Various types of learning activities are appropriate in designing an e-learning course. The prime objective of these activities is to offer ways for learners to achieve learning objectives laid down at the initiation of a course design.
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Among the learning activities is the absorb-type activity. An absorb-type activity is an activity that learners can listen, watch, or read. Absorb-type activities are designed to inform and inspire learners (Horton, 2012). They enable learners to acquire vital current information essential in supplementing their learning as well as doing their jobs.
There are a myriad of absorb activities which may encompass readings, presentations, live or recorded demonstrations, real or virtual field trips, and storytelling (Horton, 2006). In this situation, the students portray that they are absorbing the activity by drawing fun from it.
Absorb activities are critical where there is minimal presentation information, when there is a need to boost the current understanding, and when detailing a concept, principle, and theory. The principal media of presenting absorb activities incorporate slideshow presentations, podcast and informational videos, field trips, and stories.
Even though these activities may appear as an inactive form of learning, they present an active component of learning. They encompass the information as well as activities requisite for learners to be mentally active perceiving. The topic that is of interest to this particular class is environmental protection.
Therefore, this entry endeavors at evaluating this absorb activity, whilst emphasizing on its needs assessment and lastly creating an absorb activity.
The initial step in creating an absorb activity is development of a needs assessment. Needs assessment does not only recognize but also corrects issues pertaining to performance within the instructional plan. It is a logical procedure of attaining a detailed and precise depiction of the weak points and potencies of the students.
Equally, it delineates the preset goals and as well points out the most suitable techniques for students to achieve them. The process gathers and scrutinizes information pertaining to all interested stakeholders explicitly students and instructors. The lesson on environmental is able to boost the current information while encouraging students to produce a visual association to supplement the understanding of the topic.
In this milieu, learners are in a position to build on their knowledge in proactive ways. Needs assessment establishes the loophole between the current knowledge and the skills and knowledge indispensable to make learners acquire novel knowledge pertaining to the topic. The lesson on environmental protection is capable of augmenting the current knowledge by incorporating fun facts to endorse learning.
The visual activity endows the learners with a realistic aspect to environmental protection, thus supplying more meaning as opposed to merely reading on the topic. The instructor may ask the learners to list some of the ways to protect the environment at the termination of the demonstration.
Throughout the needs assessment procedure, learning objectives ought to be comprehensible and generated in a manner that aids the learners in bridging the loophole between the existing knowledge and the freshly acquired knowledge. Besides, needs assessment does not solely define instructional goals, but it also indicates the manner in which learners can accomplish them.
Subsequent to completion of the needs assessment step, there is a prime requirement to develop assessment measures to determine the knowledge attained from the lesson. A suitable assessment for the environmental protection lesson would call unto learners to define and demonstrate the various ways of protecting diverse environmental settings to express their understanding.
If the needs assessment focuses on bringing the learning objectives into line with the preferred upshots, it ought to include inputs from the appropriate stakeholders (Horton, 2012).
Objectives of the Activity
The aim of the environmental protection activity is to adhere to the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s endorsement of environmental education projects.
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Hence, the activity endeavors at enhancing learners’ awareness on environmental issues whilst endowing them with the skills suitable in taking responsible actions of protecting the environment. The purpose of the activity is for learners to be acquainted with their surrounding environment, how it is polluted, and the appropriate means of curtaining the pollution and enhancing environmental protection.
The learners are fourth grade students with diverse learning styles and skill levels. This activity could be used for any first time student of environment studies. The activity does not merely enhance intellectual learning among these students but also, incorporating videos, it enhances visual learning.
What the Learners Know
To determine what to teach the learners, the instructor first establishes the learning goals. Accordingly, to know where to begin, the instructor identifies the previous knowledge of the learners. This enables the instructor to understand the learners’ skills and strengths that stipulate additional attention. As Horton (2012) establishes, absorb activities are an effectual way to extend current skills and knowledge.
Learners who recognize the fundamentals of a particular field are capable of enhancing their knowledge through absorbing novel details that elaborate a principle, concept, or theory. In the case of environmental protection, the fourth grade students know what environment means.
Moreover, they are acquainted with the verity that they are entitled to maintain a clean, well-kept, and safe environment. Besides, they know what pollution is.
What the Learners Want To Know
Having the abovementioned information, the learners need to know how to protect the environment. This incorporates the means of enhancing a clean and safe environment as well as the consequences of doing so. Equally, they need to know what comprises of the environment and the action steps in implementing a healthy environment as well as protecting the overall environment.
Furthermore, they need to know the causes and consequences of pollution on top of the ways of avoiding it. In the aspect of protecting the environment, learners need to know that the planet is changing and it is every individual’s duty to aid it modify for the better.
This is attainable by learning more pertaining to energy, as well as how humans can use it efficiently. Hence, the students need to learn about energy, various forms of energy, and means of saving energy.
