Pursuing Online by Design

Online by Design is a series of thought-out decisions about how to best integrate new teaching and learning opportunities created by bi-modal, fully online, and online supported face to face teaching. As with any development in technology, education, or practice, there are a set of thought processes to follow in your personal assessment of what can work for you in your class, learning management system, and teaching presence. 

One of the recommended frameworks to use is Puentedura’s 2014 SAMR[1] model – Substitute, Augment, Modify and Redefine – as a means to explore the potential for online-by-design..

  • Substitute: This is the process of using the online shift for a direct substitution – for example, document management, assessment handling, and access to library services being coordinated through the LMS, rather than physical places and papers.
  • Augmentation: Shifting to a technical solution that improves the substituted component – for example, using Turnitin for assignment submissions to access the GradeMark annotation function. It’s still marking an assignment with comments, it’s now online with drag and drop options and pre-set comments.
  • Modification: This is where the teaching and learning tasks can be considerable redesigned with the support of technology – or considerably redesigned from a technology driven solution to a face-to-face experience. For example, while using real time video is augmentation for tutorials, using a real time discussion platform, with video, with the ability to import objects, files and videos to create an animated story board of an assignment is modifying the experience beyond what could be done without the tech.
  • Redefinition: This is the least common outcome, as it allows us to develop a completely new education task through the technology. It’s also really hard to think of an example because as soon as you put it together, it’s easy to see how it connects to Modifications.

The aim of the SAMR model is to ask what each aspect of your course design could benefit from with technology, should be done in technology or could have something completely new brought to the occasion via technology, and where the technology may not fit, enhance or facilitate course goals.  The aim of a model like SAMR is reflection and review – being able to reject a technology under considered circumstances is important, and novelty should not mean automatic adoption.

[1] Puentedura, R. R. (2014). SAMR: A contextualized introduction. Lecture at Pine Cobble School. Retrieved March13, 2014.