Alison please note that the work for module three is to be found in my blog pages called- Module three – A new journey into the wilderness AND Module three – The main assignment
The question – what decisions do you expect an organisation to implement before implementing an e-learning program?
The following may or may not be relevant issues to an organisation such as TAFE. I have denoted some of the more important issues by applying a ttbefore each point
√ Technology infrastructure
√ Learner Readiness
√ Trainer Readiness
√ Management Readiness
√ Support staff
√ Venues or Learning Centres
√ Buy or build courses
√ Maintaining Records – LMS or LCMS
√ Keeping material up-to-date / editing or tailoring to specific needs
√ Copyright of content
√ Trainer contact – or not
√ Collaborative environment – synchronous or asynchronous
√ What courses / content will be offered online
√ Measuring Return on Investment (ROI)
√ Measuring outcomes and effectiveness
The second case study – Online teaching and learning in Higher education, commissioned by the Department of Education and Training actually relates to research to the effectiveness of online learning, one section of the document relates to case studies as a tool for an e-learning environment. I felt that it was still relevant to pursue this research as it offers interesting judgements on how effective case studies are in an online learning environment. Alison, I did have a brief discussion in class regarding the appropriateness of pursuing this line of “attack”. As this research offers some interesting insights into effectiveness of e-learning, in fact the article directly addresses this issue, The section of the research document that pertains to case studies is to be found on pages 12-15 of the document and I will more specifically assess this section of the research article. LOOK FORWARD TO THIS IN MY NEXT ENTRY,
After reviewing the first of the case studies – Learning to Elearn, case study 2 (The virtual Facilitator a personal Journey of Teaching and Learning from the experience at Royal Roads University), I felt that the case study and subsequent review was balanced and self critical. The case study was for an environment course with up to 97 participants located around the world, but predominantly in Australia, Canada and China.
The author of the case study noted that the technology base for a course that is based on students from around the world had to be set on the lowest common denominator so that technology capabilities could be kept fair for all participants of the course.
The author outlines the eight most important steps for the development of an effective e-learningcourse (See pages 13 of the report) and ultimately outlines the ten most important lessons that were discovered after the delivery of this course on several occasions.
The motivation for this case study relates to several universities desire to evaluate e-learning courses and provide continual improvement to their programs
We have conducted an extensive search of material relating to effectiveness in e-learning strategies and have ultimately selected the following two case studies
We decided to try and make sure that the case studies were caried out within the last five years as information pertaining to e-learning may become less relevant if they any older than this. In addition both case studies are australian generated and are therefore likely to become more relevant in a local context.
The two case studies selected (with links) are as follows:
The first case study selected is : Learning to Elearn Case Study 2 – The Experience at Royal Roads University http://www.ies.unsw.edu.au/about/staff/robertsFiles/virtual_facilitator.pdf#search=%22e-learning%20effectiveness%20case%20studies%22
The second case study selected is: Online Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: A Case Study
I have made a decision regarding my topic for the two case studies!!!!!
Measuring effectiveness of e-Learning is the hot topic of this blog for module two.
The reason for the selection of this subject is that in horticulture we are interested in setting up access points for students. This may provide another avenue for effective self directed learning activities for certain modules. I will liase with Leah Reid who also teaches horticulture so that we may provide a holistic approach to the subject matter.
Activity 1.6 Current status of e-Learning in Organisations
What is the current status of e-Learning?
In the past e-Learning had a tendency to focus very heavily on the operability – software and methodology, rather than focussing on the content and how that content could be made relevant to the subject matter
As consumers become more computer savvy and systems become more user friendly the relevance of e-Learning for certain subjects becomes more relevant and successful
The key to effective e-Learning is to tie e-learning initiatives to business needs
Why is it important to understyand the state of the e-Learning market in organisations?
It is important to understand the e-Learning market in organisations as the technology and operability of e-Learning has changed and is changing constantly. There may be some types of industries and organisations that in the past found it difficult to include e-Learning in their educational systems. With new technology, improved and more reliable access and use capabilities these companies or organisations may now be able now to include e-Learning as a valid method to at least complement their training needs.
1.7 Advantages and Disadvantages of e-Learning
What do you believe are some of the advantages of e-Learning?
One of the most obvious advantages of e-Learning is the fact that it can be performed in the comfort of your own home or office at a time that suits you.
e-Learning can really be suitable for the time poor who cannot afford to devote large chunks of time to do a face to face course. In addition e-Learning can be useful for people to do some courses at a distance, They may live in a remote area where traditional education institutions are inaccessiale.
