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e-learning scenarios

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago

E-LEARNING SCENARIOS

 


 

Presenting text-based e-learning scenarios

 

after an original by Franz Weitl, Christian Süß, Rudolf Kammerl, Burkhard Freitag, In: Proceedings of e-learn 2002 world conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education, 2002

 

E-learning needs to take different learning styles into account to be successful. There are at least two major disadvantages of the medium web for learn-ing formal material:

 

• Relatively low information density: the amount of information which can be presented on the screen is limited as compared to print media. This leads to a quick loss of overview, when the presented mate-rial is complex.

• Non-optimal learning environment: research results show, that the perception tires out quickly when the recipient has to grasp a large amount of new information on the screen. As a result, authors of online material have to cope with particularly short attention spans.

 

Presenting individual e-learning scenarios

 

Patterns for person-centred e-learning

 

after an original paper by Michael Derntl and Renate Motschnig-Pitrik

According to the definition of architect Alexander in 1977, a pattern describes a generic solution to a certain problem that occurs in a certain context. At the beginning of the 1990s this promising idea was picked up by software engineers to support reuse e.g., Coad, 1992; Gamma, Helm, Johnson, & Vlissides, 1993 and documentation e.g., Beck & Johnson, 1994 of software design by specifying Design Patterns, which are still the most predominant approaches associated with patterns today. Nevertheless, the pattern approach has found its way into many different disciplines, such as pedagogy and learning design.

 

Rapid & effective e-learning scenarios

 

this chapter cites Bob Zeidman and contains information from Bersin& Associates

 

Rapid E-Learning is a whole new category of content: instructional content which can be built in days, using off-the-shelf, easy to use tools. With Rapid E-Learning, SME’s can author content – using instructional templates, graphics, fonts, and images developed by a central training or web development group.

 

Unlike traditional e-learning, Rapid E-Learning programs can be developed so quickly that they can be considered “disposable.” If the business problem changes, you can afford to take them offline and redo them easily. Used appropriately, Rapid E-Learning solves a range of problems which are time-critical – but does not necessarily fit for every instructional challenge.

 

At Bersin & Associates there has been developed a taxonomy called “The Four Categories of Training.” All informational and skills problems are broken into four types of solutions, as shown below. For any given problem the approach may be chosen from one of these four ways, depending on the specific business challenge and audience being addressed :

 

The Four Categories of Training

© Bersin & Associates

 

In this example four ways of handling a price change in the new Cadillac are presented. Depending on the audience you are trying to reach and the goals of your program, you can approach this problem in four different ways:

 

Information Broadcast: quickly tell everyone about the price change. You may not be interested in educating them about pricing in general but it is critical to get the information out quickly. Perhaps this is the approach to use with sales managers. In this approach, often email is enough – or perhaps a conference call. Rapid e-learning fits well here.

• "Critical Knowledge Transfer:" quickly tell everyone about the new pricing and make sure they read and understand it. In this case, perhaps targeting sales people, we want to know that each member of the audience understands the new price change. We add an assessment, for example, to make sure that (A) the audience read the material, and (B) we can track who did not complete the material. This is a perfect fit for Rapid E-Learning.

• "Develop New Skills:" in this case, targeting perhaps authorized discount managers, we want to make sure that individuals not only know that we changed the price but also understand the entire pricing structure. In this approach we teach the audience about pricing in general, how the pricing structure works, and then how to apply these skills to the new Cadillac pricing. This type of program warrants a traditional training program – either in a classroom or using more traditional development techniques.

• "Create Certified Competencies:" finally, for some audience (perhaps product pricing managers) we may want to certify (measure) that these individuals clearly understand the current and complete pricing approaches, standards, and practices. For this kind of “certification” program we want to develop skills, assess them carefully, and make sure that they are current. This type of program is usually a blended program and may involve Rapid E-Learning, traditional training, simulations, and exercises all blended together.

The important aspect, underlined by the authors, is that for any business problem one or more of these approaches can be successfully used. Rapid E-Learning, then, will be used often – and may replace or simply supplement other approaches.

