Friday, April 3, 2015

1.1.3 Appearance Quest

Instructional sites that are designed following best practices:

IXL is one the Web's most comprehensive K-12 practice sites. Widely used by schools and families, IXL provides unlimited practice in more than 4,000 math and English topics. This site is colorful, fun, and interactive. The content is organized like a textbook, making it easy for students to scaffold their learning.

BrainPop is a comprehensive website that covers multiple disciplines. All the sections are extremely engaging and helpful for kids of all ages. There are instructional videos and games that help students practice skills in a fun way.

LearnEnglish Kids has lots of online games, songs, stories, and activities for primary school children learning English as a second language. It is a highly interactive, eye-catching instructional site, even for very young learners. Kids can have fun and learn English at the same time.

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. It is a comprehensive website that covers multiple disciplines, using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. All the lessons present content in a very engaging way.

iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. Civic learning is promoted through interactive and engaging digital resources. iCivics is one of nine nonprofit organizations around the world to receive the 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. According to its Executive Director, Louise Dubé, “iCivics has become the largest and most popular digital civic instructional resource in the country.”

In my opinion, the following instructional sites fail to exemplify sound design ideals. They all lack eye-catching images, graphics, and multi-media. The delivery of content is not clearly organized, which in some cases looks confusing and, in other cases, feels overwhelming. Font and color choice, as well as arrangement, seems to be problematic, too.

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