Applying Learning Theory Principles in the Design of Effective Learning Objects
Guled, Abdiwahab Daud
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This Design-based research study aimed to develop a design framework that would help learning designers to apply learning theory principles when designing learning objects. The study examined the experiential learning theory, information processing theory, and cognitive load theory to develop the iterative learning development (ILD) model. Several iterations of testing and refinement were conducted throughout the development and implementation of the ILD model. A group of professional learning designers (n=5) tested the ILD model by creating a 3-module exemplary learning object (LO) in collaboration with subject matter experts at Gollis University. Learning designers tested version one of the ILD model by developing module one of the 3-module exemplary learning object. Peer reviewers provided quantitative and qualitative feedback to measure the effectiveness of version one of the ILD model. Module one was then implemented in a real classroom at Gollis University. Students (n = 32) were surveyed, and the instructor was interviewed during the implementation. Feedback from students, the instructor, and peer reviewers was used to develop version two of the ILD model. Version two of the ILD model was tested by creating module two. Several iterations of refinement were conducted during the development and implementation of version two. Student surveys, instructor interviews, and peer reviewer feedback were used to create version three of the ILD model. Finally, version three of the ILD model iv was tested by developing module three of the exemplary learning object. Similarly, several cycles of iterative revisions were conducted throughout the development and implementation of version three. Peer reviewers’ feedback and responses from student surveys and instructor interviews were used to refine the effectiveness of the final version of the ILD model (i.e., version three). Findings revealed successive improvements in the effectiveness of the ILD model. Version one did not provide expected guidance to learning designers to apply learning theory principles effectively when designing objects. Module one content contained a higher proportion of extraneous information, misalignment between learning objectives and associated content, and irrelevant multi-media. Version two helped designers improve module two's overall flow and organization. However, there was a lot of extraneous information in the reading content. This means that learning designers did not apply IPT-1/CLT-2 effectively to remove all extraneous information from the content. Finally, version three of the ILD model showed higher performance than previous versions. Using version three, learning designers showed significant progress in removing extraneous information, mapping content with learning objectives, and packaging content into manageable chunks that learning designers can process without feeling cognitive overload. The development and implementation of the experiment continued for 28 weeks.