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The SECTIONS model recommends selecting and using digital resources based on the following criteria: Students, ease of use, cost, teaching functions, interaction, organizational issues, networking, and security and privacy. Students refer to the need to identify target group needs. Students’ demographics, access, and learning styles should be considered. The ease of use criteria refers to keep things simple. Learning and using educational technologies should be easy for everyone. Also, the cost should be considered both in terms of money and time. Based on Mayers’ (2009) 12 principles of multimedia design, the teaching and media criteria include coherence (keep things simple), signaling (students need to know what to look for in multimedia materials), [avoid] redundancy, spatial continuity, temporal continuity, segmentation, pre-training, modality, multimedia, personalization, voice, [No] image (adding the speaker’s image to the screen does not necessarily enhance learning). Interaction refers to how much and what kind of interaction a medium facilitates. Students learn more effectively when they engage in active learning. Organizational issues pertain to technology readiness and professional collaboration. Through networking, learners gain access to professional and community resources outside of the classroom, including subject specialists and professionals. Lastly, students, teachers, and instructors need a secure online workspace.

The SECTIONS model is explained in greater detail in Chapter 10 of Teaching in a Digital Age – Third Edition. Guidelines for designing teaching and learning: The book aims to help teachers understand how to teach effectively in an age of technology.

Bates, A. W. (2022). Teaching in a digital age: Guidelines for designing teaching and learning (3rd ed.). Tony Bates Associates Ltd.

In addition, the Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education suggests evaluating digital resources based on the user dimension (how the user interacts with the resource), the distinctiveness of the digital resource (its advantages and disadvantages), and the subject and education dimension (potential for education and evaluation). The user orientation dimension states that students should be motivated and engaged by resources that are inclusive, accessible, and relevant to their studies. Additionally, they should be easy to understand and use, follow a familiar navigation pattern, and not discriminate against ethnic, social, or gender groups. The distinctiveness of digital resources refers to the fact that they must include text, images, video, animation, simulations, and other media. As part of educational principles, media forms should be selected and integrated, adapted to different contexts, used separately (modular use), and facilitate diverse teaching and learning practices by utilizing various media, communication resources, and solid access to updated information. According to the subject and education dimension, an effective resource should be relevant to the current curriculum, suggest how various curriculum goals will be accomplished, provide opportunities for evaluation, such as tests, and contribute to formative and summative assessment. It should be suitable for individual work, group work, teacher-led activities, etc.

Find out more about the topic: Quality Criteria for Digital Learning Resources of the Norvegian Centre for ICT in Education: The purpose of this document is to provide teachers with guidance on determining whether digital learning resources are suitable for use in educational settings.