• Frankie Robinson

Merging E-Learning with Social Media

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

When I tell people that I am an instructional designer, I'm usually met with intrigue. What is that? Sounds cool! What do you do? To which I say that I am either creating curriculum or developing eLearning. Man, how those intrigued faces fall! Most people I have met have not had positive experiences with eLearning training and my heart goes out to the designers and developers. We try to personify the training by using first person language. We include avatars and, if we are fancy, the avatars are animated! But, at the end of the day, they aren't real people and there isn't any real interaction with the content outside of some quiz questions at the end of the module.

So, I set forth with a challenge to engage the learners. While there are several avenues to tackle this challenge, I and my SME, Margie Pearse, were particularly intrigued with the power of social media. How can we merge eLearning with the interactive elements of social media?

Margie Pearse is coauthor of several books focused on the teaching of mathematics, one of which is Teaching Numeracy. A large struggle she noticed with teachers teaching math was that they were required to teach through textbooks that didn't teach higher order thinking. She not only wanted to teach teachers the whys and hows of teaching higher order thinking of math, but she also wanted to engage in conversations to model the higher order thinking.


1. Design and develop the training with 504 compliance

2. Engage learners in higher order thinking

3. Incorporate an authentic call to action that is useful for the learners almost immediately


1. To add credibility to the module itself, we decided to include mini videos of Margie teaching each of the five lessons in this module.

Not only did this truly personify the module, the learners also had the opportunity to engage with Margie further in Twitter as the call to action.

2&3. We avoided multiple choice questions and aimed for open-ended questions that would lead to rich and useful discussions. Because this module is about how to modify math manuals, the challenges reflect the objectives of each lesson.

The learners participated in the discussion through Twitter at a predetermined time set by Margie. The learners simply needed to tag #MathManualMods to engage in the conversations.


Margie was able to connect with teachers worldwide in fostering meaningful discussion regarding the use of math textbooks in the classroom. She also is providing this eLearning module to her new teacher mentees as useful training for when they enter the workforce.

#eLearning #504Compliance #HigherOrderThinking #AuthenticCalltoAction

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