What are some of the disadvantages of e-Learning
Certain subjects may not lend themselves readily to e-Learning, as I said at the begiining of this weblog, horticulture is a very tactile subject and it would be difficult to teach a student how to prune a shrub or plant a plant. Certainly some of the underpinning knowledgr could be effectively taught with e-Learning strategies, however, the tactile process of learning to actually do these things must be conducted in the real world. With these sort of subjects there will always need to be a level of face to face contact.
an additional disadvantage of e-Learning is that some people need to have interaaction with people to learn most effectively. A certain level of computer lteracy is also required, the concerted ludites of this world preclude themselves from the virtual world of e-Learning.
Activity 1.8 Weblogs
What is a Weblog?
A weblog is an electronic diary that can be seen online on the world wide web. It is an interactive site where other people on the web can leave comments and interact with the person who ‘owns’ the blog. Some blogs have become so popular that they attract hundreds, even thosands of ‘hits’ per day! Weblogs traditionally have dated entries or posts with titles of the subject matter, Theu have a comments or feedback capability, are often divided into categories qand provide links to related URL’s.
What is the relevance to this subject?
It is important to understand the differences between a standard website and a weblog which is more like an interactive archive. Weblogs or their equivalent future evolovement may become a lot more relevant to some types of educational delivery in the future and it is important that we as vocational education teachers remain abreast of potential future developments in e – Learning.
The concept of interactivity and it’s importance in relation to e-learning are two terms that have been more clearly defined.
the importance of appropriate netiquette is another term that has been more clearly defined
1.3 Components of e-Learning
The activity sheet outlines nine componenets used in e-Learning. Of the components listed I have had some experience with – Quizzes, Email and discussion forums
Some others that could relate to e-Learning that I have had experience with include – search engines, general computer programs, such as word and excel. internet, and intranet
Descriptions of some of these terms include – The internet refers to a global network relating to the world wide web whereas an intranet is a series of linked computers that form an internal network often in the confines of an organisation
A discussion forum relates to a network of linked computers where members of a group can conduct an interactive ‘conversation’ usually relating to a particular subject or theme
Activity 1.4 e-Zines & e-Newsletters
What is an e-Zine?
An e-Zine is a periodical on line magazine that usually covers a particular subject. Often but not always an e-Zine is also published as a paper magazine. e-Zines may be viewed for a subscription although many of them are free
What is an e-Newsletter?
An e-Newsletter is also a periodical posting but usually relates to an organisation such as an industry group or club. Once again an e-Newsletter may or may not be complemented by a paper version.
How do you judge their relevance?
Depending on the subject matter e-Zines can be very helpful, particularly for distance education where the distant student has access to e-mail and the world wide web.
e-Zines and e-Newsletters are also environmentally friendly as they do not waste paper.
Where do you start searching?
If you are a member of a particular organisation such as TAFE libraries often supply lists of relevant publications that the organisation subscribes to.
a search engine may be a helpful tool to determine if there are any e-Zines that may be relevant.
The following two links relate to e-Zine lists that have been taken from a google search engine. The third link relates to a site that offers free software to enable someone to start their own e-Newsletter.
Subscription can be made usually on the home page where ther will be a subscribe link that will ask a series of questions that will help the magazine identify the new subscriber. If the magazine requires a subscription fee banking details may also be required.
How do you unsubscribe if you aren’t interested?
Is there any statement about privacy and the use of your e-mail address?
All reputable sites should have a privacy section, usually at the bottom of the home page. Sometimes these details can be found in the details of use which is usually also found at the bottom of the home page
Activity 1.1 What is e-Learning
E-Learning relates to educational activities generally conducted with computers and interactive networks
Activity 1.2 Glossary of terms
To help clarify the multitude of terms that relate to e-Learning. It is also necessary so that reliable communication can be held between clients and members and effective learning practices may be applied.
A search engine would be a good starting point for the discovery of effective glossaries. A simple google search provided the following glossaries
There seems to be a far degree of crossover between some of the terms. For instance the definitions of Web-based learning, online learning and E-Learning share many aspects of definition
Horticulture is a very tactile subject, subjects such as plant trees and shrubs or pruning small trees and shrubs mainly need to be taught in a practical manner as the techniques required to perform these activities are very physical. Certain subjects may lend themselves to e-learning styles