Presenting group e-learning scenarios

 

Role play scenarios

 

after an original paper by Jennifer Devries

 

One of the greatest challenges in e-learning is making programs as engaging as a lively classroom experience. Indeed, many techniques have been used to turn page-turners into an interesting and interactive experience, including

 

• activities: slider bars, assessments, and questions that learners must answer

• scenarios: small video or animated replays that show real world situations

• video: replays of instructor-led programs

• application simulation: actual simulated applications that enable learners to click and interact with software, without really touching a production application

• business simulation: real business simulations that let learners make decisions and see the results of their actions.

 

However, problems persist. In Bersin & Associates’s February 2004 market survey of some 7000 training practitioners, respondents said that their biggest obstacle in deploying e-learning programs is the ability to engage learners in a way that leads to program completion. According to our blended learning research, high levels of mastery come directly from interaction and real world exercises. Character-based simulations are emerging as a key approach to e-learning.

 

Problem solving scenarios

A problem solving based e-learning scenarios guide (available in extenso at http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/guides)

 

This generic guides have been developed for the following reasons:

• The learning design represents an online problem-focussed approach based on sound pedagogical principles and enabling learners to engage in authentic tasks and can be reused in many different disciplines and contexts.

• The essence of the design supports learners in their construction of knowledge.

• Its use of a single, sustained, authentic task and social constructivist philosophy engages learners and such a design could be applied in many different contexts. The notion of placing the learner in the setting of a professional role with authentic tasks is suitable for reuse in a variety of disciplines.

 

PRESENTING E-ASSESSMENT.

after an original by Wendy Flint

 

Classroom Assessment Techniques CATs Angelo and Cross are tools for collecting data on student learning to improve it. Classroom assessment is done before formal evaluations of learning. Using Classroom Assessment Techniques builds a bridge between students and instructor, increases confidence of the learners, and provides a method of instructional communication. The CATS described in the following paragraphs work best with online instruction.

 

Background Knowledge

Probe and Misconception/Preconception Check.

The first step in online course instruction is to assess the learner’s prior knowledge and understanding of the topic. Two assessment techniques are recommended: “Background Knowledge Probe” and “Misconception/Preconception Checks” (Angelo and Cross, 1993, p. 119). The answers that the students give helps the instructor identify the level of understanding and what misconception areas might need to be focused on. If these techniques are used in a threaded discussion (where students view each other’s answers), one person’s fact may be another’s falsehood, interesting discussions pursue and diversity appreciation begins. Successful online classes require students to answer or “post to” at least two other students in the course room to create student interaction and to set the stage for cooperative or collaborative learning experiences.

 

Muddiest Point.

 

A Classroom Assessment Technique used to assess recall, knowledge, or understanding is called “Muddiest Point” (pg. 154). The Muddiest Point technique provides information on what students find least clear or most confusing about a lesson. Following a text reading assignment, an Internet research assignment, or an instructor informational posting on a topic (in the web page design of the course or by e:mail), the students can choose two of three questions to answer. In addition, one required question should be “What was the muddiest point for you? What is still not clear? What concept are you still trying to grasp?” Allow the other students to respond to their postings. This allows students to learn from each other. At the conclusion of the learning section, the instructor can post a final statement of knowledge to review once again the muddiest points identify and offer some additional Internet links or online library resources for students to do further study. Often the last posting from the instructor, summarizing the group discussions, makes the muddy points come clear.

 

Guide Peer Questioning.

 

Not listed in Angelo and Cross’s book is a similar technique called “Guide Peer Questioning (Halpern, 1994).” Guide peer questioning can be a powerful and effective tool to teach critical thinking or identify unclear points. Halpern, 1994 notes:

When professors teach their students how to ask thought-provoking questions and give explanations in response, they are likely to raise the level of thinking in their classrooms. When students learn to ask their own thought-provoking questions (both in and out of the classroom) and provide explanatory answers, they are well on the way to self-regulation of their learning. They are on the road to empowerment and are ready to embrace their futures (p. 34).

