E-Learning Design Principles and Methods Course Offered Remotely

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E-Learning Design Principles and Methods
Course Offered Remotely by
Carnegie Mellon University

Taught by
Ken Koedinger
August 28 – December 17, 2017


Enrollments accepted through August 28, 2017.

Click here for enrollment instructions: http://www.cmu.edu/hub/registration/non-degree/

Course Goals:

This course is about e-learning design principles, the evidence and theory behind them, and how to apply these principles to develop effective educational technologies. It is organized around the book “e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning” by Clark & Mayer with further readings drawn from cognitive science, educational psychology, and human-computer interaction. You will learn design principles and methods for creating highly effective e-learning courses.  You will get practice with these principles and methods both in online exercises and in projects where you use data and theory to design, implement, and evaluate an  an e-learning course module.

Learning Goals:

  • Effectively use and communicate learning principles in e-learning design and development
    • Explain and apply e-learning design principles for:
      • combining examples, explanations, practice and feedback in online support for learning by doing
      • combining words, audio, and graphics in multimedia instruction
      • balancing learner versus system control and supporting student metacognition
    • Evaluate and improve existing educational technologies using principles
  • Effectively use data-driven methods in e-learning design development
    • Select and apply appropriate Cognitive Task Analysis methods to refine learning goals and learner models
    • Design and develop online assessments based on backward design
    • Employ user and learner experience methods to guide and evaluate e-learning designs
    • Perform and interpret results of randomized A/B tests to evaluate e-learning and select principles to apply


Flipped Homework: Reading Quizzes and Reading Reports

You will have “flipped homework”, a variation on the flipped classroom idea you might have heard of. Flipped homework is an assignment before a relevant class meeting rather than after it. It helps you to check your understanding of what you read, to practice to enhance your memory (we will talk about the “testing effect” in class), and to get a better sense of what you don’t know so you are prepared to ask questions in class. It also helps instructors focus the class discussion to better avoid belaboring known points and pursue student needs and interests.

Before some class sessions, you will asked to do a quiz associated with the assigned book chapter. The quizzes will be online. Before other class sessions, you will be asked to write “reading reports”. We will use the discussion board on Canvas. You should complete assigned quizzes or reading reports before 8am on the day of class. Quizzes can be taken as many times as you want and your score will be the last attempt before 8am.

Attendance is required for all class sessions. Absences will affect your final course grade.

Textbook and Readings

“E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: 4th edition” by Ruth Colvin Clark and Richard E. Mayer.

Other readings will be assigned in class.


The registration fee this course is $6084 + university fees. You will register as a special student and receive academic credit from Carnegie Mellon University.

Course Instructor

Dr. Kenneth R. Koedinger
Human-Computer Interaction Institute
Carnegie Mellon University

Ken Koedinger has considerable experience in research and development in technology-based learning experiments, computer-supported collaborative learning, intelligent tutoring systems and tutorial dialogue systems. He is a professor of Human Computer Interaction and Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Koedinger has an M.S. in Computer Science, a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology, and experience teaching in an urban high school. His multidisciplinary background supports his research goals of understanding human learning and creating educational technologies that increase student achievement. His research has contributed new principles and techniques for the design of educational software and has produced basic cognitive science research results on the nature of student thinking and learning. Koedinger directs LearnLab (learnlab.org), which started with 10 years of National Science Foundation funding and is now the scientific arm of CMU’s Simon Initiative (cmu.edu/simon). LearnLab builds on the past success of Cognitive Tutors, an approach to online personalized tutoring that is in use in thousands of schools and has been repeatedly demonstrated to increase student achievement, for example, doubling what algebra students learn in a school year. He was a founder of Carnegie Learning, Inc. (carnegielearning.com) that has brought Cognitive Tutor based courses to millions of students since it was formed in 1998. Dr. Koedinger has authored over 245 peer-reviewed publications and has been a project investigator on over 45 grants.

Required Background

The course is intended for anyone with the educational zeal who would like to learn about e-learning design principles, the evidence and theory behind them, and how to apply these principles to develop effective educational technologies. This could include seasoned edutech researchers, advanced graduate students, computationally sophisticated teachers and commercial or military instructional developers. Please contact us when in doubt. In the past, people with a variety of backgrounds have taken this course including psychology, education, human-computer interaction, computer science, as well as instructors in a wide range of domains.


Enrollment instructions can be found here: http://www.cmu.edu/hub/registration/non-degree/

Please start this process early. It will take 3-4 days to complete your registration.


  • When enrolling into this course, select 05823 Section B.
  • Remote attendance is required for all class sessions. Absences will affect your final course grade.

Important Dates

  • The deadline for enrolling is August 28, 2017.
  • Classes are August 28, 2017 through December 17, 2017, Tuesday and Thursdays, 9-10:20am EST

For More Information

Please address inquiries to Michael Bett, LearnLab Managing Director, email or Ken Koedinger, LearnLab Director and course instructor, email