Nicole Podleschny & Mirjam Glessmer, 2015

In our recent workshop on “supporting self-organized learning with online media”, Nicole Podleschny and I came up with a morphological box to help plan online teaching units. The morphological box is basically a list of criteria that we thought might be relevant, and then we suggest different values for each of the criteria and leave plenty of space for participants’ own ideas. By providing a very broad overview over the many parameters and possibilities, we hoped to get participants away from the prevailing understanding that “online learning” is necessarily the same as multiple-choice e-assessment, and to get them think more broadly about what options might be most appropriate for whatever their goals might be.

The very important first step in planning of any kind of teaching unit has to be — as always! — to think about what learning outcomes the instructor wants to achieve. Only when this is really clear, appropriate methods and tools can be chosen!

Then we can have a look at the morphological box:

Morphological box for planning of online learning units (Podleschny & Glessmer, 2015)

Now we can go through the different criteria and have a look at what value seems to make sense. Of course, there are many more options possible than those we suggest here – please feel free to fill in whatever suits your needs best!

Sometimes it is really helpful to just be aware of different options. Even though you might not want to pick any of the options given in the morphological box, maybe just reading them and deciding against them will spark an idea of what actually works best for your case.

The morphological box can also be used to design different scenarios and discuss them against each other in order to figure out which criteria are more relevant to you than others.

If you would like to give it a try, you can download our morphological box below.

Morphological box [pdf English | pdf German]