 

After a reading assignment online or in a text, students work independently to generate two or three questions based on the material. Next, they pose their questions in the online course room to their peers. The students then answer each other’s questions in a reciprocal manner. “Deep learning” occurs when students have to synthesize the information to create thought-provoking questions.

 

Assessing Skill

in Analysis and Critical Thinking

 

To assess skill in analysis and critical thinking, a Pro and Con Grid technique is recommended. The instructor can first describe the use of a “T-Chart” or grid to list the “pros” of an issue on one side and the “cons” of an issue on the other. The instructor needs to be clear on how many ideas are expected to be listed, such as “four or five” on each side.

 

After the students evaluate the pros and cons, the students post their evaluation summary and conclusion in the online threaded discussion (or online “chatroom” where a “live” discussion is scheduled) and students are required to respond to at least two postings for student interaction. This technique develops analytical skills and depending on the topic, develops the ability to make informed ethical choices, evaluate contemporary social issues, or make wise decisions (p. 168). In a business course, students could do a cost benefit analysis. In a political science course students can evaluate a current legislative issue. In a Biology course, students can discuss viewpoints on the ethics of cloning. Most important, the instructor can observe through the postings the capacity of the students’ objectivity and encourage them to carefully analyze both sides of an issue before making a final decision.

One-sentence Summary. To assess skill in synthesis and creative thinking, the One-Sentence Summary technique is an excellent choice for online learning especially when E: mail communication or written postings are the mode of communication. The One-Sentence Summary “enables teachers to find out how concisely, completely, and creatively students can summarize a large amount of information on a given topic (p. 183).” By condensing information into smaller, interrelated bits, the information is also more easily processed and recalled. These techniques improves memory, listening, and reading skills, develops the ability to synthesize and integrate information and ideas, and develops management skills required by most organizations.

 

Document Problem Solutions.

 

The Documented Problem Solutions technique helps learners deal with real-world problems and guides students through a process where they keep track of the steps they take in solving a problem to “show and tell how they worked it out (p. 222).” The higher goal in this assessment is to see how well students can describe their problem-solving method. They are then more likely to use the same method in the future. In a problem solving assessment, students have to transfer learning to a specific situation and practice new knowledge. A case study that relates to the topic of discussion, such as a business ethics dilemma, an irate customer scenario, a conflict between teams in a company, a mathematical brain buster, or a tough decision for a manager, should be relevant to both the course and the real world. Three or four students in the online course room can be assigned the same case study. They can communicate through the online tool of choice, e:mail, threaded discussion, chat room, or a web e:group, such as Yahoo.com. Using pro and cons, group discussion, Internet research, and/or evaluation, the team posts their conclusion or solution. More important, they post the steps they took to reach their conclusion or solution. With all groups required to post their step-by-step process, the instructor and the students become aware of a range of possible successful, and perhaps unsuccessful, approaches to problem solving (p. 225).

 

Directed Paraphrasing

 

To assess skill in application and performance, the Directed Paraphrasing technique can be used (p. 231). Directed Paraphrasing provides feedback on students’ ability to summarize and restate important information or concepts in the students' own words, allowing the instructor to assess how well students have understood and internalized the learning (p. 232). In addition, it develops the students’ ability to translate specific learning into a form that someone outside the classroom can understand. “Directed Paraphrasing is particularly useful for assessing the students’ understanding of important topics or concepts that they will later be expected to explain to others. For example, in the fields such as marketing, social work, public health, education, law, and criminal justice, much of a student’s eventual success depends on his or her ability to internalize specialized and often complex information and then to communicate it effectively to the public (or to management) (Ibid.).” A good example of this would be a nurse communicating with a doctor or a patient or a police officer’s required report writing. The procedure for Directed Paraphrasing for online instruction is to select an important theory, concept, or argument that the students have studied. Direct the students to paraphrase the same topic for two very different audiences and explain in detail the difference between the two paraphrases. Give the students an example to guide them through the process. An example of a Directed Paraphrase assignment would be an online law enforcement class. The students have just finished studying California State Law for traffic violations. The students are asked to paraphrase violations one through five from the list for 1) a high school audience and 2) a document for a law officers staff meeting. This type of assignment would be sent directly by E:mail to an instructor for evaluation and feedback. A general approach for any topic would be to have students read separate reading assignments and then post a paraphrase as a summary of the topic for others to read. For example, if there are multiple methods of achieving the same goal in a specific learning assignment, rather than have the students read all of the methods, accelerate the learning time by assigning one method to two or three students to review and post a paraphrase for the other students to read. Often students will print these summaries from the online course room and use in the future for more formal recall studies and evaluation at the end of the course.

