Hit or Myth 1 All things being equal, media and technology make a major difference in learning effectiveness. 1913 Thomas Edison predicts the demise of traditional teaching. Meta-analysis completed in 2010 on the use of online learning, including Web 2.0, looked at 1000 studies. 1. Found the average student in online learning conditions performed modestly better than F2F. 2. Advantage was the result of additional time and materials and greater opportunity for collaboration.
Hit or Myth 2 The hardest part of technology-based learning is deploying it to all the learners that need it. (Myth) What is more challenging? Designing the right type of online training Making sure it is relevant and interesting Measuring results in a meaningful way Creating an atmosphere in which the students want to learn
Hit or Myth 3 A great instructor-lead course can be readily transferred to a technology-based delivery method. (Myth) Great instructor lead courses make it easier. In addition to sound teaching and learning; online learning requires mastery of new interaction techniques using web and multimedia technologies.
Hit or Myth 4 The most resistance to technology-based learning comes from the learners themselves; many are bored by it. (Myth) True when the technology-based instruction is poorly designed, is difficult to navigate and control, or offers little perceived value. Today’s students are increasingly demanding a more motivational approach to learning. The greatest resistance to learning technology is still coming from teachers.
Hit or Myth 5 The greater the percentage of your course that you move online, the better your program will be. (Myth) Quantity is no substitute for quality and relevant instruction. The best eLearning programs are precisely geared to the needs of the students and the curriculum.
Hit or Myth 6 Online and eLearning experiences provide greater active engagement. (Myth) While it is potentially true, the reality is that most technology-based learning is expository. Engagement is the result of specifically design activities.
Hit or Myth 7 Online and eLearning offer enormous cost savings. (Myth) The development of excellent eLearning generally takes 4 to 10 times longer for development than a comparable F2F class. Technology-based eLearning requires appropriate technology infrastructure, desktop hardware and software. The cost savings is in efficiency and reusability.
Design Question 1 Who are the lessons/courses for and why? Has a needs assessment been done? What are the learning and performance objectives? What prior knowledge will the learner need?
Design Question 2 What is the content and the context of the online or eLearning lesson? Under what conditions will the learner have to perform? What are the contextual factors that will affect the design? What is the precise nature of the content which should be taught?
Design Question 3 How deeply into the content should the lesson go? What level of learning the content is required for this lesson? Basic overview? Drilling down into the topic? The clearer the structure of the content is for the learner the more easily they will grasp and retain it.
Design Question 4 What type of eLearning is needed? Does learning require memorization and numerous opportunities for practice? Does the learning require the selection and use of different resources to solve problems? Remember the more the learner actively responds to the content, the better they will learn and retain it.
Design Question 5 How much time is needed? Often overlooked is the amount of time the teacher has for developing and delivery of the online lesson. How much time can your students afford to spend on an online project?
Design Question 6 How will the online or eLearning lessons be delivered? Synchronous or Asynchronous? Will Interoperability be an issue? Reusability? Manageability? Accessibility? Durability?
Design Question 7 How will the learner be assessed? How is the success of the lesson/course determined? Is the amount of learning gained satisfactory? Are formative and summative assessments used? Pre-tests and post-tests? Computer-assisted or hands-on performance assessments?
10 Steps to Developing More Successful Online Instruction
Step1: Select the right content Conduct a proper front-end analysis and needs assessment of the students. Take the time to learn about the learners. The information you include should be accurate, relevant, complete and interesting to your target audience. The clearer the structure of the content for the learner the more easily they will grasp and retain it.
Step 2: Strong Alignment If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably end up some place else. Clearly defined goals and objectives are critical to the content development. The learner must understand what they should be able to do at the end of the lesson or module. Learning activities and assessments must be congruent to the goals and objectives.
Step 3: True Interactivity Students learn better if they have to respond. There is no difference between overt and covert responses. What is important is for the learner to be mentally engaged in their responses. A simulated eLearning environment provides the student the opportunity for practicing “real world” techniques in a safe learning environment.
Step 4: Valued Experiences Don’t focus on “edutainment” at the expense of learning. Critical that the instructor considers what content is important, so students will be able to apply their new knowledge and skills. Less is more. Learners appreciate online lessons/courses that give them what they need in the shortest period of time.
Step 5: Few Distractions Moderation and purpose are key when considering which “special features” of your authoring tools to use. The key content question is: “Will it contribute to the learning process?” Content will need to be balanced with limited time for learning activities. Extraneous and non-essential information should be eliminated.
Step 6: Reusability Design the online lesson/course so that the learner can easily refer back to specific application-oriented parts. If lesson/course has resources embedded in it; create a simple and easy way to access those tools once the instruction has ended.
Step 7: Powerful Feedback Very often the learner will not have someone on hand to assist them in case of a problem or lack of understanding. Feedback can either be corrective or confirming. The important thing is to let students know they’re on the right track. Feedback and model answers should be as comprehensive as possible.
Step 8: Valid Assessment Important to tie the test questions to the objectives of the lesson. Use a variety of assessment formats; performance activities, simulations, check lists, multiple choice questions, short answer, matching or open ended questions. Check your assessment tools to assure accuracy, reliability and validity. Running a pilot study or field test is always a good idea.
Step 9: A Good Human Factor If learner becomes bored or frustrated with the interface or navigation, no learning will occur. Three major factors influence how much and how well we learn; ability, knowledge and motivation. Include appropriate intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to enhance the pleasure of the learning experience. Timely and reliable technical support is vital to any successful online activity.
Step 10: Integrated Follow-up Ensure support resources are available for students and teachers after the lesson. Teachers need to be familiar with the content, so they are able to help learners integrate their new knowledge and skills into their problem solving strategies. Additional teacher training and an online support network are important to the long term success of the online lesson and courses.
Conclusion What makes for quality online learning? A thorough needs assessment of the learner and environment. Clearly defined goals and objectives. Learning activities and assessment tools that that support the goals and objectives of the online lesson or course. Assurance that the proper technology will be in place and available. Students clearly understanding their own learning responsibilities. Key criteria for success: 1. Is it learner centered? 2. Is it performance based? 3. Can we demonstrate successful results?
THE END Presentation based on book by Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps entitled; Telling Ain’t Training, 2 nd edition. American Society for Training and Development, copyright 2011.