and course review processes that ensure continuous improvement in online teaching. Specifically of note is the institute’s goal of enhancing access to quality educational programs by partnering with educators, schools and colleges to create educational opportunities for everyone regardless of background. The highest performing education systems are those that combine equity with quality, and the CoE has made inclusion, equity and access to quality education a main priority to ensure that new ways to disseminate engineering knowledge are constantly being sought.

There have been large studies conducted that show that online learning is just as effective as traditional fact to face formats and has been linked to positive learning outcomes such as improved student engagement with class material. It is with this backdrop that he explained in great detail how an online course is developed using instructional design principles and therefore demonstrating how pedagogy combined with technology can meet the needs of our students in an online format. The process Orr highlighted, also known as the Kemp model, included identifying instructional problems, defining the characteristics of your target audience, sequencing of content and specifying learning objectives and more. For the complete list click here.

During his presentation, Orr also identified potential areas for online programs or courses, with a focus on undergraduate certificate and postgraduate certificate programs. He provided a list of course development options such as a companion, hybrid and fully online courses. For a description of each option, please view the presentation here.

Online learning is expanding across the College of Engineering and this exploration demonstrates our commitment to be innovative in our teaching and promote equity and access to our educational programs for everyone regardless of background.