Flexible online learning through modular design

For Immediate Release
Mon, 11/09/2020


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association



CHICAGO — If your online instruction program sometimes feels like a constant scramble to keep pace with requests and deadlines, modular design is the answer. Approaching projects, whether large and small, with an eye towards future uses will put you on the path to accomplishing broader, organizational goals. And by intentionally building documentation and structure into your process, you will create content that can be easily scaled modified, adapted, and transformed to meet different learner needs. In her new book “Modular Online Learning Design: A Flexible Approach for Diverse Learning Needs,” published by ALA Editions, experienced online instructor Amanda Nichols Hess shows you how, using project examples of various sizes to illustrate each chapter’s concepts. Her resource guides you through such topics as:

  • the eight components of modular online learning design;
  • key considerations for choosing the design model that best fits your organization and project;
  • techniques for connecting your online learning goals with institutional strategy; 
  • using the IDEA process to align OER content with your instructional needs;
  • documenting your planning with checklists, scaffolds, and templates;
  • ensuring equity of access with all content formats using the Accessibility Inventory Index;
  • principles for scaling up, down, or laterally;
  • three models for more meaningful and functional collaboration with internal or external partners; and
  • formative testing as a foundation for ongoing evaluation and assessment.

Hess is the e-learning, instructional technology, and education librarian at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Experienced in online instruction in both K-12 and academic libraries, she has published work in such journals as College and Research Libraries, Communications in Information Literacy, Journal of Academic Librarianship, and portal: Libraries and the Academy. She also authored the book “Transforming Academic Library Instruction: Changing Practices to Reflect Changed Perspectives.”

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