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Georgianna LawsWelcome to geolawsdesign.com! This site is dedicated to presenting my professional background and sharing resources about online education—be it in leadership, scholarship, instructional-design, and/or teaching.

If there are online resources you’d like to see added to my site, please email me at georgiannalaws@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to oblige as time permits.

PS: You may have known this site in its previous form, as a resource for my instructional-design services at Augusta University. As of Fall 2017, I re-purposed the site as my professional online presence. For my services at Augusta University, visit the OFDTE page.

Warm regards,


Introducing Essential Course Vitamins

If you go to your primary-care physician to have a conversation about how you can reach optimal health levels, you’ll most likely hear that you need to take your vitamins. The human body needs Vitamin A for vision and immune support, B vitamins for energy and red blood cell support, etc.

I’d like to make the radical proposition that if you were to go to your course’s “primary-care physician” (a.k.a. your instructional designer) to have a conversation about how to keep your course “healthy”, you’d also hear about essential vitamins.

So what are these essential course vitamins? What effects do they have on courses? And how do you “give” them to a course? For these answers and more, check back in with my blog.

August is Adaptive and Authoring Software Month @ Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG)

The following message is adapted from a communication by Mr. Jeff Galant, ALG program manager:

August is Adaptive and Authoring Software Month for Affordable Learning Georgia! This free web event series:

  • is intended to support the new Textbook Transformation Grants category for interactive course-authoring tools and software
  • involves both the creation of new materials and radical transformation of existing OER.

The companies are as follows:

See full schedule of events @  http://www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org/events/adaptive_authoring

See archived and upcoming events  @  http://www.affordablelearninggeorgia.org/events/training

An Essay on Independence Day and Living Fearlessly

Source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3107/3686613741_3aa70644ba_z.jpg?zz=1
Source: http://bit.ly/29j7kkY

Today, as we commemorate our nation’s signing of the Declaration of Independence, claiming our independence from Great Britain (ironically – a nation about to claim its own independence from the European Union), I feel deep gratitude for the privilege of being a citizen of our great United States of America.

There are many kinds of independence but the one I’ve been contemplating lately is independence of fear. When I moved to Augusta to take my current job, a friend had sent me off with the advice to live fearlessly. I did for a while and then forgot… As I was trying to recapture what it means to not be afraid (so that I may remember it for myself and pass it on to my son and hopefully inspire those around me), I found threefold inspiration this 4th of July weekend.  As the proverb goes: ask and you shall receive! Continue reading

New appointment duration

Daylight Savings Time sketch
Daylight Savings Time sketch

Due to the high demand for meetings to work on the transition from this semester to the next, and drawing inspiration from  daylight savings, I am temporarily reducing the base duration of meetings from 1 hour to 30 minutes.

This will allow me to see more faculty clients in a day. If you feel we need more meeting time, you have the option to add 30 or even 60 minutes to our 30-minute base when you make the appointment.

I hope you will enjoy the prompter service. Let me know what you think!

Smart Textbooks – Say What?

E-book. E-reading. E-learning.
Once upon a time, textbooks consisted of printed pages bound between two hard covers. Then textbooks became digital, with rich media and interactive elements. Then publishers started adding digital assets to the digital textbooks, in the form of PowerPoint presentations, glossaries, exercises, and exams. Can there be more? Yes, a new type of smart book is emerging. One that can think for itself.

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GALILEO: High Quality Resources, No-Cost to Students

Through Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG), the University System of Georgia (USG) aims to provide affordable textbook alternatives to distance-learning students. These electronic alternatives are low cost or free (most typically in the form of open education resources), and build on GALILEO and USG library resources.

Recently, ALG shared information about how you can use GALILEO resources within your D2L course. Let’s have a look at what is available to you and how it can benefit our students.

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MOOCs: Fresh from the DLA conference

I just got back from the Distance Learning Administration (DLA) conference and let me tell you… it was fantastic. Hosted at the historic Jekyll island club hotel, this conference attracts eLearning administrators, faculty, staff (including instructional designers, technologists, and librarians) from many educational institutions around the nation. One of the topics discussed in multiple presentations was massive online open courses or MOOCs for short.

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Course-Development Plans

Fig. 1: Course Planning

As a designer and/or instructor, I am a lot more accurate and efficient whenever I use course-development plans. What do I mean by “course-development plans” you ask? In a nutshell, such a plan specifies what happens in the course, in what sequence, and for what purpose. This document is built early on (in the instructional-design stage in the ADDIE model) and acts as a guide the course production and post-production. Continue reading

What Makes a Successful Online Discussion?

Image retrieved from http://tinyurl.com/qbwdoh3

Research shows that active discussions among online learners are essential to cognitive gain as well as student satisfaction with and perceived learning from asynchronous online learning [1-10]. But how can faculty teaching online courses ensure that students do not engage in shallow participation, but actively engage with the subject matter and peers, use critical thinking, and  create new meaning? What goes beyond knowing and gets students to do something with their knowledge? In other words, what makes a discussion successful?
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