I created this e-courseware to target primary school & secondary school students (age 10-14) on the various cyber-wellness issues that they faced while using the computer/the internet.
The courseware covers 3 main topics:

  • Cyber-bully
  • Game addiction
  • Online privacy.

The aim of the courseware is to ensure that the students are able to protect themselves and empower them to take responsibility for their own well-being in the cyberspace. During the development of the courseware, I used Gagne’s nine events of instruction to develop and offer opportunities to engage in every process.

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1.Creating attention-grabbing introduction

One of the effective ways is to make use of interesting animation and attractive graphics to hook up learner’s attention at the start of the courseware. Most research shows that attention span of a learner is getting shorter over time. It is important to capture their attention at the start and to keep it short and sweet as the main idea is to capture their attention and make them curious, not to bore them.

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2.Inform learner about the objectives

Learner should know what are they are going to learn before they access to the contents. So it is important to set a clear objective that allows them to tie to real-world benefits and application. When they are able to relate and see the beneficial “takeaway” from the objectives, they will be more willing to continue with the learning.

3.Stimulate recall of prior knowledge

Before the start of the content, I ask the learner questions about their prior knowledge of cyberspace that they acquired earlier. By using this method of building up existing knowledge rather than starting from scratch allow the learner to be able to retain new information easier. Usage of a short animated story to relate about past experience also helps a learner to be emotionally connect and get them think about the topic as they are easier to relate from there.

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4.Present of content

So here’s the main essence of the content. All the contents are designed to address all the objectives mentioned on the objectives. For easier absorption of content, I use whole to part method and break it into small segments for easier digestion of the content. I also make use of visual and audio element to simulate the learning and create the menu for easy navigation around the courseware.

5.Provide learning guidelines

As learner are practically on their own, it is important to ensure that they are not frustrated or feel lost. I make use of clear on-screen instructions and provide case studies for the learners for better illustration of the content.

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6.Elicit performance

Enable repeating of contents helps a learner to absorb and retain new information. Learners are giving an opportunity to re-visit the content after each visit. I also make use of decision-making questions in case study to test their response. When example given are realistic and learner are able to apply their new knowledge immediately, it will have a higher chance for them to retain the knowledge.

7.Provide comments and immediate feedbacks

By giving learner immediate feedback allows a learner to identify their weakness and improve from there. The discussion forum is setup for learners to give their feedbacks and comments. Learners are able to ask questions in the forum.

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8.Assess of learner performance

Quizzes allow learners to test their understanding of the topic. It not only help to identify if learner has close the knowledge gap, it also helps developers to take note of the “weak spot” in the content. If most of the learner are struggling on a certain question, it may be an alert for the developer to evaluate on the content and activity.

9.Enhance the retention

Now that the learner went through the content once, it is good to repeat the concept and main learning pointers again at the end of the courseware to reinforce the content they gone through.

Of course, these are just the guideline I used for development of this courseware. As there are many instructional design methods out there, I would love to hear from you all.

Written by Wee Ying Qin.

Wee Ying Qin is an educational technologist at National University of Singapore. He received his Bachelor of Computer Science (Multimedia & Game Development) and Master of Arts in Instructional Design and Technology from the National Institute of Education, Singapore. As an educational technologist, he has demonstrated different capabilities in areas of effective instructional design, e-learning education and multimedia development. He enjoys photography and hiking as a hobby.