What the Instructor Aims at Measuring, Determining, or Defining
In conducting this activity, the chief aim is to measure the students’ knowledge on their surrounding environment. The instructor endeavors at augmenting the students’ knowledge by portraying that there is much behind the physical and natural environment. Equally, the aim is to define measures appropriate in eradicating environmental pollution whilst enhancing environmental protection.
Perceived Outcomes from the Activity
At the termination of the activity, learners should be able to establish what comprises the overall environment, what pollution is and how it affects the environment, and how to reduce environmental pollution. Similarly, they should be in a position to know what energy implies, identify different energy types, and establish means of using energy effectively to enhance environmental protection.
How to Report the Information Collected
To present the information effectively to the students, the instructor will employ slideshow presentations, podcast videos, and informational videos. To attain their predetermined objectives, absorb type activities ought to accommodate diverse learning styles. As Horton (2012) emphasizes, presentations convey information and as well demonstrate procedures in a straightforward flow of experiences.
Hence, an efficient clarification of the subject stipulates a sequential structure manifest in the presentations. Hence, the presentations will compose of the introduction, the body section, and the summary. Equally, diagrams will prove indispensable within the presentations. They will allow students to visually capture the flow of activities hence laying the foundation for an ingrained understanding of the topic.
The Absorb-type activity
Environmental protection is vital for both humans and the natural environment. It refers to the procedures and policies endeavored at conserving natural resources and preserving the natural environment (Ringquist, 1993). Essentially, it deals with saving environmental degradation by reducing the rates of environmental pollution.
In their endeavor to protect the environment, humans are making positive choices that have positive impact to the environment. Among the major choices is energy preservation and conservation.
Pollution is the state of environmental degradation, which results from contaminated water, degraded land, polluted air, and energy degradation, among others (Hill, 2010). Pollution results from pollutants, which are substances that when introduced to the environment adversely affects the usefulness of environmental resources.
The absorb activities chosen are slideshow presentations, podcast videos, informational videos, and discussion groups. The slideshow presentations offered explanations on the value of the activity to the learner. Accordingly, the slide shows contained individual segments, each demonstrating one environmental-related issue.
The summary contained a concise recap of the points covered in the individual segments. A podcast video involving the environment and environmental pollution enabled students to distinguish various types of environmental pollution. The video centered on a surrounding that had been littered, thus presenting an exemplar of environmental pollution.
After watching this video, students were to identify the numerous types of pollution evident within the place. Equally, they were to identify the life-threatening conditions that would result from such an environment. Besides, they were to propose the various methods of getting rid of environmental pollution.
Learners suggested ways of protecting the environment from pollution. In the context of energy preservation and conservation, students defined several ways of saving energy and eliminating energy loss. The chief suggestions included:
- Turning off lights when leaving a room since leaving the lights on consumes a lot of energy
- Unplugging computers, televisions, and stereos that are not in use since these applications consume electrical energy even when they are on a standby mode
- Keeping the refrigerator door closed since the refrigerator works harder and consumes extra energy when the door is open
- Purchasing energy efficient products such as energy efficient light bulbs as well as energy efficient electronics
- Installing solar panels as they use sunlight to produce energy
In the context of pollution, students learnt that environmental pollution results from poisonous substances released in the air, seas, rivers, and the overall environment. From the informational videos, they learnt that riding bicycles instead of driving vehicles that emit carbon dioxide reduced environmental pollution.
Equally, use of eco-friendly products reduced environmental pollution. Subsequent to attaining a lot of information pertaining to environment, energy conservation, and pollution, students engaged in open discussions to share the knowledge and skills they acquired.
Subsequent to the absorb-type activity, learners were in a position to perform and present the learned activities to demonstrate their understanding on the topic. Hence, after the discussions, students embarked on outdoor activities that would enhance environmental protection. They collected litter and disposed it in an environmental-friendly manner.
At this juncture, they were able to link the information attained with real life activities. Ultimately, linking the attained knowledge by applying it enabled bridging the gap between the school setting and the surrounding world. Eventually, the instructor was able to conduct an assessment to determine the knowledge and skills acquired from the lesson.
The above described absorb type activity is an archetype of the genre of learning object that instructors may use not only to impart knowledge but also to determine what the learners know and what they need to know. The activity conveys the appropriate knowledge and skills to the learners and as well enables them to connect the unknown to the known.
Therefore, absorb type activities enable learners to augment their knowledge in particular fields in ways that are proactive. In the aforementioned activity, slide show presentations, instructional videos, and podcast videos paved way for learners to absorb knowledge pertaining to environmental issues. In encapsulation, absorb type activities prove efficient in increasing learners’ engagement and achievement with a programmed objective.
Hill, M.K. (2010). Understanding environmental pollution. Tokyo: Cambridge University Press.
Horton, W. (2006). E-learning by design. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.
Horton, W. (2012). E-Learning by design (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Wiley.
Ringquist, E.J. (1993). Environmental protection at the state level: politics and progress in controlling pollution. New York: M.E. Sharpe.