Digital Learning Theories and Frameworks to Elevate Instruction

3 min read
Part of the December 2020 STEM Resources Digital Calendar!

Many teachers are feeling overwhelmed with the sudden transition to digital lessons and online teaching. The learning theories and frameworks below provide useful tips on how to design online instruction and plan digital lessons to help students thrive. Rather than subscribing to one theory, I find that learning about each offers me great insight into what motivates and engages online and digital learners. I also have discovered tips to support all students and diversify my curriculum to meet their various learning needs. The theories below will also transform your lessons so that students are thinking critically, problem solving, creating, and collaborating with their use of technology.

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4 Essential Elements for Effective Distance Learning

Currently, I teach the online course, Online Learning: Best Practices to Leverage the Power of Distance Learning for graduate and continuing education credit. I often reference the ideas and research by McIsaac and Gunawardena in the Handbook of Research for Educational Communications and Technology. According to McIsaac and Gunawardena (2001), we must consider the following four concepts essential to effective distance learning for our students, which are transactional distance, learner control, social context, and interaction. My presentation, Caring for Students Virtually, which you can view below, illustrates the four essential concepts and offers practical ways to implement them.

Digital Learning Theories and Frameworks

Further Reading and Exploration

The following resources provide more insight on various digital learning theories and frameworks, including the ones mentioned in this post:

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Digital Advent Calendar

Just click on the day and find a post full of free STEM resources and ideas ☃️If you enjoy these resources, then take one of my fully accredited continuing education and graduate online courses or check out my book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies with EdTech Missions!

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