 

Techniques for Assessing

Learner Attitudes, Values, and Self –Awareness.

Online learners need to be actively involved in their own learning to be successful. There is a high level of responsibility required of students enrolled in distance learning. “There is now a good deal of research evidence to suggest that the more time and effort students invest in the learning process and the more intensely they engage in their own education, the greater will be their satisfaction with their educational experiences, and their persistence in college, and the more likely they are to continue their learning (Report on Excellence in American Higher Education, 1984, p. 17; Angelo & Cross, 1993, p. 255).” Active engagement requires self-awareness and self-direction. Several online assessment techniques can be modified from the Angelo and Cross CATs. This concept is similar to “learning communities” where students build confidence by learning together.

 

Another technique to improve student learning is the Interest/Knowledge/Skills Checklists.

By asking students the skills or topics they want to focus on, the instructor can shape the course to best match the students’ needs, thus increase the motivation for learning and improve student success. “By providing instructors with detailed, specific information on their students’ interests and self-assessments of their skills and knowledge, the checklist makes course instruction more focused and effective and the students will invest more effort in the course (p. 288).”

 

Last, the technique of Self-Assessment of Ways of Learning is an evaluation of learning styles. If the student thinks carefully about how they learn or that there are options in the ways one can approach learning, they may experiment with other ways of learning. The instructor will be informed on the preferred learning styles and present the instruction in accordance with the preferred styles. All of these assessment tools that have multiple choices can be designed in Microsoft Front Page or with the assistance of the online support services at the college or the learning management system that the online course is posted on.

 

Use of Feedback.

 

The most important Classroom Assessment for online learning is Feedback and Course Evaluation. Specific techniques used for online instruction is Electronic Mail Feedback p. 237, Teacher-Designed Feedback Forms (p. 330), or posted comments in the online course room. Students need prompt feedback following online assignments and group discussions. The instructor does not need to give feedback to every single student, demonstrating expertise to the point of dominating the class, but rather find a balance from giving feedback to one or two different students for each assignment, to carefully selecting postings that are exceptionally good to praise, and to selecting some that may need a little more clarification. In some cases, suggestions for further study or a specific web site may be in the instructor response. Online feedback forms are important at the end of the course for course improvement and are usually anonymous and sent to college administration, but a simple request for a one or two paragraph feedback sent privately by E-mail from the students to the instructor is important to improve the direction or focus of the learning to improve student success and course completion rates.

 

Dr. David Fetterman Stanford University defines four e- assessment steps for what he calls "empowerment evaluation" http://www.stanford.edu/~davidf/empowermentevaluation.html:

 

• the reaction- learners’ feedback uring the learning sequence (program) assessed; analyzing the student’s reaction takes into consideration their online participation, the number and the quality of their replies in e-conferences and/or forums and debates;

• learning – periodical quizzes based on weekly “homeworks”, debates and final testing results;

• transfer – the degree of knowledge use after a few weeks/ months from the course end; when the course group has the possibility of remaining in contact)

• impact – the extent of use of the course knowledge/ skills/ competences in problem solving situations at work, after the e-learning experience has been completed.

 

No matter what the assessment technique is, the quality of evaluation must feature the few following characteristics : clear and correct discrimination between different levels of performance, minimum error level and maximum level of objectivity.

 

E-Assessment standards

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