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DESIGN: While ruminating about the design of WeBelong School's Compassionate Curriculum, I realized that every student there was going to have to be on the same virtual page to effectively support each other in their healing journeys. These students would need an umbrella course wherein they learned to communicate together online in a way that would help them in their healing process as they continued their online matriculation together. I imagined being such a student and what would work for me. I started out the design process by filling out this form 3b from our textbook Conquering the Content by Robin M. Smith (2008). (Please be aware, these forms evolve over time and are built on each other; they may not contain the same information as the finished product. Thanks.) And the invention that form represents became this mini-course, Emotional Healing Within a Safe Online Community. Try Module 1 out below on a course creation program called Versal. Click on the slider and scroll through, if you'd like. If all THS students took the same course about how to create emotional healing within a safe online community, they would probably learn the skills they'd need to create and maintain a safe online social and emotional environment, express their feelings and listen to each other in a protected online discussion, and support each other in their healing. So I designed this prerequisite 5-week mini-course for my final project in Instructional Design for E-Learning.
In taking this course, all THS students would learn to be there for each other in their online discussion group, called the Safety Net. The mini-course would need to differentiate between cohorts in the WeBelong School, so I decided to organize the online students into different age groups: Roughly, children who are old enough to be computer literate, teenagers, young adults, parents, professionals, and Golden Years folks. Since most everyone at WeBelong School attends online, it would be a fairly simple matter for these groups to stay as a cohort together for their time at THS. The students who live at WeBelong School are primarily there because they do not have a support system at home or do not have a home, but are still committed to their healing journeys. These student cohorts would be divided up by age, too, but more informally and without the need for an online group since they would meet together in person. They, however, would be taking a similar course that relied less on online learning. This mini-course is for the non-resident students so they can communicate safely and supportively together online.
I have put some reflections on Instructional Design for E-Learning on my Blog. They are the top three blog posts and represent my ID travels, starting from abject crawling over the chunks and bridges of course design and proceeding along to dancing in the joy of creation! The first one is called "Analysis: Breaking to Build"; the second, "The Process of Learning to Build"; and the third, "The Joy of Learning"! They're all dated June 27, 2015.
I'm so glad that I have learned to get a handle on something that was so challenging initially. As always, great Thanks to Dr. Susan Manning for her persistence in meeting me right where I was across the the Internet tubes!
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