Wednesday, June 29
1:30 PM-5:00 PM

Creating Effective Online Learning Courseware

Workshop ID: 48743
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    Jorge Reyna
    University of Technology Sydney

Abstract: Creating effective learning courseware requires working knowledge in visual design, information architecture, multimedia learning principles and pedagogical considerations. This workshop is hands-on training and articulates a comprehensive range of approaches aiming to help you to design outstanding online learning sites. We will be discussing with practical examples, the importance of colour scheme, typography, design layout, navigation, usability and accessibility, multimedia learning principles and sound pedagogical principles to facilitate learning, promote students engagement and enhance the learning experience.


At the end of the workshop participants will be able to: • Apply visual design considerations to create aesthetic and credible online learning sites • Understand and apply information architecture principles to facilitate online learning • Describe and apply principles of multimedia learning in the development of learning objects (presentations, screencasts, podcasts, etc.) • Create an effective learning design taking in consideration sound pedagogical principles • Critically evaluate online learning sites based on these principles

Topical Outline

Research has demonstrated that aesthetics plays an important role in shaping user responses to products and websites. Users also draw on aesthetic factors to judge usability and credibility. In the technology setting of online classes, it is therefore important for educational institutions and faculty to consider the educational function of visual content and the aesthetic judgments that are being made by students. Including visual content and applying aesthetic standards during online course development can ultimately improve not only the visual appearance of course content but can also improve how students react to and interact with those courses. The aims of a visual design are to: (1) ensure legibility; (2) simplify the message; (3) increase learner engagement; (4) focus learner attention on important points; (5) and; to provide an alternative channel of communication. Information architecture principles are vital to take into account when designing online learning. The opportunity for fluid movement within your site encourages learners to explore it in its entirety, whereas poorly designed navigation leaves them stuck and spinning around in circles. Research on web design has showed it does not take long for someone to hit the ‘back’ button if they have had a healthy dose of frustration while trying to find something on your website. Multimedia learning principles has a dramatic impact in online learning as well. There are 14 learning principles, if they are applied accordingly, it will greatly enhance the quality and effectiveness of your teaching and instructional materials. For example, verbal and visual information they both complement each other to help us to understand concepts faster, more thoroughly and easily. These principles are based on cognitive load theory and they have been subject of extensive research. Learning design that takes into account the different ways on how people learn help us to translate our learning outcomes into assessments and then, into relevant face-to-face and/or online activities. In summary, if all these principles are applied together, it will increase the chance to engage students and enhance their learning experience. This workshop is hands-on training where participants will engage with these principles in a practical and easy manner.


This workshop is tailored to participants who want to improve their online teaching practice with evidence-based principles. Ideally, they should have the following experience: • Teaching experience (face to face and/or online) • Experience with Learning Management Systems (LMS) • Understanding of adult learning principles • Pedagogical knowledge will be highly desirable

Experience Level



• Lecturer in Higher Education, learning design, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney • Vast experience applying visual design, aesthetics, usability and accessibility in online learning environments • Experience in digital media and developing courseware for tertiary educational institutions including animations, screencast, podcasts, video scripting, filming, editing and production, multimedia learning, graphics, photography, etc. • Author of several journal papers and book chapter about educational technology. • Currently researching in the area of Flipping Classrooms and Inclusive Design Website:


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