“Education extends to wherever we happen to be. Learning’s wrapped all around us.” — Curt Bonk

It’s no secret: education can happen anytime and anywhere a person wants it to happen. Though it’s easy enough to pick up some information by simply reading a website or watching a video, people are embracing more formal settings for online learning in greater and greater numbers. Whether they’re enrolling in a MOOC simply to satisfy their curiosity on a topic, or they’re matriculated in an online degree program at a traditional university, we can see that people around the world recognize the power and opportunity afforded by the synergistic relationship between technology and education.

In this energetic session from Cengage Learning’s Engage 2013 conference hosted by SXSWedu, Curt Bonk of Indiana University declares: “The world has become open for learning.” So when the world (or at least a portion of it, in the form of your student population) comes to you and seeks not only information, but inspiration, how do you help foster the level of engagement that keeps those students motivated to participate in class, master the material, and persist to the end?

To help you achieve your own goals, Bonk shares research-backed instructional design frameworks intended to minimize your frustration and enable you to recognize the many tools and strategies available. You’ll learn about ten principles of motivation (presented via the memorable acronym “TEC-VARIETY”), which combine to create engaging learning environments. Along the way, Bonk shares dozens of examples of activities that make use of such technology tools and resources as video conferencing, wikis, podcasts, high-quality web portals, interactive games and timelines, and online collaborative hangouts with students around the globe. He also describes how these activities have sparked excitement and curiosity among his students.

Therefore, be forewarned: if you watch this video, you may be inspired to add some TEC-VARIETY yourself!

Have you applied the TEC-VARIETY framework to your instructional setting? If so, what results have you seen? Share your experiences and inspiration below, or send an email to thinktank@cengage.com

Curt Bonk is Professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University. Drawing on his background as a corporate controller, CPA, educational psychologist, and instructional technologist, Bonk offers unique insights into the intersection of business, education, psychology, and technology. A well-known authority on emerging technologies for learning, Bonk reflects on his speaking experiences around the world in his popular blog, TravelinEdMan. He has authored several widely used technology books, including The World is Open, Empowering Online Learning, The Handbook of Blended Learning, and Electronic Collaborators. 

For additional insights from Curt Bonk, read our recent post Adding Some TEC-VARIETY to Online Teaching and Learning.