Essential Skills in Computer Enhanced Learning (ESCEL)


The design of elearning is a fundamental determinant on its success. Elearning activities require careful selection of the appropriate instructional design, assessment and technology to best meet the identified educative needs. This three day course delivered by AMEE provides the skills required to develop, deliver, and evaluate learning activities using sound educational principles and a range of creative technologies.

Essential Skills in Computer Enhanced Learning (ESCEL)

Application of knowledge gained from the ESCEL course ensures construction of pedagogically sound and contextually relevant elearning activity, using befitting technologies

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Scholarship in Education

Research is critical to learn how innovative learning environments converge to support learning and performance. By gaining an understanding of the ways in which people learn we can plan the most effective and efficient means to assist learning. This course offers models and frameworks that can be utilised to increase effectiveness in organising curricula, delivering education and assessing the outcomes. It explores the selection and integration of various instructional approaches, including both computer and non-computer based methods, to develop effective learning experiences. Topics covered include:

Scholarship in Educational Technologies

The challenge for educators and designers is to not only be aware of the latest technology but to consider how it can be best used to enhance learning. Some elearning involves a focus on content while other forms focus on process. This course offer skills required to work effectively within an educational environment made complex by the expanding range of available technologies. What is the true value of new educational technologies? New technologies emerge constantly with a promise to revolutionize education and to provide benefits for both educators and learners. Assessing the value of elearning requires a range of different economic analyses. It is necessary to look past the hype and evaluate the true value the new technology offers in terms of both cost and learning efficacy. Topics covered include:

4 Domains of Scholarship

Ernest Boyer's model of scholarship advocates expansion of the definition of scholarship and research. It broadens scholarship of discovery to contemporize traditional research as four separate but overlapping and connected domains.

  1. Discovery - Original research that advances knowledge.
  2. Integration - Bringing ideas, techniques in from other disciplines.
  3. Application - Going beyond the service duties of a faculty.
  4. Teaching & learning - The systematic study of teaching and learning processes.

9 Events of Instruction in eLearning

Good instructional design is independent of the technology. It requires selecting, organizing and specifying the learning experiences necessary to teach somebody something. The instructional design of elearning informs decisions on everything else. Robert Gagne's Model of Instruction offers nine events that provide a framework for an effective learning process.

  1. Gain attention
  2. Inform learners of objectives
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
  4. Present the content
  5. Provide learning guidance
  6. Elicit performance - Practice
  7. Provide Feedback
  8. Assess performance
  9. Transfer to work situation

4 Types of Learning Activities

Activities are necessary to provoke learning experiences. William Horton’s typology specifies that to accomplish learning objectives, we typically require absorb, do, and connect learning activities. Investing in good tests will show how well a design is working, help monitor learner progress, show what content learners can skip and help determine content that can be omitted.

  1. Absorb-type activities – Presentations, storytelling, readings, tours
  2. Do-type activities – Practice, discovery, games and simulations
  3. Connect-type activities – Ponder, job aids, research, original work
  4. Tests – Quizzes, assessments, competency/mastery monitors

12 Principles of Multimedia Learning

Richard Mayer's twelve principles shape the design and organization of multimedia presentations:

  1. Coherence Principle – Learners benefit when extraneous words, pictures and sounds are excluded.
  2. Signaling Principle – Learners benefit when cues that highlight the essential material are added.
  3. Redundancy Principle – Learners benefit from combining graphics and narration rather than graphics, narration and on-screen text.
  4. Spatial Contiguity Principle – Learners benefit when corresponding words and pictures are presented near each other.
  5. Temporal Contiguity Principle – Learners benefit when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
  6. Segmenting Principle – Learners benefit from a multimedia lesson presented in user-paced segments rather than as a continuous unit.
  7. Pre-training Principle – Learners benefit from a multimedia lesson when they know the names and characteristics of the main concepts.
  8. Modality Principle – Learners benefit from graphics and narrations rather than from animation and on-screen text.
  9. Multimedia Principle – Learners benefit from words and pictures rather than from words alone.
  10. Personalization Principle – Learners benefit from multimedia lessons when words are in conversational style rather than formal style.
  11. Voice Principle – Learners benefit when the narration is spoken in a friendly human voice rather than a machine voice.
  12. Image Principle – Learners do not necessarily benefit when the speaker’s image is added to the screen.

5 Phase Instructional Systems Design (ISD) Framework

The Addie model is an instructional design methodology used to help organize and streamline the production of course content. The model provides a focused approach that delivers feedback for continuous improvement.

  1. Analysis - identify all the variables that need to be considered when designing the course such as learner characteristics, prior knowledge, available resources, etc.
  2. Design - identify the learning objectives, how materials will be created and designed, and the technology to be utilised.
  3. Development - create the content and load onto learning platform.
  4. Implementation - deliver the course, including any prior training.
  5. Evaluation - collect feedback and data to inform and improve next iteration of the course.

6 Part Taxonomy of Significant Learning

Dee Fink's Taxonomy of Significant Learning advocates the expression of learning outcomes in terms of goals that lead to change. For learning to occur there has to be some form of lasting change that is important in terms of the learner’s life.

  1. Foundational Knowledge - Understanding and remembering information and ideas.
  2. Application - Developing critical, creative or practical thinking skills; managing projects.
  3. Integration - Connecting information, ideas, perspectives, people or realms of life.
  4. Human Dimension - Learning about oneself or others.
  5. Caring - Developing new feelings, interests or values.
  6. Learning How to Learn - Becoming a better student, inquiring about a subject, self-directing learners.

4 Levels of Competence

George Miller's pyramid is a framework that can be utilised to assess clinical competence both in educational settings and in the workplace. It distinguishes between knowledge at the lower levels and action in the higher levels by assessing within the setting that learnings are expected to be delivered.

  1. Does - action
  2. Shows how - performance
  3. Knows how - competence
  4. Knows – knowledge

5 Levels of Skill Acquisition

The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition is a model of how learners acquire skills through formal instruction and practicing. The original Dreyfus model is based on four binary qualities:

The Dreyfus model of skill acquisition advocates that in acquiring a skill by means of instruction and experience, the learner normally passes through five developmental stages.

  1. Novice - incomplete understanding and needs supervision.
  2. Advanced Beginner - a working understanding and can complete simpler tasks without supervision.
  3. Competent - a good understanding and able to complete work independently to a standard that is acceptable.
  4. Proficient - a deep, holistic understanding and can achieve a high standard routinely.
  5. Expert - an authoritative understanding and achieves excellence intuitively with ease.

4 Stages of Experiential Learning

David Kolb’s cyclical theory of experiential learning is a holistic perspective that consists of four stages. A learner may begin at any stage but must follow each other in the sequence.

  1. Concrete Experience (Do) - actively experiencing an activity, such as field work.
  2. Reflective Observation (Observe) - conscious reflection on experience.
  3. Abstract Conceptualization (Think) - conceptualising a theory or model of what is observed.
  4. Active Experimentation (Plan) - planning how to test a model or theory, or planning for a forthcoming experience.

To gain genuine knowledge from an experience, the learner must have four abilities:

About the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)

The Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) is an organisation with members in 90 countries. AMEE promotes excellence in education and is committed to the development of evidence-informed education. The ESME suite of courses, offered and accredited by AMEE, recognise that all educators, even those with considerable experience, can improve their skills.


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