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Supporting Online Learners

Supporting Online Learners



Presentation at Elearning Update, 1-3 August 2012

Presentation at Elearning Update, 1-3 August 2012



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  • How does this fit with the conference theme?Design
  • Why is support such a focus? Provides motivation, assistance -> persistence and lower drop outStudents need orientation of the environment, basic use of the technology, how and where to get support
  • Required to be designer, content facilitator and technologistA good online facilitator is ultimately someone who is a good teacher
  • Part of capacity development programme – this course focussed on support
  • Delivered for early adopters of online learning at: Namibian College of Open Learning (NAMCOL)Botswana Open College of Open and Distance Learning (BOCODOL)University of Swaziland (UNISWA)Facilitated both face to face and onlineDelivered via Moodle, made use of Blackboard Collaborate for live meetings
  • First delivered F2F then blended approach – which provided a more real world experience
  • Next Steps….

Supporting Online Learners Supporting Online Learners Presentation Transcript

  • Building Capacity to Support Online Learners at AfricanHigher Education Institutions Greig Krull and Brenda Mallinson Saide 1 August 2012
  • Context Higher Education Institutions want to embrace online learning… How do I provide support? What support do I need? How do we build capacity?
  • Learner Support Academic Administrative Is the support: Technical Flexible? Continuously available? Useful?
  • Staff Challenges Changing role Changing role of teachers of learners Use of Online technologies interactivity
  • Building Staff Capacity • Professional Development approach: – Internal staff development – Use of staff innovators – Accredited certification – Use of localised peer support and mentoring • Provide a staged approach to building capacity • Support of centralised unit: Teaching and Learning, Educational Technology
  • Design • Introduce academics to online learning • Based on open learning principles • Integrate theory into design of learning materials and activities to build desired learning pathways • Utilise the “medium is the message” • Available as online mediated course or as set of unmediated course materials
  • Unit Learning ActivitiesThe Lifelong Elearning readinessLearner Changing roles of lecturers and students Competencies required for online facilitatorsOpen Learning Types of elearning programmesand e-Learning Web 2.0 technologies for learningTheory and Learning activities and the Wiscom ModelPractise Support learners through the 5 stages of the Salmon ModelAsynchronous Asynchronous tools such as discussion fora, blogs andCommunication wikisSynchronous Synchronous tools such as instant messaging, onlineCommunication tutorials, and web conferencingAssessments Role of assessment in supporting learningand Build collaboration into assignmentsAssignments Constructive feedback
  • Delivery Institutions Delivery Platforms
  • Results • Academics acquired the initial foundational knowledge and skills needed to support online learners • Staff experienced learning as students • Realised shift from students being recipients to active creators of learning • Some technological issues in terms of connectivity • Agreement to continue with capacity development programme
  • Impact • Enabled staff to plan for online implementation, both personally and institutionally • Access to resource to reuse and adapt • Developed Institutional roadmaps – Benchmark e-learning activities at institutions – Create pilot courses – Build capacity for staff and students
  • This work is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Thank you Greig Krull and Brenda Mallinson greigk@saide.org.za / brendam@saide.org.za